Monday, April 26, 2010

Coach Orr Enjoys Privileges

As you know, these AAU tournaments are the source of a lot of controversy, and, frankly, some shady dealings in college basketball.  So the NCAA has set up some rules to govern it.

Which always works.

Anyway, one of those rules is that Coaches are now allowed to attend this events until July.  Because if they were there in April and May, oh man, that would be some sh*t there.

There is an exception, however.  If your own child is playing, you are allowed to attend.  (Somewhere, John Caliperi just adopted 11 AAU players).

So, Coach Orr's son Chauncey is playing in the King James Shooting Star Classic.  Chauncey is a 6'4" swingman.  Rumors that he is known as "shorty" in the family are unconfirmed.  Anyway, the PD spotted Coach Orr and his wife in attendance.

"I don't get to go to all of his games like this," Orr said as he and his wife Evette watched their son in the first game of the event. "But when I can, I do."

And, for the record, the PD reporter witnessed Coach Orr leave after Chauncey's game.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

MAC Draft Report

So, the MAC ends up with 5 players drafted.  This is a low number, and would have been lower except Jameson Konz jumped in and saved that.  He was a FB at Kent State, and, gotta tell you, I had no idea at all who he was.  It was pretty funny though...on Saturday, ESPN would run Mel's top picks at each position, and because Konz was number 2 at FB, his picture was up A LOT.  He was drafted, however.

Weirder yet, he is apparently going to play WR at Seattle and is described as "freakishly athletic."

And he looks like the cover of one of those romance novels.

Anyway, the 5 players picked is the lowest since 2002.  The last time there was 4 was in 1999.

Obviously, guys are signing UDFA contracts as we speak.  According to the Draft Bible, here are the MAC signees as of right now.  This is a moving target and more will probably sign today, so check back often at his site.

  • Barry Church, Dallas
  • Tyler Sheehan, Houston
  • Freddie Barnes, DA BEARS
  • Tim Hiller Colts
  • Bryan Anderson, NE
  • Namaan Roosevelt, Buffalo Bills
  • Steve Maneri (TE-Temple), Houston
  • Devin Tyler (OT-Temple) Arizona
  • Dominique Harris (DB-Temple) Buffalo
  • Andre Neblett-(NT-Tempe)  Carolina
  • Alex Joseph (LB-Temple)  Green Bay
  • Mike Newton (S-Buffalo)  Indy
  • Chad Turner (CB-Ohio)  Indy
  • Josh Gordy (CB-CMU) Jacksonville

Overall, it was obviously not a big year numerically for the MAC, nor were there any real stars or big names dropped into the mix.  Some of these guys did drop into nice situations, especially Taylor Price.  Also, Dan LeFevour will learn a lot from Martz in the next year before the Bears fire his ass because no one can stand him.

Todd Walker talks to Sheehan

Ziggy Zoomba (@azzdotcom)
4/24/10 9:05 PM
New AZZ post: Todd Walker Interview with Tyler Sheehan

Sent with Tweetie

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, April 24, 2010

UDFA signings....

Numerous web reports say that Freddie Barnes has signed as a UDFA with the Bears.  Of  course, he is an Illinois native.  He will catch passes there from former Rival Dan LeFevour who was drafted by the Bears. I don't really have any idea what his shot there is, but we certainly wish him well.

Tyler Sheehan has signed as a UDFA with the Houston Texans, and will have a shot to make that club.  (this news comes from the BG twitter feed and appears to be official).

Obviously, it would have been great if Freddie had been drafted. I'm not too surprised.  I am more surprised Barry Church was not drafted--he has a UDFA with the Cowboys.

I say this every time.  Tyler and Freddie don't have anything to prove to Falcon fans.  They gave us their all, year after year, and are true greats.  They will always be Falcons, and special in our hearts. Anything they do in the pros is extra.

Barnes and Sheehan find homes

orangeandbrown (@orangeandbrown)
4/24/10 7:01 PM
Freddie Barnes UDFA to Bears, Sheehan to Texans.

Sent with Tweetie

Sent from my iPhone

Taylor Price First MAC Draft Pick

Taylor Price, as expected, was the first MAC player to go in the NFL draft. As I mentioned in my draft preview, I can only assume that he was a little under the radar due to the OU system and the lack of a consistent QB to throw it.  I would imagine he might have had some pretty freaky numbers if he had been playing at CMU, BG, or WMU.

