Sunday, September 28, 2014

Surviving Amherst, Offensively

If you ask me, it was the offense that delivered the victory yesterday.  This is a burden that it appears will be on them for the forseeable future.

BG ran 108 plays, which is the second time in 3 games we have been over 100.  The Falcons ended up with 668 yards of offense, which is 6.2 yards per play and a very good result.  Coach Babers said in the post-game that it was important to him that BG be two-dimensional--run and pass--and the Falcons certainly achieved that yesterday.

On the ground, BG averaged 4.7 yards per rush.  Greene (5.5 ypr) and Coppet (5.2 ypr) were both very effective.  Ronnie Moore had 1 nice run on a jet sweep and Knapke even ran effectively.  BG did not fumble.  The only issue with the running game is one we will get to in a minute.

Passing game was good on balance.  From a yardage standpoint, BG certainly has to be happy, with 11.7 yards per reception, a very solid figure.  The Falcons completed 63% of its passes, which is about what Coach looks for.  BG had three WRs with over 100 yards receiver--Burbrink, Lewis and Moore--but Coach says he won't be impressed until we have four.

The only downside to the passing game was the Knapke threw 3 picks.  One was on 4th down and probably not a huge deal, but that was still a downside.  This is always where young QBs are mostly likely to be exposed, so it is not surprising.  I think Knapke is coming along nicely and will be an effective QB and he will learn from the mistakes.

On other note on people who don't get noticed, which is the O-line.  BG had an effective running game and gave up no sacks in 60 passing attempts, all of which has to reflect well on the line play.  The only issue with the line is penalties...we had false starts, one facemask in the line, etc.  But, the o-line appears to be doing their part.

Which leads us to the last big issue with our offense, and that is short yardage/running in an expected run situation.  This was a huge issue for us in the previous spread time at the Doyt, and it took Clawson like 3 years to get to the point where we could grind out yardage in tight situations.  There was one red zone situation where we tried Andre Givens in a Houston-like role and it did not work.

But the worst situation was in the 4th Q.  BG got the ball 3 times in the 4th Q with a change to grind the game out.  The first came with about 9 left, and the other two were with 5:49 and 3:22.  In an of these cases, you get a couple first downs and you pretty much put the game away.  In the last possession, you 100% put the game away.  BG, of course, wants to run the ball to keep the clock moving, and in that situation, when you need to run to put the game away, BG made precisely 0 first downs with a long possession of 1:29.

That's on the line and the backs.  Last year, we were able to get first downs in that situation, and yesterday we could not and we put the game back on our defense's back.  We had a two-score cushion and fortunately it was enough.

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