Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sweet Victory #9: The Offense...

We've covered this in the first two posts, but BG's offense found a way to produce yesterday.  After some initial success, UB was shutting Travis Greene down.  BG used a QB run and some over the top passes to defeat that, and used big plays to set up scores.  Buffalo tried a similar approach and was unable to get over the top.

The point is, we made the adjustments we needed and found a way to win the game.

BG had 490 yards in total offense and averaged 7.4 yards per play.  BG had 217 yards on five plays, leaving them under 4 yards per play on the remainder.  BG has struggled to be a big play offense over the years, but in Buffalo, that was the difference.

A huge key was that UB only got one sack.  The Bulls were the best sacking team in the MAC, and you had to be nervous about BG's ability to protect Johnson, since that has been a problem in recent games.  Add to that the fact that BG needed to go over the top, meaning long-developing routes that require protection.  BG got the protection they needed on those plays and put the receivers in a position to make plays.

Johnson didn't have a great day with stats...but make no mistake...he's a winning QB who made the plays BG needed to win the game.  He ran out of trouble, he had the run that changed the game, he put those jump balls right where they needed to be.  Don't lose sight of him in the numbers yesterday...he is a dynamic playmaker.

Travis Greene had 129 yards.  UB was keyed on him and it did make a difference.  Greene needed 30 carries to get those yards, which is a 4.3 average.  He is a very tough player, though.  He kept battling.  Anyway, certainly a solid game and he is such a good runner that UB had to key on him, which left the big plays open downfield.  The big Johnson run only works because you have to key on Greene.

The other individual who had a big game was Shaun Joplin.  He had a couple drops but was absolute money in the 2nd half.  Yes, the guy does drop some balls, but he also makes catches no one else makes and he certainly did that yesterday.  Six of BG's 11 completions went to him...for 149 yards, a career high.

Bayer and Beck also had big catches.  BG's TEs are under-appreciated.  Each of these guys is a solid player.

BG was contending with Khalil Mack all day.  Guy had 12 tackles and 2 for loss, but no sacks and while his performance was very good, it wasn't game changing, so credit to BG for neutralizing him to that extent.  He's a great player, sure MAC Defensive POTY and a Sunday fixture next year.

So again, Buffalo won most of the small battles but BG took what the defense was giving them and made some big plays and that was the difference in the game.  BG's offense has come a long way--even since the Buffalo game in Columbus last year, where BG was afraid to throw the ball--and it delivered an East title.

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