Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Schedule Scenarios and Projections

One thing that I don't think most Falcon fans have their arms around is how tough the schedule is this season.  Yes, I know that was what everyone said last year, too.  And there is at least an FCS team on this year....though the North Dakota Fighting Hawks are the #21 ranked FCS team and only one P5 team.

A couple things that might not have been thought of...YES, there is only one P5 team on the schedule....but that Middle Tennesee game is going to be tougher than anyone thinks.

Second, BG's MAC road games are @Ohio, @UT, @NIU, and @Akron.  BG has made its bones being a very good road team over the past few years, but that's going to put this to the test this season.  Basically, if you're going to win the East with 2 losses, you need to win no fewer than 2 of those 4 games.  And, unless it is going to be outright with 2 losses, the Akron and OU games are key.

So, let's take a look at a few scenarios for the season.

For example, here is a very plausible scenario where BG is 7-5 and 5-3.  As mentioned, Middle Tennessee could beat us and Memphis lost a lot and has a new coach (just like us), so maybe those flip but the net is the same and this is certainly more likely.  At 5-3 with a loss to OU, it' a crap shoot if that's good enough to win the East.

9/3/2016 @Ohio State   LOSS
9/10/2016 North Dakota  WIN
9/17/2016 Middle Tennessee WIN
9/24/2016 @Memphis   LOSS
10/1/2016  Eastern Michigan WIN
10/8/2016 @Ohio LOSS
10/15/2016 @Toledo LOSS
10/22/2016 * Miami WIN
11/1/2016 @Northern Illinois LOSS
11/9/2016 @Akron WIN
11/15/2016 * Kent State WIN
11/25/2016 * Buffalo WIN

OK, for you optimists, here's a scenario if we really have things rolling.  Here we sweep Middle Tennessee and Memphis, beat OU and split the cross-over West games (I have chosen Toledo, but probably more likely to happen @NIU)...that's a 10-2 season with a 7-1 MAC schedule.  This is an extreme I don't see happening.

9/3/2016 @Ohio State   LOSS
9/10/2016 North Dakota  WIN
9/17/2016 Middle Tennessee WIN
9/24/2016 @Memphis   WIN
10/1/2016  Eastern Michigan WIN
10/8/2016 @Ohio WIN
10/15/2016 @Toledo WIN
10/22/2016 * Miami WIN
11/1/2016 @Northern Illinois LOSS
11/9/2016 @Akron WIN
11/15/2016 * Kent State WIN
11/25/2016 * Buffalo WIN

Likewise, here is a disaster-based scenario...5-7 and 4-4.  If you really want disaster, figure Miami or Buffalo is a surprise MAC teams and upsets us.

9/3/2016 @Ohio State   LOSS
9/10/2016 North Dakota  WIN
9/17/2016 Middle Tennessee LOSS
9/24/2016 @Memphis   LOSS
10/1/2016  Eastern Michigan WIN
10/8/2016 @Ohio LOSS
10/15/2016 @Toledo LOSS
10/22/2016 * Miami WIN
11/1/2016 @Northern Illinois LOSS
11/9/2016 @Akron LOSS
11/15/2016 * Kent State WIN
11/25/2016 * Buffalo WIN

The most like path to an East title probably looks like this...and crazy as it is, it seems like sweeping the East again is the most likely answer.  Is that likely to happen again?  Look, I know, right?  But sitting here today, its possible.  The one thing BG has been in the East has been upset proof...we just haven't lost games we should win...but will that happen this year?  Again, Miami and Buffalo lurk as teams I think are on upward trajectories.

Here we have 8-4 and 6-2.  You could lose Middle Tennessee and still finish 7-5 and 6-2.

