Deep Dive: Get to know the Bowling Green Falcons
Bowling Green and Oregon football will meet for the first time to open the 2018 season. The programs have no history against each, but some of the coaches do.
Oregon head football coach Mario Cristobal and new Bowling Green defensive coordinator Carl Pelini battled when the two were head coaches in the Mid-American Conference. Cristobal and Florida International crushed Pelini’s Florida Atlantic University 41-7.
This time, the field is stacked even stronger in Cristobal’s favor. The Ducks are heavy favorites to defeat the Falcons, and Cristobal knows what to expect from the Bowling Green defense.
“They’re going to bring all kinds of pressure,” Cristobal said. “They have a very unique and exotic third down package that’s going to test your protections and test your quarterbacks. They want you to get rid of the ball quick.”
The Bowling Green defense has entirely new coaches for a reason. They allowed 38 points per game in the MAC last season and ranked last in rushing yards allowed.
Outside linebacker and senior Brandon Harris will lead the new era of Bowling Green’s 4-3 scheme.
Bowling Green is much better on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback Jarret Doege won the starting job after nonconference play last season but suffered an injury shortly after. He returned for the final four games of the season, and the Falcon offense immediately improved.
Doege completed 64 percent of his passes while tallying 13 touchdowns and two interceptions in the final four games of the season. During that stretch, the Falcons averaged 35 points per game and 412.8 yards of total offense per game.
“You know they have a little bit of the air raid mentality, and their receivers can stretch the field,” Cristobal said. “They’re big, they’re tall, they’re athletic, they’ve got good balance and body control and they’ve shown that they can make big plays.”
Bowling Green has a weapon at running back too. Last season, as a freshman, running back Andrew Clair averaged a school record 6.7 yards per touch. This season, he will run behind four upperclassmen along the offensive line.
“They’re really, really big guys,” Cristobal said. “I think they average about 315-320, so our defensive line is used to our offensive line pushing and whatnot, being big and physical.”
Follow Jack Butler on Twitter @Butler917
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