Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sweet Victory #5: Recap

So for all the nail biters we have experienced, it was nice to get a solid win.  Not that there are not things that can be improved and not that this was a win over one of the top teams in the country, but it was on the road against a team that is normally competitive and is well-coached, and to win a game with some level of comfort is a good thing and a step forward for our team.

You can't ask for a better start.  BG took the opening kickoff and went 75 yards in 6 plays (1:23) and then went up 7-0 on a big screen pass to Travis Greene.  Then, OU fumbled on their first play from scrimmage, BG recovered and a couple minutes later BG was in the end zone again, up 14-0 less than 3 minutes into the game.

The game was never closer than 8 for the rest of the game.

BG got OU off the field on the next possession, but the Falcons started deep in their own territory and OU ended up with the ball on the BG 37.  They drove inside the 10 but BG got the stop and OU kicked a FG to make it 14-3.

The Falcons went 3 and out and OU then went onto a massive drive, starting on their own 1 yard line.  They ran 15 plays and racked up 6:15.  It took them 12 plays to get to the BG 20...and then the Falcon defense got a win, shutting off a reverse for -9.  Then, OU had an illegal block and it was 3rd and 19 and OU got 10 yards on a QB scramble and had to settle for another FG.  So, long drive, never penetrated inside the 20 and the score was 14-6.

BG went 3 and out.

OU went on another long drive--this one ended up being 12 plays.  They got to the BG 21 and threw incomplete on 2nd and 3rd down and then missed the FG and it was still 14-6.  (In a game like this, that probably stands out as a pretty big miss).  That was a five minute drive with no points.

And then BG did what it does.  Knapke found Lewis in 1-1 coverage, hit him for 61 yards and then 2 plays later his Burbrink for the score and BG was up 21-6 and the game would never again be a one-score game.

So, say what you like about the defense, if OU gets TDs on those 3 drives, it is a different story.  Against WKU and UMass, we played bend and break defense, and here we played bend but don't break and then it would be nice to play bend-less and don't break.  The offense could do its part better as well.

The teams traded punts and then OU used 11 plays to drive from its own 7 to the 50.  There, on 4th down, they tried a fake punt and BG was on it, stopping the punt short of the first down marker.  (Ballew credited with the tackle).  BG got the ball back with :48 left in the half and it looked like a great time for a dagger, but BG could not make a first down and that was the half.

There was no word on whether Coach Babers continued to use orange juice and Gatorade.

Coming out of the second half, the two teams traded punts, with the exchange leaving OU on its own 7.  (At this point, by the way, BG's offense had not made a first down since the 61 yard pass to Lewis).

OU ground the ball from the 7 to the BG 38, where the Falcons defense rallied again.  After a run stop and 2 incomplete passes OU decided to go for it on 4th and 10 and BG brought pressure on the and Sanford got a 12 yard sack, giving BG the ball on the 50.

Another good time for a dagger, and BG started out that way with 2 first downs but then Knapke threw a pick and OU had the ball back.

The defense did their job, getting a 3 and out and BG took over on its own 42.  This time, the offense finally capitalized as Travis Greene rambled in from 30 yards out to give BG a 28-6 lead with 5:30 left in the 3rd.  At that point, you have to feel pretty good about it.

OU got a big kickoff return to the 38 and made one first down before facing 4th and 2 on the BG 43. They went for it, and BG delivered on defense, getting the stop.

The offense went 3 and out, chewing up :23 of clock time.

OU was right back at it, driving to the BG 35.  Then, once again BG began to win battles as OU threw 4 straight incompletions and BG had the ball back.

Here the Falcons got what might have been the biggest break of the game.  Knapke threw a pick six, but OU was called for pass interference and it was called back (off-setting penalties) and BG was happy this time to be punting.

OU took the ball and made a long drive, this time aided by some penalties by BG.  For example, BG was called for a personal foul on 3rd and 27, giving OU a first.  BG was also called for a personal foul after getting a 4th and 9 stop.  OU finally got the ball into the end zone and it was 28-13 with 9:26 left in the game.

BG took the ball on its own 25 and did something you just don't see.  The Falcons ran clock.  They stopped at the line of scrimmage and watched the clock run down.  I think everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

BG converted a big 3rd and 9 in the first series and the Coppet broke free for 54 yards but it was called back due to holding.  Then, it was OU's turn to aid with penalties as the Bobcats were called for two dead ball personal fouls on the same play, one of which resulted in the ejection of Laseak, something he appeared to find amusing for a while on the sidelines.  Anyway, the 30 yards gave BG the ball on the 14 and from there the only objective is to get a FG and eat clock, which BG did, leading 31-13.  The drive ate up 5:46 and with less than 4 minutes left and a 3-score game, it was over.

So, while it wasn't always pretty, BG was clearly better than OU and it was a win that did not required chewing your fingernails.  It was BG's 8th straight MAC win.

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