9/3/2016 @Ohio State   LOSS
9/10/2016 North Dakota  WIN
9/17/2016 Middle Tennessee WIN
9/24/2016 @Memphis   LOSS
10/1/2016  Eastern Michigan WIN
10/8/2016 @Ohio WIN
10/15/2016 @Toledo LOSS
10/22/2016 * Miami WIN
11/1/2016 @Northern Illinois LOSS
11/9/2016 @Akron WIN
11/15/2016 * Kent State WIN
11/25/2016 * Buffalo WIN

If you like Phil Steele, based on the Power Poll BG goes 7-5 and 6-2.

9/3/2016 @Ohio State   LOSS
9/10/2016 North Dakota  WIN
9/17/2016 Middle Tennessee LOSS
9/24/2016 @Memphis   LOSS
10/1/2016  Eastern Michigan WIN
10/8/2016 @Ohio WIN
10/15/2016 @Toledo LOSS
10/22/2016 * Miami WIN
11/1/2016 @Northern Illinois LOSS
11/9/2016 @Akron WIN
11/15/2016 * Kent State WIN
11/25/2016 * Buffalo WIN

So, in the end, I'd say that 8 wins is the high point for BG and 5 wins would be the low point.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Presser and Depth Chart Review

OK Kids, here we go!  The final week of waiting is underway.  Two things today...first, our initial opportunity to find out what kind of presser Mike Jinks gives.  He'll probably never top Gregg Brandon, but he could easily fall somewhere between Babers and Clawson.

A few select quotes and paraphrases:

Doesn't care about being a 27-point underdog, since he has been one his whole life.

"There's something to be said for getting at that there are things bigger than one's self and that we have a goal and only together will we achieve it and at the end of the day all we need is put it all on the line for the man next to you.  I have no doubt in my mind that's what you will see come Saturday."

You can't game plan for a team like OSU.  They aren't complicated schematically.  "They are going to do what they do."  That's the mindset we need.

Interesting.  When asked about what a team like his does to win the game, he said that you aren't going to see a lot of fake punts.  "That's how you lose the game, to me.  Coach Meyer, we are not going to onside the opening kickoff.  We're going to play football."

Marquis Zimmerman (now on the two-deep at WR, see below) is a lot like Ronnie Moore.  Other surprise player is Lorenzo Taborn (also see below).

Also pleased with how Ryan Hunter has reacted with stepping up after Bennett's injury.

Says Bush has been playing well and they challenged Alphonso Mack to step up his game (my point, Mack led the MAC in INT and didn't make all-Mac.

Consistency is the key on defense.

Overall, it was impressive.  The part above about bigger than yourself?  That was convincing.  If you want a drinking game, pin your name and address to your shirt and drink every time he says "at the end of the day."  But, it was as confident and convincing as I have ever heard him.

Next is a look at what we have for a depth chart for the OSU game.  The comparison is to the last published depth chart, which was from Media Day.

Starting on offense, we have already noted that Logan Deitz has moved from RT to LT.  Ryan Hunter moved to RT from backup at C.  The new backup C is Tyler King.  Then, in a real oddity, Lorenzo Taborn has made backup LT as a true FR, replacing De'Angelo Ware.

There is also a change at WR.  Redding, Moore and Miller remain starters, but Deric Phouthavong has moved up to start in front of Janarvis Pough, who is now a backup.  Also, true FR Marquis Zimmerman is a back up in the spot formerly held by Tom Tupa.

Josh Cleveland is now listed as #3 at RB.

On defense, the line is the same, Bush, Lunsford, Junior and Konowalski.  However, behind them JUCO Grant Coffey has moved in front of Malik Brown at back up DE.

LBs are the same, and in the Dbackfield, r-FR Antonyo Sotolango has moved into the starter position at rover.  True FR Cam Jefferies has replaced Robert Jackson as a backup CB,

Jake Suder is first a K.

Lastly, Urban Meyer gave his presser today, and it included some fine anecdotes from his days in BG, including the first game at Missouri and what he did with the two WRs who couldn't catch.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Special Teams Preview

The last element to look at is special teams.  Here is how things looked last year, MAC games only.

