Sunday, September 24, 2017

Falcons 0-4 for first time since 2000 (The Defense)

This game was an excellent opportunity for BG to show some defensive progress.  The Falcons were not playing a hyper-powered FCS offense or a Big Ten team.  This was a non-P5 team without its QB, WR and best lineman.  BG's defense is healthy.  You'd expect to represent.

And that didn't happen.  BG gave up 7 yards per play and 9.1 yards per passing attempt.  The Blue Raiders, who had struggled to run the ball all year, got better against BG with 5.7 yards per attempt.  For a few games we had thought that all we needed was the offense to come through, but in this one, the defense struggled in equal measures.

Coach said that we have to put our defensive players in positions where they can succeed.  This is the same thing that Coach said last year after the non-conference season and something that we were told would be fixed by the extended evaluation period this year...but has instead fallen into the Groundhog Day nature of Falcon football right now.

Among the issues is that BG is not tackling in space.  BG is rotating a lot of guys in to try and get that fixed, but for now it is a problem.  We have one CB who is really struggling, but the team is having problems.

On the bright side, BG did have two positive developments.  First, BG did create turnovers.  There were on special teams and two on defense.  It is a testament to how flawed this team is that you can be +3 in turnovers and lose 24-13.

The other positive development was that the defense held MTSU to only 3 points in the second half, which is certainly an improvement.  BG forced four punts in the second half and did get better results.

The Falcons really struggled on 3rd down, allowing 8-12 conversions.

I'm not trying to imply that MTSU didn't have offensive weapons, even with the injuries.  But they ran the ball and passed it effectively against BG, especially in the first half.  We'll hope that things get a little better against the Zips...BG will play the first half without Shannon Smith, who was ejected for targeting.

Yes, BG had  tough non-conference schedule.  I expected them to be 1-3 and they are 0-4.  We are built to compete in conference play, so let's see if things improve in the MAC.

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