Sunday, September 30, 2012

Week 5 Blogpoll Draft....

This week there is a little more movement.  Week 5 is the week that I begin to evaluate the teams based on the true Blogpoll standard--who is having the better season--and there are always a few bumps as reputation fades and winning/scheduling take over.  Oklahoma and USC are the major losers here.  USC has a devalued loss to Stanford and wins over Cal, Hawaii and Syracuse in the plus column.  OK has beaten UTEP and FLA A&M and a loss to K-State.  Anyway, there's plenty of time for them to climb higher, but for right now, that's where they belong.  OSU fell because I took a close look at their opposition, and they have struggled to beat some poor teams.  Washington premieres high, with their Stanford win and LSU loss.

Anyway, hit the comments if you have ideas....

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

Falcon Blog Ballot - Week 5

Rank Team Delta
1 Alabama Crimson Tide --
2 Oregon Ducks Arrow_up 1
3 Florida St. Seminoles Arrow_down -1
4 Georgia Bulldogs Arrow_up 1
5 LSU Tigers Arrow_down -1
6 West Virginia Mountaineers Arrow_up 3
7 Kansas St. Wildcats Arrow_up 3
8 Texas Longhorns Arrow_up 8
9 Florida Gators Arrow_up 4
10 South Carolina Gamecocks Arrow_down -2
11 Clemson Tigers Arrow_up 1
12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Arrow_up 3
13 Ohio St. Buckeyes Arrow_down -6
14 Washington Huskies --
15 Stanford Cardinal Arrow_down -9
16 Oregon St. Beavers Arrow_up 7
17 Cincinnati Bearcats --
18 TCU Horned Frogs Arrow_down -1
19 UCLA Bruins --
20 Nebraska Cornhuskers --
21 USC Trojans Arrow_down -10
22 Oklahoma Sooners Arrow_down -8
23 Mississippi St. Bulldogs Arrow_down -2
24 Baylor Bears --
25 Ohio Bobcats --
Dropouts: Michigan St. Spartans, Oklahoma St. Cowboys, Arizona Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, Central Florida Knights
SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »

Former and Future Opponent Land

Florida: (4-0) Idle and flirting with the devil's work
Idaho (0-5) Lost 66-0 @ UNC
Toledo (4-1) Won big game @WMU going away
Virginia Tech (3-2)  Lost 27-24 @UC
Akron (1-4) Lost 56-49 in classic MAC defensive struggle against Miami
Miami (3-2) Beat Akron.  See above.
UMass (0-5) Pushed Ohio U, losing only by 3.
EMU (0-4)  Ohhhhh so idle.
OU (5-0) Escaped UMass with win.
Kent (3-1) Beat Ball State 45-43 in a classic MAC defensive struggle.
Buffalo (1-3) Lost @UConn

2012 MAC vs:

All out of conference: 21-22
All FBS: 11-21
All FCS: 19-1
All BCS: 6-18

A few other notes from the win over Rhode Island

There isn't too much more to say about the victory over the Rams, so let's just run through some basic observations here, considering the issues about people coming off redshirt from the previous post to already be included....

We are absolutely stacked at RB.  I honestly think Martin could start for us and be very good, and Givens has twice showed some explosive ability.  Pretty amazing that Jordan Hopgood has been shifted almost entirely to the back burner.

Alex Bayer had five receptions and that was a career-high.

The Gates PR was fifth longest in BG history.

(The previous two are from the BGSU game notes....not like I knew that.)

As our WRs struggle for consistency, I have wondered (as have others) why Bayer isn't getting into the action more.

We wore the white helmets for the first time at home.  I'd like to be all "uh-huh" about it, (if it was up to me we'd wear the orange helmets with no emblem) but I have to say I think they look pretty good.

Rhode Island was held to 6 first downs and 3.2 yards per play.  They are a poor offensive team, so you'd expect that, but at least they didn't get well against us.

Special teams wise, obviously we missed an XP and Stein was roundly booed, which I always hate to see.  He and Tate split the remainder of the extra points flawlessly.  However, coach indicated that Stein will be our kicker.

Coach said (and he's right) that Schmeidebush has been inconsistent this year.  He shanked one yesterday or we might have had a shut out, a second one was very low and returnable and a third one was a touchback--we have not been pinning them back like we did last year.