10th in kickoff coverage
12th in punt returns
2nd in punting
11th in FGs
9 in kickoff returns

This is, you know, not great.  In fact, well below average.  Some of it matters more than other things.  When you're scoring 47/game and getting 7+ per play, you can afford to play it safe on punt returns...and BG had only 6 punt returns for the entire MAC season.  Why kill yourself for 6 yards, the rough average in the MAC on a returned punt.  Same with kickoff returns.  You start on the 20, you start on the 25, it really isn't a significant issue.

Now, you lose Matt Johnson, Travis Greene, Roger Lewis, Gehrig Dieter, Ryan Burbrink, you might start to care a little bit more.

Anyway, the coverage was also not great on kickoffs, which we did a lot.  BG kicked off 65 times, most in the MAC.

After a great junior season, Tyler Tate really struggled as a senior.  Now, granted, FGs weren't a big deal for BG's offense...they tried only 8, made 5.  (Just for perspective, BG scored 52 touchdowns and the next team in the MAC had 40).  So, even with Tate struggling, BG has an enormous question mark at PK.  They're not likely to score 52 TDs again, and it could be more important and everyone is untried.  They are having the dreaded open competition.  Anyway, this is something to closely monitor.

You don't have to expect much.  If you can make 80% inside 40 yards and your extra points, you're in good shape.

Oh, speaking of extra points, BG missed three, second most in the MAC, and 10th in PAT% even when you consider the 52 TDs.  9 of the 13 teams in the MAC did not miss one PAT.

The one strength for BG that will continue is punting.  BG has a great punter.  He was second in the MAC in net punting last year and the top guy from WMU graduated.  Davidson is just a punting machine and only a junior.  That position is very solid.

Phil Steele ranks us 8th in special teams and my guess it will be about right.  I think our kickoff coverage should remain about the same and punting was so good it will be hard pressed to improve much.  Given the number of fast WR types we have, I don't understand why we aren't better at kickoff returns.  Finally, punt returns are just a small part of the modern game.  Teams are going out of their way to prevent returns and it is working.

Punting is a question mark and PK isn't likely to turn into a strength.  These guys must be all about the same or there wouldn't be an open competition, and presumably they aren't all great.

Just this point.  The offense covered a lot of sins last year, and below average special teams is probably one of them and maybe the biggest of them.  BG does have a dedicated special teams coach this year, so perhaps that will improve things as well.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Defense Preview--One update

So, having looked at the offense, now we look at the defense.  This is actually pretty important.  The offensive review indicated what I think is a rational expectation, which is that BG's offense is not going to score like it did last year.  That impacts the defense in a couple ways.  First, there is less margin for error for the defense.  They need to be at least as good as last year.  Second, when the offense was building up big leads, it was a huge gift to the defense. putting the offense under pressure, limiting their play selection, etc.  It is the hidden benefit of that kind of offense when it works.

So, how good was BG's defense last year?  Using MAC stats only, and remembering that much of this was done against a MAC East schedule, BG had an above average defense, which you can see below.

#3 in scoring defense
#6 in total defense
#4 in rushing defense and T4 in rushing yards/carry
#6 in pass defense
#1 in pass defense efficiency
#2 in sacks
#9 on 3rd down
#1T for turnovers forced
#1 in INT
#11 in red zone defense

One of the things you see is that when there is a gap between scoring defense and total defense (yards), there's usually a reason.  In theory, you'd expect them to be close.  In this case, BG gave up yards but turned it around with turnovers and, to a less extent, sacks.  (One updated note since the original post:  because  of BG's non-possession based offense, BG gave up a lot of plays, which impacts yards allowed per game.  BG was actually tied for 2nd in yards per play allowed at 5.0, and Akron led at 4.9).  BG was reasonably strong against the run and good against the pass.  The #6 in pass defense (which is yards) is partly because of the number of passing attempts against us due to those deficits.  BG had 320 pass attempts against and the next most was 309.  BG allowed 6.1 yards per pass play, which was actually the lowest in the conference.

