Wednesday, November 30, 2016

All-MAC Teams Announced, BG Has Seven honored

So, the All-MAC teams are out....with the season BG had, they received the honors you would expect, I think...,though I did think there were a couple surprises.  Here they are....

First team

P--Joe Davidson
WR-Scotty Miller

Second team:

LB--Trent Greene

Third team:

RB--Fred Coppet
OL--Tim McAuliffe
OL--Logan Dietz
DB--Jamari Bozeman

So, in terms of surprises of who is on the list...I'm surprised Scotty Miller made first team.  I wouldn't have seen him as having that kind of year.  He was 4th in receptions and 7th in receiving yards.  He's clearly at least second team and I'm glad he was recognized.  Perhaps teams knew they were spending time taking him out of the game.

Also, I think a lot of Falcon fans will be surprised that Jamari Bozeman is on the 3rd team.  He was in on some high-profile misadventures early, but that's partly because of the position he plays and they flawed way we were playing defense.  I'm looking forward to seeing Jamari develop into a true playmaker back there, because we could use it.

Joe Davidson should have been special teams player of the year.  Darius Phillips was named Special teams player of the year by the coaches, but was not even on the first team All-MAC.  Basically, he made 2 returns for TDs whereas Davidson was a stud all year, early on many times a game.  This one should have gone to us.

I think the other picks were all pretty much where they should have been.  If there was one guy who might have deserved third-team honors that didn't get it, it would be Gus Schweiterman.

You can see the rest of the list here.   I think Chris Creighton deserved consideration for coach of the year, but hard to argue with Fleck as the overall choice.  They found a way to honor Terrell and Davis, both of whom were deserving, although Logan Woodside got first-team QB.

BG Easily Defeats Notre Dame College

After NDC took BG into OT last year, the Falcons were ready for the assignment and easily dispatched the other Falcons 86-60.  BG scored the first 10 points of the game, had the lead over 20 mid-way through the first half and the lead was never below 19 points for the remainder of the game.

It was a FAST game.  There were 83 possessions.  NDC likes to move the ball and BG played along.  Which means that even though BG had 86 points, that was only 1.04 points per possession, which is good but not great.  The held Notre Dame to .72 points per possession, which is really good.  In particular, the other Falcons are known for 3FG shooting, but they made only 3 of their 28 attempts.

Wes Alcegaire had 20 and 5 rebounds, Wiggins 13 and 7 rebounds, Lillard 13 and 10 rebounds, Denny 11 and 6 rebounds and Dylan Frye had 10 points.  Ali had 9 assists over 2 turnovers...both of which are mitigated by the fast tempo of the game.

The Falcons made 78% of their free throws, including 5-5 by Wiggins, who might be making the biggest one-year improvement at the line in program history.  Truly amazing.

So, BG is 3-4.  Things get a little tougher.  They play @UC on Sunday and then @Evansville the following Tuesday, both of which are tough assignments.  More to come on those.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Preview: Hot Falcon-on-Falcon Action

So Tuesday night the Notre Dame College Falcons come into the Stroh in what is supposed to be a guaranteed win night for the Falcons of Bowling Green.  Last year, it nearly was not so, as BG had to go overtime to beat the Falcons of Notre Dame in an early November tilt.  NDC were 21-11 last year and were picked #4 in their conference this year.  This year they are 3-2.  This is their first D1 game.  (They play tonight as well against Lake Erie College so their record coming in will be different one way or the other).

They are a DII team.

They had two guys go for 20 in last year's game.  One of them is gone----and the other, Will Vorhees--is back.  He had 20 points and 6 rebounds against BG last year.  He's 6'8" and a JR from Columbus Grove.  He's averaging 23 with 9 rebounds this year and shooting 49%.

They also have Kyauta Taylor, who is scoring 19 points, with 4 3FGs/game.  That's #8 in the country in DII.  He's a 6'2" JR G.

They have two other players in double figures and they score 80 a game.  Also, they are #7 in DII in blocked shots, due mostly to Ja'Sean Lewis, a 6'8" SO F.  He's #2 in the nation on an individual basis.

Anyway, this is a game that Falcons of Bowling Green should win, but last year struggled to get done.  I think everyone in orange and brown would like it not to be this year.

Also, the game is the opening match between BG and Notre Dame, who will also play for the national I-AA Rugby Championship on Sunday.

Trent Greene MAC East Defensive POTW

Trent Greene's last game as a Falcon was a big one.  See below:

Greene led the Falcons with eight tackles in a 27-19 win over Buffalo last Friday. Among those eight stops were three tackles for loss and two quarterback sacks. 
Greene also had a forced fumble and a fumble recovery as well as a pass break-up in the victory.

BG has had some pretty good brother bloodlines...Villipiano, Haneline, Redd...I'm sure there are others.  The Greene men certainly can hold their own in that've got the program's number one rusher and an All-MAC LB (2nd team 2015) who was in on 238 tackles over the last two 17 TFL, 6 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.  And I'd expect All-MAC honors again.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Football Verbal: Jamari Rouse

Coach Jinks told the media after the Buffalo win that the coaches had Saturday off and then it was on the road to recruit for them.  This is huge for BG.  The Falcons simply must restock the program with players--and then hope the coaches get better in the meantime.  But you have to have them both in place.  So far, recruiting has appeared to be a strength for these guys, but that game is only in the first quarter.

So, they nabbed a quick commit yesterday, right on the heels of the Buffalo win.  The young man is Jamari Rouse, a DT from Deerfield Beach, FL.  He's 6'2" and 262 and listed as a 3-star composite recruit on 24/7. He had offers from Temple, Syracuse, North Carolina, Buffalo, Charlotte, Georgia State, Idaho, Middle Tennessee, Ohio, Southern Miss and Youngstown State.  They have him ranked as the #7 DT in Florida, which sounds pretty good to me.

This is good to see.  Coach has made it clear that his vision for the program is to win in both phases of the game...unlike a coach we won't name (rhymed with Shmino Shmabers).  We definitely need bodies on the d-line.  Graduation is OK to us this year, but you need 8-10 rotation lineman.  Of the recruits we know about, there are four D-lineman now and maybe a fifth depending on how Walter Haire is classified.

Rouse is a big upside get for a team that can use guys like him--fast, athletic and football-saavy d-lineman.

Deerfield Beach is still playing, making their way into the state semi-final last Friday.

Past and Future Opponent Land

Ohio State (11-1)  Edged Michigan.
North Dakota (9-2) Off.  In FCS Playoffs next week.
Middle TN (8-4) Beat FAU 77-56 (!!)
Memphis (8-4) Beat Houston to end Herman Era
EMU (7-5) Beat CMU
OU  (8-4) Beat Akron
Toledo (9-3) Lost to WMU
Miami (6-6) Beat Ball State.  Incredible finish to year.
NIU (5-7) Beat Kent
Akron (5-7) Lost to OU
Kent (3-9) Lost to NIU

MAC produces 6 bowl eligible teams...WMU, UT,  OU, Miami, EMU and CMU


FBS:  13-21
P5:  4-10
FCS:  9-4

West:  12
East:  5

Barnes Record Broken

Freddie Barnes held the NCAA FBS record for receptions for a season for 7 years  It was broken yesterday by Zay Jones of East Carolina, who finished with 158 catches.  Congratulations to him.  Also a great moment to remember one of the great individual seasons in Falcon history.  Good memories, Freddie...Tyler...and the rest of the offensive unit.  That's a lot of catches.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Falcons Win: More....

