• Coach: Dave Clawson, third season (9-16 record at school)

• Last season: 2-10, 1-7 (tied for fifth in MAC East)

Talent pool

Receiver Kamar Jorden caught 96 passes for 1,109 yards as a junior. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Matt Schilz is coming off a season in which he threw for 2,223 yards and eight touchdowns in 10 games. Four offensive linemen return, including guard Chip Robinson and right tackle Jordan Roussos. Linebacker Dwayne Woods is coming off a sophomore year in which he had 134 tackles, three forced fumbles and broke up seven passes to make all-conference.

Exclamation points

Defensive back Jerry Gates has been added to the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award, given to the nation's most versatile player. As a true freshman in 2010, he had 35 tackles, one forced fumble and intercepted a pass despite not being a starter. He averaged 24.4 yards on kickoff returns, including a 75-yarder for a touchdown against Kent State. He also returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown.

Question marks

Coaches were still shuffling defensive backs as of last week. Senior Keith Morgan was moved from strong safety to rover and redshirt freshmen Devon McKoy (cornerback) of Reynoldsburg and Ryland Ward (safety) of Brookhaven moved into the starting lineup. The defense was awful in 2010, allowing 33.6 points per game, 224.2 yards passing per game and a total of 25 touchdown passes. Clawson called the offensive line a "train wreck" last season.

Outlook

The Falcons went from a 7-6 record and a bowl game in 2009 to the cellar last season. But Clawson expected such, after losing a strong senior class recruited by predecessor Gregg Brandon. BG is in a rebuilding mode with only 14 seniors. Thirty players on the two-deep roster are freshmen or sophomores. The team is picked to finish fifth in the division.