Well, there you go. See that. It does feel better, doesn't it? Everything to date doesn't go away, but it was nice to win an FBS game...the last time was 341 days ago. I'm sure everyone is feeling better. Lots of things broke right, but we've had things break wrong and taken our lumps. We will take it.
For a while in the second half, it felt very familiar. Here's why.
BG had played a good first half and led 21-10. Furthermore, BOTH of Akron's QBs were injured and they were using a WR (who was recruited as a QB, but still) at QB. You have to feel good about your chances.
Less than 3 minutes into the half, BG gets a scoop and score to go up 28-10.
You have to like BG's chances of winning the game. You're up 3 scores and they have a WR at QB. (Hint: This isn't the familiar part.)
The WR/QB proceeds to complete a 50-yard pass and put the Zips into the end zone. 28-17.
BG gets the ball, gets two penalties and ends up punting from the 9. (This is the familiar part). They give up a 20-yard punt return and AK gets a FG. 28-20.
After some punt trading, BG pinned AK on its own 1, where their WR/QB proceeded to drive 99 yards for a game-tying TD.
BG gets the ball, stalls out on the AK 34 and punts it to the 12.
RESET: The Zips have scored 18 straight points and have the ball with the game tied and about 8 minutes left.
How many times have we been here? Most of the time...and with poor results. We have tended to collapse in that situation.
Except this time it didn't happen. The Zips, actually, were the ones to collapse. And, eventually, the Falcons were the ones to capitalize and get the win.
First, Bozeman got an INT. BG starts at the 50, goes 3 and out. BG gets a rare bad punt and AK has the ball on the 30.
Next possession, Milton gets a highlight-reel PIC. BG drives to the AK 10 and Suders hits the FG (as Falcon fans squint through their fingers) and BG leads 31-28. There are 2:18 left.
Then, BG kicks a short KO, Akron lets it hit the field, BG recovers and scores a TD on the next play and finally takes the game from AK and leads 38-28, which was the final score.
What BG did to win the game was very interesting. They ran the ball. BG had 46 runs...21 from a previously benched Donovan Wilson and 17 from Fred Coppet...and only 23 passes. That's a wow. BG won a game with 105 passing yards and 11 completed passes.
Jinks has talked about this before. He has said things like, we could just go old-school and put two TEs and run the ball, and fans were like, "and WHY isn't that being done?" and we just kept trying to do the same thing with similar results.
This is one of my bigger complaints about the coaching this year. Acknowledging the youth and the injuries...I think the coaching has made a tough situation much tougher. I think every unit on the field...including the o-line and LBs...have performed worse than expected. That's coaching.
And I think they were very slow to realize what they had and adjust. They had a QB starting who did not give them the best chance to win for too many weeks. They didn't "simplify" the defensive scheme until they had given up 70 twice, and they didn't emphasize the run game until this week. (They also played slower this week).
I think a more experienced coaching staff would have been able to react quicker, maybe even starting the right QB with the right version of the offensive and defensive schemes from the beginning, not in November. And being first-year coaches is no excuse. We didn't have to hire a first-year head coach and he didn't have to hire less than first-year assistants.
Even with all that, and even with the challenges Akron was facing--including a tomb-like home field environment--I'm glad to see BG get the win. It felt good. Losing would have been a lot worse. I'm happy for the players, who have been working hard in adverse situations all year.
BG's last 2 games are winnable. It would be great to see that get done. Like it or not, we're re-booting the program and I'd like some kind of evidence that our guys are capable of doing it.