Sunday, October 31, 2004

Lions stumble

I'm not surprised it is this way. This is still a team a year or two away. Some good days, some bad days. Really stunk @ GB, very strong against NY, and then kind of stinking today.

Let me say this. Dick Jauron is a very good defensive coach, and he is doing very well at getting maximum production out of his defensive team. The line is playing well, and the backfield makes plays, and the linebackers are good and will be better when Bailey is back. I think our defense will keep us in most games this year.

Which is good. Because the offense is struggling. Although Hakim had a good game, without Williams and Rogers, we lack playmakers. Reggie Swinton is doing admirably, but Streets is disappointing (and playing a role never envisioned for him), and Kircus will always suck.

The running game never left the locker room. 33% on third downs. Only 21 minutes TOP. 15 first downs. After scoring on the first drive, the O did not score again until 5:30 left in the game.

I think its as simple as this. When Williams plays, he opens stuff up. He helps Hakim. Streets can be a #3--a role he is still suited for. Swinton can make some plays. Kircus can wear his street clothes, a role he is suited for. It opens the run up. Imagine if we had Williams AND Rogers. But never mind--just Williams is enough. He's a terrific player.

So we're 4-3, and well on track for an 8-8 season, which is success for this club. Add some more talent to an improving D, hope for some health, and we could be in the playoffs next year. We need to beat the struggling Redskins next week @ home, with Jax and Minnesota on the road after that. No one will be surprised if we are 5-5 at that point. If we can beat Arizona, the Bears, and upset the Vikes at home, and we could still be 8-8...or if we have our usual Thanksgiving rejuvenation, maybe we can upset the Colts.

Falcons Cruise to Win Again

The Falcons coasted to an easy victory Saturday against EMU. The Eagles did make a strong rally in the fourth and actually put a little sweat on the brow, but eventually the D did the job.

On the whole, here are some impressons.

*We have all obsessed about stopping the run, and the D certainly locked down on Sherelle. They tackled well, got penetration, and dominated the line. Unfortunately, they actually out-passed us for the game. There were some wide open plays. Coach Brandon said that the Quebec kid (Deslauriers) "ran right by" Jelani Jordan for one big play. On another one, we blitzed, and they had a WR wide open in the middle of the field. Obviously, if you over do it trying to stop one thing, another can open.

*Eric Deslauriers is a player. The CFL is going to love him. 189 yards against us.

*Omar was strong as usual. And we got PJ Pope back into the offense. Sharon made some nice catches, and Cole got CLOCKED on one hit.

*I'd say take the Cole pass out of the playbook...but maybe we're trying to set up the throwback to 4 for the Marshall game. Otherwise, take it out. Find something new.

*Cole Magner has only two home games left. Can you believe it. He even played on punt block, which I am not sure if he had done before.

*Red zone stuff was a little spotty.

*Great job by Mitch Crossley on the "fumble" TD. The line seems to be playing a lot better.

*Daniel Sayles had a big game. S-T article this week said he was going to study astro-physics at Georgia Tech when he graduates. Cool.

*Overall, we seem to be playing pretty well. Its hard to tell if its the poor opposition, but we are trouncing them, and they aren't hanging around. WMU should get the same fate, and then we have to bring our A game coming home.

*Big disappointment over the crowd on Saturday. Just a little over 10,000. I don't understand what has to happen for people to support this team. I shouldn't have let my hopes get raised by the SEMO crowd. I've been watching this for 30 years, and the attendance situation never really changes. People turn out for big games and UT. If its EMU, they go to a Halloween party.

*In all fairness, the MAC is very shallow, and the home schedule this year is very poor.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Falcon Graduation Rate Strong

I think its important that MAC schools have quality programs. We should win, and we should be examples of how college athletics should work. It is what seperates us from the beasts, and makes me a bigger fan of our programs than the bigger D-I programs.

That being said, the recent news on graduation rates is to the credit of the BG Athletic Department. One measure is to track how many of your total athlete class graduates. I have always contended that is important to look at those who stay four years--are they graduating? If they aren't, it means you're stringing them along, and keeping them eligible long enough to get their playing days finished. Its exploitive. At least flunking them out is honest.

On the other hand, if a student athlete stays four years and graduates, that's how it should work, to the credit of our programs and our students. So, I'm very proud of the 93% mentioned in the story for those who stay four years. Its a credit to our program (check Marshall's stats out when you get a chance....)

