Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sweet Victory #9: Recap

When BG walked onto the field in Muncie last night, it was a lot more difficult situation than it appeared to be.  The place was practically empty...thank God BSU has a band...announced crowd was 5,201.  So, place is empty, nothing really to play for, coming off a big loss with a big game coming up.  This is just one of those thngs.

Digression.  I remember in 2010 watching BG finish the season at home against WMU in similar weather and WMU just bludgeoning us.  Long day, so high five to the true BSU fans in their seats last night.

So, you want to get out of Muncie with a win you don't have to sweat over.  And BG got that done, beating Ball State 48-10 to head to a Ford Field on a positive note.  BG is 3-1 for November and the Falcons showed they could win a game after clinching the division.

It wasn't the most powerful or outstanding victory we have had all year.  But it was an easy win that was really never in doubt and that is what BG needed and got.

BG won the opening toss and took the ball, as they usually do.  However, BG went 3 and out and punted.  Ball State two long third downs and were on the march when their true FR QB threw a pick to Dernard Turner and BG was in business, scoring on a third down pass from Matt Johnson to Hunter Folkersma.  Conversion was missed, 6-0.

BG's defense played much better from then on, getting nice pressure on the QB and forcing him into tough situations.  BG started on their own 2, and went the length of the field in 11 plays, featuring a 34-yard reverse to Ronnie Moore to get the ball into scoring position.  BG was up 13-0.  BG's defense got 2 more stops before BG scored again and it was 20-0.

BG drove to the Ball State 16 before failing to convert on 4th down and Ball State had a chance to score before halftime.  It had looked like 27-0 but might possibly end up 20-7 in one of those momentum changes you get in football.  Ball State was moving the ball pretty easily on the run, was inside the 40 with less than 2 minutes left (they were really bleeding clock) when Alphonso Mack got the game's 3rd pick and ran it back to the Cardinal 39.

BG took over with 1:17 on the clock and scored :50 later to finish off the Cardinals.

The second half was just the job of finishing it.  Travis Greene had a SportsCenter run for a TD along the way.  Then, in the final seconds, BG was on its own 5 and looking to run the clock out.  They handed the ball to Matt Domer and I just don't get the idea anyone on Ball State's team was too interested in doing anything and he sprinted 95 yards for the game's last score.

Anyway, BG got done what they had to get done.  Even with 48 points, this is not the offense BG was putting up earlier in the year.  Johnson had a good completion percentage, but BG averaged only 9.2 yards per completion, which is well below what we were getting earlier in the year.  Maybe the competition is tougher, maybe it is the wind and the weather.  Who knows, but BG has mostly been taking the sideline routes and screen passes of late.

Perhaps being indoors in Detroit will open things up.  The hope is that we aren't facing some kind of scheme that we can't out do.

Oh, yeah.  Speaking of know by now that NIU lost at home to OU.  Didn't expect that to that means that if UT wins on Friday, BG will get a rematch with the Rockets.  We haven't been able to beat them on their field or ours, so maybe a neutral field will be what the doctor ordered.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Falcons Conquer Dunk City

The trip to Florida did not start out so well with a lopsided loss to North Dakota, a team that went on to lose both its other games in Florida.  However, BG rallied from there, picking up wins over Youngstown State and Florida Gulf Coast, the first an "away from home" win and the second a true "road win."

I'd be careful about projecting too far much with these wins.  For BG to have a good record this year (or even a respectable record) they had to win a couple of these and they did.  I do like what I have seen and I look forward to getting a chance to see them compete against something between UC and FGCU, something which might best come with some early December games.

It was a very solid victory for BG.  The Eagles never led after taking a 3-2 lead and the game was last tied at 9-9.  BG led by 10 at the half, built it out to 16 in about five minutes in the second half,  FGCU battled back into the game and never had it closer than 5.  In fact, with 1:18 left BG led by 5 and BG made 5 out of 8 FTs in the closing seconds to finish the game at a 5 point margin.

There were a few key issues in the game.  Perhaps the most important was controlling the tempo.  We all remember the "Dunk City" Big Dance run, and these guys play very much the same way...up tempo and above the rim, like, a lot.  For example, in their game with OU there were 78 possessions.  The Falcons deliberately seemed interested in keeping things slow and the game had only 70 possessions, which is pretty slow, especially with the new shot clock.

