Sunday, October 23, 2011

First, the defense...

First, we begin our review with the defense.  This was the only place BG was going to win the game.  It was very unlikely our offense was going to put up big numbers against Temple's defense.  If we were going to win it, we needed to keep Temple from scoring a bunch.  And that we did.

Temple is a team that wants to run the ball, and they did.  Sack adjusted, they had 240 yards on 45 carries, which is 5.3 yards per carry.  Brown had 5.4 yards per carry and Pierce 6.3, and they both had 100 yard games.  (Brown got most of the carries because, as it turns out, Pierce was not 100% healthy.  The last time Bernard Pierce was 100% healthy, he was swaddled in a delivery room).

But, while Temple got their yards running, BG's defense made enough plays and the right plays at the right time, and was able to get the off the field.  We already detailed in the game summary how BG was able to come up with some huge 2nd down plays that set up difficult 3rd down attempts.

Temple was also 3 of 14 on the day on 3rd.  This is a team used to converting half of their attempts.  That includes stopping Pierce on 3rd and 1 early in the game, 3 3rd down sacks, a red zone 3rd down incompletion....the team did make some big plays on 3rd down.  BG's ability to get Temple's offense off the field was probably the biggest key in the game.

Coach said after the game that the coaches felt they played Jones and Moore too many snaps in the Toledo game, and decided to go with a true 8 man rotation on the front line.  He felt that this left Jones fresh for the end of the game, but it also meant that BG had to get good games out of more guys on the line, and he felt we did.  (I remember Charlie Walker making one big stop, for example).

This was pretty critical near the end.  Temple only needed a FG, but they could not get anything going, either running or passing and the line was making a huge contribution on both.

Chris Jones was a beast in there.  He had 3 sacks and a hurry for the game.  BG had 9 tackles for loss in the game.  Our LBS, Woods (11 tackles), Swan (10 tackles) and Lynch (8 tackles) were making the plays, not our D-backs, which is what you want.

By making plays when we did, BG was able to force Temple to go to the air, which they do not want to do.  They passed only 17 times (sack adjusted) for 46 (sack adjusted) yards.  Which means that our defense did not fall into the trap of leaving something deep wide open in the zeal to defend the run.

"Anger Management" Addazio said after the game that Temple has to be able to pass the ball better.  Stewart looks completely uncomfortable throwing the ball, and I thought we pressured him and covered well in the secondary.  But not letting the run game completely dominate, BG forced Temple into a position where they are not comfortable.

Temple had only 13 first downs and averaged only 4.6 yards per play.  BG outgained Temple, which has to be pretty rare for their year.

This was a high-quality and gutsy defensive performance by our guys.  They were celebrating when the game ended and they deserve it.  They had every chance to fall into the same old habits, and they did not.  When you see them play like this, and then known that they only start 1 senior, you begin to get an idea where the Falcons can end up.

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