Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sadness Accrues: "It’s the reality of where we’re at right now"

After the game Saturday, that's what Scot Loeffler said...

"It’s the reality of where we’re at right now."

And I think that's what Falcon fans have to realize.  This thing was left in bad shape after last season, probably worse than even pessimists thought, and it's not going to get fixed overnight or over many nights.

Yesterday's game could not have been a clearer indication.  The 62-20 defeat to Kent is a brace of very cold water.  Kent was picked to be the #4 team in the East...and even if that turns out to be a mistake and Kent is the surprise team of the MAC, it's still a team in the MAC.  Losing by six touchdowns to a team in your conference is just something that shouldn't happen.  It's a pretty bitter pill.

Just for context, Kent racked up a school-record 750 yards of total offense.  That would also be a school record for the Bowling Green offense...our record is 725.  It's not the most we've ever allowed...OSU put twenty-some more against us a couple years ago...but that was a top-5 ranked OSU team and this is a team in the MAC.

We allowed UT 66 a couple years ago, so it's not the most points allowed to a MAC opponent.  It is the most Kent has ever scored on us, and we have been playing them for a very long time.

I repeat:

"It’s the reality of where we’re at right now."

Kent averaged 8.9 yards per play and BG had 4.9...so on every snap of the ball we were four yards down and then ran about 10 more plays than us on top of it.  BG had 2 turnovers and Kent 0.  BG gained 3.8 per rush, which is very poor.  Meanwhile, Kent gouged the Falcons for 7.8 yards per rush.  You can go right down the line.  Loeffler said the passing game was "hard to watch."

Enough of that game.  It's as bad as it can get.  You hope it's rock bottom, but there's no reason to think it is.  It is possible we're the worst FBS team right now.

Here's the thing.  We are where we are today because of the two coaches who came after Clawson left.  Babers won a title, obviously, and had three Big 10 wins, but he didn't recruit to BG and you don't see much in the classes where his players should be.  And Mike Jinks has been discussed enough.  Essentially, the program was mismanaged for five years and here we are.

Here's another Loeffler quote: “We knew that we were a ways away. Did I think that we were this far away? No.”

A couple of thoughts.  First, we have to stick with this coaching staff.  Loeffler simply has to succeed.  This is the worst four-year cycle in our program's history and if we crash out again we're looking at what Kent and EMU have traditionally been.  Loeffler simply has to turn this around. 

Second, I think he's building it the right way...the way Clawson did, with sound fundamentals, strong coaches and good recruiting.  He's not taking short cuts.  I don't know if he's going to get us back to being a MAC title contender (no one does), but I believe this is the only path we can take to get us back to where we can sustainably compete.

It's painful for a fan, and therefore it's 10x more painful for the players and coaches.  So they need some support right now.  The people responsible for this mess are long gone and it won't be cleaned up this year or next year.

Here's what Loffler also said, quoted in The Blade:

“Three years, four years [from now], you’re going to ask me that question and go, ‘How are you going to keep their heads on straight?’ when we’re winning,” Loeffler said. “That’s going to happen — it’s just going to be a process. We’ve got work to do in every aspect.”

Yeah, yesterday was ugly and it stings.  Let's stand by our guys and let them try to turn it around.

Friday, September 20, 2019

25 Flashing Questions

 What is their body of work?

Look, Kent has a long history of struggling in football.  Since Don James left in 1974, they have 5 winning seasons.  They are 17-57 since the unforgettable 2012 season.

They are coached now by former Falcon assistant Sean Lewis.  They are 1-2 this year, with losses to Arizona State and Auburn and an overtime win over Kennesaw State, a top 10 FCS team.  So, it's one of those situations where it is hard to figure out how good they are.  They were picked 4th in the East, two spots ahead of BG and are a stunning 10-point favorite.  They did beat BG last year, scoring with less than 2 minutes left to win 35-28.

 How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

They have 29...which is an experienced team. 

Who are their statistical leaders?

Jamal Parker is #11 in combined kick returns
Isaiah McCoy is #13 in receiving TDS

What is their turnover ratio?

They are -1, which is not bad given their schedule.

Offense:

How is their QB play?

So, everyone assumed Woody Barrett was all set up to be one of the Top QBs in the MAC and might be the reason Kent was picked 4th in the East.  As it turns out, Dustin Crum has gotten the last two starts.  He was the starter before Barrett arrived and he appears to have won the job back.  He's not bad...completing 63% with 2 TDs and no picks at 11 per completion.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

They are scoring 16 ppg and averaging 4.5 yards per play, neither of which is very good.   They have played tough competition and didn't score that much even against Kennesaw.

Can they run the ball?


They haven't yet.  Their lead RB is getting 4.3 per carry and everyone else is below that.

Do they pass the ball?

Well, this is supposed to be FlashFast, but they are 97th in team pass efficiency in the country right now.  The WR threat to watch is Isaiah McCoy, who averages 18 yards per reception.

How is their run/pass balance?

Believe it or not, they run on 57% of their plays.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

At 39% they are about average.

Do they score in the red zone?

It's bad.  They average 3.2 per trip, with one TD in five trips.

Do they protect the quarterback?

They give up sacks on 11.7% of their pass attempts, which is very high.

Defense:

Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

They are allowing 36 a game and 6.5 yards per play, neither of which is very good, but then again they've played a couple very effective teams.

Do they defend the run effectively?

They are allowing 5.1 yards per carry, which is not great.  Phil Steele ranked them as having one of the worst Dlines in the MAC.  The BG oline has struggled and this is a game where they might be able to win some more battles.

Can they be passed on?

They are 111th in passing defense efficiency, see caveats above.  They have allowed only 58% completions but a stunning 18 yards per completion.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?


They are not good, at 49%.

Do they defend in the red zone?

Actually pretty good at 4.4 points per trip.  They have allowed TDs on only 9 of 19 red zone trips.

Do they pressure the QB?

Yes they do.  They have sacks on 12.8% of their opponent's passing attempts.

Special Teams:

Punting?

Their punter, Derek Adams, is #21 in the nation in net punting.  He has 7 over 50.

Punt Return?

They have 6 returns for 26 yards and a long of 20.

Placekicking?

He's good...5 of 6.  Long is only 43, missed once inside 40.

Kickoff?

Not very good, allowing teams to start at the 30.

Kickoff Return?

Pretty good, they start at the 29.  Jamal Parker is a good returner.

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

I don't know.  Neither team looks to be very good and both teams think they have a chance to win this game against this opponent.  Kent has home field but is a little bit of a mystery, given the schedule.  On the other hand, BG is more of a known quantity after the La Tech game.  Maybe that game served as the "wake up call" it was discussed being, in which case this is just the week to have that happen.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Presser: Period. End.

This week's Loeffler presser was actually very interesting.  I'd recommend that any fan pop over to YouTube and give it a listen.  Coach talked a lot and in significant detail about what he is trying to accomplish, various little nuggets in how he measures things...just very interesting to me.  And encouraging.

He was asked right away to comment on his rather startling comment after the game Saturday that BG left 50 points on the field.  That's hard to believe, given that we scored, you know, 7! 

He stayed with it.  He said we left 9 TDs on the field...and he gets it that you aren't going to get them all (and sometimes they are on the same drive), but that BG should have had 6 additional touchdowns and the FG for a total of 45 points.

Somehow I love that.

More.  He said that BG had 85 snaps and there were 5 play calls and that he needs to get that down to 3 to be in the right range. 

