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Bowling Green Falcons Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

By Pete Fiutak

Bowling Green Falcons Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Bowling Green season with what you need to know and keys to the season.


Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews & @PeteFiutak

Bowling Green Falcons Preview
Head Coach: Scot Loeffler, 4th year, 7-22
2021 Preview: Overall: 4-8, Conference: 2-6
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Bowling Green Top 10 Players | Schedule

Bowling Green Falcons Preview 2022

Bowling Green really was good not all that long ago.

The program went to three straight MAC Championship games from 2013 to 2015, winning seasons and bowl games were expected, and …

16 wins in six years. It’s been rough. However, it’s the MAC, and Bowling Green has been through this before. It’s easy to go from nothing to champion just like that in this league, but how close it it to happening?

Head coach Scot Loeffler has managed just seven wins, his offensive style hasn’t been a differentiating factor, and the defense hasn’t been able to pick up the slack.

There’s no excuse this season. There’s experience, there’s been time to build up the depth, and …

Bowling Green Falcons Preview 2022: Offense

This offense has to work at some point. It went through a reboot last year with a ton of underclassmen playing key roles, but the running game wasn’t nearly strong enough and the downfield passing attack wasn’t there.

The Falcons finished dead last in the MAC in total offense, points were hard to come by – there was only one game without over 27 points – and …

Matt McDonald has to make the O go. The veteran quarterback who transferred in from Boston College a few years ago is accurate, and he threw 12 touchdown passes with just seven picks, but to keep hammering this home, the big plays weren’t there.

He’s got all of his top targets back – Austin Osborne caught 64 passes as the short-range guy, and Tyrone Broden was the deep threat averaging 17 yards per catch with five scores – and now they all need time to work.

Freshmen. The Bowling Green ground attack was able about the newbies – no one other than a freshman carried the ball last year. Terion Stewart was the best of the bunch, but there’s depth for a rotation.

The front five gets back four starters, but there isn’t a ton of bulk and there won’t be too much blasting away for the ground game. Like everything else on the O, though, there’s experience.

Bowling Green Falcons Preview 2022: Defense

The defense doesn’t get back as many parts as the offense does, but there’s enough there to be better. Not bad at times, the Falcons finished fourth in the MAC in total defense, was No. 1 in pass defense, and it even found a little bit of a pass rush and came up with a slew of big takeaways.

Let’s start with the negative. Defensive backs Sy Dabney and Devin Taylor were good hitters who’ll be missed. However, that’s about it for the key losses.

The rest of the secondary should be fine – Davon Ferguson is one of the MAC’s most productive corners – and it’ll get a pass rush to help.

The top playmakers behind the line are back. It would be nice to get a few more tackles for loss, but end Karl Brooks leads a good sized front that should get to the quarterback.

Leading tackler Darren Anders is a good-sized hitter on the outside who led the team and the linebacking corps with 124 tackles. Combined with second-leading tackler Brock Horne, the Falcons have big bodies to hold up against the run.

Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Bowling Green Top 10 Players | Schedule

Bowling Green Falcons: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats NEXT

Bowling Green Falcons: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats

Bowling Green Falcons: Key To The 2022 Offense

Keep the thing moving

The time of possession wasn’t that bad for the Falcons – they had the ball for 29:40 per game – but they couldn’t move the chains on a regular basis.

If you’re going to run a fast-paced offense to keep defenses on their heels, then you need to at least control the tempo.

This has been a problem for years. Bowling Green was last in the MAC in third down conversions, but the 34% clip was better than it’s been since 2018, and the program hasn’t been over 40% for a season since 2015. A better ground game takes the pressure off of everything else.

Bowling Green Falcons: Key To The 2022 Defense

Keep generating pressure

How do you help a sputtering O, let the D come up with takeaways, and this one will do that. It all starts by hitting the quarterback.

This was a different team at times last year when the defense was able to help the cause with a slew of big plays behind the line. However, there was a long midseason stretch when nothing was happening – there were four games in six with one total sack.

But overall it was easily the best year for the pass rush since 2015, and it showed with the secondary coming up with one of its better runs in a while.

Bowling Green Falcons: Key Player To The 2022 Season

QB Matt McDonald, Sr.
Of course the quarterback has to be good, and of course he’s the key player. In this case, yeah, the quarterback has to be great.

There are way too many good starters back to be so mediocre on both sides of the ball.

After a year of having to be the adult on the field around all the underclassmen, McDonald has to take over and be sharper. He threw just 12 touchdown passes with six coming in two games. The production has to come.

Bowling Green Falcons: Key Transfer

LB DJ Taylor, Sr.
The Bowling Green linebacking corps was already a positive, and it already had decent size, but getting the 6-1, 245-pound transfer from Wake Forest adds another thumper.

He made 96 tackles in his Demon Deacon career – the coaching staff has to get him on the field.

Bowling Green Key Game To The 2022 Season

at Akron, Oct. 1
It was a painful moment last year. The Falcons were 2-3 and had a home game layup against Akron to make it to .500 with an outside shot of six wins and a bowl. Instead, it was a second straight loss to one of the worst teams in football.

This time, it’s the MAC opener. Win, and with home games against Buffalo and Miami University to follow, the Falcons should be able to turn the season around after what should be a rough start.

Bowling Green Falcons: 2021 Fun Stats

– 2nd Quarter Scoring: Opponents 126 – Bowling Green 59
– Penalties: Bowling Green 96 for 853 yards – Opponents 57 for 560 yards
– Rushing TDs: Opponents 30 – Bowling Green 15

O, D Breakdown | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Bowling Green Top 10 Players | Schedule

Bowling Green Falcons Season Prediction, What Will Happen NEXT

Bowling Green Falcons Season Prediction, What Will Happen

Can this finally be the year Bowling Green breaks through the gloom and pushes for a winning season?

Yeah, and it’s all because of the experience and depth on both sides of the ball. This is one of the MAC most loaded veteran teams, but is there really enough talent to go along with the time logged in?

There’s size, there are options, and …

The schedule doesn’t help. However …

Set The Bowling Green Falcons Regular Season Win Total At … 5

It’s hard to assume automatic losses after the stunner against Minnesota last season, but forget about road games at UCLA and Mississippi State, and assume at least two losses in the three games Marshall, Central Michigan, and Western Michigan.

But is it really time to assume that all the returning parts and all the positives will be enough to push through to a winning season after so many problems? That’s a stretch, but the Falcons should still be in the mix for six wins in late November.

Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Bowling Green Top 10 Players | Schedule

2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams

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One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
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Auburn College Football Preview 2022: Team breakdown, season prediction, keys to the campaign, and what you need to know
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Get all your news in one place