Game wise, the stuff on the scoreboard was much improved.  Putting the updated stats up at numerous points during the game was a nice touch and appreciated.  The videos and graphic quality are also much improved.

The introduction of Jermal Hosley clearly flummoxed our PA announcer, who gave credit to our other #87, Matt Ozcypok, a K.

Finally, Coach talked about how important it was to have Boo Boo get that punt return.  Since we were shut out last week, it took some pressure off the offense.  Of course, Boo Boo muffed a punt, too, and Coach indicated we can expect to see Ryan Burbrink back there when healthy.

Highlights of Falcon Victory over Rhode Island

Falcons Make Personnel Moves to Shore Up Soft Spots

So hidden inside the win over Rhode Island were some subtle personnel moves that tell a little bit about where our team is and how the coaching staff truly feels about it.

The most interesting move was at d-end.  About midway through the second half, it was noticed in our section that Kendall Montgomery was playing D-End.  Of course, he is normally a TE.  (Refresher:  he's a R-SO from Miami.  He was a late commit who has really good skills but is our #3 TE, mostly plays in heavy packages and gets, according to Coach, 15 to 20 snaps a game).

Coach said that we have been having trouble pressuring the passer and he told his staff to "think outside the box."  We have to pause and see what wasn't said, which is that we have brought in a number of d-ends and talked a lot about our depth there, and still we don't have a pass rush from the edge and we are starting to borrow offensive players.  (Coach pointed in his presser to injuries on the d-line, but those have mostly been on the inside.)

Anyway, Montgomery is going to play both ways.  The plan is to give him some easy reads on 3rd down packages and let him just go to the QB.  He is a physical specimen (6'5" 265 according to the website) and he's agile.  Coach said he did a good job in practice.  Seems like a logical choice and it might have a shot at working out.

So.  I applaud the innovation and the desire to do what it takes.  I am concerned that it needed to be done.

The second issue also relates to the defensive line, this time on the interior.  This position really has been hit by injuries.  Hunter Maynard and Jarius Campbell were both lost for the year, and Darius Gilbert is suspended, so we're down 3 guys at a position where it is difficult to get guys ready due to the strength requirements.

That led to two decisions.  The first was to take the redshirt off Mike Minns.  Minns was also a late-signing Florida guy who is a True FR who weighs 317.  Coach said we needed him up there, he played Saturday and Coach expects him to play as time goes on as well.

Second, Jonathan Fry has been moved from O-line to D-line.

Jonathan Fry is a R-SO who played twice last year--against Morgan State and WVU (both blow out games).  Coach told him he was on the travel team if he switched to defense and he did.  He played Saturday.  Coach said even for the practices it is helpful to have a guy.

The other position that had a development was WR.  Coach has been bemoaning our lack of playmaking at WR--just not winning 1-1 battles, which leaves teams free to blitz the QB--and that issue has been made worse by injuries.  Heath Jackson and Ryan Burbrink didn't play today (and Coach says he does not know when they will be back) and Stan Joplin has apparently been battling a sore toe that took him out today.  (Coach says he could have played if needed).

So, we took the redshirt off Jermal Hosley, from Highlad Park, MI.  He caught a slip screen early and exploded forward for about 30 yards.  Despite the assembled crowd being informed the pass was completed to third-string K Matt Oczypok, we were all suitably impressed.

Coach said after the game that he makes tons of plays on the scout team against the #1 defense, and playmaking is something we need.  It will be interesting to see if he gets more chances in the upcoming weeks.

The ultimate point is that the staff is taking steps to address holes that have been exposed by either injury or not "performing at a high level."  More to come, but this game Saturday against the Zips presents a serious challenge to the Falcons and while today the team's goals are all in front of it, that gets a lot harder if there is a loss Saturday.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Falcons Win #2....

It was a nice, if expected victory.  You hate to talk like this, but BG was clearly just better than Rhode Island--who might be one of the worst teams in FCS--and the Falcons needed to win and win going away.  Anything else, and you would really have to wonder about the whole enterprise.

So, though it wasn't a perfect effort, BG did beat Rhode Island 48-8, hold the Rams to 6 first downs, move the ball pretty well and coast to an easy win.

You can't tell anymore about how good we are from this win than you could from the Virginia Tech game.  The real challenges start up next Saturday--and it will be one.

