Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sadness Accrues: The Offense

This season has had a lot of narratives.

We started with the idea we'd have a good defense, a high-powered offense with the MAC's best QB and big talent.

Then, we went to a porous defense but an offense that could outscore the opponent and be "allowed" to win the game.

Now, we are on a decent/good defense propping an offense that can't do anything.

QB has its own narrative.

Matt Johnson injured.
James Knapke comes in, plays great against Indiana and UMass.
Offense has bad game against OU and terrible game against WMU, Knapke (and everyone else) struggling.

Let's hope this is the turning point of the story, because BG is not going to win the division like this.

Here's the litany:

Two turnovers.
274 yards, only 3 more than against Wisconsin.
14 freaking first downs.
139 passing yards.  Read that one again.
135 rushing yards included a couple Knapke runs.  Greene and Coppet were 23-72.
Longest pass play?  22 yards.
After failing on 4th down from the 2, BG had 5 possessions.  1 first down.  1 turnover.  4:43 of possession.
BG had the ball for 1:52 in the 4th Q.

That's not pretty.

And, here's the thing.  It was pretty close to what BG looked like at OU, except that BG was able to spring Lewis free for 61 yards for one TD and then score on a long run and a long screen, bailing themselves out with big plays.  They didn't sustain much in that game or this game.

Coach made the point that you can't put it on one guy, and I think that's 100% correct.  People focus on the QB and that's the price you pay when you play QB, but here is what I see.

The last two teams have been determined to stop us from running and they have succeeded.  And under the scenario, BG has been unable to sustain drives with passing alone.  WMU added a lot of blitzes and pressure, and while they did not get a sack, they were a disruptive force, probably especially so against a young QB.  (The Pressure was the predominant issue on the INT, for example).

The fast offense looks really good when it is building off a successful play, even a five yard gain.  It is not so good when things are going poorly, as it was yesterday.  But, that's the vehicle the coaches have chosen and they need to figure out a way to make it work.

Certainly, Knapke can play better.  But, the entire offense was not good.  I thought Greene and Coppet both took wrong cuts in space on players.  The line and backs have to figure out pass protection better, except Burbrink our WRs were mostly taken out of the game, the line has to open space for the run...there's no facet of the game that worked.

The team still has control of its own destiny, with four games left.  However, the Akron game in 16 days will decide if that continues.  There's a long break for the Falcons to figure things out.  A loss against Akron and the chances of winning the East will remain a matter of math.   The formula appears to be out there.  The Falcons will either adjust or they will end the season in disappointment.

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