Yeah, very well.
Yeah, it's Ah, great day.
We had snow in Bowling Green today Were all hiding somewhere in our own respective living places.
Uh, and we're excited to talk some Mac football tonight, Everyone.
As you know, the Max season will start on Wednesday.
The premier match up in the Mac this week is the battle of I 75.
At least in our heads.
Um, but we will.
We are going to go in a t least a little bit in depth with each team, uh, in the Mid American conference today.
And then we'll go through our week one matchups What we like what we don't like.
And who knows? Thank you for joining us here on SportsCastr live.
Uh, if you have any questions for us, go ahead and send them to our Twitter inbox or just put them in the comments right here.
We'll get to him is when we can, but we are going to start off with the bowling green.
We're going to start up with the You think that we should We should talk about what type of expectations we should be throwing in here just to make sure that we're not, you know, kind of just making stuff up.
Oh, yeah, exact.
Why don't you go and take that? So, basically speaking, why we have the information we dio the five of us we all have been assigned to teams settling myself, have three teams.
Basically, we're gonna be looking at anything that has to do with Mac football this upcoming season.
So we're looking at overall expectations for the teams like bowl eligibility things.
So that extent, of course, the Mac announcing that you only have to play three games.
You're gonna have to win them or lose them.
You have to just play three games to be eligible for bowl contention, and any team could be in the bowl season.
This year, despite your record, we're looking at win loss, rejection.
So what you're teams final record could be at the end of everything we're gonna give Mac title game predictions will be talking about some special players impact players on offense, defense, special teams, whichever the case may be, and any notable losses to the NFL, if any, Or maybe just graduation eso We'll be talking a little bit about that.
We're gonna be going along the lines of how the team is projected this year.
Eso going from the team that's supposed to do the worst, according Thio.
Coaches in the media, to the team that's supposed to do the best.
And I think we all have our what we're planning on doing, and we're gonna go ahead and get right into our first segment, breaking down all 12 teams in America, American Conference, and we'll start with the team That has really been the bottom rung or one of the bottom rungs of the Mac, really the past decade in the Akron Zips and Alex Rally, you did the research for this one.
Why don't you tell us a little bit about the Zips? Well, that I will dio So last year they were O in 12 which is the worst FBS record in the nation.
All other FBS teams at least 11 game and all of Akron games were a blowout except for 37 to 29 loss against U Mass.
31 to 20 loss against U A.
B and a surprising 22 17 loss First Miami.
But Miami had already clinched the trip to the Mac championship game.
So take that into account.
And yet, last season, for total points per game, they averaged 12.
6 and the total points on the season where 126.
And I believe that was the fewest points scored in Division one football, at least in the FBS level, definitely the lowest in the Mac.
And they had a few games where they looked like they were gonna pull it together, but they just didn't have the personnel.
Yeah, I watched the Miami game and they had a chance at the end, but they had to, like, go the whole length of field, and obviously they just couldn't do it.
So with Oh, you want me to go, you go ahead. Zach.
Hey, partners on the Smith and Sidle show.
So basically so they didn't do all that well last year.
Do you expect anything better out of them this coming season? Any better record? Maybe even just a win for the Akron zips this upcoming season? Well, ESPN has them as 64.
5% favorites against Bowling Green and their second last game to the season.
They did lose at Bowling Green last year.
35 to 6, though, but I will go with ESPN and say that they will win that game.
Okay, Uh, any notable players returning for the zips this season? Any, uh, their quarterback, any big receivers or running back, Especially since they're starting so late.
You have to imagine the running attack in the Mac is gonna be big.
Really? The most notable player and their best players.
Kato Nelson, their senior quarterback.
Uh, in 2019 he threw for 128 yards, 1028 yards and seven touchdowns.
He's like a door threat quarterback.
So he's kind off all lesser degree. Like Lamar Jackson.
You have tow account for the past, and he can make plays with his legs as well for their running attack.
The best running was Brandon Lee, which is a receiver.
So they would give him like end arounds, Uh, so he could gain yards that way.
He led the team within 179 yards.
Would he be someone you expect to see return and be a big impact over at Infestation Stadium this season? Well, Kato Nelson would would be the guy that would make a impact.
And really, they would need all the runners to step up if they wanted to win some games.
Uh, this season, because 170 I got rushing yards.
Leading the team obviously isn't isn't very good.
And then what about the defense? The defense has really been Akron's Achilles heel over the last decade.
The Zips have not had a very stellar defense since.
I can remember following the Mac.
Do they have anyone there expecting toe? Step up and maybe try toe turn the tide of the program in Akron? Well, Bubba are slaying was their top performer.
He's a linebacker.
He's a junior, so he will be back on the team.
And last season he had.
He led the team, but he had two sacks and one first fumble and 51 tackles.
So that was he off the players coming back.
He led the team in tackles.
Josh Ward, the defensive end, led the team with 2.
Also, they got interceptions from Sean Featherstone, Jordan Wiley and DaMarcus Glover.
Keith and they, they will play their rivalry, which again is one of the better rivalries in the mid major conference in the battle for the wagon wheel against the Kent State Golden Flashes.
How do you expect to see them perform in that game? Well, they lost 26 to 3 last year, so I expect it to be a replay.
A repeat because Cats takes quarterback is very good.
Can state one ballgame last year against Utah State.
So 26 to 3 would probably a pretty accurate representation and just finally, real quick.
What are you looking at? Record wise? They again.
You're only playing one team from the West and you're playing the whole Eastern Division.
Are you expecting maybe one win and maybe a surprising somebody else? Are you expecting about the same going on six? I would expect one and 50 l six could be possible because Bowling Green did beat them last year, and that's the only team their favorite against.
If you had to pick another win, I would pick their first game against Western Michigan.
