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Time to Pay Falcon Football Some Respect


BGSU Doyt Perry Stadium

If you would have told me after the debacle that was BGSU Football’s seven overtime loss to FCS opponent Eastern Kentucky, that they would be tied for first place in the MAC East Division with three games left in the regular season, I would have laughed at you.

But it appears that Scot Loeffler and the Orange and Brown are going to be the ones laughing in the end. 

When Loeffler was hired to be the leader of the Falcons in November of 2018, his five year contract was a year-by-year rebuild of the program, which was left in shambles after a mid-season dismissal of former head coach Mike Jinks in October of 2018. 

Most avid Falcon fans are aware of the opening three-year stretch that the program has gone through with Loeffler; a 2019 season that consisted of three wins, a COVID-shortened, winless 2020 season, and a 2021 season that started to mount the pressure on Loeffler to win after a disappointing 4-8 record. 

2022 was the year though. Loeffler’s recruits now seasoned into the program, the transfer portal finally picked at, a team ready to fight for bowl eligibility. 

The non-conference was brutal to say the least. After taking their losses against UCLA and Mississippi State, no one was surprised. But then the Eastern Kentucky heartbreaker in the home opener? Yikes….

The loss stung. The preseason hype was dying off all-around campus. 

But then a miracle happened.

The Falcons stunned the Marshall Thundering Herd on homecoming day, a week after the Herd went into South Bend and took down the world-renowned Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who, at the time, were No. 8 in the country. 

Was it an upset hangover? Some could argue that. But in my mind, I think the Falcons actually realized their potential. 

This year’s non-conference upset wasn’t a matter of luck, the other team having a large amount of injuries, or even a one-sided performance. Instead, this was a game of complimentary football. 

Fast-forward to today, and the Orange and Brown are still rolling along, playing smart, simple offense paired with a defense that is currently tied for second in the nation with the ACC’s Louisville in team sacks with 33. 

The sixth year senior quarterback Matt McDonald, a man who has been criticized in the past for a lack of arm strength and lack of playmaking ability, has shut the critics up. As of Tuesday, McDonald has thrown the fewest interceptions in the MAC (3), while also throwing the third most touchdowns (16). 

Concerns about the running game were fair but scary, as star running back Terion Stewart announced right before the start of the season that he would be missing the 2022 year due to personal issues. While the ground attack has not been spectacular, recent games have shown that the run game is becoming more efficient. 

In last week’s 13-9 win over Western Michigan, BG had to rely on not only their defense, which kept the Broncos out of the endzone, but also the ground game, which racked up 130 yards, led by the dual-threat backfield of Ta’Ron Keith and Jaison Patterson. 

Football is not always going to be won in the sexiest manner, but BG has found ways to win this way. 

Marshall? 21 unanswered points to give the Falcons the lead and eventually the 34-31 overtime win, after giving up 14 points in the first three minutes of the game. 

Akron? Relying on leadership. Despite a furious comeback attempt by the Zips, the Falcons learned how to win on the road and opened the MAC portion of the 2022 season with a win. 

Miami? A huge bounce back performance all-around. After an embarrassing 38-7 beatdown at the hands of the Buffalo Bulls, BG bounced back and took down the RedHawks in a low-scoring slugfest. 

How did they win? Running the ball effectively when needed and stuffing the run at will. 

That has been a repeated narrative throughout the course of the season, and it is paying off in a big way.

For the first time in the Loeffler era, the Falcons are a balanced football team. Falcon fans are not sitting back and watching McDonald run for his life while trying to salvage points and chew clock. If he wants, McDonald can hand it off, set up the screen pass attack, and get his tight ends involved. 

Add in the receiving threats of Tyrone Broden and Odieu Hilaire, both with four touchdowns on the season, and BG is now a threat to score in more than one way. 

With three straight wins, the Falcons are now getting set to host Kent State on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at home for the final game at the Doyt in 2022. 

But it is more than just a home finale; it is a chance to create history. 

A fourth straight win improves BG’s record to 6-4 overall, and 5-1 in MAC play. What does a sixth win mean in college football? You are now BOWL ELIGIBLE. 

2015 was the last time BGSU made a bowl game. It was the GoDaddy Bowl, and they lost 58-27 to Georgia Southern. The same year? The Falcons also won the MAC Championship over Northern Illinois, 34-14. 

Now that team was quite a special breed, winning ten games, including two over Power Five opponents (Maryland, Purdue), but who says this team cannot?

At 4-1 currently in MAC play, the Falcons are tied for first in the East with the Ohio Bobcats and Buffalo Bulls. While Buffalo has the tie-breaking advantage over BG, and the Bobcats still left to play on the schedule, this team has put themselves in a position to play meaningful football in the month of November for the first time in seven years. The process has been very hard; trust me, I know.

BG still has some work to do to get to Detroit in a few weeks. However, this team has life, energy, talent, and the respect of the conference. With three of the biggest games of the year left on the docket, it is time to see if BG is truly for real, or just teasing us. 

I am not a psychic, and I cannot tell the future. All I know right now is Falcon Football has a winning record with three games to go. 

And to that, I say cheers and a job well done.

For more information about the team, visit

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