After beating the long-time thorn in our sides and with a nationally televised game with a undefeated opponent on the horizon, how can our team stay motivated this week against BGSU?
First of all, see game from 10/25/2003. Most of us DESPISE the Falcons for this game. This was for sure a fledgling rivalry until BUGS moved to the MAC East in 2005.
#12 Northern Illinois 18
#23 Bowling Green 34
We were on top of the world. Success had come fast for the Huskies in '03 as we were climbing up the rankings every week. Some labeled us BCS busters, however we never even made it to a bowl game that year with a 10-2 record.
College Gameday was even there for the occasion. BGSU QB Josh Harris tore up our D passing for a career-high 438 yds and 3 TDs. NIU QB Josh Haldi was sacked 6 times and threw 2 INTs, while our offense could never get it going in the hostile territory that was Bowling Green, OH. RB Michael "The Burner" Turner was even held to under 100 yds and 0 TDs.
But hey, they're traveling to our place this year. Just like they did when we beat an undefeated nationally ranked BGSU team in 2002. Like I said, this is a rivalry that never got a chance to get going.
Key Coach Kill quotes on the preparation (he loves to talk, doesn't he?):
"You always worry about 19-, 20-, 21-year olds on when they're going to lose their concentration. It's a concern. It certainly is. That's my concern every week. Are my kids going to continue to prepare and stay focused like they have? I thought we slipped and lost some focus and preparation against Miami (OH), but I think we had prepared for Toledo just as well as we did for Tennessee. Hopefully we can continue the same type of focus that we had last week."
"We know where they are at, but we got to do the little goals. That is kind of how we approach that. Sitting around talking about it doesn't do you any good. It gets you beat when you talk about what is down the road. I know it's a coaching cliché but you've got to take one week at a time. Every week that's why they call them upsets, because teams start to get worried about that kind of stuff. The kids are going to read that, but our job as coaches is we need to concentrate on getting better. Like I told the kids, right now they are listening to us. That's a good thing. As long as they continue to do that, it doesn't guarantee success, but we'll have a chance."
The players speak too. QB Chandler Harnish:
"I am not surprised at all. I think we have a lot of good things ahead. But I don't think we should focus on the future at all. We are just focusing on the most important game, which is the next one. Keep focusing on beating the team that is coming up the next week and we will be able to put ourselves in a good position by the end of the season. We just look at Bowling Green as a good opponent and we are going to give them everything we have."
Coach Kill had these kids prepared. MLB TJ Griffin (who saw a ton of playing time with McCarthy hurt)
"Just like Chandler said, Bowling Green is the most important game because it is the next one. It's not really a good thing to look back or forward into the season. It is a good time to focus on right now. That's all we are doing."
The Falcons will be facing a challenge in the Huskies as they present the No. 1 defense in the conference, which is only allowing 13.7 points per game,
"They have the Defensive Player of the Year back in Joe English," Brandon said. "They don't do a lot, but what they do, they do well."
"I'm sure Gregg Brandon will get his name right in the post-game press conference." - HMM