Its Bowl Day

Its a little last minute, but here are Coach Roy's thoughts heading into the <b>Motor City Bowl</b> against the <b>Falcons</b> of <b>Bowling Green</b> today...<br><br> Yeah, usually its an Intel report, but the coach's thoughts on this game have been truly random...


Random Thoughts before only our 5th Bowl....
So far it seems we've had a lot of mismatches in the bowls [I'll admit I'venot been paying a lot of attention], but its seems that Ben Rothlisberger has played his final college game. Comparing the play of Bowling Green against the Miami team and our game against the Red Hawks, has established NU, the Big 10 entrant, as a 7+ point underdog.

Another interesting sidelight is that we're facing another former NU assistant who is now coaching in the MAC. BGSU's Head man Gregg Brandon was the WR coach and recruiting coordinator for NU during the Barnett era.

He also likes, and runs the spread.


I've checked the "official" two deep, there are no big changes, just Roger Jordan resuming his starting slot at X-Receiver. The Cats are still showing 2 RBs and 2 WRs with Kunle Patrick, Mark Philmore and Shaun Herbert at the H-Receiver. Brandon Horn is the guy on rotation with Jordan, as usual.

What all this shuffling means is that Bret Basanez has his receivers back...the guys he's used to get all that 1858 yards passing. Even with the missed games [Jordan missed 2, Philmore 4] the two returning wide outs are 2 and 3 on the total receiving list and don't forget that Jordan averaged 14.5 per carry and 43+ yds per game.

Philmore also averaged 9.2 yards per catch in his previous 8 games.


On the receivers, I suspect that we won't see a lot of new wrinkles in the pass routes from new WR Coach Garrick McGee, but you might see some new wrinkles in shaking coverages.

Kevin Johns probably has the easiest job here, he just has to keep Jason Wright and Noah Herron [and maybe the 'rells] running north-south as NU plays a ball control game.


Everyone will be talking about BGSU QB Josh Harris who first emerged as a star against our Wildcats in 2001, but the Falcon we also need to contain is Running Back P.J. Pope.

He's their rushing leader, right ahead of Harris. The two provide a 1-2 punch that should remind Cat fans of the old Zak Attack when DA2 [Damien Anderson] was running well. The good news is that any Junior or Senior on the Wildcats remembers Harris.

More good news is that anyone who was on the defensive Scout Team over the past few years should know how to stop the BGSU attack.


As of yesterday's stories, Louis Ayeni probably won't play much. The Cats will also miss Torri Stuckey. But I somehow think that D-Back Coach Jerry Brown will figure out how to shuffle the guys to get the coverage right. Speedy Brian Heinz, who had 2 picks in the last game will start for Stuckey, with Ayeni's status determined at game time

The big contain will be on the two BGSU WR's at the top of their receiving list;  Cole Magner and Charles Sharon. They have as much yardage receiving [1835 yards] as NU's total pass offense. 11 of their receivers average over 10 yards per catch. Jeff Backes and Marvin Ward could be in for a long day.

And this guy Harris is a Ben R on the run. While the coverage is important, an even bigger challenge will be to  "clock" Josh Harris early and often. The BGSU O-Line prides itself on allowing only 21 Sacks during the season, 3rd lowest in the MAC. Big question: are the pass rushes in the MAC tougher than in the Big 10? Guess we'll know this afternoon.

NU's Pat Durr, Loren Howard and Colby Clark have their work cut out today. Barry Cofield will get to show his speed and so will Tim McGarigle -- the NU Defense will be on display and as long as they only bend, NU is in good shape.


The last time we played BGSU, we lost 43-42 score on a last minute TD and some trickery. Honestly, I don't expect a shootout this time.

First off, NU can't afford to get in a scoring contest with BGSU, they have the tools to answer anything we do offensively. Second, the Falcons haven't shown the ability to come back on teams this year. We have to look towards our Ball Control game as being critical.

Against the last MAC team we played, and our common opponent, Miami of Ohio, we had a different front 5. Look for Basanez to have a little more time to throw the ball as the 4 upperclassmen up front can work against the BGSU defense without worrying about snapping the ball. Matt Ulrich and Ikechuku Ndukwe can contain the center rush and leave Trevor Rees free to get the snap off and take out the middle linebackers.

