Saturday, November 28, 2015

Football Update

Well, here we go again.  BG and NIU for the MAC Title.  Both teams have one win in the series, so this one will be the rubber match.

It got that way through a week you could only get in the MAC.  First, NIU lost at home to OU and it looked like it would be a UT-BG rematch but then the Rockets were beaten at home by WMU and it was NIU after all.

A couple thoughts.  First, for a couple long days Falcon fans had a chance to check their bravado as it related to a UT rematch.  I honestly think we have a better shot at beating NIU and that UT is the better team, but it was going to be tough either way.  Also, the UT winning streak would have been an additional distraction.  Of course, there is the possibility that given one more shot, BG would have rallied and delivered a win.

Second, from what I saw on line, NIU will be playing their 3rd-string QB, Tommy Fiedler.  He is a walk-on true freshman.  That certainly doesn't help them.  Having said that, they are a run-based team and he did look OK on a couple late drives against OU.  They will have had a week and a half to get him ready.  Again, it is better than playing the other guy but I'd be careful overdoing it as expectations go.

Third...and I think this one is interesting.  The chart below is BG's yards per completion while Matt Johnson has been QB for each game this year.  The right hand of the chart captures my concern.  I had observed that our opponents appeared to be taking away the big plays and that has certainly been true.  As you can see below, BG hovered right around 14 yards per completion for much of the year.  It fell below 14 against WMU and they really fell against UT and was only a little bit better against Ball State.

BG did adjust with running and shorter passes, but the team has had a higher number of three and outs (it seems to me) and short drives and, by extension, were less high flying than they were in the weeks before.

Not sure why that is.  Maybe teams are playing to take that away from us and force BG into long drives.  Or maybe it has been weather-related.

Whichever, NIU is a ball-control team, much like UT is.  Further, they are playing with an untested QB.  They are going to run the ball against us.  BG will need to stop the run, yes, but needs to create points on offense to force NIU out of their game, which was what was working earlier in the year.  Hopefully, in an indoor venue, we can ramp up the offense to what we have seen before.  It seems like this is a trend we want to reverse.


Bob said...

Ryan Graham was the 3rd String QB to start the year, 2nd string Anthony Maddie was injured in practice early in the season. Fielder was the 4th Strong QB.

Orange said...

Thanks for reading and for that info Bob. Going to be interesting.