Falcon graduation rate

Man, when Fantasy Bass Fishing Starts...

I am picking this guy! Keon is a master fisherman!

Keon Newsom, bass Master

See, just like I told you

Cards in seven.

Good job, Sox. You have loyal, passionate fans and you deserve the title. It is one of the most amazing stories in sports. Now be are rapidly growing tiresome.

If you like, read Rob Neyer's book Feeding the Green Monster, which chronicles the story of a year at Fenway.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Brandon Presser

Another interesting piece. Note the philosophy on running vs. passing, and the talk about the pass rush. We need to respect EMU...they played us tough last year, can run, and are tied with us in the standings with something to prove. I like us to win, but if I was better, I would take the 31.

Brandon Presser

Monday, October 25, 2004

MAC Tiebreaker revealed

As if it was printed in hieroglpyhics, we have uncovered what observers say appears to tbe the MAC tiebreaking procedure.

The issue is this. UT beats NIU, and we beat UT. Everyone has one lose in a crazy 1960's daisy chain. So what happens? Apparently, the record of your cross-over games does decide. In that case, there's a shot we could get the West by winning out, if UT can beat NIU. Official confirmation is still awaited.

MAC Tie Breaking Format

That's Silly

Urban Meyer is rumored to up for the Florida job. It IS silly--Spurrier is going to get that job. But look for Urban to come out lying again by saying how happy he is at Utah, his family likes it there, etc. He has not appeared to learn.

Florida is also not on his reported escape list, FWIW.

How about those Lions

Safe to say, no one saw us running through with three road wins--maybe all year, much less yesterday. As bad as the Packer debacle was, yesterday's win was a quality victory that we have to feel good about. The running game clicked (nice to have Jones back), the passing game benefitted, Joey was accurate, and we had Williams back to (also a big help).

The defense played well--in fact, better than I would have thought they were capable of playing. And that was without Bryant in the backfield.

Overall, this is very encouraging. The way the Cowboys have been playing, we have a very winnable game against them coming up next Sunday. If we can win that one, we are in the very serious hunt for a playoff appearence this year.

One last note. In yesterday's game, it was our team that rallied in the second half and put them game away--in the past, it has been our team that has collapsed in the second half. One game at a time, but the Giants win makes us more than least for one more week.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Two quick predictions

Cardinals. In seven, what else? Its the Sox.

Lions will lose to the Giants, who lack the capacity to completely annihilate us. Tiki will go medieval on us.

Chip Cox is a douchbag. Read his quotes below

• On Bowling Green’s third down efficiency: “They had their coach calling the plays from the sideline, looking at our defense. How hard is that when the coach looks at the defense and knows what defense you’re in and calls the play? It’s not hard to be efficient when the coach is calling your plays. It’s a good scheme for them, it works. I’m not knocking what they do, that’s great, but I mean it’s not hard to be good when you have the coach calling your plays.”
• On Bowling Green quarterback Omar Jacobs: “He’s pretty good. He’s not as good as Toledo’s quarterback, Toledo’s got a great quarterback. But he might be number two or three (that we’ve seen this season.)”

Falcons Stomp Bobcats

BG crushed OU today. We went down to the game and just got home. A few impressions.

*Omar's numbers were great, and the scary thing is that with a couple of more accurate throws, they could have been historic. OU was supposed to have a hot D, but he picked them apart.

*Love the weird formation at the beginning. Don't know what it accomplished.

*OU band was awesome. Only difference between OU and BG of the Blackney era is the fans in Athens leave right after the halftime show, not before it. "Play the funky music" with the alumni band was awesome.

*Hocking valley is lovely in Fall, and the campus is spectacular. Its their bicentennial.

*Coach Knorr said on the post-game show he wanted to make us one-dimensional--ie stop the run. I can't understand this. If you sell out to stop the run, we will pick you apart. What you have to be able to do is stop the run with your base D.

*Our seats were right over the door to the Falcon locker room. On the way into the locker room at the half, Stud was absolutely ripping Rob Warren. "You're getting the sh*t kicked out of you on every play." He repeated this several times. Actually, when he is POed, his voice gets all squeaky. It was kind of funny.

*Great FG for Shawn Suisham. I was very critical of Shawn last year, but he has been money this year (FG and Kos), and the 52 yarder was awesome.

*OU tackled better than we did.

*OU failed to run for 100 yards, even if you add back the sacks and the 15 they lost on the punt over the QB's head.

