Fans might not be over the Pittsburgh loss — and judging from the comments on the blog, won’t be for a while — but a new week means a new opponent for the Hokies. Bowling Green is on the docket this week.
Here is what’s going on with the Falcons …
** After a competitive opener against Florida, they’ve cooled off. Bowling Green stayed close with the Gators in the Swamp, losing 27-14 but only after Florida scored 13 unanswered points to pull away after the game was tied in the third quarter.
They won 21-13 against Idaho, which is 0-3 and among the worst teams in the FBS, then lost to rival Toledo 27-15 last week. Wagner recaps that loss here. (Side note: It’s called the Battle of I-75. Check out the trophy.)
** Bowling Green’s pass defense has been terrible. The Falcons rank 95th nationally in passing yards allowed and 109th in pass efficiency defense. They gave up 322 yards in the air to Toledo.
Toledo completed 21 of 29 passes, a week after Idaho completed 31 of 38 against them.
The Falcons have been better at stopping the run. They’re 39th nationally, allowing 118.67 yards per game.
Also, defensive tackle Chris Jones has been pretty good so far, with six tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks this season. He’s tied for 10th and 12th nationally in those categories, respectively. He has 19 career sacks.
** The Falcons’ offense has been lagging. Bowling Green did not cross the 50-yard line against Toledo until the second quarter. By then, it already trailed 17-0. This was against a Toledo team that entered the game with the third-worst defensive nationally, one that had given up 1,150 yards to Arizona and Wyoming.
Overall, the Falcons are 95th nationally in total offense (350.33 ypg), 101st in rushing (108.67 ypg) and 112th in scoring offense (16.67 ppg). They’re 58th nationally in passing offense (241.67 ypg) and have junior quarterback Matt Schilz, who is 72-for-120 for 703 yards this year, with one touchdown and three interceptions. CORRECTION: Don’t know where my head was this morning, but I put Schilz’s freshman year stats up, not his stats from last year. He was actually quite good last season, throwing for 3,024 yards and 28 touchdowns to 13 interceptions.
Although the ground game has been bad, running back Anthon Samuel had a season-high 122 rushing yards last week.
Bowling Green’s coach is Dave Clawson, the former Richmond head coach who was the offensive coordinator for one year at Tennessee before Phil Fulmer was forced out. So you’d figure the Falcons will iron out their offensive woes eventually.
He made a curious decision by electing to go for two when the Falcons were down by nine with 13 minutes left in the fourth quarter against Toledo. It didn’t work out.
** What does Vegas say? It likes the Hokies, but only to a point. Virginia Tech opened as a 22-point favorite, which seemed high considering the way the team played at Pittsburgh. Gamblers agreed. It has since come down to 19.5 at most places.