This week I did a Q&A with BJ of FalconBlog. My answers are on his blog. Thanks to BJ for his time, enjoy
TKP: Okay, the Falcon's scoring offense is one of the worst in the country (16.7 ppg). What were the offensive expectations going into the season? Is there any particular reason for these struggles?
O&B: Well, one thing is that when you watch the game on Saturday, you won't be seeing the 116th best offense in the country. You might see the 70th but you aren't going to see the 116th. The team has struggled for a few reasons: pre-snap penalties, dropped passes and missed FGs. You can at least do better on the first two. Anyway, our offensive expectations were to be better than this, and while the running game has been pretty satisfying, we're disappointed with the passing game, especially the conservative playcalling.
TKP: MACtion is it's own little cult fan favorite. Do the Falcons run a spread attack? If so, what kind? If not, what offense do they run?
O&B: After several years in the Meyer/Brandon era where the spread was our identity, we don't play a true spread now. Talk to someone from Knoxville and they will tell you we run Clawfense. Coach says he isn't a "system" guy--he just wants to get the ball to playmakers in space. We run a lot of slants, and I think you'd be closer to thinking of it as a West Coast attack then a spread, though there are plenty of empty sets. We also have TEs and FBs.
TKP: Who is the biggest weapon on this offense? Is that person someone I should be afraid of?
O&B: Our biggest weapon is Anthon Samuel, our TB. He was MAC Freshman of the Year last year and is off to an excellent start this season. A true SO, he is deceptive. He looks stiff and not particularly fast, but he is a dangerous runner who can break one at any time. As for outright fear, you know, he's not Barry Sanders, but he can hurt you given even a small crease.
TKP: The Falcons have been respectable on D thus far, where are the holes (if any), and how will the Hokies find success attacking it?
O&B: The hole in the defense is in the passing game. BG has worked very hard to defend the run and has improved on that front, but both Idaho and Toledo torched our secondary. If I were the Hokies, I would come out blazing and try to get a couple big plays and then force BG's offense to open up a little.
TKP: You guys played a heck of a game (especially the first 3 quarters) against Florida. What did Bowling Green do so well in those three quarters? Do you think they can replicate that on Saturday and give the Hokies a run? (which, by the way, is not out of the question).
O&B: I think the Falcons are capable of playing better than they did against Florida. Even in that game BG had dropped passes and missed kicks that could have made the game even more competitive. I think BG is capable of being very competitive in Blacksburg Saturday, though we have not seen that in the past couple of games. Two other things. First, we would, by the way, have preferred to play you after a win not a bad loss, but what can you do? Second, if we marshall a great performance I would prefer it had been last week.
TKP: So I've gone on record as to saying that Hokie football brings two things: bourbon and beer. To me, there is really no alternative whilst tailgating. What's the tailgating scene like at Bowling Green? Also, what is your drink of choice while taking in a Falcons game?
O&B: BG has a good tailgating environment. I'd say significant numbers of our fans tailgate and there is a definite community atmosphere out there. It is impossible to separate the two in the football culture. My drink of choice is an ice cold beer, unless the weather gets cold, and then you need something brown.
TKP: Lastly, what is your score prediction for this game?
O&B: BG's margin of defeat has been 14 and 17 points in our previous two trips to Blacksburg. I'm going to say Hokies 31, BG 14.