Name me the last time one of our coaches a) admitted to making a bad call and b) told us how many.  Impressive.

He knew what he was referring to, also.

When asked for an example, he said that there was a play on the 3rd drive.  From the 45 yard line, left hash, play-action pass.  The Bulldogs blow the coverage and Ortega-Jones is racing all alone down the sideline, but we blow the protection (as we had done in practice, but supposedly fixed) and Wade has to scramble and throws INC to Morris.

He also said that in the red zone there were 2 QB draws which would have been a walk-in and a messed up run option that was kept and if given would have been a walk-in.

You get the idea.  Loeffler attributes these problems to poor game week preparation.  He said the offense was poor during the week, dropping the ball several times in the drop through.  He said that the team needs to act like it is game day during the week.  He said Urban called it "competitive excellence."  (Real way with words, that Urban). 

He said he felt like it was a wake-up call in the locker room after that game, which you would hope (my comment here) and losing 35-7 at home on homecoming to a G5 team you should have competed with.

He said the defense practiced better this week.

One note is that he said that the players were not expecting the in-season practices to rival the pre-season practices in intensity.  They are starting to get the message, but Loeffler has seen a turnaround in a situation like this to take as long as a year.

He was asked about playing Coleman-Abrams and Pence at the same time and having 2 MLBS out there...he felt it worked and communication was good. The only issue was the explosion plays for the defense, especially the 75-yard run.

He also talked about the "Daily Double."  He says that if you can win the turnover battle and win the explosive play battle, you win 85% of those games.

From there he was asked about whether he was an analytics guy.  He said that you had to know the numbers and apply them to the situation.  We went for it on 4th because we needed TDs and there was no wind or other variables to change that calculation.

We want to be different...hard to simulate...because it gives opponents a difficulty simulating your play in practice...prep issues.

When asked about Grant Loy...he said there are no thoughts "yet"

Analytics.  Situations can change those.  Went for it on 4th because we need TDs.

The only head-scratcher question was about Woody Barrett, who is not starting currently for the Flashes.

My impression on Loeffler is consistent.  He knows what he is doing and how to build this program.  He is focused...like ridiculous focused.  Whether it works or not, time will tell.  As he says, winning is hard, even when you do things right.  But I think we got a guy who can make it happen.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Past and Future Opponent Land

Morgan State (0-2) Lost to #2 JMU
Kansas State (3-0) Won at Mississippi State
Kent (1-2) Destroyed by Auburn
Notre Dame (2-0)--Blew out New Mexico, New Mexico State, or maybe both
Toledo (1-1) Beat Murray State
CMU (2-1) Handily beat Akron 35-24
WMU (2-1) Blew out--57-10-- the Georgia State team that beat Tennessee
Akron (0-3) Lost to CMU rather easily
Miami (1-2) Lost to UC
Ohio (1-2) Lost to Marshall 33-31
Buffalo (1-2) Lost to Liberty 35-17

Big news was EMU beat Illinois.  Three years in a row for them with a Big Ten win, and the 14th straight year that MAC has a win in the series.  MAC was 1-5 against G5 opponents

East vs. West:  1-0 West
MAC vs P5:  (1-14)
MAC vs. G5:  (2-6)
MAC vs. FCS: (10-0)

James Morgan is injured and DNP.

Sadness Accrues: Defense/Special Teams

You are going to tell me that the defense for BG obviously played poorly since LaTech scored 35 points.

I'm going to tell you that's not right.  Not that the defense was all-world, but they were plenty good enough to win this game.

To begin with, LaTech scored on a pick 6 in the first quarter, meaning that when the 4th quarter started, they had allowed only 14 points.  In the 8 drives after the pick 6, LaTech punted or fumbled 7 times.  On the one score, BG gave up a 75 yard run that led to the score, but overall was very stout during those 8 drives.

La Tech rushed for only 129 yards on 36 attempts, which is 3.6 per carry.  That's a good number for the defense.  When have we seen that in the last few years.

Passing was not so good...they were 24 of 32 for 13.5 per completion.  However, you have to balance those numbers against BG's five sacks.  Van Gorder likes to blitz and BG was bringing pressure quite often, especially up the middle.  BG had 15 sacks last season.  BG also had 3 pass breakups, a fumble recovery and an INT.

It was more than that, though.  There was one play where the QB rolled to the right and the backs had the men covered and they strung him to the sideline when the QB tucked to run they pulled off their men and ran him out of bounds.  I thought, dang, that's just how a team is supposed to defend that play and we executed it.

There were other plays like that.  The secondary remains pretty green...it can be a tough world for a true freshman playing DB in today's game.  But, when the 4th Q started they had allowed 14 points and BG was in the game even with the pick 6.  They accomplished what they needed.

Kholbe Coleman-Abrams stared at MLB and Perce moved to SAM, which I think gets our two best LBs on the field, even if they are not perfect fits for their position.  Coleman-Abrams had 13 tackles and Perce had 8.  Bozeman had 9 and a breakup.  Roberts had 8 and a sack and a TFL.  Nico Lautanen forced.  Melvin Jackson had a sack and a break up.  In all, 8 players had a play beyond a tackle.

Honestly, the goal is to be that effective consistently.  Having said that, the defensive unit has been awful for years and this performance was not awful and was actually pretty good.  Credit to an undermanned group playing team defense.

Specials teams were actually really good, missed FG notwithstanding.

Matt Naranjo punted 8 times for 40 yards per, but four of those were inside the 20 (and shorter on purpose) and two were over 50.  He had a good game.

BG blocked a punt and Jake Rogers had a nice punt return, both of which handed the offense a short field.

Bryson Denley had a 32 yard kickoff return.

That helps.  The defense and the special teams were both part of an effort to provide opportunities for the offense, which, sadly, did not materialize.

Sadness Accrues

BG fell to 1-2 with a loss to Louisiana Tech 35-7, at home.  La Tech is a G5 team...not a power conference team, and you'd like to think you'd have a chance under those circumstances, but instead it ended up 35-7 with the Bulldogs in victory formation on the BG 1.


It's odd though.  It wasn't like BG was completely outclassed.  What it was was a situation where BG capitalized on none (only one) of their opportunities of which there were a big number.  So it wasn't like we couldn't play with them...but then again, 35-7.

The issue was the offense.  More on the defense later, but the offense just missed a huge number of opportunities.  Loeffler said BG should have scored 50 points.  That's a wow, and you're going to say, no, come on, but the math is that BG had four 

Let's take a couple examples.

Early 2Q.  BG is down 14-7 and gets a blocked punt and starts at the LaTech 29.  Obviously, this is a huge opportunity to tie the game.  There's a nice crowd, momentum switching play.  BG converts a 3rd and 6 from the 8 and ends up with 4th and goal from the 2.  BG then ran a WR pass to the QB...a Philly Special type...one that Loeffler says they have practiced since the first day of camp but did not execute "AT ALL."  Turnover on downs.

Four plays later, LaTech scored to go up 21-7.

Early 3Q.  Still 21-7.

LaTech pinned BG on its 1 after the opening possession of the half.  No one was too optimistic about our chances here, but BG put together what would amount to their best drive of the season.  They look 17 plays, converted four third downs and matriculated down the field to get into scoring position.  BG threw a lot of short passes and had a nice rhythm.  There were 6 minutes left in the quarter when BG had a 4th and 4 from the 8.  Loeffler said LaTech did just what they wanted and they mad Morris with leverage and got him the ball and it was right is hands and then it was on the ground.  From where I was, I couldn't see if it was dropped or deflected, but either way, it was a second red zone turnover on downs.

