Sunday, October 04, 2015

Sweet Victory #3: The Defense

The defense had a big role in the BG win Saturday at Buffalo.

The mantra is the same.  They're not great.  They can get better.  Lots of room to get better.  But, they are ahead of expectations and playing well enough to give this team--this team--a chance to win, and that's all we were hoping for.

They were in a bend but don't break mode against Buffalo.   James Sanford said after the game (paraphrasing) that they would prefer not to bend either, but here is what happened yesterday.

  • They didn't give up big plays.  Long play from scimmage was 24 yards.
  • They kept the pressure on Buffalo, who had 19 3rd down plays in the game (and they converted 10, which is good but not earth shaking).
  • They kept Buffalo from running the ball, with 4.1 yards per carry and no run over 12 yards.
  • They held Licata to 59% completions and only 9.9 yards per completion, both of which are excellent results.
  • They held Buffalo to 22 points on 6 red zone trips, which was the key part of the game.
  • They had a huge takeaway in the red zone on the Sanford interception.

Yes, the 4th quarter was ugly, but as Coach said after the game, you are graded on the "whole test, not just one part" and BG's defense helped the team build the lead that was eventually too much to overcome.

I honestly just think they are getting better coaching this year and they are playing more effective team defense.  They are tackling better and are much better in pass coverage.  They are not generating a bunch of negative plays (sacks and TFL), but they have been difficult to run against.  Given the lack of experience in the program, this is promising for the future, for as long as this whole situation stays in place.

Individually, in addition to the pick, Sanford had a team high 13 tackles, 1 TFL and 1 break up.  Valdez had 10 tackles and 3 break ups.  Trent Greene had 8 tackles and a TFL.  Shannon Smith had the team's only sack.

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