He went to New England, which is actually a really good place to go.  He won't have QB problems there, and the Pats know how to develop players. it true that a playing went from OU before a player was picked from OSU?

Friday, April 23, 2010


The MAC announced its 5 or 6 bowl affiliations today.  To begin with, this is some really nice work by the MAC office in the face of the 6-6 rule switch.  We are protecting our position.  I certainly have criticized the conference when I thought they have not gotten results, but I do believe that this is something they deserve credit for.

We continue to have three automatic bids...the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl, GMAC Bowl and Roady's Humanitarian Bowl. The Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl will have the MAC's No. 1 selection in 2010 and 2012, with the GMAC Bowl having the No. 1 selection in 2011 and 2013. The Roady's Humanitarian Bowl will own the MAC's third selection of bowl eligible teams all four years.

Of course, Roady's replaces the International Bowl that is done.

The MAC has 2 or 3 secondary bowl agreements, all of which have good chances to coming to fruition in any given year.

From the MAC release:

The secondary agreement with the Bowl, located in Birmingham, Ala., will see the MAC serve as the back-up to both the Southeastern Conference (SEC) No. 8/9 and Big East No. 5/6 selections. The MAC will serve as the second back-up in the Dallas Football Classic in 2010 and 2012, a new bowl game played in the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas. The Dallas Football Classic's primary agreements are Big Ten No. 7 vs. Big 12 No. 8.
So, for Papajohns, I think that it is very possible in a given year that EITHER the SEC or Big East will not have those teams available. The Dallas Classic is equally probable, though we are second backup and it isn't every year.

The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl/Poinsettia Bowl/New Mexico Bowl secondary agreement for 2011 and 2013 is as follows: the MAC will back-up Army in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (2011) and Poinsettia Bowl (2013) with the understanding that if Army is not bowl eligible, the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) will vacate the New Mexico Bowl and provide a team to the Kraft Fight Hunger and Poinsettia Bowl. The MAC will then provide a team to the New Mexico Bowl against a team from the Mountain West Conference (MWC).
This one, as well, is an excellent opportunity. (How often is Army bowl eligible?).

So, it may not be that we get 5 every year. That has only happened twice anyway. But, I believe that the MAC has a shot at 4 bowl bids every year, and 5 is very possible, even with the rule change designed to keep us out of at-large slots. This is good news...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Bill Frack Court and the Stroh Center

I meant to take my own photo of the Stroh Center when I was down for the Spring Game but I got distracted and pretty soon it was dark.  The University is obliging with some new stuff...

First, here is the webcam image....obviously, the facility is coming along and starting to look very good.  You can't see, but some of the seat rows are put in right now.

Second, drawings have been released of what the floor design will be.  Looking good to me.  Can't wait until we beat the Rockets on this floor..... is reporting MAC to pick up 2 additional Bowl Affiliations is report an exclusive that the MAC is going to add two more bowl affiliations, taking it to 5, the most in its history.

The final two will be what are known as secondary bowl agreements, which means the MAC has a tie-in if the primary conference does not have enough teams.  More details are expected on Friday.

This is really good news.  The MAC has enjoyed having more teams in post-season play, but the new rule allowing 6-6 teams to go to bowl games over 7-5 teams was putting that in peril.  If this pans out as suggested, it is a really nice opportunity for the MAC to keep itself in post-season play.  The tie-ins means that the MAC would have dibs on those bowls even if a 6-6 team from a major conference is available.

Is it possible that the bowl games would rather not have a disinterested 6-6 team from a major conference?

Congratulations to the MAC leadership for making this happen.

Blade Reports Schilz in lead for QB...

From The Blade today, Matt Schilz has the slightest of leads in the derby to see who will be QB next year at BG.  You could see that in the spring game, as Schilz got the majority of the action.  He was also recruited to Kansas State by Warren Ruggerio, who is now the OC at Bowling Green.

Clawson talks extensively about how Pankratz and Pagel, in particular, have the opportunity to make ground up by the Fall, and I'm sure that's true.  But for now, Schilz is in the front spot.

"It appears he's playing a little bit faster," Clawson said of Schilz. "Splitting the [backup] reps last year he got a little bit more experience with the offense. But again, it's not a wide margin and certainly the job is still open.
"We have 3 1/2 months before our next practice and guys can do so much between then and now and there's not that big of a gap that guys could certainly outwork other guys and pass them by in the next 3 1/2 months."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

MAC Draft Preview

So, the NFL Draft starts Thursday, PRIME-TIME baby.

