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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Football passes midterm

The Bowling Green football team officially passed the halfway mark of the season in its 37-28 loss to Western Michigan Saturday. Head coach Urban Meyer said he is, on the whole, pleased with the mid-season state of his team, which will take a 4-2 record to Akron this Saturday.

“I’d say B-range,” Meyer said when asked to assess a midterm grade to his team. “Our goal as a coaching staff was to implement a new offense and to get the team to play hard. There wasn’t a time I didn’t see our kids selling their souls out there.”

Lack of depth behind the starters has been an area of concern for Meyer all season. The Falcons have been fortunate so far this season that no major injuries have dug into the effectiveness of the starters.

“Lack of depth hurt us again (vs. Western Michigan), Meyer said. “Our offensive and defensive lines have stayed basically healthy, though.”

The only major injury the interior line on either side of the ball has sustained was to defensive guard Andrew Hart, who blew out his knee in the opener verses Missouri.

Meyer said the team depth is being hurt by not carrying a full load of scholarship recruits, something that needs to be remedied in the coming years.

“We are seven scholarships below (our capacity),” he said “We are fighting for everything.”

Meyer set out to restructure the team’s offensive attack with offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon, but it has been the defense which has shined the most in the season’s first half. The Falcon defense has been one of the top in the nation this year against the rush and already has one shutout, 35-0 against Buffalo last month.

“Right now, we are not good enough to win if we don’t play great defense,” Meyer said.

The team’s seniors have become the emotional leaders. Meyer counts his upperclassmen as one major reason BG is two victories away from their first winning season in seven years.

“Right now, we are living and dying with our seniors,” he said. “They are our best players. If they weren’t, we’d replace them.”

Meyer said the day after he was hired last year, he visited with the seniors. He said he wanted to know what losing had done to them. He wanted to know if they were eager to contribute or “just get their degree and move on and take money from the program.” He found the former, a group that has been receptive to Meyer’s enthusiasm.

One senior Meyer has been particularly impressed with is running back John Gibson. He started the year behind Godfrey Lewis and Joe Alls in the backfield but injuries to Lewis and Alls plus his own good performance has made his stock rise. He has now become a workhorse for the Falcons.

“Gibson is the kind of running back you can win with,” Meyer said. “Looking at tapes from a year ago, you wouldn’t have said that.”

The relationship between Gibson and Meyer has lent itself a great deal to Gibson’s confidence. Gibson has improved, in part, because Meyer wanted him to.

“Other than a father, the player-coach relationship will be one of the best you can ever have,” Meyer said.

Gibson averaged 7.3 yards per carry against Western Michigan.


BG may be in a “precarious position” Saturday as both quarterbacks are battling injuries. Josh Harris is questionable with an injured leg and Andy Sahm is bothered by a hip pointer. The Falcons play on the Rubber Bowl’s artificial turf this weekend. Meyer said David Bautista and Ryan Wingrove, both injured against Western Michigan, should be ready for Akron.

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