Defense gets a three and out and BG gets a nice punt return from Jake Rogers and the Falcons start on the 39 of LaTech.  BG converted a 4th and 2 from the 8 and then missed on a 3rd and goal on the 8 and this time decided to go for the FG.  I was thinking, if we had made FGs on those earlier drives and this one, its a one score game.  But Needham missed the 25 yard FG.

Next drive, LaTech fumbles on their second play.  BG started on the LaTech 36, took a false start and eventually lost the ball on downs again after making one yard.

That's the 3rd Quarter.  BG threatening to score the whole way and getting nothing.  LaTech scored on their first drive of the 4th quarter and that was essentially all she wrote.

So, what happened.  As with any offense, anyone will look at the QB first.  Coach mentioned that there were at least 3 times where it was a read option run and Wade kept the ball when he should have handed.  He also said that beyond the missed red zone opportunities, there were three "shot" plays when LaTech "busted the coverage and there was no one from here to Detroit" to the receiver and the plays were missed...in this case, meaning the ball was never thrown there.

Wade was 18 of 38, just under 50% and only 171 yards for all those attempts.  It ended up with 9.5 per completion.  There was a 59 yard run and catch for Morris, so the other 17 netted just 112 yards. He also threw a pick 6.  Those are just the facts.  We're lucky we have Wade, to be honest.  Let's hope they can continue to work with him to upgrade.

Wasn't just him.  BG ran the ball 49 times for 119 yards, which is 2.5 yards per carry and not good at all.  That's on the line and the backs.  Jones started and ran 13 times for 48 yards, then was gimpy at one point and I don't think was back.  Clair was 11 for 11 and Denley had 6 carries for 11. Wade 12 for 46.

They used Clair in an unusual fashion.  Jones started and then they brought Clair in for the key plays in the drive after the blocked punt.  Clair played into the 3rd and was carrying in the 4th when the game was over, which is unusual for a guy who was injured for K-State and then not starting in this one.  It was just odd.  I'd think you'd have started Clair and then used Jones in the short yardage end zone look after the fake punt.  

A couple other notes.  On the 4th downs, Coach Loeffler said that BG is going to go on 4th downs.  They have a formula, but basically the stats show that teams go for it on 4th way too rarely.  You can google it, it is all over the place, but you can expect to see more of that this year.  And we missed a 25-yard FG.

Lastly, a note on 3rd downs.  BG was 6 of 21 on 3rd down.  But, four of those conversions came on the 99 yards drive.  There were 2 the rest of the game.

BG was 1 of 5 on 4th down.

More on the defense to come.

Friday, September 13, 2019

MBB Verbal: Cameron Young, Updated With Offers



So, when I said last night that Josiah Fulcher was our first verbal, I had missed an announcement that came a couple of days before.

So that's an AIR-BALL, AIR-BALL on me!

This young man is Cameron Young.  He's from NJ but plays his HS ball in Philly at Neumann-Goretti HS.  BG is recruiting Philly really well and that's a real basketball town.

Cameron is 6'6" and 190.  He is a swing player, which is exactly the kind of guy who can be really effective in the MAC and gives you matchup problems, especially at the 3. 

He plays in a very successful program.  Prior to last year, they had won the Pennsylvania 3A title for four straight seasons.  They made the quarterfinals last year after going 21-8 and 11-3.

In addition, two of his teammates are among the top 10 recruits in Pennsylvania this year.

I say that just to put some context to the numbers below.  Sometimes we get guys come in who have eye-popping numbers, and then sometimes we have guys who are on ridiculous good teams and are great players but don't have the role of stuffing the stat sheet.

He scored 9.8 PPG and had 6.9 RPG.  Looking deeper, he scores in the paint--he made 58% of this 2FG attempts.  He also shot 36% from 3FG, which is above the D1 average.  He blocked 1.7 shots per game.

So the picture that emerges is a guy who can play inside and out on the offensive end and has some athleticism on the defensive side and a long frame. He had almost a steal a game as well.

I don't see any information on other offers, but as you know, that information is unreliable.

Welcome to the Falcons, Cam.

UPDATE:  The Philadelphia Inquirer lists offer from Delaware, Penn State, Akron, Quinnipiac and Rider.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

MBB Verbal for 20: Josiah Fulcher

BG has its first MBB verbal for the '20 season and Josiah Fulcher looks like a good one.  Zach Fleer is a guy we follow for recruiting news and he says:


As mentioned, Fulcher (who is 6'1") was at Pickerington Central and then he moved to Lima Senior, where he plays in the TRAC.  He was all-state second team in D1 last year, along with TRAC co-player of the year. 

He scored 17.1 per game.  Lima Senior was 22-5.  Prep Hoops cites offers from Akron, Cleveland State, George Mason, James Madison, Kent State, OU, Stony Brook, Western Carolina and Wyoming.

This guy is a really accomplished player from a good team who had drawn significant D1 interest.  The key to BG remaining a consistent MAC force lies in getting good players every year in recruiting, and it appears that Mr. Fulcher will fit right into that story.

Welcome to the Falcons, Josiah.

25 Questions that go Grrrrrrr

 What is their body of work?

The Bulldogs are coached by Skip Holtz, who has built a very solid program.  They have five straight winning seasons and five straight bowl appearances--all wins, BTW.  They have played in the C-USA title game once in that time.  Like BG, they lost a P5 game (Texas) and won an FBS game (Grambling).  The Grambling game was 20-14, which seems close.  Grambling was 6-5 last year but won 10+ in previous years.  Phil Steele picks them as a co-favorite in their division.

BG is 0-2 against La Tech.  The 1995 loss was the first game after the Fat Punter game and is one I look back on as the first chink in the Blackney armor.

 How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

They have 29...which is an experienced team.  Phil Steele ranks them as the 28th most experienced team in the country...BG 117th.

Who are their returning statistical leaders?

CB Amik Robertson was #18 in passes defended and #16 in INT
WR Adrian Hardy was #20 in receiving yards
Hardy is first-team All-CUSA pre-season, 2nd team last year.
DL Willie Baker and Robertson also first-team on defense, pre-season.

What was their turnover ratio?

They were +3 last season.  They created 23, which was #38 in the country

Offense:

How is their QB play?

Their QB is J'Mar Smith, who was 9th last year in C-USA in passing efficiency, with 57% completions and a 15/10 ratio.  He did run a little.  This year, he's at 67% and 3 TD over 1 INT, and 10.8 per completion.  Two notes, that would indicate high percentage passes and, as noted, we don't know what to make of them because of their schedule to date.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

Last year they were 96th and 25 ppg about the same with 5.4 yards per play.  They are scoring worse this year with slightly better yards per play.

Can they run the ball?


They did not run effectively last year at 3.9 yards per carry.  So far they are worse this year.  Steele said they had the #7 RB and #6 OL in C-USA.

Do they pass the ball?

Steele says they have the best WRs in the conference, led by Adrian Hardy.  In fact, so far this year Hardy is #4 in team receptions.

How is their run/pass balance?

Last year, they ran on 48% of their plays.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

40% was #55 in the country.

Do they score in the red zone?

5.0 points per trip is very good

Do they protect the quarterback?

They give up sacks on 8.6% of their pass attempts, which is high.

Defense:

Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

They were very good.  Allowed 23 points per game, #39 in the country.  They allowed 5 yards per play, 29th in the country.  They returned only 5 starters and lost their DC.  So far, their numbers this year are not as good. New reports indicated that Grambling torched them on a stead diet of second-half RPOs, FWIW.

