Sunday, October 02, 2011

Falcons Run Over in the Rain

It was a cold and rainy day in Morgantown Saturday, and it was a metaphor for the Falcons, as West Virginia completely dominated BG.  West Virginia was the better team to start with and then BG helped them out a little bit along the way.

On the bright side, we could be the Minnesota Gophers, who lost worse in a conference game.

I am not going to go through my normal look at the flow of the game, and especially not the stats.  There isn't much there that was not apparent to the naked eye.  WVU, a team that had struggled to run the ball this year, was unstoppable on the run.  Coach Clawson said in the post game that we had not seen WVU remain committed to the run, and so we were trying to stop the pass.

WVU had some success with the run, and, in Coach's words, "we didn't do anything to make them stop" and it was a ground game from that point on.  Some guy named Dustin Garrison with 65 rushing yards in his career turned into Whizzer White, running for 291 yards against the largely helpless Falcon defense.  Coach said that the Falcons lost the battle in the trenches, had LBs overrun plays and then missed tackles in the secondary.

Coming in, WVU was 116th in the nation in rushing.

After a first quarter punt, BG did not stop WVU again until a fourth quarter stop on downs when the game was WAY decided.

Meanwhile, on offense, the Falcons really struggled as well.  BG finished with about 50% completions, but Schilz had only 114 yards and threw 3 INTS and fumbled once.  A couple of those were on 4th down, but a couple were balls forced into tight coverage that you just can't make against a team like that.

Jordan Hopgood was injured early (though he did get a couple of carries) and Samuel did not play at all.    Jamel Martin was a bright spot for BG with a 100 yard rushing game, though, in all honesty, he had many of those yards when the game was over.

Even so, I like the way he runs, and he gives the Falcons a third option at RB.

The other bright spot for BG was Boo Boo Gates, who had a huge kickoff return, sadly balanced against a fumble as well.  He set the school record for kickoff return yards in a game...of course, there were lots of opportunities.

The injured Falcons--Robinson, Samuel and Truss--did not play.  A couple other guys went down during the game, (Darrell Hunter, in particular) so we will wait for reports on them.  BG was also without Cooper and Leacock, who have some kind of recently discovered NCAA Clearinghouse issue...and we await both more information and an update on whether they will be back for Western.

Finally, there was one last thing.  BG had a lot of injuries on defense.  On one hand, it tended to be our best players who were cramping up.  The fans, announcers, and WVU coaches clearly felt BG was faking the injuries to slow the defense down.  At one pont, you can read Holgerson's lips:  "that's bullshit."  I'd like to think we weren't.  The TV guys did, at one point, show Boo Boo walking through the secondary and then all of a sudden he flops down.

It was not a great day in our annals.  As noted in our preview, we were up against with these guys to start with, and when we played a relatively poor game, it was all over.

Now, the challenge is to focus back on the MAC.  We will be watching closely to see how close we are to full strength next week.  WMU won on the road in a BCS game today.  The next three games are WMU, UT and Temple, possibly the best 3 teams in the MAC.  BG needs to find the game it had in Oxford, and get back on the right track.

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