Friday, November 28, 2014

Sadness Accrues: Falcons Sh*t the Bed in Home Finale

He's right.  It was awful.  One week before playing for a MAC Championship, BG was beaten soundly on its home field by Ball State, closing out a season where BG goes 0-3 against the West and wins the East with 3 losses.

Ball State won every facet of the game.  With 9:40 left IN THE FIRST QUARTER, BG led 21-7.  From there, BG was outscored 34-3.  That's just incredible.  It was painful to watch and should leave the Falcons under no illusions heading into next week.  As Coach said, we need to fix "everything."

On offense, BG was one-dimensional.  Adjusting for sacks, BG had 129 yards passing on 27 attempts.  Once that was apparent, Ball State jammed up the run and kept BG bottled up and that's how you go 55 minutes in a football game with 3 points.

On defense, BG played very poorly.  Edwards ran the ball right down their throat, there were missed tackles and they were 20-29 passing for 286 yards.  Ball State out performed BG's defense in every way possible.

On special teams, BG gave up too many long kickoff returns, had a bad snap on a FG, and had poor KO returns of its own.

There's some symmetry to the season, because this was as bad a butt-kicking as the WKU game was to start the season.

Coach didn't mince any words.  He's upset, bad taste in his mouth and it isn't "Thanksgiving turkey."  He knows how poor a performance that was for a team getting ready to head into a championship game.

He says they can fix it.  We shall see.  I believe they can get the defense tightened around, because that was a relatively uncharacteristic performance for them.

The offense is the bigger worry.  First, both Greene and Coppet ended up leaving the game with injuries...they are badly needed.  Second, it is not clear what can be done to fix the passing game.  BG can't seem to go deep and calls an awful lot of bubble screens and short slants and those just aren't going anywhere.  Open throws are missed and despite having everyone all spread out, the ball never seems to get anywhere out of traffic.  (It reminds me of the playcalling BG was forced to use when Anthony Turner was the QB).

Everyone is on the QB, obviously.  Obviously, he's not very productive right now.  It isn't the only issue, but it is a big one.  The problem is that we don't see Callaway in practice...people say he couldn't do worse, but the people who have seen him practice apparently think that he could.  I don't believe you will see BG do anything different with personnel at QB next Friday.  Either way--whether it is getting Knapke productive or getting an untested true FR QB productive--a huge challenge lies in front of our coaches.

Here's the problem.  That was game 12 and game 11 without Matt Johnson.  I can understand some adjustment time, but given the offensive chops of Babers and our two co-offensive coordinators, you have a right to expect to see some improvement and in fact the offense is regressing.  So maybe that's the third reason why the offense is the big worry...because if they haven't been able to fix it by now, what makes you think they can fix it by next Friday?

The Indiana game haunts.  How can the passing game have been so effective that day and then show us what they did today?  That was the same QB.  See?

A long night lies ahead of the Falcons.  If it bothers the fans this much, imagine how it makes the players and coaches feel.  NIU is going to be a very, very big favorite on Friday and BG needs a night-and-day improvement or it won't even be close.

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