So, a few elements to the game.  We have already covered the idea that BG should have put this game away multiple times.  They did not and UB ended up accepting the gift.

On offense, BG did what they said they were going to do.  They ran the ball 67 times and passed it 21 times.  And, it worked.  Coppet had 160 yards on 20 carries, Cleveland 109 yards on 16 carries and Wilson 107 on 25 carries, so that's 8, 6.8 and 4.3 yards per carry, respectively.

Conversely, UB ran the ball 27 times for 117 yards as a team.  They had 38 of those on one play.  BG did what they wanted to do both ways, which was control the running game.

The passing comparison was less attractive.  Morgan was 12 of 21 for 146 yards, which is certainly not great.  He was sacked twice and Knapke was sacked once in his honorary start for Senior Day.  He did not turn the ball over, however, and BG had 10 passing first downs on 12 completions, which is pretty good.

UB on the other hand, had a lot of success passing, in short bursts that look good.   Grant Rohach started for UB and while he struggled for much of the game, he ended up 20 of 35 for 334, which is 16.7 per completion, which is just an awful thing to see for a defense.  Marcus Milton and Robert Jackson did not play, so BG was playing short on an already short hand.

When BG got pressure, they had a shot.  They sacked Rohach 6 times for 50 yards and got a lot of pressure on him other times, including on the game's final play.  I liked the look.  BG got pressure with 3 at least once, Terrance Bush made a big open field sack and BG did a nice job of keeping in rush lanes to contain Rohach in the pocket, because he was willing to go out and run.

Trent Greene has 2 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in his last game and Terrance Bush 1.5 sacks in his last game.

In the end, UB ended up with 5.9 yards per play and BG had 5.6 yards per play.  However, the Falcons ran 88 plays and was surprisingly 8 of 15 on 3rd down (basically, only failed inside the UB 35) and had 35 minutes of possession.  Schweiterman had a sack, as did Shannon Smith and Konowalski had a half sack.  Nate Locke was very active, with a hurry, a TFL and a pass break up.    Those guys are all slated to return.

On special teams, Buffalo missed 2 XP, which did have an impact on the game and would have made a difference on the last drive. BG had a couple good returns...Zimmerman had a good punt return and kickoff return and Watson had a nice PR to set up good field position.  Zimmerman nearly fumbled away a punt on a play that he was injured on--he was OK last time I heard, thankfully.

Anyway, that's how the last game shook out.  We'll have more to come moving forward.

BG gets expected win over Morgan State

BG got the win you'd expect over a badly overmatched Morgan State team, beating them 90-58.  I wasn't there and there isn't too much to say about it.  Morgan State is ranked among the 20 worst teams in D1 by kenpom and they are on the road and BG did what they should do, which is beat them soundly.  You don't learn too much about your team in a game like this, except that you beat a poor team soundly.  FWIW, they only lost by 6 to Towson and Brown, and Towson isn't a bad team.  Anyway, you want the win and you got it.

BG had 1.08 points per possession and Morgan State a deadly .7 points per possession in a very, very fast 83 possession game, which is the fastest D1 game I can find for BG back to '02.   You'd expect to see pretty lopsided stats, and they are.  BG outshot Morgan State by a lot, an advantage that was negated by BG having a high number of turnovers.  But BG was good on the offensive boards and made 18 of 25 FTs for 72%.

Matt Fox led the Falcons in scoring with 18 points.  He shot 7 of 11 with 4 3FGx.  Dylan Frye had 15 points on 5 of 6 shooting, Wiggins has 12, and Denny had 11 on 3 of 11 shooting.  Denny added 7 rebounds, Lillard 8 and Worrell 9.  Denny also had 8 steals, which is just a crazy number.  Ali had 7 assists and Rodrick Caldwell had 5.

Neither Justin Turner nor Jeffrey Uju saw action.

This kicks off a quiet week for BG.  Tuesday they play Notre Dame College and then the following Sunday they play @Cincinnati, probably the toughest game on their schedule.

For now, BG is 2-4.

Falcons Close With Win...or 3

So, BG finished with a win over Buffalo, winning 3 straight at the end for the first time since 2001.  I'll have more reviews of the season coming up, but for now we'll just say that this wasn't 2001 and just because PJ Fleck was 1-11 in his first year doesn't mean that every coach who has a bad first year is going to the Cotton Bowl.  Also, winning the three easiest games on your schedule at the end doesn't automatically constitute improvement.

But, for now, I am happy that BG got the win.  I'm happy that our seniors--who are two-time champions--are leaving with a win as their last memory.  They do deserve that.  And, as much as I am not going to buy into the turn-around narrative, heading into the off-season with a win is a lot better...provided that it doesn't leave some in the program with the idea that they've fixed everything and we're good to go.

Which I don't think we are, but that's another post.  (And I hope our coach doesn't think so and I don't think he does, but it worries me).  Anyway.  A win leaves a much better taste in the mouth.  And is more fun.

It was an extremely entertaining game with a big finish, if you like that kind of thing.  It was the kind of day where BG couldn't stand success and kept letting the 2-9 Bulls back into the game until making the final play to win.

In the first half, the new look BG running attack was nearly unstoppable.  And, in fact, the BG defense was dominant.  After a fumble on the first drive, BG got a 3-and out with a sack and the offense got the ball back and drove 60 yards on a 7-run and 1-pass drive to get a TD and a 7-0 lead.

The defense got another 3 and out and the offense drove to the UB 27 on 6 running plays.  Coppet was stopped just short and BG ran to the line to run the QB sneak but Morgan was stuffed and UB got the ball back.  Mark that down.

UB drove to the BG 43 on one first down but got a false start on 3rd and 1, didn't convert and punted the ball into the end zone.

BG then ran a 13-play drive down the field, getting to a 3rd and 3 from the UB 24.  Wilson only got 1 yard on 3rd down and then Morgan was sacked on 4th down and BG turned the ball over on down.

UB went 3 and out.

BG drove again, from their own 30 to the UB 36.  It was 3rd and 3.  BG got a yard on that play and then an incomplete pass on fourth down.

So, there's 5 minutes left in the half.  BG has dominated and could easily have 21 points in they had been able to execute on 3rd down...and to a lesser extent on 4th down.

So, UB got a 27-yard pass and a 38-yard run and scored two plays later.  The XP was blocked, but what shouldn't have been a game was a game.

BG took the ball over with about 4 minutes left.  They get a one-minute TD drive capped by a 52-yard Coppet run for a TD and its 14-6.

Off a touchback, UB started on their own 25 and got nothing on the first play.  Charmingly, BG called time out.  (about 3 minutes left).  UB than made BG's defense look completely vulnerable at the end of the half, marching down the field for a TD in 2 minutes.  BG up 14-12, after 2XP missed.

