— By Bill Cornwell
After knocking off then-No. 8 Notre Dame last week, Marshall faces a less-heralded opponent Saturday in the form of Bowling Green, which is seeking its first win.
The 5 p.m. matchup at Doyt Perry Stadium will be shown nationally on the NFL Network.
BGSU is coming off a 59-57 seven-overtime home loss to Eastern Kentucky after opening the season with a loss at UCLA.
Scot Loeffler is in his fourth season as BGSU’s head coach and sports a 7-24 record with the Falcons.
This will be the 30th all-time meeting between the former Mid-American Conference rivals, with the Falcons holding a 21-8 series lead. Marshall has won five of the last eight matchups.
On Friday, the Herd (2-0) learned that they’ll move forward this season without offensive line coach Eddy Morrissey. Morrissey submitted his resignation to Herd officials for what head coach Charles Huff deemed were personal reasons.
Morrissey, like Huff, had been in his second season on Marshall’s staff.
Here are three things to look for in Saturday’s contest:
MOVING ON FROM A MARQUEE WIN
Marshall’s football program has been a national darling this week after the win over the Fighting Irish, but that adulation can turn into a nightmare if the team doesn’t refocus and properly prepare for its next opponent.
That’s a message that’s been preached this week by Huff.
“Every week, you have to be ready to play,” Huff said. “You should never feel like you’ve arrived, so you do the same thing every week, because there are a lot of good teams on our schedule.”
Marshall has had only one other opportunity in program history to follow up a win over a Top 10 team. That was in 2003, and the Herd fell at Troy 33-24 after upsetting then-No. 6 Kansas State 27-20.
The 2022 Herd doesn’t want to repeat history, so a solid effort is needed at BGSU.
CONTINUING TO DISPLAY DEPTH
Marshall’s starters are getting plenty of help from players behind them on the depth chart, and that likely won’t change at Bowling Green.
Second-string quarterback Cam Fancher was utilized in goal line situations at Notre Dame last week due to his mobility. Running back Ethan Payne was Marshall’s leading rusher in the season-opening win over Norfolk State and spelled Khalan Laborn to make key plays at ND.
Tight end Stacey Marshall Jr, an Arizona transfer, has been used to spell Devin Miller and beef up the blocking in short-yardage situations.
Defensively, linebackers Jace Bobo and Elijah Alston and defensive back EJ Jackson are listed as reserves, but they each had solid performances last week.
Bobo had four tackles and a half sack against the Fighting Irish. Jackson had two tackles as a reserve. Alston showed up with special teams play.
CAN THE FALCONS BE BALANCED?
Despite still being in pursuit of its first win, Bowling Green has shown that it can move the ball and score.
Falcons starting quarterback Matt McDonald, a Boston College transfer, is tops in the Mid-American Conference and No. 10 in the nation with six touchdown passes. He has yet to throw an interception.
BGSU’s receivers have been solid this season, with four players having recorded at least six receptions.
The Falcons are scoring 37 points per game, but they’re giving up 52 points on average, though both numbers are inflated as a result of the length of last week’s game.
One problem for BGSU has been the running game, with leading rusher Ta’ron Keith only averaging just north of 30 yards per game.
One area where BGSU might show an advantage is in special teams as the Falcons have blocked punts in each game, both accomplished by junior running back PaSean Wimberly.