Uh, because it's one of the ones where they have a little more percent chance to win, and it's the first game of the season, so everyone is gonna be a bit rusty and maybe they'll stop the game slow on African.
Take advantage of that.
Especially helpful to be at home too.
Yeah, well, thank you, Alex, for that.
Any final thoughts on the Akron zips? Not that about covers.
Well, thank you for that, and we'll look forward to seeing what happens.
Uh, Akron is that team guys we've all seen over the last five years or so they just they can't get any turnaround.
They're losing the recruiting battle in the state of Ohio to all the other max schools.
They're not really going outside of the state of Ohio to recruit, so we'll just have to see how that what sums up there.
From there, we'll go over to the West.
Uh, in the northern Illinois Huskies.
They are project are projected to finish last in the West, and they're kind of in the same boat the bowling green Falcons have been in after having years of a few years of success.
Ah, few Mac title game, uh, appearances.
They've kind of fallen off the rails.
And Zack, did you do the prep on this one? I did.
So the n i u S Keys finished five and seven last year, they finished fourth in the conference, but in conference play where it really matters, they finished four and four.
So they sat right at 500 as in terms of their conference record, three and two at home to and five away.
A couple of really just interesting games just sitting and looking at the schedule lost at Vanderbilt last year.
Lost at Utah last year, but the big victories that they got were at home and in the Mac.
So they won at OU last year.
They won at Miami.
Last year, they won verse the University of Akron.
Their big one was Toledo when Toledo came into Northern Illinois at on Wednesday, the 13th of November.
So overall it's it's not that bad of a team.
You mentioned that Northern Illinois has just not been on the same level of success is they have a couple of years ago, and this typically is a result of coaching.
Just sometimes, not getting the better portions off of recruiting class is kind of similar to Alaska or to Akron.
I don't look at Alaska for some reason, Um, but you look at it.
It's still a team that is competitive.
It's a it's a team that really could just make a difference.
And overall, just looking at the schedule that the Huskies have ahead of them, it's This is a tough, tough schedule at home vs Buffalo at home versus the Chip Awassa Central Michigan.
Then you have to go at Ball State at Western Knish.
You finished the year at Eastern Michigan, and then you get a Saturday game at home against the Toledo Rocket's a tough schedule.
And, yeah, but the Huskies they have been there.
Recruiting has picked back up a little bit, especially in the state of Illinois, which Illinois has had a lot more good football players coming out of high school in recent years.
But we'll take a look at who's coming back for them.
Who is gonna be there.
Big playmaker coming back? Well, they say the team starts and ends at the quarterback position.
And really, when you look at a team in college, the best of quarterbacks once they meet the requirement, they typically tend to go on into the NFL.
The good ones, at least so like your Trevor Lawrence, is your Justin Fields.
We saw Dwayne Haskins Daniel Jones in recent years to a tongue of Diallo.
Um, but for some, you know these Matt quarterbacks to small school quarterbacks, they stay.
And they tried just to build the repertoire.
Um, for the Northern Illinois Huskies, Ross Bowers has come back.
He'll be going into his senior year.
6 to £200 from Washington through for 2100 yards last year, which isn't all that bad.
Where his problems lied.
Was in the touchdown to interception ratio.
Seven touchdowns, eight picks.
Last year was sacked 18 times.
So it's gonna be important for a guy like him to get some protection in the pocket and be able to throw 57.
8 completion rating.
He averaged about seven yards a throw, which is not bad at all.
Well, we lost Charlie.
Uh huh. He'll be back. He'll be back.
So on the offense.
What about any? Does he have any weapons? What receivers? Running backs that can run down the field and make the catch like who is gonna be around their quarterback? Well, last year, their leading receiver was cold Tucker, a wide receiver, but he's gone.
Trade harvest in the third was there.
Leading rusher had over 1000 yards running, but he's gone as well, so they're gonna have to rely on a relatively young group of players looking at the running back room.
There's a lot of freshman, um, their oldest two players.
They have shake Juan Oliver, the senior from North from Montclair, New Jersey, who I imagine is going to get some looks here.
But looking at their group from last year.
Um, Jordan Nettles was around last year.
He is a junior from Romeoville, Illinois, 591 87.
Jordan Nettles Last year.
No touchdowns, but he was injured.
He is still listed on at least CBS sports his injury report.
So Jordan Nettles is gonna be somebody really, really important to get back to this team.
And then if you if you look elsewhere for Northern Illinois, they typically say that the tight end room is a safety blanket for quarterback, so guys like Maximilian Thrower will probably be really, really important for them.
We saw a couple like last year UM, Mitchell Brinkman and Daniel Crawford were among their top three receiving weapons.
Daniel Crawford has come back last year.
Crawford 443 yards, two touchdowns.
You're gonna need to see a little bit more out of a guy like him, but the biggest push is gonna be coming from this offensive line.
It's very, very young lot of freshman along this offensive line.
Couple of seniors Ben Olsen, Brandon Patent or back Um, and then Cole Webster, a junior.
But other than that lot of freshman and a couple of sop****res and now looking at the defensive side of the ball where that it was a little bit of Northern only struggles in the games they lost last year.
Of course, they were playing against some bigger schools.
But who were they expecting to come back and be that big playmaker on defense? Well, last year is my Kelsey Williams, who I'd imagine is gonna be back in in his really good form.
He's back there as a safety, just making sure that he's back.
But you look at a multitude of players.
It's players that have moved on.
Eso you know Williams is one of those types of guys that was like that for them and typically in college.
Sometimes it's the safeties that make all the difference.
So with him gone, you're looking at a couple of playmakers, and you mentioned that this team has started to recruit again.
It's a very, very young defense.
Vinny Latest was there.
Linebacker from Park Ridge, Illinois is gonna be really somebody to keep an eye on.
Last year at 59 total tackles, 24 of those were solo tackles, two sacks, one pass defense.