BG got the ball, and actually UB is calling timeout to get the ball back, which they don't.  So, it is 14-12.  Just shouldn't be, but it is.

UB gets the opening kick off and drive inside the BG 30.  On 2nd down Trent Greene for BG lays the lumber on Rohach, forced a fumble and then recovered it.

Taking the turnover, BG drive to the UB 29, CONVERTS a 4th down and 5 but then gasses out on a 3td and 5 and this time kicks a FG to go up 17-12, but still a missed opportunity.

BG's defense delivers again, forcing a fumbled inside the UB 40, which BG recovered.  There's about 6 minutes left in the 3rd and BG has a chance to take a commanding lead on a very short field.  They drove to the 11 yard line, but a loss of 1 on first down left them with a tough 3rd down and they did not convert.  (As Coach points out, with this system you need a good first down gain).  Anyway, BG gets a FG but misses an opportunity to put UB out.  20-12, 4 minutes left in 3rd.

UB drove the ball to the BG 34, and then on 4th down Terrance Bush made a huge play, sacking Rohach in the open field for a 12-yard loss.  This time, the offense capitalized.  In a drive that stretched 8 plays and into the start of the 4th quarter BG drove to the 1 and then ol' Leonard Skattebo drove it into the end zone.  Up 27-12, BG's defense gets a stop on the next drive.

BG has the ball on its 43-yard line with 10 minutes left and a 15-point lead.  Should be in good shape, eh?  I mean, should be in MUCH BETTER shape, but still.

BG has a 3rd and 6 on the UB 32, but they were sacked and punted into the endzone.

7 minutes left.  BG gets a sack on first down for -9.  And here the worm turns.  UB completes a 30-yard pass, a 52-yard pass and a 7-yard pass to score THREE PLAYS later to make it 27-19.

BG gets the ball back with 5:50 left.  In no way, NO WAY, does anyone want to give the ball back to UB.  You need about 3 first downs--UB has 1 timeout--to bleed the clock.  There's a big 3rd and 2 from the BG 43.  Cleveland converted and then got 15 on the next play.  UB uses its timeouts timeout with 3:13 left.  Wilson gets 10 yards down to the UB 24.  Here, you have to feel good.  UB is out of time outs...less than 2 minutes.  BG should be able to bleed the clock.  Should finally be over.

Except Cleveland fumbled and UB recovered.  UB now begins to move down the field, essentially without being contested.  With :28 left UB was on the BG 15 and threw a pass to the 1.  Tavarous Wade made the play of the game as he was alone with the WR and kept him out of the end zone on the 1.

UB runs to the line, tries a hand off, but it is dropped and they have to fall on the ball.  There's a very good chance the clock would run out before they could clock the ball, but BG has an injured player and the clock stops for that.

With :04 left, UB throws an incomplete pass.  Clock shows :00, cannons are going off...but not so fast my friend.  There' s :01 left after a replay.  BG send the house up the middle, Rohach flings it into the end zone and falls incomplete, and BG finally wins the game, if only because there was no more time to give Buffalo another chance.

Wow.  Quite a finish in the same end zone the North Dakota game ended in.  Well, a win is a win and all that.  BG had the better of the play the whole way, with the exception of very dreadful defense at the end of both halves.  BG won and deserved to win.  More to come.

Friday, November 25, 2016

THE GAME: BG and Morgan State

At noon on Saturday I know you are thinking about....Morgan State

Well, a few people will be.  MOST people around here will have their eyes on the Horseshoe, but there will be some eyes on the Stroh Center.

BG is playing Morgan State in a game the Falcons should absolutely win.  The Bears were 9-22 last year, and finished t-9th in the MEAC.  Their final RPI was 329 and their final kenpom was 304.  And, they lost four starters from that team.

They are picked to finish 12th in the Blue Ribbon and 9th in their media poll.  They have made 2 NCAA appearances, in 09 and 10, with 2 first round losses out as a #15 seed.

Right now, they are #333 in and are 2-3 for the year, 1-3 in D1 games.  They beat Campbell at home, and lost to Towson, Houston and Brown, all on the road.  They played Wednesday night in Providence RI. Not sure if they went home in the meantime, but that's a pretty good amount of travel.

Not to build expectations too high, but BG and Morgan State, thus far, are two of the worst-shooting teams in D1.  BG is ranked #313 in effective FG% and Morgan is #303.  Morgan combines that with 21.6% turnovers...which leaves them #334 in offensive efficiency.  Now, to their credit, they are very effective on the offensive boards, with 36%, which is in the top 60 in the country.  They also do a good job getting to the line and are #9 in the nation in making FTs, with over 80%.

On defense, Morgan State has been easy to shoot against.  They allow 54% effective field goal %.  They generate an average number of defensive turnovers. are very poor on their defensive boards (38.2%) and average at letting opponents get to the line.

The Bears are being lead this year by 6'5" JUCO transfer Tiwian Kendley.  He is scoring 21.7 PPG, but it is a very inefficient scoring.  He uses a shit load of possessions.  In fact, he is #11 in the country in percent of his team's possessions used.  He shoots 36% and 27%.  He also averages 6.6 RPG with almost 5 turnovers a game.

Also in double figures is Phillip Carr, a 6'8" JR.  He's scoring 17.8 PPG on 57% shooting and 8.6 RPG.  Kyle Thomas (6'7" SR) is scoring 10.8 PPG on 42% shooting and 6'7" FR David Syfax (from Detroit Pershing) is scoring 10 PPG on 50% shooting.  Their assist leader is Martez Cameron at 3.2 per game over about 3 turnovers per game.

The Bears are coached by Todd Bozeman, who coached at Cal and actually was the cause of them having to forfeit their entire 94-95 season and most of the next one.  He ended up with an eight-year show cause penalty.

On paper, this was put on the schedule to be a winnable game and it should be.  This team is nowhere near the team BG beat on Monday night.  Now, that's certainly no guarantee, but BG should be able to get this one done for a second straight win.

25 questions about the end

What is their body of work?

They are having a tough year at 2-9.  This is Lance Leipold's second season, and they both have been losing seasons.  In fact, Buffalo has had only one winning season since Turner Gill left after the 2009 season.  They beat Army and Akron, and lost to everyone else, including FCS Albany, who finished with a 7-4 record.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

They have 24...which is on the young side.

Who are their statistical leaders?


What is their turnover ratio?

(Most of the stats below are conference only).  They are -4, which is not surprising given their record.


 How is their QB play?

Like BG, they are playing a R-FR QB, 6'7" Tyree Jackson from Michigan.  He's struggled worse than Morgan has, with a QB rating of 104.  He is their second leading rusher.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

They are last in scoring and #9 in yards per play.

Can they run the ball?

They are #5 with 4.6 yards per carry.  Their lead RB is #4 in the MAC with almost 107 yards per game and his 5.8 yards per carry is tied for the conference lead.

Do they pass the ball?

They are 11th in pass efficiency.  Jackson has only completed 54% of his passes with 6 TD and 6 INT and 11.4 yards per completion, all of which are pretty average to poor.  For the third week in a row, BG is playing a QB- compromised team, though this one is actually a QB.

