Matt Johnson may have an unassuming name, but the Bowling Green quarterback has made a name for himself on the field.
Johnson, a sophomore, was named the MAC East Player of the Week for the second time this season after a great performance against Murray State. He was 19-22 for 244 yards and two touchdowns in the Falcons’ rout. On the season, Johnson has already thrown for 1000 yards and four touchdowns. With Johnson on the field, Bowling Green has become one of the favorites in the MAC East.
With how well Johnson has played, one may forget that the starting job wasn’t even his at the start of the season. Another Matt, fifth year senior Matt Schilz, was expected to win the starting job over the sophomore. Schilz did win the job, but lost it almost immediately. Schilz was pulled after throwing only 4 passes against Tulsa in the season opener. The stage was set for Johnson to succeed, and he has greatly exceeded expectations so far.
After Johnson replaced Schilz, John Wagner suggested that Johnson didn’t need to be more than a “game manager” because of the strength of the Falcons’ defense. The defense has only given up 19.5 points per game, and throwing out the 41-22 drubbing by Indiana, Bowling Green is only allowing 8 points per game. Johnson, however, has been better than just a game manager by being the best offensive player in the MAC East so far this season.
If Johnson continues to perform well, the Falcons are in position to compete to win their first MAC title since 1992. The success of Bowling Green likely rests on the “game manager” shoulders.