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Northern Illinois-Bowling Green Preview: Complete With Extra Scoreboard Lights

So, true story.

The day after the ridiculous 63-60 win by Northern Illinois over Toledo, the scoreboard operator at Bowling Green was called into the AD's office. The AD says to him, "Look, we have an issue. The coaches have come to us and told us that you are not in shape for next week's game against the Huskies. We have to get you on a new workout plan."

For the last week, this guy has been doing all kinds of hand strength exercises, from stress balls, to harder stress balls, to hand barbells. This guy is pumped. By Thursday, he sprained a ligament in his right ring finger, but the trainer was on hand to make sure the proper medication was applied.

He diet was changed too. No more beer and pizza. He has been force-fed energy drinks to help with fast twitch response and protein shakes to help the muscle building. Of course, there has been some downside. No one wants to be near the weird guy with the big hands who is a little jumpy and has been talking to himself, repeatedly adding 7s out loud. But he is ready for tonight.

OK, so not a true story, but ESPN might not have been able to plan this better.

After the Toledo - Northern Illinois game lit up the scoreboard and television sets, the network seems to have struck gold again.

Bowling Green might not have the chops to score at will as Toledo did, but they do have a passing game that could cause problems for Northern Illinois.

Austin Dantin tore up the Huskies defense. Matt Schilz isn't exactly an Dantin-clone, but should be able to do a similar number on the Northern Illinois secondary.

Only there is an issue. Where is the Adonis Thomas to provide a second option on offense? Where is the rushing game that will set up the passes that destroy Northern Illinois again?

It doesn't exist in Bowling Green, Ohio. It won't be on the field Tuesday night. Still the passing game might be enough, if the Bowling Green defense is just a little bit better than Toledo proved to be, especially on special teams (Do NOT kick to Tommylee Lewis, Falcons. Suss might cry if you do.)

But even Toledo couldn't slow down the Huskies, and they had the best defense in the conference that the Huskies face this year.

Which means here comes Chandler Harnish again. The Falcons put up one of the worst rushing defenses in the country.

Seems about right. If you can't practice against any semblance of a running game in practice, how can you expect to perform when it matters. If only that explained the Huskies secondary.

With Northern running the ball more this game, perhaps the scoring will be kept down due to time constraints. Or at least that is what Falcons fans can hope for.

No missed extra point will decide this one. It will have to be done with someone stepping up on defense, or at least turning on some extra offensive power.

That is why you have to go with the team that has the better offense and the better chance to put 70 on the board again.

Take Northern Illinois, lay the 5.5 and enjoy.