Did they defend the run effectively?

They allowed 3.96 yards per carry, which was #50 in the country.  To date, they are at 4.6.

Can they be passed on?

It was tough last year.  They were #25 in the country last year, allowing 57% completions, 16 TD and 13 INT and 11.3 per completion, all of which are strong.  They return the top DBs in C-USA, per Phil Steele.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?


They were very good at 35% last year.  Much worse to date this year.

Do they defend in the red zone?

They were very poor at 5.5 per trip.

Do they pressure the QB?

They were good.  They had sacks on 7.8% of attempts.  Only 2 sacks so far this year.

Special Teams:

Punting?

They have a new punter and their net average is 37.5, which about midpoint in the NCAA.

Punt Return?

They have 2 punt returns this year for 27 yards.

Placekicking?

Their FG kicking is not great.  He's 17-26, 13 of 15 inside 40.  Long of 48.

Kickoff?

They are allowing teams to start at the 26.

Kickoff Return?

Back atcha, sport
They start at the 26.

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

Hard one to judge.  Homecoming at BG...hope we get a crowd like we had for Morgan State, I think that will help a lot.  This is the best test for both teams to date....and a chance to see how BG might fare against stronger MAC teams.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Loeffler Presser

Loeffler presser was today.  Only lasted 7 minutes...and only a couple of news items inside a bunch of stuff you'd more or less expect a guy in his position to say.

He said that BG "left" 230 passing yards left on the field.  This is something I have never heard a coach say before.  Plenty of time coaches have said we left yards on the field, but they have never admitted to going back and adding up what would have happened if...well...something else had happened.  There were a bunch of throws behind WRs who were open and/or were dropped in some way.  I guess at that point you try to figure out how far the guy might have run.  ETC.

And let there be no doubt.  You put those 230 yards back in play and it's a different game.

No update on Andrew Clair.  He will make a different Saturday in what is a winnable-ish game.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Past and Future Opponent Land

Morgan State (0-1) Idle
Louisiana Tech (1-1) Beat Grambling 20-14
Kent (1-1) Beat Kennesaw State in OT,.  Kennesaw is the #9 team in FCS.
Notre Dame (1-0)--Idle
Toledo (0-1) Idle
CMU (1-1) Lost 61-0 to Wisconsin
WMU (1-1) Lost 51-17 to MSU
Akron (0-2) Lost 31-20 to UAB at home
Miami (1-1) Beat Tennessee Tech
Ohio (1-1) Lost 20-10 to Pitt
Buffalo (1-1) Lost 45-13 to Penn State

No surprises in the MAC this week.  Won all FCS games and lost all FBS games.

Kentucky is first in the MAC West.

East vs. West:  Null set
MAC vs P5:  (0-12)
MAC vs. G5:  (1-1)
MAC vs. FCS: (9-0)

<<Thanks to the alert reader who pointed out Coastal Carolina is FBS)

In case you are curious about our transferred QBs...

James Morgan was struggling against Western Kentucky yesterday and then left the game with an ankle injury.

Jarrett Doege is not listed on the depth chart, which lists 3 QBs.

Bleeding Kansas Part II

So, Saturday the game in the Little Apple was exactly what was probably anticipated.  Kansas State rolled over BG easily, winning 58-0.  BG was last shut out by Virginia Tech in 2012.

No reason to dig into the numbers, they look the way you would think.  BG had 5 first downs and ran only 44 plays.  The Falcons were 0 for 11 on third down.  Meanwhile, K-State had the ball over 40 minutes and averaged 6.8 yards per play.  They scored the first 7 times they had the ball.

Again, this was not unexpected.  Bowling Green is rebuilding its program, is short on players and short on developed players and looks to have a challenging season in our own conference...this one was essentially impossible to ask.

A couple of notes.

It was a bad day for another reason, in that BG found out that Matt McDonald will not be eligible this year.  Coach Loeffler discussed it after the game and said that it is clear the waiver thing is broken, regardless of the McDonald decision.  It's just hard to see any consistent pattern in the decisions and the time it takes to make them.

So, moving on, BG is left in an incredibly precarious position.  First, Loeffler said that McDonald won the job in training camp, which means we are already down to the #2 QB.  About Wade...we have seen him once where he was effective if not great in a game where the opponent was overmatched and we saw him struggle a lot in a game where we were overmatched. 

Remember that he had not played in a long time and could still be getting his feet under him.  The hope is that he comes around for the MAC season and is more effective.

And stays healthy.  It's just Loy behind him and then a couple walk-ons on the roster.  I saw somewhere that Loeffler said that they have some Wade/Loy sets, but don't want to risk Loy getting injured.  Wade should be careful about running, too.  And when he crosses the street.

Similarly, BG has depth issues at RB.  Andrew Clair was a DNP with a foot injury.  It is only the third game he has missed at BG, but he does seem to have lingering issues with injuries.  Having said that, I don't think there was any sense in playing him on Saturday.  At one point, I heard on the radio broadcast that Jones was having trouble with his foot...after that and Denley you are talking walk-ons...Nigel Sealey got carries.  He's from Philly, played at Albright College, which is DIII.  He was an all-public school RB in Philly and is a junior.

Speaking of which, Rodell Rahmann earned the start at WR for BG.  He is from Columbus, played safety and WR at Urbana before coming to BG.  He had a 34-yard reception that accounted for 24% of BG's total offense.  He's a R-JR.  Not sure what was going on with the start, but it could indicate that BG hasn't been thrilled with their scholarship WRs.

Anyway, that one is over.  BG has only one more payday game on the schedule.  I didn't hear anything about any serious injuries, so that's good--and sometimes you don't hear until later.  Louisiana Tech will present a much more reasonable challenge on Saturday.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

25 Questions that are ONLY Purple

What is their body of work?

So here is the thing.  Only one guy has ever been able to win at Kansas State: Bill Snyder.  He won there, retired, had another coach fail and then he came back and won again.

And now he's retired again.  Chris Klieman is going to try to be the first non-Snyder to win in Manhattan KS.  (Interesting fact.  The town was known founded by a group of NE immigrants who wanted to keep Kansas a free state and was known as Boston.  Then, a boat wrecked there with another group of free-state immigrants, this time from New York.  They agreed to stay only if the town was known as Manhattan, not Boston.)

Anyway, Klieman is a proven winner with multiple FCS titles at North Dakota State.  He will try to translate that success to the Big 12.  For them, that's the general storyline right now.  They were 5-7 last year and picked to be 8th in the Big-12.  They won big in their opener against an FCS team that made the playoffs last season.

So Clever
 How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

They have 29...which is an experienced team.

Who are their returning statistical leaders?

No nationally ranked statistical leaders return.
DL Reggie Walker was first-team all-Big 12

What was their turnover ratio?

They were +2 last season.

Offense:

How is their QB play?

Apparently, Snyder changed QBs constantly last year.  Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton shared the time.  Delton is off to TCU and Thompson has the job.  He had a good opener against Nicholls State.  Last year he completed 59% of his passes at 11 yards per completion, neither of which is nothing special.  He had 9 TDs and 4 picks.  He is a running threat and was the team's second-leading rusher.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

For years, they were over 30 points over last season.  Last year, they scored 22.5.  They had 5.2 yards per play...exactly what BG did and 104th in the nation.

Can they run the ball?

