Bowling Green (7-5)
1.Get the ball to Barnes: This is a no-brainer. Freddie Barnes, a Biletnikoff finalist, is one of the best receivers in the country and has the power to change a game. He’ll be the top target for quarterback Tyler Sheehan especially against an Idaho pass defense that ranks 114th in the country.
2.Play some defense: This game is going to be an offensive shootout, so the first team that can mount a defensive stand will likely win the game. The Bowling Green defense has been especially good against the pass, which will come in handy against an Idaho team that likes to throw the ball.
3.Spread the ball around: Like several teams this season, Idaho is going to double-team Barnes and try to limit his effectiveness, so the offensive onus will fall to receivers such as Chris Wright and Adrian Hodges. Running back Willie Geter also will have a good game to keep the Idaho defense honest.
1.Score: Idaho has excelled at scoring all year and making this game into a track meet will be its best defense. Bowling Green can score, but it doesn’t have as prolific an offense as the Vandals. If Idaho can score early, it will put extra pressure on Bowling Green to keep up.
2.Use the crowd: Idaho is expected to draw quite a crowd with this being the first bowl game for the Vandals in almost a decade and the fact that Moscow, Idaho is located about 300 miles from Bronco Stadium. The Vandals need to use the crowd as motivation and play this like a home game. The Vandals were 4-2 at home this year and were perfect in nonconference play.
3.Don’t get stuck on Barnes: Barnes deserves a lot of attention because he can change a game, but the Broncos have to be careful not to get too focused on him and allow other talented receivers to run wild. Several times this season, other receivers have picked up the slack while Barnes was fighting off double and triple teams. The Falcons didn’t get into a bowl because of one player.