Bowling Green (2-0) at Indiana (1-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 14, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Memorial Stadium (52,929) -- Bloomington, Indiana. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: BGSU 1-0, Indiana 1-1. Away Record: BGSU 1-0, Indiana 0-0. Neutral Record: BGSU 0-0, Indiana 0-0. Conference Record: BGSU 1-0, Indiana 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Bowling Green Falcons make their first-ever trip to Memorial Stadium to take on the Indiana Hoosiers in a non-conference tilt.
Bowling Green improved to 2-0 with Saturday's 41-22 road win over Kent State in its Mid-American Conference opener. The game was close early on, but the Falcons scored the final 24 points of the game to earn the victory and hand the Golden Flashes their first MAC regular-season loss since Nov. 25, 2011.
This marks the third of five straight home games to open the season for Indiana. The Hoosiers are looking to rebound from last week's 41-35 loss to Navy. They'll entertain Missouri next Saturday.
This is the first-ever meeting between these two programs.
Bowling Green racked up 576 yards of total offense against Kent State, marking the team's highest offensive output under coach Dave Clawson, who is in his fifth year at the helm. Falcons redshirt sophomore quarterback Matt Johnson was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Week, an award that freshman running back William Houston earned after the team's season-opening win over Tulsa. Johnson was nearly flawless in his first career start, completing 19-of-25 passes for 357 yards and two touchdowns. Shaun Joplin (6 catches, 113 yards) and Ryan Burbrink (2 catches, 101 yards, TD) both went over 100 yards receiving, while Travis Greene powered the ground game with 145 yards and a TD on 24 carries.
The Falcons were able to pull away as the defense pitched a second-half shutout. They held Kent State to 23:28 possession time for the game. KSU quarterback Colin Reardon threw for only 164 yards on 28 attempts, and his 58 rushing yards were a team-high. Gabe Martin headlined the BGSU defense with nine tackles (seven solo), including two behind the line of scrimmage and one sack. Ryland Ward chipped in with five stops, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup. After allowing touchdowns on three of Kent State's first four drives, the Falcons settled down and forced five straight punts and a fumble the rest of the way.
The Hoosiers ranked second in the Big Ten in total offense last season, and so far in 2013 they have picked up right where they left off. In fact, Indiana has set a program record for the most points (108) in consecutive games, as the team leads the country with 10 TD passes and paces the Big Ten in scoring (54.0 ppg). Nate Sudfeld is the first IU quarterback with consecutive games with four touchdown passes since Blake Powers in 2005. He threw for a career- high 363 yards against Navy on 31-of-42 passing, and he currently tops the conference in passing efficiency. Sudfeld has had the luxury of operating behind an offensive line that has not allowed a single sack in 73 pass attempts so far this season. Tight end Ted Bolser shares the national lead with four touchdown receptions. Wideout Kofi Hughes is averaging 4.5 catches and 85.5 receiving yards through two games, while Tevin Coleman leads the Big Ten with 170.0 all-purpose yards per game.
Defensively, the Hoosiers have some work to do. After two games, they have given up 35 and 41 points, respectively. Those kinds of scoring bursts by the opposition will only continue to add pressure to the offense, as it did in the loss to Navy. The Midshipmen set the tone by scoring on their first three possessions to build a 17-0 lead, and IU was unable to recover. The Hoosiers went on to allow a staggering 444 rushing yards, and only three of Navy's 70 rushing attempts resulted in negative yardage. They also failed to generate any takeaways over the course of the game, as Navy won the time-of-possession battle by nearly 14 minutes. Tim Bennett registered a game-high 12 tackles in the loss, while four other Hoosiers collected nine stops.
This matchup has the makings of an offensive shootout, and Indiana will have the edge playing in front of its home crowd.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Indiana 45, Bowling Green 35
09/11 10:34:12 ET