Ah, fumble recovery.
He's gonna be really the motor of this defense.
And when you talk about when you talk about the defense, I think one big thing that you really didn't mention with Northern Illinois, all those injuries they had and threw those injuries you to find at the end of the season.
Safety Dylan Thomas.
You got people like Dylan Thomas and those new guys coming back.
Do you think that the backfield of this defense is really what's gonna hold them together this season? Well, the thing that really helps defense is especially in the cases that there was injury last year, is it suddenly forces guys who you've never heard of to get an opportunity to play.
It's those guys that typically would have been red shirted.
Or maybe just it's kind of like a developmental thing.
So, um, to put it into kind of like a similarity type deal.
Look at quarterbacks in the NFL.
That's when I'll give you Patrick Mahomes.
Hey, sat for a year behind Alex Smith wasn't expected to play, played Week 17 and ended up shining enough that he got to start the next year.
This defense is kind of like that.
A lot of the injuries that did occur last year have allowed some of these players to come back.
Um, they are young, They're rather young, Um, but at the same time, that could be taken to their advantage.
Just giving them a little bit of time to experience Mawr college football and being, um, or interesting atmosphere.
Of course, with Cove in 19 fan regulations, they're gonna be really big toe watch the Mac announcing that most stadiums are not gonna house fans other than close friends and family of players.
But we will wait to see what the season ends up doing.
Um, the NFL of course, started off with Zach, Right? Exactly.
Uh, does everyone else he a roll call? Yeah, I got you.
I'm gonna gotta give Zak a phone call.
Let's get Make sure this is connected to the board first year, and I'll call him and we'll get him in that way.
This break is brought to you by whichever Internet connection failed. Zack Smith.
And we all know which one it is, but we're not going Thio.
So let's see here.
You're on the air? Yeah, the the WiFi decided toe not wanna work here.
Um, where did you guys lose me? Uh, I don't know.
But I can tell you there's a funny face, You know, that you were talking about the ah injuries and the new players that can come out and how it's going toe the stars that nobody would expect that could actually end up starting.
So, first and foremost, I apologize for my wife.
Um, but on the other end of it, when I was starting to talk about with injuries, you give the opportunity for young guys to get an opportunity to play this.
Typically the freshman, the sop****res of the group, um, it doesn't really help when you get players who you don't think you're ready to play.
But at the same time, it's going to give them experience in college football.
Um, you look at a multitude of different things and the best example I can give you look at.
Look at the NFL with Patrick Mahomes with the chief.
My home sat for a year behind Alex.
Man, I got an opportunity to play after Alex Smith was that four weeks 17.
Mahomes gave an opportunity to play, and he got to play Lex the next season and played perfectly.
Baker Mayfield in the NFL wasn't supposed to start, but Tyrod Taylor got hurt and Baker Mayfield ended up getting a start.
It's kind of similar to that with college football, except so the fact that college football it's a lot more about development.
So you mentioned last year players went down with injury and that's really something that kind of bit northern Illinois on the foot there, Um, going down the stretch.
Northern Illinois really could have used some veteran help on the back.
Look a couple of these last game.
They did end up winning a lot, but verse Eastern Michigan on November 19th last year.
They gave up 45 points to that often, you know, Toledo gave up 28 points to them at Central Michigan.
They gave up 48 points to them.
So it's gonna be really important for the N I.
U team to establish dominance on that back end.
And I think last year not having some of the veteran help is really going to help this team, you know, with the young guys coming in, and from there we will go to the next team that Zach is covering, and that would be the Eastern Michigan Eagles.
You mentioned a little bit about them.
But the Eagles, no longer that team that the rumor was kids would, uh, players would decide to go to a Division two or Division three school if the only Division one school that was offering them a scholarship was Eastern Michigan.
It's not that way anymore.
No, it's it's really not, and you look at the Eastern Michigan.
Teenagers don't really get a lot of credit because of the fact they're in the Mac West.
If this Eastern Mitch team was in the Mac East, they would easily be around.
Oh, you can't state, maybe even pushing at Miami and Buffalo.
Who's supposed to be really, really good this year.
Um, Eastern Michigan finished six and seven last year, Um, in their overall conference record three and five in the Mac West.
And again, this is a team that really, you know, got off to a weird start.
Might Glass, who was there started last year, look really, really good? And in conversation with Reese Landing, he and I both kind of agreed on this glass, going down, getting her Preston Hutchinson, who's, uh, supposed to be the starter this year.
That's who we're all expecting to be there.
UM, he Preston Hutchinson looked good last year.
75% completion rating.
Three touchdowns, just one interception.
Um, but like glass, 3100 yards last year, 66.
3% completion rating.
9 passing average had an 80 yard bomb last year, but this Eastern Michigan team could be pretty fun to watch this year.
And the Eagles, of course.
They started getting a lot more stout on defense, Uh, almost like a steel wall there.
And I only say that because I know there are numbers used to have tread plating as the print on the back.
What can you say about their defense and how really that's turned around this Eastern Michigan program? You know, Defense wins championships.
That's the most common phrase in whatever sport you're covering.
Um, whether that be the NFL, the MLB, the NHL, the MBA defense is typically what you're gonna lay your hat on.
And when you had a guy last year who was a sideline to sideline bumper like Kobe Beltre, um, who went and had 127 tackles last year, you know that that really sets the precedent for what you want your defense to accomplish.
Um, he, of course. Um, Beltre.
Um, two sacks last year and no interceptions.
Six past defenses, three forced fumbles, 34 fumble recoveries Just overall.
A really, really stout guy in that Regarding this.
The team doesn't record a lot of fat, uh, just 22 sacks, according to ESPN last year.
But it didn't come from one person other than Tehran Rush last year. Who's on their D Line.
Um, Rush is coming back this year.
