BOWLING GREEN — When teams play a rivalry game, coaches talk about “throwing out the numbers” when analyzing the match-up. The Bowling Green State University football team will play a rivalry game today when it plays host to Miami at Doyt Perry Stadium at 3:30 p.m.
But Falcons coach Dave Clawson has a different reason for “throwing out” the RedHawks’ numbers.
“In some ways, I look at them as an undefeated team,” Clawson said of Miami, which is 3-3 this year. “Their three losses are to an undefeated Ohio State, an undefeated Cincinnati, and a nationally ranked Boise State.
“Their schedule has been very, very difficult. You can’t just look at the numbers: You have to look at who they have played.”
That tough schedule has skewed the RedHawks’ statistics, particularly on offense. In their three victories they have averaged 483 yards of total offense and 37.6 points per game; the three losses have netted an average of just 306 yards 12 points per contest.
A key to Miami’s offense has been senior quarterback Zac Dysert, who has completed 150-of-236 passes for 1,716 yards and 13 touchdowns while running for 196 more yards and another TD.
“He can make every throw, he’s playing with more composure, and he looks more comfortable in their offense than he did a year ago,” Clawson said of Dysert. “Their skill players also are outstanding — they have depth at receiver, and they have guys who can make plays.”
Dysert torched Akron for 516 yards and six touchdowns two weeks ago, and his 303-yard effort in a loss at Cincinnati last week pushed him over 10,000 career passing yards, making him one of 78 FBS quarterbacks to surpass that plateau.
“He’s going into his second year of this program, and he has a much better feel for what we’re asking him to do,” Miami coach Don Treadwell said. “And there’s a comfort level with what we’re asking of him.
“He has had three offensive systems and three head coaches in his five years, so for him to turn the corner and step up his performance is a credit to him. He’s really had to overcome a lot.”
The numbers for the Miami defense also are distorted by the schedule, although the RedHawks did give up 49 points and 446 yards of total offense in their shootout win over the Zips. They rank 110th in scoring defense (37.67 points per game), 115th in rushing defense (242.67 yards per game) and 92nd in passing defense (259.83 yards per game).
While Treadwell said his team has played a tough schedule at times this year, he also said the RedHawks won’t be the only team at Doyt Perry Stadium to have gone through such a meat-grinder.
“Bowling Green, like us, has played a challenging nonconference schedule,” he said. “And you have to rebound from those types of games and continue to move forward.”
Contact John Wagner at: firstname.lastname@example.org 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade