College Football Action on Saturday afternoon and the Bowling Green Falcons from the Mid-American Conference mix it up with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. These teams have never faced each other.
The Falcons enter this game off a bye week and before it they lost 62-20 on the road to Kent State, which puts them at 1-3 on the year, while the Irish come in off a 35-20 home win over Virginia to move to 3-1 on the season.
The Falcons Have Been Getting CrushedThe Bowling Green Falcons are off to a rough 1-3 start to their year. They did win their opener by a score of 46-3 over Morgan State, but since then, it has been all downhill. The Falcons come into this game having lost their last three games in a row, which were all against FBS foes, and they have been outscored 149-27 in those three games. I'm going to go out on a limb to say "That's not good". Their defense was atrocious last year as they allowed 40.0 ppg and it has not gotten better this year as they have allowed 49.7 ppg to their three FBS foes that they have faced. Now they have to try and slow down a very good Notre Dame offense that is looking to explode on someone. It will not be easy.
Press Conference Monday: Loeffler, Perce Preparing For Notre Dame https://t.co/JyNlnYroM3— BGSU Athletics (@BGathletics) September 30, 2019
Making it worse for the Eagles is that their offense hasn't come close to making up for the lack of defense on their team. They have seven starters back from a group that averaged just 24.3 ppg last year and they will enter this game having averaged just 18.2 ppg overall and just 9.0 ppg against FBS foes. That is also not good news for the Falcons as the Notre Dame defense has been solid in the early going. It shut down Georgia for most of the game and last week in the 2nd half it shut down Virginia. The Falcons are 110th in the nation in passing and the Irish have one of the best secondaries in the nation.
The Falcons lost 62-20 two weeks ago to Kent State and they were outgained 750-362 in the contest. Darius Wade did not have a good game as he hit 18/25 passes for 161 yards with no TDs and two INTs. He now has three TDs and three INTs on the year. Andrew Clair had a nice game with 61 yards rushing and a TD. He is 2nd on the team in rushing with 158 yards and Davon Jones is first with 205. The Falcons have been led by their ground game and it could have some success against a Notre Dame defense that has struggled against the run this year.
The head coach for Bowling Green is former
The Irish Had Nice Bounce Back WinThe Irish enter this game at 3-1 on the year. Two weeks ago they faced Georgia on the road and came out of it with a 23-17 loss. They were then able to bounce back with a solid 35-20 win over 18th ranked Virginia at home. The Irish were down 17-14 at the half, but their defense took over in the 2nd half to lead them to victory. Despite losing to the Bulldogs, the Irish feel that they still have a shot at the playoffs. They just have to win the rest of their games. The saving grace could be that they were not blown out by Georgia, which many thought they would. The Irish have USC on deck at home and they still have road games against Michigan and Stanford down the road, so if they do win out they could very well sneak into the playoffs as a one-loss team.
The Irish had one great offensive game so far and that was when they scored 66 points against New Mexico a few weeks ago. Well, their offense could have another good showing in this one as they are facing one of the worst defenses in the nation. Ian Book is off to a decent start as he has thrown for 993 yards with eight TDs and just two INTs so far. He will take aim at a Bowling Green defense that is 74th against the pass. The Irish finally got their ground game going last week as they ran for 178 yards against a very solid Virginia front wall. Tony Jones Jr. had a huge game as he ran for 131 yards and three TDs in the contest and he now has his sights set on another solid outing as he will be facing the 117th ranked run defense in the nation.
However, Book has to play better for the Irish to go far this season. This is a game where he should have a big game or half against a poor defense.
“I would’ve liked to maybe made a couple more plays and put the whole game — the Georgia game on his back, and then I would say yeah we’re exactly where we want to be,” head coach Brian Kelly said. “But we’re in a pretty good position, top 10 in the country. So, you know, yeah, could we be a little bit better? Sure. I think we all could be. I could be coaching a little bit better.
“So I’m certainly not displeased with Ian Book, that’s for sure.”
The defense had a strong showing in the win, especially after the break as they allowed just three points in the 2nd half. Notre Dame forced five turnovers, recorded eight sacks and allowed only 4 rushing yards in the win. Those are SEC type defensive numbers and they will look to keep it going against a Bowling Green offense that has averaged just 9.0 ppg and 264 ypg in their three games against FBS foes this year. The Irish are 53rd in total yards allowed and 27th in points allowed, giving up just 18.5 ppg. It is inconceivable that the Irish will lose this game, but whether they cover or not will come down to if they are peeking ahead to USC or not.
Bowling Green is:
- 1-7 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- 2-14 ATS in their last 16 non-conference games
Notre Dame is:
- 41-19-2 ATS in their last 62 games in October
- 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight-up win