Bowling Green (2-3) at Akron (1-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 6, 2:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: InfoCision Stadium (27,881) -- Akron, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: BGSU 2-0, Akron 1-2. Away Record: BGSU 0-3, Akron 0-2. Neutral Record: BGSU 0-0, Akron 0-0. Conference Record: BGSU 0-1, Akron 0-1. Series Record: Bowling Green leads, 11-7.
GAME NOTES: Two teams still searching for their first Mid-American Conference victory of the season take the field when the Bowling Green Falcons visit InfoCision Stadium to play the Akron Zips.
Bowling Green snapped a two-game losing slide with a 48-8 rout of Rhode Island last week. The Falcons scored touchdowns on six of their first 11 possessions against their FCS foes as they improved to 2-3 overall. BGSU began its 2012 campaign with a tough loss at Florida (27-14), before it triumphed over Idaho (21-13). Then the Falcons fell twice in a row to Toledo (27-15) and Virginia Tech (37-0).
Akron is coming off an exciting 56-49 loss to Miami-Ohio, which was its MAC opener. Coach Terry Bowden's squad is now 1-4 in his first year with the program. The Zips opened up the season with losses to UCF (56-14) and FIU (41-38), before they took down Morgan State (66-6). Akron also fell to Tennessee (47-26) in non-conference action.
This will be the first meeting between these programs since Nov. 22, 2009 when BGSU pulled away for a 36-20 win. That victory increased the Falcons' all-time series lead to 11-7.
The Falcons finally started to click offensively last week in their victory over the Rams. BGSU amassed season-highs of 332 passing yards and 206 rushing yards in the contest after being held under 400 yards of total offense in its four previous games.
Matt Schilz, who will be making his 28th career start versus Akron, and is coming off his best game of the season. The Falcons' signal caller completed 20-of-27 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns last week. For his career, the junior has passed for 6,318 yards and 39 touchdowns.
Schilz lacks a clear favorite target this season as five different BGSU players have double digit receptions. Chris Gallon (21 rec., 235 yards), Shaun Joplin (20 rec. 297 yards), and Ryan Burbrink (20 rec., 144 yards) are three that have had their numbers called frequently.
Anthon Samuel was unstoppable as he gained 127 yards on 17 carries to lead the Falcons past the Rams last week. The reigning MAC Freshman of the Year has already surpassed the 1,200-career rushing yardage mark and has reached the century mark in half of his first 14 contests.
BGSU's defense ranks first in the MAC in total defense (348.4 ypg) and second in scoring defense (22.4) after it shut down Rhode Island. The Rams were held to 171 yards.
A big reason for the Falcons' success is senior DT Chris Jones. The veteran defensive lineman has 19 tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks this season.
Despite its losing record, Akron is an exciting team to watch with the ninth best passing attack in the FBS (361.8 yards per game) due to a no-huddle approach. Dalton Williams is averaging just over 50 attempts per game and has a 14-to-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Williams's favorite target is Marquelo Suel, who has tallied 457 receiving yards and four touchdowns through four games. Zach D'Orazio, Keith Sconiers, L.T. Smith, and Dee Freison have all reeled in double-digit receptions already as well. Frieson was a big factor in last week's game with seven catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
While Akron clearly emphasizes passing in its offense, Jawon Chisholm is a capable tailback. The sophomore has picked up 398 yards on the ground this season after finishing just 39 yards shy of 1,000 last year as a rookie.
With the exception of its 66-6 win over Morgan State of the FCS, Akron has been terrible defensively. Its four FBS opponents have scored an average of 50 points per game. Defensive coordinator Chuck Amato's squad is on the field more than the average defense because of the offense's no-huddle style.
Kurt Mangum is the leading tackler with 33, 19 of which are solo stops. J.D. Griggs is a force up front with 4.5 sacks, which is fifth most in the MAC.
The Zips are an able team with the ball and showed last week they can light up the scoreboard. However, Schilz and Samuel are one of the best quarterback- running back duos in the conference. Akron's defense will have to create turnovers for an upset to occur
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bowling Green 38, Akron 28
10/03 10:48:33 ET