How is their run/pass balance?

They are very evenly split at 51%

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

No.  They are 10th at the MAC average at 36%.

Do they score in the red zone?

Not really.  First, they have only 17 red zone trips, lowest in the MAC.  They score only 4.2 points per trip, which is not good.

Do they protect the quarterback?

Pretty average.  They allow sacks on about 5% of their passing attempts.


Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

They are also #11 in scoring defense and in yards per play allowed.

Do they defend the run effectively?

They are #11 in rushing defense and #10 in yards per carry allowed.  Excellent opportunity for further exploration of the real Mike Jinks.

Can they be passed on?

They are better here, #8 in pass efficiency defense.  They allow 56% with 10 TDs and only 4 INT.  They allow 14.3 yards per completion, which is just bad.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

They are 10th in the MAC, allowing 47% conversion.

Do they defend in the red zone?

They are not bad at 4.9 points per trip.

Do they pressure the QB?

They are average with 4.9% sacks.

Special Teams:


They are dead last in net punting.  They have been blocked twice and have a TD return against (all games).

Punt Return?

Not bad at 7 yards per return, which is pretty good.


He's poor.  All games, he is 11 of 18 and 9 of 12 inside 40.  Long of 45, blocked once. (All games)


They are last in the MAC.  Teams average starting on the 35.  They have allowed a return TD.

Kickoff Return?

They are 10th in the MAC in kick returns.  They start on the 25 in all games.

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

Well, this is it.  The way BG is playing now you'd expect to win this game.  Buffalo is just not very good.  I don't know if Coach Leipold has his program going in the right direction or not, but he is really struggling.  I get the feeling BG's players are trying to leave with a better taste in their mouth, and I'd hope to see that kind of an effort in what promises to be a deadly quiet football environment at the Doyt.  BG matches up well against this team and I would hope that BG finishes the job and heads into the off-season on a "positive" trajectory.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving to the Falcon Nation

Best wishes to everyone on this special day.  Seek not to want more but to be better.  Demonstrate thankfulness...disturb your peace and make the most of the things you have been given.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Falcons Notch W

So, the BG men's basketball team picked up the W last wasn't easy and it almost was a soul-crushing defeat, but it finished with a happy ending after an entertaining back and forth last few minutes, with both teams playing their third game in 3 days.  Anyway, excellent to get off the mark for BG against a decent team.

It was overall a much stronger performance for the Falcons across a much larger portion of the game.  They shot the ball much better and defended much better as well.  It wasn't a full 40 minute performance, but it was much improved compared to previous games.

For example...a little over 4 minutes into the game, BG was down 8 already.  BG then owned the remainder of half, tying the game 5 minutes later and leading by 11 before heading into the locker room with a 6 point lead, 41-34.

  BG started the second half on a 15-3 run, giving them a 14 point lead with 15 minutes left.  Murray State chipped away at the lead, but didn't get it inside 5 until there were about 4 minutes left, and then they tied the game at 71 with 3:41 left.  

BG was up 1 with 2 minutes left.  Murray State got a basket, BG answered, Murray State got a 3FG and BG answered with a Denny 3 with :53 left.  

Finally, BG got a key stop, with a missed 3FG and a cleared rebound.  There was about a :05 differential.  BG called a time out, ran a perfect play, moved the ball and found Denny all alone under the basket for an uncontested layup.  Which he missed.  Guy had a great game, hit the 3FG before that, but he missed the easiest shot he'll take all year.  

Murray State ran down the court with :05 left, got into the key, the refs swallowed their whistles, the shot missed and BG had the game won.  So, two key stops in the last minute leads to a happy ending for the Falcons.  Had they taken that missed shot and run down and nailed a layup for the win?  Tht would have been soul-crushing.  But that did not happen.

BG had its best offensive game of the season and it isn't close.  They scored 1.11 points per possession.  Murray State had 1.096, which is actually also BG's worst defensive game of the season, despite all the talk about getting stops.  The tempo was 70 possessions, which is a little bit more comfortable for us.

The key thing to the victory is all the way at the right of this chart.  Murray shot 44% and 48%, while BG shot 41% and 42%, so while BG had its best shooting game of the season, Murray still shot it better.  However, BG took good care of the ball and had an average/passable game on the offensive boards.  The key was FTs.  BG took 29 FTs and Murray State took 12. a shocking disparity.  Even more important, BG was 24 of 29, for 85%....meaning the Falcons took advantage of the opening that was presented to them.  The Racers were only 7 of 12, meaning BG was +17 at the line and there were no last minute fouls to inflate the numbers.

BG had four players in double figures.  Zack Denny had 17 on 6 of 10 shooting, plus 1 of 3 on 3FGs, one of which was the game-winning shot.  Demajeo Wiggins had 13 points and 9 rebounds, most of which came on 9 of 10 FT shooting.  This is huge.  Last year, he shot 37% from the line and this year he is shooting 78%. He's much more dangerous at that level, if he can sustain it.  Wes Alcegaire also had 13, with 5 of 11 shooting and 3 of 6 from 3FG.  Ali had 12 points on 4 of 10 shooting with 5 assists over 2 turnovers.  Dylan Frye had his best game with 9 points including 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.

So, at 1-4 BG now heads off for Thanksgiving break on a high note.  They play again on Saturday against Morgan State, which should be winnable at home...and kicks off the very minute the OSU-Michigan game does.

Monday, November 21, 2016

McAuliffe MAC East Offensive Player of the Week

So, this almost never happens.  It should, but it doesn't.  There just aren't any stats for offensive lineman to show how good they are.  Having said that, congratulations to BG lineman Tim McAuliffe for the honor.  Long overdue.  The line had a dominating day out there.

Also, the release below from the MAC uses the word "jaunt."

Offensive Player of the Week: Bowling Green OL Tim McAuliffe

Bowling Green junior center Tim McAuliffe (Lemont, Ill.) led the offensive line as it paved the way for a rushing attack that dominated Kent State in a 42-7 victory. Bowling Green rushed for 420 yards, the most for the program in 18 years and had three running backs top 100 yards on the ground for the first time since 1978. Bowling Green had not topped 400 yards rushing since totaling 424 against Kent State on Oct. 24, 1998. The offensive line also did not give up a quarterback sack in the contest. Donovan Wilson carried 30 times for 146 yards and two scores, while Josh Cleveland had eight rushes for 131 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown jaunt. Fred Coppet had 19 rushes for 105 yards and a touchdown as well. In total, Bowling Green rushed the ball 66 times.

Phoenix Rises at Frack

BG's 2016 struggles continued Sunday at the Stroh, as they lost by their biggest margin of the year--16 points to Green Bay in a home game.

The first half was deadly slow...26-25, with BG shooting awful and Green Bay shooting worse.  BG came out of the locker room and scored the first four points, taking their first lead since early in the game.  Over the next 3:30 or so, Green Bay outscored BG 16-0 to take a 13 point lead, 42-29.  BG did battle back, shaving the lead to 1 with 11:21 left (44-33, so a 14-2 run for the Falcons).  However, GB absorbed that run and went on a 10-0 run to go up 11 with 7 minutes left and BG never got it closer than 9 for the remainder of the game.