That number of possessions puts the final score in a difference perspective.  You have an 82-77 final with only 70 possessions?  That's actually a lot of scoring.  BG had 1.17 points per possession and FGCU had 1.1.

The chart below shows the deal.  First, shooting was very even.  BG shot 49% overall and FGCU shot 48%, but FGCU was 7 of 13 from 3FGs, which gave both teams an equal amount of points on field goals.  As you can see, both teams took excellent care of the ball--a credit to BG because FGCU was running an aggressive trip with pretty long guys.  The difference was that BG had a much better day on the offensive boards--best day of the season, in fact, and BG had +5 at the free throw line.  Both teams made 70%, but BG got to the line more and that and the rebounding was the difference.

Spencer Parker had another great game.  If he is set to be a consistent force this year, it will make a big difference in how the team competes.  He had another double-double at 22/10.  He shot 10 of 18 overall and 10 of 13 on 2FGs.  He had a very solid game, even with 3 turnovers.

Zack Denny had 18 points on 7 of 14 shooting and 3 of 5 from 3FG, all a very efficient offensive night.  He also had 11 rebounds for a double-double of his own.

BG had two other players in double figures, both off the bench.  Ismail Ali continues to impress, getting 13 points on 3 of 5 FG shooting and 6 of 6 FT shooting, to go with 3 assists in only 19 minutes.  Antwon Lillard had 10 points and could have had more, making only 6 of 11 FTs.  I like Lillard and think he will be a good player.  He is making some freshman mistakes, so people will need to be patient with him.

Pep Joseph had 4 assists in 22 minutes.

BG is playing very small.  The only legit inside player they started was Worrell and he only played 22 minutes.  Off the bench, Wiggins played 9 and Mayleben 3.  I'm not sure how sustainable that is.  They are getting rebounding from Parker and Denny...anyway, all that will be seen.  For now, the boys are 3-2 with a holiday break and Urbana coming back on Sunday, so we'd like to think we'll be looking at 4-2 heading into December.

Monday, November 23, 2015

25 questions for the Jarheads

When we hear the name Ball State, we usually just
let it amuse our inner-7th grader.  There is much more.
What is their body of work?

It's not very good.  Just a couple years ago, the Cardinals were a rising power in the West and their Coach, Pete Lembo, was being named for P5 jobs.  In fact, had BG lost to NIU that night in 2013, some say Lembo would be at Wake Forest.  Everything since then has been bad for Ball State.  They were 5-7 last year and 3-8 this year, and those wins are against VMI, EMU and UMass.  In other words, Ball State has no quality wins this season.  They lost last to OU by a 48-31 score.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

29, which is a lot.

Who are their statistical leaders?

FBS Ranks

19th - Kevonn Mabon, kickoff returns

What is their turnover ratio?

In MAC play, they are +1.

Offense:  (Unless noted all stats are MAC games only)

 How is their QB play?

Riley Neal is his name.  He is #7 in the MAC in passing efficiency, but shows a lot of promise.  The only freshman (and he is a true freshman) among the top 10 in MAC passing, he has completed 61% of his passes with 11 TDs over 2 INT, which is all excellent.  The 2 INTs is really good for a first year starters.  He has 10.7 yards per completion, which would seem to indicate a safer passing attack.  He is also a dual-threat QB.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

They are 9th in scoring and 11th in yards per play.  They score only 23 points per game.

Can they run the ball?

They are not good, tied for 11th in yards per carry.  They split carries with two backs, one who averages 5.1 yards per carry and one who averages 4.

Do they pass the ball?

They are 8th in passing yards per game and 6th in passing efficiency.

How was their run/pass balance?

They are pretty balanced, running on 49% of their plays.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

No, they are 9th in the MAC on third down.

Do they score in the red zone?

They are among the worst in the MAC, with 4.3 points per trip.

Do they protect the quarterback?

Here they are going, allowing only 8 sacks so far this year.


Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

This is a very bad defensive team.  They are 12th in scoring defense and 12th in yards per play allowed.  They allow more yards per play than BG earns, if you can believe that.

Do they defend the run effectively?

They are 12th in the MAC in this category as well, allowing 5.4 yards per carry.

Can they be passed on?

If you are noticing a trend, they are 12th in pass efficiency defense.  They allow 72% completions, which might be the worst I have ever seen.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

12th.  You knew it.

