Thursday, November 17, 2011

Loss to the Bobcats

Having trouble coming up with much to write about the game last night...

As I said last night, we played better than we have since the Temple game.  We very nearly beat a team that has a good shot at winning the conference.  I was concerned it could be another blow out, and we certainly competed with OU.

We moved the ball well, and we made the stops we needed early in the game to hold OU to field goals.  Special teams were pretty tolerable and we avoided penalties.

Having said was another game where BG made too many turnovers and couldn't stop a team in the 4th Quarter from running right down our throat.  In a way, it reminded me of recent losses at Missouri and at Marshall, where BG was in good position until the 4th quarter, and then the other team just ran right over us and rallied from whatever deficit they had.

As I said last night, we are clearly better than we were last year.  We are absolutely better than we were at the end of last season.

But, I don't sense we are that much better than we were early in the season, and that's disappointing.  With a young team, you would hope to be seeing signs of improvement, and instead we are seeing a team performing pretty consistently with what we saw early in this year.

And that's a little disappointing.

I know we're young.  I had reasonable expectations, I had us going 5-7, which we might still do.  I know we are running the ball better, passing numbers are better, and the defense is clearly better.  You just think that these young players with nearly a season under their belt would be producing a nicer product than what we saw last night.

Maybe that's even unfair.  We did improve in the red zone, going 4-4 down there.

But the storyline plays well, makes many mistakes, is rolled over to give up 4th Quarter lead and then loses on last play of the game.

I do give credit to our guys, who are continuing to play very hard, even in the face of little reward.  We battled OU very hard and they are a good team.

For example, let's look at the second and fourth quarters...

BG had four possessions in the 4th quarter and turned it over on 3 of them.  The Falcons entered the quarter up 7-0 and left down 16-14.  The 3 turnovers resulted in 13 points for OU.  Because of the turnovers, OU ran 21 plays in the quarter, which was probably played a big role in the 4th quarter issues BG had on defense.

Finally, BG had the lead and got the ball back with 1:17 left.  In previous situations, BG would have just run the clock out, but the Falcons ran a really nice drive down the field and was on the OU 25 with :18.  At this point, you have to figure you at least get an improbable if not impossible FG attempt to extend the team.  Instead, the line left Schilz completely exposed and he responded by throwing the ball right to an OU d-back who ran the ball deep into BG territory and they look a lead heading into the locker.

Just without that sequence right there, you have to think the game could have ended differently.

Now, the 4th Quarter...

BG scored to take a 28-19 lead just 90 seconds into the half.  At this point, against all the obstacles they placed before themselves, they had a two-score lead in the 4th quarter at home.

That didn't last very long...about two minutes.  OU got a big kickoff return into BG territory and in 1:54 they had headed into the end zone to cut the lead to 2 again.

BG started on its own 26.  A winning team puts the game away with a TD.  Worst case, you needed to flip field position...a couple first downs were absolutely required...and BG did get those, driving to the OU 40 with about 8 left.  But, OU snuffed a run for a loss of 1 and then following a completion to Jorden, BG was facing 3-6 from the 40.  Schilz dropped back to pass, and was dropped very quickly by a rusher who seemed to be barely touched as he came around the edge.

OU's bench erupted.  BG punted OU down to the 10.  Here, you figure that with their great kicker, they are in OK shape.  Still, the Falcons just needed one stop---one stop---to get out of the game and they had to go almost the whole field.  Just somewhere in there, you think you are getting a stop.

OU ran 5 plays and made 3 first downs and was at their own 45--4 rushes and one pass.  Then, they tried an option and BG ate it all up, you could see this orange wave running at the ball and OU lost 5.  At the time, I said that this might be our best shot.  On the next play, OU completed a pass for 14 yards and it was 3-1.  BG made a huge stop on a Tettleton run and it was 4-1.  OU had to go for it.

This was perhaps the game's most controversial moment.  BG felt someone flinched in the OU line and jumped up and made contact.  At first, it didn't look like they were going to call anything, and then they finally did, had a meeting and called it on BG.  Clawson went crazy, but it was a first down at the BG and they were inside the 20 (and field goal range) just two plays later, and that's how it all ended.

On the entire drive, I thought BG's defense looked tired.  The ran 77 plays and BG only ran 59.  Anyway, we seemed to be arm tackling and getting blown off the ball.

More later....

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