The problem is pretty clear to me.  (See below the chart for what Coach thought).  BG just doesn't make enough shots.  The Falcons had .8 points per possession, which is really tough to win with.  In fact, this chart even underestimates the problem.  BG shot 38% overall and 29% from 3FG, both of which are pretty disastrous numbers.  What makes it even worse is the FTs...the chart below compares FTA/FGA to develop the BG got to the line less and then made 47% of their FTs.  Essentially, anything having to do with putting the ball into the basket was the problem.  BG finished -11 on FTs in a 16-point game.

The Falcons did have other issues.  They accomplished very little on the offensive boards and turned the ball over too much as well.

On defense, GB didn't have a great game, but it was good enough.  They had 1.01 points per possession, which is average.  They shot 44% and 32%, which are not great numbers, but they were better than BG.  They also made 90% of their go with too many turnovers.  BG did an excellent job on the defensive boards.

Interestingly, Coach Huger focused on BG's defense and not on the offense as the source of the defeat.  He was exhibiting strong frustration after the game, telling The Blade this:

“We can’t keep making the same mistakes over and over,” Huger said. “We do that and we expect different results, and we can’t do that.  And it’s the same people — some of our key people. We have to correct that to get better.”

That's a pretty big statement.  Later he said that we will get the offensive side sorted out, which is also interesting, because it doesn't look like that to me.  Anyway, the issue with the defense was the second half, when Green Bay shot 64% and 6 of 9 from 3 on their way to scoring 51 points in the half.  I make that about 1.31 points per possession, which is dreadful for your defense.

The big picture thing is that I begin to worry a little bit.  I understand we have a talent deficit we are trying to remedy and that we have a couple guys out, but it is the second year in the system for most of these guys and the fact that, as he says, the same mistakes are constantly being made worries me from the program's standpoint--as in, after the first year, the off-season and the Italy trip, you'd think we'd be executing that part better.

BG was led by Antwon Lillard, who is continuing to turn into a really good player. He had 15 points on 7 of 9 shooting.  He made all of his 2FGs.  He also had 6 rebounds.  Zack Denny was BG's only other double figure scorer, with 12 points on 4 of 10 shooting--he nailed 2 3FGs after being blanked Saturday.  Damajeo Wiggins is just really struggling on the offensive side of the floor and you can see his frustration.  He was 1-6 shooting and 4-8 from the line.  He did have 10 rebounds.  Ish Ali improved on a poor UMKC game with 4 assists over 1 turnover.  Alcegaire shot 4 of 11 with 4 turnovers and Worrell was 2 of 5 shooting and had 3 turnovers.

Both Dylan Frye and Rodrick Caldwell got their most minutes since the Oakland game, which was the game with the suspensions.  Caldwell got a shot down and had 3 assists to go with 1 TO in 18 minutes and Frye had 16 solid minutes.  Both guys are going to need to be big parts of the future if BG is going to turn around what is a struggling program.

Monday night is Murray State.  The Racers beat Green Bay on Saturday and then surprised everyone by losing by a big margin to UMKC.  Would be great to see BG get off the schneid before the holiday.  Having said that, I think the team is hampered badly by a lack of offensive playmakers, errors and poor defense in spots.  We just don't have anybody consistently making shots and we can't play good enough defense even on our very best day to paper over that.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Past and Future Opponent Land

Ohio State (10-1)  Edged MSU.
North Dakota (9-2) Off.  They were #8 in FCS entering the week. They are Big Sky c-champs.
Middle TN (7-4) They beat Charlotte.
Memphis (7-4) Nice win for them over UC.
EMU (6-5) Lost to NIU
OU  (7-4) Lost to CMU
Toledo (9-2) Beat Ball State
Miami (5-6) Off
NIU (4-7) Beat EMU
Akron (5-6) Off
Buffalo (2-9) Lost to WMU.  (That was a tough assignment).


FBS:  13-21
P5:  4-10
FCS:  9-4

West:  11
East:  5

Kangaroo Curse

So, game 3 of the season ended up like the first very nearly was BG's first victory and it came down to the last minute, but in the end BG was defeated in their home opener for the first time since the early 1990s.  It was a very ugly game that at times seemed to set the sport back to way earlier than that.

Also, for whatever it is worth, BG has the worst record in the history of D1 playing teams repped by Kangaroos.

The first half of the game was tightly battled, with 5 ties and BG hitting 2 FTs to end the half and lead by 2.  BG came out of the locker room and scored the first 6 points and took an 8 point lead.  With 13 left UMKC had it back down to 1 and with 9 minutes left they took the lead.  The next few minutes were close but then with 4:24 left Matt Fox nailed a 3 and BG led by 4.  Much like what happened at South Dakota, BG proceeded to lose those last minutes by 10-4.

There were two key exchanges.  The first was with 2 minutes left.  BG was up 1 with the ball and had an offensive rebound, but then Lillard was called for a push-off.  Then, UMKC came down and hit a 3FG to go up 2.

The second came right after that.  BG had tied the game with a layup and was in great shape because with 1 minute left could expect to get the ball back either way.  In the next possession, BG got two missed shots--Alcegaire with a block that went OB, and then a missed jumper with about :30 left.  BG had a very good game on the boards but this particular rebound was grabbed by UMKC and now they could hold for the last shot, which they did, hitting a floater with :03 left to win the game.

That's a tough one.  The next two games are much tougher.  BG is playing at less than 100% health....more on that below.  Anyway, to start the year, it is pretty clear that we still have a ways to go with the program.

Here are the stats.  Neither team had a good offensive day.  UMKC had .99 points per possession and BG had .96 points per possession.  In fact, it is surprising that BG did as well as they did on offense, given that they shot 39%--that's 46% on 2FG and 25% on 20 3FGs--and then also had a poor day taking care of the ball, turning it over on 20% of the possessions.  That kind of shooting is rarely going to get you to a win.  BG kept itself alive with great offensive rebounding, getting 45% of the available offensive boards--though only 12 second chance points--and then making 69% of FTs and ending up with 5 more than UMKC overall.

On defense, BG had an above average day, as noted above.  The Roos shot 43% overall...that's 47% on 2FG and 35% on 3FG, which evens out to an effective FG% of 49%, which is just a tick under average.  They took much better care of the ball, turning it over on only 14% of its possessions.  BG did a good job on the defensive boards as well, except for the last one.  the game was foul-plagued both ways.

Individually, BG was led by Antwon Lillard, who scored 19 points on 7 of 12 and 2 of 5 shooting.  He also had 3 assists, but 3 turnovers as well.  BG's only other double figure scorer was Zack Denny, who had 12 but continues to struggle with this shot.  He shot 5 of 11 overall, but missed all 3 of his 3FG.  He did have a double-double, adding 13 rebounds.  Alcegaire had 9 points and 5 rebounds and Matt Fox scored 8.  Ish Ali had 5 assists, but also had 5 turnovers and seemed to be in trouble whenever he handled the ball in traffic.