They were not good last year at 4.5 yards per carry and 56th in their country.  Their lead back left early and was undrafted and cut by the Titans.  All the other backs left, too.  They have two grad transfers...Jordon Brown from North Carolina and familiar face James Gilbert from Ball State and another from Louisville.  Four guys in total fared well in the opener, along with a couple of other players.  Gilbert started on the 1 line.

Do they pass the ball?

They really only had one productive WR return.  WR is probably a question mark right now.

How is their run/pass balance?

New coach this year, so who knows.
Earl Woods graduated from K-State and played baseball.
He was the first black baseball player in the conference

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

39% was 72nd in country.

Do they score in the red zone?

Very average/bad...4.1 points per trip.

Do they protect the quarterback?

They give up sacks on 10.2% of their pass attempts, which is very high.  They also lost three players from that team on the OL, though they return a couple good players.

Defense:

Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

They were good.  They allowed 25 points per game, which was 49th in the country and allowed 5.9 yards per play, which was less good and ranked in the 70s.

Manhattan Native
Did they defend the run effectively?

They were 95th in the nation allowing 4.9 per rush.  Everyone is back, though, and Phil Steele felt they had a shot at having one of the better d-lines in the Big-12.  They'll be a good test for our guys.

Can they be passed on?

They were 60th in the nation in passing efficiency defense.  They gave up 60% completions and 11.6 yards per reception and 20 TDs over 11 INT.  They had a couple key losses off that team.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?


They were poor at 45% and 110th in the nation.

Do they defend in the red zone?

They were average at 4.9 per trip allowed.

It is an unusual set of numbers.  They were #39 in scoring, yet below that in many of the individual numbers.

Do they pressure the QB?

They did not have a good year.  They had sacks on 4% of attempts.

Special Teams:
Mr. Carlson went to K-State


Punting?

They were 65th in net punting last year and they gave up 1 TD.

Punt Return?

Their star returner from last year is not back, so this is a question mark.

Placekicking?

He was very good last year.  He was 14 out of 16.  He was 14 out of 14 inside 50.  No blocks.

Kickoff?

They allowed 19 a return.

Kickoff Return?

As noted, their star returner graduated.

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

For reference, BG has played KSU once and lost 58-0.  The Wildcats are 22 out of their last 25 against non-conference opposition.  K-State opened as a 24.5 point favorite and it would be hard to argue with that line.  K-State schedules games like this to get a win at home and there's every reason to expect that to happen.  Honestly, if BG won this one it would be possibly the biggest upset in program history.

Kansas State is one of three schools with only one color.

Monday, September 02, 2019

News-Free Loeffler Presser

Coach had his presser today.  Even MacDonald was no news...

He said we have a long way to go technique-wise.  We are improved, but there's a long way to go.  He said that solid technique is what "brings you home" in games where your talent is equal or less than the opponent.

He likes Kansas State a lot and says that he envisions us playing like they do.  Relentless effort, excellent technique, run the ball, play physical, play action pass.

No news on any injuries.  The only change in the depth chart is that JaJuan Hudson has moved ahead of Redding at CB.  He started the first game and made 2 assisted tackles.

Wade is named MAC East Player of the Week

Pretty good for a first game...Darius Wade was MAC East Offensive Player of the Week for his introductory performance against Morgan State.

Wade completed 22-of-32 passes for 253 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. The southpaw also earned 42 rushing yards for 295 yards of total offense. His 42 yards rushing were the most from a Bowling Green starting quarterback since Matt Johnson posted 45 yards rushing in a 2015 win at Kent State.

Wade completed passes to eight different receivers and helped guide an offense that went 9-for-17 on third down (52.9 percent) and earned 37 first downs. BGSU's 37 first downs were two shy of tying the school record, which was set during a last-second win over Purdue in 2015.

Congrats to Darius...very proud of the effort.  More coming from the Loeffler presser, but NickP of the Blade tweeted that there is no news on MacDonald yet, so the chances are growing stronger that Wade will be under center on Saturday in the Little Apple.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Past and Future Opponent Land

Kansas State (1-0)--Defeated Nicholls State 49-14
Louisiana Tech (0-1) Lost 45-14 @ Texas.
Kent (0-1) Lost 30-7 @ Arizona State
Notre Dame--Plays Monday
Toledo (0-1) Lost 38-24 @ Kentucky
CMU (1-0) Beat Albany 38-21
WMU (1-0) Beat Monmouth 48-13
Akron (0-1) Lost 42-3 to Illinois
Miami (0-1) Lost 38-14 to Iowa
Ohio (1-0) Beat Rhode Island 41-20
Buffalo (1-0) Beat Robert Morris 38-10

East vs. West:  Null set
MAC vs P5:  (0-5)
MAC vs. G5:  Null set
MAC vs. FCS: (7-0)

Saturday, August 31, 2019

BG Men's Basketball Schedule (Non-Con)

Oct 30  Findlay Exhibition
Nov 5 Tiffin
Nov 8  @LSU
Nov 11 Jacksonville in Coral Gables
Nov 15 Fairmont State

Paradise Jam

Nov 22 Western Kentucky
Nov 23 or Nov 24 UC or Illinois State
Nov 25 TBD

Nov 30 Dartmouth
Dec 7 Oakland
Dec 15 Cleveland State

Boardwalk Battle

Dec 20 Norfolk State
Dec 21 Drexel/Quinnipiac

Dec 31 Hartford

A few reactions....

BG plays LSU, its first P5 opponent since BG played Wisconsin in the last Orr year.  I think its a good thing...we should probably play one every year. 

Another oddity is that the LSU game is the only pure road game BG is going to play in the pre-MAC season.  That can't have happened very often.

BG will have a 31 game regular season schedule because they are playing two tournament-style events, one of them in the US Virgin Islands and one in Atlantic City.

We have six home games, and while none of those are high-profile opponents, the number makes me happy as a fan.

The Jacksonville game is an oddity.  We're playing them in the Miami area.  I'm told that is part of our commitment to schedule games in the hometowns of our players (see Ish Ali in San Jose).  We have multiple players from that area, since Huger has recruiting contacts down there.  What's odd is that we aren't playing a Miami area school, but rather Jacksonville on a neutral court.  Actually, BG could end up with more fans in the stands if all those families show up.  Jacksonville is 350 miles from Miami.

We could outdraw the Marlins.

We have two non-D1 games on the schedule...Fairmont State and Tiffin.  On record here as saying 1 is the right number, but I don't have to make the schedule.

There's no Frack game.  I'm guessing we're using some of that for the thing in Miami, but perhaps not.

We haven't played Dartmouth since 1968.

Anyway, we're clearly going to be pumped up for the men's basketball season.  Love to see our guys back on the floor with high expectations.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Sweet Victory!

And sweet victory it is.

I heard Urban say last year at OSU that the last thing he would ever do is apologize for winning.

And we shouldn't either.

Yes, Morgan State was badly outmanned.  That's an FCS team and the differences between FBS and FCS were clearly on display.

At the same time, this is the first time since Dino left that BG has done what they are supposed to do with an FCS team and that's beat them handily, especially on your home field. 

That's not nothing.  We will 100% take it.

BG was dominant on both sides of the ball.  BG outgained the Bears 620-70.  Morgan State made 4 first downs and one was on a penalty.  The Bears completed only 3 passes.  Meanwhile, BG ran and passed its way through their defense.

No need for the usual stats rundown...I'm sure they will look like you'd expect.

First, we got a good look at the pro offense.  Like any offense, when it clicks it is a nice thing to watch.  It looks funny to only see two WRs out there, I can't lie.  But, BG controlled the line of scrimmage pretty easily and did find the TEs open.  Morris was certainly dangerous out of that set.  All of BG's running backs did well.

