Sunday, September 20, 2015

Memphis: The Offense...

The offense continues to put up playstation numbers.

And yet, after the game, Coach Babers said, "we need to score more touchdowns."

He's right.  Actually, one more touchdown and this would be a different post.  But to put up those kind of numbers and to be thinking you still need more?  Shows you the kind of expectations this style of play brings.

Coaches biggest concern was drops.  When you play a rhythm game like we play, you need to catch the ball.  And then there was the one TD that was dropped on the Dieter pass.  I'd add one other concern, but we will get to that in a second.

There was plenty of good about the offense.  There was 570 yards of total offense on only 74 plays.  That's 7.8 yards per play.  BG completed 62% of its passes (slightly below the 65% goal), with 9.8 yards per attempt and 15.8 yards per completion, all of which are just outstanding.  BG was 7 of 15 on third down and scored TDs on both its red zone opportunities.  (I doubt if too many teams will get 6 TDs on 2 red zone trips).

BG also ran effectively, though it didn't always feel like it.  Once the sacks are removed, BG had 6.48 yards per attempt, which is also very good.

And BG scored 41 points without any turnovers and with some dreadful field position.

The individual star goes to Roger Lewis, who came close to a school record with 261 yards in receptions, which would be a big day for many teams.  Furthermore, he accomplished that on only 7 catches and he scored three times on pass plays of 62, 94 and 62 yards.  Memphis was clearly determined not to give BG the short stuff--to make us hit the low percentage bombs to win the game.  I give them credit, too.  They didn't back off their game plan.  They were still putting their CBs on an island with Lewis after the 3 TDs.

It was a very good day for a guy who has been a beast for the last two games.  Coach said in the post-game presser that it remains a team effort--it is the only WRs that demand coverage that get Lewis single coverage...which is true.  But for the second week in a row, a good team had no answer for guarding Lewis.

Matt Johnson had another big day at 28 of 44 for 443 yards and 4 TD.  He also ran the ball 7 times for 64 yards.

Other individual stars were Travis Greene with 63 yards on 11 carries, Burbrink with 8 catches and Moore with 7, and Redding with a TD grab in 2 catches.

The biggest issue for the offense...beyond the drops...was pass protection.  BG gave up 4 sacks on 48 passing attempts (counting the sacks in attempts) with is 8% and too high.  Part of that is a by-product of taking away the short game...when BG is throwing those short slants you are not likely to be sacked.

Another factor is that when Memphis brought an extra guy, BG had a back in to block and a couple times I saw them get overpowered by the blitzer.  Memphis is a big and physical team.  Still, maybe BG needs to leave a TE or bigger player in to block on plays like that.

There have been some protection issues in other games as well.  BG gave up 4 sacks and there were other situations where Johnson was pressured.  I don't know what the coaching is in terms of throwing it away.  On a couple of the sacks Johnson was pressured inside the pocket, moved around but couldn't get out of the pocket and I don't think he had a lane to get rid of it.  He didn't make any mistakes (throw a pick) under pressure, so I think he's doing all he can do.

However it happened, Memphis was able to win enough battles up front to disrupt our passing game.

No better example exists than the last drive.  BG got the ball with 3 minutes left down 3.  If you are going to go to the Baylor offense and you are going to retool everything and you have all these players and high octane, eye popping would seem like this would be the situation you did it for.

And in that situation, we did come up short.  We picked up a DPI for 15 yards, but then Johnson was sacked and BG went to Greene on the flat to try and get him in space and it was blown up for another 5 yard loss.  BG got seven back to Burbrink and on 4th down had to go deep.  BG went back to Lewis, the ball was a little short and he was covered and it was a battle and the defender broke the pass up and that was that.

One last thing to remember for Falcon Fans.  BG put these kind of numbers up against a good Memphis team...what can they do in conference play?

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