Monday, October 30, 2017

25 Questions that Spook and Flash


What is their body of work?

It's just rough.  Over the last 30 years, Kent has only had two winning seasons.  They had that incredible 2012 season, but then followed that up with 5 more losing seasons.  They are 2-6 this year with wins over Howard and Miami, meaning that both teams have the same FBS win.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

They have 22 which is a young team.  Depending on who the QB is, they have 8 starters on offense who are FR or SO.

Who are their statistical leaders?

Demetrious Monday is #12 in the nation in INT.  Thank god the game is on Tuesday.
Jamel Parker is #17 in passes defended.
Derek Adams is #15 in punting

What is their turnover ratio?

Unless noted, all stats are MAC Only below.  They are even on turnover margin.

Offense:

How is their QB play?

Well, this has been an epic poem.  Nate Holley was the guy but he was lost for the year to injury.  You don't really know who's going to play.  Bollas (who keeps losing the job and getting it back) and true freshman (but highly recruited) Dustin Crum have been splitting time with Bollas getting most of the attempts.  When he plays, Bollas is 6th in the MAC in passing efficiency but he can't be that good because they keep replacing him.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

They
They are awful.  11th in both.  They are averaging 9 points per game in MAC play and 4.3 yards per carry.

Can they run the ball?

They are not good.  They get 3 yards per running attempt, which is tied for last. 

Do they pass the ball?

They are 9th in pass efficiency.  BG is 11th.  They complete only 50%, with a 13.6 per catch.  They've completed only 42 passes in 4 MAC games.

How was their run/pass balance?

They run on 67% of their offensive plays, which is among the highest you will see.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

They are last in the MAC at 25%.

Do they score in the red zone?

Their four red zone games in the MAC are among the worst I have ever seen.  They average just over 2 red zone points per trip.  They have on 9 in four games, and in those 9 trips they have 1 TD, 5 FG and 3 whiffs.

Do they protect the quarterback?

This is unbelievable.  They have given up 17 sacks in 100 passing attempts in conference play.  That's three times higher than a bad number.

Defense:

Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

Defense is supposed to be their thing.  They are 9th in scoring defense and 9th in yards per play allowed.

Do they defend the run effectively?

They are 10th in the MAC allowed 5.2 yards per carry.

Can they be passed on?

They are 7th in pass defense efficiency.  They allow a MAC-lowest 50% completion percentage.  They allow 12.6 per completion with 8 TD/5 INT.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

This is a strength.  They are #11 in the MAC.

Do they defend in the red zone?

They allow 5.1 per trip, which is not good.


Did they pressure the QB?

They have a good rush.  10 sacks in 100 overall pass attempts against.

Special Teams:

Punting?

They are 7th in the MAC in net punting.  As noted above, the punter is boomer (16 over 50) but 7 TBs and they've been blocked once.

Punt Return?

They have 5 returns for 10 yards.

Placekicking?

He's good at 5-7.  Long is 48 and blocked once (all games).

Kickoff?

They are 5th in kick coverage, other teams starting at the 23.

Kickoff Return?

Decent opponents start at the 24 (all games)
Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

Look, this is one of those games.  BOTH teams are thinking that this is finally their chance to win one.  That can lead to a tough situation.   These young men work incredibly hard and want to win so bad and now here is a team where finally there's enough parity to have a shot.  BG won the game easily last year, which Jinks alluded probably didn't sit too well with the Flashes.  Kent is among the worst offensive teams I have ever seen, and BG is one of the two worst defensive teams in the MAC.  If Kent looks like the 2015 Falcons on Tuesday, we have a problem.  The game is at Kent, but I'd expect the stands to be all but empty.  Man, this has been a tough year.  A loss in this one is awful.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Past and Future Opponent Land

Michigan State (6-2)  Lost to Northwestern
South Dakota (7-1) Beat Southern Illinois 42-0.  Started week #7 in FCS.
Northwestern (5-3) Beat MSU
Middle Tennessee (3-5) Idle.
Akron (5-4)  Beat Buffalo
Miami (3-5) Idle
Ohio (6-2) Idle
Kent  (2-6)  Idle
UB (3-6) Lost to Akron
UT  (7-1) Destroyed Ball State
EMU (2-6) Another heartbreaking loss

MAC Vs.

FBS:  11-26
P5:  4-17
FCS:  10-1

West vs. East.  6-4 West

Saturday, October 28, 2017

BGSU Injury Report


So there's the injury news from someone who knows...if you want my bet, it is going to be Doege at QB Tuesday, but time will tell.  The O-line injuries are tough.  Kent is tough up front and that's going to make it a challenge without those guys.  It just leaves the line very young and inexperienced.  McAuliffe in particular is tough.

The other ones are good.  The offense was less effective without Redding, we need Cleveland and Stephenss for sure.

Men's Basketball Preview

With a short break in the football schedule, I wanted to take a minute to take a look forward to my other passion, which is Men's Basketball.  The season is coming up.

Obviously, it is has been a historically down period for our program.  I'm talking everything back to the WVU incident, with one good year in the 2009 season and one during the Chris Jans year.  Beyond that, it's mostly just mediocrity or worse.  We've only been on the plus side of .500 three times in that amount of time.  That's pretty hard to get your arms around.

We are not expected to make it 4 this year.

But, there's reason to be optimistic.  Maybe not for this year, but there is.  The reason for the long drought is (in my view) a lack of a critical mass of quality players.  When you play Akron, they just come at you in waves.  Then, you can develop them into a team that has the confidence that they can beat you in the last 8 minutes of a game.  You need guys coming off the bench who could start on other teams.  That's what you need.

The issue is that BG has only four players who have played any kind of minutes at all at the D1 level.  You have two who have not played competitively in over a year.  The team is just very, very young and I think that's going to make it difficult to compete.

Now, if you had to have a year in the MAC to do that, this would be it.  You had Dambrot leave the MAC and half his team, too.  They'll be back with Groce, but I don't think it will be this year.  A bunch of other players from the All-MAC teams left...if you had a year when you were going to be young and not perfect, this would be it.

The returning Falcons are solid, for sure.

Demajeo Wiggins is a good example.  Here's a guy who was a late recruit that Huger signed after he got the BG job.  He improved a lot in his sophomore year and they are pushing him to get even better.  I saw somewhere that Huger wants to see him be a 15/10 guy.  That would be something else, for sure.  He was a 10 and 8 guy last year, so it's not outside the realm of possibility.  We have some more size coming which should take some pressure off him.  He could do some of that just from free throw shooting.  His FT shooting went from 38% to 61% which is impressive.  If he gets a little better, teams won't be able to stop him by fouling him.

Rodrick Caldwell is a really solid PG.  He was just a freshmen last year and you could see real improvement.  In conference play, he scored 7.1 PPG shooting 41%, with about 1.5 assists per game, all of which were above his numbers for all games.  I look forward to seeing him continue to develop under the tutelage of our PG/head coach.  I think he has the capacity to be a top PG in the MAC, and the winning teams ALWAYS have a strong 1.