He is coming back for his senior season, sitting at 62 But it's really just an all around, really, really balanced defense.
It's a team that can get tackles.
Vince Calhoun Last year, the D B had a great season, and, you know, you look at everywhere, top to bottom.
It's It's a very balanced group.
When we talked football or volleyball or basketball, you look at the difference between ages.
If you're a team with a lot of seniors, you're typically a team that's going to be really, really good.
If you're a freshman team, you're young, you're parents.
Typically, it's like a rebuild here.
When you look at this defense, you're looking at a lot of juniors.
There's a freshman next in there that they're getting a little bit of time to sit and shine.
But at the same time, you're in a group that's really going to be able to protect and develop you.
They finished their projected to finished fifth in the West this year, so it's not exactly where you wanna be, but this is a team that is building and getting ready for later on in their in their time.
So where do the eagles stack up in the Mac west? Well, again, with their projected finish East or fifth in the West.
Um, Eastern Michigan is Hang on my recording back.
Do we got? Do we have Zach on the discord? Yeah. Okay.
I'm gonna hang up on you, Zack.
Okay, that's fine.
Zack, can you still hear us? Uh huh.
I know you didn't.
Hello? Eso Eastern Michigan and is in a spot where they they've got a tough schedule themselves.
The thing that's gonna be beneficial to them is the fact that they're not going to have to play teams outside of the max.
So typically, like you're going to see Big 10 teams, SEC teams a, C, C.
Teams take on max schools.
Bowling Green, for example, is supposed to take on the University of Illinois as well as Ohio State this year.
They're gonna benefit from that perspective.
But that being said, they've got a tough group of teams.
Kent State they have on their lineup here.
They went five and three last year and their conference, they've got ball stayed on their lineup, too, and that that one was tough.
They finished foreign foreign conference last year.
Toledo, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois.
Um, when? When I look at this schedule here, Um, I I see Eastern Michigan is potentially a two and four team.
Potentially speaking, Um, maybe against the n i u huskies.
Maybe in that one.
And then potentially going up against, say, like a Toledo or a Central Michigan and catching them off guard.
Um, their best chance, I think, is going to be at home versus N I.
And then at Ball State week, too.
10 states supposed to be pretty good this year.
Ball state right there with, um, Central Michigan.
But if I had to give them something like that, I'd say probably a two and four years, what you're looking at for the Eastern Michigan Eagles.
I mean my question for you, Zach.
About what you think with creating, taking over the play, calling duties of that offensive coordinator as they did get rid of Aaron Cane.
I heard the discord noise and I thought that I left again.
Okay, so you know the change in scenery is interesting, and I I know that he's not a coach, but he's a coordinator.
Um, when coaches come in, they change the culture.
That's why you see a lot of teams professionally and sometimes in collegiate football.
Um, when when you got a team and you put in a new coach, you're changing the entire culture of that locker room.
You can still have the same players, but you go from a ah guy who's gonna be there for his players.
To a guy who's gonna be like, You need to be better.
You need to do this.
I'm gonna go talk to the media.
It really depends.
Coordinators air kind of the same way.
You can have the same players in place, but at the same time, it's It's a whole new culture.
It's a whole new rhythm.
I end with that being said, You know, you gotta look at the players you've got around you.
Mainly, Preston Hutchison is who I look at again.
I mentioned it a little earlier.
Preston Hutchinson and got a little bit of time last year.
He finished with a 157.
4 quarterback rating which is pretty good, but he was sacked eight times.
Um, what I'm looking out for this offense now with a new offensive coordinator, is what's the culture going to be? Are you going to be a team that is going to run it down your throat and I'm going to play for every single yard I'm getting? Or am I gonna throw this ball down the field? Especially with Cove in 19 and not having you know, the fan atmosphere that you do or having that electricity that is typically there for, Ah, home team? What's going to be the culture? That this new offense takes shape? And that's probably what I would throw out their new offensive coordinator is gonna lead to new things.
So if I had the kind of throw a question in there Thio, answer your question with a question.
What's the culture going to be like in Eastern Michigan's offense this year? And before we move on, I want to go over to Reese Landon? Uh, Reese, you grew up near Ypsilanti.
I know you probably know a good few Eastern Michigan fans.
What are they expecting out of this team this year? I actually know a couple of players on the team.
Tristian Hines, who's a true freshman from Myelin High School, which is a stone's throw away from em. Use campus.
Um, I think they're going to surprise a lot of people personally.
Hutchison showed last year that he can throw the football twice glass.
I can't recall which game it was, but I know for a fact you threw for 357 yards and obviously losing my glass, who's multi her led the conference in passing last year is a huge loss for them.
But I think Crate and Chris Creighton is one of the best.
Our best not only offensive minds, um, my defense.
Like in in the small school realm.
I think he's one of the best coaches in the country, and I think if they can write, if they can maybe make a bowl game or something this year with a roster that isn't bad.
But they're definitely taking a step back from last year.
I think Creighton could be on, maybe, Ah, lower end, lower end power five school looking toe kind of rebuild.
I really like what Chris grades done with that program because like you talked about earlier.
Like a decade ago.
They were. They were the worst team in the country.
They really were.
They went, Oh, and 12. I believe in 2010.
And it was just a revolving door of coaches there.
So I think with Craig now they have some stability, and I think having him there is just gonna boost whatever they have.
Creighton is definitely gonna be a guy that you can build this team and this culture around for a little bit.
He has done really well with how this team is getting coach and how it's getting brought up.
And every year it's just another step forward for this kind of team again.
Eastern Michigan finished last in the Mac West last year.
I don't see that this year.
Maybe it's like 1/5 overall team.
Yeah, I see what you're saying. There.
Um, I think that's definitely there. Floor.
Um, I just think they have.
