Saturday, August 05, 2017


So, Coaches love to talk about turnovers.  You've seen it this year too.  A significant amount of the pre-season talk from our coaches has been about turnovers...both in a way that you would expect and a way you would not expect.

There's no surprise on offense.  You ran a freshman QB out there for most of the year (and James Knapke for the rest of it) and with that you are going to turn the ball over.  In fact, MAC play only, BG had the most turnovers at 19...which is 2 more than the next worst team, which was Ball State.  By comparison, WMU turned the ball over 5 times in conference play.  I'd say BG needs to get in the 11 range (where Miami was) to be competitive, and that's almost half.

The interesting thing is defense.  The Sentinel quotes a defensive player as saying Eliano burst into a meeting and said was BG's defense needs to do is create more turnovers....just that...and we will win the MAC.

Well.  Hmm.  First, that would certainly be great.  BG actually received 14 turnovers and only two MAC teams were above that amount---WMU and Kent.  BG forced the same number of turnovers as the division champ and one more than Miami.  Kent got 18 and they didn't win the MAC.  More on that in a minute.

In MAC play, BG had an average defense based on scoring and yards per play.  They were helped by playing some badly struggling offensive teams late.  John Wagner says "all signs point to an improvement on defense."  Not sure I would go there.  Yes, (as he points out), they are a year into the system, Stephens is back and Fred Garth is probably an instant upgrade in the backfield.

Even so, there are question marks at all three levels.  The line has depth issues, at least one of the LBs is pretty untested and the d-backfield remains a question mark.  Also, we have yet to see our coaching staff execute a strong game against a team with a functioning offense.  Furthermore, they have never done it anywhere else, either.  Until they do, it is a question mark.  As Wagner notes in the same article, they have to know the pressure is on

So, I guess I can agree the defense will improve.  But I don't think it will be a big improvement.

Anyway, here's the interesting thing.  Kent was +12 in turnovers last year.  That led the MAC and was #8 in the country (all games).  And they were 2-6 in MAC play.  How can you do that?  You go +12 and then you only win 2 games?  That's hard to follow.

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