*Hawk missed some wide open passes when the right play was called, and he just didn't convert. Its been a long time at BG since we have had a QB who doesn't hit the wide open guy almost every time. He came close to having more receiving yards (29) than passing yards (45).

*Cole is still not entirely healthy. He was limping heading into the locker room at the half.

*Give OU credit for the punt block and the onside kick, and give our guys credit for nipping it in the bud.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Coach Brandon Presser

Keon will play, but with a cast. Coach views OU as being where we were in 2001. With the OU D, this is an upset trap for us. Hopefully, we can keep them from scoring, and if UT scored on them, we should, too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Larkin unlikely Hall Candidate

Can't Say I am surprised

While I can't say it surprises me, the Enquirer did a poll of Hall voters NOT from Cincy that says Barry isn't a Hall qualifier. He doesn't have automatic stuff--like 3,000 hits, etc. He was MVP once, and played on one Series champion. Sadly, the article details that he was a dominant player at SS for a long time, but is a little bit of a tweener--maybe not as good offensively as Trammel/Ripken, nor as good defensively as Smith. It shouldn't diminish what I feel was a great career, but its a shame.

Enquirer Poll Says Larkin not to Make Hall

AZZ Posters on Big Hoops Recruiting News

There's big Hoops Recruiting News for the Falcons. Nothing official, but it started with this on

"Today is a big day for the Bowling Green basketball staff. Bowling Green Head Coach Dan Dakish has landed his first big recruit from the state of Michigan in his 8th year at the helm. Sunday afternoon, Prep Spotlight learned that one of the top 10 players from the state of Michigan walked into the basketball office's at Bowling Green and said "this is where I want to be."

Reliable sources on AZZ then indicated the player in question was Lionel Sullivan from Detroit St. Martin DePorres. 6'6, 215#. Was a first-team all-state selection as a junior. (!!) Lionel Sullivan is listed in Athlon's Top-300 national players for high school seniors. He comes in at #297. This would be a very nice pick up for BG.

Another AZZ source indicated the following, and to the contrary: "However, it was 6-7 Wilson Chandler that made his decision TODAY, and he is probably top 5 in MI, and is ranked #124 nationally. THIS, my friend, would be a great pickup. In the MAC, only Turner Battle, Keith Triplett, Peyton Stovall, and Danny Horace were rated higher coming out of HS."

So, it sounds like big news either way. I'm betting on Sullivan, and if so, that's another good get. All-state as a junior has to be a positive step. The new assistant coach from Detroit may have paid an early dividend, and if we can start to recruit that area well, it will be a big plus. Stay tuned for a final determination, but that will be four strong athletes for our five scholarships for next season.

UPDATE: Wilson Chandler has committed to DePaul.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Reds Year in Review

It can't be all bad. After all, the team improved 7 games over the year before, and that's something. We're still far from .500, and even farther from contending, but it wasn't a total loss. As a matter of fact, if you want to analyze a trend, the Reds finished 10 games OVER their pythagorean projection. Normally, that calls for a downturn the following year. No real reason for that to happen here, but you're starting from a weak 76, not a strong 76.

We were healthier (though not healthy) in the starting 8--though injuries still hurt--and that is the primary difference. During the year, I tracked pitching stats compared to last year. In the end, it was a grim tale.

Part I: Pitching

Don Gullett, free from the shackles of Boone, supposedly had the pitchers on a new track--pitch to contact. Don't walk guys. And while it worked early, in the end, this team had an abysmal pitching staff. My own opinion is we need new blood at pitching coach, someone who can work with young pitchers. Gully's "strength" was always supposed to be working with the Bowden know, "spotting something in their delivery" and ekeing another year out of them. His success at that is more anecdotal than empirical.

During the year, I tracked Reds pitching against the year before, and against the league average. Early in the year, it was looking good. By October, it was a grim tale of deja vu.

Listed here, 2003, 2004, NL Avg

BB/9: 3.67, 3.57, 3.38
K/9: 5.8, 6.18, 6.74
H/9: 9.82, 9.94, 9.09
ERA: 5.09, 5.19, 4.30
K/bb: 1.58, 1.73, 1.93
Hr/9: 1.3, 1.47, 1.11

Suffice it to say, that pitching was generally worse than the year before, and made only indistinguishable progress against the league. BBs were down a little, and K's up a decent amount, but still well below the league. In the meantime, we gave up more hits, homers, and earned runs than the year before. If you strategy is to pitch in the strike zone, you need more power than that to get by.

