Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Sadness Accrues: One Direction from here.

It will be job one when the new coach gets here.

BG needs to execute better at key points in close games.  Yes, they have to execute better all the time, but more than once over the past three years they have executed well enough to win for 55 minutes and then made crucial mistakes on the home stretch that have cost them the game.

Coach Pelini called it "learning how to win."

This sequence happened with a time game in the last two minutes.  Solid defensive coverage on a 2nd and 6 left Kent with a 3rd and 6 from their own 48.  Barrett went back to pass and BG got pressure on him.  They missed a tackle in the backfield and then got out of their rushing lanes.  He escaped to the left and instantly they play went from being a forced punt and at worst over to a 34 yard gain for Barrett to the BG 18.  Kent ran through a matador defense for an 18-yard touchdown on the next play.

Kent up 35-28.

The issues continued.  Doege was sacked for a 9-yard loss.  BG converted a 3rd and 16 and then had another successful pass play but only was at their 38.  With :36, Doege fumbled under pressure.  BG recovered but lost 18 yards and then with :15 left Doege completed the run of mistakes by throwing a pick and Kent had the win.

That's what, four negative plays in the last two minutes of a tie game?  This is what the story has been.

And so BG falls to 1-8.  As mentioned before, they have not had a one-win season since 1953.

It was an ugly game, overall.  There were a combined 22 accepted penalties in the game, which you would expect from two of the least successful teams in the FBS.

BG did not run the ball effectively.  Frye had the majority of carries and was 17 for 36.  Denley was 5 for 23 and Hargrove 7-22.  BG did bring Grant Loy into the game in the second half to provide a spark and he did, running for 32 on 4 carries.  Loy had a 25-yard run, but BG's long except for that was 8.

Doege's day was not great.  He was 20 of 37 for only 54%, 10.4 per reception, which is not great, sacked 3 times and that fumble and a pick.  He did throw for 3 TDs.

Miller had 6 receptions but for 75 yards.  They got Hargrove involved in the passing game, which is good.

On defense, it was the same story.  Kent ran 50 runs and threw it 24 times.  They had 225 net yards on those 50 runs, which is 4.5 yards per carry.  Those stats include sacks.  Their lead rusher had 4.9 yards per carry and 3 TDs.

So, it wasn't BG's worst defensive game of the year and was probably among the better.  There was some decent tackling and they did a generally good job of keeping Barrett in the pocket, which led to four sacks.  But, in the end, KSU scored 35 points, which is something like the 12th straight game BG has allowed 34 or more.

And, of course, this was the easiest game on our schedule.

So, another game, another defeat.  I really wished we would have picked up that win.  It has to be very tough for the players.  During a late BG drive, I saw Lorenzo Taborn gesturing wildly at the sideline, it seemed to me in response to an up the middle run where there were numbers on the left.  Though that might not have been it.  It was something, though.

I hope we can get it done for them.  This has been a long season that was dominated by the "Mike Jinks question" and now is dominated by finishing the schedule, seeing who comes back and bringing a new coach in.

On a long night with an announced crowd of 13,000 that might have been 10% of that, it was apparent where things stand right now.  Only one direction from here.

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