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MAC Championship Bowling Green vs. Northern Illinois “Inside The Numbers”

Bowling Green (9-3) vs. Northern Illinois (8-4) Friday 8:00 pm

 

Notes:

Teams have split the last two meetings with Northern Illinois winning last season 51-17 and Bowling Green winning 47-27 in 2013.

 

Bowling Green

Offense:

Led by quarterback Matt Johnson (#1 FBS 4,465 yards with 41 TD’s, 6 INT’s) the Falcons are averaging 44.2 points per game and are passing for 387 yards per game. The Falcons are rushing for 178 yards per game and have a solid running back duo in Travis Greene and Fred Coppet.  Greene leads the team with 1,036 yards averaging 5.6 yards per carry with 12 touchdowns while Coppet is second on the team with 712 yards with 4 touchdowns. The Falcons have the best wide receiver corps in the conference with Roger Lewis, Gehrig Deiter, Ronnie Moore and Ryan Burbrink all making major contributions this year. All four players have combined for 273 receptions for 3,709 yards with 32 touchdowns. The offensive line has allowed 25 sacks on the season.

Key offensive stats entering this game:

Bowling Green is converting on 51% of their 3rd down conversions which ranks 1st in FBS with Texas Tech. However, over the last three games against Western Michigan, Toledo and Ball State- the team has failed to pass for over 300 yards in each game. The first nine games of the year, the offense averaged 430 yards per game while over the last three games the team averaged 260 passing yards per game.

 

Defense:

The Falcons are allowing 27.8 points per game and are allowing 255 passing yards per game to their opponents. Bowling Green has allowed 166 rushing yards per game and must be able to slow down the Huskies rushing attack on Friday night. Bowling Green has done an excellent job in forcing turnovers this year and is +11 in turnover margin entering this game. More importantly, the team is +8 in turnover margin on the road this season. The Falcons have recorded 33 sacks this season. However, over the last two games against Toledo and Ball State, the defense only registered a total of 2 sacks.

 

Key defensive stats entering this game:

Over the last four games against Ohio, Western Michigan, Toledo and Ball State- the defense allowed 222 passing yards per game and forced 7 interceptions while allowing 2 touchdown passes in those contests. Bowling Green is allowing opponents to convert on 41% of their third down opportunities and have allowed 36% on third downs over the last three games. Over the last four games, the defense has allowed a total of 10 rushing touchdowns to their opponents (2.5 per game).

 

 

 

Northern Illinois:

Offense:

The Huskies are averaging 34.6 points per game and are passing for 227 yards per game along with rushing for 213 yards on the ground this season. Quarterback Drew Hare (14 TD’s, 4 INT’s) has been injured for the past three games along with backup Ryan Graham (6 TD’s, 3 INT’s) who is expected to miss this game on Friday.  Freshman Tommy Fielder is expected to get the start for this game and has completed 9 of 17 passes (52.9%) for 113 yards with one touchdown. Running back Joel Bouagnon leads the team with 1,213 yards averaging 4.6 yards per carry with 18 touchdowns. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay leads the team with 70 receptions for 1,107 yards with 10 touchdowns while teammates Tommylee Lewis (questionable for game-ankle injury) and Aregeros Turner have combined for 70 receptions for 722 yards with 4 touchdowns. The Huskies offensive line has allowed 23 sacks on the year and will need to protect the young quarterback and give him time in the pocket to locate his receivers.

 

Key offensive stats entering this game:

Northern Illinois is 3-3 on the road this year. The team played Boston College (lost 17-14) and Ohio State (lost 20-13) earlier in the year and have won three straight road games entering this contest (Miami Oh, Toledo and Buffalo). The Huskies have averaged 156 passing yards per game on the road this season compared to their season average of 227.

 

Defense:

Northern Illinois is allowing 24.8 points per game and is allowing 233 passing yards per game along with 158 rushing yards per game. The Huskies have been solid at creating turnovers this year and are +6 in turnover margin (+1 on the road) entering this matchup. Northern Illinois must be able to get pressure on Matt Johnson and force him to methodically work down the field on time consuming drives. On the year, the defense has recorded 23 sacks on the season.

 

Key defensive stats entering this game:

The Huskies have won the turnover battle in five consecutive games against Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Buffalo, Western Michigan and Ohio. On the season, the Huskies have allowed opponents to convert on 39% of their third down attempts. In last week’s loss to Ohio 26-21, the Huskies held the Bobcats to 27% on third downs.

 

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Joseph Lisi a former ABC Sports college football researcher, is the owner of www.GOFORTHE2.COM. He is a member if the FWAA (Football Writers Association Of America), Maxwell Football Club and is currently the content editor at www.2FiveSports.com.He contributes regularly to www.Sid-Rosenberg.com and has been a featured guest every Tuesday night from 10:30-11:30pm EST on Yahoo Sports Radio With Ken Thomson(www.sportsxradio.com).

Joe has been featured on the FNTSY Sports Network and The Sid Rosenberg Sports Radio Show 640AM Sports (South Florida). You can follow him on Twitter: @Goforthe2.

Joe has a weekly radio show on www.blogtalkradio.com with former Georgia Bulldogs WR Corey Allen called:

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About Joseph Lisi

Joseph Lisi is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America), the Maxwell Football Club and the National Football Foundation. He is the owner of the website: www.goforthe2.com and hosts a weekly college football radio show on SB Nation Radio and FNSTY Sports Radio from 10-12pm EST every Saturday morning. Listen live at: www.sbnationradio.com or www.fntsy.com/radio. Joseph is a former college football researcher for ABC Sports and has been featured on: SportsXRadio with Ken Thomson, ESPN Radio, Sirius XM Radio, FNTSY Sports Network, the Sid Rosenberg Show (640 AM Sports-South Florida), 1560 AM CBS Sports Melbourne, FL and multiple media outlets throughout the nation. Joe appears every Friday with Ken Thomson on SportsXRadio for the Football Fiasco in which every game on the college board is broken down during the show. Follow Joe on Twitter: @goforthe2

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