For Bowling Green football and its fans, 2015 probably seems like it was much longer than eight years ago.
That was the last time the Falcons competed for a MAC title. Not only that, but it was the last time they had a winning season. The Falcons actually secured the conference title that year, defeating Northern Illinois 34-14. It was the third consecutive matchup between the two squads in the MAC Championship. Bowling Green also won in 2013.
While it’s very unlikely the Falcons get back to the championship game this year, it is possible that they reach seven wins for the first time since that 2015 campaign. College football betting odds had their win total at 4.5 entering the season, and sitting at 4-4 right now, they’ll cash the over with ease.
Up next on the schedule is a meeting with Ball State on Wednesday night, followed by a trip to Kent State before hosting Toledo and capping the season at Western Michigan.
There’s no reason why the Falcons shouldn’t win three of these four games, except for the game against Toledo, of course.
They’ve gotten to where they’re at by picking up a pair of quality wins over Georgia Tech and Buffalo — the former much bigger than the latter — and by dropping some games to solid opponents.
Place College Football Wagers at BetMGM
Bowling Green’s Non-Conference Schedule
The Falcons’ non-conference slate was nothing short of easy as they matched up against Liberty, Michigan, and Georgia Tech. They lost to Liberty by only 10 and fell to Michigan 31-6 before knocking off the Yellow Jackets 38-21 as 21-point underdogs.
Bowling Green has bounced back nicely after losses this season, with its two biggest wins coming off of its two biggest losses. The Falcons beat Georgia Tech following a 38-7 loss to Ohio and defeated Buffalo after a 27-0 loss to Miami (Ohio).
In those two wins, the Falcons averaged 196.5 yards on the ground. It was expected that Bowling Green’s passing attack would be the strength of its offense entering the season with the additions of Connor Bazelak and Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim via the transfer portal. This was especially true with Odieu Hiliare returning as one of the top receivers in the league.
However, that hasn’t been the case.
Terion Stewart Leading Bowling Green’s Offense
Instead, the Falcons have leaned on their rushing attack. This is after an excellent improvement up front, as they finished at the bottom of the league in rushing production the past few seasons.
It also sparked a reemergence from running back Terion Stewart.
Stewart led the Falcons’ backfield in 2020 and 2021 before sitting out the 2022 season for personal reasons. The sophomore currently ranks fourth in the league with 83.8 rushing yards per game while his 6.1 yards per carry are second and seven touchdowns are tied for second.
The Falcons have 11 touchdowns on the ground versus eight through the air and are averaging 148.1 rushing yards per game versus 153.5 passing yards per game. Stewart alone has four 100-yard rushing games, and the Falcons have eclipsed the century mark six times this year. They rushed for 100 or more yards just five times last season.
This week might be a little more challenging as Bowling Green faces a Ball State rush defense that ranks second in the conference, allowing 123 yards per game, but it’ll close out the season facing three rushing defenses that rank in the bottom half of the league.
Thanks to a couple of key upsets, the Falcons are in line to finish the year on a high note and go to their second consecutive bowl game. They’re not winning games how many expected prior to the season, but that doesn’t matter.
They will still exceed expectations by season’s end.