Note these other fun facts:

Reds gave up 900+ runs.
They were second to last in runs allowed. Only the Rockies--in their stadium--were worse.
The Reds sported only two pitchers who pitched ANY innings who were beneath the AVERAGE league ERA. And that includes Luke Hudson.

The last one is a kicker. Only Danny Graves (68.3 IP) and Luke Hudson (48.3) were below the league average in ERA. Let's carry this a little further.

ERA between 4.30 and 5.30

Wilson (183.7 IP)
Wagner (51.7 IP)
Bong (15.3 IP)
Harang (161 IP)
Norton (65.7)
Riedling (77.7 IP)
Hancock (63.7)
Valentine (29.3)

ERA MORE THAN 1.00 above league average (those who metaphysically stink)

Acevedo (157.3)
Van Poppel (115.3)
Claussen (66)
Matthews (30)
White (GOD!) (59.7)
Reith (26)
Sanchez (14.3)
Padilla (25.7)
Myette (4.3)
Haynes (15)

513.6 innings, or just over 40% of the season's total came not from pitchers near the league average, but more than 1 run--and in many cases more than that--from the league mean. You can't figure out a better way to lose over a long season.

Most of those guys were in the bullpen, so its no surprise that the bullpen stunk too. I love the BP measure of taking the expected runs in each situation faced by a reliever, and then comparing it to the actual amount allowed. By this measure, the club allowed 48.4 runs more than they should have (on average), a figure placing them at the bottom part of the National League. They converted a paltry 60% of their save opportunities, compared to, for example, the Cards who converted 78%. Graves converted 41 of 50, or 82%, which is somewhere in the vicinity of the league average. His long-term deal remains an albatross around the club's next. His 5.27 K/9, while above his career average, is well below what is needed to survive. You cannot pitch successfully in the bigs without 6-6.5 K/9.

Bottom line. Pitching no better than the year before, and the reason why a .500 season was not achievedd. The pitching is not merely bad--its awful. The strategy is to build the farm system, rather than trying to find the Jimmy Haynes of each season. Is the talent there. Well, there IS talent there. I don't think there's a Zito/Mulder combo, but there is talent much is a topi for another day.

Coming next. The offense.

The Hitters

Bottom line for the hitters is that they were pretty average for the national league, and that's a good point for the team. Still not healthy, Reds fan's best hope is that the team cobbles together average pitching while the main 8 of the lineup stays healthy and scores a ton of runs.

For the year, the Reds were tenth in runs scored. But their OBP was on the league average, and they slugged just ever so slightly BELOW the league average. So, .OPS is pretty near the league average.

Here's a player by player run down, comparing their OPS to the NL average for their position.

Sean Casey--Team MVP. Both OBP and SLG well above league average. Hitting 24 dingers with a .324 BA and 46 walks will make you a valuable producer. 44 doubles don't hurt. A great comeback season for Sean, when many Reds fans were ready to cut him loose.

Adam Dunn--Also well above the league average for LF. His SLG @ .569 is almost a point above the league average, while his vaunted .OBP is a little closer to the league average. He walks plenty (108), but doesn't get that many actual hits (151), a novel concept in BeaneBall. Most of all, he K's (195!!), but if you accept the moneyball philosophy, you have to accept that K's are just like any other out. Which they are not, but they are probably closer than people think.

D'Angelo Jiminez--A surprise. For what we are paying, a fine ballplayer. Right on the league average for 2b.

Ryan Freel--Fans love Ryan. I like Ryan a lot. His OBP is OK for a 3b, but NL teams are getting a lot more power from their 3B than Ryan provides. For that, he is below the league average. We need to figure out how to make 3B a power position to compete, which explains the Kearns experiment. Ryan would be an adequate 2B.

Jason Larue--An above average offensive catcher.

Barry Larkin--even in his last year as a Red, he was above average compared to NL shortstops.

WMP--interesting case here. Depends on the positon. If he's in CF, he's above average offensively, but probably not defensively. If he's in RF, he's not sufficient based on an anemic OBP. His power is above average for the position. In short, even if he doesn't improve at all, he's a RF of the future, and a reward to the Reds for patience.

Junior--An above average offensive CF. All numbers above the average, while healthy. Injuries are a shame, because he was getting the job done.