Dylan Frye was on the All-Freshmen team.  This kid is a gym rat and that's what you really want.  Someone who loves basketball.  He scored 9.8 in conference games in 26 minutes, shooting 44%, which is not too bad for a guard.  He shot 36% from 3, that obviously can improve.  BG has lacked outside scoring for some time and he I think he can help remedy that.

Antwon Lillard is also returning.  He's probably regressed a little bit since his freshmen year, but he's a good example of the kind of player I'm talking about.  You need starters and you need role players.  In conference play, in 21 minutes a game, he scored 7.8 a game with 3.5 rebounds.  He shot 43% and had more turnovers than assists.  If he can cut down on the turnovers and improve the shooting just a little big (possibly with better shot selection, he was terrible from 3), he becomes a really good player who can give you 20 solid minutes in conference play.

Matt Fox is also back.  Matt started as a walk on and has played his way into a scholarship, which he clearly earned.  He's a solid player fundamentally who can get on a hot streak from the 3.

So, that's it.  That's the returning guys.  Just not very many of them is all, and none of them a proven player as a star, as an All-MAC performer.

Now, the newcomers.  Again, much of this is potential, but Coach Huger was telling people it was the best recruiting class in OHIO this year.  Now look, he's the coach, right, so you know how that works.  I'd be happy if our class was better than Akron, Kent, Ohio and Toledo.  I don't need to beat Xavier or UC.  Not that I am against it.  But we don't need it.

I'm not going to go through each one of these guys because I don't know anything about them other than what we knew when they signed.  I'll just provide a link to the BG roster and you can read their bios.

A couple of overall impressions.

First, it appears to me that we have some playmakers in that mix, and that's something we have been sorely lacking.

There's also some size.  You have Gadson and Koch both of whom are big guys, something BG has also sorely lacked over the recent years.

Note that Kulackovskis tore his ACL and won't play this season.

Also, don't forget Justin Turner red-shirted last year and so did Uju, so they are new to the program.

Anyway, on paper it would appear that this is the best group of talent to enter the BG program at one time in probably 20 years.  That's just the first step, of course, but it is a first step.  I'm looking forward to tracking this into the next couple years.

The non-conference schedule is very soft which you would hope would allow the Falcons to stack up some Ws.  What I like to watch for is the young team improving through the conference season, and that's what I hope for this year.  Anything on the plus side of .500 is a step forward for the program.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Jinks Monday/Thursday presser

So Coach Jinks had his Monday presser today to lead into the Tuesday game with Kent.

  • He said that everyone was healthy at QB but they will have a starter named by tomorrow morning.  However, he said that no one (Morgan or Loy) had taken the job and for all the world I would expect Doege to start if he's healthy.
  • He was asked how much of the team's issues would fall onto the QB.  This is an interesting question because Jinks seemed to talk as if the NIU game fell apart based on QB mistakes.
  • He says, as you would expect, that the team in the locker room know it is not all on the QB and that's right.  It isn't.  This team has issues all over the field.  Interesting, he also noted that the other coaches were part of the issue, too.
  • He also showed an astounding capacity to view the season in a positive light.  He said something like "we could be winning the East."  My first reaction was, the MAC EAST??  Yes, the MAC East.  We were winning late in the 3rd against OU and Akron at home and lost those games and just think if we were 3-1.
  • (Uh, you know, you were one play from losing the Miami game, so its 2-2 at best and what it is is 0-4.  The East was never at risk.  Are you kidding me?  His review of last season has included talking about being ahead in the 4th as tantamount to winning, so now he's moved the bar back a little bit.)
  • He said against Akron and OU for 2-3 quarters we might be the better team.
  • The recruiting stuff was interesting.  He did concede that it is tougher to recruit given the losing, but that players see that you can get time here and that we have 14-15 freshmen and redshirt freshmen recruiting so they know if they come here they won't be sitting for three years.
  • For my money, the biggest issue with the losing is that a young man might fear he comes here for the last two years of the Jinks years and then the first two rebuilding years of the next coach and your whole career is gone.
  • Early signing is new this year.  He expects all of our current verbals to sign on the early signing day on December 20.
  • With the off days, the coaches were out on the road making sure we stay in front of the guys we have on board.  (Note:  he said we have 14-15 verbals, but to my knowledge only 13 are publicly known).  He expects a smaller class...like 21-22.
  • He talked about the difficulties for a program giving the coaching changes.  One telling question was whether it was easier after a championship year and he said "I would not know."
  • He did note that lots of championships teams hire internally to keep stability in the program (Hello Chris Kingston?)
  • He said once the season ends, he will go on the road for 23 days straight to ensure our verbals sign early.

BG MBB Loses Kulackovskis for Season

So, the first news we get in a while is not good.  We don't know HOW not good because we haven't gotten to see Kulackovskis play, but it can't help but be a little disappointing.  Here is what I wrote when he committed here.  BG has lacked enough outside threats for the past few years and at a 6'9" he would present matchup difficulties on the wing. 

Best of luck, Matiss.  Hope you get well soon.

Men's Basketball Poll

With a short break in the football schedule, we have a chance now to take a peek into the BG men's basketball program.  A bigger preview is on its way, but here's the stuff from the "experts."  Virtually everything I have seen puts BG #5 in the East, ahead of only Miami.  That includes kenpom, Blue Ribbon and the MAC Media.

Speaking of which, here is how the MAC media sees things shaking out.

MAC East Division MBB Preseason Poll (first place votes)
1. Buffalo – 166 points (24)
2. Kent State – 139 points (2)
3. Ohio – 127 points (3)
4. Akron – 84 points (1)
5. Bowling Green – 82 points
6. Miami – 32 points

MAC West Division MBB Preseason Poll (first place votes)
1. Western Michigan – 169 points (22)
2. Ball State – 156 points (8)
3. Toledo – 107 points
4. Eastern Michigan – 103 points
5. Northern Illinois – 57 points
6. Central Michigan – 38 points

MAC Tournament Champion: Western Michigan (10), Buffalo (9), Ball State (5), Kent State (2), Toledo (2), Bowling Green (1), Miami (1)

Which means one person--whoever that might be--voted for BG to win the MAC Tournament.  I'll just leave that right here.

No BG players made the pre-season All-MAC.

In the Kenpom, BG has a 238 ranking.  That's out of 351.  The other two Huger years BG was 249 (last year) and 230 the year before.  So consistency, of a sort.

These predictions are expected and reasonable.  BG's roster is filled with guys with virtually no D1 minutes played.  This class of freshman has the chance to be the ones that turn us around.  If you look back at BG's recruiting over the years, the Falcons have never brought in a critical mass of players who can compete effectively like Akron, Kent and OU have.  This could be the start, but they also need to be coached and developed and supplemented.

I'm optimistic, but it might take a year or so.