Without getting into it too closely (you can look at the box score) , BG's younger players are clearly showing some growing pains, which is to be expected.  Oh, and three of them are injured.
So, that doesn't make it easier.  Particularly, the loss of Uju, a JUCO guy expected to provide badly needed inside depth is serious.

So, Green Bay is next.  They lost last night to Murray State in a close game much of the way, but a final deficit of 16. As advertised, GB shoots a lot of 3FGs and made 35% of them to get to 1 point per possession in a very fast 77 possession game.  They got 17 out of Charles Cooper--though an inefficient 17--and FR Trevor Anderson had 15 on only 7 shots.

On defense, they struggled.  The Racers had 1.2 points per possession and made an incredible 63% of their 2 FGs with only 14% turnovers.

The question is whether BG is in position to take advantage as much advantage of that as Murray State was.  We shall see.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Frack Preview: Murray State

So, on Monday BG will play Murray State, which might well be the first team in the Frack Challenge.  We'll know a lot more about them by then, because they will have played twice as many games.  For now, we'll look at them coming in,

They were 10-6 and 17-14 last year, finishing in a tie for the Ohio Valley West crown.  They return 3 starters from that team.  Both Blue Ribbon and the OVC media have tabbed Murray State as the West Division favorites, with Belmont the overall favorite.

They are off to a 1-1 start, with a home win over a pretty good Illinois State team and then a road loss to a tough Middle Tenessee State team.

They have been playing about average tempo, but have been very efficient on offense, with 1.04 points per possession.  This is a team that loves the 3-ball.  They are #2 in the nation in percentage of shots coming from 3FG.  They get 45% of their points from 3FG, which is #9 in the nation.  They have an effective FG% of 51.7%, which is above average and good, if not great.

They also take good care of the ball, with a turnover percentage of 17.4, which is better than average.  Any struggles they might be having on offense come from their below average offensive rebounding (not unusual for a perimeter shooting team) and a below average ability to get to the line, though they are 76% FT shooters when they do get there.

They are less effective on defense, for sure.  They allow 1.03 points per possession...which comes from poor shot defense, turnover defense and defensive rebounding.  They are about average in terms of allowing FTs.  Teams don't take many 3s against them---they are #72 in the percentage of points they allow from 2FG, which probably works out well for BG.

Individually, they have a fascinating stat line.  Of their 77 points, 72 comes from only 4 players.  You never see something like that.  They average between 21 and 15 points per game.

Their leading scorer is Jonathan Stark, who is a transfer from Tulane, where he was on the all-CUSA Freshman team.  He's scoring 21 PPG on 47% and 42% shooting (very efficient) with 6 rebounds and 6 assists per game.  He's a 6'3" G and obviously getting his Murray State career off to a good start.

6'4" Sr. Demarcus Croaker is the 2nd leading scorer at 17.5 PPG and 5 rebounds per game.  He's shooting 54% and 45%, so even more efficient. Also scoring 17.5 is Terrell Miller, an honorable mention JUCO All-American who is 6'8" and plays PF.  In addition to the points, he averages 7 rebounds per game, shooting 46% and 39%

Finally, Bryce Jones who was their top returning scorer but is only getting 15.5 PPG and is in a terrible slump to start the year, shooting 27% and 23%.  After these four guys, the next leading scorer averages 2 PPG.

Anyway, this team is very solid and is probably the best team at the Stroh this weekend.  They will provide a nice test for the Falcons.  They don't play pressure D--which worries me about Green Bay and UMKC--and their focus on guards at least is better for BG than a team focused on getting to the basket.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Jinks Presser: Mistakes that we made

So Coach Jinks had his presser for the Buffalo game.  I listened so you don't have to.

There was not a whole lot of news in it.  Most of it was a continuing discourse of Coach Jinks and how he is now reverted to his true nature.

On offense, he says we are going to continue to play up tempo.  You can (apparently) do that with the QB under center.  So, he says that you will see BG with a commitment to running the ball.  He says 40 passes "is way more than enough."  You will see us in more 2-back sets and fewer empty sets.  He likes Morgan under center and thinks he does a good job with play action.  Again, this is his true nature, according to him.

What's weird is that his offensive philosophy sounds like Dave Clawson's, except for the tempo.

John Wagner asked him about the offense and its personnel and "shoving square pegs into round holes."

Coach said this (emphasis added):

"We have a ball game to finish up.  I'm sure we will have a long, lengthy conversation about my thoughts on the year and I'll get into that in details....what things we learned and mistakes that we made.  You're exactly right, as a coach you have to evaluate your talent and put your student-athletes in the best position to win."

Defense.  He says "we will play good defense.  Period."  He says you need a good defense to win a championship...then he paused and started to figure out how to factor in the '15 title...he ended up saying we had some special players on that defense...but the '13 title was built on a physical, strong defense.  "I know that's how you do it.  We will be young again, but we are playing faster."  He felt giving up 245 yards to a 4th string QB is too much.

And, he reiterated, that's the right way to play.

He was asked what the most improved part of the team is.  He was truly stumped before he came up with the D-line.  He said they have improved, have been pressuring the passer and creating havoc.  Then he said the unit was up to what he expected them to be when the season started.  (To me, this is the ultimate point.  That Kent win was what we are supposed to be this year.  The "improvement" theme is only improvement once you established the incredibly low performances that came before it.)

They are using their extra days before the Buffalo game to recruit.  They are "grinding" on hold onto the '17 class and fill it out.

He said PJ Fleck gives guys like him hope...started out 1-11 and now they are 10-0.

He refers to weekday MACTION as "genius."

Frack Preview: Green Bay

So, part 2 of the Frack preview will cover the Green Bay Phoenix.  Green Bay was a tournament team last year, popping into the NCAA tournament by winning the Horizon tournament.  On the year, they were 23-13 and 11-7.  They were a #14 seed that got smoked by Texas A&M but who are we to talk?  They have played 6 tourney games since 1991...winning one...and BG....well, you know.

They lost 2 starters from that team, and are picked to finish 3rd in the Horizon.  Those two starters were both all-league players, but the Phoenix will bring 6 seniors onto the floor at the Stroh.

Their coach is named Linc Darner.  Last year was his first season at GB...before that he was a national DII champion at Florida Southern.  He has moved the Phoenix to an up tempo team.

This year, they are 1-1.  They beat Northland, a non-D1 team, and then they lost @Pacific in the 24-hour ESPN basketball challenge in a game that tipped off at 1 AM Green Bay time.  They played like it, losing by 18 points to a team that was picked 9th in the West Coast Conference.

They definitely play fast.  Last year, they played at 76 possessions and the Pacific game was 77.  The typical game was 69 last year and is 72 so far this season.

The starting lineup for the Pacific game included Charles Cooper, their 6'4" G who is a pre-season All-Horizon pick.  He really struggled against Pacific, but again, that might have been an anomaly.  They started 3 guards, FR Trevor Anderson, last year's Mr. Basketball in WI and the 8th leading scorer in the history of the state.

The frontcourt is 6'7" F Turner Botz (Sr) and 6'8 F Kenneth Lowe Sr.  They are both from a place called Little Chute WI.