Juan Castro--Below aveage offensively, notwithstanding a hot start. Don't get me wrong--good teams need guys like this, and he has a spot on our team. What you don't need is five guys like him...makes Ryan Freel expendable.

Felipe Lopez--Another surprise. Felipe is basically on average with NL Shortstops based on the 264 BA's last season. He's still only 24. I have hope he may turn into a decent ML Shortstop.

Austin Kearns--Below average, but I don't think anyone doubts he will rebound and become a top offensive force again.

Valentin, Cruz, Larson, Hummel, Bragg, VanderWal, Romano and Clark--all well below the league average--many woefully so. VanderWal a huge disappointment.

Finally, Anderson Machado. Just a point so it doesn't get under the radar, but he was above average in 56 Abs for NL SS. He could be something if we keep an eye on him.

Final result...a healthy offense for this team could contend, if 3b is shored up and Lopez continues to improve along with WMP. Not healthy--we can't afford depth. We really can't.

Falcons highest ranked team in Ohio

Four points in AP poll, to 2 for the Suckeyes. Ha, ha, ha. If they are bowl eligible, and that's a big if, I would love for NIU or us to beat them in the Motor City Bowl. Now, if Toledo played OSU, that would activate my one exception to the root against OSU rule. In that case, Justin Zwick becomes my favorite player.

Lions thrown to the Packers

Well, we certainly had that wrong. The Packers completely dominated the Lions today, and took serious wind out of the Honolulu Blue and Silver's momentum. This was a game that a team truly on the rise should have won at home, and MUST compete in. Which they did not.

To be fair to Joey, this is essentially the same team they finished with last year. No big play receivers, and no big RBs, either. Pinner was woeful, and Joey was the leading rusher. Joey could find nothing open downfield, often resorting to scrambling fruitlessly for yardage. Finally, he threw a big play pick that is the kind of play they have successfully avoided this year.

Let's be serious. This is a team that made 5 first downs.! 1-11 on third down (missing the last 11 of the game). Ran 40 offensive plays, roughly half what the Packers did. Held the ball for 20:19--only one third of the game.

Given that, its hard to be tough on the D. They were up against it. Not that they played very well, but they were up against it. Lots of missed tackles (how does that guy get around Lewis for their second TD?) And explain how Green could run those sweeps, have copious Lion pursuit and still squirt through for 8-9 yards.

The sole bright spot was Eddie Drummond, the Mel Gray of a new century. What a great lift you get when the other team scores, and you run it back into their territory. Going three and out is less of a lift after that.

Well, next is the Giants, a tough team coming off the bye week. We are likely to be .500 after that one--especially on the road. Mooch doesn't know what to make of it all. Simple...its the Lions.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Falcons Stomp Ball State

It wasn't even as close as 51-13 would indicate, and certainly not as close as the stats would indicate. In classic BG fashion, we blew them out by scoring 5 of the first six times we had the ball, and the game was basically over five minutes in. As Ball State's coach said, we didn't do a damn thing right. A blocked punt. A bad snap on a punt leading to a safety. And giving up eight sacks. Ouch.

On the other hand, the Falcons were clicking. BG ran only 59 offensive plays, and scored 51 points. That's a feat. Omar was good. We didn't need to run, but he found PJ loose in the secondary six times, once for a TD. Charles Sharon has some nice YAC, and Steve Sanders had a big catch, too.

Basically, we totally dominated a team tonight, and it was good to see. Next week @ OU is a sleeper, even tough UT stomped them today.

The crowd was 16,669, which was too bad. It was a nasty day. It rained pretty hard in the second quarter, and the wind chill was easily in the 30's. The east side--with the wind on your face--was a lonely place. As I have said before, we will be out of the attendance woods when we draw on bad nights. Today's game was a good example of that.

Its a shame. It was a good show. NIU doesn't show any signs of losing, but anything could happen. All we can do it win out.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Big Day Saturday

Though I think the weather will be shaky, let's hope its at least decent, and on the West Side we are sheleted from the wind! I'm looking for a big homecoming win, but in the league, all wins are wins. Still, I think we torch BSU for at least 60. Like to see the D play well, and some big special teams play. And a sell-out, but I'm not holding my breath.

Hoops practice starts

In contrast, Coach Dakich is typically a little less revealing. Glad to see guys getting bigger. I'm getting pumped to start the season....