Anyway, more to come.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Past and Future Opponent Land

Michigan State (6-1)  Beat Indiana
South Dakota (6-1) Finally lost, @Illinois State
Northwestern (4-3) Beat Iowa
Middle Tennessee (3-5) Lost big at home to Marshall. Still operating without Stockstill and James.
Akron (4-4)  Smoked by UT.
Miami (3-5) Beat Buffalo 24-14.
Ohio (6-2) Destroyed Kent
Kent  (2-6)  Bludgeoned by Ohio
UB (3-5) Lost to Miami
UT  (6-1) Continued to roll, smoking Akron
EMU (2-5) Lost a close one to WMU in OT

MAC Vs.

FBS:  11-26
P5:  4-17
FCS:  10-1

West vs. East.  6-4 West

Last Words on the Doyt Debacle

OK.  A few final thoughts on the Doyt Debacle.

BG had some injury issues during the game.  Tim McAuliffe and Jack Kramer both went down, which is a tough situation because BG more or less has 6 linemen they seem to trust and who have played.  Clark Clancy came in and Taborn was gutting it out, because Coach says we don't have another guy ready to play.

Also, Josh Cleveland was injured.

He didn't know the severity of the injuries, but his body language seemed to indicate that there is some severity involved.  Maybe not.

Anyway, before we get too far down the injury excuse, let's remember we were 1-6 coming into the game with a healthy line.

Also, NIU had injuries.  Their top RB and their top LB were both out.

One thing you can't fault Jinks for:  recruiting Andrew Clair.  This guy is a player.  He explodes into space, has the cut backs and is difficult to tackle.  He's going to be a very good player.  Actually, he is a very good player.

So, one thing we can't say is our goals are in front of us.  They are not.  This team will not be in a bowl, will not win the East and will reach last year's record with a miracle.  The Kent game is in theory winnable but they look at us like we look at them, which is like we have a chance to finally win one.  Buffalo, UT and EMU are looking tougher.

Remember when Coach told us to look forward to conference play, when we'd experience the benefits of "parity?"

We have a 10-day break, which Coach (and everyone else) says comes at a good time.  The team needs to heal up, emotionally and physically.  I'd expect Doege to be ready to play for the Kent game, so you'd hope to see that improve things, at a minimum, though it could be mitigated if there are further issues on the line.

I'm not sure how the Doege decision is going to look moving forward.  For right now, it looks like we burned a year to accomplish nothing.  Now, if he gets some playing time and is more ready for next year, then it might work out ok.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

No Free Agents...

So, after the game, Coach said he told the team that we can't get any free agents.

Wow.

You know what else we can't get.  New coaches.

Here's the thing.  After the last season, I thought Coach Jinks did a nice job talking about the things his coaching staff had done wrong in their first season, starting with coaching Texas Tech in the bowl game and then extending into the season.  I respected him for it.  I thought it showed personal accountability.  Of course, that was after the three-game winning streak, so maybe he felt like he could afford to say those things since he had found some success.

This year, the general theme has been a little different.  As the failure has continued, a new theme has emerged, which is that it is the players' fault.  Players have to make plays.  We have no backups. 

So BG loses 48-17 to NIU and Coach's response is that we aren't going to get any free agents.

Maybe we should try some new assistants or a new head coach.  Or at least the coaches could acknowledge that they can do better, too.

Here's the thing.  We may be under-talented.  But we are not getting better.  The same mistakes keep getting made over and over again.  Apparently, the only answer to a player who isn't performing is to take him out.  Not improve his skills.  Not adjust the game plan.  Or have one.  Not put a player in a position to succeed.  Not adjust the zone sets on defense.  Teach players not to be run out of position.  Nah.  All this is on the players.  Unless they can be replaced, there's nothing that can be done.

Even a young team improves.  But not this team.

If you read between the lines, you could almost hear the implication that this was a game until Morgan made a couple mistakes.  And that doesn't square with what actually happened on the field.

To be fair, Coach admitted it was a butt-whupping.

Which it was.

He just doesn't seem to think he had anything to do with it.  And apparently, they are getting ouchy with the idea that the losing might start to impact recruiting.

He says he is drained.  Emotionally and physically.

Honestly, it shows.  As in, no idea how to fix this.

Friday, October 20, 2017

25 questions for the dog

Who's a good boy?
What is their body of work?

NIU has been one of the most dominant teams in the MAC, threading the needle with coaching changes and keeping a consistent track record.  Their secret has been hiring internally. Their streak of West titles was snapped last year but they have a P5 win @Nebraska this year.  Their consistent track record of success would be the envy of any team in the MAC.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

They have 27 which is a pretty normal number.

Who are their statistical leaders?

Sutton Smith is for real.  In addition to being mid-season All-American, he is #19 in forced fumbles, #1 in sacks and tackles for loss.

Jawuan Johnson is #3 in INT.

What is their turnover ratio?

They are -2.  They have lost 14 (same as BG) and gained 12.

Offense:


How is their QB play?

Well, it wouldn't be NIU if they didn't have QB injury issues.  Ryan Graham was supposed to be the guy, he was injured and then some Santa-guy was in there, but now the starter is R-FR Marcus Childers.  He seems pretty good.  He's completed 64% of his passes at only about 10 yards per completion, but with 4 TDs over 1 INT.  He's thrown only 54 passes.  His efficiency is 138 as compared to Morgan at 102.

What is their scoring and yards per play?
Actual statue being made at NIU
Not made up


They are pretty good.  They are #5 in the MAC in scoring and but 10th in yards per play.  Which is weird because they are also not great on 3rd down or in the red zone, both of which usually boost scoring.  They have 2 non-offensive touchdowns.

Can they run the ball?

They are traditionally run heavy.  They are this year, but they aren't great...they are #6 with 3.8 yards per rush, which is nothing to write home about. Their lead rusher averages 5.3 yards per carry.

Do they pass the ball?

They are in the middle of the pack in pass efficiency, though Childers is off to a good start, as noted above.  They usually have one big play WR, but if they do he has yet to reveal himself.

How was their run/pass balance?

No surprise here, they have run on 58% of their plays.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

They are 8th in the MAC at 38%.

Do they score in the red zone?


They are not good....4.2 points per trip.

Do they protect the quarterback?

They are OK...sacks on 6% of their passing plays.

Which one is the real dog?
Defense:

Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

They are the best defensive team in the MAC both in scoring and yards per play.  They allow only 3.9 yards per play.

Do they defend the run effectively?

They are #1 in the MAC at 2.4 yards per play.  That's #3 in the nation.  Worrisome for BG.

Can they be passed on?

Not easily.  They are #1 in the MAC in passing defense.  53% completions with 11 yards per completion and then 5 TDs and 10 INT, the last number of which is tied for MAC lead.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

They are #1, allowing only 24%.  That's #4 in the nation.

Do they defend in the red zone?

Not surprisingly, they allow only 3.5 points per trip, which is really good.

Did they pressure the QB?

Yes.  Yes they go.  Sacks on 9% of their opponent's passing attempts.

Special Teams:

Punting?