The Falcons have already noticed Trai Essex and they probably have figured out that Zach Strief is no slouch either. The trick is picking up the extra guy who is coming on the rush. Don't kid yourself, both teams will have been studying the NU-Miami game. That 60 minutes showed our defensive weakness against the spread, and how to slow down our passing game.

But every team that has beaten the Falcons has done it by controlling the football. At Illinois, the Wildcats proved they could smash the ball up and down the field behind our big guys. As we say, It all starts with the Offensive Line.

And that's how it will go for the Cats in the Motor City Bowl...

-- da Coach

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So far it seems we've had a lot of mismatches in the bowls [I'll admit I'venot been paying a lot of attention], but its seems that has played his final college game. Comparing the play of against the team and our game against the Red Hawks, has established NU, the Big 10 entrant, as a 7+ point underdog.

Another interesting sidelight is that we're facing another former NU assistant who is now coaching in the MAC. BGSU's Head man was the WR coach and recruiting coordinator for NU during the Barnett era.

He also likes, and runs the spread.
I've checked the \"official\" two deep, there are no big changes, just resuming his starting slot at X-Receiver. The Cats are still showing 2 RBs and 2 WRs with , and at the H-Receiver. is the guy on rotation with Jordan, as usual.

What all this shuffling means is that has his receivers back...the guys he's used to get all that 1858 yards passing. Even with the missed games [Jordan missed 2, Philmore 4] the two returning wide outs are 2 and 3 on the total receiving list and don't forget that Jordan averaged 14.5 per carry and 43+ yds per game.

Philmore also averaged 9.2 yards per catch in his previous 8 games.
On the receivers, I suspect that we won't see a lot of new wrinkles in the pass routes from new WR Coach , but you might see some new wrinkles in shaking coverages.

probably has the easiest job here, he just has to keep and [and maybe the 'rells] running north-south as NU plays a ball control game.
Everyone will be talking about BGSU QB who first emerged as a star against our in 2001, but the we also need to contain is Running Back .

He's their rushing leader, right ahead of . The two provide a 1-2 punch that should remind fans of the old when [Damien Anderson] was running well. The good news is that any Junior or Senior on the remembers Harris.

More good news is that anyone who was on the over the past few years should know how to stop the attack.
As of yesterday's stories, probably won't play much. The will also miss . But I somehow think that D-Back Coach will figure out how to shuffle the guys to get the coverage right. Speedy , who had 2 picks in the last game will start for , with 's status determined at game time

The big contain will be on the two BGSU WR's at the top of their receiving list;  and . They have as much yardage receiving [1835 yards] as NU's total pass offense. 11 of their receivers average over 10 yards per catch. and could be in for a long day.

And this guy is a on the run. While the coverage is important, an even bigger challenge will be to  \"clock\" early and often. The BGSU O-Line prides itself on allowing only 21 Sacks during the season, 3rd lowest in the MAC. Big question: are the pass rushes in the MAC tougher than in the Big 10?

NU's and have their work cut out today. will get to show his speed and so will the NU Defense will be on display and as long as they only bend, NU is in good shape.
The last time we played , we lost 43-42 score on a last minute TD and some trickery. Honestly, I don't expect a shootout this time.

First off, NU can't afford to get in a scoring contest with BGSU, they have the tools to answer anything we do offensively. Second, the haven't shown the ability to come back on teams this year. We have to look towards our Ball Control game as being critical.

Against the last MAC team we played, and our common opponent, , we had a different front 5. Look for Basanez to have a little more time to throw the ball as the 4 upperclassmen up front can work against the BGSU defense without worrying about snapping the ball. and can contain the center rush and leave free to get the snap off and take out the middle linebackers.

The Falcons have already noticed and they probably have figured out that is no slouch either. The trick is picking up the extra guy who is coming on the rush. Don't kid yourself, both teams will have been studying the game. That 60 minutes showed our defensive weakness against the spread, and how to slow down our passing game.

But every team that has beaten the has done it by controlling the football. At , the proved they could smash the ball up and down the field behind our big guys. As we say,

And that's how it will go for the Cats in the Motor City Bowl...

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