Sunday, October 30, 2011

Picking Through the Wreckage, Part I....

So, the morning after, we find ourselves searching for the black box.  Crazy as it seemed, BG had a shot at the East title going into yesterday.  More realistically, a .500 season was in play.  The team was relatively healthy--only down one starter--and was playing a very weak team.  Yes, it was on the road.  Still, you'd think you'd win.

You know by now that is not what happened.  As we recap the game, keep in mind that Kent had the worst offense in the country--averaging about 10 points a game.

Kent took the opening kickoff and completed two passes on their first 3 plays, totaling 48 yards.  They stalled out, but it was enough to get them a FG.

BG took the ball and drove to the Kent 21 before Martin was hit for a 2 yard loss and BG threw two incompletions and then lined up for a FG that missed.

Kent then fumbled on their first play and BG had the ball again inside the Kent 25.  This is a huge opportunity to put Kent on their heels and establish a tone for the game.  BG ran three plays, lost 4 yards, and made the FG to at least tie the game.

BG put the kickoff out of bounds, and the anemic Kent offense then mounted a 60 yard, 11 play TD that featured only 3 passes.

At this point, you had to have this sick feeling in your stomach.  Things were not looking very good.  But, they would actually look worse.

On the next drive, BG drove to the Kent 29 and had a 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1.  They tried the wildcat and that just isn't working at all, and the drive was wasted.  Two plays, and the inability to make 1 yard...

On its next drive, BG drove inside the Kent 30 again, and ran a run play on 3rd and 10 and gained 9 yards.  Now at the 19, BG knows it couldn't make 1 yard on the last drive, so they line up for a FG.  And miss.

From there, the teams traded punts and went into the locker room with the Flashes up 10-3.

BG got the ball to start the second and once again drove deep into Kent territory.  Upon reaching the 27, BG threw 2 incomplete passes and on 3rd and 10 Schilz threw a pick.  However, the returner fumbled on the return and BG had new life as Kent had turned the ball over deep in their own territory for the second time.  With a personal foul against Kent, BG was on the 10.  On the first play, Schilz took a 9 yard sack, and then threw to Jordan to get back to the 5.  An incomplete pass followed on 3rd down and BG successfully executed a FG and it was 10-6.

The BG kickoff went out of bounds AGAIN, ensuring that when the BG offense forced Kent off the field after only 20 yards, the field position was in Kent's favor and BG started on its own 13.

BG once again drove right into Kent territory, with a 3rd and 3 on the Kent 5.  BG tried to throw the ball and Schilz threw a bad INT ensuring this drive would also get no points.

Kent drove 27 yards before stalling out, but Eugene Cooper failed to field the punt and Kent recovered on the BG 15, and Kent punched that one in for a TD and a 17-6 lead early in the 4th.  That exchange right there, featuring two BG turnovers, is what sealed the game.

BG scored the only way they have in the last two weeks, which is by a long pass, forgetting all that red zone nonsense.  A 52 yard TD pass to Jorden made it 17-12.  BG was going for 2 to try and make it a FG game, but got a delay of game penalty on the conversion (when was the last time you saw that?) and tried the 2-pointer anyway from the 8 and didn't get it.

Kent started with 12 minutes on the clock, and the worst offense in FBS mounted a 61 yard drive in crunch time on the BG defense, which was not missing tackles prolifically.  The drive ended in a MADE FG, and it was 20-12.  (Just a point....after the delay of game penalty, if you kick the XP you have the lead at 7 and it would make a big difference).

Hard as it is to believe, BG still had a shot to win this game.  They drove to the 7 yard line of Kent, and threw 3 straight incomplete passes and was faced with a fourth and goal from the 7.  I just think you have to go for it from there.  If you score, you have a shot to tie the game.  Even if you miss the 2-pointer, you are a FG away.  BG chose to kick the FG to reduce the deficit to 5 which means that you still need a TD but you don't have to worry about the 2-pointer, which is hardly any advantage at all.

Sooner or later you need a TD, and you are ON THE 7 YARD LINE.  And, the FG was far from automatic.  Perhaps Clawson thought we were moving the ball well and destined to end up back in the red zone again.

Anyway, BG kicked the FG to make it a 20-15 game with 5:00 left.

Kent then held the ball for 3 minutes on one first down and BG stared on its own 18 with just inside 2 minutes.  The Falcons then proceeded to throw 5 straight incomplete passes with one pass interference thrown in and Kent had the ball on the BG 30.

BG actually got the ball back with under a minute left, but Schilz was sacked, fumbled, and Kent ran it in for a TD and that was it.

We'll look at each of the elements of the game individually, but BG executed fine until they got into Kent territory and from there they were terrible.  I think some coaching decisions made the job even more difficult, and the defense did not shut down a defense everyone else has shut down, and that's a defeat.

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