BOWLING GREEN (2-10, 2-8 MAC in 2017)
Putting wins on the board has been tough enough for BG in recent years. It won’t get any easier early in the season as the Falcons open at Oregon, followed by home games against Maryland, Eastern Kentucky and Miami (OH).
That is followed by trips to Georgia Tech and rival Toledo. Throw in a home game against Western Michigan, and then BG meets Ohio in Athens. Tough schedule is probably an understatement.
On the plus side, Bowling Green . . .
⚑ Quarterback Jarret Doege, who saw action in seven games as a freshman, completed 63.8 percent of his passes last year. The 188 completions netted 1,381 yards and 12 TDs. He tossed just three interceptions.
⚑ “I think the key word when we talk about Jarret is ‘efficiency,” Jinks said. “He played at a pretty high level. If he can continue to keep at that pace, take care of the football and make good decisions, he gives us a chance.”
⚑ The O-line should be improved this year, but just how much is a question considering the Falcons tough schedule.
⚑ Sophomore RB Andrew Clair averaged 6.8 ypc on 107 trips last year. “He is a unique ability to run between the tackles -- to make moves within that phone booth,” said Jinks, who sees a bunch more touches in Clair’s future.
⚑ Leading receiver Scott Miller is back after registering 63 catches for 722 yards with four scores. However, BG must replace Teo Redding, who’s eight TDs was twice any other Falcon’s haul - rushing or passing.
"We’ve got to play at a much higher level, but I think you’ll see that.” -- head coach Mike Jinks on the BG defense.
⚑ After finishing 125th nationally in total defense last year, BG brought in Carl Pelini as defensive coordinator. A number of changes, from Xs and Os to points of emphasis are expected as Bowling Green attempts to plug the dike.
⚑ “We’ve got to improve. We’ve got to play at a much higher level, but I think you’ll see that.” -- Jinks on the BG defense.
⚑ The Falcons are relatively inexperienced up front on defense. Brandon Harris is a veteran presence among linebackers. Jamari Bozeman is back from injury in 2017 and is part of an experienced secondary. Senior Marcus Milton notched three interceptions last season. “He’s a guy that is probably one of our most skilled players back there,” Lewis said.
⚑ As if BG didn’t have enough on its plate with a challenging schedule, the Falcons are also replacing a dynamic duo from special teams -- punter Joseph Davidson and kicker Jake Suder. Transfer Nate Needham (kicker) and JUCO recruit Cooper Lee (punting) will move in for those duties.