To get some expert insight on the Cowboys next opponent the Bowling Green Falcons we enlisted the help of a fellow SB Nation site. Matt Sussman runs the MAC site Hustle Belt which covers the entire conference thanks to his small army of writers. It's basically one stop shopping for the latest on the MAC which has had several surprise teams so far.
I've also answered questions for Matt which he will post up on his site later so be sure to check those out. This is definitely an intriguing game for both teams and should see plenty of scoring. I've posted a couple thoughts on his answers at the bottom.
1. First off Wyoming and Bowling Green both have brown as one of their school colors. How do fans from other MAC schools react to the orange and brown combo? Any special story in how the school colors were chosen?
It's daring and different. You'll have most of your contingency who say that it's an ugly color scheme. Orange was always my favorite color so maybe that's why I gravitated there. I once had a friend (a rival Toledo fan) who said that brown was the color of poo. He was a Cleveland Browns fan, and after quickly reminding him of this, there was a retraction from him. But the origin of the orange/brown color scheme was because some professor in the 1910s saw a woman with an orange/brown hat and loved the scheme. The Falcons mascot came later, but the peregrine falcon is orange and brown, so it's a perfect fit.
2. Is the strong start to 2011 a total surprise or was this somehow expected after a 2-10 season?
I knew they were better than 2-10. Four of those losses were decided in the final minute or play — and to some decent teams (Troy, Temple, Miami) along with a bad one (Buffalo). Their schedule wasn't much favorable this year, but the Idaho win was a complete surprise to me. What's most astonishing is not that they're winning, but that their running game is so much better even by replacing senior Willie Geter with freshman Anthon Samuel. BG had as many ground yards as a team as Terrelle Pryor.
It's not Cooper — he's one of their primary weapons and a dangerous punt returner, but I still think Kamar Jorden is more talented as a receiver and Cooper is more of a slot guy. I haven't seen Samuel enough to say he's your man to game for (although he's been very impressive), so that leaves Schilz, which is probably the right answer of the three. He had a terrible 2010 (which was also marked by injuries) but he still had a great amount of passing yards, so if he stays healthy, the sky's the limit for him. But I maintain that the BG offensive line is their greatest asset. When that broke down last year, everything else went south. Get to them and the rest falls into place.
4. What type of scheme does the defense run and who should we look out for?
The defense is a 4-2-5 scheme, and I still feel this is their weak point, but they're opportunistic. The prototypical bend-but-don't-break unit. Last year they had four interception-return-for-TDs, which you don't see out of a 2-10 team. This year Chris Jones on the defensive line is someone to slow down, and rover Boo Boo Gates is starting to emerge as someone who can cause some big plays, while cornerback Cameron Truss is turning into a decent cover-corner. And finally but not least, linebacker Dwayne Woods is going to be basically everywhere.
5. Is there anything about the Wyoming offense or defense that concerns you?
That running game scares me. Morgan State didn't do much right at BG but they were able to move the ball. I think BG's front four can get bullied around. Maybe it's my pessimism leaking over from the last 10 years, but that seems to hold true. I haven't seen Wyoming play but I do have access to stats and it looks like they've been distributing the wealth in the backfield between a few guys. That's the kind of depth that just may wear down a defensive unit like BG. We might see a bunch of points everywhere.
Predict the score!
BGSU 38, Wyoming 35. Welcome back, Gregg Brandon!
Reaction: No matter what the real winner here is the color brown - Brown and Gold vs Brown and Orange. The Falcons certainly have a potent offense that can hurt you multiple ways. The weakness on defense is a starting point and Wyoming should be able to exploit the 4-2-5 just like they did against Texas State. I love that Bowling Green fans are so excited to have Brandon back home for this game. Certainly makes me feel even better about the hire and that they were happy with the job he did there.
It certainly appears that a high scoring game is in the cards for Saturday. I just hope the scores are swapped from his prediction.