Sunday, September 06, 2015

Falcons Lose: Recap.

Yesterday in Nashville was one of those things.  Tennessee is a really good team and the best team BG will play this season.  Honestly, my view is much more optimistic than it was after last year's opener, and I saw things that indicate that BG has the potential to make this season a success and an improvement over last year.  Also, I have more confidence about BG's pre-season schedule now.

There were a few things.

First, the offense is back.  The difference at QB is just incredible.  I don't mean that as a knock on Knapke.  Johnson's ability to move around  in the pocket just sets him apart and I think he is more accurate on the deep balls than Knapke was.  And you could see it from the very beginning, as BG took the opening drive deep into UT territory, featuring a 45 yard completion to Roger Lewis.  The Falcons ended up with a FG to start the game.

For a while that was the high point.

UT marched down the field and scored a TD.  BG started on its own 13 due to a penalty on the kickoff and went 3 and out.  UT had a 47 yard kick return and scored again 2 plays later.  BG started on its own 10 due to a kickoff penalty.  Went 3 and out, gave up a 34 yard punt return and a 4 play TD drive.

21-3, with 5 minutes left in the first quarter.

Felt a little bit like we were at Camp Randall.

But, unlike that time, BG punched back.  BG adjusted some things on offense, worked the sideline to Chris Gallon (welcome back!) and added in a nice run by Johnson and finished with a toss to Hunter Folkerstma, our TE for the TD and it was 21-10.

The Vols took the kickoff and were driving again, but this time BG's guys got the stop, holding them at the BG 40....stopping Kamara on a 3rd and 3 pass.

BG started the drive at their own 6, and here we saw what we can be about.  BG launched a TD drive of 6 plays, 94 yards in 2:13, featuring 69 yards in consecutive completions to Gehrig Dieter running the same play.  Johnson put the ball on the money both times and Dieter beat his man in 1-1 coverage.  Now 21-17.

Things were rolling at that point.

BG got a 3 and out and then launched on a highly uncharacteristic 14 play scoring drive, aided by a roughing the passer penalty by the Vols. When you look back at the game, though, this one hurt.  BG was on the UT 8 and gave up a sack and had to settle for a FG.  Taking the lead there might have been huge, but at any rate, it was 21-20.

Because that was, in retrospect, as good as things would look for BG.  UT drove 75 yards in 11 plays to go up 28-20.  The Falcons started at their own 25 with about 2 minutes left and looking to get down the field quick, but instead ended up punting from the 4.  Another big return and the Vols were on the BG 29 with 1 minute left and they scored before the half to led 35-20, which Coach Jones said after the game was huge for them.

Tennessee started the second half and drove deep into BG territory before the Falcons got the stop and then caught a break with a missed FG.  BG capitalized and went 75 yards in 5 plays, including a 31 yard run by Fred Coppet and a a Burbrink run for the TD (corrected) and the lead was back to 8.

It was short lived.  Tennessee broke a huge kickoff return and Tyler Tate had to face mask the guy to keep him from scoring and then started inside the BG 20 and scored in 1 play to push the lead back up to 15 again.

BG drove into UT territory again but had a FG blocked.  The defense got a 3 and out and BG was starting at it own 31 and you have to figure BG is still in the game, getting some stops and able to move the ball.

Someone saw lighting.  An 1:19 delay ensued.

Coach Babers said after the game that the delay hurt BG.  The Falcons play a pace game which is partly designed to wear out the opposition.  Tennessee got an hour break in the heat in the middle of the game.

BG's first drive after the delay was probably their last shot to get into the game.  BG drove to the 3 yard line, had got a penalty and ended up settling for a FG.  Rather than getting to within one score, the game was now 12 points.'

Tennessee drove deep into BG territory but missed another FG, extending the game.  However, BG was unable to capitalize and punted the ball to the Vols who ripped off a 56 yard run with :14 left in the third to make the lead 19, and with that sequence there the game was pretty much over, with the Vols outscoring BG 10-0 in the final period to leave the final score at 59-30.  BG did have one drive deep into UT territory, but Johnson and Moore messed up the exchange and fumbled.

Again, BG was still in this game until late in the 3rd and there were lots of positives, which will be covered in other posts.  The baseline is I thought BG showed a lot of improvement over last season in this game, and the opposition won't be this hard again.

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