They are a depth-based team, though.  Nine players played 10 minutes at Pacific and one played 9.  No one played more than 32, and that was Anderson, who led the team with 14 points.  Khalil Small, the other starting guard, had 13.  Botz had 8 rebounds, but they gave up 24 offensive rebounds, which is 44%.

The key point here is that there is reason to think that Green Bay is pretty good, and it will be our second game in a row against a team playing upbeat basketball.  We will have a slightly better idea by the time we play on Sunday because we will have seen them play on Saturday.  They certainly played poorly at Pacific, but that could be a bunch of things.  Even the Saturday game is a pretty quick turnaround for them.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Frack Tournament Preview...UMKC

So BG will play at home for three straight days....UMKC, Green Bay and Murray State.

I'm going to preview the teams leading up to the tournament.  This is a good chance to see the new Falcons and they will get good tests this weekend that I think we will learn from.

The first opponent is the University of Missouri-Kansas City, easily the softest of the 3 teams we will face.  They are in the WAC...a once great conference that is now pretty weak.  Anyway, UMKC is picked by Blue Ribbon to finish 3rd in their conference, but 5th by their coaches and 6th by their media.  Kenpom has them ranked #27 out of 32 D1 conferences.

They were 12-19 and 4-10 last year, and lost 2 starters from that team.  They are 1-1 this year, with a loss @ Creighton , 89-82.  That's kind of deceiving if you look at it.  They were down 76-58 with about 13 minutes left and finished 24-11 over the last 10 minutes, but it wasn't a 7-point game the whole way.  And then they beat Drake, which South Dakota also did.

Their big calling card is their guard play.  They are led by 5'11 SR. Martez Harrison, who is a consensus all-WAC pick.  He's scoring 19 PPG on 52% shooting, 57% on 3FG and 8 steals.  Senior G LaVell Boyd is scoring 13 PPG on 41% and 50% shooting.  That's a formidable duo for BG to face...and senior guards on top of it.

Kyle Steward is their leading front court player, with 7 PPG and 6.5 RPG.  For a big man, he's a poor shooter, at 35%.

They play a pressure defense, which is a worry for BG, which has traditionally struggled against teams that play like that.  To date, they are forcing turnovers on nearly 27% of their defensive possessions, which is #19 in the country.  You can do almost anything else...they have defended the shot poorly, don't rebound well and foul a lot, which is typical of a pressure defense.

On offense, they like to bomb.  They get 40% of their points from 3FGs, which is compared to the D1 average of 29%.  They make 43.5% of their 3FGS, which is compared to the national average of 33%.

Beyond that...they don't take great care of the ball, they don't rebound especially well and they don't get to the line a lot, though they are very effective when they do.

They have 10 guys playing 10 minutes or more a game, but rely on Harrison, Boyd, Steward and Broderick Robinson (3rd G) for most of their minutes.

They also have three players named Broderick, the first time that has ever happened to BG...which I just made up.  Not the Broderick part.  But it is probably true.

So, this is an interesting matchup.  BG is playing a team without big inside play, but very good guard play, which I think presents a challenge.  Also, we have not excelled traditionally against pressure.  On paper, however, BG should win this game.  They need to take care of their own house, meaning not turning the ball over and then successfully placing it inside the rim so as to be awarded with points.

The Jinks Vision....

Coach Jinks, flush with the win over Kent, dropped a pretty interesting statement into his post-game presser.

He was asked if he was happy, because apparently he did not appear to be.  He said he was happy to win, but that the team "has a long way to go."  Which, I think we all agree with.  The job isn't done with two wins.

Then he said that his vision is that Bowling Green is competing every year to be in the G5 slot for a New Year's Day game.  Yes.  You read that right.

The contrast between that and what we saw this year is so large as to be completely stupefying.  It doesn't mean we won't get there.  It also doesn't mean that we know we have the guys who can get us there.  It doesn't even mean that some of the things we have done this year make sense if that was the goal.

It also doesn't mean we won't get there.  But, just to be clear, the only team to do that was Boise.  That's the air you're trying to breathe.  You're saying you're Chris Peterson.  Your vision is to match the top mid-major in the BCS/Playoff era.

For my money, honestly, I'd be happy if we were competitive every year.  I'd love to get where he is talking about, of course, but I (and I believe most fans) would be happy with NIU and Toledo's success.  I'd like to win titles and not have the boom and bust cycle.  And beat Toledo.

Also, if we were on track for any of that, I don't think a coach would stay long enough to see it through.

He also said that he does not relish the underdog role.  I love this part.  He said, I don't want to be the underdog, I want to be the one with the target on our back.

Anyway, it was certainly interesting.  We have seen the coaching staff get better, but they are far from being done, which Coach acknowledged.  It will be interesting to see if we can continue to grow in this respect...and whether at any point we decide that this guy or that guy just isn't going to make it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sweet Victory: And Kent Scored 7

So, there were two key parts of the easy win over Kent.  Scoring 42 was one part...and holding Kent to 7 was the other part.

BG has a lot of injury issues in the d-backfield.  Watson and Mack didn't play, Milton was injured during the game.  Robert Jackson was injured.  There were probably others.  Not in the backfield, Austin Valdez also did not play.  Anyway, BG was very short-handed on defense.  I understand in the pre-game Coach said that fans should "keep their fingers crossed"

And yet, they were able to put the full stop on the Kent offense.  Yes, they are using a RB at QB.  But Kent came into the game #4 in rushing offense in the MAC and Holly (that QB) has had over 100 yards almost every time he has started at QB. They scored 27 against Akron, 44 against Buffalo, 27 against CMU and 21 against EMU.  They are capable of scoring.

Except BG held them to their lowest total since they were shut out by Alabama.  Kent, the #4 rushing offense in the MAC ran the ball 22 times and had 9 rushing yards.  That's a good day.  I thought BG covered the run very well, starting on the line and then making sure tackles and getting hats to the ball.

Kent did have some success with the pass...not surprising given the BG backfield...Holley was 8 of 19 for 127 yards, which is a lot of yardage for that few completions.  They used George Bollas and he was 7 of 9 for 118.  BG had four sacks and lots of pressure on Holly, was helpful.  Coach said BG moved guys into the box and left the corners on islands and that we were able to execute.  In the end, I think we calculated that Kent could not pass the ball enough to beat us, and they couldn't.

You will remember that BG ran 90 plays.  Kent ran 50.  They had 10 first downs and were 3 of 12 on 3rd down.  BG's defense just had a very solid game.  It doesn't make us a great defense, it just means we had a good game and got a little better.

Coach also said that one of the purposes of the running offense is to kill clock and make life easier on the undermanned defense, which I think it has.  They were on the field less than 20 minutes.

Tyrik Jones had 1.5 sacks for BG, Trent Greene and Dorian Hendrix had 1 each and Nate Locke had .5.  Montre Gregory broke up 2 passes and Jeffries and Milton each had 1.  Overall, Greene led the team with 7 tackles.

One last thing...BG made those stops without getting one turnover.  The Flashes punted 9 times.