They have a pretty solid ceiling to go off, and it's not like Eastern Michigan's going out like I'm at school.
Obviously isn't gonna go.
I'm just dominating recruiting.
But Eastern really isn't even dominating recruiting in the Mac.
What credence done is he's getting those kids from Detroit from Lansing from Flint, Michigan, has plenty of high school football talent.
That's just on tap.
That passed over by Michigan and Michigan State.
There's still somewhat they're not Ohio, but they have some talent.
And Creighton is really getting back and recruiting kids from these schools.
And that's just developing a pipeline.
Okay, I think that's gonna do it for the Eastern Michigan Eagles.
We'll move on now to I believe we're at the bowling green Falcons, aren't we, um, You would be correct or no.
Yeah, you're correct. You're correct.
The Bowling Green State University Falcons, which was covered by Jacob Seidel.
My good co host on this, uh, this show here.
So I I guess overall, what are you expecting out of this bowling Green State University Falcons team this year? Well, I know it's gonna be a shortened season playing half the games that bowling green normally does and staying in the content in the Eastern Conference or Eastern division with the outlier there being u T e, which is like, we know, just 20 minutes away.
Uh, This is a team that could go 500.
They could hit a good run.
They could hit a good hot streak and maybe finish a bit higher.
But the key there is gonna be.
What is Mac MacDonald or Matt McDonald? Uh, he's Scott Law.
He brought him over from Boston College.
He had to sit out last year because of transfer rules.
But I think if the Falcons want to succeed, they need to see McDonald's start in all six games.
Bowling Green hasn't had a quarterback start in every game since Matt Johnson in the 2015 season.
We all know what happened.
Then they won the Mac championship.
Yeah, consistency is really important that the next question I have for you, this bowling green team last year sat a lot of freshman lot of freshman coach Leffler, really trying to instill a new wave of recruiting for Bowling Green.
So do you expect those freshmen Toa have an, um, opportunity this year, and even this past recruiting class? Do you expect a lot to come from younger players this year? I do.
I do, and I don't have it.
I couldn't find it, but I, a reporter from one of the local news outlets here in northwest Ohio, put out the bowling green depth chart where they had Matt McDonald as Q B one.
But there were also a lot of freshman either starting or they were going to be the backups.
It's it's gonna be a young team.
They're gonna make mistakes.
But Leffler is the coach that I believe that can turn this around and get a lot out of these players.
When Bowling Green hired him, Tom Brady, who was with the Patriots at the time uh, just outside of Boston, said a lot of great things about the Boston College coach.
And I think if we see more of an A C C style offense come in, especially with an A C C recruited quarterback.
This team could be something special.
So yeah, sorry, Reese.
I didn't mean e.
I have so much I'm into that.
A c c recruited quarterback.
A lot of people don't know.
Matt McDonald was a quarterback at modern Day, which is a powerhouse in Southern California.
JT Daniels, who's at USC number one record in the country.
I believe in 2018 um, went there? Um, they've just had a long line.
Matt Barkley went there, Matt Winer.
Before that, they've just had NFL breeding ground and his senior year. Matt McDonald, senior.
He did not start.
He got injured his junior.
Or he did start.
Rather didn't started moderate at his junior.
And then his senior JT Daniels, came as a freshman high school.
Took that job from him.
So he transferred toe mission Vallejo.
I think that I think I pronounced that right. I can't remember.
But I do remember that, Um, but he's gonna have a few other guys around him, most notably the dynamic running do of Andrew, Claire and Bryce and definitely Andrew Clair coming off a red shirt for injury last season.
Uh, he's been in this program.
I believe this would be his fifth year as a member of the Falcons, and he has shown he's one of the top running backs in the Mac.
And you pair him up with Bryson dentally another guy who stepped in and really took all the rushing responsibility for the Falcons last year.
This Russian game could be ah, lot, uh, a lot of fun to watch.
So bowling Green takes.
Ah, luck of the draw type deal.
They were gonna be starting their season off against the Rockets of Toledo.
They do that Wednesday at seven o'clock that will be nationally broadcasted.
Other than that game, they really have a tough schedule ahead of them.
Can state Buffalo, Ohio, the Zips and the Miami RedHawks.
What do you expect out of this team this year? Do you expect a solid, Maybe like a three and three time period? Do you expect bowl game projections for the Falcons? What do you think? Based on their on their schedule? Well, I I have them that either three and three or four and two.
I think the Ohio University in the Kent State games are gonna be 50 50 toss ups.
Now that we've had a year of Scott Leffler offense and his quarterback, I think we're going to see a lot of improvement from the Falcons.
Um, I think Miami is going to dominate, uh, as well as you be.
Those games might start off close, but I think both those teams air too good and they're gonna pull away.
I'll talk about the Toledo game when we get to that segments and is it is the week one game.
I think the only game that they might have in the bag quote unquote, is the Akron game.
But even then, you can't take the zip slightly, Um, but what they need to do to get their their front seven needs to drastically improve.
BG allowed just over 2900 rushing yards last year.
36 rushing touchdowns.
That's that's an insane number in the Mid American Conference.
And then there's their secondary was a bit better.
They were doing really well, uh, defending the past, but they just can't allow as many touchdowns they were out.
They were doubled up but missed being doubled up by one point, I should say, in the first quarter last season, uh, bowling.
Green scored 71 points all season long in the first quarter, and opponents scored 141 overall.
On the season, they were outscored 463 to 1 92.
That needs to change this year.
They need to stop letting teams get out to those early leads, and it's all going to start with the Russian defense well, a big problem we saw with that offensive line to last year.
Was that communication at the beginning of the season we saw after that Notre Dame game? Uh, they switched out the quarterbacks and that communication definitely improved.
That's when we saw those winds.
So, do you think bringing in this new quarterback how how well do you think that communication is still gonna be built there? Grant lawyer was a really good quarterback for this Falcons team.
