GAME NOTES: The Miami-Ohio RedHawks look to stay undefeated in conference play as they invade Doyt Perry Stadium for a Mid-American Conference battle with the Bowling Green Falcons.
Miami-Ohio has played five of its first six games in the Buckeye State and has a 3-2 record in those games, with the losses coming against BCS programs Ohio State and Cincinnati. The team's only other loss was a 39-12 setback on the blue turf at Boise State. Last weekend Miami was simply overmatched as they were defeated, 52-14, by the Cincinnati Bearcats. The RedHawks still maintain a perfect 2-0 record in MAC action with their previous triumphs over Massachusetts (27-16) and Akron (56-49).
The Falcons appear to be picking up momentum at the right time as they downed Akron, 24-10, last week for their second consecutive win. The previous week BGSU handled Rhode Island, 48-8, for their second win of the season. The Falcons have yet to be beat at home in two games this years, but they have yet to face a formidable opponent at Doyt Perry Stadium in 2012. BGSU is arguably the most balanced team in the MAC.
In its win over Akron, Miami-Ohio set a number of season-highs on offense both as a team and on an individual level. The RedHawks came back down to Earth last week as they were limited to 379 yards of total offense and just 14 points. Miami had four total turnovers against the Bearcats, which set a new season-high.
Coming off the first 500-yard passing and 100-yard rushing game in FBS history in the win over Akron in the previous week, Zac Dysert threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns on 25-of-49 passing at Cincy. He was also intercepted three times. Dysert, now in his fourth year as the team's starting QB, has passed for 10,246 yards and 61 touchdowns in his career.
Dawan Scott has emerged as one of the elite wideouts in the MAC this season. Scott has now caught 32 passes for 501 yards and five touchdowns, which makes him the fifth most productive player in terms of receiving yards in the conference. Andy Cruse leads the team in receptions (42) after adding a four- catch, 60-yard effort against Cincy.
While the RedHawks are blessed with dependable pass-catchers, the running game has been less stellar with Jamire Westbrook (198 yards) leading the way and Dysert (183 yards) right behind him for the worst rush offense in the MAC.
Although not the worst scoring defense (37.7 ppg) the RedHawks have been the most generous in terms of yardage, surrendering an average of 502.2 yards per game. A good chunk of that came from the 629 yards that the RedHawks gave up against Akron. All but one of Miami's opponents have eclipsed the 400 yards of total offense mark.
Chris Wade is the team's leading tackler with 63 on the season including 4.5 for loss, which is just ahead of Mike Johns and Mwanza Wamulumba (four each) for the team lead. Pat Hinkel has been an effective tackler (39), while also collecting three interceptions.
The Falcons finally started to click offensively over the past two weeks, tallying 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns in two games. Previously, they had averaged only 329.5 yards and 12.5 ppg.
Matt Schilz, who will be making his 29th career start and is coming off his second multi-touchdown game of the season. The Falcons' signal caller completed 14-of-33 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns last week versus Akron. For his career, the junior has passed for 6,498 yards and 41 touchdowns.
Schilz lacks a clear favorite target this season as five different BGSU players have double digit receptions. Shaun Joplin (24 rec. 353 yards), Chris Gallon (23 rec., 244 yards), and Ryan Burbrink (21 rec., 156 yards) are three that have had their numbers called frequently.
Anthon Samuel was unstoppable as he gained 117 yards on 15 carries to lead the Falcons past the Zips last week. The reigning MAC Freshman of the Year has already surpassed the 1,200-career rushing yardage mark and has reached the century mark in eight of his first 15 contests.
BGSU's defense ranks first in the MAC in total defense (343.0 ypg) and second in scoring defense (20.3) after it shut down Rhode Island and Akron in consecutive weeks.
A big reason for the Falcons' success is senior DT Chris Jones. The veteran defensive lineman has 20 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks this season.
Miami has a better offense overall due to the sensational arm of Dysert, but BGSU has a capable passer in Schilz to go along with Samuel's rushing abilities. The Falcons' defensive unit has been the best in the MAC so far, which should give them the edge if that continues to be the case.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bowling Green 24, Miami 21
10/10 10:53:02 ET
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