Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Sweet Victory #6

And there you have it.  I have to confess that I only saw the last 4 minutes of the game due to a work obligation, so I don't have many visual observations.

On the whole, a very good win for our Falcons.  On the road, adverse conditions, 16-day layoff and coming off a bad loss...BG delivered a big win and they are now one game from playing for the MAC title for a second straight season...something that has never happened for BG in the divisional era.  They are doing so without their starting QB, something that ends many seasons.

I know many people are not happy with how things are going, but I don't know how much more you'd like to see right now.  It isn't done until it is done, but let's not lose sight of what has happened to date.

Yes, I know the East is soft.  BG is the least soft and has a month to be good enough to win at Ford Field.

The preview I did highlighted two key issues.  First, BG needed to get a strong defensive performance against an Akron team that is not strong on the offensive side of the ball, and BG absolutely got it.  The defense certainly did shut down Akron.  The Zips had only 4.4 yards per play and BG picked up 5 turnovers.  The defense got a score.  Akron struggled to run the ball and threw the ball 63 times and yet only had just over 300 yards to show for the effort.

The second issue was whether BG was going to be able to move the ball against Akron's defense, which is one of the top in the conference.  In particular, BG was going to need to run the ball effectively against a very stout Akron defense.  That was even more important given the weather and it became an even bigger challenge with Travis Greene was injured and then an even bigger challenge when Coppet was hurt.

BG had two 100+ rushers, with Coppet averaging 6.3 yards per carry and Givens at 7.2 yards per carry.

So credit to the o-line and to the coaching staff.  BG struggled to run the ball against WMU and OU, and they put it together for this one.

BG ran the ball 48 times (sack adjusted) and threw 37 times.  The passing game remained not great--50% completons, 10 yards per reception and no interceptions.

Overall, the offense was not great.  Yes, there were 27 points, but one was a defensive TD and one came late when the game was over.  BG had only 4.6 yards per play and four of BG's five scores came off turnovers by Akron.  BG's longest drive was the last one where Givens scored and before that it was 62 yards.

But the offense was good enough against a very good defense.  BG had 21 first downs and played well enough given the defensive performance for the Falcons to win a key road game.

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