For the next installment in the pseudo-rivalry between the RedHawks and Falcons, Matt Sussman and thechuck_2112 swap queries on each other's teams, so they can better understand how to feel this weekend.
CHUCK, TO SUSS
1. The BG player that's stood out for me so far this season is Chris Jones. Back-to-back MAC Defensive POTW awards will do that. What do you think is Miami's best chance of stopping or containing him?
The whole defensive line has been terrific. I'm not a big X's/O's guy but I'd imagine some screen passes would help slow down the D-line. They almost *have* to try and run it with the understanding that it's just something you're supposed to do. Double-teaming him doesn't seem to be the way to go.
2. On the big stage this season, the RedHawks have been a first-half team: competitive with Ohio State, Boise State, and Cincinnati early on, but ripped to shreds in the second half. Do you think BG has a similar killer instinct that Miami should be on the lookout for?
Similar and opposite. BG's first half against Akron was atrocious and in the second half they looked like MAC champions. Most of this tenacity comes from the defensive side, which is still weird to say being accustomed to the spread game of Urbz and Gregg Brandon, but if the front seven is making big stops, that's a good sign.
3. Miami-Akron was a classic MACtion game reminding us of the glory days. But last week, the Falcons held the Zips to just 10 points and 300 yards of offense. What did Bowling Green do that Miami didn't, and how do you think that will translate to tomorrow's game?
A hell of a halftime adjustment, I'd say. Akron had something like 40 yards of offense in the second half and it all came on the final drive. They sacked the QB four times, and Akron came into the game with allowing just six on the season, and Dalton Williams is somewhat mobile but mostly a pocket guy. The secondary also locked in on Marquelo Suel and didn't let him beat them.
4. Alex Bayer is having a fantastic season, already matching his 2011 output after just six weeks. How important is he to the Bowling Green offense? And is there any way Miami can stop him?
The receiving corps was an obvious concern coming into the year and still is. Bayer's game last week was incredible, but he was used excellently by the offense. One of his long touchdowns was a perfectly-executed screen play, and the other was a long-developing play where Bayer ran a crossing route and was totally uncovered. I don't think you "stop" Bayer so much put someone, anyone on him.
SUSS, TO CHUCK
1. Your running game: myth, legend, or old wives' tale?
Old wives' tale. It's obviously nonexistent, but it's not like it was amazing and has disappeared — so that means it's not legendary. And it's not really the stuff of myth, either. Of my three options, definitely an old wives' tale: people swear it works because someone told them it does, but deep down, everyone knows it's a load of crap and is totally ineffective.
2. In all seriousness, where does this team get off having capable receivers step up after the injury to Nick Harwell?
Well, when the running game is an old wives' tale, there has to be truth somewhere else on the offense. And for as many complaints as people have about the quality of our line play and our running game, I don't think anyone can deny that the staff has done a great job coaching up the receiving corps. The breakouts this season and last — Dawan Scott, who's converted from RB, and David Frazier — were recruited under the Haywood regime, but stuck with Miami. Looks to me like that's paid off both for them and for the RedHawks. Also, it doesn't hurt to have veteran leadership in Andy Cruse, who will hopefully get noticed by NFL scouts as a very solid possession receiver.
3. What I'm seeing here is that Miami's O- and D-lines have, how you say, room for improvement. Conversely the only things BG has done that's blown me away is their line play. That's the biggest matchup to overcome for you guys, no?
Our lines have been awful for going on at least eight years now. There have been occasional standouts (Brandon Brooks would be an obvious one), but a combination of injuries, recruits who just didn't work out, and position changes (for example, a guy who comes in as a light OL and switches to TE rather than bulking up) have really put a damper on Miami's line play. This shows both on offense, where we can't run the ball, and on defense, where our inability to get solid pressure has put the onus on the secondary to be main line of defense far too often.
4. Number of passing yards needed out of Dysert to win this: plus or minus 600.
I think 450-500 yards of total offense. (I wouldn't be surprised if he has another 70+ yard rushing performance.) The only way we win this game is to outscore BG, not by stopping BG from scoring. A subpar effort from Dysert puts the end to that.
5. This isn't a question, but I'm so glad BG didn't move to the MAC West. We were going to miss you.
We were going to miss you too! I'm going to go listen to some Smashing Pumpkins in BG's honor.