I know lots of you say that it is over-hyped.  It probably is.

I can't stop watching.

I took a look at the MAC players who are eligible, and tried to make some guesses about where they might go.  The only disclaimer is that I can't anticipate Al Davis having some kind of bizarre vision such as when he reached for Mike Mitchell of OU in the second-freaking round last season.

This appears to be a lean year for the MAC.  Last season, 10 players were drafted.  This year, there is a chance that the MAC will have only 5 or 6 players picked.  The last time there were only six picked was in 2006 (though with Greg Jennings, new Lion Tony Sheffler and Dominick Hixon it was pretty distinguished) and the last time there were 5 was in 2002.

Here is how I view MAC players going over the next few days.

3rd Round:  Taylor Price.  I have to be candid in that I did not know that Price was as highly regarded as he is.  He had only one catch against BG, though it was a 35 yard TD.  He was only 2nd team All-MAC.  Despite this, he is looking to be a 3-4 round pick, and the highest pick from the MAC.

4th Round:  It is hard to figure out Dan LeFevour.  I know he played in the MAC, and I know he didn't play in a pure dropback system and he certainly is a project.  On the other hand, he was North MVP at the Senior Bowl and a proven talent and winner.  The draft gurus seem to think he might go as late as the 5th but I like him in the 4th.

5th Round:  Two MAC players should go about here.

I have a sneaking hunch that Barry Church will be the next MAC player taken.  He could go late 4th or early 5th.  He's a very solid football with lots of field experience who would be an outstanding special teams player as well.

Antonio Brown--Brown is a very talented playmaker who has a shot to play in the NFL.

6th Round---Temple LB Junior Galette.

7th Round or UDFA--

Well, here we go.  Freddie Barnes obviously had a historic season for BG last year.  He played in East West Shrine game, made some grabs, but was not invited to the combine.  He certainly has gotten his share of workouts in the past few weeks.  He has also been a speed camp, though I have no idea if that has improved any of the measurables.  On one hand, I think he's a football player and has a shot at making a roster. He would also contribute on special teams.  On the other hand, the NFL is so addicted to measurements that I can't see him going much before this.

I believe Stephen Williams (UT) has a shot at being drafted of a UDFA with a shot at making a roster as well.

So, we'll see how it all turns out.  However you look at it, we can expect a slow day in the MAC.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Howard University looking at Stone...

@azzdotcom: According to reports, Lamonta Stone may be in the mix for the head  job at Howard. He'd make a great head coach, would hate to lose him tho.

I was able to confirm this online, in the sense that his name is being mentioned.  Of course, Dr. Ribeau would know him, too, as he is the prez at Howard.  I think Stone has done a great job for us, and he was a highly successful high school coach in the Detroit area as well. As much as it would be bad to lose him, if he gets his shot at a head job, I'd be 100% behind him and I think most Falcon fans would be too.

And, he would coach the first game in the Stroh Center...either way!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring Game, Defense Wins

Tonight was the spring game at the Doyt.  Of course, we were there.  First of all, it seemed to me to be the largest crowd for a spring game that I can remember.  I would say that the Friday night idea seems to be a winner.  Often, a Saturday afternoon in the Spring, people are focusing on yard work and getting outdoors.  So the Friday night was good for that.

Was VERY windy.  And cold.  But, it was good to see some football before we hit the long summer break.

I listened to Coach Clawson's presser.  He made two points I thought were interesting...first, that we are young and showed our youth at times.  And, that we are much better defensively than we were a year ago.

That's an interesting observation.  Obviously, we lost lots of guys from last year's defense, and for us to be better with these young guys then we were with the guys from last year says something....probably most about the guys from last year.  Coach made the point that we are playing much faster on defense.

He also said that with a scrimmage, every good play is a bad play.  And the defense clearly dominated the results out there.  Notwithstanding a 64-62 score in the Stableford system, the defense clearly had the better of the play.

Consider this:

  • Yards per play:  3.9
  • Yards per rush (sack adjusted):  3.7
  • Pass Completion %:  47.7%
  • Interceptions:  3
  • Sacks:  8
  • (Note, we threw 65 passes, and 11 "negative plays" is about 17%, or double what it normally is).
  • 3rd down conversion:  9 of 30

I don't know what we expected, with the offensive skill loses.  I'll just say this.  It sure didn't look like they were ahead of where we would expect.

