Here’s to learning experiences

EAST LANSING – I’d hate to sugarcoat any loss. So would BG coach Gregg Brandon.

“There’s no consolation in losing,” Brandon said.

Not in the standings or the statistics. But the Falcons made some serious strides in the past two games and they know it.

Two weeks ago, BG football was in the dog house. They’d just come off a 4-8 season. Now it’s come out of a challenging start to its schedule with a 1-1 record and a whole new attitude.

“We’ve got a pretty good football team here. We’ve got a lot of guys that play with passion,” said defensive lineman Sean O’Drobinak. “If you’ve got 11 guys who’ve got heart and soul and desire, I’m going to take those 11 guys over standout players any day.”

He’s got a point. They may not have come through to win the game this week, but the Falcons were making plays in key situations.

Five of their six third-down conversions came on touchdown drives. Both scores came on third down plays. On top of that, the defense made some huge stops throughout the course of the game.

Alas, the Spartans were just too much.

“They had playstation guys, that’s what they looked like,” Brandon said. “[BG] played with heart but that just wasn’t enough today.”

The Falcons haven’t looked this good in a while. They went toe-to-toe with two Big Ten teams and came out with minimal damage.

When you’re playing against bigger, stronger opponents and staying within striking distance at all times you’re in pretty good shape.

As a Mid-American Conference team you don’t have many other choices. You could schedule Gardner-Webb for your opener or Tennessee-Martin (blatant shot at Ohio University).

I think I’ll always prefer the former. BG knows what they have right now. Ohio does not. What do they expect from their team after seeing them beat up on some lower-tier team?

Wouldn’t you rather have the prospect of beating a good team rather than lose to a bad team?

“The thing that we’ll take from this week and last week is that we can slug it out with the Big Ten,” Brandon said.

BG heads into MAC play this season with a lot of confidence. Brandon knows his team is ready to make some noise.

“They have great heart and great commitment to this program.”

Tyler Sheehan is probably one of the biggest reasons the Falcons are confident. His 295 yards passing kept the Falcons’ heads above water until late in the game.

He wasn’t satisfied with a close loss though. Just like Brandon, he thought they should win any game they would play.

“We could be playing the Indianapolis Colts and I’d think we had a shot to win,” Sheehan said with a smile.

So now we embark upon a MAC season in two weeks with a much different outlook.

It’s a competitive conference, but the Falcons have proved that they’ve got as good a chance as anyone to win the East.

Brandon’s team has turned some heads, and you’d only think that the rest of the MAC East will take these games as a warning of what’s to come. He’s pretty confident that the conference knows the Falcons are back.

“Well, they’d better,” he said.