They are pretty good.  #4 in the MAC in net punting.  No blocks and no TDs allowed.

Punt Return?

They are 7th in net punting.

Placekicking?

Christian Hagan is struggling at 4 of 10.  He's 3 of 7 inside 40 and 1 of 3 beyond, and has been blocked twice.

Kickoff?

7th in the MAC.  Teams start on the 25.

Kickoff Return?

Decent, they start on their 24.

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

Sorry Diesel.  BG 47, NIU 27
As rough as the matchup last week looked, it looks worse this week.  NIU is good at all the things BG is bad at.  They have a really good defense which will cause BG huge problems up and down the line and while their offense isn't great, they have a mobile QB and a good RB who, if history is a guide, will look better against the BG defense.  NIU is a 14 point favorite on the road.  Can't be a good feeling for BG.  Nothing we have seen from BG suggests the Falcons can make this very competitive but maybe we will see something we haven't seen yet.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Another football de-commit


So there's that.  Raveion Hargrove has de-committed.

He is a highly-recruited, 3-star RB from the Dayton area.  He has a lot going for him.  Here's what I wrote when he committed.

This just makes things more difficult for our current coaching staff, who are now 1-6 but fans were hanging onto the idea that it appeared that they could recruit.  You had to wonder if the losing was going to spill over into this area.  Don't know if it has, but it can't be helping.  It is the 2nd de-commit since the season started and they were both 3-star players.

Some teams in the MAC have recruited well while losing.  You do offer playing time, not redshirts.  Also, some teams have gotten stuck in a rut and been unable to get out.  Let's hope it isn't the second, because recruiting has been the only thing we appeared to be doing right.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wagner on QB Situation


So, there's the news today.  The "if we had a game today" isn't exactly a 100% endorsement of Morgan playing, but given how Coach has discussed it I would expect to see it be Morgan and Loy on Saturday.  BG then has a long break before the Kent game, if that ends up helping.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Jinks Presser: Package Expansion

So Coach Jinks had his presser today.  Not too much newsworthy...obviously, he has to talk about his QB and that did come up.

Doege threw today.  They will decide by tomorrow if he can go, which he will only do at 100%.
If he cannot, then Grant Loy will have an "expanded package" on Saturday (the mere possibility of which might explain our recruiting success).  You will see Loy playing more at the expense of Morgan.

He noted that OU adapted to stop BG's run with 9 in the box.  He says NIU will start that way and BG will need to throw from the very beginning.  NIU leads the conference in run defense and they are not going to let BG get rolling on the ground.

Morgan was out practicing his long balls during the presser.

Redding is questionable for Saturday.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Past and Future Opponent Land

Michigan State (5-1)  Beat Minnesota 30-27
South Dakota (6-0) Defeated Indiana State 56-6.  Started week #4 in FCS.
Northwestern (3-3) Beat Maryland
Middle Tennessee (3-4) Lost 25-23 to UAB. Still operating without Stockstill and James.
Akron (4-3)  Beat WMU on the day after biblical rains.
Miami (2-5) Lost to Kent without Ragland
NIU (4-2) Won 14-13 @Buffalo
Kent  (2-5) Upset Miami
UB (3-4) Lost 14-13 to NIU.  This team is much improved.
UT  (5-1) Won at CMU
EMU (2-4) Lost to Army

MAC Vs.

FBS:  11-26
P5:  4-17
FCS:  10-1

West vs. East.  4-4

Some positive notes and a couple general ones

So there were a couple positive things out of the game Saturday.

The first is Andrew Clair.  This young man is a very good player.  He had 148 yards on 18 carries and that's over 8 per carry and he scored twice.  He is a true freshman and he appears to be the real deal.

Both Fred Garth and Marcus Milton had big picks for BG....nice plays by both of them.  They also ended up as BG's #1 and #2 passers.

Cleveland was also effective.  His numbers went down because he got the brunt of the carries when OU was jamming the box.

Jake Suder is money.

Joe Davidson had another really good game.

Other notes:

Teo Redding was injured early and missed most of the game, which is a real shame given that he kind of had a break out last week.  BG got decent play out of Phoutavong and even Pough was open deep.

Guyton did play.  He was targeted numerous times but did not finish with a reception.  There were a couple drops and then he was targeted on the pick-six.

BG held OU to 2-11 on 3rd down.

I know Falcon fans want to see Loy get a shot.  I'm just guessing he isn't close, because Coach has said that if he thought someone else could play they would be in there.  I don't know how much longer Doege will be out and I don't know if they are considering declaring it a season-ending injury and re-redshirting him.  At this point, I would doubt it.

Great to have Cam Jefferies back.  He had 3 breakups and probably played his best game as a Falcon.

Take The Flag Down

So I wonder how the Dino-Babers-is-the-worst-coach-ever crowd is faring today?

Very disappointing day.  Bowling Green played a really solid first half and was down 21-16.  The Falcons had largely controlled the OU running game and I felt like the corners were playing really well.  BG's defense had a couple nice turnovers, though the offense had also turned the ball over twice, including one soul-crushing pick 6 from deep in its own zone when either Morgen or Guyton or possibly both did the wrong thing.  BG was running very effectively, however.

The second half was another story.  OU made adjustments.  They went to a double TE look and went to read option and pitch option plays.  On defense, they moved their safety up into the box and dared us to take advantage of the 1-1 opportunities that created.  (The pitch option stuff started in the 2Q.  This is common in the redzone for them and has been for years.  Rourke is in the top five in the nation in rushing touchdowns).

What were the results of those changes?

  • OU outscored BG 27-14 in the second half to send the Falcons to 1-6.
  • BG crashed heavy from the outside twice in a three-play span allowing Rourke 75 and 29 yard runs.  (The first is bad enough, but you go to the bench and then come out and do the same thing again?)
  • OU passed three times in the second half.
  • What was BG's counter-adjustment to OU bringing in 2 TEs and running the ball?  This was apparently unanticipated. After the game, Coach says we were undersized at the point.
  • On offense, BG tried to exploit those 1-1 matchups with numerous long routes which found WRs open deep but with the ball overthrown.  Precisely zero completed.
  • BG's plan B to attacking a full box was to continue to try long throws over the top.  Apparently, there is no other way to do it.  In fact, Coach said as much.

Look, Solich is a good coach.  He did what good coaches do and what we used to do when Clawson was here.  We had apparently no other plan, rather than doing things you have seen won't work and then shrugging after the game.

I know that you can say that the players have to make plays.  That's what coach says.  You know, though, part of coaching is to see players get better.  You'd like to see a player get more accurate throwing the long ball.  You'd like to not see the defense not run themselves out of position time and again in every game. 

Coach says we don't tackle the QB.  Literally been a problem all season.  Players have to make plays but aren't coaches supposed to be teaching?

You know the position group that was most improved yesterday?  CB.  The only position coached by a Babers holdover.

