Sunday, September 28, 2014

Falcons Survive in Amherst

So Coach Babers is a positive thinking kind of guy, which is why he so readily accepted John Wagner's post-game premise that BG's defense won the game by forcing a turnover on the final drive when the game was in the balance.

And that's true to a point.  But it is a little bit like a surgeon operating on the wrong limb, forgetting to use anesthesia, dropping an instrument into the body, nicking an artery and then performing CPR to save the patient and taking credit for being a life-saver.

Falcon fans need to come to terms with one thing.  This defense is not very good right now.  We'll get to why in a second, but if BG is going to win games, it is going to be done like it was yesterday.  This is who we are for the time being.

Remember the movie Forget Paris?  Where Billy Crystal wants it to be like Paris again and Debra Winger says to "forget Paris."

Well, forget Detroit.  That's not going to be back for a while.

I need to go back and check this, but I believe that WKU, Wisconsin and UMass all had players set school records against us.  Those are school records we are talking about.  So BG isn't just giving up big games, they are giving up the biggest games.

To Coach Babers' point, I think it is worth saying that our defense was still fighting at the end and the strip was a huge play to preserve the win, and they deserve credit for it.  But, the defense kept UMass in the game.

So via Twitter I am hearing from some folks.  There is a lot of frustration with our Coaching staff, built around the idea that last year we had one of the top defenses in the NCAA and this year we have one of the worst if not the worst.

I want to show something here to get some perspective on what we are dealing with.

This is our depth chart from the NIU game.  Players who are crossed out either graduated or are not available to the team due to injury.  I added Gabe Martin back, since he is rightly a starter who was injured.   Now, if we had lost all those guys to graduation and we walked into Fall camp looking at something like that, what would you have expected?  You would have expected BG to have a tough year on defense.  (Note, too, that Martin and Adjei-Barimah are playing but are coming back from difficult injuries as well ).

I don't believe that Coach Babers doesn't care about defense or that he focuses too much on offense.  He had a good defensive team at EIU, he's recruiting defense this year...I just don't buy it.

As for Xs and Os, I think everyone knows by now that I'm not a guy who analyzes that stuff.  Maybe the schemes aren't very good, but I doubt it.  We just don't have enough good players.  If you want to know why this defense is worse than last year's, it's because it is pretty much a completely different team.

Anyway, I write this not to focus blame on the players, who are battling and working their hardest for our program.  I write this because I think we need to calibrate our expectations.  This is not last year's defense.

We have no idea when help is coming.  Getting Lynch and Ward back would help a lot.  No idea about my count BG played 3 true freshman and 6 walk-ons yesterday.

For a while, this is how we are going to win games.  I don't think it is sustainable but this is what it is going to have to be.  The East is very soft, so no one is out of it...we get some guys back, who knows.  But for now, what you see is the reality of our program.

We did win the game, by the way.

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