SETTING THE SCENE
• Bowling Green hosts Louisiana Tech for the annual Homecoming game Saturday at 5:00 pm at Doyt L. Perry Stadium.
• Both teams enter Saturday's contest with a record of 1-1 overall. Skip Holtz, son of legendary coach Lou Holtz, is in his seventh season guiding Louisiana Tech.
• Louisiana Tech has won at least seven games in five consecutive seasons, going to a bowl game in each of those years.
• The contest matches up conflicting styles and strengths. Louisiana Tech averages 280.0 yards passing per game, while Bowling Green is allowing only 106.0 yards through the air, sixth-best nationally.
• BGSU is 1-0 at home in 2019 and is looking for a 2-0 start in Doyt L. Perry Stadium for the first time since 2014.
LOEFFLER ERA STARTS WITH A BANG
• Bowling Green opened the Scot Loeffler era on Thursday (Aug. 29) night with a 46-3 victory over the Morgan State Bears. Loeffler is the first BGSU coach to win his first game since Dave Clawson in 2009.
• The 43-point win marked the third-largest margin of victory for a BGSU head coach in his debut game, topping Doyt Perry's 40-0 win over Defiance to open the 1955 campaign. Gregg Brandon picked up a 63-13 win over Eastern Kentucky in 2003, while Don Nehlen defeated Ball State by a score of 62-8 in the 1968 opener.
• With Bowling Green's win, BGSU coaches moved to 10-1 all-time in their first games inside Doyt L. Perry Stadium.
LAST TIME AT HOME
• In BGSU's 46-3 over Morgan State in the 2019 season opener, the Falcons out-gained the Bears by a 620-70 margin. The 620 yards are the most by a Falcons' offense since setting the school record with 725 against UMass in 2015.
• On BG's 12-play, 76-yard opening drive that resulted in an Andrew Clair touchdown, the Falcons racked up more yards of offense than Morgan State finished with for the entire contest (70). BGSU went on to run 101 total plays, the most since running 105 in a win at Maryland on Sept. 12, 2015.
• BGSU earned 37 first downs, including 20 passing and 16 rushing. The Falcons came up just two first downs shy of tying the school record, which was set in BG's thrilling 2015 win at Purdue.
• BGSU's defense allowed just 24 yards passing and 70 total yards. Both totals are the fewest by a Falcon defense since they held Eastern Michigan to four yards passing and 65 total yards in a 58-7 win during the 2013 season.
• BGSU did not allow a point until they led 30-0 and only three in total. They permitted no drives longer than six plays or 25 yards. The three points allowed is the fewest for a BGSU defense since the Falcons shut out Kent State 48-0 in 2015.
TILTING THE FIELD
• Since 1999, Bowling Green has outgained an opponent by at least 400 yards in a game six times, but the season opener against Morgan State is the first time the Falcons outgained an opponent by at least 500 yards.
ENTER SCOT LOEFFLER
• BGSU Director of Athletics Bob Moosbrugger named veteran coordinator Scot Loeffler as the 20th head coach in Bowling Green history on Nov. 28, 2018.
• Loeffler became the program's second consecutive first-time head coach. Prior to Mike Jinks, the program had not named a first-time head coach to the position since Gregg Brandon was promoted from offensive coordinator in 2003. Brandon was BGSU's fourth consecutive first-time head coach, following in the footsteps of Urban Meyer, Gary Blackney and Moe Ankney.
• While Loeffler's experience in the lead chair is limited, he is a veteran coach who has served as the offensive coordinator at Boston College, Virginia Tech, Auburn and Temple. He has also coached at Florida, his alma mater Michigan, and Central Michigan -- as well as the Detroit Lions.
• Loeffler has coached seven quarterbacks who went on to play in the NFL, including Tom Brady and Tim Tebow. His team's have qualified for 17 bowl games, including coaching for Michigan's 1997 Rose Bowl team that won the national championship.
THE COACHING STAFF
• Scot Loeffler's first task upon being hired in late November was to assemble the most experienced coaching staff he could. He did not disappoint.
• Bowling Green's coaching staff has mentored more than 150 players who went on to play in the NFL and the staff has competed for both national championships and Super Bowl rings.