We are going to need to figure it out.  Our running game is going to face full boxes the whole way in.  Maybe Doege helps that.  Not sure if that long ball is his game, though.  And other teams are going to go to 2 TEs and run us over, too.

Meanwhile, Miami without Ragland lost to Kent and suddenly the one win we do have goes from looking pretty good to looking like less than that, especially since we nearly lost the game anyway.

We're a snap off the butt of a lineman from being 0-7.

Look, this was an uphill assignment, as noted in my preview.  I felt in the first half like we were finally getting some traction and then the second half just showed the same problems again.  We hoped for incremental improvement this year.  It is clearly not going to come on the record.  Whether it comes in the margins remains to be seen.  It has not been seen yet.  Not sure we are worse than last year but we aren't better.

I know we are recruiting well, but that's just part of the game.  I am looking for any evidence we can do any of the other things we need to do to be successful.

Friday, October 13, 2017

25 Questions about Camp Ohio

What is their body of work?


It's old mascot day
OU has 8 straight non-losing seasons, during which time they won 10 games only once.  This success is probably the best period in the history of their football program.  Prior to the arrival of Solich, they had only 8 non-losing seasons in the previous 30 years.  From 1985-95, they won only 19 games for example.  This year they are 4-2, with wins over Hampton, Kansas, UMass and EMU, and losses to Purdue and CMU, the last one coming in Athens, which can't be going down well.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

They have 25 which is a pretty normal number.

Who are their statistical leaders?

Bradd Ellis is #3 in passes defended in the nation.
Nathan Rourke is #4 in rushing TDs and #17 in scoring.
AJ Oulette is #20 in rushing yards.

What is their turnover ratio?

They are -3, which is tough for a 4-2 team.

Offense:


How is their QB play?

OMG
The OU style is to have dual-threat QBs.  That's what Solich has done since Nebraska.  They have one who is a little truer DUAL than usual this year.  His name is Nathan Rourke, who is from Oakville, ON and played last year in JUCO before transferring.  He's #4 in the MAC in passing efficiency and also averages 4.9 yards per rush INCLUDING his sacks with 9 TDs.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

This is an unusually potent offense.  They are #2 in the MAC in scoring and #3 in yards per play.  No nice way to put this, BG is going to have to play better defense than they have been playing (or keep
getting red zone turnovers) to stay in this game.

Can they run the ball?

This is always their calling card.  They are tied for first with a team average of 4.9 yards per carry.  AJ Ouelette is the #1 rusher in the MAC at 6.3 yards per carry.

Do they pass the ball?

This is the part that seems much stronger.  They are #4 in pass efficiency.  61% completions at 12.5 yards per catch and 9 TD over 3 INT.  That's very effective.

How was their run/pass balance?

No surprise here, they have run on 61% of their plays.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

They lead the MAC at 51%.

Do they score in the red zone?
Luvvvvv

They are deadly.  They score 6 points per trip, with 25 TDs and 4 FG in 31 trips.

Do they protect the quarterback?

They are OK...sacks on 6% of their passing plays.

Defense:
Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

Normally they are a very strong defensive team, but that's a little down this year.  They are #6 in scoring defense and 3rd in yards per play allowed.

Do they defend the run effectively?

Yes.  They are only allowing 3.3 yards per carry, which is 2nd in the MAC and that's a warning sign for the Falcons.

Can they be passed on?

They are not great here.  They are #8 in pass efficiency defense.  They allow 59% completions on 11.9 yards per completion and 14 TD on 4 INT.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

#maction
They are very good, #2 in the MAC.

Do they defend in the red zone?

Not very good, they give up 5.3 points per trip.

Did they pressure the QB?

They are decent, 6% of overall sack attempts.

Special Teams:

Punting?

They are pretty good.  #4 in the MAC in net punting.  No blocks and no TDs allowed.

Punt Return?

They are 4th in the MAC in punt returns.  No TDs.

Placekicking?

This is Louie Zervos, in his 17th year of kicking in the MAC.  He is 8 of 10 and 4 of 6 over 40 with a 46 long.  Has been blocked once.

Kickoff?

5th in the MAC.  Teams start on the 25.  They have 11 touchbacks.

Kickoff Return?

Not good...they start on their 22.

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.
This is from a dream I had the night
I ate the worm in the tequila.


This is not going to be an easy one for BG.  On the other hand, CMU beat them and I don't think they're the best team in the MAC so it can obviously be done.  BG will need to continue to develop on the offensive side of the ball....probably with more passing than against Miami...and then improve on defense, especially against the run.  The dynamic we saw in Oxford with all the yards against will not work Saturday in the Doyt.  On the other hand, you have a young team at home coming off a win.  Maybe they can pull a bigger surprise.  OU is a 9.5 point favorite, but this one would be every bit as surprising and as rewarding as last week's.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Injury Report

Compiled from the Blade and Sentinel...

Doege will dress, probably won't play
Cam Jefferies is practicing and is expected to play.
Malik Brown is practicing and is expected to play.

Matt Domer had surgery and is out for the year.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Brandon Harris honored

Haven't done one of these in a while...Brandon Harris was named the MAC East Defensive POTW this week.  He had a scoop-and-score to go with 6 tackles and 1 hurry.  He's a leader on the defense, and congrats to him for this honor.

Jinks Presser

Not too much of interest this week. 

On the QB, Morgan took the reps today and Doege will not play until he is healthy.  Sounds like better than 50/50 that it is Morgan Saturday.

As for the other notable thing, Coach built upon his comments that the team is better this year than they were last year.  He said last year when we had injuries, we had to throw guys out there who were "nowhere near" ready to play.  This year, the freshman are a different type of freshman.  He noted a play on defense where three freshmen made a stop on a zone play.  In particular, he noted Dirion Hutchins and Posey, of course, had a huge game against Miami.  When you look at Coleman, Wilcox, Clair, you just have freshmen who don't look like freshmen. 

I know this is a decent-sized source of debate here in Falcon land.  Obviously, after a win things always look good.  If this team goes 2-10---which is still very possible----then you will have a hard time convincing me that they are better than last year.  But, I do see what he is saying.

Anyway, beyond that, no big news from this week.  Homecoming Saturday and OU is coming off a loss.  Will be a challenge, they move the ball effectively and we still have a lot of gaps on defense.  Will be interesting to watch.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Past and Future Opponent Land

Michigan State (4-1) Won at Michigan
South Dakota (5-0) Defeated Youngstown State.  Started week #6 in FCS.
Northwestern (2-3) Lost to Penn State
Middle Tennessee (3-3) Defeated Florida International.  Still operating without Stockstill and James.
Akron (3-3)  Beat Ball State 31-3.
OU (4-2) Lost 26-23 in Athens to CMU.  A surprise.
NIU (3-2) Beat Kent 24-3.
Kent  (1-5) Lost to NIU
UB (3-3) Lost in 7 OTs to WMU in a game where a player's sister was penalized for running onto the field to congratulate him for scoring. #maction.
UT  (4-1) Beat EMU.
EMU (2-3) Put a scare into Toledo but lost.