With some things from last year to build on, BG has to come back from some significant losses from last year.  BG lost both safeties as well as Zach Colvin, Taylor Royster, and Mike Minns on the d-line.  Also, Clint Stephens was injured for the season.

What wasn't lost was any linebackers and BG retains a huge amount of strength at this position.  In the front is MLB Austin Valdez, who was first team All-MAC, and Trent Greene returns on the outside...he was 2nd team All-MAC.  The other LB who returns is James Sanford, who I felt was also effective, and he's joined by Jack Walz II on the depth chart as a co-starter.  Nate Locke also provides experienced depth.

The worry for the defense is the line.  We saw how offense helps defense in '15 and we saw how it could hurt the defense in '14.  When you have :40 possessions and then can't get off the field, it is a very long day for a defense already playing on a team that doesn't care about time of possession.

Here is the d-line based on the depth chart and the number of games they played in last year.

Bush---14 games last year
Lunsford--14 games
Smith--14 games
Konowalski--6 games
Sanders--7 games
Junior--0 games
Lautanen--0 games
Brown--10 games

Here's the thing...you need depth on the d-line.  You rotate guys constantly.  And you really only have three guys who have played significant roles.  This is vital.  Even in today's passing offenses, teams like UT, NIU and WMU will run over you all day if you can't defend the line of scrimmage, and the LBs will be taking upfield blocks, negating that strength.

If you want key #2 for the season (#1 being the QB/WR production), it is the ability of the d-line to produce for four quarters and with a full rotation.  I'm not saying the those guys with low numbers of games are bad players, I'm just saying they are largely untested.  They might be good players.

One last piece that I am not sure about is Gus Schweiterman, who played some significant downs in the past.  He was inured and I am not sure of his status.  If healthy, he could certainly help.

I'm not too worried about the d-backfield.  I don't think they're a top unit in the MAC, but I do think they can hold their own.  With Stephens, Steele had them #4 in the conference and I'd say they don't fall lower than #6.

The biggest loss here was Stephens, who was injured in the spring game and will not return this year.  Even so, Will Watson is back after a year's suspension and is joined by Alphonso Mack, who led the MAC in INTs last year.  Backing them up are Marcus Milton and Robert Jackson--you need those guys in nickel and dime packages and they have both seen action.  At safety, Ben Hale and Jamari Bozeman are starting.  They both saw action last year behind BG's good safety unit of Turner and Hardy.  Isaiah Gourdine is a backup at safety and he's played a lot of downs in the backfield.  The other backup is walk-on Tavarious Wade, who I don't believe has played at BG yet.

Another thing.  BG's championship teams have, like most championship teams, stayed pretty healthy.  Even so, in '13 Gabe Martin went down and the team still closed out the season with a title.  Except at LB, any injuries to this defense are a big worry, unless their are hidden gems out there we don't know about.  BG needs the defense to stay healthy...and yeah, I'm looking at that game in the Horseshoe first and foremost.

Finally, the last issue is we have new coaches.  Brian Ward really brought the defense around last year after the disasterous McCloud year.  The DC has not been a DC before, though he has been a D1 position coach.  The remainder of the defensive coaching is pretty thin.  So, there are 0 starts next to their name, too.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Bennett to Miss Season

So there you have it.  Most of all, this is bad for Jacob, who has been working hard for the Spring and Summer and has to deal with what has to be a huge disappointment.  I wish him the best for a speedy recovery.

He joins Clint Stephens and Matt Domer as players with season-ending injuries since spring.  In Saturday's post we recapped what The Blade had learned about the line re-shuffling that the injury would cause.  BG has depth on the line, but Bennett is an experienced and accomplished player and will be missed.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Football Scrimmage...no Landry and a big hat

So I was down for the season ticket holder event at the Doyt today.  It was great--and I mean great--to be back.  Makes me happy.

From the scrimmage standpoint, there was not a lot to see.  The 1s didn't play and I am not sure how many 2s got in either.  Furthermore, it was a no-tackle scrimmage, something I suspect you are going to see more of as health becomes a bigger concern in football.

