Thursday, November 05, 2015

Sweet Victory #7: Recap

BG finished their sweep through the MAC East...winning every division game for the 3rd straight year.  The difference this year was they way it happened, which meant finishing with three laughers, including wins over OU and Akron, who were both considered contenders for the East crown this year.

The upshot is that it is almost impossible for BG to lose the East.  It is not clinched.  Only Buffalo or Kent could catch BG and they play tonight (Thursday) so only one of them will come out of that with the chance to win.  Even then, they would have to win out while BG would have to lose out for the Falcons not to get to Ford Field with their third straight East title.

Having said that, this is where things are going to get interesting.  BG was in exactly this position last year and they lost out with their last 3 games against the West.  And for as great as the season is going, and the two Big 10 wins, we're going to get a good idea between now and Thanksgiving (and really in the next 13 days) about how good we actually are.

Here's the thing.  Beating the East and beating the West are not the same thing.  The East has only won one cross-over game against the West so far this year.  Now, I am comforted by the fact that BG is smoking the East...that's better than ekeing out wins, which is what was going on last year.  But, the toughest two conference games for BG are the next two.

So, we're going to see if BG is good enough to win the MAC over the next few days.  Again, I feel better about it, but I don't think it is out of the woods.

My preview said that OU sort of felt like the Akron and Kent games and that's what ended up happening.  BG's offense has not been stopped by anyone yet, and BG's defense was able to get enough stops to get the offense a couple scores ahead and then the advantage really tilts our way.

BG gave up a bunch of yards, but it is a little misleading.  Not completely misleading...OU ran a bunch of plays and therefore has a high yard total.  They did get 6 yards a play, which is good but not fantastic and not anything close to BG's 8.4  OU did come in with the worst rushing offense in the MAC and ended up with over 5 yards per carry, essentially double their average coming in.

Basically, here is how it went down.  After each team had a failed possession, the team traded Tds until it was 14-14 with 10 minutes left in the 2nd Q.  We were starting to worry that this might be that nightmare game where BG was going to have score literally every time they had the ball to win.

At that point, the game unfolded as expected.

First, BG had a 3rd and 13 and hit Ronnie Moore in space and he made a SC #7 type highlight run to get all the way across the field and dive into the corner of the opposite end zone to put BG ahead (missed xp, 20-14.)

Then, the defense began to make an adjustment and got a 3 and out, followed by a Scottie Miller partially blocked punt.  Off a short field, BG scored again to go up 27-14 with about minutes left in the half.

So, in 5 minutes of game time, BG went up 2 scores which greatly changes a team's psychology.  BG didn't score again in that half, but BG got two more stops heading into halftime and then got a stop on OU out of the locker room in the third, giving the defense four straight stops.

BG scored in a minute off that stop with a 75-yard pass to Gehrig Dieter, who made a huge play on a 50/50 ball to get the score.  at 34-14, the thing was essentially over.  To seal the deal, OU was driving deal in BG territory when Dernard Turner got a pick 6 to seal the game.

So, the defense got a string of stops in the middle of the game that allowed BG to put some distance between them and the Bobcats and they also contributed a touchdown.  There was a big special teams play in there...and the offense continued to chug along at a frightening pace.

More on the individual units coming up.

For now, BG did everything they needed to do last night, winning 62-24 against a conference opponent in November.  The next couple weeks are going to be very interesting.  We're coming into it playing a lot better than last year...but still, the thing needs to be done.

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