MAC Vs.

FBS:  11-25
P5:  4-17
FCS:  10-1

Sweet Victory: The defense

OK, one last post.

Some thoughts on the defense.

These guys had a rough day, most of the time.  Miami was up and down the field quite a bit.  Miami ended up with 7 yards a play and ran 87 plays.  That's 612 yards of total offense.

They only punted 3 times.

They completed 55% of their passes for 15.6 per completion, which is a lot.  They had 238 rushing yards on 44 carries, which was 5.4 yards per carry, which is also pretty good.

Even with all that, they kept battling.  Both Miami turnovers came in the red zone, with a Stephens pic in the end zone and the Harris fumble recovery.  Miami was on 4 of 12 on 3rd down.  And on the final drive, they forced a bunch of Miami incompletions.

You can really see the difference having Clint Stephens out there.  Gardner got his catches....and he's going to because he's a really good player, but Stephens won his share of the battles.  (He had 8 tackles, 1 INT and 4 breakups).

Armani Posey is really turning into a player.  He was in on 16 tackles and broke up one pass. 

BG needs to get better up front.  There were a couple of hurries but there was only one tackle for loss and in general the Miami QBs had plenty of time to throw.

Beyond all that, though, the defense has a ways to go.  Hopefully they can get some support from the offense moving forward.  OU can score and that's going to be a challenge.  Coach has said that confidence has been the issue, so I look forward to seeing BG build on the win and get an improved defensive performance.

Sweet Victory: The Offense



So, let's start with the offense.  BG had an excellent offensive day against Miami.  Doege did not play and neither did Matt Domer.  So you had James Morgan starting.  And you saw what the team can be capable of when they put a balanced attack onto the field.

BG gained 7.5 yards per play....outgaining the Red Hawks on a per play basis.  That's a really good number and one you can win with.

The headline player was clearly Teo Redding.  They have been talking Redding up since camp and we've seen some little flashes here and there but he had a dominating performance in this game.  He provided BG with the tall deep threat they have been lacking.  He had 8 catches for 197 yards and 2 TDs, including a 75-yard completion.  In a couple instances, he just went straight up in the air over Miami defenders and snatched a 50-50 out of the air.

All this while Datrin Guyton--who was supposed to be the one making those catches when the season started--stood on the sideline for the game on a coach's decision.

The big play aspect was important because BG's passing attack overall wasn't great.  Morgan was 11 of 25 for 222 yards.  So the completion percentage there is poor and typical of the issues he's had.  There were a couple drops, to be sure, on perfectly thrown balls, but while his accuracy continues to be poor on short balls he has a nice arm for the long ones.  The 222 on 11 yards combined with the 8 yards Loy had on his one completion left BG with 19 yards per completion.

The key thing that opened that up was the running game, which was back with a vengeance.  BG ran the ball on 40 of their 67 plays and had 2 100 yard rushers.  Josh Cleveland had 117 yards on 10 carries...you do the math....and true freshmen Andrew Clair had 121 on 16 carries, which is over 7 yards per.  (Cleveland was injured in the second half and did not return).  There was even a Donovan Wilson sighting.  Wilson, who started the year at RB1, had 43 on 9 carries.  Things were just much improved...big holes, guys that were hard to tackle...if this is going to be our identity than that is what we needed to see.

Clair had another remarkable play.  They threw him a pass out in the left flat, he nearly dropped it and when he brought he was pinned against the sideline.  It was looking like he was going to get hit for a loss, but he made a couple moves in really tight space on the sideline and he turned it into a nice gain.  (Looking at the stats, it was apparently a lateral and counted as a run).

On other notes, BG had 10 penalties for 95 yards, though not all on offense.  Still, there were more than a few.  BG had only one turnover--just that's a key--and BG was 4 of 9 on 3rd down, which has to be one of our better performances.

Last note.  One of the things you want to see is one of those 4th quarter drives that just kills the clock.  It is just so good and so needed to win conference games.  In this game, BG got the ball with 10:49 left.  BG ran 13 plays...11 of them on the ground, including converting a 3rd and 20 with a running play.  Finally, from the 22 it was 3rd and 2 and you really need that one, you can end the game with it, but BG got hit for a 1-yard loss and then lined up for a FG, which missed.  (Suder has been great this year, I think he had made 12 in a row.  He's going to make the next one).

So, BG got the running going and it opened up the passing attack.  And it ended up with 7.5 yards per play.  Again, everything is not resolved, but this is clearly something to build on and everyone has to be feeling good to be building on success.

Sweet Victory....how it happened

See how nice the place looks with a win?

It is pretty amazing.

As I said last night, congrats to the guys.  For as much as we might be upset as fans, these losing streaks are far harder on the coaches and players.  I'm glad to see our guys get a reward for the hard work they have been putting in.

This was a crazy win, there's no doubt about that.  Not sure I have seen anything like that before.  Well, I do (old people remember Chip Otten fumbling as BG was about to take UT out?), but that was something else.

I know.  We're far from out of the woods and the loss certainly showed that the team has issues that have not been resolved.  Yes, we beat a team whose starting QB was injured.  All caveats apply.  But we've handed games over to teams and this time they handed it to us and we closed the deal and took it from them.

The key moment is pretty unforgettable.  Here's why.  The narrative appeared to be just the same old thing.  BG has lead, plays competently and can't close it out.  Backup QB drives 77 yards and puts Miami in the end zone and BG falls to 0-6 for the first time in 80 years and its the same old story.  I mean, it was right there.  That's what was happening.

Miami is going for the TD.  They are only down 1 and there's inside 2 minutes.  They only need a FG, but they are trying to get the TD.  They have a full house backfield and just a ton of beef lined up in the backfield.  The snap goes crazy somehow.  I'm watching...you could sense the confusion and then you could see the ball.  Even if BG recovers, there's a good chance the game is over.  But, Brandon Harris snatches the ball up---cleanly and effectively--and runs 93 yards to put BG up 8.

That's why we love sports.  Because it goes from one feeling to the other in a literal blink of an eye.  How about that.

For a few seconds, it looked like it was going to go back again.  (And yes, in a world of robot football players Harris would have downed the ball on the 1.  But, he isn't and it isn't like they talked about THAT happening in the huddle and you should be able to stop them from scoring in 1:21 with 1 timeout.  And did).

UPDATE:  I just saw Coach on the post-game and he definitely thinks Harris should have downed the ball.  He said we want to be great not good, and that this would be a "teachable moment" and they could talk on the bus.

Miami went to Gardner on the first play for 31 yards, which is just an ouch.  I was really worried about our guys and their psychology...here we go again.  To their credit, things got more difficult.  They had to convert a 4th and 12 and then there were 4 straight incomplete passes starting on the BG 27 and the game was over.  BG called two timeouts before the 4th down play to make sure they had their signals straight, which I would say was a good move.

