On Saturday, Maryland football travels to Bowling Green to finish a home-and-home series that began at Maryland Stadium in 2015, when the Falcons blew out the Terps 48-27. To learn more about the game and the 2018 Falcons, we reached out to BG Falcon Media's Evan Hayes. Our conversation has been lightly edited for clarity.
Bowling Green suffered a blowout loss to No. 23 Oregon last Saturday. How do you think the Falcons will recover against Maryland?
I think the Falcons have a good chance to recover this coming week. This is a young team looking to find its groove, but quarterback Jarret Doege showed confidence and poise directing the offense, and running back Andrew Claire started off his season with a great game with a career high workload of 25 carries as he gained over 100 yards for the seventh time in his career.
Coming into Saturday's game, what is the biggest question mark of the football team?
The biggest question mark right now for the team would probably be its pass rush going into this weekend. The Falcons only notched one sack and three tackles for loss against Oregon, so rushing the passer and containing any big run gains the Terps.
The last time these two teams faced each other, the Falcons scored 28 points in the fourth quarter to defeat the Terps 48-27 in College Park. Who is the x-factor on Bowling Green this year that could do the same damage?
The x-factors this year could be Claire and Doege. In 2015, running back Fred Coppet ran for over 100 yards and Matt Johnson shredded the Terps for six passing touchdowns. Doege and Claire are the offensive sophomore duo who the Falcons will lean on this year, and for the future. Senior receiver Scott Miller could also contribute after a big game last week.
Bowling Green football has won a combined six games in the past two years. Is optimism for this year's team higher than in past years? What is the expectation this year?
This team is looking to build towards the future. There are a lot of young pieces on the roster that the team is looking to continue to develop after a tough season last year. This year will be about continuing to make forward progress.
Bowling Green will win if…
…the Falcons can control the line of scrimmage while continuing to force turnovers, like they did against Oregon, where they forced three of them. On the other hand, they have to take care of the ball and prevent turnovers. They gave the ball up three times in their loss to the Ducks.