Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sweet Victory #2: The Recap

One thing is that we remember this as a great game because we won... but it was really a very entertaining football, if you like that sort of thing.  It was exciting, going for it on 4th down creates more dramatic plays and then you have the back and forth nature and the crazy finish.  Just a very entertaining work of art, for sure, but very entertaining and a great day to be a Falcon.

BG won the toss and took the ball.  I just think we should always do this.  When we had Omar Jacobs we did it.  Let's get the ball and score  a TD and start the game ahead.  Which is, in fact, what happened.  Purdue took a different approach then Memphis did.  Memphis took away the short ball and forced us to go long.  Purdue took away the deep ball and forced us to go short.  So, BG had more time of possession and more long drives than we are used to.  That included the first one, where BG went on a 14 play, nearly 4 minute drive to cover the 78 yards for the TD.

That included converting a 3rd and 16, overcoming a clipping penalty, a mix of passes and runs and then using the Lee inside option play for 16 yards before Travis Greene topped it off with an 11 yard TD run.

The defense got a stop and the offense took over at the 19 and promptly picked up 27 yards on the first play of the drive.  A couple of plays later BG had a 3rd and 1 and the snap went over Johnson's head and we couldn't corral it and Purdue recovered and punched it in the end zone (converting 2 4th down plays).  I feel like that was an early turning point.  If BG scores and goes up 14-0, I just feel like the "crowd" is out of the game and it might set up differently.

That's especially true because BG went on another ponderous, plodding 12-play 3-minute drive to score another TD.  It featured one 4th down conversion on the Purdue 15 (When Coach says we need more touchdowns, he means it) and finally Donovan Wilson pounding the ball into the end zone for the TD to go up 14-7.

But now the game is on.  Purdue was beginning to hit their stride.  Blough is going to be a good QB, I think.  This is the series where Eilar Hardy was ejected for targetting (and based on the rules it was a good call, my biggest objection is that I think once they call one in a game they start to cool off and it ends up being selectively enforced) and then four plays later Yancey got the ball in the open field, completely beat a BG defender in the open field and scored to tie the game.

BG got the ball back and drove to midfield before Matt Johnson overthrew a receiver and Purdue had a pick.  They had first and goal from the BG 6, and here the Falcon defense stiffened up and forced a FG attempt which, amazingly, missed (19 yard attempt).  This was another turning the turnover, Purdue went from the chance to take the lead by 7 to the game still being tied.

BG took over on the 20 with 2:21 left in the half and five complete passes later they were on the Purdue 19.  Greene took it to the 1 and then Wilson finished the job and BG led 21-14.  There was 1:02 still to play.

Purdue didn't get any points and the half ended with BG up 21-14.

The third quarter was not so great.  Purdue took the kickoff and went on a long drive that included converting a 4th and 9 from the BG 25 and tied the game at 21.

BG had trouble with a kickoff return penalty again and started on the 8.  This was a real trouble point, and BG at least needed to drive the ball out that area or you had the feeling Purdue would score and take the lead.

Which BG did, picking up 3 first downs and hitting about midfield.  A false start and a couple of unsuccessful pass plays left BG with a 4th and 1.  Here, almost any football coach on earth would have played field position and stuck Purdue deep in their own territory.  BG lined up to go for it and did not convert.

Purdue, however, could not take advantage and went 3 and out.  The defense came up big with a Ben Hale TFL and a Royster sack.  They punted BG back to the 10.

BG moved the ball again.  On the first 11 plays of the drive, BG made 6 first downs.  BG was on the 10 for a 3rd and 6 play, ran the inside shovel to Lee who got to the 4th and on 4th and 2 the Falcons went for it again.  There was less than a minute left to go in the quarter and almost any Coach on earth would have kicked this field goal in a tie game, but give Coach credit, when he says we need more touchdowns, he is backing that up with action.  Now, we need to work on more successful execution of that BG failed by one yard to convert and gave Purdue the ball back.

Purdue drove out to midfield and then Nillihan Ballew had a huge TFL on a 3rd and 1 and Purdue punted BG down to the 15.  With 11:47 left in the game...the action really got going.

BG went on a 10 play, five first down drive to score.  BG converted a 3rd and 11 on a Johnson run and a 3rd and 7 to Ronnie Moore and BG scored on a 3rd down play as well.  On other can't tell the story of the 4th quarter without talking about Purdue's contribution through stupid personal foul penalties that made BG's job much easier.  In this case, they hit a sliding Matt Johnson...and my only point here is that this one was targetting as much as the Hardy hit except that Johnson wasn't injured on the play and they had already called on and the game was in the 4th quarter, etc).

Anyway, BG was now up 28-21 with 8:34 left.  All BG needs is one stop, really, and you have to believe we can score again and its over.  Unfortunately, on the 3rd play of the drive BG completely missed a coverage and Purdue had a 62 yard TD pass and a tie game with 7:58 left to go.

BG got the ball back again.  On the first play Johnson threw a pick 6 and things seemed to have deteriorated very quickly.  BG caught an enormous break as the Boilermakers were called for DPI that I certainly could not detect on the replay board.  Even with that less preserver, Johnson threw 3 straight incomplete passes and BG punted (!!), putting Purdue on its own 6 after an penalty.

There was 7:08 left.  Purdue then went on a very effective drive down the field, facing only one third down (and that was for one yard) before getting to the BG 17.  Once again, though, the often doubted BG defense delivered.  They gave up 2 yards on first down and then forced 2 incompletions to leave Purdue with a 33 yard field goal to take the lead with about 3 minutes left.

Which the guy missed again.  It is just unbelievable what that does to a team's momentum.  The air whooshed out of the stadium.  You can actually feel it.  Coach said later that it wasn't such a big deal to him because either way he wanted a TD to win, but there's no way that didn't shift things.

In the Memphis game when BG had a similar opportunity, I said that if there was one thing we were built for, this would be it.  Said it again Saturday.

BG took the ball.  Johnson converted a 3rd and 2 with his feet.  (For the game, Johnson made 6 first downs running on 3rd or 4th down.  Read that again.)

On a 2nd and 10, BG gave the ball to Travis Greene, who got 12 yards.  Then, Purdue made BG's job easier for the second time with a personal foul that put 15 yards onto the end of the run.  Two plays later BG had a 3rd and 8 from the Purdue 37, Johnson ran for 13 yards and Purdue gave their final assist with ANOTHER personal foul that put BG on the 12.

And here was the individual effort of the game.  Well into the final seconds of the game, BG knew that Purdue was expecting pass.  BG had a time out left, however, so the whole playbook was open and the hand off to Greene resulted in one of the finest individual efforts I have seen in a long time.  I'm not going to try and describe it.  Just watch.

That's a player we should love.  He was running right at where we were sitting and we probably had as good a view of that play as we had of any play all day (as, oddly, we did of the Charles Sharon catch in '03) and Greene took a big hole and then flat out beat a bunch of guys who were thought to be better than him.


And BG had the lead with :09 and that was the game.

A great day to be a Falcon.  More to come.

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