Do they defend in the red zone?

They are poor here, allowing 5.2 points per trip.

Do they pressure the QB?

They are (I swear to God), 12th in the MAC in sacks.

Special Teams:


They are 4th in net punting in the MAC.  No touchbacks.  They have allowed no blocks and no touchdowns.

Punt Return?

They are in the middle of the pack in punt returns, and have been getting only one chance per MAC game.  They have blocked one punt.


He's pretty good.  Overall (all games) he is 15 out of 20, but 13 out of 14 inside 40 with a 45 long.


Opponents start on the 24, which is very good.  (all games)

Kickoff Return?

They start on the 28 which is good.  (All games)

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

This one has PTSD for the Falcons, as has been mentioned this week.  BG should have been the Cardinals last year at the Doyt.

And they really should beat them this year in Muncie.  The question is do we feel like playing?  The game lies in ambush between UT and the MAC title game.  BG should be able to score on these guys and win this one in impressive fashion.  If they don't, we have a bona fide slump on our hands.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Youngstown State.....BG Gets Needed Win

Well, after a pretty weak performance against North Dakota-a team you'd like to think BG could beat--they came right back the next day to play Youngstown State, and it was a game where they played much better and picked up a needed win.  I'm not saying it was a season-saving win or anything, but I feel like when you start to put losses together, you can end up in one place and with a win you're a least in a place where you know you can win.  You know how it is.  It is a struggle but you can struggle in the middle or at the bottom, and it would be better if it could be the middle.

While the lead for BG was never huge, it was consistent.  BG took the lead 11-8 in the first half and never trailed again.  BG popped it up to 10 with 2:48 left in the first half and from then in the Penguins got it down to 3, and then BG had an 11 point lead with about 6 minutes left and it was never a one possession game again. BG ended up winning by 7.

BG had two key wins that were the difference.  There was a slight advantage in field goal shooting.  Overall BG shot 45% and Youngstown shot 37%.  The difference you see here was much closer because the Penguins took nearly half of their shots from beyond the arc...and in fact shot 42% from beyond the arc, which was better than the overall shooting and that increases their overall effective FG%.  Anyway, the other advantage was FT shooting.  This was a disaster for BG against North Dakota, but BG was much better--though not great--making 19 out of 28--while YSU only made 10 of 19.

Individually, BG had five players in double figures, which was a nice change of pace after wondering if we had any effective scorers after Saturday's game.  Wes Alcegaire led the team with 21 points on 7 of 16 shooting and 5 of 9 from beyond the arc and 7 rebounds.  Denny had 17 on 5 of 10 shooting, 11 rebounds and 3 steals.  Rasheed Worrell, after having 1 point in the last 2 games, scored 15 points on 7 of 7 shooting.  Ismail Ali had 11 points on 2 of 4 shooting to go with 7 assists over 2 turnovers.  Finally, Spencer Parker had 10 points, 6 rebounds and 4 turnovers.

BG finishes the trip to Florida Monday night playing Florida Gulf Coast, which beat Youngstown State in 3OT and then beat North Dakota relatively easily in the 2nd game.

Past and Future Opponent Land

Tennessee  (7-4) Beat Missouri 19-8
Maryland (2-9) Lost 47-28 to Indiana
Memphis (8-3) Lost to Temple
Purdue (2-9) Lost to Iowa
Buffalo (5-6) Lost to Akron
UMass (2-9) Lost to Miami
Akron (6-5) Beat Buffalo, bowl-eligible
Kent (3-8) Lost to CMU
Ohio (7-4) Beat Ball State
WMU (6-5) Lost to NIU
Ball State (3-8) Lost to Ohio


All FBS: 12-30
P5: 4-20
Non P5-FBS: 8-10
FCS: 9-0

West leads East, 11-5

Youngstown State Preview....

These "multi-team events" are tough on the blogging community.

Just saying.

And I suppose they are tough on the team and players, too.


So Youngstown State is next.  They are not expected to have a great season.  They were 11-21 last year (and 3 non-d1 wins), 2-14 in the Horizon and picked to finish second-to-last in the conference.

They are 0-3 on the season.  They lost by 9 @Kent and by 22 to Toledo in Youngstown.  And then they lost in triple OT last night to Florida Gulf Coast, which was also a road game.