Speaking of which, the Jacob Bennett injury continues to be a concern.  The Blade had the details of the line shuffling this morning...Ryan Hunter, who is from Ontario and has 14 starts under his belt, will go to RT and Logan Dietz will move to LT.  The middle of the line will remain the same.

The Blade also mentions that true freshman Lorenzo Taborn is in the mix for playing time.  This is very unusual...the line is rarely a place for true freshman.  Coach Jinks says they "stuck gold" with him...he was the last player BG signed...he's from Sidney, OH.

One thing I did notice at the scrimmage was that there were a couple of nice catches on deep balls by Vanel Dossous.  He's a WR JUCO transfer.  That was significant because of the news you see above...WR Darrion Landry will not play for BG this season.  Landry was projected to be a part of the WR corps after BG suffered massive losses at the position.  His loss makes the job tougher in theory, though we didn't actually get to see him play.

So Dossous could be helpful.

Two last notes.

First, Coach Jinks is standing in the middle here...wearing the biggest hat I have ever seen on a man.  Players could be required to run laps around the hat when they drop a pass.

Second, the starters came into the stands to shake hands and thank season ticket holders....and I mean all of them shook everyone's hand.  It was very impressive and a nice touch by the team...certainly appreciated.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Falcons Forever Video....

A little pump up video from the Falcons, including a message from Coach Jinks and his staff about :13 in.  Not too bad....interesting music choice...a little downbeat for what you usually get.  But the season is on the way...and here are some highlights from recent years.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Three-Star Commit for BG Football...

The hits keep on coming for Team Jinks on the recruiting trail.  Today, it was Cedric Mitchell of Concord HS in Elkhart, IN.  Elkhart is east of South Bend (and the home of the RV industry).

Mitchell is a 3-star recruit on most of the services.  His final three were UT and Temple (and BG) and he had nearly a dozen D1 offers.

Mitchell plays WR and S for Concord, but told his local newspaper that he is generally projected as a safety in college.

The 6-foot-1 ½, 180-pounder posted 613 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns on offense in 2015 to go along with 36 solo tackles, four interceptions, two kickoff return touchdowns.
He was all-conference for his team...the conference champions.  He was also 5A all-state as a DB.  He also plays basketball and runs track.

Welcome to the Falcons, Cedric.

Football Preview: QB...and the offense

So, we are inside of 3 weeks from the opener, and time to start and do some previewing for the upcoming football season.  In this post, I want to look at what I think is the biggest make or break area for the team, and that is offensive production.  A big part of that is at QB.

I don't mean this to be critical of James Knapke.  He took over in a very difficult position in 2014.  The entire team was learning a new offense, and Knapke had never played a signficant down at the college level under any system.  Dieter played only 9 games with 35 catches and was never healthy.  Travis Greene missed 2 games, Coppet missed 1.

So, with all those disclaimers, Knapke just wasn't great.  He was 6th in yards per game, but that's misleading because he had far and away the most attempts.  He completed only 58% of his passes, threw only 15 TDs (essentially one per game) and had 12 picks.  His QB rating, which assembles all that, was 118.4, which would put him well outside the Top 10 in the MAC.

BG finished 5th in scoring offense.  This is also just a deadly offense when you are going 3 and out.  BG punted 82 times, 2nd in the MAC...in 2015 BG punted 54 times.

Again, I don't mean to be critical, just to say that BG's offense struggled in 2014 and Knapke was below the average QB in the MAC, factually speaking.

So here are a couple things.

First, Knapke might have improved since then.  He had a year of practice as Johnson's backup, Babers always said he was doing better, but you can't tell with that guy.  He has also had the Spring and this camp.  He might be better than he was in 2014 and in fact I would expect him to be better.  The question is how much.

