Sunday, October 09, 2011

BG-WMU Recap Part I

I guess if you had told me at the beginning that BG would hold Carder to 212 passing yards and only turn the ball over once, I would have thought we'd have a shot at winning the game.

What I wouldn't have expected, however, was a team that was getting 88 rushing yards a game and 3.9 yards per carry would instead gain 351 yards and average 7.3 yards per carry.  And that was really the difference in the game.  For the second week in a row, a team has "found" a lost running attack against the Falcons.

Defending the run had been a weakness for the Falcons for a long time, stretching back into the Brandon years.  We thought we had turned the corner on that, but over the last two weeks that has to be called into question.  It is one thing for WVU to run on you--that's a top 20 team--but a team in your conference?  Those are your peers.

It appears to come down to poor tackling, another long time issue that looked like it had been resolved.  Coach Clawson made two interesting comments on this.  First, he said that we had been "getting away" with poor tackling for four weeks and now we are playing teams we can't get away with it against.  And second, that it is our "best players" who are missing the tackles.  I'm not going to mention names, but you know who our best defensive players are, so we can all do the math.

I thought we had been tackling well the first few weeks--which tells me we were getting the guys to the ground with sub-par technique that won't wash against better players.  And, I thought our defense was really starting to emerge.

In the end, WMU had 31 first downs, 7.6 yards per play, were 8 of 12 on 3rd and 4th down, and made 6 redzone trips, scoring 5 TDs and a FG.  In 29 passing attempts, they completed 21.  With the exception of 1 INT and 2 sacks, they did whatever they wanted.

One other thing.  I had noted in the 25 Questions post the Carder was a solid runner, and clearly WMU saw something from the Wyoming game in this respect, because they had a clear plan to get Carder out of the pocket and he killed us early.  It almost felt like that threw us off our rhythm.

Running QBs are hard to defend anyway...but this has also been something we have struggled with.  (Whenever I see Julian Edelman with the Patriots, I have flashbacks and need a moment.)

Anyway, people are going to see this film.  Most teams are not as good as WMU is, but they are going to see what WMU was able to do.

More later.

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