Second, I thought it was interesting that BG lined up both Clair and Denley (more Denley) as a WR in non-empty sets.  I suspect of it being a case of getting your best players onto the field as much as possible, but Denley was a threat running and catching.

Third, you had to be impressed with Darius Wade.  For a guy who hasn't played in a couple years, he really delivered for BG.  As Coach mentioned after the game, he missed some open throws but he also made a bunch of them.  He seemed to have good pocket presence and the ability to run, although he scared me to death every time he did.  I think they kept him in situations where he was positioned to succeed.

Coach Loeffler even called himself out for a mistake.  With about two minutes left in the half, BG was on its on 22 with a 3rd and 4.  In complementary football, BG would have run or called what Loeffler said would be a "controlled" pass to move the chains, maybe kill the clock and at least protect field position.  Instead, BG got greedy, took a sack, shanked a punt and then had an illegal formation penalty, leaving MSU starting at the BG 30.  They got a FG off that...their only points of the game.

Coach said he heard Addazio's voice in his head saying "protect the damn defense."

Anyway, it was a good way to start, if only by beating a team you should beat.  Gets tougher from here.

Last thing.  Happy for the guys.  They had a demanding time over the spring and summer and I'm glad they got a reward for it.  They're giving it all they have.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

25 Bearish Questions

For you Browns fans, this is HOFer Leroy Kelly as a Bear.
What is their body of work?

Morgan State is a HBCU with a strong football history dating back to when college football was segregated.  In fact, 4 members of the HOF played at Morgan State.  In 2014 they made the FCS playoffs, but are 12-31 since then.  They were 4-7 last year.  Tyrone Wheatley, the Michigan standout, is their new coach.  BG beat them 58-11 in 2011 at the Doyt in their only matchup.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

They have 22...which is a young team.

Who are their returning statistical leaders?

Donte Small was #9 in nation in passes defended and is second-team pre-season ALL-MEAC
TE Xavier Garette is first-team pre-season ALL-MEAC
LB Rico Kennedy is first-team pre-season ALL-MEAC
OL Stefan Touani is second-team pre-season ALL-MEAC
LB Ian McBurrough is second-team pre-season ALL-MEAC

What was their turnover ratio?

They were even last season.

Offense:

How is their QB play?

DJ Gollatt took over with injuries to the starter last year and will start the BG game.  He's 6'3" and 225 pounds, which is a good-sized QB.  He completed 54% of his passes at 11 ypc, which is nothing special.  He had 6 TD/4 INT and is a sophomore.  He also averaged 4 yards per run, with loss plays included.  On positive plays, he was probably nearer 6.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

They were 8th last year in the MEAC in scoring offense at about 18 per game and 8th in yards per play at 4.6.  They return 7 starters from that offense.
Elbows on the table?  Really?

Can they run the ball?

They were 7th in rushing last year in the MEAC at 3.8 yards per carry and return their top RB.

Do they pass the ball?

See above.  They return their #1, #3 and #4 receivers.

How is their run/pass balance?

They ran on 60% of their plays last year...new coach this year, so who knows.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

They were 5th in the MEAC.

Do they score in the red zone?

They are OK at 4.7 per trip.  They had only 26 red zone trips.

Do they protect the quarterback?

They give up sacks on 9.4% of their pass attempts, which is very high.

Defense:

Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

Morgan State was good as they were last year due to defense.  They finished 4th in scoring defense in their conference at 25.6 per game and 6th in yards per play at 5.6.  They return 8 starters on that defense.

Did they defend the run effectively?

They were #5 in the MEAC at 4.5 yards per carry.

Can they be passed on?

They were #5 in MEAC.  They allowed just under 50% completions but 13.6/completion, which is a lot.  They had 14 picks over 15 TD.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?


They were excellent.  They were 3rd in the MEAC at 30.4%

Do they defend in the red zone?

They were very good at 4 points per red zone trip.  Note that the 3rd down and red zone account for the difference in ranking in yards per play and scoring.

Do they pressure the QB?

They led MEAC in sacks at 29, which is almost 8% of total passing attempts.  Their top two sackers return.

Special Teams:

Punting?

Not good.  The guy they used last year was 8th in the conference at 31 net per punt.  They gave up 3 blocked punts and 1 TD return.

Punt Return?

Their top returning PR got about 7 a return on 11 attempts.  No TDs for the team and no blocks.

Placekicking?

Hard to tell, last year's kicker has graduated.

Kickoff?

They were 6th in KOR in the MEAC.

Kickoff Return?

They defended the KO very well, 2nd in MEAC.

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

Well, here is the deal.  First, FBS teams schedule FCS teams for a guaranteed win.  Over its last 3 FCS games, all at home, BG is 2-1 and the aggregate score is tied at 96.  Not too much farther to go, except that I don't think anyone can assume this as a guaranteed win.

Sometimes you get an advantage when you have a new coach, but in this game, both teams have new coaches.

Also, both teams have question marks at QB, though Morgan State's have certainly played more games than BG's has.

The first game usually gets a decent crowd of students, so hopefully there will be some people at the game.  BG should win this game, but I don't think there are any sure wins on our schedule.  A loss is a horrible start for BG...let's hope they can figure it out.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Football Season Preview

So, the first season preview of the Loeffler era...here we go.

From my perspective, this program is in a rebuild...a serious one...and I'd encourage fans to not judge the new staff too heavily on this year's results.  Here are the things weighing on this year's squad:

1.  Inattentive recruiting from Dino Babers
2.  Below adequate recruiting from Mike Jinks--a lot of defections from "highly rated" classes.

That's why the roster is so thin...then add in...

3.  That this is the first year any of our existing players have benefitted from a D1-quality player development program....not to mention strength and conditioning...
4.   Even your best-case scenario at QB is completely unproven...

and you have the makings of a very rough year.  BG won 3 last year...and lost some key players from an already depleted team...

  • For example, BG was 8th in scoring offense and lost its QB and best WR
  • BG was 9th in scoring defense and lost its two best defensive players, at least.  7 of BG's top 9 tacklers did not return, 

Just here to tell you, that on paper things are going to be very rough.  You just don't dig out of this kind of mess in the first year.

I hear you, though.  The echoes of 2001 are ringing in your head.  A young coach no one has ever heard of shows up and takes a 2-9 team to an 8-3 team.  Beat Northwestern.  Destroyed Toledo.  It was a great time to be a Falcon fan.

Let's look at that lineup on the field in Evanston...Josh Harris, Joe Alls, Khary Campbell, Robert Redd, a guy name Bautista who is banned from being referenced here by his full name, Kurt Gerling, Chris Haneline, Brandon Hicks.

Not trying to be a downer, but just think it's worth taking a little bit of a wait and see attitude this year.

This also isn't like 2016, when Jinks took over a championship team that we probably overrated but then gave up the program's two worst losses ever in his first four games and we hadn't overrated them that much.

This is a 3-9 team.  Loeffler is here for a reason.

I like how Loeffler is approaching the job.  I like his assistants, I like his focus, I like his recruiting and I like his determination.  Hasn't coached a game yet, but so far you have to like it.  Whether he wins here or not remains to be seen.  To me, the biggest issue is that we not fall into the Ball State trap, where Brady was replaced by the wrong guy and they are still struggling.  Again, Loeffler hasn't coached a game yet, but I like the approach.  The players also seem to.

