BGSU Football Preview

Brett Creamer and Brett Creamer

The 2013 Mid-American Champions will have their hands full in this upcoming season. With a new coach and losing important players, they will need younger players with little to no experience to step up.

Under the reins of new coach Dino Babers, the Falcons will have their quarterback Matt Johnson returning for the next season. Johnson started 13 games last season, after taking over from Matt Schilz in the season opener against Tulsa.

Johnson threw 25 touchdowns to just seven interceptions and 3,467 yards. The MAC Championship MVP also led his conference in passing efficiency with a rating of 161.7.

Travis Greene, who rushed for a single season school-record of 1,594 yards, will also be returning this season. Greene passed Fred Durig’s rushing record of 1,444 yards that was set in 1951. The second team All-MAC running back rushed for 5.7 yards per attempt with 11 rushing touchdowns.

The Falcons will also display their depth in the backfield this season with Andre Givens, Fred Coppet and William Houston. Houston, who was known for punching it in near the goal line, had 11 touchdowns during the 2013 season. The 262-pound back had eight touchdowns from one yard out and two from two yards out.

While the Falcons are losing seniors Shaun Joplin and tight end Alex Bayer, they will look for the younger players to step up and play a vital role in the receiving game.

Redshirt senior Heath Jackson stepped up last season when Chris Gallon went down with a knee injury last season. Jackson recorded 32 catches for 364 yards and three touchdowns in 2013 season.

Slot receiver Ryan Burbrink will be returning for the orange and brown in the 2014 season. Burbrink also returned punts, and earned Second Team All-MAC punt returner in the 2013 season, including a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown against Tulsa.

The 5’8” Redshirt junior has a tough physical demeanor when he steps on the field, and it shows by being a reliable target for Johnson during crunch time.

The “X” factor Ronnie Moore played in all 14 games during the 2013 season, and showed the fans in each game what his speed brings to the table. Moore had a team high seven receiving touchdowns on 28 catches for 547 yards, nearly averaging 20 yards per catch.

Southern Methodist University transfer Gehrig Dieter, who redshirted the 2013 season, will be ready for action for the upcoming season. Dieter was named 4A Indiana player of the year and holds state records of receiving yards in a career with 4,326 and touchdowns in a career with 49. During his stay at SMU, Dieter caught 10 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown in 10 games played, including three starts.

The first team MAC defense will be losing their heart and soul, senior safety Jerry “Boo Boo” Gates. However, they will still have two second team All-MAC linebackers D.J. Lynch and Gabe Martin. Returning for the Falcons secondary will be Ryland Ward, Jude Adjei-Barimah and Brian Sutton.

The Falcons have a bright future ahead as they will face Western Kentucky in Bowling Green, Kentucky to start the season on August 28th.