It was a crazy thrilling victory.  This team still has a long way to go, but this, right now, stands as the biggest win in the Jinks era at BG.  Yes, that's a low bar, but we were looking for incremental improvement.  The schedule is really tough here for a while, but we've had tough losses and this was a tough win and we are thrilled to have it.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Sweet Victory!!!!

I love football.

On the other hand, it might be the end of me.

More later.  Congrats to the guys.  Still a long way to go, but you got this one done and it didn't have to go that way.  Enjoy it.


Friday, October 06, 2017

25 Questions in plaid

 What is their body of work?

They're turned this program around, what with their experienced and seasoned college coach and all.  They are 2-3 right now, with wins against Austin Peay and CMU and then losses @Marshall, @ND and UC at home (in a game they really should have won).  Even having said that, they are going to battle OU for the East title.  They have won 8 straight MAC games.  As they improve, they begin to assume their normal spot at one of the premier MAC programs.  Miami beat BG 40-26 last year but Coach is quick to point out they only led by 3 entering the 4th.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

They have 29 which is a pretty experienced team.

Who are their statistical leaders?

Keep an eye on Jaylon Bester.  He is #12 in all purpose yards, #2 in combined kick returns, #20 in kickoff returns.  James Gardner is #6 in receiving TDs and #17 in total touchdowns.

What is their turnover ratio?

They are

Offense:


How is their QB play expected to be?

He was set up to be one of the better QBs in the MAC (#2 Phil Steele), but he is not quite there right now.  He is #4 in passing efficiency.  He's completed 52% of his passes but they have been for big yards...14.3 per completion.  He has 10 TDs over 3 picks.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

They are 8th in the MAC in scoring offense at 17 points a game, and that's less than Akron was scoring and you saw what they did.  They are 6th with 5.4 yards per play.

Can they run the ball?

Not great.  They are 7th in the MAC at 3.5 yards per carry.  They have two lead backs who pretty much split the carries, and they are gaining 4.4 per carry between them, which is OK.

Do they pass the ball?

As mentioned, they are struggling to pass for percentages but get lots of big plays.  Four WRs are over 14 yds per catch.

How was their run/pass balance?

They have run the ball on 55% of their plays, which is run heavy in today's game.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

They are pretty good at a straight up 40%, 5th in the MAC.

Do they score in the red zone?

4.8 points per trip is about average.

Do they protect the quarterback?

No, they give up sacks on 7.7% of their passes.

Defense:

Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

They allow 25 per game, which is #5 in the MAC.  They allow 6.6 yards per play, which is rough at 119th in the nation.  BG's defense allows 6.9 yards per play (123rd). They allow 5.4 yards per play, which is #4 in the MAC.  BG is last in both these categories.

Do they defend the run effectively?

They are 7th in yards against per carry, so average in the conference.  This is a good test for BG assuming we still think that running is our identity.  BG is 11th in rushing offense.

Can they be passed on?

They are strong here...#4.  They allow 55% completons on 11/catch and 6 INT.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

This is a weakness, they are #10 in the MAC.

Do they defend in the red zone?

They are really good.  3.6 points per trip and 4 blanks in 13 trips.

Did they pressure the QB?

No.  They get sacks on 3.2% of their pass attempts.

Special Teams:

Punting?

They are pretty good.  #4 in the MAC in net punting.  They have yet to allow a punt return yard.

Punt Return?

They are 7th at 7 yards a return.

Placekicking?

He's pretty good, he was 6 of 7 with a 42 long this year.

Kickoff?

Not great.  Opponents started up 28 and Marshall went to the house on them twice.  Miami is the only team in the MAC this year to have recovered an onside kick.

Kickoff Return?

Not good...they start on their 22.

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

Miami is a 14.5 point favorite and ESPN says they have an 87% chance of winning the game.  You'd have to think that's about right.  They could easily be 4-1 but for a couple collapses, but if you are going to go that way, BG could be 1-4 but for a late collapse. 

We keep hearing BG is getting better.  Well, this is one, if you win, that says something.  If that happens, you know, you might be right. 

If not, you know, Dino Babers was really bad.

One other note.  Miami made a bad coaching decision when Hoeppner left and it set them back almost 10 years.  This is an incredibly difficult thing to make work.

Let's hope we're not on the track.  It is easy to do.  (Ball State, too).

It has been more than 80 years since BG lost its first six.  There have been some bad teams in there.  But never that.  When you add in the two losses last year that were over 70...just not much going on.

So maybe a win changes the conversation.  A loss just keeps it going.


Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Injury News from The Blade

The injury report is in....The Blade is reporting some surprising news, which is that Jarrett Doege will be in uniform and is probably to play Saturday.  Morgan was still getting #1 reps, but if you'd like my bet, Doege will get the start.  We shall see.

Cam Jefferies will remain out.  Matt Domer will also be out.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Jinks Presser: The Right Way

So today's presser...

Doege is day to day and questionable for Saturday.  The injury is not season-ending, but Doege has "a lot of football" left in his life and he won't play if he isn't 100%.  Morgan should start on Saturday.

Apparently, only because no one else is available.  This was the biggest part of the presser...

When asked about how you coached a player to not check from a run into a pass and a pick six that loses you the game, he said you do it by not playing if he does.

He then said:  that's why Doege was in there and if we had another guy who was ready to play, he would have been in.

I'll just leave that right here.

Cam Jefferies is questionable also and won't play unless he is 100%.

There was a lot of talk about Clint Stephens playing well.  He also noted that the injury let them get Darius Wortham into the lineup and he played well.

You will also continue to see Grant Loy in specialized sets.

The rest of the interesting stuff all dealt with the future of the program.  Jinks is in a "stay the course" mode, which is fine.  I don't think he has much option.  I'm not sure he's stayed the course as much as he thinks....we've gone from Air Raid to a running identity to...well, something else in the first 5 games this year.

He says the roster is better than last year, when the injury to Jefferies would have been "catastrophic."

Note:  worst start in 29 years is apparently not a catastrophe.

The fact that we rallied and took the lead against Akron shows the grown of the program, since we were down 20-6 at one point.  We need to finish games, which is actually an old Clawson refrain.  (More on that in a second).

Someone in the media prefaced a question by saying Jinks has had "a ton of success in your coaching career"

Nominations are closed for the suck-up question of the year at BG pressers.  That's also a wow.  I mean, he's had some success.  A ton?  I don't think so.  Nick Saban has had "a ton" of success.  Doyt Perry had a "ton" of success.  Mike Jinks has had "some success."  And no success here.

The question was whether a similar thing had happened inside this "ton" of success.

Coach said it had.  He had taken some jobs which were "rebuilding" jobs, like this one.  He noted that in HS you had one-year contracts and they "want you out just as bad."

He finished with this..."we will continue to build this thing the right way."

So, the last coach we had who talked that way was Dave Clawson.  And he did.  He built a program that won two MAC titles in three years and could have won three if Matt Johnson hadn't been injured. 

And look, he followed a similar route.  He had an OK year in his first year (though in a bowl game) and then an awful second year before things started to slowly turn around.  In year three he preached that BG had to "close the deal."