I think the ceiling is four wins....and then you add in that Kent beat us last year, Akron is picked ahead of us and will be as desperate for a win as the Falcons will be...and you're down to a possibility of two wins.  CMU is expected to be bad...I'd like to think we win that one at home.  Honestly, I don't think we win all three of these or lose all three.

If you're looking for more wins, you'd need to win all of those and then @Miami and @UB to get to 6-6.

Here's what 4-8 looks like....

Morgan State WIN
@K-State  LOSS
LA Tech  LOSS
@Kent  WIN
@ND    LOSS
UT   LOSS
CMU WIN
@WMU  LOSS
AK  WIN
@Miami LOSS
OU  LOSS
@UB  LOSS

Anyway, I'd say 2-3 wins is the most likely amount.  If I'm wrong, nobody will be happier than me.

BG's is also implementing a new system on both sides of the ball.  BG's defense changes systems more than Elton John changes costumes.  On the offensive side, BG is going pro-style, which means a lot of two TE sets.  As Coach Loeffler has described it, you want TEs who block and catch because it puts the defense in a quandry...they either guard them with a LB and are open to the pass or put a CB on them and are open to the run.  Of course, that means you need a TE who can beat a LB in coverage, which we have yet to see, since we were rotating failed defensive players through the TE position last year.  This is the most despised offense on the internet, I kid you not.  That's doesn't have to mean anything.  If BG can maintain control of the ball, it helps the defense out a lot and NIU has played successfully (to say the least) in a power style.  Also, it gets cold and windy at the end of the season.

As for the defense, Brian Van Gorder is in town.  If the internet hates anyone as badly as they hate Loeffler, it's Van Gorder.  We haven't heard too much from Van Gorder, but in previous stops his defense has been described as complex, pro-style and heavy on zone blitzes.  Whether he tempers that for his BG defense has yet to be seen.  Van Gorder (and Loeffler) have had some high-profile failures, but that happens.

Everyone thought hiring Dave Clawson (#clawfense) was the worst move ever, too.

Anyway, it is great to have the team back.  Let's support them and let's get back where we belong.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Loeffler Intro Presser

So, Scott Loeffler did his first game week presser today.  Always interesting to see what kind of presser coach he is...no one ever will be Gregg Brandon or even Dino Babers, but where on the scale does he fall?

First, and interestingly, he called out his strength staff.  He said that BG had guys doing 4 reps of 185 when they got here and now they are doing 20 at 225.  I've heard this too...some of the guys on the field look like different people.  Just another contrast between staffs.

Because of that, BG left camp 100% healthy, which, in our situation, is huge.  An injury-plagued practice would have ended the season right there.

He says the team is young and thin, but made great progress in the off-season.  That will be interesting to see.

He says they are coaching "complementary football" -- playing to each other's strengths.  What he means is that the offense and defense have to help each other.  An example of that not happening might have been in Dino I where the defense would get gouged, the offense would get the ball back and then be three and out in about 90 seconds elapsed time (not clock time) and then back on the field the defense goes.  Also, special teams have to be elite (Fleckalert).

He was asked about starting QB and said that "we've got an idea who is starting" but that it wasn't in our interests to say who it is.  Also, when asked about MacDonald, he said we are worrying about things we can control.

The rest was the usual stuff, except for the interesting clash of Loeffler, Wheatley and then several former Michigan players who are assistants there.  "Beyond weird," Coach said.

Also the depth chart was released.  Let's review.


There are no huge surprises.  A couple of things to point out...


  • Obviously, QB is open
  • Note the "12" personnel, with 1 RB, 2 WR and 2 TE.  BG has typically been in 10 over the past few years...or sometimes 11.
  • With Taborn gone, Caleb Bright is playing LT and Derek Downs at RT.
  • Julian Ortega-Jones had a big camp and moved into the starter position.
  • Note Quintin Morris at TE from WR--but noting that those are viewed as hybrids.  If they are covered as blockers, you're supposed to run a route, and vice versa.
  • Austin Dorris is the Indiana transfer at the other TE.
  • Only 2 true FR on our offensive depth chart, both at TE, a position we more or less did not use last year.
  • We start only 3 seniors on offense



  • On defense, the biggest thing I see is the Kholbe Coleman is moved to MLB, which is kind of a surprise
  • Evan Brown and Jerry Roberts are on the outside, both DB converts who are reported to have good camps.
  • The D-backfield is very young, with 3 true FR in backup roles.
  • NickP of The Blade said that the staff really liked JaJuan Hudson and to keep an eye on him.
  • The defense has 5 true FR on the depth chart, one on the DL.
  • The defense starts 6 seniors.


Special teams will start off with the same kickers and long snappers as last year.  For returns, Bryson Denley and Cedric Mitchell will return kickoffs and people are kind of excited about Jake Rogers returning punts.  He didn't make the WR depth chart, but we have fewer slots open as well.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Johnson-Mack moved to DB

So, we're a little behind the curve on this one, but the big news from the season ticket scrimmage last week, as reported by NickP, was that Isaiah Johnson-Mack was moved from WR to CB.

BG's trying to patch together a defense of some kind this year, and they were hit hard at CB.  It's tough all around...BG started as 9th in pass efficiency defense in the MAC last year, and then lost some guys to graduation and then some more to transfers.  We didn't give up a ton of yards because it was so easy to run on us, but the pass defense struggled as well.

What's interesting about it being Johnson-Mack is that he was actually a productive WR at Washington State.  And, at BG, WR is better than CB, but not a position where we were exactly stacked, either.  There has been some reporting that Noah Massey could be breaking out, and that might have given them the flexibility to make this move.  Morris and Marlow were back.  But, based on what we have seen, we are thin at WR, too and have questions about who is throwing the passes, too.

We're just a couple weeks away!


Thursday, August 01, 2019

Punter Verbal for BG


BG has another verbal from this area.  It is Matthew Paull, a punter who plays at Anthony Wayne.  Here's a camp report on him...says he can punt traditionally and do the roll-out punt.  Readers here know that I think special teams are really important, so good to see us working on some specialists as well.

Welcome to the Falcons, Matthew.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Falcon Football Roster Out: Taborn no longer with eam

So, the football roster is out...I took a quick comparison of the Spring roster and the current roster and there was only one significant change that I saw...Lorenzo Taborn is no longer with the program.  He was set to be a senior on this year's team, and played in 26 games over the course of his three years at BG.  He played LT mostly.  He was set to be one of 3 seniors on the BG offensive line this year, and you'd think that he was somebody who could have contributed.

NickP reviewed the incoming class, and noted that only Dawan Martin, a 3-star DL from Youngstown was not listed on the roster with everyone else in school.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

It's....a QB

Well, with six days left until the start of Fall camp, BG has found what would appear to be its starting QB.  Just under the wire.

Today had some action.  First, about midway through the day we heard that Bryce Veasley (one of BG's 2 scholarship QBs on the roster) had entered the transfer portal and then later we heard that BG had landed what they needed, an immediately eligible grad transfer QB named Darius Wade.  Now, if I had to guess, I would guess that they happened in the opposite order...that news about Wade hit the locker room and Veasley entered the portal.  Anyway...

You might be asking about Veasley.  He was a 3-star recruit under Jinks.  I think the fact that he has been in the program for two years and wasn't in line to play even with the emergency situation at QB speaks for itself.

