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Bowling Green head coach Scot Loeffler: “I think J.J. is outstanding.”

The former Michigan Wolverine was very honest and complimentary about Saturday’s game in the Big House.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 26 Quick Lane Bowl Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bowling Green head coach — and Michigan alum — Scot Loeffler addressed the media on Monday ahead of this weekend’s game between the Falcons and Wolverines. Loeffler is 14-30 as the head man at Bowling Green but has slowly returned the program to respectability.

Last season, the Falcons finished 6-7 and reached a bowl game for the first time since 2015. Currently, Bowling Green is 1-1 on the year and is looking to play spoiler in Ann Arbor.

After a thoughtful opening remarking on the anniversary of 9/11, Loeffler dove into the Michigan Wolverines.

“We’ve watched all the Michigan film. They’re a Playoff team. Coach Harbaugh and his staff, I really believe, done a wonderful job recruiting some of the best talent that I’ve seen at Michigan. They’re super well-coached, they’re developed, and most importantly they play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. They play with great effort and great technique, so we’ve got our hands full. We look forward to the challenge, super excited for our kids to go into that great stadium and compete versus a national championship type of team.”

When asked about his emotions regarding his return to Michigan, Loeffler embraces the foundation that he laid during his time as a Wolverine player and coach.

“...There’s a lot of guys on our staff that had the opportunity to go to Michigan and the way that we look at it is we’re super grateful for giving us an opportunity to earn a degree; super grateful to got to play a game that we love; tremendously grateful for all the relationships that we have from that place. And you know I say this all the time and I learned this from Gary Mohler the first week I was in camp. He said, ‘You’ll never be able to repay Michigan back from what Michigan’s going to do for you.’ And that’s the message that we try to teach our players here. I mean our players are never going to be able to repay back Bowling Green for what Bowling Green is going to do for them. So, with all the transfer portal, with all the NIL, at the end of the day, the things that are important in college football still are education, playing as a team, playing a game that we love, and the relationships that we build. And then obviously winning championships.”

Loeffler was very complimentary of the Wolverines when discussing the opportunity to face the No. 2 ranked team in the country —the highest-ranked team Bowling Green has ever faced.

“Yeah they’re good, they’re great. Just like I said at the beginning there’s not a position on the field that you see that has weakness. I think they’re way better than they were last year. I think they’re physical. I think they run to the ball really well. They’re violent, super athletic. I think J.J. (McCarthy) is outstanding. The offensive line reminds me of the five that we had in 1999 that all went in the first round. They’re a very good football team and very well-coached. And the thing that’s most impressive is how they play, they play hard. And we’ve got to go in there we’ve got to play our best football. We’ve got to be creative. There’s some mismatch problems that we’re going to have and we’ve got to be able to adapt and adjust to all their strengths and do what we do well, try to eliminate a couple things that they do excellent, and go give ourselves a chance to go compete.”

Loeffler —a former quarterback coach at U-M (2002-2007)— went deeper into his assessment of J.J. McCarthy.

“He’s really good. He’s really come a long way, too. I think the quarterback coach, and obviously Coach Harbaugh being a quarterback guy, has done an excellent job with him. He’s got a lot of weapons around him. The running game is ridiculous, the offensive line is their strength without a doubt, and J.J. can sit back there and whenever you watch him it’s like Skelly (pass skeleton). I mean literally. They protect really well. The receivers do a great job of creating separation. They find the holes in the zones they, they create separation in man coverage. And he’s (McCarthy) accurate and athletic and he can make plays with his feet. And yeah, he’s one of those special ones at that position. There’s no question about that and he’ll follow those great quarterbacks that walked through those doors.”

When asked about stopping the Wolverines, Loeffler recognizes that forcing them to be one-dimensional is the goal, but it’s never that easy.

“You know whenever you can stop the run game, which is a challenge in itself. They get into 12-personnel and 22-personnel, and they go back to some old-school NFL power-style runs that, to be quite honest with you, not a lot of people run anymore. And they’re hard to fit and so you gotta try to slow down their run game and try to get them in a situation where it’s at least a one-dimensional game.”

Loeffler detailed the diverse and explosive secondary of the Wolverines.

“Yeah, and they’re not even playing. I don’t think the two All-Americans have stepped on the field yet. They’re loaded in the back end, that’s what’s impressive. You know up front they’re powerful. They play with their hands really well, the linebackers can run, but their secondary I think is one of the better secondaries that I’ve ever seen and we’ve had, when I was there, some excellent, excellent guys in the back end. I think they’re as talented as they’ve had there.”