Individually, of course, everyone wants to know how the QBs looked.  All 4 of them played, and none of them put up especially good numbers.  Schilz got about half of the passing attempts, but they were all in the 50% completion range.  I did see them make some nice passes as well, and there were some drops, but I would say they looked like QBs who have no real playing experience.

As for receivers, there were a lot of unfamiliar names.  Kamer Jorden, a JUCO transfer we have discussed before, was 10-87.  Shaun Joplin had 4 catches.  Of the 31 catches, only 6 were to receivers who had any serious time in the past, which is pretty amazing.

Finally, we missed two sub-40 FGs and an extra point.

We're going to be very young.  If we are going to compete, we will need a much stronger defense and running game to take the pressure off our young QBs and offense.  Or at least, that's how it looks now.

We leave the Doyt to the wind.  We await Marshall.

Doyt for Spring game

Basketball Recruiting, Radio Silence

A lot of teams announced their latest hoops signees yesterday, which was the first day of the new signing period. BG did not announce any.  However, my understanding is that they are out recruiting, and I remind fans that we did sign some players late last years, including James Eggers.  We have two players signed from the early period, and we do have some spots open.

As an aside, former BG player Cameron Madlock has signed to play at NIU.  He was Coach Orr's first recruit, never played much, went to JUCO and now has transferred to NIU.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Trey Zeigler to play in the MAC...

As expected, Trey Zeigler has announced that he will play at CMU.  He's a huge recruit, who had the chance to play pretty much wherever he wanted.  His announcement was carried on ESPNU, so that's pretty high profile.  He is going to CMU because his father is the coach there, and, it is possible that the contract extension that Coach Ziegler got was related, at least in part, to the chance of getting Trey there.

CMU has won the West two years in a row, which is actually hardly an accomplishment at all.  With Trey, however, they are instant favorites.

BG leads MAC All-Academic Team

Congrats to Joe Jakubowski and Marc Larson for representing 40% of the MAC All-Academic team.  We're proud of them as players and students.  And, if you compare majors with the other three---I think our guys are on the more academic side of the campus (pre-communication studies????).

The text below come from the MAC press release.  In a release about academics, you think you would spell physical right....just sayin'.

2009-10 MAC Men's Basketball Academic All-MAC Team
Joe Jakubowski, Bowling Green, 3.32 GPA, Business
Marc Larson, Bowling Green, 3.97 GPA, Engineering Technology 
John Boyer, Buffalo, 3.57 GPA, Psychical Therapy
Xavier Silas, Northern Illinois, 3.353 GPA, Pre-Communication Studies
David Kool, Western Michigan, 3.43 GPA, Physical Education

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Good bye At-large Bowl Bids

As expected, the NCAA today announced that its legislative committee has decided to change the rule that requires the bowls to only invite a 6-6 team to a bowl when no 7-5 teams are available.  This is a clear move by the major conferences, who apparently can't stand the sight of their 6-6 teams sitting home while the low lifes of college football head to post-season play.

The MAC has three bowl tie-ins, and from here on in, you can expect that those will be the only bowl bids the conference will get.  Something like last year's bowl trip for the Falcons would not have happened under these rules.

This has been on the books for a long time and is no surprise.  The big money schools control the power and the money, and they do not feel the need to use any discretion at all in their handling of non-BCS schools.

It is a shame.  Not new.  Not shocking.  Just a shame.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saturday Scrimmage---Coaches Comment, the wind laughs

Falcons had a scrimmage yesterday, and posted some audio of the coach's comments.  A little hint here would be to step inside the SEBO Center (or anywhere) because the audio has the quality of an FBI wirtetap.

Anyhoo....a couple of things were picked up.

First, the coach said the following players had stood out during spring practice:

WR Jordan Hopgood
RB Erique Geiger
TE  Alex Bayer
LB Paul Swan
CB Robert Lorenzi

He said the scrimmage showed improvement, but that the offense did not make as many plays as he would like to see.  He said it is the defense's turn to shine for the program.  (Which is historically pretty accurate).

Finally, he declined all opportunities to say who would start at QB, who is leading in the "pecking order," who is taller or who has a sausage egg muffin for breakfat today.  Curiously, he denied that Matt Schilz exists or ever did exist.

