Saturday, September 07, 2013

Sweet Victory! the game flowed

BG had a tough schedule to start the season.  You start with Tulsa and then any point, if you had told me we would win both games by 1, I'd have been happy.  As it happens, BG has won the games by 27 points and 22 points and you have to be pretty pleased with how it is all coming out.

It was not always apparent that this one was going to go that way.  As it turns out, Dri Archer did not play, but Kent was not deterred.  They came out with what coach double a "split backfield option" look they had not shown yet, and it had BG's defense very confused.  In fact, both teams were just shredding the opposing defenses.  The two teams traded scores and leads, and heading into the final minutes of the first half, KSU led 22-17.

They would not score again, as it turns out.  BG started a drive on its own 29 with 4:34 left.  Sparked by a critical 23 yard completion to Shaun Joplin on 3-12, BG kept the drive alive until the last minute.  From the Flash 7, Johnson scrambled to his right, waiting until something was open and hit Jared Cohen in the very front corner of the end zone.

Nearly everyone in the stadium saw it as a touchdown, except for the official who was about one foot away.  (As an aside, instant replay was created because of officiating crews that this one....they also missed an obvious 12-men on the field penalty on Kent that had to be fixed by the replay official.)  Anyway, with the reversal, BG went into the locker room up 24-22.

In the locker room, BG's excellent defensive coaches adjusted to what Kent was doing--Coach said after the game it included more pressure and keeping the safety outside of some kind of arc, which I would be sure was pure genius if I knew what he was talking about.

It worked.  Kent had only 55 yards and 2 yards per play in the second half.  Their QB, Reardon, was constantly harassed and they could get nothing going.  They did not score.

Meanwhile, the offense continued to roll.

On its first possession, BG ran a six minute drive that ended up with a FG (27-22).  

Then, the game's key sequence emerged.  The defense forced Kent into a 3 and out.  Their outstanding punter drilled the ball and forced Burbrink into a risky over-the-shoulder fair catch at his own 13.  Johnson was sacked on first down back to the 8.  Up 5, BG faced a big 3rd down (and 15 to go) deep in its own territory.

Johnson dropped back and got great protection.  He rolled a little to his left.  BG had run what Coach says was a four-vertical route (in other words, everybody go deep, you used to do it in the backyard all the time) and with all the time he fired the ball to Ryan Burbrink.  It was a perfect throw which he caught just over midfield.  The defender went down and Burbrink could have walked into the end zone for the TD that gave BG a 34-22 lead with 4 minutes left in the 3rd.

Up 12 at this point, you have to be feeling pretty good, if only because you are feeling that we are up 2 scores and the defense has regained control and it seems unlikely that BG can lose this one.  

Which was pretty much right.  Not only did Kent not get two scores from that point in, they had only 3 first downs for the remainder of the contest.

Sparked by a 41 yard pass from Johnson to Beck, BG scored one more time in the early 4th to create the final margin and then it was really all over---and the big Kent crowd was heading for the exits early, their series of winning streaks at an end.

And that's how a win like that can play out.  It was a beautiful day with a big crowd and a big BG crowd and a great football atmosphere and our guys did a great job.  Yes, they are a different team without Archer, but they showed some offensive playmakers in the first half, including their QB.  I don't think Archer would have been worth 19 points...but I was plenty happy not to see him out there.

More on the various units tomorrow.  In the meantime, it is a great day to be a Falcon.

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