• Athlon Sports' Mark Ross named Terry Malone as the Top Coordinator Hire for the MAC during the offseason. Malone has 36 years of coaching experience, including nine years in the NFL and 14 years with Power Five confernce schools. He was a member of staffs that won the 1997 National Championship (Michigan), the 2009 Super Bowl (New Orleans), two MAC Championships (Bowling Green) and five Big Ten titles (Michigan).
• Defensive Coordinator Brian VanGorder is a former winner of the Broyles Award, given to the top assistant coach in the country. A veteran of more than 30 years in coaching, VanGorder has been the DC at Louisville, Notre Dame, Auburn, Georgia, Western Carolina, Central Michigan and his alma mater Grand Valley State.
• Associate Head Coach Steve Morrison has held full-time coaching positions at Syracuse, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan. He holds Michigan's single-game record with 23 tackles and went on to play in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts.
• The remainder of the new coaching staff is a mix of veterans (Erik Campbell and Chris Hedden) and young, pedigree-rich individuals (Max Warner, Louie Addazio, Julian Campenni).
• Loeffler retained two coaches from the previous staff in Jacob Schoonover and LaMarcus Hicks.
SEVEN IS THE MAGIC NUMBER
• When Scot Loeffler took the field to lead Bowling Green against Morgan State, he became the seventh individual to coach a game for the Falcons since the 2013 MAC Championship game on Dec. 6, 2013. Three held interim titles in that time frame.
• Nationally, BGSU is the only program to have seven different individuals coach a game since 2013. Only Houston has seen six different people coach a game in that span of time.
• In the 2013 MAC Championship game, current Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson concluded a five-year career with the Falcons, leading the program to a 47-27 victory over undefeated No. 14 Northern Illinois.
• Special teams coordinator Adam Scheier (now a senior special teams consultant at Mississippi State) took over on an interim basis for the 2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, a 30-27 loss to Pittsburgh that served as James Conner's coming out party.
• Dino Babers was named head coach of the Falcons beginning in the 2014 season and he went 18-9 in two seasons, coaching his final game at BGSU in the 2015 MAC Championship game, a 34-14 win over Northern Illinois. He is currently the head coach at Syracuse.
• Defensive coordinator Brian Ward, now the DC at Syracuse, was named interim head coach for the 2015 GoDaddy Bowl, a 58-27 loss to Georgia Southern.
• Mike Jinks, currently the running backs coach at USC, was then hired to lead the Falcons beginning with the 2016 season.
• Jinks was fired following a 1-6 start to the 2018 season and Carl Pelini, now the associate head coach at Youngstown State, closed the campaign with a 2-3 mark.
• Enter Scot Loeffler. The former Michigan quarterback and veteran coordinator became the seventh individual to coach the Falcons in a span of 2,092 days.
EARLY SEASON COACHING NUGGETS
• With Bowling Green's win over Morgan State, BGSU coaches are now 10-1 all-time in their first games in Doyt L. Perry Stadium. This record includes Bob Gibson, who began his second season at BGSU when Doyt L. Perry Stadium opened in 1966.
• Loeffler was the fourth head coach in the last five to debut on a weeknight. Gregg Brandon opened his career with a 63-13 win over Eastern Kentucky on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2003. Dave Clawson defeated Troy 31-14 on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009. Dino Babers' team hit the road to play on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 in a 59-31 loss to Western Kentucky.
• Five of the last seven head coaches at BGSU have begun their careers with at least two straight home victories. Dino Babers is the last to do it as his 2014 squad defeated VMI (48-7), Indiana (45-42) and Buffalo (36-35) in succession to open his tenure.
THE FUTURE MINI GOLF PRO
• Running Backs Coach Chris Hedden has a successful track record in football, but maybe he will head to the mini golf senior tour in the distant future.
• Hedden won the third annual BGSU Athletic Department Mini Golf Tournament during the summer of 2019, posting the winning score at Perry Falls Mini Golf Course.
• Hedden stunned defending champion and BGSU men's golf coach John Powers to win the title over approximately 80 other BGSU Athletic Department staffers.