We'll have more later.  Coach Clawson did introduce a few player personnel moves that indicate that perhaps the issues with our existing personnel were more serious (or as serious) as we feared.  More the meantime, the Falcons are 2-3 as the non-conference season ends.

Bell Nearly a Falcon?

BG was apparently this close to getting Le'Veon Bell...

Doyt next for upgrade....

Via, we have this on facility upgrades to the Doyt.  This is a State of Ohio RFP for a Stadium study for the stadium.  Greg Christopher has said for sometime that after the Stroh was done, the next project would be the football Stadium.  It absolutely could use updating.  In addition to cracking East side walls, we all know that the concessions areas are insufficient and the walkways are hopelessly jammed when crowds show up.

Apparently building new and renovating are both options that are still in play...of course, it comes down to money. It seems to me that building new would be a shame, but I don't know what you can do with the existing concourses (for example) in a renovation scenario.  Which I suppose is what they study is for...

Anyway, food for thought.

MAC Blogger Roundtable....

It was on off week here at the Falcon Blog, but here's is the link to the MAC Blogger Roundtable.  Nice reminder of the awful call by regular refs at the UT-Syracuse game in recent years.  Enjoy,

Friday, September 28, 2012

25 questions at ramming speed

What is their body of work?

They are struggling.  They have 10 straight losing seasons and are 0-3 this year and been outscored 104-23.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

23, which is not a ton.

Who are their statistical leaders?

They have no one ranked in the national statistics and no player in the top 5 in their conference.

What is their turnover ratio?

They are -1 so far this year.


Not the mascot.
How is their QB Play?

Their offense has plainly struggled.  Their QB is 79th in FCS (out of 121 teams) in passing efficiency.  He completes a nice percentage, but with only a 2/2 TD/INT ratio and not a lot of yards, his efficiency number suffers.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

They are last in FCS in scoring.  At 3.82 yards per play, only 3 FCS teams are lower.

Can they run the ball?

They haven't shown it yet if they can.  Their QB is their leading rusher even when you count sacks.  Beyond him, their leading rusher is earning 2.4 yards/carry.  They are 119th in FCS.

Do they pass the ball?

See above.

How is their run/pass balance?

They run the ball on 45% of their plays, which is a lot given how tough it is for them.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

At 19% they are last in the FCS.

Do they score in the red zone?

They have only 4 red zone drives this season, with 3 FGs to show for it.  That is 2.25 points per trip.

The State Bird.  Really.
Do they protect the quarterback?

They are sacked on 6% of their pass plays, which is not very good but not awful.

I don't want to beat on these guys but they might be the worst performing offensive team to enter the Doyt in years.


Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

They are 92nd in scoring defense in FCS and 109th in yards allowed.  They are allowing 6.23 yards per play.

Do they defend the run effectively?

They are 98th in rusing defense allowing 4.9 yards per play.

Can they be passed on?

They are 92nd in pass defense, allowing over 60% pass completions and about 13 yards per completion.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

They are allowing 52.8% on 3rd down conversions.

Do they defend in the red zone?

Roger Williams, who founded
Rhode Island and later returned
kicks for BG.
They have allowed 12 red zone trips in 3 games with no stops.  8 TDS and 4 FGs=5.7 points per trip.

Do they pressure the QB?

3 sacks in 98 attempts.

Special Teams:


They are 36th in net punting with just under 40 yards per punt.

Punt Return?

They have zero punt returns in 3 games.


He's look good on our team.  He's 3-3 with a long of 29.


They are pretty good.  They are allowing only about 15 yards per return.

Kickoff Return?

They are also pretty good at this, with two guys with an average over 20 yards.

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

Look, there's no point in sugar coating this.  Based on the first 3 games, Rhode Island has failed to have any success at any part of the game, and that's with 3 FCS-level games...their numbers didn't get jacked up playing Oklahoma State or something.  And while it will reveal nothing about our team, if BG does anything but blow these guys out, we are in deep trouble.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Clawson Presser---Play Better Edition

Coach didn't have much news to make at today's presser.

He said that we didn't dwell on the Virginia Tech game.  We moved on pretty quickly on Sunday.

The last 2 weeks we have not played at a high level.  We have to get better

We have a chance to be a pretty good football team but we aren''t playing very well right now

Primary goals are in the MAC

Assignments aren't being blown, we are losing matchups.

As for the inconsistent WRs, it is very hard to change course in the middle of the season.

