Bowling Green: The Falcons are coming off of a 27-15 road loss to MAC foe Toledo in their first conference game of the season. Bowling Green opened their season with a 27-14 loss to a green Florida team in Gainesville. They followed that with a 21-13 home win over Idaho. What do those scores mean? Well, 1. The Falcons play close games, and 2. The Falcons seem to play to their level of competition.
Bowling Green is being directed by fourth-year coach and former Richmond head man, Dave Clawson. Clawson finished his first year 7-6 with a one-point loss to Idaho in the Humanitarian Bowl. Clawson followed that up with a 2-10 2010 record. A year ago the Falcons finished 5-7, highlighted by a win over Temple.
Trends: Bowling Green is 0-4 against teams hailing from a BCS conference (at the time the game was played) under Clawson. Since 2000, the Falcons are 8-10 against teams from the BCS conferences (again, at the time the game was played), most of the wins coming against Big 10 teams. After the Hokies loss last weekend at Pitt, they have now lost their last non-conference game. Prior to that, the Hokies had won their last seven non-conference games, not including bowl opponents.
History Lesson:Virginia Tech has played Bowling Green a total of two times, both under Beamer, winning both. Both games were played in Blacksburg. The Hokies won the first game Sept. 8, 1990 by the score of 21-7. They won the second on Sept. 4, 1993, 33-16. Clawson and Beamer have never faced each other head-to-head.
What to Expect
As you can see above, Bowling Green has been pretty successful against teams from BCS conferences over the years for a team coming from the MAC. Those wins might not have happened under Clawson, but it is part of their pedigree, and as a program, they've been there. They're only several years removed from the pinnacle of their football program to date.
As far as I can tell, the Falcons run a multiple offense that is heavy on Shotgun.
The Falcons lone rushing threat this season has been Anthon Samuel. Samuel has averaged 73 yards per game at a 5.1 clip with 4 TD's.
In the passing game Matt Schilz has passed for 234 yards per game with 1 TD and 3 INT's. He has completed 60 percent of his passes so far, good for a 106.96 passer rating.
Defensively, the Falcons run a 4-2-5 formation. They return five starters in the secondary from a year ago. Despite that, they have given up a ridiculous 273 yards per game through the air, allowing 73 percent of opponents passes to be completed.
On the ground they've done much better, allowing only 118.7 yards per game at 3.5 yards per carry.
Hokies Win If: They show up. And I don't mean if they walk on the field like they apparently did a week ago. I mean ACTAULLY show up.
Falcons Win If: They play the Hokies close. They have proven they can hang with a team on the road that is better than the Hokies already this year. If they are in it and take advantage of the Hokies' abysmal offensive line, equally terrible play-calling and psychological vulnerability after being spanked by Pitt.
Dot-dot-dots: The Hokies 13-game true road game winning-streak was snapped a week ago against Pittsburgh. Their last loss previous to that was a 28-23 loss Oct. 17, 2009 at Georgia Tech. That streak led the nation prior to the Hokies loss last week. The Hokies have scored 54 points to the Falcons' 23 in the two-game series. This is the latest in the year the game has been played, as the previous latest date was Sept. 8. It is quite possible that this will be the closest game in the series, as Tech won by 14 and 17 points respectively.