He's a great team leader.
He was able to help show the Falcons what they needed to do.
And we saw that, especially, uh, near the end of that Notre Dame game.
Charlie, you and I were there with the Falcon marching band.
We saw they were driving, but Notre Dame's defense was just too much for them to handle.
But in the next game against Toledo, they were able to get the first down when they needed them.
They were able to get into the end zone when they had Thio.
Um, I think Matt McDonald being this, uh, this really a C C recruited quarterback who transferred out after losing his starting job to a true like to a freshman in high school.
I think he would.
I think he's the guy, especially leaving a power five school to come Thio a group of five school just because his Q B coach got the head coaching job.
I think it's gonna help out in the Falcons a lot.
In the communication side, I'd agree I would agree completely.
You look at a team.
Last year, their bread and butter was in the run game.
So do you think that they continue on with that? I mean, no, I know you mentioned Bryce and Bentley and Andrew Claire, but with with Matt McDonald, a guy coming in who is comfortable with the system that Coach Leffler runs, of course, again, having been with him in Boston College and now being in BG with him, Do you expect that rushed first attack to keep going where they beat Toledo last year and continue like that? Or do you expect Mac McDonald's gonna try Toe lost this ball out to one of the best tight ends, and not just in the Mac, but in football on Quentin Morris? Well, it's getting close toe winter in northwest Ohio.
We're going to see a lot of strong gusts.
We're going to see wind chill.
We're going to see cold temperatures and snow.
As we saw in the Browns game in Cleveland today, it gets cold in football season in Ohio.
Um, I think we're gonna see, um, we're gonna see McDonald trying to throw the ball more than we saw with Grant Lawyer last year.
But I would imagine you've got arguably the strongest running back in the Mid American Conference.
And Andrew, Claire and Bryce and dentally right behind him to great running backs.
A wise move away from what was successful last year.
Any final thoughts on the Bowling Green State University Falcons talons up.
Let's see what can happen.
I'm really excited for this Wednesday matchup.
Zack, you and I have to watch this one together.
It's gonna be so much fun to what? We'll be talking about it all week going up on our show when are put next podcast Episode drops Wednesday morning.
It's gonna be a fun overall game to watch.
I'm so happy that the battle of I 75 is gonna be nationally televised on ESPN.
You seven o'clock.
That's gonna be a fun little thing.
Um, so do tune in on that.
Thanks, Jacob, for coming.
Prepared for that, we go from one Mac East team to another to a team that's projected to finish fourth in the Mac East in the Kent State.
Um, Reese Lannan, who talked a little bit of with Eastern Michigan and has has kind of gone on about this, has has talked about.
Kent has looked into Kent State.
So, Reese, what do you expect for the Golden Flashes this year? Well, both teams I'm covering today, um, I believe I will get.
We'll get into them later.
I'm not going to disclose which team it is.
I believe they have the two best quarterbacks in the conference for 10 State.
It's Dustin Crum, who took over last year for Woody Barrett, who is a Auburn transfer former pretty highly touted recruit, and he took the job, ran with it.
He completed over 69% of his passes, and his touchdown to interception ratio was 22 to he really dictated everything.
He was also the leading rusher on the Golden Flashes last year.
Everything goes through Dustin Crumb and he's back here now is a quarterback rating was almost 160.
He was very efficient.
Um, last year, yards per attempt was very nice as well He was.
4 yards and attempt, um, to go along with those 20 touchdowns eso, their best players, their quarterback and everything is gonna dictate through him.
For Kent State last year, they started out like pretty slow.
They had to win their last three games to make a bowl game, and they did do that.
And that was fresh off a three game losing streak.
They went over a stretch where they had three pretty tough games going to Athens, losing a close one at seven points to Ohio, going to my hair, having a home game against Miami, losing by a touchdown again and then going to Toledo and losing by two.
So they went on a three game stretch.
They lost three games by a combined 16 points s, so they had to rally their last three games.
They beat Buffalo team that's fairly solid by uh by a field goal and then they beat ball state by a field goal and then two become bowl eligible.
They defeat the Eastern Michigan, and then they went out to the Frisco Bowl a six and six, and faced off against the Mountain West Conference, Utah State and put up fit over 50 points against them.
Um, offensively, back.
Obviously, Crumb was there leading rusher last year.
Everything is going to go through Crumb in the running game.
Um, they do not.
Their most experienced A running back back from last year is Xavier Williams, who ran for 393 yards, averaged over 4.
5 yards a carry.
Um, he kind of split time last year a little bit with Will Matthews, who's now graduated.
Matthews got a few more touches than him, but everything's gonna go through from receiving wise.
Isaiah McCoy was their best receiver last year.
He had a really nice year last year, average or 15 years that cash and had eight touchdowns, caught 56 passes as well, um, outside on the receiving corpse.
Besides him, they don't have a ton of experience back there.
Uh, next leading receiver.
In fact, all of that, number two on the depth chart, I believe, is Isaac Vance.
Sean Abram, actually, who had eight grabs last year.
So a bit of a drop off.
Um, And then the offensive line, Their very experience.
They have four upperclassmen, the offensive line.
So offensively, I think it's gonna be It's a classic Mac team that's gonna put the ball in the air.
They're gonna score a lot of points.
Yeah, And I saw I believe it was there 1st.
2nd went on the season last year when Bowling Green went down to Kent.
I were on the call for that for the bowling green Radio sports organization.
Zach, I believe you are aboard up for that game.
Yeah, it was Crum and Williams.
Yeah, it was Run.
It will if your names will run.
It was It was rough for the Falcons.
I believe it was a 34 to 7 victory.
I think something around there, 62 to 2016.
I'm thinking of a different game 62 to 20.
Uh, that was 62 20.
That was a rough game on top of the press box out there in Ghent.