Coach Dakich starts practice with Q&A

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Rice a Lion

Wow, that's a thought, isn't it? My gut reaction is that he could help us. He makes a nice addition to Williams, Streets, and Hakin. Streets doesn't seem to be making a big contribution, but a strong 4th the depth...might really help us. Presuming we don't have to give up very much (Mike McMahon! HA!, and throw in David Kircus), but I'd be in favor of taking a shot at it. He'd have something to prove, and we cut him after the season when Rogers is back.

UPDATE: Apparently this is not going to happen. Mike McMahon can sleep well tonight.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Coach Brandon Press Conference Notes

I will say this, Coach gives a very interesting and insightful press conference. Read below for why we couldn't run @ CMU, what he meant by his Omar/Josh comparison, how the no-huddle works, and whether Keon is a better Safety or Cornerback.

Coach Brandon Press Conference Notes

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Reds Let Larkin Go

Barry Larkin announced today that he has been told by the Reds that he will not be offered a contract for the 2005 season. An era ends. More thoughts later, but Larkin was a great Red and a great player and a leader, and the franchise is better for having had him. It may have been might have been best to trade him back when Bowden wanted to, but Barry Larkin is a Cincinnati hero.

Larkin Done with Reds

Good Move

Reds Keep Miley

Miley Gets New Deal in Cincy

O4 wins MAC West Offensive Player of Week

...for what is the first, but far from the last time.

Omar Win MAC West Player of Week

The Pack is vulnerable

Come off Monday night.
On the road.
In a dome.
Playing poorly.
Bly is back.
If Williams plays...

We could go 4-1.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Lions are Road Beasts

Win Second Straight Road Game, First against Winning team

I think all Lions fans have to be, for perhaps the first time, actually encouraged by a result. The win over Chicago was fine, but we played very badly, and we beat a poor Houston team again not playing well. But the win yesterday was one where we actually played pretty well. No major errors, decent running, solid passing, and a solid defense against Michael Vick. And on the road.

I thought we covered well, even without Bly, we got pressure for the first time this season, and I thought the LBs covered Vick scrambling. We had a good game plan, played within ourselves, and won the game.

Best of all, Roy Williams is not seriously hurt and might play against the Packers--who are ripe for the picking @ Ford Field this week, coming off a Monday night. Gotta believe we could win again.

And this is without Kevin Jones. Healthy, this team has a chance--a chance--at a wild card run. The biggest downside I see is that our schedule, especially with the Giants, has gotten a little tougher than it looked at the beginning. But if we 4-1 with two division wins, we have to be taken seriously.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Nice Win

Good win for the Falcons today, cruising to an easy victory that wasn't in doubt after the opening minutes, and certainly not in the second half. You go on the road, and you get an easy win, that's a good thing in the league, and we needed it.

As I had expected, CMU ran all over us, and then couldn't do too much in the air. Their first QB got knocked out, but came back in (was it my imagination, or did he act erractically after he came back in. A coach who puts a player with a concussion into the game should be arrested).

Anyway, Seymour certainly gained his yards, and they beat us on a reverse because our guys flow to the ball so much. Which, if true, would seem to help us on the non-reverse plays, but there you go. Coach Brandon says that scoring defense is all that matters, and no question, its important. But giving up a lot of yards could be a sign of trouble later, especially when we play Marshall and UT, and like it was against NIU.

Omar was awesome. Leading rusher, and 75% completions (or there about) and no big mistakes. In the post-game, Coach Brandon said he was playing better than Josh was. Certainly, there has been no fall-off at QB. He's going to be a real good one--in fact, he already is. Cole had his first big game this year, and Sanders obviously is very good.

With Magner, Sharon, Sanders, and Hawkins, we have the ability to make a lot of problems for defensive secondaries. What worries me is that PJ didn't run very well yesterday, and has kind of had a down season. We need the ball in his hands more often--running is a big part of the spread offense, and their should be holes for him with our line and receivers. I hope PJ can get into the flow.

(I know he had a good game at Temple, but I'm talking about real opponents).

We also avoided special teams problems, except for the botched Fake FG. Nate Fry punted well, and CMU didn't get any big returns.

CMU is well-coached. They came out trying some new things with their defense while we were adjusting our plays, but we counter-adjusted pretty well. Kelly ran the spread at GV State (at one point referring to it as "his" offense), and should know how to attack it. Coach also said in the post-game that we thought we had them figured out in certain situations, and they crossed us up.

