Bowling Green Falcons 2023 College Football Preview
June 17, 2023
Record – 6-7
ATS – 4-7-1 (vs FBS)
The Falcons started out 2-4 and looked bound for another losing season but they rallied nicely and won their next three games. They also went ON THE HIGHWAY and upset the mighty Toledo Rockets in mid-November to clinch their first bowl appearance since the 2015 Go Daddy Bowl. Bowling Green fell in the Motor City Bowl to New Mexico St (L 24-19) and finished with a mark of 6-7. It wasn’t an epic season but they finished with five MAC wins and tied for 2nd place in the East with Buffalo.
Can they take the next step and win the division this year?
Bowling Green Falcons 2023 Outlook
The offense was inconsistent to say the least LY as they ended up #120 in the FBS in rushing offense (#11 MAC) and #66 thru the air (#4 MAC). The Falcons need to replace QB Matt McDonald who had his best season with the squad LY (22-9 TD to INT) and there will be an interesting battle for the starting gig over the summer. Backup Camden Orth showed potential in the 10 games he appeared in LY and he’s got sneaky mobility. That gives the offense a major upgrade in that department over the glacial speed of McDonald. Bowling Green scooped up former Missouri and Indiana QB Connor Bazelak thru the transfer portal and he’s a talent thrower who can be erratic at times (36-27 TD to INT). They should be fine at RB with the return of Terion Stewart (2021 – 412, 5 TD) and maybe Ta’ron Keith can be the SURPRISE PACKAGE they need to kick things up a notch? They’ve got a decent set of THROW GAME targets including WR Odieu Hiliare (747, 6 TD) and an underrated TE group. The OL features three returning starters but they’ll need to show significant improvement for the offense to click (3.1 YPC, 37 sacks LY). That’s the biggest concern on offense.
Bowling Green wasn’t very good from a statistical standpoint LY (#91 rushing defense, #108 pass efficiency defense) but they displayed impressive PENETRATION whilst leading the MAC in sacks (38). They also ranked #3 in the MAC in TFL/game. Only a small handful of starters are back on this side of the football and that’s a definite concern heading into 2023. The DL takes a massive hit with the loss of their top-two sack doods (Karl Brooks had 10) but at least NT Anthony Hawkins is a legit piece to build around. There are useful veterans at LB including #2 tackler Darren Anders and a legit CB duo on the back end, but they’ll need to create a lot of havoc in the backfield if they want to be an above-average MAC stop unit. Where is said havoc going to come from?
Sami Sir averaged a mere 36.2 per punt LY and the starting PK job is still up for grabs as we approach press time. The kicking game could be a problem area.
Overall – They’ve got three tough non-conference road tests to deal with (Liberty, Michigan, Georgia Tech) and have to face Toledo from the West. Their prospects for competing in the MAC East will be decided right away as they play Ohio (H), Miami Ohio (A), and Buffalo (A) by mid-October.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Michigan (Sept 16)
This could be a LAY DOWN AND DIE spot for the Falcons as they’ve got the yuuuuge game with Ohio on deck and you know that COACH JIM has no problem running up the score.
Season Win Total
Market consensus June 17 <wide range of prices are available>
Over 4.5 -150
Under 4.5 +120
That looks like a fair price. They were 5-3 in MACtion last year and that record would be good enough to GIT ER DONE this season. The problem is that there’s a good chance they start 1-4, and then they have to deal with a tough two-game road trip. We’ll take a pass for now.
Don’t tell the government, but Bowling Green has an annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony that kicks off the holiday season. It’s an event that’s well-liked by the students and the community, so that’s another reason not to tell the government. Or Karen.
Our MAC INSIDERS believe that the Falcons will be an improved bunch on offense but that the defense will struggle unless they keep making plays in the backfield at a very high rate. That won’t be easy, yo. Bowling Green won five MAC games in 2022 but they were also blown to bits on three occasions. The schedule doesn’t do them any favors so we’ll call for them to miss out on a bowl game. Despite that somewhat negative outlook, AY ZIGGY ZOOMBA, go Falcons!