Friday, November 25, 2011

Season Ends on Victory...

No one wants to play in a game where a 4-7 team and a 3-8 team do battle for the ability to move into the off-season on a winning note...those stakes are not high even for your most casual fan.  As such, there is only one thing worse than winning a game like that...and that would be to lose it.

Which our Falcons did not do.  It was not always pretty, but in the end, on that Saturday, BG was good enough to register its first comfortable win in many weeks.

The key driving factor in the game was the wind, which was howling at levels similar to what it was for the BG-UT game.  There were 70 points scored in the game...17 of them were scored into the wind.

On the surface, this would appear to not favor BG.  The Falcons were down 2.5 RBs---Samuel, Hopgood, and Martin was at 50-60% according to Coach after the game.  So, in a game where you will need to run the ball at least half the time, BG was depleted in the running back division.

Early, BG's offense had a not so fresh feeling, as a short BG punt into the wind led to a Buffalo FG and then Schilz threw a pick 6 to give the Bulls a 10-0 lead.  Near the end of the first, Schilz was intercepted again (he was picked on 2 of his first 8 passes) and early in the second Buffalo was back up by 10.

Luckily for BG, Buffalo was having similar issues....Boo Boo had a pick that he returned to the 6 and the Falcons scored on their next play, and then Hutson had a blocked punt and BG scored on a one-play 28 yard drive to make it 17-14.

BG finally hit its stride near the end of the second quarter.  Buffalo had the ball up 20-14 with just inside 2 minutes left, and they had the ball on their 32.  They went 3 and out with 2 incomplete passes, which left BG with 1:17 left after a punt.  Starting on its own 26, BG ran a 9-play, 74 yard TD drive that took only :54 off the clock......and BG never called one timeout.

They were assisted by one personal foul, and Schilz was incomplete several times, but there were three completions of more than 15 yards and with the penalty, that got BG into the end zone for a halftime lead.

BG opted to take the wind for the 3rd, which I wholeheartedly agree with.  Coach said after the game that he told the offense they had to make it work because we were putting everything on a big 3rd quarter performance.

And that's exactly what happened.  BG scored 21 3rd quarter points and essentially put the game away before Buffalo ever got the win again.

Buffalo came out of the locker room and got a first down and punted, and then BG went 3 and out but Schmiedebusch nailed a 76 yard punt that was downed on the Buffalo 4.  You should never doubt the power of special teams to be game changing...because that punt set a lot in motion.

BG's defense produced a 3 and out with -1 net yard, and the punt into the wind left BG on the Buffalo 39.  The Falcons capitalized on the short field with a seven play TD drive (yes, you read that right) that featured a 15 yard run by John Pettigrew (still reading right) and an 11 yard run by Matt Schilz (I shit you not).

Pettigrew got the TD on a 2 yard run, and BG was up 8.  The defense got another 3 and out, and then Buffalo had a 4 yard punt and the Falcons ran a 7 play, 36 yard drive for another TD.  Shaun Joplin had a 30 yard reception (he and Stokes are going to be very dangerous next year if Schilz can get time to throw) and then an INT was reversed on a pass interference call.

Martin, playing hurt, drove the ball in for the TD, and BG had a 15 point lead.

The defense got another 3 and out and BG was starting on its own 36.  Coach said that he told Ruggerio to dial up something he liked offensively, because there was less than a minute left with the wind, and Schilz hit Jorden for a 64 yard reception and a 22 point Falcon lead.

It was the kind of quarter you need when you take the wind in the 3rd.  Buffalo had to see a high mountain to climb, even with the wind.  They are not a big passing team, so it was going to be a struggle.

They made a couple first downs before Kevin Moore forced an incomplete pass on 3rd and BG had the ball back.  Pettigrew had 23 yards on two carries for 2 first downs for BG.  Schmiedebusch nailed a 49 yard punt INTO THE WIND (touchback) and Buffalo drove inside the 30 before a penalty set them back and BG held on a 4th and 13 play.

At that point, 5 minutes were left, and Buffalo did score with a minute left, but BG had a comfortable victory, winning 42-28.

We'll have more later.  As I said, it wasn't always pretty, but both teams had the win for half the game, Buffalo was at home, where they play well, and BG was better on this day.  A 3-game improvement feels a lot better than a 2-game improvement, and know...we might have hoped for more but that wasn't a disaster.  There were certainly growing pains, but we finished with a win and for today, that's all that could be done.

No comments :