Sunday, September 21, 2014

Long, Terrible Day in Madison

So, with a few hours to process yesterday's very long day--the "whipping" as Coach Babers called it--there is not much more to say than what I wrote yesterday.  Here are a few random and general thoughts.

It was terrible and a complete mess.  There are no ways to sugarcoat it.  We expected to lose and I think we would have expected Gordon to run like crazy, etc.  Their style is a really bad matchup for us.  However, we would not have expected to give up the most rushing yards in the Big Ten in 84 year.  You have to stop and think a second about that...all the football games in 84 years, all the time that they had a ridiculous mismatch and in all of those games since Herbert Hoover was the President, none of them rushed for more than they did yesterday.

As I said yesterday, I think BG was schemed to stop the run.  BG had men in the box, 8 or 9, and were committing to stop the run.  They didn't, mostly because Wisconsin overpowered BG on the line and because BG had very little success bringing ballcarriers to the ground.  The tackling was really poor.  Yes, Gordon is hard to tackle...but, you know, 1930.

BG also was overwhelmed on offense.  Not 1930-overwhelmed, just overwhelmed.  BG generated 11 first downs for the game.  Sack adjusted, 146 passing yards on 37 passing attempts, 3.9 yards per attempt, which is very hard to win with.  When you remove the sacks, BG had 5 yards a carry, but there was the Givens 60-yard run in garbage time.

BG seemed to be playing OK until early in the 2nd.  BG was down 28-10 and on the 8 yard line and Knapke made one of those mistakes guys make in their third start and threw a pass that would have had to get through like two guys to get to the receiver.  From that INT, Wisconsin went on a rampage.

As Coach Babers said, you can't lose by 51 points and then pretend like it all came down to one play.

Anyway, it was awful and a long day and while Gordon is good, "we helped him" (Babers)....


The only thing from here, in Coach's words, is not to let Wisconsin beat us twice.  In other words, we need to put that one away.  We have to head back out on the road for another long trip next week, and that's a MAC game and if Gordon is still running around in our heads while BG is out there, things could go from forgettable to forgotten.

The challenges are significant for the BG defense.  They lost guys from last year, and now they are down three more.  If we had lost 9 guys to graduation, we might have thought we would be here.  Yesterday, BG had Nick Johnson, Dernard Turner, Nate Locke, etc, all guys who didn't play significant snaps last year.

Beyond that, the guys who do have seem to have stopped tackling like they did last year.  BG has to figure out a way to get the guys we do have tackling again.  The job gets easier, but that won't solve the problem on its own.

On offense, there is no margin for error. I don't believe BG is going to have a shut-down defense this year, and so if the Falcons are going to win, they are going to need to be very effective scoring.  We saw against Indiana that BG has the ability to move the ball and I think we can against MAC competition.

I think the running game is in pretty good shape.  The part that worries me about the passing game is that we don't seem to be getting enough out of the full receiving corps.  If any position seems to be having trouble adjusting to the new system, that seems to be it.  My only point is if BG is only going to look for #1, then that's going to make things tougher.

So, look ahead.  You can forget this loss because if wasn't in the conference.  We will not be able to say that again this year.

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