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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Football looks to zip Zips

The Bowling Green football team has been writing a new script for this season, casting itself as the winning team more times than not. However, Saturday it is going to have to turn its pencils around and do some erasing.

It was against Akron that the Falcons had one of their most frustrating points of the season last year. In a 27-21 Homecoming loss at Doyt Perry Stadium, they were stuffed twice by the Zips’ defense on goal-line stands in the fourth quarter after having the ball first-and-goal.

BG hasn’t beaten Akron since a 58-21 pounding in 1998. The Mid-American Conference’s co-East Division champions are led by redshirt freshman quarterback Charlie Frye, who replaced graduated Butchie Washington.

Protecting Frye is an experienced offensive line with four seniors. The Zips have, in fact, one of the most veteran offenses in the MAC. Frye is one of only four non-seniors on their offensive first string.

Akron will be without the third-leading rusher in the MAC for the rest of the season, as Brandon Payne will take one injured knee and 99.6 rushing yards per game to the bench.

“Akron is one of the better top-to-bottom teams in the conference,” BG coach Urban Meyer said. “They are better than we are.”

If nothing else, Akron pads some of BG’s weaknesses on paper. The Falcons, who have had problems moving the ball (and sometimes just keeping possession of the ball) on offense are facing a Zip defense that has allowed 457.4 yards per game, the second-worst average in the conference.

On the other side of the ball, BG’s defense may be up to the task of shutting down Akron veteran offense, however. The Falcons have surrendered a MAC second-best 282.6 yards per game.

The Falcons may have yellow flags on their side as well: Akron is the most penalized team in the MAC, getting knocked back an average of 40.2 yards per game.

Akron’s special teams shows a juxtaposition: They are second in the MAC in kickoff return yardage with 24.8 yards per return. Punts, however, are polar opposite. The Zips average a paltry 2.4 yards per punt return. If this holds true, Akron may actually have better field position to start drives if BG scores more touchdowns.

BG receivers

The Falcons have three of the top 10 active leading receivers in the MAC. Kurt Gerling has the most receiving yards of any active player in the conference with 1,962. David Bautista is sixth with 1,227 and Robert Redd is ninth with 1,098.

Toledo game stays put

The Falcons’ game versus Toledo, which was rumored to be moving to Saturday, Nov. 24, will be staying on Friday, Nov. 23. The start time has been pushed back an hour to 7 p.m.

BG switching divisions?

Bowling Green may be moving into the MAC’s West Division for next school year. The move would coincide with Central Florida’s arrival in the MAC, which would push the conference to 14 teams. If the move happens, BG would be competing in the standings with the likes of Toledo, Eastern Michigan and Ball State.

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