Bowling Green Falcons at Idaho Vandals
Kibbie Dome, Moscow, Idaho
Thursday, September 1, 2011, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: Altitude
Opening Line: Idaho -8
Current Line: Idaho -7
Opening Total: 50 1/2
Current Total: 53
Opening Money Line: Idaho -290 / BGSU +240
Current Money Line: Idaho -280 / BGSU +230
Idaho and Bowling Green have only played once but it was a memorable game. Idaho won 43-42 in the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl. The Vandals converted a two point conversion on a gutsy call on the last play of the game.
Last season Idaho just missed a bowl bid finishing 6-7 under coach Robb Akey, now in his fifth season as the Vandals’ head coach. Bowling Green had a disastrous 2-10 season under second year coach Dave Clawson.
Bowling Green returns 12 starters from a year ago, with 6 apiece on offense and defense. Bowling Green has one of the youngest teams in the country with 81 redshirt or true freshman and sophomores on the roster. Not surprisingly for a two win team, Bowling Green struggled on both sides of the ball last season. Bowling Green averaged only 297.2 yards a game and 21.2 points a game. Sophomore Matt Schilz returns as the quarterback but he battled Trent Hurley for the job in camp. Schilz threw for 2,223 yards, 8 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions last year. All-MAC Senior receiver Kamar Jorden returns after catching 96 balls for 1,109 yards, and 4 touchdowns. The Falcons must replace leading rusher Willie Geter, but the Falcons had the worst rushing attack in the nation averaging a paltry 65 yards a game. Sophomore Jordan Hopgood is the top returning rusher. He had 76 carries, 167 yards, and 6 touchdowns. He also caught 10 passes out of the backfield but no touchdowns. John Pettigrew, Jamel Martin, and freshman Anthon Samuel will also get significant carries.
The Falcons return six starters on defense, including the entire front four led by Kevin Moore and Chris Jones, who have combine for 37 starts. Linebacker Dwayne Woods, had 134 tackles last season and was second team all-MAC. Woods is probable for Thursday’s game with a foot injury. The secondary is filled with mostly freshmen and sophomores, and could be a problem. Bowling Green gave up 433.2 yards and 33.6 points a game last season.
Like Bowling Green Idaho struggled to run the ball last year averaging 90.4 yards a game. Overall, the Vandals averaged 387.3 yards a game, thanks to a prolific passing offense that was ranked in the top ten in the country. They scored 26.6 points a game last year. Senior Brian Reader takes over at quarterback for Nathan Enderle. Reader completed 42 of his 71 attempts last year for 568 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 1 interception. The senior should be fine as eh has two full years in the system. Princeton McCarty is top returning rusher. He had 89 carries, 380 yards, and 3 touchdowns. He also caught 15 catches out of the backfield. Ryan Bass ( a transfer from Arizona St) and veteran Kama Bailey will also get carries. Bass and Bailey are both listed as probable for Thursday’s game with leg injuries. The receiving corps is loaded with veteran talent including Justin Veltung (25 catches, 497 yards, and 8 touchdowns), Armauni Johnson (21 catches, 319 yards, and 3 touchdowns), and Preston Davis (31 catches, 267 yards, and 1 touchdown.) Mike Scott had a brilliant camp and worked his way into the receiver rotation.
Idaho gave up 420.5 yards and 28.3 points a game last year on defense. Linebacker Robert Siavii and defensive back Thaad Thompson are both out for the season with knee injuries. The defensive line averages 6-4 and 275 pounds, led by DT Mike Cosgrove. The linebackers are led by Tre’Shawn Robinson. Despite the injury to Siavii, the linebackers do have some depth. The secondary is loaded with veterans.
Idaho is 9-1 ATS in non-conference games the last 3 seasons. Idaho was 6-7 ATS last season including 2-4 at home. The over/under was 5-8 in Vandal games last season, including 2-4 at home. Bowling Green is 1-4 as an underdog in their last 5 games. The under is 5-0 in the last five games for the Falcons as well. The Falcons were 5-7 ATS last year including 4-3 on the road. The over/under was 6-6 last year including 4-3 on the road.
Bowling Green is a young team having to travel cross country for the season opener. Neither of these teams are really great on defense so expect plenty of points.
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