Saturday, Sept. 3, noon ET
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
Big Ten Network
Certainly one of the high profile matchups for MAC teams in Week One is Bowling Green at Ohio State.
As usual, the Buckeyes figure to be very strong and could again challenge for an FBS playoff slot. Bowling Green, meanwhile, is coming off a MAC championship title in 2015, but also suffered some significant personnel losses, including one of the nation’s top passers in Matt Johnson. Add in a coaching change, and the Falcons have a number of question marks heading into 2016.
One way or another, James Knapke is the answer to
Ronnie Moore (72 receptions, 954 yards, 6 TDs) is back to lead a relatively young receiving group. Fred Coppet returns at running back after gaining 825 yards on 145 attempts (5 TDs) last season.
LB Trenton Greene racked up 127 tackles with 8.5 tfl and 2 sacks in 2015. Defensive end Terrance Bush totaled 68 tackles, 8.0 tfl and 6.0 sacks, while DB Alfonso Mack notched 56 stops and 6 interceptions.
New head coach Mike Jinks can probably count on a productive offense most of the year. Taking a new crew out for a spin against the Buckeyes, however, will be a big challenge. Jinks also hopes BG can improve on defense.
Ohio State returns just six starters overall, but the talent level year-in and year-out – particularly under head coach Urban Meyer – enables the Buckeyes to quickly reload.
JT Barret completed 93 of 147 passes for 992 yards and 11 scores in 2015. He also gained 682 yards rushing on 115 trips, adding another 11 TDs to the pot.
Defensively, Linebacker Rackwon McMillan returns after registering 119 hits last season. DE Tyquan Lewis spent quite a bit of time in opponent backfields, His 54 tackles included 14 tfl and 8.0 sacks. DB Gareon Conley made 49 stops and pulled down two interceptions.