Uh, but you could just tell this Kent State team was special.
They started up. They played Auburn.
They went to overtime against an FCS school and barely squeaked out the wind two weeks previous.
But you could tell there was something special in that team from last year.
Do you expect that to carry over this year? I think it will.
They're gonna put up points.
Dustin Crumbs, I believe, um, if not the best.
He's the second best quarterback in the conference and his running ability.
I don't want to say he's a run first guy, but he's definitely not going to throw the ball.
If he sees an open lane, he's not afraid to run the football, and he's a physical runner.
He's not a guy that just gonna run around you.
He'll run straight into. He's like a bowling ball.
So I think I think with him at the helm, they want no problem putting points.
Now, if I may ask you, you mentioned Dustin Crumb led his team in rushing yards last year and, of course, being the quarterback keep take a pretty good job.
I'd say passing the ball, um, the last time that I can really remember a solid dual threat quarterback in college football.
The first one that pops into my head is Lamar Jackson.
When he was with Louisville a couple years back, Um, of course, though, he was the dual threat guy.
But teams were able to key in on him and make Lamar Jackson make mistakes.
Kind of how he is in the NFL.
Do you see the same thing? Possibly game plan wise for Crumb.
Do you see people making him throw the ball? You know, I don't think it's his passing.
That's the issue.
I think, um, this year their issue is honestly, just lack of experience outside of Isaiah McCoy in the receiving corpse.
Granted, at least I think in the first they play the first game of the year.
I believe against my thinking off.
They play, Oh, Easter.
They play Eastern Michigan.
Um, I think Eastern comes out and trust tries to sack the box against them.
It forces him to beat him, and if he can show that he could do that, I think other teams will start to adjust.
But there's really not an easy way to adjust because he totaled over 700 rushing yards last year, averaging over four yards a carry is a quarterback, so he's certainly very dangerous anyway, you put it.
So I guess the next thing to ask is What? What do you look at? Win loss wise for this team? Do you see this is a bowl eligible team? I do see this is a bowl eligible team.
I know I've said a lot of teams could break out, but I think this is probably the biggest breakout team.
Their issue right now is.
Will the defense hold? They were nearly 100 last year in scoring defense.
Their their defense was beat up a little bit, to say the least.
Granted, they did play teams such as All Burn in Wisconsin, and but those teams scored over combined 100 points against them and that obviously, fact they're a little bit into it.
But their defense has got to be better there.
Strength is there linebacking corpse.
Actually, they have their two leading tacklers, which is Mandela, Lawrence Berk, who's a redshirt senior, and Sapyta Phillips, who is a also a senior, a true senior back along with Sean Gamble in Ah 34 alignment, and then they have a new starter who I'm very high on.
In Matt Harmon, 6 ft four or 6 ft 5 £240 he's looks to be potentially a good pass rusher and then 34 scheme, Um, in terms of defensive backs.
They weren't too bad against the past last year.
Last year, they were one of the worst teams in the in the country against the run.
But against the past, they weren't horrible, and they returned.
Elvis Heinz, who was their second, are their second corner last year.
He steps into a bigger role, so I think I think they'll be fine at in the defensive backfield.
My question is the front seven and another thing to point out is they have a legitimate NFL prospect is a kicker Matthew Trickett, who's converted over 85% of his kicks.
Um, in his college career.
He's also done punting in a pinch pinch.
He does kick off and I believe it was in.
Rather, I can't remember exactly who's big board it was, but he was listed is like the third best available kicker for next year's draft, so it could potentially seen early, declaring kicker if I'm not mistaking he's had a few long field goals in his career.
Can't State as well? Yeah, he's.
He's by far and away the best kicker in the conference.
Um, here, let me e believe he hit it from 54.
I believe that's a long, but I could be wrong.
That might as long.
That might be a school record and Kent State as well.
I cannot find the log, but I do know this.
He's only missed one extra point. His career.
Last year, he was 29 of 34 on field goal attempts, a 29 field goals, which is, uh, he's made over to a game well, over to a game.
In fact, the kick and kick it.
And that's and all these games where they can stay.
Played so many close games last year, and oftentimes he was the difference by and winning by field.
We're winning by six points, so a solid Kent State team, golden flashes looking to make a run after being bowl eligible in getting that bowl win against Utah State last year.
I see them on their schedule.
I think Akron is a shoe in.
I think bowling Green is likely a win.
I think Eastern Michigan is likely a win, and then they play down the stretch their last three games at Buffalo at Miami, home against Ohio.
So I think there's a good chance they start out three, you know, and those last three games will really tell you where they finish.
Um, they obviously have to go out and win those first three games, but I think they have a solid shot.
I think they match up really well against Buffalo.
Um, I think Buffalo beats, um, but it will be a lot closer every game than you think.
I think Miami beats um, and then their last game at home against Ohio.
I think it's a true 50 50 toss up.
I see them going at least three and three of the ceiling of potentially five and one.
That's really good for this 10 state team, which has come so far.
This 10 states is now a force to be reckoned with in the Mid American ****pit's your five of Shaun Lewis.
Hey runs that flash fast offensive attack and Shaun Lewis, another guy just like Chris Creighton, who could be in line for a bigger job.
It's taken him a while, and there were a lot of people who thought he could have got fired at least before last year.
But he really started.
Put it all together.
He went six and six.
They won a ball game.
They had won their last four games.
And I think this year, with everything being a little different because of covered 19 I think they have a chance of legitimately surprised people.
Is this the best Golden Flashes team we've seen since Josh Cribbs was under center? No.
The Tree Archer team, actually, in 2013.
Was that three Archer Blank? Yeah, I'm drawing a blank. Yeah.
I believe that once, um, I'll have to figure that out.
I know. They went.
He was the He was the guy who ran the crazy 40 yard dash.
