- Bowling Green’s offense is led by quarterback Matt Schilz, who finished last season with 3,024 yards (59.5%; 28-13). The coaching staff was impressed with Schilz’s maturation last year, especially involving his foot work that helped avoid several sacks and turned negative yardage into positive gains.
- Schilz is supported by an excellent backfield led by Anthon Samuel, who became Bowling Green’s first freshman running back to eclipse 800 yards in a season. With all three backs returning from last season, the Falcons clearly have one of the best backfields in the MAC.
- Schilz and his backfield also benefit from a solid offensive line that has 72 career starts and includes six players who saw playing time in 2011.
- Head coach Dave Clawson, who is a two-time IAA National Coach of the Year, welcomes his best defensive line and and set of linebackers in four years. Bowling Green’s defensive line returns nine of its top tacklers, including 1st Team MAC Chris Jones.
- Bowling Green’s linebackers are extremely athletic and possess unlimited playmaking ability. This unit returns fully intact led by 1st Team MAC candidate Dwayne Woods.
With excellent special teams led by punter Brian Schmiedebusch (40.6 net), the Falcons are my pick to win the MAC Title. I also like the fact that Bowling Green has 17 returning starters and was -13 in turnovers last season, both of which indicate a solid season in 2012.