• By vote of their peers, seniors Jack Kramer and David Konowalski have been named the team captains for the 2019 season.
• Kramer is the starting center for the Falcons and has played in 31 games in his career, starting all 12 a year ago.
• Konowalski started all 24 games during the 2016 and 2017 seasons before an achilles injury kept him out of the 2018 campaign. He returns for a sixth-year of eligibility this year.
WELCOME TO THE WADE SHOW
• For the first time since 2010, Bowling Green entered a season without a quarterback that started at least five games in the previous campaign. In the season-opening win over Morgan State, graduate transfer quarterback Darius Wade started and shined.
• Wade began his Falcon career by going 22-for-32 for 253 yards and three touchdowns. He also earned 42 rushing yards for 295 yards of total offense. For that effort, he was named the Mid-American Conference East Division Offensive Player of the Week.
• The southpaw's 42 yards rushing were the most from a BGSU starting quarterback since Matt Johnson posted 45 yards rushing in a 2015 win at Kent State.
• Wade completed passes to eight different receivers, and helped guide an offense that went 9-for-17 on third down (52.9 percent) and 2-for-3 (66.6 percent) on fourth down.
A RETURN TO DEFENSE
• In 2013, BGSU's defense ranked fifth nationally in points allowed and 10th in yards allowed. Since that time, the Falcons have ranked no higher than 84th in scoring defense and 86th in total defense. But Brian VanGorder appears to have the defense trending back towards the elite.
• In week one, BGSU arguably posted its best statistical performance since 1956.
• Morgan State recorded just four first downs, one shy of BGSU's school record of three first downs allowed in a victory over Defiance in 1956. The Bears' two rushing first downs were also one shy of the Falcons' school record.
• BGSU also allowed just 24 passing yards and 70 total yards. Both totals are the fewest by a Falcon defense since holding Eastern Michigan to four yards passing and 65 total yards in a 58-7 win during the 2013 season.
• Despite the lopsided week two loss to Kansas State, BGSU still ranks first in the MAC in total defense and passing yards allowed. The Falcons are second in first downs allowed and quarterback sacks.
THREE-HEADED MONSTER AT RB
• Head coach Scot Loeffler has not hidden the fact that BGSU's running back unit may be the most talented on the team.
• Despite being without the services of starter Andrew Clair against Kansas State, Bowling Green still ranks second in the MAC at 193.5 rushing yards per contest.
• Clair and graduate transfer Davon Jones are both averaging at least 5.1 yards per carry. Jones is the team leader with 123 yards on the ground and Clair has added 86 in his lone game.
• Bryson Denley has chipped in with 53 yards rushing and also have five receptions, just one shy of the team lead.
• Backing up those three, Nigel Sealey and Charles Lamar each have seen limited action. Sealey has eight carries for 31 yards.
• The Falcons had 20 first-time players appear in Bowling Green's 46-3 win over Morgan State to start the season. Furthermore, BGSU had eight first-time starters – four on each side of the ball.
• On defense, linebackers Brandon Perce, Jerry Roberts and Evan Brown, along with defensive back JaJuan Hudson, made the first starts of their BGSU careers. Making their first starts on offense for the Orange and Brown were quarterback Darius Wade, receiver Julian Ortega-Jones, tight end Austin Dorris and lineman Sam Neverov.
• In game two, Rodell Rahmaan earned his first start in the Orange and Brown, playing at wide receiver. He had the team's longest reception of the day, a 34-yarder.
• Bowling Green has 37 true freshmen and 10 redshirt freshmen on the 2019 roster. With just over 44 percent of the roster maintaining freshman eligibility, BGSU is the 23rd youngest team in the country.
• BGSU's 37 true freshmen are seventh-most in the nation. Nebraska leads the way with 47, followed by UCLA and Alabama with 43 each. Among Mid-American Conference schools, Bowling Green leads the way, followed by Akron with 36.
THE SPOTLIGHT ON THE TIGHT ENDS
• The tight end position plays a massive role in head coach Scot Loeffler's offensive scheme. The production and impact that BGSU's tight ends have made so far in 2019 was reminiscent of Dave Clawson's (2009-13) offense that heavily featured the likes of Alex Bayer and Tyler Beck.
