2012 Record: 8-5 (6-2 in MAC)
Head Coach: Dave Clawson (22-28 at BGSU, 80-77 All-Time)
Last Bowl Game: 2012 Military Bowl: Lost to SJSU 29-20
Stadium: Doyt Perry Stadium in Bowling Green, OH (capacity = 23,724)
Home Field Advantage: ranked 18th out of 55 mid-major teams
Revenge: 9/7 at Kent State, 10/26 vs Toledo
Out of Conference Foes: 8/29 vs Tulsa, 9/14 at Indiana, 9/21 vs Murray State, 10/12 at Mississippi State
Swing Games: 11/12 vs Ohio, 11/29 at Buffalo
Stats to Fear: made 52.9% of FG attempts (last in MAC), converted on 65.96% of red zone attempts (last in MAC) and scored TDs on 48.94% of red zone trips (11th in MAC)
Stats to Cheer: gave up 155 plays of 10 or more yards (it sounds like a lot but it was the least in the MAC) and 36 plays of 20 or more yards (also the least in the MAC), allowed opponents to convert just 27.96% of third downs (4th in Nation)
Advanced Stats (Football Outsiders 2012 FEI Ranking): 72nd out of 124 teams
Phil Steele's Returning Starters: Offense: 10, Defense 9, Special Teams 2 (tied for most in FBS)
Key Defensive Returnees: LB Gabe Martin (70 tackles, 4.5 sacks), LB Paul Swan (65 tackles), DB Cameron Truss (63 tackles), LB D.J. Lynch (63 tackles), DB Ryland Ward (57 tackles), DB Jude Adjei-Barimah (30 tackles, 4 INT)
Key Offensive Returnees: QB Matt Schilz (2585 yds passing, 14 TD, 12 INT), WR Chris Gallon (54 rec, 6 TD)
Inside Scoop with the Falcon Blog:
CFBZ: Bowling Green's defense was fantastic last year allowing just 16.8 points per game. Who are the stand-outs on this unit?
The Falcons took a big step forward last season moving from a five win team to an eight win team that played in a bowl game. The improvement of the defense was a huge key as the Falcons went from allowing 28.8 ppg in 2011 to just 16.8 in 2012. At home the Falcons were even better allowing just 13.4 and in wins they allowed just 8 points per game. BGSU also allowed the least amount of total yards in the conference and were the best in the conference at defending third downs.
If the offense was half as good as the defense, the Falcons could very well end up in the MAC Championship Game. The Falcons were just 10th in the MAC in scoring offense and 11th in total offense. Seems like a strange combination since Dave Clawson came up on the offensive side of the football.
I like the BGSU schedule. They skip conference favorite NIU and they also get Toledo at home. When I look at the schedule I see another 8-4 regular season if the team comes out and plays the same way that it did last season. The key is the offense. In the first two weeks against Tulsa and Kent State they are going to have to put some points on the scoreboard to win (lost 31-24 to Kent St last year and Tulsa averaged 34.7). There is no doubt in my mind that the Falcons will be a good team in 2013. If they want to be a great team and compete for the MAC Championship, the key games are Kent State and Toledo. If they can beat Kent State they could be looking at a MAC Championship showdown with Jordan Lynch and NIU.