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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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Showdown at the Doyt

The matchup is perfect for a big game down the stretch of a season. It is the kind of battle that players get pumped up for and fans pack the stadium to see. Number one versus number one.

The Marshall Herd bring their top ranked defense in the Mid-American Conference to Doyt Perry Stadium Saturday, posing the most difficult challenge in conference play for a Bowling Green offense that is tops in the MAC in several categories.

BG head coach Gregg Brandon believes the setting for this game alone is enough to have his players playing at their top level.

“Any red-blooded American football player doesn’t need too much of a pep talk for this one,” he said. “If he does, he doesn’t have a pulse.”

As the Falcons lead the conference in scoring, passing offense and total offense, the Herd lead defensively in scoring, passing, rushing, and total defense. Two powerhouses will collide to see which team’s strength is the strongest.

Marshall’s defense is led by two top-notch defensive ends. Jonath Goddard will be the Falcon’s most important player to slow down as he leads the team with 12.5 sacks and leads the conference with five forced fumbles and 23.5 tackles for loss. Jamus Martin lines up at the other end position and has recorded seven sacks. The duos pressure on the quarterback from the outside has helped their defense force 21 turnovers on the season.

“Their defense is very quick and active,” Brandon said. “They’re hard to block. Goddard’s an outstanding pass rusher, good football player.”

“(Brandon) challenged the offensive line as well as myself to try to duplicate what we did against Western (Michigan),” said running back P.J. Pope.

Defensive back Chris Royal has picked off six passes this season, which leads the MAC, for an experienced secondary that does not give up big plays. Strong safety Curtis Keyes is the Herd’s leading tackler with 76 on the year, while recording two interceptions and 4.5 tackles for loss.

BG will need to protect quarterback Omar Jacobs, which they have done all year, allowing only seven sacks this season. Marshall brings a lot of pressure, but that will not force the Falcons to change their attack.

“The only time we’re going to break off our routes is if they come with the blitz, with more guys than we can block,” said wide receiver Cole Magner. “Oklahoma didn’t sack (Omar).”

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