Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sweet Victory #9: Defense Conquers the East

It is difficult to say enough good things about the BG defense.  Keep this in mind...BG lost its star rover in the UT game and gave up one offensive touchdown over the next four games.  This is something to appreciate. The BG defense was clearly the difference in the game Friday and in the Falcon season.  They have played an historic level for the last two seasons, and let's give them the credit they deserve.

BG's game plan was to stop UB from running the ball.  Branden Oliver has been a productive workhorse during the season, but we noted in the preview that his per-carry averages were only good.  He got the ball 18 times for 46 yards with a long of 9.  So, yeah...BG stopped the UB running game.

So, forcing UB to throw the ball 45 times was a victory to start with.  Even then, the Bulls struggled.  They were 21 of 45 passing for 221 yards, but if you deduct the 30 yards BG picked up on 5 sacks, you end up with the Bulls getting 3.8 yards per attempt on the 50 plays they dropped back to pass.  So, BG stopped the UB passing game too.  (And, some of those yards came in garbage time).

In total, UB had 15 first downs, 6 of them after BG led by 17.  The Bulls averaged 3.4 yards per play and were 5 of 17 on third down.

That's an outstanding, title-winning defensive effort.

A lot of players contributed.  One you had to notice was Ted Ouellet.  It is easy for interior lineman to get lost in the shuffle...there's no stat for eating up two blocks.  This guy was an absolute beast yesterday...5 tackles, 3 for loss, two sacks and a hurry.  Here's a senior who came to play.

Aaron Foster had a great game.  Guy moved positions due to injury and has excelled at CB.  He was great.  He gets tested a lot because Truss is so good on the other side.  There were at least a couple situations where they threw jump balls similar to the ones that Joplin and Bayer caught, and Foster won those one-on-on battles every time.  He led the team in tackles and had 2 pass break ups.

Not to single anyone out, though.  Great defense is a team effort.  Brian Sutton also had 6 tackles...both Paul Swan and Bryan Thomas had 1.5 TFL.  Jarius Campbell had a sack.  BG has a cohesive defensive unit without weaknesses, and they played at a very high level yesterday.

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