This is another very young team.  Maybe not as young as North Dakota was, but still very young.  They have only one senior who plays a lot.  He's a good player--Bobby Hain--and he's formidable at this level.  He's 6'10 and 240 lbs and off to a little bit of a rocky start this year.

Their leading scorer is Cameron Morse, a So. G who had only 6 PPG last year but is currently getting 19.  He's shooting 40% from beyond the arc and since BG has struggled to defend the perimeter, this is one to keep an eye on.

Like every team in this level of college basketball, JUCO guys are big.  Matt Donlan is a G/F who is a JUCO transfer and is their next leading scorer.  He's from Australia and making 36% of his 3FGs.

The other interesting addition is Francisco Santiago, who transferred up from DII.  He's averaging 4/7 assists per game, with a 1.3 ratio.

The style here it to play upbeat.  They are averaging 80 possessions per 40 minutes, which is a lot.  They like to shoot the 3 and they are in the top 20% of the country in 3FGAs so far this year.  They are not having huge success, however, with a percentage just about 33%, which is more or less the NCAA average.

This is a game that on paper BG should win.  The problem is that they look at us and think exactly the same thing.

Falcon Men Fall to North Dakota

The first day did not go well in Florida for the Falcon men.  This was not a good one at all.  Not that you couldn't lose to North Dakota, but you don't want to end up losing by 18 on a neutral floor, which is what happened.

North Dakota was in control much of the way.  About 4 minutes in it was 8-7 and then the Fighting Hawks when on a four minute, 19-7 run that put them up by 17 with 10 minutes left in the first half.  BG, to its credit, did battle back, getting the lead as low as 3 before heading to the locker room down 7.

BG came out and had the game tied within a couple minutes of the start of the second half, and while the first ten minutes of the half were within reach, BG never led.  Here's the kicker...with 11:38 left, BG was down 54-51.  From there on in, BG was outscored 23-8.

That's a rough night.

There were two key differences in the game.  Nobody had a good day on offense.  In fact, FG% shooting overall was almost exactly equal.  However,  North Dakota was 10 of 21 on 3FGs while BG was 5 of 15, meaning that NoDak got more points out of the same number of shots.  The second key difference was FTs.  The F-Hawks were great, hitting 21 of 26, while BG was simply awful, shooting 8 out of 20.

Neither team was great on offense...North Dakota had .96 points per possession, which is below average.  BG, however, was .76 points per possession which is borderline impossible to win with.  Right now, it is the key issue.  The team lacks offensive playmakers, and that includes inside and out.  Beyond that, they are really still establishing an identity.  They don't seem to know what kind of team they it defense, is it upbeat, is it scoring?

Just underscores the issue...this is going to be a project.

Spencer Parker (key quote from Todd Walker:  "Ever the enigma"), had a big night.  He scored 16 points on 7 of 16 shooting, had 12 rebounds, and while he did have 4 turnovers and shot 2 of 7 from the line, he was the team's best offensive option.  Zack Denny had 12 points on 5 of 14 shooting and Antwon Lillard--who led BG in minutes--had 10 points on 4 of 8 shooting, which is an efficient night.

It was a tough night for BG at the point.  Joseph battled foul trouble and played only 17 minutes and BG struggled with him on the bench.

Now 1-2, BG plays again today against a Youngstown State team that battled into 3 OTs last night.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Babers Presser, Good Stuff

Watched the Babers presser yesterday.  It was actually very interesting. Two things.

First, Coach Babers actually flew to Texas to watch his daughter play volleyball.  Her name is Jazzmin Babers and she plays at Texas A&M.  She was all-SEC last year.  Anyway, I don't think I ever heard of a Coach doing this before...he basically took a day off in the middle of the season and flew to the game, visited with his daughter, spent four hours with her roommate and then watched her play, had dinner with her and flew home on like 2 hours sleep.

No one asked me, but I like it.  As a Father, I love the sentiment and commitment to family.  Good for you, Coach.  (He enjoyed it, too.  Says it was "Awesome," or "A-W-E some."

Oh....the Aggies beat Kentucky 3-0.  Jazzmin had 8 kills and 5 blocks.

The other interesting part was talking about last year's Ball State game.  That was a really bad day for the program.  It was freezing cold, coming up a loss to UT and heading into the MAC Championship game and BG bolted out to a 14-0 and 21-7 lead, only to have Ball State swarm back and solidly beat the Falcons.  It was a badly banged-up Cardinal team...a team BG should 100% have beaten at home.

