The college football season turns the page to week two. Maryland will host a talented Bowling Green squad on Saturday, so we’re going to take a look at some Bowling Green statistics:
- Bowling Green put up 557 yards of total offense against No. 25 Tennessee this past Saturday. The Volunteers are coming off a season in which they were 37th in the country in total defense, yielding just 364.6 yards-per-game. Prior to the season, Tennessee was picked to finish second in the SEC East, so this is a big deal. The Falcons hung with the Vols for a large portion of the game, including being as close as 21-20 after originally leading 3-0 to start off the game. Quarterback Matt Johnson had a solid game as he completed 27-of-49 passes for 424 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Johnson ran an up-tempo offense, similar to a year ago where only Arizona and Baylor got plays off quicker than the Falcons. Bowling Green’s running backs only averaged 3.6 yards-per-carry, so quite a bit of the damage was done through the air.
- As impressive as Bowling Green’s offense was, the Falcons only converted 4-of-18 third downs. This was against a Tennessee team that lost two starters in their secondary due to injury. Bowling Green only tallied one first down in their first six attempts. The Falcons had to punt three times and settled for a field goal twice, including on their opening drive. This certainly is a positive for Maryland as the Terrapins only yielded two of Richmond’s 12 third down attempts in Saturday’s win. Maryland had a very strong pass rush that registered four sacks against the Spiders, so Bowling Green’s offensive line will need to be on their toes this coming Saturday.
- The Falcons had a banner day offensively, but lacked in the fundamental department. Bowling Green was penalized 12 times for a whopping total of 128 yards, including eight in the second half. Ironically, none of these penalties came on third downs, so drives didn’t seem to be doomed due to these infractions. Bowling Green was relatively clean from an offensive line standpoint. The Falcons only had one holding penalty and zero false starts. Many were for illegal formation or unsportsmanlike conduct, which can be ironed out on a week-to-week basis. However, Bowling Green is definitely going to have to play a cleaner game if they want to upset Maryland.
- While the Falcons were relatively decent in pass coverage, they did surrender 6.2 yards-per-carry on the ground and saw the Vols rush for 399 yards. Sophomore Alvin Kamara rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns while sophomore Jalen Hurd rushed for 123 yards and three touchdowns. It’s safe to say that Bowling Green’s rush defense leaves a lot to be desired. In 2014, the Falcons weren’t much better as they finished 11th out of 13 teams in the MAC. The Falcons yielded a mind-numbing 201.7 rushing yards-per-game and clearly haven’t gotten much better. Although it’s only one game, Maryland appears to have an improved running game. Senior Brandon Ross
- tallied 150 yards and a touchdown and looked like a completely different runner. His vision was phenomenal and he could pose a significant problems for the Falcons.