• Of BGSU's 30 receptions so far in 2019, 14 have been caught by tight ends. Four different tight ends have caught a pass in just two games and the Falcons' leading receiver, Quintin Morris, plays the position.
• In the Falcons' 43-point win over Morgan State on Aug. 29, Bowling Green's tight ends combined for nine catches for 105 yards and three touchdowns.
• Junior Quintin Morris led the charge with five catches for 65 yards and two touchdowns. His two touchdowns tied a career high. True freshman Christian Sims caught two passes, including an 18-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. Indiana graduate transfer Austin Dorris added two catches for 13 yards.
• Additionally, true freshman Joey Carroll and redshirt junior Presley Motes saw action for the Orange and Brown. Three of BGSU's five tight ends used in the game had not played for the Falcons prior to the contest, while Motes appeared in just one game in 2018. Morris, the player on the unit with most experience wearing the Orange and Brown, was playing in his first contest as a tight end.
• Junior Andrew Clair has proven to be one of the most dangerous multi-purpose backs in the country and is climbing the charts in the BGSU record book.
• After a productive week one, Clair sits 23rd all-time in career rushing yards with 1,514 career rushing yards. His seven career 100-yard rushing games ranks 12th in program history.
• Against Oregon in the 2018 season opener, Clair carried for 113 yards. He has a 100-yard rushing game against every MAC East Division school except for Buffalo.
• Clair averaged 6.8 yards per carry as a freshman to break a school record that stood since 1951, when Fred Durig averaged 6.7 yards per touch. Willie Geter tied Durig's mark in 2008.
• According to Pro Football Focus, Clair averaged 4.5 yards after contact in 2017, the fifth-best average in the country among returning running backs.
• The St. Louis native finished the 2017 season with a team-best 1,184 all-purpose yards, ranking fifth in the country among true freshmen with 107.6 all-purpose yards per game.
• Clair followed up his rookie season with an equally productive 2018 campaign, rushing for 702 yards and adding 19 catches for 102 more yards.
• Pro Football Focus ranked Clair as the most explosive running back in the MAC with a 47.4 percent breakaway percentage, highest among all ball carriers with at least 115 rushes.
KONO RETURNS TO THE FIELD
• The spiritual and emotional leader for the Falcons, David Konowalski returned to the field after missing the entire 2018 season with an achilles injury and registered two tackles in the 2019 season opener. He played even better against Kansas State, posting seven tackles and his first tackle for loss of the season.
• Konowalski redshirted as a true freshman in 2014 and then played for the Falcons from 2015-17. Set to be one of the leaders on the defensive line, he tore his achilles in the team's first fall scrimmage of the 2018 season.
• Konowalski started all 24 games for the Falcons in 2016 and 2017 and has racked up 119 career tackles, including 13.5 for loss and 6.0 sacks.
• Konowalski was part of the most memorable moment of the past 3+ years. With BGSU leading Miami 30-29 in 2017, the RedHawks sat just one yard from scoring the winning touchdown. On a botched snap, Konowalski crawled and fought his way into the backfield, batting the loose ball away from a Miami player and into the hands of teammate Brandon Harris, who returned it 93 yards for the clinching touchdown.
SACKING THE COMPETITION (AND NOT ALLOWING SACKS)
• In recent years, BGSU has struggled to create pressure on opposing quarterbacks but the Falcons already have six sacks in 2019.
• The Falcons recorded just 15 sacks through the entirety of the 2018 season and have not posted six sacks in the first two games of a season since recording seven to start the 2008 campaign.
• Just as impressively, BGSU has allowed just two sacks in 2019 after allowing 29 a year ago and eight through the first two games of the 2018 season.
• In fact, BGSU has not allowed fewer than two sacks through the first two games of a season since the 2004 squad gave up just one sack to Oklahoma and SE Missouri State.
• BGSU ranks second in the MAC in quarterback sacks generated and third in sacks given up so far in 2019.
ICE THAT LEG
• Matt Naranjo punted nine times against Kansas State, averaging 44.0 yards per punt and tying his career-long with a 72-yarder.
