Sunday, October 07, 2018

Sadness Accrues: Nine Straight

And there it is.  Nine straight.  And an overall series lead to the Rockets.  The "rivalry" game has gone to the Rockets once again.  I saw in The Blade that over the nine games, BG has led for something like 18 minutes.  There's no way to sugarcoat it.  BG is losing and, in Coach's words, it "sucks."

Look, even though UT covered, BG did exceed expectations in terms of how the game unfolded.  The first 8 minutes were bad--BG was down 17-0 after a blocked punt and a lost fumble.  To the credit of our team, BG dug their way back in and made it a game when the 4th Quarter started.  They never did tie it up and then wore out in the end and UT scored some late TDs.  Also, it has to be noted that UT was playing without their starting QB.

The final was 52-36.

In the end, even after scoring 36 points, you have to look at the offense as well as the defense.  Todd Walker said BG had the ball four times when they were down 3 points and BG failed to tie the game or take the lead in any of those situations.  It might have been a different story if they had done so, but they did not.

The game's deciding sequence came at the beginning of the 4th Quarter.  As noted in the preview, Jamerson Vest, who is normally rock solid but has been struggling a little bit this season, missed a FG that would have put UT up 6.

Down 3, BG took over at the 20.  This is your opportunity, right here.  You honestly can't ask for much better of a chance than this.  Granted, it is not one our guys are used to being in, but to win the game you need to score on this drive.

BG faced a 3rd and 5 and converted it.  It was called back, however, for a face mask on a BG lineman, a huge mistake.  At 3rd and 17 BG decided to play it safe and try to get Hargrove into space, but had to punt.

And Timmerman shanked the punt for 19 yards.  I understand from Twitter that John Gibson said that we don't have a Division I punter.  Just for the data, BG is 9th in the MAC in net punting following the game.  I don't think Timmerman has been terrible, though expectations were low after Cooper Lee was dismissed, but there's nowhere to hide on this.  You knew that Davidson was leaving and you didn't have anyone.

To their credit, the BG defense got the stop.  UT's punter...who is one of the top in the conference...put it out at the 1.  On 3rd and 9 from the 2, Doege scrambled and his Quinton Morris for a huge play but he was over the line of scrimmage (and just barely) when he threw it and BG had to punt from the end zone.

Under intense pressure, Timmerman got a very low 36 yard boot out of it and after a penalty UT was on the BG 33.  Two plays later the dam broke and they were in the end zone and up 10.

There's 9:30 or so left, and BG is still in the game.  Unfortunately, the Falcons went 3 and out and following another 33 yard punt UT went on a longer touchdown drive to seal the fate.

To me, that sequence is the game.  You were in it.  You make a couple mistakes (face mask, poor punt) that put you in the hole, and then you need your offense to bail you out and they don't and a good team closes the door on you.

More on all this later, but the defense held UT under their season average in yards per play.  (Again, #2 QB in there).  But they weren't embarassed.  Field position and turnovers were the killer.  More to come.

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