Still no news on Matt McDonald.  But, clearly, no one was sure that he was going to be eligible and the NCAA seems to be ratcheting back on the approvals.  His eligibility would still matter, by the way.  Right now, BG has only Wade and Loy and QBs do get injured.  (Remember the end of Jinks' first year?  Kent started Nate Holley at QB and Akron started Tra'Von Chapman, neither a QB).

So, I doubt if any athlete coming to BG will have received a warmer welcome than one Darius Wade.

What do we know about him?

He was a prep all-star in Delaware in HS.  He was Addazio's first QB recruit to BC.  He played 22 games at BC in an up-and-down career.  There's a story out there about him continually making comebacks.  He was very seriously injured in a game against Florida State and seemed to continually yo-yo with Anthony Brown for the starting job.  He grad transferred to Delaware before last season, but did not play due to injuries.  He was able (I am gathering) to use that year as his redshirt because the year of his FSU injury had been a medical redshirt.

He came to BC as a dual-threat QB, but ran only 55 times in those 22 games and that includes sacks.  He completed 55% of his passes, which isn't great.  He had 11.4 yards per completion, which is decent.  He had 5 TDs over 5 INT.

Yeah.  So, some injury history and a decent if not world-beating QB.  Even with that, a huge sigh of relief from the Falcon Nation.  Welcome to the Falcons, Darius.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

MAC Media Day

MAC Media day...no particular surprise.  BG is picked to finish last in the MAC East by a large margin.

Look, on paper, based on what people have seen, we're not in good shape for this season.  We were in bad enough shape before losing Doege and Junior.  You can look at a depth chart and see how thin we are.  And there's uncertainty at QB...bad enough if MacDonald gets the waiver but even worse if he doesn't. 

Yes, there are new coaches and a new attitude and all that.  I know some fans are getting the Urban Meyer vibe again.  BG could exceed expectations...there's virtually no chance of finishing below them.

That's OK, though.  We dug ourselves a deep hole and I think it's unreasonable to think that it's going to fix itself in one year or even two.  If it does, that's great.  But if we're 1-6 or something, I don't want to hear about how we need a new coach.  The last guy took over a championship team, this guy is taking over a program that was driven into the ditch. 

I mean no disrespect to the guys we do have.  I appreciate them and the effort and for being a part of re-building this program.  There's just not a critical mass of players.

There are other turnaround models than the Urban model.  For example, in his first year at WMU, PJ Fleck was 1-11.  Dave Clawson was 2-10 at BG (2nd season).

So, ok, we are picked last.  We are on a real rebuild.  We have coaches that I believe to date have shown they know what is ahead of them.  But 2019 might be a tough year and on paper that's 100% what you would expect.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

So, where were we? Football and Men's Basketball

After a little break, there's a little news to catch up, mostly from football.

First, a quick nugget from men's basketball.  Dylan Swingle is a transfer from Duquesne who is a big man and has big potential.  The assumption has been that he would have to sit out this year, per normal procedure.  In fact, BG's press release announcing him said as much.  However, in a Blade story Coach Huger said that there is still a possibility of a waiver for this year. 

Speaking of waivers, there's been no public news on the Matt McDonald waiver.  He had hired the same guy who repped Shea Patterson and Justin Fields...but then that guy a) quit the business and b) took a job with the NCAA.

In general, I don't think anyone knows what is going on with the waivers.  Honestly, I understood for guys who had a sick mom back home, but if you're going to provide waivers in some of these cases, you might as well not have the year-in-residency rule, because all it yields this way is just another chance for the NCAA to apply arbitrary standards to people's lives.

Anyway.

BG also has some new verbals in football.

We'll go through them in reverse order, for my convenience.


Kaden Moore is a G from Freedom HS in Bethlehem, PA.  He's 6'3" and 305 pounds, which is a pretty good-sized young man.  He was second-team 6A All-State in PA, which is their large-school classification.  For all that, BG was his only reported FBS offer, with others from Albany, Robert Morris and Towson.  247 doesn't have him ranked.  Having said that, if you have confidence in your evaluation skills and your coaching ability, you can make big gains with a guy like this.



Next we have Anthony Hawkins of Mansfield.  He's a DT, at 6'1" and 285 pounds with an offer from Ball State.  He had 54 tackles and 4 sacks in his junior year.  He was special mention all-state as well as first-team all-district and all-conference.


Next is Brian Kilbane.  He's from Lakewood St. Ed's, a legit state power with four state titles since 2010.  He's a C/T, but seems that there's a consensus that he would be a D1 C, and he's 6'4" and 275 pounds.  He had a veritable shload of offers, from Akron, Ball State, Buffalo, UC, Colorado State, UConn, EMU, Kent, Marshall, Ohio, UT, WMU and Youngstown State.  He's also part of the legendary wrestling program at St. Ed's.  He was second-team all-district.



Lastly, we have Adrian Wilson, a WDE from Frankfort, IL.  I assume that means the DE that rushes the passer.  Anyway, he's 6'3 and 222, from Lincoln-Way East.  He had offers from Ball State, North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Yale and is a 2-star on 247.  I don't see any season stats, but plenty of game reports show him with multiple sacks, etc.

That catches us up.  And leaves BG with 26 commits, which is 1 more than the "initial counter" limit for the class.  Coach Loeffler talked about this a while ago, and god help me, even with my high quality BG degree, I can't make heads nor tails out of it.  It is salary-cap complicated.  To the point where I don't necessarily want to be the kind of person who understands it.

SO.  A couple thoughts.  In the public, we operate only on the very surface of the recruiting process.  There are entire Russian novels taking place every day.  One of those verbals could be soft.  They could be de-committed.  We could be over-recruiting in case we lose some guys late, which does happen.  There could be grey-shirting, but you're on your own as to what that means.  Sometimes guys "commit" but as walk-ons.  Who knows?

Here is what I can assure you.  Our guys are on top of it.  This is not the previous regime.  I have been told that our recruiting room is operating at a Big-Ten level.  This program may come back and it may not, but these guys know what they are doing.

FWIW, BG is #3 in the MAC in recruiting.  One point on that.  These 2-star and 3-star things are unreliable enough.  But this number thing?  Literally cannot be ground in reality.  To prove the point, I looked at BG's top 20 "all-time" ranked recruits, from 247.  How many all-MAC players would you expect out of that 20?  Don't look ahead.  How many?

The answer, is 2, right now.  Some players are still going.  But the answer is 2.  How many players who contributed?  7.  How many literally never suited up for BG or left without making an impact?  7.

17 players--top 20 less the 3 in this year's class.

2 All-MAC players
4-starters
1-Role player
3 - Left with little impact
4 Never played
1 Injured
2 Too soon

James Morgan 1--Left to find success, starter
Nilijah Ballew 2--Role player
Fred Coppet 3---3rd team All-MAC
Kendall Montgomery 4--Starter
Joshua Croslen 5--Left school
Cameron Stage 6--Too soon
Matt Schilz 8--Starter
Deandre Fitz-Henley 10- Played 4 games, moved to TE
Armani Posey 11--Played 9 games
D.J. Lynch 12--2nd team All-MAC
Mike Rogers 13--Never played
Darrion Landry 14--Never played
Erick Hallmon 16--Never played
Dylan Farrington 17--Never played
James Sanford 18--Starter
Rico Frye 19 - Injured
Karl Brooks 20--Showing promise

Names not on that list.  Travis Greene, Matt Johnson, Ronnie Moore, Chris Jones, Ted Oulette, Scott Miller, Austin Valdez, Dominic Flewelly, Boo Boo Gates....etc.

Welcome to the Falcons, Kaden, Anthony, Brian and Adrian.