OK, I made the last part up.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring Prospectus---some roster updates

With a hat tip to, we have some players who were on the roster when last season ended but are not on the roster for the spring prospectus. There are always a few, including some walk ons, but these appear to be the ones who are notable:

Tim German - OL
Marquese Quiles - DB
Winston Etheridge - DL
Derek Brighton - WR
Vince German - FB

A few notes.

Quiles played in 6 games last year.

Brighton has had a really tough time with injuries after capturing lots of people's imagination against Sparty. We are really deep at WR, which might have played a role some where in there.

German was a highly recruited OL from Newark. He was on the two-deep last year, but played in only one game as a redshirt freshmen.

We never hear too much about what happened in these situations. Sometimes, a player is off the roster for some reason and then returns, so that's a small caveat. If these players are doing playing football for us, we wish them all the best for a great future.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Stroh Center Openers Set

So, the Stroh Center openers are done.  You know, lots of schools like to start off with a nice, juicy big game to get everybody involved.  The volleyball team will play MSU and the women's basketball team will play Purdue.  For example.

And the men's basketball team?  They're opening with Howard.

That's a shame.  They are Division I, though I had to look to be sure.  This season they were 7-25 last year.  12 of their last 13 seasons have been losing.  The last six seasons they have failed to win 30% of their games.  Twice they have won less than 10% of their games.

I know Sidney Ribeau is President there.  Just seems like there were better options than this.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Humanitarian Bowl now official MAC tie-in

With the demise of the International Bowl, the MAC was looking for a new bowl tie-in, and today announced that it had signed with the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, ID.  The tie-in is with the WAC.

BG played in the game this past season, losing a thriller that had the highest ratings for the bowl ever.  This is a good tie in for the conference.  Yes, I know it is not a BCS conference, but it is a good conference for us to play.  No, it is not in a warm weather location.  However, it is in the right week, between Christmas and New Year's, when I think people are looking for football to watch.  Boise is also supposed to be a great place to visit.

So, I'm for it.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Thank You, Butler

Just a thank you note to Butler.  Thank you from every fan of every mid-major program...thank you for your thrilling performance, for going toe to toe with the big boys, and thank you for beating them most of the time.  It was a wonderful run.

I know you are probably pretty disappointed this morning, and I can certainly understand that.  You were an inch from doing something incredible and unthinkable.

I was really heartened when I saw on Twitter how many fans were wearing THEIR colors to show their support for Butler.

You did it with guys that big schools did not want at the time.  You did it with hard work, a team concept, fundamental basketball and some really good players.  You schedule tough, and you can win big games.

Thank you.  It was an inspiration to see you play.  On behalf of mid-major fans everywhere, I salute you.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter to the Falcon Nation.

Happy Easter to everyone. Regardless of our religious or spiritual beliefs, we can unite around the ideas of renewal and rebirth, and personal resurrection. Let today be different than yesterday.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Scrimmage Report

The Falcons held a scrimmage today at the Doyt and the BG athletic department liveblogged the first hour or so.  Here are some of the nuggets of info they provided to their live blogging fanbase.  Anything outside the quotes is my uninformed commentary.

  • Clawson said on Thursday that he does not expect to name a starting QB until sometime this summer
  • I would guess that Calvin Marshall or Tim Moore will take Sanderson's position, but that is just my guess
Both were D backs this year.  Tim Moore was good enough to play last year as a true freshman but at Safety.  The prior regime moved guys from S to LB fairly regularly, and with Jerett Sanderson it was a pretty big success.
  • right now it looks as if Dwayne Woods will play the middle and Champ Fells will take over for Schneider
I think this is interesting.  I guess everyone assumed Fells would be in the middle.
  • I think everyone is expecting big things from Kamar (Jordan)
This is in response to a question I asked.  Kamar Jordan is a JUCO player who might well be a sleeper for the Falcons at WR.
  • Keith Morgan saw a lot of time last year so I would guess he has one of the spots, but the other could be up for grabs ... Lane Robilotto has been starting at the other S spot
  • Jerry Phillips just bombed a punt from the 30 through the endzone
I'd be interested in a wind reading.
  • Roussos has made several big plays, Adrien Spencer has looked strong as well.

Then, the fans participating in the liveblog were asked to vote on who they thought would be the starting QB next.  It was not made clear to what extent it would be taken into account by the coaching staff, but I'm guess it was purely for exhibition.  I think a residual combination of Brown homers and name recognition put Pagel on top.  From what I could tell, Schilz had some success with the offense.  There were nice runs by Geter and Pettigrew, and a nice play by Alex Bayer.

