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Bowling Green 32 ... at Idaho 15

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 1, 2011


Week 1 CFN Fearless Prediction - Bowling Green at Idaho

2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 1 - Bowling Green at Idaho

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Sept. 1 Bowling Green 32 … at Idaho 15
CFN Analysis: Bowling Green showed off … a running game? By far, the Falcons had the worst ground game in America last season, but they actually got it going a little bit on the ground with 187 yards with Anthony Samuel doing a terrific job with 141 yards, including a 52-yard dash to match the same amount of rushing yards that Idaho came up with. The passing attack was supposed to be able to blow up against the Vandals, and everyone else on the slate, and while Matt Schilz threw for 291 yards, the shocker was that Eugene Cooper came up with the big day receiving, with four catches for 110 yards and two scores, while Kamar Jorden caught four passes for 23 yards. With Morgan State and Wyoming up next, the Falcons should be able to better their two-win total of last year before starting off the MAC season at Miami.

The Idaho offense was a nightmare at home. This was a game the Vandals had to have to get off to a decent start, and while North Dakota is a winnable game, it’ll be tough sledding for a while if the O continues to be so awful. Bowling Green doesn’t have a killer D, but QB Brian Reader couldn’t figure it out completing 19-of-43 passes for 177 yards and two scores. There wasn’t any running game, and the receivers didn’t step up to help the cause with way too many dropped passes. The one positive was safety Gary Walker, who came up with 13 tackles and was all over the field. Now the defensive front seven has to start doing more.

(AP) MOSCOW, Idaho -- Matt Schilz and Eugene Cooper connected for two touchdown passes in the first quarter and Bowling Green rolled to a 32-15 victory over Idaho Thursday night in the teams' season opener.

Schilz found Cooper for scoring passes of 76 and 24 yards to lift the Falcons to a 14-7 lead. The Vandals had scored first on Brian Reader's 5-yard TD pass to Mike LaGrone.

Anthony Samuel ran for 141 yards and a touchdown for Bowling Green. The Falcons led 30-7 at halftime and ran the clock for most of the rest of the way, owning better than a 2-1 edge in time of possession for the game. Idaho managed just 52 rushing yards.

The schools last met in the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, which Idaho won 43-42.

Bowling Green (0-0) vs. Idaho (0-0) Sept. 1, 9:00 ESPN3
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Here’s The Deal … These two played one of the best bowl games in the last several years with Idaho winning the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl in a 43-42 thriller. Can the two possibly recreate the magic? If nothing else, this is a huge game for both teams with the winner needing a win to possibly be on the way to a bowl game.

The Vandals get a possible layup ahead against North Dakota, and there are several winnable WAC games ahead, but they could use the home win with just five more dates left in the dome. The Falcons, who are coming off a rough 2-10 season, get home games against Morgan State and Wyoming next before going on the road for three weeks. A win on the road would show that this is a new year with the team rebounded, and it would be a nice moment for the MAC, who isn’t used to winning non-conference games in September.

If nothing else, the passes should be flying around with the Falcon air show about to get back to 2009 levels while Idaho, who finished 10th in the nation in passing, should keep on bombing. It’ll be a shock if this isn’t a fun shootout.

Why Bowling Green Might Win: Can the Idaho running game do much of anything? After finishing 118th in the nation on the ground, the Vandals have enough talent in the backfield to start doing more, but it'll be tough against a Falcon defensive front that might have issues up front, but has a fantastic linebacking corps. While the Idaho passing game should be excellent and it was more productive than Bowling Green's last year, but the Falcons have the better receivers and might be better equipped to come up in the clutch in a shootout. Idaho isn't going to run the ball, and the Falcons have a veteran, athletic secondary that should be able to do far more than it did last year.

Why Idaho Might Win: Can the Bowling Green running game do much of anything? Idaho’s run defense was a disaster last year, and the Falcons aren’t going to be able to take advantage with a ground game that doesn’t appear to be much better after finishing dead last in the nation. To win, the Falcons have to throw the ball and they have to outbomb the Vandals, but that could be a problem with the Idaho secondary one of the team’s most experienced areas. Once the pass rush started to improve last year, so did the pass defense, and while the Bowling Green offensive line is full of veterans, it’s not exactly a rock in pass protection. The Falcons were 107th in the nation in sacks allowed, and while things should be better, the line isn’t going to be appreciably stronger.

What To Watch Out For: The last thing these two teams need is to be without defensive stars, and they could both be missing their top linebackers. Idaho's Robert Siavii, the team's leading tackler last year is out for the season with a knee injury, while Bowling Green's Dwayne Woods, one of the MAC's best players, has been out throughout the offseason with an injury. Without these two players in the mix, will the two teams try to run the ball more? It won't matter as this game should be all about the quarterbacks, with Bowling Green's Matt Schilz looking to use this game to show improvement from last year, while Idaho's Brian Reader finally has the starting job to himself after spending years sitting behind Nathan Enderle.

What Will Happen: The two teams will combine for more than 600 passing yards, and while there will be some attempts to run the ball, this will quickly become all about who can make things happen through the air. Idaho should be a bit more effective at home and will get bit more production from the defensive front, but Schilz and receiver Kamar Jorden will hook up at least ten times.

CFN Prediction: Idaho 38 ... Bowling Green 35
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: Idaho -7.5  O/U: 53.5
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