The Bowling Green Falcons had a memorable 2022 season. Like most teams, they had their ups and downs. With great moments and a blunder in week two when they were upset by an FCS team at home in a wild, but disappointing overtime marathon against Eastern Kentucky.
They did manage to put up a winning record in MAC East play because of their balanced, but challenging nonconference schedule, which helped the team prepare. While their bowl game didn't go in their favor, losing a tight five-point contest to New Mexico State in the Quick Lane Bowl, they should hang their heads high and take the positive moments from last year and carry it into this season.
BOWLING GREEN 2023 PREVIEW
THE CONF: Mid-Atlantic Conference (East Division)
2022 RECORD: 6-7 (Lost 24-19 to New Mexico State in the Quick Lane Bowl).
CONF. FINISH: 5-3 in the MAC East
HEAD COACH: Scott Loeffler (Fifth year at school/28th overall: 13-29)
FIVE ALL-STAR CANDIDATES: Odieu Hiliare, Sr./WR, (2023 All-State AFCA Good Works Team nominee, 747 yards receiving, 58 catches, 6 TDs); Ta'ron Keith, Jr./RB-KR, (2022 second-team All-MAC-KR, 195 yards rushing, 47 attempts, 1 TD); Cashius Howell, Redshirt So./LB, (22 tackles, 2.5 TFL's, 2 sacks); Jordan Oladokun, Jr./CB,(18 tackles, 1 TFL, 8 PD); Brock Home, Sr./LB, (49 tackles, 4 TFL's, 2 sacks.
THE NEWCOMER: Lucian Anderson III, Fr./QB passing yards 3,294 and 28 touchdowns for his high school career, while rushing for 936 yards, and 19 TD's.
Anything goes for this year's version of the Bowling Green Falcons. They return a very talented collection of underclassmen at key positions, as well as a solid slot receiver in Senior Odieu Hiliare. With Loeffler back for his fifth season, these Falcons came here this year to win. Let's see if Loeffler can build off of last year's bowl appearance by making another bowl game for the second year in a row.
THE KEY GAME AND WHY
The big, "Route 75" rivalry game on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at home vs Toledo will be for more than just annual bragging rights.
If Bowling Green wants to be one of the surprise teams in the MAC East this year, it must defeat the Rockets. The Falcons need to be all over the field, knocking off the Rockets.
Plus, the Rockets are the defending MAC Champions and the Falcons are knocking on the door to represent the MAC East to see if they can make the MAC title game.
If the Falcons want a shot at the title game this year, they must also be consistent in non-conference play, and have to avoid losing at home to another FCS team for the second straight season.
THE TOUGHEST GAME AND WHY
Bowling Green wants to make sure if it is playing in the MAC title game this year, it wants to hold onto a 28-3 lead against Toledo. The Falcons have a speedster in slot receiver Odieu Hiliare, who's burning of those fumes of here alone., who can make those kinds of plays.
And guess what everybody? The Route 75 game is another Tuesday Night game on ESPN which means another late, mid-week regular season gem game in the realm known as "MACtion."
THE CHANCES OF MAKING CONF. TITLE GAME
Bowling Green swallowed a tough pill last year with a 24-19 loss to New Mexico State in the Quick Lane Bowl. But honestly, this team should have played for more.
Luckily the Falcons this year can try to swallow a new pill of consistency. If they get the right dose of non-conference play along with another dose of huge MAC East wins, they will have swallowed the right pill of being MAC Champions and hopefully, winning their second of two straight bowl appearances.
If the Falcons want into the MAC title game and potentially play favorite Toledo, they are going to have to play a clean season and not make a lot of mistakes.
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