I voted for Pankratz and I believe it will be between him and Schilz, in the end.

Who will be the Falcons' starting QB when the Falcons face Troy on Sept. 4?
 Trent Hurley ( 8% )
 Aaron Pankratz ( 23% )
 Caleb Watkins ( 0% )
 Kellen Pagel ( 38% )
 Matt Schilz ( 31% )

Friday, April 02, 2010

Finally, special teams....

Now we arrive at special teams.  This is often the most painful look back, and while it was, perhaps, not as horrific as most years, this is clearly an area where the program has consistently underperformed and can improve.  Urban used to say that there was no reason for us not to have the best special teams in the nation.  We would settle for the best in the MAC....

One other note.  I do feel that special teams stats do not always tell a full story.  A punter who sticks a team inside the 20 could be cheating himself on yardage.  A kickoff returned outside the 35 is a failure for the kicking team, even if it is a squib kick with a 5 yard return.  It doesn't matter so much if you get 0 yards or 4 yards on a punt return, but a turnover or TD can change a game.

So, I created a scoring system that scored most normal plays as a zero, and then gave points for plays better than normal and deducted points for plays worse than normal.  I named this the International Centre for Special Teams Research, and did a season review after the UT game.  The basic analysis was that we were outperformed in every game until the last 3 or 4, when we finally brought things around...and, of course, the UT game was our best.  You can click here (The ICSTR) for more info.

Now, looking at the more normal stats (conference games only)....

We were 9th in kickoff returns, despite having Roger Williams, our best KO returner in recent memory.  We did have one TD, on an onside kick.

We were 8th in net punting.  Iovenelli did a nice job getting the ball inside the 20, but less so inside the 10 and was probably not consistent on defense.  The top 9 teams in the MAC only had a 3-yard difference per punt, which is next to nothing.  We were not blocked, a success on its own, based on past seasons.

We were 5th in punt returns.  We got some nice returns when Freddie was back there.  Willie Geter had a ton of fair catches, which, by the way, I'm fine with.  It is great to rip off a big return, but with our offense, the primary thing I want to do is hold onto the ball.  Also, we blocked four punts, something that can really change a game if a team can figure out how to do it.

As for placekicking, we only made 61.5% of our kicks, which was the 11th in the conference.  The percentages don't tell the whole story, however.  If you try a bunch of FGs over 40 yards, you're gonna miss more.  This was the case for our team.  Last year, I identified that MAC kickers make 80% of their FGs inside 40 yards.  BG's kickers (using ALL games now) were 10-19 inside 40.  We also had 3 blocked.  And, Phillips had a better percentage than Norsic, yet Norsic took the job and held it.

The strongest point of our game was kickoff coverage.  We were second in the MAC in kick depth, and fourth in net yardage.  The top 10 teams in the MAC had a seven yard difference per kickoff.

That's the story of special teams.  Certainly, this is an area of improvement, and it is already better than some of the awful years under Coach Brandon.  It is always disappointing to me that we often do not have even an average kicker--it just doesn't seem like it should be that difficult.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Good news for the MAC East--Bassett declares for draft

Armon Bassett is going pro and leaving OU.  He is prepared to play outside the NBA if necessary, and does not plan to return to Athens.  I guess after wrecking Indiana and playing about four good games for OU, he's done about everything a fella can do.

Clawson Presser--Mid-Spring Edition

Coach Clawson did a quick presser today, and while much of the audio on is hard to hear due to the wind, here is what I did salvage.

Coach said that ecause we have a new QB, we must be more balanced than last year.  He is encouraged to date that Pettigrew and Geiger are both really improving at RB, as they look to spell Geter and then be starters when he graduates.  Also, Geter has had some injuries, and there is a good chance those guys will be needed, though Geter stayed healthy last year.

He said that Shaun Joplin is still learning to play football, but does some things "you can't teach."  We are deep at WR this year, and it didn't sound to me like he expected Joplin to get a lot of catches this Fall, but that still has to play out.

He also said that Jordan Hopgood is having a good Spring, also at WR.

The BG News also had some notes from practice, which I have pasted below.  Any comments I have follow in ().

