college football picks Bowling Green at Tulsa 9-11-10

September 10, 2010

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DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 11th, 7:00 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: H.A. Chapman Stadium (30,000) — Tulsa, Oklahoma. Television: None. Home Record: BGSU 0-0, Tulsa 0-0. Away Record: BGSU 0-1, Tulsa 0-1. Neutral Record: BGSU 0-0, Tulsa 0-0. Conference Record: BGSU 0-0, Tulsa 0-0. Series Record: Tulsa leads, 2-0.

GAME NOTES: The Falcons remain on the road to start the year when Bowling Green battles the Tulsa Golden Hurricane this Saturday evening at H.A. Chapman Stadium.

Dave Clawson’s second year at the helm for BGSU started in heartbreaking fashion, as the Falcons suffered a three-point loss on the road against Troy. The Trojans sent Bowling Green packing with a 34-yard kick with just four seconds remaining in regulation. It is a rough setback for a squad that posted a 7-6 ledger a year ago, en route to a bowl game.

Much like their counterpart, the Golden Hurricane began their new campaign with a last second defeat. After taking a lead over East Carolina in the final two minutes of regulation, the Pirates marched down the field and on the final play of the matchup threw up a 33-yard pass that was caught in the end zone, sending Tulsa home with a loss. Coach Todd Graham should be happy to be back in Tulsa, where the Golden Hurricane have won their last four home openers.

This will be the third meeting between the two schools on the football field. The Golden Hurricane have won the two previous matchups by a combined score of 108-17.

The Falcons were not at their best offensively in the season-opener, but the team did enough to win the game. Unfortunately for BGSU players and fans, the Falcons did not come out on top against Troy.

The Falcons rushed for 108 yards in the contest, with the majority of the damage being caused by Willie Geter, who rumbled for 93 yards and one score on 20 carries.

The passing attack however, was not as consistent, as Matt Schilz struggled in his first start of the season. Last year Tyler Sheehan did an exceptional job under center, and coach Clawson is not expecting Schilz to instantly perform to that level, but the freshman will need to improve quickly.

In his first-ever start, the young gunslinger finished with 221 yards and one score, but also tossed an interception, while completing just 22-of-43 passes.

The majority of his looks went to Kamar Jorden, who finished with 111 yards on nine receptions. If Jorden is going to be the main target for Schilz, he will also have large shoes to fill. Last year Freddie Barnes set a FBS record with 155 receptions, and while it is unlikely Jorden will even come close to that total, the wideout will need to continue to make plays throughout the season.

While the offense showed glimpses of consistency, the defensive play was an entirely different story. The Falcons could not find an answer against Troy’s ground game, or passing attack and ultimately the poor play led to a loss.

Up front BGSU was gashed for 211 yards, and the secondary did not fare much better, allowing 264 yards through the air. The large amount of yards surrendered by Bowling Green led to 29 first downs for Troy, which also converted 4-of-5 red zone chances against a beleaguered BGSU defense.

If there was a bright spot for this unit in the setback it was the play of Dwayne Woods, who recorded one of the team’s three sacks and finished with 14 tackles. Keith Morgan, who had one of the squad’s two interceptions, also racked up 11 stops. While there were a few solid individual performances, this unit as a whole failed, and will need to improve quickly.

The Golden Hurricane opened their season with an offensive slugfest that saw them and their opponent combined for 47 points in the fourth quarter. Tulsa was more than capable of competing in this type of contest, but by the final whistle coach Graham’s gang was on the wrong end of a 51-49 score.

Even though the Golden Hurricane were not victorious, there were plenty of positive performances that took place in the setback, beginning with G.J. Kinne, who threw for 399 yards and five touchdowns.

Five different players were on the receiving end of those touchdown passes, but the main target was Charles Clay, who finished with eight receptions for 86 yards. Last year Clay finished with 530 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns, and he is just one of many weapons at Kinne’s disposal.

Not to be overlooked was the play of the ground game, which rumbled for 180 yards on 4.4 ypc. No player eclipsed the century mark, but Damarius Johnson shined in only seven carries, posting 56 yards and one touchdown.

Clearly when a team allows 51 points in a contest, not much went right defensively, and that was definitely the case for Tulsa’s defense this past weekend.

The secondary was torched for 383 yards and five scores, including the game- winning Hail Mary on the final play of regulation. Tulsa did record one interception, but the lack of pressure up front (one sack) left the defensive backfield struggling to contain East Carolina’s receiving corps.

On top of the poor play against the pass, the Golden Hurricane also allowed 155 yards on the ground. Tulsa’s defense has definitely seen better days, but if there was a lone bright spot it was Curnelius Arnick, who racked up a team- best 10 tackles. However, coach Graham’s defense can ill-afford any more performances like the one against the Pirates.

Considering how poorly the Golden Hurricane defended the pass in their opener, there is a strong chance BGSU’s signal caller could have a solid showing. However, with that said, Tulsa has too much offensive firepower, and is capable of scoring enough points against the Falcons at home to earn a victory.


FREE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICKS : Tulsa 48, Bowling Green 24

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