While Georgia readies itself for a top 10 opponent, Minnesota would appear to have a far less rigorous test at Syracuse, winner of just 10 games over the past four seasons. For co-defensive coordinator Cosgrove, however, the Orange present a preparation nightmare.
Syracuse is under the direction of an entirely new coaching staff, led by former New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Doug Marrone, whose last college job was as tight ends coach at Tennessee in 2001. After four years running the West Coast offense, Syracuse is expected to switch to a no-huddle spread attack under former Clemson and Toledo offensive coordinator Rob Spence. Adding to the mystery: Paulus hasn't played football since his senior year of high school in 2004.
For Cosgrove, that's meant researching not only the Orange but: "Tennessee [where offensive line coach Greg Adkins and running backs coach Stan Drayton came from], the New Orleans Saints, Clemson, Toledo" and other schools where Syracuse's new staff previously worked.
"We're been preparing for a lot of different things," said Cosgrove, who remembers Paulus well from recruiting him while at Nebraska. "You can't get too fancy with what you want to do."