Sunday, September 15, 2019

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 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.

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