Friday, November 17, 2006

Coach Brandon comes right back off the Miami game with his final game week presser today....

As always, smart aleck remarks are in orange.

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - BGSU Head Coach Gregg Brandon
On looking at the film after the Miami game
"We studied it pretty least what you can get out of it. I thought the defense did a great job, but you don't know how much of that is related to the conditions because we weren't exactly a juggernaut offensively. Anthony [Turner] led all the rushers and the passers. He threw for the most yards and rushed for the most yards. The kicking game is where we lost the game and that's not all just the punter and the kicker. It's ok if the game came down to that if the conditions are such...I don't care if it is raining or snowing but at least have a place where you can spot the ball and kick up. I didn't even notice when he was kicking the ball how bad it was and then I saw the T.V. copy. It would have been a miracle if he made that kick. It's a shame that the game has to come down to that, something that the kids don't have control over. But we had a chance to win it. Right now, with this team, I think that's a step in the right direction. We've had a chance to win our last two games but we don't have enough guys that have been in the fray enough to know how to finish games right now."

Pretty good and frank statement there. Some Falcon fans are up in arms that Ellis apparently told the ESPN sideline dude that he wanted to be on the left hash because the ground was better, but we ended up on the right hash anyway. It would, indeed, have been a miracle to make that kick. I would think you'd want to check with the players--the guys in the box--somebody, on where there was some solid ground. Or, you might even go for it. Problem is, on third down with no timeouts, we couldn't risk running it to the left because we wouldn't have had time to get the play set up. So, it would have had to happen on second down.

Is it a step in the right direction for this team to have a chance to win against a team that was 1-9--even if they were better than that? I'm not sure. I sense a little battle fatigue in our guys. I halfway think we're surprised at this point to have a chance to win at the end against anybody. We absolutely are giving everything we have on the field right now emotionally and physically. It just isn't enough and I think that is hard for our team.

Another note: everyone wants to compare this era to the Blackney era. I don't know what is going to happen in the next couple of years. But a hallmark of the Blackney era was teams giving up. We haven't done that.

With the way the past month his gone, how huge would a win at Toledo be?
"It would be huge. It's a great rival game and you always want to beat UT. Again it's like I told the team before Miami you always want to beat the team down south and the team up north. Again I don't think the younger players have grasped that yet, the magnitude of a big game, a rival game and hopefully they'll have it for Tuesday night."

Well, it would be nice. Beyond that. At 5-7 with a win @ Toledo, things look about 50% brighter than they would at 4-8 with a loss @ Toledo--a third straight loss to the Rockets. I just wonder if we have the energy to come back and play. I will be surprised if we win on Tuesday, but I would not rule it out.

Is that something that is the older players responsibility?
"Yep, they have to talk to them about it. I don't have a lot of players that played last year in the game here. There aren't a lot of guys... there were guys on the team but they weren't starters or they didn't play a lot in the game."


It's been inconceivable in August to think that both the teams playing in this game are struggling...
"It's a surprise but I think that if you look at the schedules and the youth on both sides. Toledo's a young team too and I think you can understand where we are."

Yes it is. I really felt UT was ready to reload again. Both teams have to view this as a winnable game--and look to it for the same reason.

Even pushing the rivalry aside, to go into the off-season with a win...
"It would be a great springboard into the winter program, no doubt."

Yes, it would. It will be tough otherwise.

Bullock was kind of under the radar a little bit are teams looking to stop him?
"No for whatever reason Chris, maybe it was the elements, the mud, he had a hard time getting on track and some of the things that Miami was doing defensively allowed us to run Anthony so we stuck with that because he was doing a nice job at that and that gave us our best chance to move the ball."

It wasn't his night. As I said to someone sitting near me, we ripped most of the plays out of the playbook except AT running.

On Toledo's defense
"I think Toledo's one of the top three teams in the conference talent wise on both sides of the ball and it really shows up on the defense. I think they have great speed and athleticism as far as our league goes. They can cover man to man and they bring pressure. They have very active linebackers and it will be a challenge for us offensively. It always is when you play these guys, they do a good job."

As a coach do you look forward to the rivalry?

"Yeah. It's the cool thing about college football. These kind of games. Even the casual fan pays attention to the rival games."

There is an obligatory feel to this statement. I think when it is over, we will primarily feel relief that it is over and begin to work for better times.

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