Well, now, that's certainly an improvement, as BG routed Kent 42-7 at the Doyt for a second straight win in a year when it didn't look there would be two wins at all. How it happened...well, that's both interesting and telling.
First, all the disclaimers. Yes, BG beat a 3-8 team. Yes, for the second straight week, they beat a team playing without a true QB (as incredible as that seems). And yes, this is the soft part of the schedule.
Kent is 3-8, but they beat CMU (who beat OU last night), they only lost by 16 to WMU (while scoring 21 with their non-QB), and lost by 4 to Ohio and Miami---both teams that beat BG and the two teams who are in contention to win the East. Only Alabama has held them to fewer points than BG did.
So I'm not trying to say it was the greatest win ever, but I wouldn't completely discount it, either. Also, after the Miami loss I was feeling that BG might well lose out, so any win is a win over a team I didn't think we'd beat. And BG continues to have defensive injury issues, including most of the defensive secondary at some point or another last night.
We'll take it. And, to win easily and convincingly on both sides of the ball against an FBS opponent is a success, if only by the low bar we set earlier in the year.
What's also interesting is how it happened.
Remember Air Raid? Now consider Ground Raid.
Mention was made of this based on BG's success running the ball against Akron last week. Coach Jinks started to talk about that being his true nature as a football coach, and some of us began wondering how it took so long to make an adjustment.
Well, the adjustment was in full force at the Doyt. BG ran 90 plays...and 64 of them were runs. Yes, you read that right. BG ended up with 420 rushing yards, their most since 1998. BG had 3 100-yard rushers, which also hasn't happened since 1978. (That was against UT, a 45-27 BG win.).
When asked the secret to getting more running yards, Coach Jinks said it boiled down to "calling more running plays." He also said that instead of audibling into an RPO (Run-Pass Option, I assume), we were audibling from one running play to another. BG was, in his words, "committed" to the running game.
And he said this....
“Sometimes it takes a while to evaluate your team and see what they’re all about — what their strengths are. Unfortunately, it was a little late for us."
Yes. Yes, it was. And whether a more seasoned staff would have been more observant and less obtuse is something we will never know...as well as whether close games against EMU and OU might have turned out differently if it the realization had come less late. But it was late and that's on the coach, who said as much in his presser, while vowing they would get better...and he was referring to the coaches.
Anyway, for now, BG is 3-8 and looking to finish on a 3-game winning streak which will leave the off-season much less bitter than it was looking to be.
BG had 6.4 yards per rush, which is just really good. Donovan Wilson was 30 for 146, Cleveland was 8 for 131 and Coppet was 19 for 105. Cleveland had a big 85 yard TD run, but Wilson's long was only 17 and Coppet's was only 19. Most of BG's rushing yards were made up of consistent and effective runs.
Credit here to the BG o-line, who Coach Jinks gave the MVP honors to. BG's line really moved people around and Kent's d-line was supposed to be pretty good. There were big holes and BG's backs were effective and the Falcons just run the ball right over Kent. And if you'd have said you knew that was coming when the year began, you're a liar.
That's how BG got 35 first downs and had over 40 minutes time of possession. Also, because of the run, BG was 11 of 17 on 3rd down.
BG's passing was only average...but kind of typical for a game like that. BG was 12 of 24, partly because we were going over the top, which is a low-percentage, high-return play. BG ended up over 14 yards per completion, which is actually good. Morgan threw 2 picks and 2 TDs and was not sacked. Ronnie Moore led the team with 4 receptions...for the whole game.
More later on the defense...for now....all hail ground raid.