CMU will be a force in the West in the very near future. In the meantime, it was a good day for the Falcons, let's hope for another laugher with the home crowd this Saturday against BSU.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The Chips

Falcon fans have some bad memories of the Chips, none worse than the image of a fat punter running a fake punt 80 yards, ruining our 1994 season, and setting in a curse that wasn't lifted until we similarly trick-fuc*ed Northwestern with the Magner reverse when they were expecting an extra point.

Last I looked, BG was a 14-point favorite, and let's hope we can live up to that. Its on the road, and its homecoming at CMU. Furthermore, I'm afraid they can hit at our weaknesses. They run well (4.5 yards per carry) and Jerry Seymour went 28-123 on us last year. He is at least as good as the Wolfe kid @ NIU. They run the ball about 54% of the time, a little higher than the typical MAC average.

Our D has to prove that it can stop the run this week, or we could easily lose again. Some things are working in our favor. NIU's starting line is bigger. They go 290-310-290-295-310 across the front, while CMU goes 328-287-294-294-275. CMU has two seniors and two juniors on the front. The other thing working in our favor is that I don't think they have the ability to go over the top like NIU did if you pull in. Their QB has only 49.1% COMP, and 4 TD's. Their best receiver is only getting 4.5 catches a game.

That should help. Still, we need to tackle better and pursue better and contain better.

CMU has also had raging good special teams. Brian Kelly says its the quickest way to turn a team around, and you saw the same philosophy from UM. We need to cover returns well, and block our kicks well. We don't need big plays on the road going against us.

There's plenty to worry about here. On the plus side, teams have throws on CMU, and if Omar can build on the big game in Philly, then we should be fine.

Sound Familiar Falcon Fans?

Urban happy in Utah. Family comes first.

In the article linked below, Urban spouts a familiar line. He is happy at Utah, the work is unfinished, his family his happy. Furthermore, he calls the experience leaving BG "devastating." Apparently he expected a hug. If so, maybe he should avoid saying things like this, two days before leaving...

"that's silly ... The future is fantastic here ... I'm proud to be the football coach here.

"Once they get to know me, know my family, know how important it is to have continuity, my kids going to school somewhere."

He's a brilliant football coach. And he's going to win some national championships. He seems to be able to learn a lot...except how to not paint himself into a corner on questions like this. Or maybe he doesn't want to learn. Does he really care about how people feel once he has left them behind. I don't get that sense.

Utah Paper Falls for usual Urban Lie

Falcons Skunk Temple

Well, I guess we had something to prove in Philadelphia. We lit up what is probably an awful Temple team 70-16. Still, they are a a I-A team, and 70 points is an accomplishment. Obviously, we dominated every part of the game. PJ Pope had a great game, Omar had a great game. Six TDs on the ground, four in the air.

When are we going to let Jason Washington throw a pass? Just wondering. Special teams were strong (BJ Lane is leading the MAC in KO returns), and we only threw five incomplete passes.

On the defensive side, Temple only averaged 2.8 yards per carry on 35 rushes, were 13 of 24 in the air, for just under 200 yards. Defense is a little hard to judge when the game is such a blow out. It was one of our top offensive performances, and the first half was also nearly a record setter.

With that out of the way, the remainder of the games are in the league, and there is no margin for error. CMU is next, and they have a very good RB who could torch us. More later in the week to preview CMU.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Temple Game

Not much preview on the Temple game, due to severe Huskie hangover. Falcons should win this one with ease...Temple is a program headed in the wrong direction. If we don't get a big win, then many of the fears of Falcons fans will be coming forward. They have a running QB who can't throw, and lots of JUCO guys. Hopefully, we will get a win and some confidence to enter conference play against CMU the next week.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Third Hoops Recruit

According to the Sentinel, we have added Nick Wilson, 6-5, from Trenton NJ to our verbals. They also confirm the other two found here.

Wilson visited last weekend.

He is a G/F, 192 lbs, who is strong on D and can drive or shoot, accordingly to himself. He was 14.3 and 3.0 rpg last year, and was all-league for a 21-6 team. He also visited Tenessee-Martin, and coaches saw him play in KS, FL and Las Vegas this summer. He has passed the SAT.

Sounds interesting. Hopefully, another player who will hold up the MAC trophy someday.

Dude went to The Hun School. That's bad.

(Search for Wilson)

(search for Wilson--"electrifying")