Saturday, September 17, 2016

Soaking Defeat---overview

I attended my first game at the Doyt in 1971.

I do not ever remember being there when it rained that long and that hard.  The third quarter was borderline ridiculous, as we experienced a torrential downpour for most of the period.  There was standing water on the field and twice the officials met with coaches about the playability of the conditions.

In all that rain, though, the favored team came out in front as Middle Tennessee State put a 41-21 defeat on the Falcons.

This was a tough one for BG from the get-go.  The sad thing is, they did a pretty good job with the Blue Raider offense...but our offense...oh my.

The basic storyline looked like this.  BG came out playing well, in general.  There were mistakes on both sides, but BG was (I felt) showing some better playcalling---more runs and more variety in pass routes, including routes with the WR coming back to the line, which I think were easier for Knapke to complete.  The defense was playing well, tackling in space...things were OK.

With about 5 minutes left in the first half, BG was up 21-14.  MTSU started on their own 20 and, aided by a pass interference penalty on the Falcons, scored with inside 2 minutes left to tie the game at 21.

BG still had time for a drive, and made 2 first downs before Knapke fumbled (one of two in the game) around midfield.  MT recovered, and started at the BG 46 with :55 left.  They used only :26 of it before scoring again, this time taking the lead--for good as it turned out--at 28-21.

Then, they scored a 78-yard touchdown on the first play of the 3rd quarter and take a 35-21 lead that was decisive.  That's 3 touchdowns on 6 plays and from there BG was behind the 8-ball and did not, in fact, score at all in the 2nd half.

Post-game, Coach Jinks sounded a little more frustrated than he did last week.  He was talking fast and being rather emphatic.  Obviously, you don't need too much football knowledge to know that if you turn the ball over 5 times--2 fumbles, 2 INT and 1 muffed punt inside your own 10--that's going to make it next to impossible to win, and it did.

He followed his theme from last week that BG needs to make the ordinary plays.  BG failed on two 4th down plays deep in their territory by very short distances, and he says we need to figure out how to convert that distance.

OK, that, and, you know, fewer turnovers and a more productive passing game.

He did say that he saw some improvement and I would agree with that.  BG did play better than they did in the previous two games, but they remain a long way from being in a position to consistently win games.

I'll look at the offense and the defense tomorrow.

Big picture is that this season is unfolding along a worst-case scenario.  BG is just one play from being 0-3 and they travel to Memphis this week, where the Tigers destroyed Kansas today.  Even at 1-2, it will be a miracle not to hit MAC play at 1-3.   The team is banged up as well, which does not help matters, and there doesn't seem to be a path forward on the team's bigger, pressing issues.

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