Yeah, I think you're right.
You know, it was 2012 actually, 2013 his senior.
He was kind of banged up a 2012.
He had over 2000 all purpose yards over 20 touchdowns And if I, uh, he was in the Heisman conversation that year? Yeah.
Obviously, it's gonna be hard.
Thio give that to, ah, Mac player.
But he was way he was playing.
He had numbers certainly worthy of it.
Yeah, well, thank you, Reese.
Any final thoughts on the Golden Flashes? I think that about sums it up.
I think there seems.
I think they have a good I think they have a good floor and they can shoot higher.
Okay, from they did go 11 and three and 2012.
So Okay, that would be That would be My expectation is the best year since then.
From there, we'll go into the Western Michigan Broncos who last year they were a good team.
They just ran into a lot of competition in the West.
I was able to do a little bit of research on this.
I saw them play last year against the Bowling green Falcons and another dismantling, uh, when I was on top of the athletic complex at Waldo Stadium in the rain with Hayden Kincaid.
That was a fun game, freezing cold, not as cold as when I was down in Miami, but ah, we'll just start out here a little bit.
Western Michigan is a middle of the pack team with a favorable second half schedule.
I say that because it's Week one.
They will play the Akron zips and I see no way Akron scores more than about seven points in this game.
So, uh, we'll move on.
Sorry, I'd agree with that assessment.
And Charlie, I wanna talk to you a little bit about this.
They'll play, uh, Toledo in Week two.
We'll get to Toledo in a little bit, but I have this one as a close loss to the Rockets.
And then they'll play CMU.
But thes Toledo in Western Michigan, I think, are the most comparable team in the Mac West.
Yeah, I mean, both teams have a very strong defense.
Is if you look at the back field of those? Defense is both have those safeties and cornerbacks that have just been for the past two years breaking records in both the Mac and the N.
I think really that James going to come down to those defense's, especially for Toledo, like they're still trying to rebuild a little bit of that offense since, especially Kareem Hunt left and that 2017 Mac championship push.
And for Western, there's still there's still really fighting.
I mean, they're a good team, but I think that it will really come down to those two defense's from there.
They'll go on to play Central Michigan, the defending Mac champions, Andi.
That's a big rivalry game between the Broncos and the chips.
I just It's gonna be played close, but Central Michigan's gonna pull away.
But that's when this, that's when the schedule will help them.
They're gonna play three straight games against Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan in Ball State and with their redshirt sop****re quarterback, Caleb L.
B, who was picked as a preseason All Mac.
That's gonna be three big games.
We're going to see the Broncos back to a bowl game this season, and I was a little bit about L.
He's more of a pocket passer, which is not, which is what we've seen.
Kind of go to sense. P.
Fleck was there in the row the boat era of Broncos football, and he's gonna have his senior white out, Uh, Dwayne Eskridge eyes really gonna help them out there.
I think this passing offense might be one of the better in the Mac.
Just foreshadowed in the Mac west by Central Michigan.
Are you still with us? I think he is.
Um I mean, talking about that defense, though, Jacob, uh, I was just kind of looking through it real quick and really Well, name that's stands out to me is Bryce Gardner.
Um, that that safety position and really that backfield of that defense, I think with him.
And you have? Oh, I can't think of his name, but they're cornerback.
Those to really start toe build up that Broncos defense.
And I just wanted, like, what do you like? What other components does this Broncos defense need to fully add in you? Ah, do that being successful.
Well, they lost a few guys up front.
I I'm not gonna lie.
I had This was kind of a quick thing I had to do this morning.
Uh, they've lost a line linebacker as well as, uh, defensive lineman.
So they're run defense is gonna be a bit down from what we're used to seeing out of the Broncos.
I don't think that's gonna bother them that much.
I think they are a very solid defensive team.
I think the issue is gonna be their offense in the first few.
Well, pardon me first few games, but their best returning running back is Sean Tyler, who last year ran for 390 yards and five touchdowns.
But I think you see him as your number one running back.
You're going to see that kind of move forward, and we're going to see a bit of a changing of the car.
The guard there.
Also, since you were talking about that offense. Sorry.
Um, the wide receiver Eskridge, that red shirt senior he didn't play like at all last year after getting injured.
Uh, do you see him starting at all for this offense? Well, from the depth chart I found, which was an unofficial depth chart, he was listed as the number one receiver.
Um, I would not be surprised to see him come in with a vengeance and try to just get back Thio where he was, Uh, he's a very speedy receiver.
He's a guy that I believe that could be a difference maker in a lot of these close games.
That's about all I have on Western Michigan.
It was really hard to find a lot of information on a few of these teams.
No one has published any game notes yet.
Even with the season starting in three days.
I think a lot of that has to do with Kobe 19 and everything as well.
There's only so much you convert **** for a team when you don't know what the season is gonna look like again.
Every team I we I we said it during high school games.
We say it during when we watch professional games and now even collegiate athletics.
Now that Big 10 is back, the Pac 12 will be back this week.
You know, you sit there and you say every game you have to take is a gift.
Every single game.
You have to take us again because you never know when it's gonna be gone.
And I I think I talked about it in an article that was posted on BG Falcon Media's website, a swell as one that Hayden Kincaid posted on there.
But in a season where you have no idea that you didn't, you didn't know it was going to get played.
You have no idea whether or not the season's gonna make it all the way through.
This is a season where you have to take everything and accept and appreciate every single game.
And I think that's the reason why it's so tough to predict everything going on in the Mac right now.
I mean, we're doing our best to sit here and predict everything going on, but I I don't know, Not with what with this season and the way it's going, we'll see how it ends up and that that does make this a little bit tough.
But like I said, Western Michigan is that middle of the pack team that I think can make a move in the West.
From there, we'll go to the ball. ST.
Cardinals and Reese Lannin Ah,