All those things sound familiar.  But saying we will "do the right thing" doesn't make Mike Jinks into Dave Clawson.  In fact, it didn't make Dave Clawson into Dave Clawson....actually doing it did.

Also, Mike Jinks took over a defending champion and Dave Clawson was only here because the previous coach tanked the program.  You knew he was going to need to rebuild, that's what he was brought in to do.

Anyway, Jinks urged us to stay the course.  I'll be in my seats long after he's gone, whether that's with success or failure.  The only choice a fan has is to walk away and that isn't happening.  For me.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Past and Future Opponent Land

Michigan State (3-1) Beat Iowa 17-10
South Dakota (4-0) Entered week #10 in FCS and beat #16 Western Illinois.
Northwestern (2-2) Lost to Wisconsin
Middle Tennessee (2-3) Without QB and WR again, they lost by 18 to FAU team that lost to UB.
Miami (2-3)  Lost to Notre Dame
OU (4-1) Beat UMass 58-50.  38 combined points in 4th Q.
NIU (2-2) Lost 34-28 at #19 San Diego State. Good performance given long trip.  National controversy over eye poking.
Kent  (1-4) Lost to Buffalo
UB (3-2) Beat Kent
UT  (3-1) off.
EMU (2-2) Put a scare into Kentucky but lost.

MAC Vs.

FBS:  11-25
P5:  4-17
FCS:  10-1

East vs West:  2-0 East


Football Verbal for BG


 So, the Falcons have a football verbal coming here on the first day of October.  His name is Caleb Biggers, and he plays for Calvert Hall College (which is a HS) in the Baltimore Area.  He's 5'10 and 174....247 lists him as a WR, but he plays RB and SS in HS.

Not much on him stat wise.  He's un-ranked right now.  However, he has been recruited.  He has offers from CMU, Ball State, Buffalo, along with Youngstown State and at least four other FCS schools.

Welcome to the Falcons, Caleb.


Clint Stephens and other notes

Some odds and ends from the MAC opening loss.

First, BG entered the game without the services of Cam Jefferies who is injured.  We've struggled in the back end, but Coach says Cam is our most confident player.  And you have to give them credit.  They rallied a little.  Clint Stephens got his first real playing time this year and after struggling in an early possession, he played really well.  He had a pick, a fumble recover, a PBU and was solid in coverage.  Coach says he can still get better, too, as he comes back from injury.

Montre Gregory also started on the other side, and he seemed to make some plays.  Meanwhile, Robert Jackson, who had a lot of time early is shown as having played but did not get in on any tackles.

BG rotated a lot on defense, even at positions--like LB--where I think we are pretty solid.  It isn't unusual to see deep rotations on the line but you don't see it at LB as often.

There was some evidence of BG doing some innovative things on offense.  First, they used Grant Loy in a kind of Tim Tebow role.  Loy is the walk-on who has worked his way onto the depth chart.  He's 6'3" and 220 or something and was a highly successful HS Basketball player, too.  BG brought him in to run some read option type stuff and it was working and Coach says we will see more of it.

He was involved in a key play in the game.  BG was on the 4 in the 3rd quarter with the game tied and they called a jump pass.  Basically, you set that up with the read stuff.  Jinks said after the game that the jump pass was a "bad call," that Akron had gone "one high" which presumably means they have the safety right in the middle of the field where that play usually goes.  Now, Jinks was careful to note that Loy saw that and ate the ball and avoided the "catastrophic" play...this was shortly after all the Morgan talk.  Anyway, BG got the FG but failed to get the TD and that did make a difference.

The other innovative thing had to do with sending Doege out for a pass, a play that worked for 18 yards but got Doege injured.   Coach was asked about whether sending his QB out on a play like that was a good move, and he said that football is a rough game and you have to execute your game plan.

BG also scored on a reverse flea flicker that didn't actually seem to work but was rescued by a really nice throw from Morgan.

Other notes:

Matt Domer has been highly effective, however he was on crutches by the end of the game.

There seemed to be some conflict between Datrin Guyton and James Morgan at one point on the sidelines.

BG had an excellent kickoff return game.  Coach says we have been close and then you can add in the "parity" factor.  Andrew Clair has the ability to be a really good player for us.

Jinks: "Can't Get Out of Our Own Way"

It is hard to think about now, but during the second half of last night's game, you get the idea that things we coming together for the Falcons...and maybe we were going to salvage something in the conference season.

Entering the half down 7, BG forced a turnover on Akron's first play from scrimmage.  Off a short field, BG scored in four plays with a Morgan-Clair big play on a throwback and the Falcons had tied the game. 

The defense got a three and out.  The offense got the ball on its own 15 and moved up the field with one of the best drives of the season, a 12 play drive that ended in a FG that gave BG the lead 23-20.

It was the first time BG had led since the 2nd quarter of the Michigan State game.  That's a WOW.

Anyway, you're getting the ball moving, you are getting off the field, you're at home...you just have to feel like you have things going in a positive direction.

Then, it wasn't like that anymore.

Akron marched right down the field against the BG defense, 63 yards in 7 plays...featuring two big pass plays and they scored a TD to go back in the lead at 27-23.  BG led for 2:36.

BG got the ball back with 4 minutes left in the 3rd.  The Falcons did what they needed to do at first, again moving the ball.  Converted a 4th and 1.  Andrew Clair make a good run to the 24 of Akron.  BG was called for holding.  On the next play Clair fumbled and the Zips recovered, and it was again feeling like the first four games.

Then, Clint Stephens made a great play to get a pick on Akron's first play and the game is still in play.  BG goes three and out and then the defense forces Akron to punt.

BG starts its drive with about 10 left.  BG converts a 3rd and 4, but then on 2nd and 3 from its 36, BG made the mistake that sealed the game, with Morgan checking from a run to a pass that ended up a pick 6 that had coach very frustrated after the game.

BG got the ball right back and went three and out and then Akron got the ball back with about 7 left and basically ran the game out.

As Coach said, "we can't get out of our own way."  Akron made two second half turnovers...on our field...they were offering us the game and the Falcons made 2 right back and one of the "catastrophic."

BG outgained Akron.  BG's backs had 5.9 yards per carry.  Morgan had a decent game, probably his best game of the year, completing 61% with 2 TDs.  On defense, they allowed 27 points, held Akron to 56% completions.  It was far from a great defensive performance but it wasn't awful. 

All that is lost in one pick 6 and one Akron drive after BG took the lead.  You perform on those two possessions, and the picture is different.  Not that we played great the rest of the time either, just for all the stuff that had gone wrong, you had a shot to win a game that was pretty even statistically and instead when you really need it you don't get execution.

That's how football works.  And that's why consistency matters most.  Coach will say that's partly confidence.  I can see that.  We're also young.  The question is this...is our execution better than it was one year ago?  Or is it worse?  Or the same?  Right now, feels like the same thing, over and over again.