Second thing.  It isn't all on him.  BG's WR corps was decimated by graduation and transfers.  Only one has played significant downs at the D1 level.  BG also lost one of the best RBs it has ever had, as well as the #3 man.  Even if Knapke is a lot better than he was in 2014, he has a lot more question marks in his supporting cast than he did in 2014.

The total, however, even with the very strong offensive line, adds up to a lot of doubt about BG's offensive performance.  In addition, BG is putting in another new offense, and even if it is similar it is still new.

I don't think anyone thinks BG will put up the numbers they did last year.  The question is, what will BG do in comparison to the 2014 performance?  On paper, you would expect having the #5 offensive unit to be the high end of the expectations.  It isn't beyond the realm of possibility it could be lower.

What could happen to change that?  We could have a much improved James Knapke.  The WR Corps--including JUCO guys--would have to be improved while they are being coached by people who are literally getting on the job training.  Fred Coppet would have to stay healthy and productive at RB.  And the line has to stay health and be very effective.

What could happen to make it worse?  Knapke isn't better, the WRs are just average, and Coppet isn't healthy or BG can't get a running game going because teams are keying on it.  That could happen, too.

Now, there's one more question that came to mind when I saw today that JD Sprague will not play for OU this year.

That question is this:  could James Knapke be the best QB in the East?

OU has either Greg Windham, who played some last year and was not an effective passer, and Quinton Maxwell, a FR who has not played at all.  (OU's QBs don't operate in the same offense most of the MAC does).

Akron starts Thomas Woodson, a junior whose passer ranking was 123 in 2015 and just a little better than Knapke's was in 2014.

Buffalo has a battle at the QB position between a grad transfer from Iowa State and a very tall rFR, so there situation is uncertain.

Kent has a three way competition at QB.  The returning starter, George Bollas, was must worse in '15 than Knape was in '14.

Miami has Billy Bahl, who struggled a great deal as a FR.  He should improve...but how much?

So, the answer is...yes, he very well could be.  Other than maybe Rohach (the Buffalo transfer) or a markedly improved Bahl, it is hard to see anyone who is going to be much better than he is.

Anyway, QB is a vital position and we saw that with Matt Johnson over his two championship seasons and that's why the focus was chosen for this post.  BG needs help from a lot of guys on offense, but might find the MAC East forgiving enough.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Blade has Darrion Landry News

There have been a lot of questions on the internet about what is up with Darrion Landry.  I had mentioned that I was surprised he wasn't on the 2-deep when it came out for media day and other people had heard he is not in camp.

Which he is not.

Anyway, he was a JUCO WR who has drawn a lot of MAC interest and given the issues for BG at WR appeared to be able to get onto the field.  The Blade says his eligibility has not been determined yet.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

News from Saturday Scrimmage

The Falcons held a scrimmage on Saturday at the Doyt.  It was a non-contact scrimmage in order to keep everyone healthy...something I think is smart.  There's a little news coming out of it.

First, BG's RB Matt Domer was tore his ACL and is out for the season.  All the best wishes to Matt for a full recovery.  Domer transferred from Illinois and had a few carries last year.  He was probably the #3 HB on the depth chart and probably would have gotten more carries this year at a position where teams are increasingly trying to get depth.

Second, Jacob Bennett was injured.  Haven't seen any word on this except a tweet from Thomas of the Sentinel who said that he was out for the "forseeable future."  Bennett is the RT.  BG has depth on the o-line, but if he misses signficant time in the conference season, that's going to make it harder.

In other news, preferred walk-on WR Eric Sherkel has left school to head to a JC in Cali.  He was a athletic QB in Pennsylvania in HS and had kind of had a Ryan Burbrink feel to him, but he's going to play that out elsewhere.

The Blade reported that LB Matt Finkler and WR Odell Spencer have left the program.  This is not unusual.  Sometimes it just isn't right for people.  Finkler was a Buffalo commit who was a co-defensive player in the year in Division VI in Ohio, which is a small-school dvision.  Odell Spencer took a crazy route to end up signing with BG (see here), and the next chapter is to not play football at BG.

