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)