On offense, the Falcons will have to run the ball better if they want to make a difference, said Bowling Green State University head coach Scot Loeffler.

The Falcons have averaged just 47.2 yards on the ground per game and 1.7 yards per carry. It became even more vital in last week’s 27-20 Mid-American Conference loss at Kent State.

“I hope to be able to run it better. We got in a situation that this was a team that we played last week was a high-powered offense, and we had to try to keep up with. There were some times in the second half we should have ran it a few more times,” Loeffler said.

“In those situations, we got to do what we do well, and right now it’s (senior quarterback) Matt (McDonald) throwing the football to these wide receivers. Trust me, there’s nothing harder than calling a game like that. It’s uncomfortable. It’s not how we were trained to win football games.

“We’re trained to run the football, play-action pass and obviously your passing game needs to be efficient to handle the zone pressures. All the pressures that occurred to stop the running game, but we’re going to keep working on it, keep trying, and hopefully, in the next 53 days we’ve made some progress.

“Will we be where we want to be? I don’t know. But we need to make progress and we need to keep moving the needle of the program.”

Loeffler grew up in the Akron area, so when the Zips arrive, this game means a lot to him, but he said no more than any other game.

“Every opponent, doing this as long as we’ve done this, doesn’t matter if you’re playing Michigan, a I-AA (FCS) team, your preparation doesn’t change, your mindset doesn’t change,” Loeffler said. “You work really hard during that week to give your kids a chance.”

The BGSU coach added that he will be glad to be playing at Doyt Perry Stadium after two straight road games.

“I’m glad we’re back home. This week we need to have the best preparation we’ve ever had. I challenged our team. We’re not going to learn overnight,” Loeffler said.

“Day to day, just try to keep upgrading and keep moving that needle of elite actions during the week to get rid of these self-inflicted wounds. I think the most positive thing that came out of Saturday was they watched the tape, and they saw those wounds, and they’re buying into the process because they see that it works in terms of their having some success.

“Now they realize, OK, every single thing does matter. That’s what mature or teams do and just like I said, I love this crew. I love this group of coaches, I love this group of players, and we just got to keep teaching, keep parenting and keep moving the needle.”