Coach says that rather than leave the field, he had his team kneel in the corner of the Doyt and watch the Ball State players celebrate, something he thinks can extend to a life lesson for the team.

Coach puts on this Joe Cool thing, but I think you'd be wrong not to understand a very deep flowing passion and competitive drive.

For example, coach said in the presser that Ball State put 58 on BG last year.  That's where the game stands in his mind.

Actual fine score:  41-24.

North Dakota Preview

The BG Falcons are down in Fort Myers to play in the Florida Gulf Coast event.  You remember those guys, the big dunkers that beat Georgetown in the Big Dance and then sent their Coach and his supermodel wife to USC, where he has lost almost all the time.

Anyway, we don't play those guys until Monday.  For now, BG plays the North Dakota team.  I am endlessly fascinated by their nickname journey North Dakota has been on, most of which you can find here.  Just recently they officially became the Fighting Hawks, which is dopey.  Anyway, not sure if that will be in use for Saturday's game or not.

North Dakota had a tough year last year, finishing 8-22.  The two years before that they were 33-34, which is not too bad.  They play in the Big Sky Conference, which is the 26th ranked conference out of 33.

They were picked to be 10th in the Big Sky this year.  You probably recall, BG played them a couple times in the Orr years, with both teams winning at home.

This year, ND is 1-1.  They beat a non-D1 Minnesota Morris and lost @Wisconsin so we don't really know what we have.

They return 2 starters off that team, which might be addition by subtraction, as two of them were JUCO transfers that might have caused chemsitry issues for the team.  Blue Ribbon says that North Dakota had been focusing on playing a European four-guard style of play, but now is making the transition to a more midwestern inside out approach.

This is a very young team.  Of the 7 players who played 15 minutes or more against UW, 6 were freshman or sophomores.  They played only 1 senior and he played 2 minutes.

I'm not sure how projectable last year is to this year, but last season they struggled on both sides of the ball.  The scored .98 points per possesision, which isn't too bad, but they allowed 1.08 points per possession, which is bad. Wisconsin had 1.14 points per possession, which is a lot, but it is Wisconsin.

Their leading player is G  Quinton Hooker.  He had 12 points against UW, but on 4 of 12 shooting and he had 4 assists against 2 turnovers.

Their leading scorer was r-FR Geno Crandall.  Crandall had 19 points on 6 of 6 shooting from beyond the arc, which is obviously craziness.  His points seemed mostly to show up during garbage time.

They have Drick Bernstine, who is a 6'8" transfer from Denver.  He played 33 minutes and had 15 points on 7 of 11 shooting and 9 rebounds.

They also have 7'0" C Carson Shanks who played 20 minutes with 9 points and only 2 rebounds.

Since we have split our games on home court to date, you could look at this game like a neutral court tiebreaker.  Hey, I said you could.  Overall, I feel like this is a game BG should win.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bearcats Blow Falcons Out in Second Half

BG battled UC for a half in the Bill Frack challenge last night at the Stroh.  BG had made some 3FGs, played even on rebounds and turnovers and the Falcons were only 4 at the break, which was a pretty major surprise.  There was a good crowd--over 3,400 and the fifth largest men's crowd in the Stroh--and that might have played a role.  At any rate, BG, heavy underdogs, was running right with the Bearcats.

The second half could not have been more different.  UC came out of the locker room and just destroyed the Falcons, going on a 16-2 run in the first four minutes or so.  They had the lead up to 20 with less than 6 minutes gone and were up 26 with 11 minutes left in the half.  By that time, it was a 26-4 run.  To make matters worse, BG was held without a FG for the last 7 minutes of the game, leaving UC with a 83-50 win in which BG was outscored 48-19 in the second half.

Ouch.  BG's second half numbers are what you would expect.  They shot 22%, 15% from beyond the arc, were -11 on the boards, had 8 turnovers to 1 for UC.  The Bearcats made 7 of 17 from beyond the arc.

That's just a long half of basketball.  Now look, BG wasn't expected to win this game and they didn't.  And I'd guess I would rather play with them for a half than having the second half happen in the first half.  But, if you doubted it, the game left no doubt who stood where.

