3. Can BGSU’s running backs exploit the Vols’ linebacker issues?
We talked about how Scot Loeffler’s system is a tempo-based Power I run-oriented offense. It’s super unique but also relies heavily on skilled running backs. If there’s one position where he has some real talent this year, it is at the running back position. Here is where he can find his mismatch to try to pull out a miracle.
Running back Andrew Clair has transferred to the Northwestern Wildcats, but last year’s leading rusher, Terion Stewart, is back. Loeffler also added freshman Jaison Patterson, who has been drawing a lot of praise throughout the offseason.
The combination of those two guys could help get something going against Tennessee football, but then there’s a bigger issue for the Vols that gives BGSU more confidence. UT has major issues at linebacker with Henry To’o To’o transferring to the Alabama Crimson Tide, Quavaris Crouch transferring to the Michigan State Spartans and J.J. Peterson and Martavius French in the portal.
Jeremy Banks and Juwan Mitchell will start there, but only Mitchell has any experience starting. If the running backs get into open space, will the linebackers be able to handle them? That’s a major factor in this game, as getting past the first line could result in lots of big plays if they can’t.