Showdown in Athens

Adam Hritzak and Adam Hritzak

As the Falcon football team has run over their opponents the last three weeks with what seems like ease, they face a conference opponent Saturday that has been a pushover for many seasons.

Traveling to Athens, Ohio to face Ohio University would normally be an easy day of work for the BG offense, which is averaging 462.2 yards per game. However, the Bobcat defense has done a tremendous job all season of keeping OU in games.

The Bobcats bring the number one ranked total defense in the Mid-American Conference, allowing 301.6 yards per game, while forcing a whopping 21 turnovers, which also leads the MAC.

“We don’t even think about (OU’s defense forcing turnovers),” said BG quarterback Omar Jacobs. “If we just go out there and don’t turn the ball over and play a great game, we should come out victorious.”

“(OU) leads the MAC (defensively) in many categories,” BG head coach Gregg Brandon said. “They tackle well, have an experienced secondary and their front seven lines up in odd schemes to confuse you.”

The Falcons will rely on the ever-growing talent of Jacobs. His numbers to this point in the season do not lie: second in the nation in total offense (334.4 yards), second in points responsible for (21.0) and sixth in passing efficiency (166.9).

As the season progresses, Jacobs is becoming more consistent in the passing game and connecting with his highly-touted receiving core. He has spread the ball around well and has connected with four receivers for over 20 catches a piece on the year. Cole Magner leads the team in receptions with 37, Steve Sanders leads in receiving yards with 423 and is tied with Charles Sharon for most receiving touchdowns at five.

With so many players contributing, the Falcons are hoping to confuse the OU defense and prove they have too many weapons to cover.

“We can (put up big numbers) against anybody if we go out and execute every play,” Jacobs said.

With creating so many turnovers and shutting down opposing offenses on a consistent basis, the Bobcat defense has received major contributions from their entire defense.

Inside linebacker Matt Muncy leads the team with 53 tackles, while recording 2.5 sacks, two interceptions and has recovered two fumbles, returning one for a touchdown. Cornerback T.J. Wright, the only underclassmen starting in the OU secondary, leads the team with three interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, and seven pass breakups. OU’s 11 team interceptions is tops in the conference.

The Falcon offense will be facing a much tougher test from the Bobcat defense than in past years, but with the momentum they are gaining every game, this is one challenge they are excited to take on.

“It provides a little motivation for us to go out and compete with the best passing defense in the conference,” Jacobs said. “To put up numbers against them ought to be motivation for us.”