Bowling Green: Writers Choice

3/28/14 in NCAAF   |   cteague   |   3 respect

Dec 6, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Bowling Green Falcons running back Travis Greene (13) celebrates with quarterback Matt Johnson after a touchdown during the third quarter against the Northern Illinois Huskies at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY SportsAll preseason when discussing the Bowling Green football team people including myself have talked about quarterback Matt Johnson and the weapons he has on the perimeter. There are a few weapons that have a bigger impact on Johnson and they don’t catch the ball as often as his receivers.

Those weapons are the running backs Travis Greene, William Houston and Fred Coppet. All three of these backs were in the backfield as Falcons for the first time last year. Greene was a receiver converted to running back with the Anthon Samuel transfer in 2013. Houston and Coppet were both freshman and touched the field for the first time in their collegiate careers.

Greene rushed for a school record 1,594 on 279 carries. I will do the math for you that is 5.7 yards a carry against some very good Mid-American Conference linebackers like Buffalo’s own Kahlil Mack. He was always known for his breakaway speed and that is something he showed very often on the field. What he began to gain later on in the season was the ability to run through tacklers and break tackles for long runs. Something you would not have expected from Greene earlier in the season. His ability to make people miss and make them look silly is still there and he does that very often as well.

Houston is not on the field enough to challenge Greene in the rushing yards record but he gets a lot of the glory. He only had 49 carries on the year for 211 years but finished with 11 touchdowns. The 262 pound running back is used specifically when the offense is one or two yards away from the end zone. He had eight touchdowns from one yard out and two from two yards out. He surprised the entire fan base when he broke away for a 44 yard touchdown run against Eastern Michigan last fall.

Last but not least Coppet he did not have the biggest year in 2013. He was the fourth running back on the depth chart and was a freshman but there were flashes of the brilliance Coppet can bring. His speed is second to nobody on the team and his ability to make people miss will be very beneficial to a team that will want to move very fast on the offensive end of the field.

The running backs will not be as important as they were when they had a more conservative coach in Dave Clawson. But, the running game is always important and Dino Babers knows he has too many weapons to ignore, expect big years from all three of these backs out of the backfield. Teams will either need to play the pass or load the box top stop the run either way the Falcons will be ready to exploit it and be the team to beat in the MAC.
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