Three keys to the game for football against Western Michigan

Shayne Nissen and Shayne Nissen

After seemingly having their way with the Toledo offense the week before, the opposite seemed to happen for the BGSU Falcons on defense against Central Michigan. The Falcons were gashed to the tune of 553 yards of offense against the Chippewas including 299 yards through the air. This Saturday, the Falcons will travel to Western Michigan to take on a team that is currently Toledo’s only MAC win. Here are three things to look out for in that game…

  1. BGSU turnovers

After the best football game that Grant Loy has probably ever played in his life versus Toledo, the contest against Central Michigan might go down as one of his worst. The Falcons weren’t able to muster an offensive score until the third quarter of play as the first touchdown came thanks to a Caleb Biggers’ 100-yard fumble return. 

But what was probably the most devastating part of the Bowling Green offense on Saturday was the fact that they turned the ball over three times, all off of Loy interceptions. Two of them were particularly devastating as one came at the end of the first half when the Falcons were driving inside the Chippewa’s 30-yard line. The other game on BGSU’s own 10-yard line and emitted a free three points for Central Michigan. 

Going up against a Western Michigan team that is top 20 in the country in interceptions forced this season, Loy and the Falcons will need to take care of the ball to have any chance against the Broncos.


  1. Defensive line play

In the aftermath of the Toledo game, the one thing that still scared me about this Bowling Green team was whether or not they could keep up the stellar defensive line play that they had against Toledo. After one week, that fear became a reality as the Falcons were gashed in the passing game for nearly 300 yards, and it was all because Central Michigan quarterback Quenten Dormady had way too much time to throw. 

That being said, freshman Jordan Anderson played fantastic for the Falcons in this one and was probably the best player for the Falcons against the Chippewas. He had two pass defenses along with an interception and received high praise from head coach Scot Loeffler after the game. 

But the fact of the matter here, is that no matter how great Anderson plays for the Falcons that secondary is very young, and if you give an opposing quarterback time to throw, he will be able to pick away at the young secondary. 


3. Western Michigan’s tight end

The leading receiver for the Western Michigan Broncos coming into this game is in fact not a wide receiver. Instead, it’s their senior tight end Giovanni Ricci who leads the team in both receptions with 35 and receiving yards with 495. Ricci leads the country in both of those categories among tight ends and that just goes to show how involved he is in their offense.

This has the potential to be a major problem for a secondary that already lacks both depth and experience. A big physical tight end who can catch the ball is something that the young core hasn’t seen yet, and I’m sure will be focusing on leading up to the game. 

If the Falcons can find a way, by either finding a linebacker that can cover Ricci, or coming up with a scheme to stop him in the secondary, that will go a long way in getting their second upset of the season against the Broncos. 

The game is an away game scheduled to start at 12 p.m. on Saturday. You can tune in for free to ESPN3 to watch the Falcons go for their second MAC win of the season.