2016 Week 4 Recap: Memphis Extends Bowling Green’s Free Fall - The “Season of 77” continues for the beleaguered Falcons The complete and utter free-fall continues for the reigning Mid-American Conference champions,...
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So we have talked about our coaching staff getting highly-ranked commits. That's just the first step. You have to keep them and get them enrolled and then turn them into players. We have no track record to go on, except for people from Texas Tech who say that Jinks was hired to recruit San Antonio.Ohio 3-star TE Travis Koontz has decommitted from Bowling Green he tells me. Holds P5 offers. https://t.co/yxp4gzJcZb @koontz101— Bill Greene (@BillBankGreene) September 14, 2016
#BGSU injury report: #Falcons C McAuliffe & RG Beggan dinged but "probable" while LG Steward, who DNPractice today, is "questionable."— John Wagner (@jwagnerblade) September 21, 2016
#BGSU football: All #Falcons skill position players who were on injury watch last week practiced today and should go at Memphis Saturday.— John Wagner (@jwagnerblade) September 21, 2016
#BGSU football: #Falcons DL Shannon Smith, who DNP last week, practiced today & is probable Saturday.— John Wagner (@jwagnerblade) September 21, 2016
#BGSU football: Among those who DNP today were DE Grant Coffey & DBs Ben Hale & Jack Walz. All will be out v. Memphis Saturday.— John Wagner (@jwagnerblade) September 21, 2016
#BGSU football: Final note from practice: James Knapke will start at QB v. Memphis; James Morgan took more practice snaps this week, though.— John Wagner (@jwagnerblade) September 21, 2016
Just a quickie here...the game notes are out and as usual, they are mostly the same. We know we have some injuries on the O-line, but for now the list is the same as it was last week.
On defense there are some changes.
First, Ben Hale---who has been battling a concussion--is not listed for this week at all.
Second, one of the OLB spots previously listed Jack Walz and James Sanford as co-starters. Now, both of them are off the depth chart. Brandon Harris, who started here as a S, is slated to start there and Nillijah Ballew, who has played a lot for us but was out of the lineup earlier this year is listed as back up.
Hale was previously at ROV. The chart shows Tavarous Wade starting and Sotolongo at backup. Sotolongo has played quite a bit but was apparently dinged up in the MTSU game.
The other S is still Jamari Bozeman's spot. Wade was his backup, and he's been replaced by true FR CJ Pickrom.
There's shuffling at corner, too. For MTSU, it was Mack and Milton starting with Jeffries and Montre Gregory behind him. For Memphis, it is Mack and Jeffries, with Jackson and Milton behind them.
I think it is safe to say that BG is digging around trying to find ways to tune the secondary up. Unless James Sanford is injured that's a pretty significant move, since it moves Harris away from a position of need.
And yes, Knapke is still at QB. If they do make a move, they won't reveal it until the last minute because Morgan can run a little.
We might hear more coming up this week in the real media...on both injuries and playing time.
Coach Jinks had his presser today.
Not much news. In fact, not any news. The only interesting thing was...well...exactly what you would expect. Coach was asked about the Quarterback position. This week he said that Knapke is the starter entering practice and that he and Morgan would be evaluated over the course of the week. That's a slight change from where he normally is, which is that Knapke is the starter.
He says that Knapke made way too many mistakes in the MTSU game, but that he gives the team the best chance to win. Both of these things could be true, depressing though that might be.
He also said he wanted to have this worked out before he entered conference play. That would mean that there's one more game to figure out who the QB is going to be, based on a best case scenario. Worst case, it is never settled.
BGSU Basketball just got a commitment from 6'8" 240 lb Power Forward Derek Koch from Northwestern HS in Salem, OH.— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) September 18, 2016
Ohio State (3-0) Smoked OK 45-24
North Dakota (1-2) Beat South Dakota 47-44 in 2 OT
Memphis (2-0) Beat Kansas 43-7
EMU (2-1) Beat Charlotte 37-19
OU (1-2) Lost tough one to TN
UT (3-0) Destroyed Fresno State
Miami (0-3) Lost 31-24 to WKU
NIU (0-3) Lost 42-28 to San Diego State
Akron (2-1) Won 65-38 @Marshall
Kent (1-2) Beat Monmouth 27-7
Buffalo (0-2) Lot 38-14 to Nevada
Coach Jinks said after the game that "we have a good defense."
And I more or less agree. It is a little less good after I got home and looked at the numbers, but in the stadium I felt like the defense had really done all they could be expected to do give the turnovers the offense provided to MTSU. Much like 2014, I think the defense is good but not great but holding us in games while the offense fails to produce.
The Blue Raiders scored 6 touchdowns. One was on a 10-yard drive, one was on a 26-yard drive and one was on a 46-yard quick change at the end of the second half in the game's deciding sequence. So, at least two of those are pretty short fields and the other is a pretty difficult situation. So point on is that the offense wasn't holding up their end of the bargain. Even at 28 points allowed, BG has a shot to win the game.
The defense made one deadly mistake....that big pass play on the opening drive of the second half was just a killer and you've got to come out with more focus than that.
It may turn out that the weather worked for BG's defense as well. MTSU came in passing on about 70% of their downs. At the Doyt, they passed on 45% of their plays. Given that they ran at 4.3 yards per attempt...and passed at 9.3 yards per attempt...on a sunny day if the play mix was a little different we might not be feeling so good.
Still, Stockstill was only 18 of 30 in a high-percentage offense and they seemed to be out of rhythm for a lot of the game. I thought coverage was strong across the middle and a little weaker along the sidelines...and a couple of times their guys just went up and got the ball.
