August 28, 2007

Behind Enemy Lines: Bowling Green

The new era of Golden Gopher Football begins on September 1st and the first opponent to take on Gopher Nation is The Bowling Green Falcons. was able to send a spy to Bowling Green, Ohio and get the inside scoop on the Bowling Green Falcons from Todd Walker, the voice of the Falcons Radio Network. Walker breaks down the Falcons offensive changes, their ability to stop the run, and their new found defensive team speed. He also makes a prediction that may send shock waves across Gopher Nation. Get ready to go Behind Enemy Lines. Is being the first team to play new Minnesota Head Coach Tim Brewster any extra motivation for The Falcons?

TW: I don't think so. The fact that Minnesota is a Big Ten team provides the motivation. The Falcons still remember beating Purdue and Northwestern and they believe they can come to the Metrodome and get a win. Also the big motivation is that 4-8 record from last season, the school's first losing record since 2000. That is all the motivation they need. Coach Brandon led his team to a victory over Northwestern in the Motor City Bowl in 2003. The offensive coordinator for that team is current Minnesota offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar, does that experience give Brandon an edge in game planning for the Gophers new Spread-Coast offense?

TW: I wish I knew. Coaches always downplay that stuff but I'm sure the Falcon staff has been watching film on that game. I think a bigger factor in Bowling Green's favor is that this is the fastest defensive unit they've had under Coach Brandon and they face a similar offense in practice all the time. Also, with the offense being new to the Gophers, I'm sure there is a learning curve. The Gophers are going to the spread in 2007, but still have one of the best running back stables in the Big Ten, led by senior Amir Pinnix. If the Gophers decide to go smash-mouth and run the ball can the Falcons slow them down?

TW: Simply going on past results I would say no. The Falcons have not fared well against strong running teams in recent years and frankly nobody has stopped Minnesota's running game much lately. Again this defense is built on speed and I think that Minnesota will be able to run the ball successfully if they put their minds to it.

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