1. Bart Tanski: The former Mr. Ohio and quarterback has been switched to wide receiver. He made a one-handed catch in the corner of the end zone during practice. As far as I could see, he got his feet inbounds.  (This has been a hot topic on  Good to see us finding ways to get him into games, because there are 4 QBs ahead of him).
2. Chris Scheidt: One of the up-and-coming receivers on the team, Scheidt made a nice one-handed catch in the open field for what would have been a first down.
3. Tyrone Pronty: Coach Dave Clawson fully expects Pronty to be given a medical redshirt for the 2009 season and a fifth season of eligibility.
4. Calvin Wiley: Clawson is not sure if Wiley will be awarded a sixth year of eligibility, but he does expect him to. This is because Wiley has basically missed two seasons with injury during his career.
5. Quarterbacks: Clawson is still not sure which player has the edge in the quarterback battle. He did say that by the end of spring he hopes to have his top two figured out.
6. DeMark Jenkins: Jenkins will remain a tight end this season.  (I would think so, given that we lost our only 2 TEs last year.

Clay Rolf----All-Around Athlete

Eastwood O-lineman Clay Rolf is coming to BG to play football.  However, over the winter, we noted that he was a very good basketball player, earning honors as high as the District level.  Now, I see that he is a pitcher on the Eagle baseball team....and threw a no-hitter.

Pretty good, huh?

Falcon Scrimmage Saturday--Live Action, Live Blogging

The Falcons will be lining up for a public scrimmage Saturday at the Doyt.  The scrimmage will start at 10 AM.  If you can't make it, the Athletic Department will be live blogging the scrimmage, in what I am sure is a first for our athletic department.  Good for them!

Falcon Defense Review......

There's a dilemma in our defensive statistics.  Based on our yardage totals, we were 11th in the conference.  However, we were 7th in points allowed.  Let's see if we can figure out why....

Note:  conference only stats.

Let's look at the yardage stats first.  We were 11th in yards per game allowed, and 12th in yards per play allowed (6).  Our main weakness was against the run.  BG was 11th in running yards per game, but 12th again in yards per rush.  Teams ran on us 296 times, which is less than Akron (336), Miami (321), and EMU (358), the other teams in the bottom of the rushing table with us.  I can only conclude that our strong passing game and occasional lead curtailed the running just a little bit.

For what it is worth, we were 5th in yards per game against the pass and 4th in pass defense efficiency.  While that does not tell the full story, it is safe to say that by MAC standards we were an above average defense against.

There were only 238 passes attempted against us, which was fourth lowest in the MAC (Why pass when it is easy to run?).  On a yard per attempt basis, we were 7th.  Completion percentage allowed was 2nd in the MAC.  Again, with an experienced secondary, our pass defense was above average.

We only picked up 14 turnovers, which was in the middle of the pack of the conference.  (We were +5 overall).

One way a team could have good scoring stats but poor yardage stats would be to be very good in the red zone--kind of the inverse of what we saw for the offense.  Sadly, this was not the case.  In fact, we were as bad or worse in the red zone as you would expect. We did allow a league low 25 red zone trips, but had only three stops and gave up 17 TDs and only 5 FGs.  That's 4.68 points per trip, a conference low.

Another contributing factor to our mystery could be to perform well on 3rd down.  This is a real trick, and I believe (without any evidence) that to play lousy on first and second down but well on third down has to be at least some element of luck.  That is, in fact, the exact scenario you see here.  You would just figure, intuitively, that if you gave up a lot of yards, like we did, that you would a) have generally short yardage on 3rd down and b) give up conversions.

BG was, in fact, really good on third down, with the 4th best rate in the conference.  Which means that we got teams off the field very well, and that has to be a factor in our over-achieving on scoring defense.

My intuition is that it probably is not the only factor, however.  Other possibilities:

  • A strong offense gave us the lead and kept pressure on teams, which forced them to pass more than makes sense on paper.
  • Our offense made very few turnovers, creating longer fields and more stops.
  • Our poor red zone offense resulted in our opponents getting the ball deep in their own territory (as in off missed FGs, turnovers and on downs), creating longer fields and more stops.

I took a run at one other number, just for the fun of it.  I wondered about how many touchdowns teams allowed that were NOT redzone touchdowns.  This would include big plays, defensive touchdowns and special teams touchdowns.  I mean it to be a measure of how many big play TDs a team gave up.  EMU was the worst on this, giving up a shocking 22 in 8 games.  This is almost 3 TDs per game on big plays.  BG gave up 10, which was 10th.  CMU led allowing only 4 TDs of this variety.

Next up, special teams.....