The Blade also has info on four additons, two of which you have seen here.  They include DB Montrelle Gregory,  and RB Calen Taylor.

BG also added Peter Norris who played has been on the BG roster before and Davaugn Alexander, who is a FR OL from the Dayton area.

The worst news was the kicking in the scrimmage, which was dreadful.  Coach says they need more reps.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Falcons Get Northwest Ohio O-line Verbal

So BG has its first offensive line recruit for the '17 class.  The Blade has the full story...which you should check out...

His name is Zach Dziengelewski, and luckily he hit a growth streak because he will need a jersey that big for his last name. The University should arrange for him to room with Malik Hluchoweckyj...that would be awesome.

Anyway's, he's an OG currently looking at 6'4" and 270.  Swanton has had a very strong football program over the last few years, so he's coming from a winning tradition.  He was second-team All-District last year as well.

Welcome to the Falcons, Zack.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

What's this Air Raid Thing?

So, we went from Falcon Fast--which was the Baylor playbook--to the Air Raid.  If you will recall, Kingston and Jinks actually got into a debate as to who ran more plays per game last year.  Anyway, one of the good things was you figure that the transition between Baylor and Air Raid isn't as severe as it was between Ball-Control Clawson and Baylor.  Plus, Kliff Kingsbury told Jinks not to be "an idiot" and to keep the parts of the offense that BG did really well.

So, if you are an x's and o's kinda guy, here's some links that can help understand the Air Raid offense.  They come from Chris Brown, who runs Smart Football, which is pretty interesting except that he wrote an e-book which said that Dan Mullen was the OC at BGSU when Urban was here.  Which he was not, no matter how much people wish it was true.

Anyway, check it out!  The season is on the way.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Falcon's MBB Leaves for Italy

Huge August for the basketball teams at BGSU.  The men are going to Italy (see above) and the women are going to Cuba in a little while.  The men leave today.  You can follow the men's progress on the social media channels listed below, and I am sure the women will have a similar list when they take off.

From here, Bon Voyage.  Hope you have the time of your lives.

Twitter – @BGSUMHoops

Instagram – @BGSUMHopps

Snapchat – Search "BGAthletics"

Website – BGSUFalcons.com

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Falcons Land Jordan Murphy Verbal

So, we have not even seen our new Coaching staff coach a game yet, so there is a lot to be left to be proven, but one thing they are good at is getting highly ranked recruits.  The rest is open...can they be turned into players in a system that wins?  We shall see.  But, they seem to be able to recruit.

The latest young man is Jordan Murphy, a DE from Crestview, Ohio.  Crestview is over between Youngstown and Steubenville.  Based on 24/7, he's a 3-star recruit, the #79 DE in the country and the #64 player in Ohio.  He is 6'3 and 241 pounds.

He had offers from Eastern Michigan, Iowa State and Toledo.  I'll just leave that right there.

Last year, he made 79 tackles, 16 for loss and had 6 sacks. He was first-team all-district and special mention all-state, for Division V.  Here, with more info, we see he blocked a couple of kicks, too, and might have had an offer from Yale.

Welcome to the Falcons, Jordan.

Falcon Media Day...roster and player news

It was media day yesterday, a time for photos and videos to be used during the season.  The Blade was in the house and gathered some quotes.  Mostly, it presents an opportunity, as the roster has been updated and we have what now is a pretty clear look at what we have.  Actually, it was a pretty big summer.

For example, there had been posts here about Texas Tech greyshirt (and Steele High product) Bryson Denley coming to BG.  He is here.  Also now available is Josh Cleveland, as we noted here.  WR Vanel Dossus is up from JUCO and Romeo Masuku has transferred from Rhode Island to be a D-back.

From those guys, Dossus is on the two-deep already and I think you could see both of the RBs contribute this season.

There was some news, at least to me.

