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Report from NW Ohio: 4 Questions on Bowling Green

Here's a look ahead to Saturday's Bowling Green-at-UB game. We asked Toledo Blade reporter John Wagner for a quick update on mighty BG, two-time defending champ in the East Division of the Mid-American Conference. Here's a link to his work: http://www.toledoblade.com/BGSU

1. Please rank Bowling Green's three most dangerous weapons and what makes them special?

Well, I would rank QB Matt Johnson as the Falcons most dangerous weapon, but he's got his own question. And limiting me to three? Harsh. But here we go ...

In reverse order, I'd rank WR Gehrig Dieter third by an eyelash over fellow WRs Ronnie Moore and Ryan Burbrink. When Tennessee tried to double-team Roger Lewis, Dieter had a field day against the SEC team and has 19 catches for 256 yards this season. But Moore (29-312) also is runs the ball and even played defense at Purdue, while Burbrink (20-216) also is a dangerous punt returner.

In second I'd rank RB Travis Greene, who two seasons ago had 1,500 yards rushing. He can make people miss, even in a narrow hole, and has three rushing TDs. Fred Coppet gives the Falcons versatility at RB as well.

And in first I'd have to go with WR Roger Lewis, who in four games has caught 30 passes for 559 yards and five TDs. He is a threat to go the distance any time he catches the ball, and he's even done that against teams poised specifically to stop the long pass.

2. What are Matt Johnson's best strengths, and with him back is this BG team better than the 2013 squad?

Johnson's strengths include his ability to read a defense and get BG into the right read/play, his accuracy throwing the ball, and his leadership and toughness. But most important is his ability to just "make a play" when necessary, especially when things break down or the Falcons need to make something happen. As for if this squad is better than 2013 ... whoa. That's tough. I would say this: I would love to see this offense pitted against the 2013 defense, which was terrific.

3. What are the suspect areas of the BG defense? How have teams had success attacking them?

Well, the Falcons ranked among the worst defenses in the MAC last season, and a number of key players were lost. So there were questions all around the field on defense. BG has a new defensive coordinator, Brian Ward, who has done a good job shaping up this unit. It's tough to say how MAC schools will attack this unit, because several times (most notably Tennessee) they were simply out-muscled and out-talented. But there are a number of injuries in the secondary, so I would not be surprised if Buffalo threw the ball a lot against the Falcons.

4. We've been to Bowling Green, Ohio. We've walked around, hobnobbed, seen the sights. Nothing against the fine people of Northwestern Ohio, but we weren't impressed. Are we missing something? How is it that Dave Clawson and now Dino Babers have recruited so fabulously well?

I think the recruiting success has come because BG is a highly regarded school academically, especially for a state school, and the football team has a long history of success. Both of those coaches also are very charismatic, which helps lure athletes to the program. And it helps that Babers' style of offense will attract high school athletes who want to score touchdowns, especially in the passing game.

And don't dismiss the food, either. I'd would bring Campus Pollyeyes breadsticks for Saturday, but I know I would eat them before I even crossed the state line into Pennsylvania. There also are two terrific pizza shops in town called Myles and Pisanello's. I'm just scratching the surface, but here's the proof: I believe I only weighed 170 pounds when I took this beat, and let's just say I weigh a lot more than that now.

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