• Naranjo's day included a pair of 50-yarders, two punts that were fair caught, just one touchback, and a net punting average of 40.9 yards.
• The 396 yards punting was the most since All-American Joseph Davidson had 407 yards on nine punts against Northwestern in 2017.
• Since taking over punting duties midway through the 2018 season, Naranjo has a career average of 40.9 yards per punt, which has him tied for sixth all-time at BGSU.
• BGSU ranks second in the MAC in quarterback sacks generated and third in sacks given up so far in 2019.
BYE BYE BYE
• Bowling Green is one of nine teams in the country who will not face an opponent coming off of a bye week.
• BGSU and Eastern Michigan are the only Mid-American Conference schools with that favorable schedule. Georgia Tech, Tulsa, Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, Old Dominion, BYU and New Mexico State are the other seven.
• Notre Dame plays an NCAA-high seven teams (including Bowling Green) coming off of bye weeks. No other school in the country plays more than five such games.
100 YEARS OF BG FOOTBALL
• BGSU Football will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first game in the program's history all year long. Although this is the 101st season of Bowling Green Football, the program officially began on Oct. 3, 1919 in a home game against Toledo.
• Bowling Green's first victory came in a 7-0 win at Kent State on Nov. 6, 1920 and the Falcons have rarely looked back.
• BGSU has won 17 conference titles (12 in the Mid-American Conference) and played in 13 bowl games.
• Through 100+ seasons, Bowling Green is 543-392-52 (.576) all-time, including 284-184-11 (.604) in MAC play. The Falcons have a winning record all-time against every current MAC school except for Miami and Toledo (though BGSU has the opportunity to even the all-time series against Toledo this year).
WOMEN RULE THE WORLD
• The Bowling Green football program has a pair of women in critical positions within the football program, a rarity at the FBS level.
• Liv Passey is just the second female Director of Football Operations in Mid-American Conference history. A graduate of Boston College, she is in her first year working with the program.
• Dani Coppes is one of just 11 females who serves as the primary care provide (sports medicine) for an FBS football program. After getting her undergraduate degree at Ohio State, she earned her master's degree at Bowling Green and is beginning her third year working with the BGSU Football team.
• BGSU is one of only two schools in the country to have females in both of these positions, along with Kansas State.
TRENDING TOWARDS SUCCESS
• College football expert Phil Steele tracks the success of teams that lost at least 34 games to injury the previous season. Of teams that had to manage injury-plagued campaigns since 2006, 68 percent have equaled or exceeded their record the next year.
• Bowling Green lost 36 starts to injury in 2018, tied for the 11th most in the country. Virginia Tech lost the most games to injury, 63, while Boston College lost the fewest -- three.
• Five active players have already earned their undergraduate degrees – Austin Dorris, Jack Kramer, Nico Lautanen, Davon Jones, and Darius Wade.
• Jack Kramer and Nico Lautanen were true freshmen on the 2015 MAC Championship team.
• Austin Dorris earned his undergraduate degree from Indiana, while Davon Jones and Darius Wade are both graduates of Boston College.
• Two BGSU alums earned spots on 53-man NFL rosters.
• Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Ryan Hunter was an undrafted free agent in 2018. He is a native of Canada where he was a high draft pick in the CFL. After spending 2018 on the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad, he earned a spot on the team's 53-man roster.
• Scott Miller begins his rookie season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019. He was drafted in the sixth round, following four productive seasons with BGSU, ranking third in school history with 2,867 career receiving yards.
• Three other Falcons took part in NFL camps during the preseason, including Gehrig Dieter, Roger Lewis and Teo Redding.
FALCON FOOTBALL ON ESPN+
• With the launch of ESPN+ a year ago, Falcon fans should expect BGSU Athletics to have a large presence on the platform, including a number of football games.
• BGSU's Homecoming game against Louisiana Tech will be broadcast on ESPN+ and more contests could be on the way. A year ago, Bowling Green played five games on ESPN+.
• ESPN+ provides HD-quality video of thousands of live events for $4.99/month or $49.99/year with access through the ESPN App.
• Fans can watch ESPN+ anywhere – Mobile, Desktop, TV-connected devices such as Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Android TV, and Chromecast.