Wyoming 28 … at Bowling Green 27

Posted Sep 17, 2011

Week 3 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Wyoming at Bowling Green

2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 3 - Wyoming at BGSU

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Sept. 17 Wyoming 28 … at Bowling Green 27
CFN Analysis: COMING

(AP) BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- Bowling Green kicker Kyle Burkhardt missed a late game-tying extra point as Wyoming held on to win 28-27 on Saturday.

Trailing 28-14 late in the fourth quarter, Bowling Green's Matt Schilz threw touchdown passes on two consecutive drives. The first, a 32-yard strike to Kamar Jorden, and the second, to Ray Huston for 10 yards, drew the Falcons (2-1) within one. But Burkhardt missed the ensuing extra point with only three seconds remaining.

Brett Smith led the way for the Wyoming (3-0), connecting on a 10-yard pass to receiver Dominic Rufran to give the Cowboys a 28-14 lead.

Smith, the first true freshman to start for Wyoming since 1974, threw for 248 yards and two touchdowns and added 37 yards on the ground.

Schilz finished with 437 yards passing and four touchdowns in the loss.

The win marks the first 3-0 start for Wyoming since 1996. 

Wyoming (0-1) at Bowling Green (1-0) Sep. 17, 7:00, ESPN3.com

Here's The Deal … Now comes the litmus test. Both teams are coming off extremely comfortable wins against lesser competition, but this should be the stiffest test to date for both. It's almost as though the two are mirror images of each other with the majority of the offense being predicated on the spread attack, but with both showing a somewhat surprising running attack through the first two games.

The Falcons continued their early season dominance by destroying a hapless Morgan State team and appear to be clicking on all cylinders. They are ready to show the MAC, and Wyoming that they are a contender that needs to be taken seriously. Wyoming is also brimming with confidence by destroying poor ole Texas State after narrowly escaping in week one against Weber State. The two have only met once before with Bowling Green roping the Cowboys pride to the tune of 45-16 in 2008. Revenge will surely be on Wyoming's docket. One team will walk away with a continued swagger towards better things, while the loser could be brought back to the reality of where the two programs are as they head into conference play.

Why Wyoming Might Win: BGSU may have looked like world beaters through the first couple games of the season, but the reality is that the talent level of both teams is fairly close. For all of the troubles that Wyoming has had on defense the last couple of years, the extra year of experience seems to be making a difference- especially on the defensive line. The protection and holes that BGSU had to run its spread attack in the first two weeks, simply won't be there this time because of the push that the defensive line will get.

On the perimeter, what the Cowboy secondary lacks in size, it makes up for in speed and athleticism - a perfect elixir for stopping a spread aerial assault. If UW can control the line and back it up by locking down the Falcon receivers when they try to move the ball through the air, the Cowboys could walk out of Doyt Perry Stadium with a victory.

Why Bowling Green Might Win: Though the competition has not been that great, the Falcons have looked strong-real strong, and they have done it with a balanced attack on offense. The quarterback situation appears to be no longer a concern with Matt Schilz pulling the trigger on the 22nd ranked passing offense. And if that's not working, then the two-headed horse of freshman Anthon Samuel and sophomore Jordan Hopgood can get things going on the ground.

 The Cowboys will have to choose which part of the offensive attack to stop, and that may not be enough. Then there's that little issue with breaking in a new quarterback for Wyoming. Brett Smith has looked okay through the first couple of games, but on the road, in a hostile environment, he'll have to do more than blend in and not lose the game. That's a tall order for any freshman to live up to, and one that may be too big to overcome so early in a career.

What To Watch Out For: Matt Schilz, meet Josh Biezuns. Schilz appears to be coming into his own, and there is no question he's had plenty of help from his backfield mates through the first two games, but BGSU is going to eventually win on the arm of 6-2, 211-pound. sophomore. As a freshman, Schilz threw for over 2,200 yards, but struggled reading defenses and making plays when it mattered. That doesn't appear to be the case this year. He seems to have a firmer grasp on what the offense is doing and has completed 64.8% this year, up from 60.5% in 2010. Most importantly, Schilz has thrown seven touchdown passes against only one pick. He could be on the cusp of a landmark season and this game should showcase his growth as Wyoming will more than likely try to make the Falcons one dimensional..That is unless...

Biezuns has anything to say about it. For Wyoming, this game is all going to hinge on the play of the defensive line, and more specifically, the rush that they can get on the quarterback. The man that has a chance to breathe the life into the party is none other than the aforementioned senior defensive end. While he is undoubtedly a good all- around defensive lineman, Biezun's calling card is his ability to at get after the QB. There in lies the key. At some point in this game, the 6-2, 247-pound senior is going to need to get into the grill of Schilz and get him thinking twice in the pocket, and hopefully disrupt the confidence that seems to be growing with each game. The game will be more entertaining If Biezun can introduce himself to the sophomore quarterback a few times.

What Will Happen: Not yet. As in Wyoming is not quite ready to dance away from Northern Ohio with a victory. Don't be surprised if both teams have similar game plans, and move the ball up and down the field by spreading the defenses out and mixing in a balanced attack. The difference though, is going to be the play at quarterback. While Schilz is in his second year and beginning to come of age, Brett Smith is still wet behind the ears. Both teams will trade blows early on, but once things settle in, the QB for both teams are going to have to step up and make plays with their arm to win the game. Schilz will do it more often and lead his team to a semi-convincingly win to keep the Falcons on the the upward trajectory.

CFN Prediction: Bowling Green 34 … Wyoming 20
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: Bowling Green -9.5   O/U: 54.5

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