It’s that time of year again guys! We are just a few short days away from the Michigan State Spartans kicking off their season in style. Boy it feels good to be back in contact with all of our readers.
With it being so close to the start of the season it’s time we get our famous Q&A’s going again but before that happens I have one more thing for all of you.
A big fat GO GREEN!
Now we can get down to business. First up we have brought in The Hustle Belt, the SBNation site where you can find anything to do with the MAC conference. This week James Snyder has allowed me to pick his brain about the Bowling Green Falcons which will help our fans gain some perspective on what the Falcons are all about.
In 2015 the Falcons were led by Head Coach Dino Babers who in his second season led Bowling Green to conference and division championships on their way to the GoDaddy Bowl game. Unfortunately for Falcons fans Babers accepted a head coaching job at Syracuse prior to their bowl game which brings us to 2016 and 2017. New Head Coach Mike Jinks and the rest of his coaching staff went 4-8 (3-5 MAC) in their first year together. Where do you see Jinks taking this team in 2017?
In the MAC coaches poll the Falcons were picked to finish third in the East. That's pretty much right where I have them. Bowling Green took their lumps early in the season last year. It was partly because they faced Ohio State and some other tough teams and partly because Jinks was learning how to be a head coach. By the time the MAC season came around, they were a much better team and lost three games in a row by a single possession against 3 bowl teams. Since this is his second go around, I think Mike Jinks will have them much better prepared at the start of the season. I expect them to be a bowl team this season.
In your opinion who is Bowling Green's biggest threat offensively and defensively?
On offense, their wide receiver Scott Miller is a special player. Along with being a great receiver, some of his biggest games came against tough defenses. While technically not on defense, the biggest weapon the Falcons have to stop MSU is punter Joe Davidson. He has a huge leg and had a punt against Toledo that was 70+ yards and actually bounced sideways.He is also very adept at pinning teams inside the 10.
After a terrible 3-9 showing during the 2016 campaign the Spartans are obviously looking to redeem themselves this season. What would Bowling Green have to accomplish in order to prevent Michigan State from starting off the new season 1-0?
I think the key is softening the Spartan defense with long plays to Miller.
When previewing this game what are the key match-ups that you are seeing prior to kickoff?
The Falcons need to keep the Spartan defense from pinning back their eyes and playing in their backfield. They'll not only need to get big passing plays but also keep the Spartans honest with a solid running game. Cliche' I know, it's basically the same for every football game ever played. On the other side of the ball, the Falcons defensive front needs to keep Michigan State from imposing their will. A grinding running game would obviously help Brian Lewerke get comfortable.
As a freshman James Morgan threw for 2,082 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. What can fans expect to see during week one of his sophomore season?
That's the million dollar question. As a freshman, he certainly had some peaks and valleys. If he stays confident and makes good decisions, it will go a long way in helping the Falcons pull off the upset.
Prediction time: Final score? Who wins? and Why?
This game has more question marks than any other game I will be following this week. Heck, it might have more question marks than any game I have ever covered. How will Jinks do at the start of his second season? Does Dantonio have MSU back? What's Lewerke going to look like? Does Davidson suffer a bit of a sophomore slump or will did he vastly improve in the off-season? In all honesty, the only outcome I would be shocked with is Bowling Green blowing out the Spartans. Anything else is an option. I think Michigan State's superior athletes and home field advantage will wear out the Falcons in the second half, and they pull away 35-24.
Thanks again to James and everyone over at The Hustle Belt!