I'm not sure what Dino Babers' year-three plan was, and it may not have existed, but BG is running guys out there in the secondary who were not signees and some have only been with the program since the summer. Tavarous Wade, walk on. Montre Gregory, showed up in July. Cam Jeffries, true freshman.
Further, the defense was playing with its best player in limited position--Austin Valdez did appear but made only 2 tackles--and Brandon Harris was DQ'd for a targeting call that seemed questionable, but they looked at the replay. Ben Hale did not play. Not making excuses, just pointing out that there's duct tape being applied to the operation.
I thought early on the defense was effective, tackling in space and controlling the run. They forced punts on 3 straight drives after BG went down 14 in the 3rd quarter, but the offense failed to capitalize to get us back in the game. That's a great job to rally after struggles.
Not saying they can't be better, but I think they held their own.
Also, they gave up a big play, but they made one, too, with Mack's INT and near-pick-six setting up one of BG's 3 TDs.
There's a focus on penalties, BG had 8 penalties in the first half, four of them on the defense. (Fun note. Only one penalty was called in the 2nd half on both teams). But, the only one that led to a score by MTSU was the pass interference on their game-tying drive.
MTSU did win 3rd down at 7 of 14...and BG forced only one turnover...and BG had only one sack...but it is a short drop attack that is tough to pressure.
Everyone's going to get a big test Saturday. Memphis is looking really, really good and I expect adversity to continue to press on our guys.
Let's start with the positive.
When BG couldn't grind out a first down against North Dakota to kill the game, Coach challenged his line and his line coach a little bit in the press conference afterwards. He said, essentially, that we are too good up there not to be able to grind out a first down.
The line came back against Middle Tennessee and played the way we would expect them to. Coach said after the game that they fought hard--and two of them got injured, Beggan for sure and I think McAuliffe was the other one--and really went to war with the Blue Raiders. So, good job for our guys responding to the challenge.
You could see the results in the run game. Coach said that they thought they could run on MTSU, and the weather only made that an easier decision. In fact, he told the offense that there were only two real plays in the second half....inside zone and outside zone.
And BG had excellent success running the ball. Credit to the line, and to Coppet and Cleveland, both of whom had big days. Cleveland 18 for 153 and a score, with a TD, and Coppet was 27 for 117. That's 8.5 and 4.3 yards per carry respectively. Donovan Wilson also joined in with 36 yards on 10 carries and 2 TDs....playing the big man role in short yardage scenarios.
He's an interesting stat....those 3 backs only lost 1 yard on all their rushes. That's pretty good, and probably more of a measurement of the line than the backs.
BG ran for 304 yards overall, which is a good day's work, and it kept BG in the game. Had BG been one-dimensional in the middle of that monsoon, things could have gotten a lot worse. BG had third quarter drives of 12 plays and 11 plays...both of which ended turning the ball over on downs in the red zone. Coach Jinks points to those 4th down plays as examples of BG just needing to learn how to get that extra yard.
So, the line and the running game...positive.
Now, the negatives.
First, you just can't escape the overall issue...yes, BG scored 21 points. So, that's 3 scoring drives...one of which started at the MTSU 1 and one of them on the MTSU 21. One of those was a special teams turnover and the other an interception, but they were basically gifts to the offense. So, for a 60-minute game, the offense generated one real scoring drive...and none in the second half. That simply is not good enough to win games.
Second, BG had, really, five turnovers. The muffed punt was technically not a fumble, but that's one and it was Ronnie Moore. The other four...look this is a fact, were two fumbles by Knapke and two interceptions by Knapke. Yes, the ball was wet, I get that, but this isn't the first time that this has happened either. Coach said in the presser that the turnovers cost the team the game, and I think that's certainly hard to argue.
Also, BG's productivity in the passing game was poor. The Falcons were 18 of 32, which is 56%, with 2 picks, no TD and just 129 yards, which is 4 yards per attempt and 7 yards per completion. MTSU had double on both of those last numbers in the same rain.
Unless we can really turn into 3 yards and a cloud of dust, we're not going to win games with five turnovers and passing numbers like that. Coach made reference to the fact we were running into some light boxes...the question is are we going to be able to pass against a heavy box.
I know the Falcon Nation is up in arms about our QB. I don't want to rip the guy. He's one of us and as far as I can see he is a stand-up guy playing his heart out for us. The facts above are facts, though, and beyond that, you all can see what I see on the passing offense. There's no need to belabor the point.
I know people are screaming for Morgan. The backup QB is always the most popular guy in any fan base--he's rich with potential and poor of reality. Yes, I know Morgan looked good against OSU, but he was playing against backups in a blowout game.
There are a couple possibilities here. First, I believe that if Morgan was clearly better in practice he would be in the game now. Unless--and this happens--Coach is so addicted to having an experienced QB that he is kind of blinded to the difference...much like when Dave Clawson started Matt Schilz over Matt Johnson for about 25 seconds in '13.
But, on balance, I trust Jinks' judgment on this. If Morgan was a clearly better, he would be in the game.
Here's the thing. As I understand it, the concern with Morgan is that he makes some bad decisions...as in the North Dakota game...and OSU for that matter. Well, here is the thing. I am not a person who says it can't get worse. It can always get worse. But I don't know what kind of decision making you are getting out of the starter...and maybe they are execution errors, not decision errors...but if you are playing Knapke to limit mistakes, that's tough to square.
The Schilz-Johnson comparison is very attractive. One thing to remember is that Johnson was a redshirt sophomore when he stepped in for Schilz. Morgan is a redshirt freshman. That's one less year in the program and could be huge from a development standpoint. Also, Johnson spent his first two years in the same system...Morgan has spent two years in two systems. Finally, when Johnson did play as a r-FR, he was not effective. The light did not come on until the next year.
I think you will see Morgan more and relatively soon. But, if it was as obvious as it seems to us, it would have happened by now.