First, BG added a WR from Indiana (PA), Tristan Davis.  He is from Wayne HS in Huber Heights, set their all-time receiving records.  He had 9 catches in 10 games in 2014 and did not play in 2015.  Indiana (PA) is a DII school.

BG also added a couple of kickers.  After the first practice, Coach Jinks was on video saying that kicking will be an open competition...something which sends a shudder down the back of Falcon fans...those never seem to work out well.  Anyway, two more young men have been added to that mix.

The first is Kahukus Sasoka, who is from Hawaii.  He had offers from Army and interest from other schools.  His HS team's nickname was Red Raiders, so this staff was an obvious choice for him.

The other is Grant Tinnerman, who announced he was coming this way in March.

I know there has been some interest...Da'Mario Jones, the UM graduate transfer isn't in camp and won't play for BG.  No word on why, doesn't really matter.  The Blade says there was also a Derrick Green, who was a RB graduate transfer from UM, which is news to me, but he didn't come anyway.  He is not to be confused with Darrick Green, who is a walk-on d-lineman.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Men's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule Released

The schedule for Huger Year 2 has been released...at least the non-conference portion of it.

The highlight for Falcon fans is the Bill Frack Tournament.  Last year, there was a Bill Frack Challenge, where BG played UC at the Stroh.  So, the Bill Frack Tournament is a three-day round robin deal where BG will host UMKC, Green Bay and Murray State on consecutive days over a weekend before Thanksgiving.  This is not unlike when BG hosted something similar as part of (I think) the pre-season NIT a couple of years ago.

It would appear to me that this schedule is tougher than what we had last year.  First, there is only one non-D1 game.  There are three teams who finished last year with a sub-100 kenpom rating:  Oakland, UC and Evansville, all of whom BG plays on the road.  There are three more that were in the top half of teams...Green Bay, Murray State (both in the Fracker) and UD, a frequent BG opponent.  The softest teams are SD (221), San Jose State (260), UMKC (264), Morgan (305) and Alabama A&M 313).

Green Bay is the top team to play at the Stroh, and they are a consistent quality opponent.

Fri, Nov. 11 at Oakland Rochester, Mich.
Sun, Nov. 13 at South Dakota Vermillion, S.D.
Sat, Nov. 19 UMKC Bowling Green, Ohio
Sun, Nov. 20 Green Bay Bowling Green, Ohio
Mon, Nov. 21 Murray State Bowling Green, Ohio
Sat, Nov. 26 Morgan State Bowling Green, Ohio
Tue, Nov. 29 Notre Dame College Bowling Green, Ohio
Sun, Dec. 4 at Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio
Tue, Dec. 6 at Evansville Evansville, Ind.
Sat, Dec. 10 Detroit Bowling Green, Ohio
Sun, Dec. 18 at San Jose State San Jose, Calif.
Thur, Dec. 22 Alabama A&M Bowling Green, Ohio
Fri, Dec. 30 Norfolk State Bowling Green, Ohio

Obviously, I haven't done any research to determine whether any of these teams are supposed to be better this year or not, but I think this schedule represents a decent mix between some challenge games and having some games for BG to gain some confidence in a year where I think there is some optimism based on the finish, but where we might still be challenged with a younger team.

One more thing....the Falcons are also going to Italy on Monday for 10 days of basketball and cultural immersion.  These types of trips can be very helpful to young teams, with earlier practices and a jump start of learning to play, as well as an experience of a lifetime.

Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

New Football Verbal

So, the Falcons have a new football verbal.  He comes from Hoover HS, which is a suburb of Birmingham, AL.  For those who don't know (and this included me until about 30 seconds ago), this is a big-time HS program in Alabama.  Since 2000, they have won the state title 9 times.  (Their coach is the highest paid HS Coach in Alabama).

Kholbe is a LB, 6'0" and 215 pounds.  He told Scout that he has been told by coaches he would be a MIKE (MLB) in college.  He had D1 offers from Middle Tennessee State and Southern Mississippi, as well as four other non-D1 offers.

So, welcome to the Falcons, Kholbe.