Team preview: Bowling Green

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(All information as of June 20, 2007)


The 2006 season was far from being a typical year in Bowling Green football as the Falcons stumbled their way to a 4-8 finish. It marked the first year since 2000 that they failed to finish the season with a winning mark after averaging nearly nine wins per season since the 2001 campaign while claiming either a bowl or co-divisional title every year since 2003.

If that wasn't odd enough, the Falcons, known for their high-octane passing attack under current head coach Gregg Brandon, led the MAC in rushing for the first time since 1964. Brandon chalks up the odd combination to youth and injuries.
"A lot of our young players got some real battle scars under fire last season," Brandon said. "We had so many injuries that by mid-season we were pretty battered and bruised." The numbers would seem to back up Brandon's assertion. In 2006 the Falcons played 27 freshmen, including 13 true freshmen.
"Last season was a learning experience for our kids," added a hopeful sounding Brandon.

It was a struggle nearly across the board at several key positions.
"Our quarterback play was very inconsistent and we had some very young receivers," Brandon said.

That lack of experience and consistency resulted in the Falcons' offense averaging less than 20 points per game (19.5) and being held to 14 points or less in six contests, including a humbling 28-14 loss to Temple, the Owls' only victory in 2006.
"By the time we played Temple we were a completely worn down team, and were playing a lot of kids who had not been through an entire season of major college football," Brandon said.

Add in a special teams unit that was among the worst in the Mid-American Conference in 2006 and it was a recipe for a long, frustrating season in Bowling Green.