As you can see below, the difference was shooting.  UC shot 47%/43% and BG shot 29% and 28%. So that's going to leave an unsightly mark.  Overall, UC had a good 1.1 points per possession (in a 75 possession game, which is a lot more than in previous seasons, so adjust overall stats accordingly) and BG had .66 points per possession, which is awful.  Turnovers were even and UC had a significant advantage on the boards.  Getting 28% of the offensive rebounds is not great but getting 19% is very tough to win with.

On an individual basis, Zach Denny had 13 points on 4 of 14 shooting.  Spencer Parker had 10 points on 3 of 6 shooting.  No other Falcons were in double figures.

Alcegaire had 8 rebounds and Joseph had 6.  Pep had 3 assists over 2 turnovers.  Alcegaire had 5 turnovers in 25 minutes played.

Also, Demajeo Wiggins got into the game, so the redshirt is out for him.  Josh Gomez also got in.  Both were DNP against New Orleans.  Antwon Lillard led the team with 30 minutes played.

Anyway, this one is best forgotten about.  The North Dakota Fighting Hawks like next on the schedule Saturday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hey Falcon Fans...

Look what happened.....

Sadness Accrues: First thoughts on the Rocket loss

Well, hell.

That was one hell of a night.  It started with BG having perhaps the worst quarter imaginable, rallying from 30-7 to have a chance to make the game close again, but always find themselves one step from being back in the game.

BG turned the ball over 5 times, and even if you give them the one at the end, where you had to make something happen, you still had 4 turnovers.  As Coach said after the game, we didn't get beat by the "bogeyman."  We got beat by ourselves.

In all fairness, the turnovers are not the whole story.  UT had a very good defensive game plan and they won the battle on the line of scrimmage, especially with the defensive line.  They did a great job of limiting the big play.  BG's longest pass play before garbage time was a 17-yard completion.  BG's longest run was 12 yards.  That's not what BG is used to seeing.

Also, BG had some poorly timed penalties, including a holding call on a big TD run by Matt Johnson that would have been a huge play in the game at that time.

As noted by the Falcon Radio Network, the Rockets were not blitzing.  They were getting pressure with four or even three rushers.  That's a worst case scenario for the offense because you have a QB under pressure throwing into heavy coverage.  I didn't think Matt Johnson ever really looked to be in a groove or comfortable out there and the offense really never clicked.

The first third of the game was pretty bad.  The defense was getting gashed and UT was running on us like crazy. Now, BG's defense did rise to the occasion, as they have done throughout the season.  They forced two red zone FGs in the first half, and kept the team in the game waiting for BG's offense to cut the game to a 2-point lead, which the Falcons were never able to do.

A very interesting thing happened in the last seconds.  Coach Babers called a time out and the entire team took a knee in front of him, just like they might have done after a practice.  I don't know what he said, but I have never seen a coach do that.

Look, that's 6 straight to the Rockets.  That is ridiculous.  It seemed like this year was the year to break the streak, but BG played its worst game of the season on November 17, and that was the wrong night when it came to this rivalry.

Worst game of the season and it wasn't close.  And that's very disappointing.  Incredibly disappointing, especially with the huge crowd.  I feel you.  It's almost midnight, and I'm pretty down right now.  This is a game you want to win.

Before you do, I will point out that Coach is 0-4 with a clinched East title.


First, Chris Jones was on twitter for BG and he pointed out that he was part of a winning game against UT and didn't play in the MAC title.

Second, BG lost to UT in the championship year.  In fact, the loss might have been the best thing that happened to that team.  The production that we saw AFTER that game cannot be compared to what we saw before that game.  And that was with Gabe Martin injured in the UT game.  So, there is life after losing to UT.

Now, if you want the season to be over because of the game tonight, OK.

But, as Coach pointed out, there are 3 games ahead of us.  Ball State, the MAC title game and then a bowl game.

If BG reacts like the '13 team did, they can still win the MAC title.  There is plenty of talent.

Coach also said that "hopefully we will see more energy and execution" in those games.

And that's the key.  The BG system is either executed perfectly or it becomes very clunky.  BG won 7 straight games (a point Coach did not fail to make), and the team is capable of doing what it needs to win.

It won't come with what we saw tonight.  It just won't.

But, it could still come.  Yes, the goal was to beat Toledo and win the MAC.  That's gone.  The question that remains is whether this team can rebound and win the MAC.  Let us watch and see.