He said we should match up well with Rhode Island.  He says their defense is pretty good but they have struggled on offense.  The key is that we have to play better.


Anyway, it was a lot of stuff like that.

Falcon Fodder reported some bad injury news.  D-Tackle Jarius Campbell injured his foot at UT and will miss the rest of the season.  That is the second Falcon D-lineman to have a season-ending injury.

Ryan Burbrink had a hamstring injury last week and is doubtful for next Saturday.  (This makes sense, there is no reason to rush him back for this game).

The other players who left the game in Blacksburg injured are back--Truss, Walker, and Lynch.  Also,  Joplin should be back in force against Rhode Island and Bart Tanski could be available within a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Clawson Good Friends With Rhode Island Coach

Jack Carle of the Sentinel-Tribune has the story of the friendship between BG HC Dave Clawson and Rhode Island HC Joe Trainer are good friends going way back.  In fact, Trainer was actually co-DC under Clawson at BG for a couple months before the Rams came calling,  Trainer is also a god-parent to Clawson's they are friends, though they are keeping their distance this week.

Here's something Trainer said that might be interesting to Falcon fans:

"I don't throw the word genius around a lot, but I think over the course of the last 12 to 15 years what he has done with his offense is as good as anybody in the country," Trainer said.
I mention that just as a reminder that as the offense struggles, it isn't like Coach Clawson doesn't have a track record of being a good offensive coach.  I know he can't live at Bowling Green on Brian Westbrook and Tim Hightower and sooner or later he needs to see results here.  No one, including him, denies that the offense here is struggling.

Yeah, his friend might be helping him out.  Maybe the track record is a reason not to give up yet.

Trainer has another nice quote about Chris Jones.
"They have got just an absolute war daddy in Chris Jones," Trainer said.
War Daddy...that one might stick.

The Blogpoll is on the AIR!

College Football Rankings 2011

Results for Week 4

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 Alabama Crimson Tide (85) 24.81 0.74 --
2 Oregon Ducks (2) 22.94 2.50 Arrow_up 1
3 Florida St. Seminoles (1) 21.85 2.93 Arrow_up 2
4 LSU Tigers 21.53 2.44 Arrow_down -2
5 Georgia Bulldogs 20.34 2.40 Arrow_down -1
6 Kansas St. Wildcats (1) 18.80 2.56 Arrow_up 8
7 South Carolina Gamecocks 18.37 2.36 Arrow_up 2
8 Stanford Cardinal (2) 17.65 3.11 --
9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1) 16.55 3.20 Arrow_up 2
10 West Virginia Mountaineers 16.49 4.46 Arrow_down -3
11 Florida Gators (1) 14.82 3.46 Arrow_up 2
12 Texas Longhorns 14.20 2.73 --
13 USC Trojans 11.43 4.49 Arrow_up 3
14 Ohio St. Buckeyes 11.17 4.09 Arrow_up 1
15 TCU Horned Frogs 10.45 3.86 Arrow_up 2
16 Clemson Tigers 9.14 4.54 Arrow_down -6
17 Oklahoma Sooners 7.92 4.65 Arrow_down -11
18 Louisville Cardinals 7.83 3.15 Arrow_up 1
19 Oregon St. Beavers 7.16 4.63 Arrow_up 10
20 Michigan St. Spartans 4.65 3.11 Arrow_up 2
21 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 4.51 3.57 Arrow_up 3
22 Northwestern Wildcats 3.74 4.30 Arrow_up 1
23 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 3.10 2.95 Arrow_up 10
24 Nebraska Cornhuskers 2.51 2.69 Arrow_up 2
25 Ohio Bobcats 2.49 3.11 --
Others Receiving Votes: Baylor Bears | Iowa St. Cyclones | UCLA Bruins | Boise St. Broncos | Louisiana Tech Bulldogs | Oklahoma St. Cowboys | Michigan Wolverines | Texas Tech Red Raiders | Arizona Wildcats | Arizona St. Sun Devils | Virginia Tech Hokies | Cincinnati Bearcats | Minnesota Golden Gophers | Texas A&M Aggies | Wisconsin Badgers | Tennessee Volunteers | Central Florida Knights | Purdue Boilermakers | Ball St. Cardinals | Miami Hurricanes | Utah State Aggies | Tulsa Golden Hurricane | Nevada Wolf Pack | Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Updated: Sep 26, 2012 9:45 AM EDT