Friday, November 29, 2013

Pre-game appreciation.

And here we go!

It has come to this...this is, in many ways, the moment we have pointed to since that awful 2010 season, when BG red-shirted guys to build for this exact moment...the chance to play for a trip to the MAC Championship.

A few thoughts before kickoff...

Now, when we don't know the result, I want to say that I think our coaches have done a great job re-building this program.  I was shocked when Brandon was let go, but obviously things were worse on the inside than it looked.  This team had some holes in its recruiting class, and a lot of young guys got put on the field when they weren't totally ready.  Now, there is a benefit to that--they are seasoned veterans.

Our coaches have methodically improved this team and now have the team ready to win.  Clearly, they have done a great job with the defensive side of the ball, not just with great players but with depth.  You lose a guy like Gabe Martin, and the team continues to produce.  

On offense, the progress might have been a little slower, but two season-changing decisions were made that should be noted.  The first was putting Travis Greene at RB...he now has the 3rd best season in program history, measured by total yards.  That was innovative in the face of necessity, but it was far from an obvious move and it was good coaching and it should be recognized.  That was not an automatic move.

The second was starting Matt Johnson.  Schilz had started a bunch of games for us and most coaches covet a senior QB, especially.  It was clear, however, that Johnson was a dynamic player and the better player even as a sophomore.  It was a gutsy decision (at the time) and they deserve credit for making it.

I know you'd like a big win over a BCS opponent somewhere along the line and you'd certainly like to have beaten Toledo, but Clawson and his staff are very good coaches and have done a great job getting us where we are.  Furthermore, I believe that the program is built in a way that can be sustainable.  Of course, the future remains to be seen.

And for the Falcon fans, I just have this to say.  Enjoy it today.  If, like me, you were at that legendary season-ending WMU game in 2010 (the one that makes Clawson shudder when he talks about it), you've earned it.  The team is playing its most meaningful game in 10 years...since BG beat UT to win the West and move on to its only MAC Championship appearance (and on our field).  We wanted to be here and we are.

We might win, we might lose.  I have a feeling that this team knows itself now and will deliver the win but I'm obviously biased.  I know everyone will be disappointed if we lose, which is why I wanted to make the point now...we've come a long way, we're playing meaningful late-November football...Roll Along, you know?

No comments :