Anyway, the defense had its best game of the season and they deserve credit for sticking with it.  I think (as I have mentioned) they were put in the wrong schemes based on inexperienced coaching, but last night they played a very successful and physical game against the Kent run attack and contributed to the easy victory.

Sweet Victory #2: Ground Raid

Well, now, that's certainly an improvement, as BG routed Kent 42-7 at the Doyt for a second straight win in a year when it didn't look there would be two wins at all.  How it happened...well, that's both interesting and telling.

First, all the disclaimers.  Yes, BG beat a 3-8 team.  Yes, for the second straight week, they beat a team playing without a true QB (as incredible as that seems).  And yes, this is the soft part of the schedule.


Kent is 3-8, but they beat CMU (who beat OU last night), they only lost by 16 to WMU (while scoring 21 with their non-QB), and lost by 4 to Ohio and Miami---both teams that beat BG and the two teams who are in contention to win the East.  Only Alabama has held them to fewer points than BG did.

So I'm not trying to say it was the greatest win ever, but I wouldn't completely discount it, either.  Also, after the Miami loss I was feeling that BG might well lose out, so any win is a win over a team I didn't think we'd beat.  And BG continues to have defensive injury issues, including most of the defensive secondary at some point or another last night.

We'll take it.  And, to win easily and convincingly on both sides of the ball against an FBS opponent is a success, if only by the low bar we set earlier in the year.

What's also interesting is how it happened.

Remember Air Raid?   Now consider Ground Raid.

Mention was made of this based on BG's success running the ball against Akron last week.  Coach Jinks started to talk about that being his true nature as a football coach, and some of us began wondering how it took so long to make an adjustment.

Well, the adjustment was in full force at the Doyt.  BG ran 90 plays...and 64 of them were runs.  Yes, you read that right.  BG ended up with 420 rushing yards, their most since 1998.  BG had 3 100-yard rushers, which also hasn't happened since 1978.  (That was against UT, a 45-27 BG win.).

When asked the secret to getting more running yards, Coach Jinks said it boiled down to "calling more running plays."  He also said that instead of audibling into an RPO (Run-Pass Option, I assume), we were audibling from one running play to another.  BG was, in his words, "committed" to the running game.

And he said this....

“Sometimes it takes a while to evaluate your team and see what they’re all about — what their strengths are.  Unfortunately, it was a little late for us."

Yes.  Yes, it was.  And whether a more seasoned staff would have been more observant and less obtuse is something we will never well as whether close games against EMU and OU might have turned out differently if it the realization had come less late.  But it was late and that's on the coach, who said as much in his presser, while vowing they would get better...and he was referring to the coaches.

Anyway, for now, BG is 3-8 and looking to finish on a 3-game winning streak which will leave the off-season much less bitter than it was looking to be.

BG had 6.4 yards per rush, which is just really good.  Donovan Wilson was 30 for 146, Cleveland was 8 for 131 and Coppet was 19 for 105.  Cleveland had a big 85 yard TD run, but Wilson's long was only 17 and Coppet's was only 19.  Most of BG's rushing yards were made up of consistent and effective runs.

Credit here to the BG o-line, who Coach Jinks gave the MVP honors to.  BG's line really moved people around and Kent's d-line was supposed to be pretty good.  There were big holes and BG's backs were effective and the Falcons just run the ball right over Kent.  And if you'd have said you knew that was coming when the year began, you're a liar.

That's how BG got 35 first downs and had over 40 minutes time of possession.  Also, because of the run, BG was 11 of 17 on 3rd down.

BG's passing was only average...but kind of typical for a game like that.  BG was 12 of 24, partly because we were going over the top, which is a low-percentage, high-return play.  BG ended up over 14 yards per completion, which is actually good.  Morgan threw 2 picks and 2 TDs and was not sacked.  Ronnie Moore led the team with 4 receptions...for the whole game.

More later on the defense...for now....all hail ground raid.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Katernick De-Commits

So, this is not great news.  It isn't the position per se...BG had two highly ranked QBs in this class plus James Morgan probably solidifying his spot and the other QB has a brother on the staff at BG. Also, Elijah Cunningham is red-shirting.  Still, one of the things that had been an initial strength of the staff was their ability to get high-profile commits.  I noted at the time that those are a long way from being players.

Also, Duke is in a major conference and sometimes guys can be tough to hang onto.  Also a top-flight academic school.  He's from IL, FWIW, and his HS Coach played with one of our assistants, which is apparently how the whole thing got hooked up.

Best of luck to Chris.  He's got the right to make the decision he feels is right for him and we need guys who want to be here more than anywhere else.

Coyotes Spurt Past Falcons

The Falcons Men's team fell to 0-2 with a 78-72 loss at South Dakota.  I felt it was a winnable game going in and it probably was.  One factor that was different was that it was the first game for the Coyotes in their new that's a momentum advantage for them.  The crowd was just over 3,000 but it sounded like they were into the game.

BG was back to full strength with the exception of Jeffrey Turner, who is still injured.  It was a competitive game most of the way.  BG led by 2 inside of 2 minutes left in the first half.  South Dakota then went on an incredible 3-minute, 17-2 run that left them up 13 with 18 minutes left to play in the game.

BG battled hard from then on in, tying the game with 10 minutes left and taking the lead with just inside 8 minutes left.  BG led by as much as 5 and then led by 2 with 3 minutes left, 69-67.  Then, just as they did at the end of the first half, South Dakota went on a strong run, outscoring BG 11-3 coming home for the victory.  Simply put, BG could not get stops or baskets when needed in the stretch run.  And, in fact, South Dakota won the game on those two short half-ending spurts...BG was the better team for the rest of the game.  Alas, that is of no help.

BG ended up with .94 points per possession, which isn't great but it isn't awful.  South Dakota had 1.01, which is about the average for a D1 game.  (Coach Huger has mentioned defensive efficiency and tempo-free rebounding recently, so I think we have a convert).

The main issue for BG is the same as it usually is, which is an inability to project the basketball in a way that makes it go through the rim so as to count.  BG shot 36.1% overall, 37% on 2FG, 33% on 3FG and 40.3% for EFG%, all of which are well below what you need to win.  The 37% on 2FGs is amazing.  BG mitigated that by taking good care of the ball, having a slightly above average night on the offensive boards and making 14 out of 18 FTs.

Unfortunately, South Dakota shot 42% overall, 45% on 2FG and 35% on 3FG, for an EFG of 47%. They took as good care of the ball as BG did and lost most of the battles on the boards, to BG's credit.  Lastly, for the second straight game BG fouled a lot.  Yes, some were late as BG tried to catch up, but the Coyotes shot 33 FG and were plus 10 at the FT compared to BG.  (A refresher on the Four Factors can be found here.)

Individually, BG was led by Rasheed Worrell off the bench, with 14 points on 6 of 11 shooting and 5 rebounds in 18  minutes.  Wes Alcegaire had 12 points, but it was less efficient, at 4-10 shooting to go with 6 rebounds.  Ish Ali had 11 points on 3 of 10 shooting, also a long way to get 11.  Not to call guys out, but Wiggins and Denny both had tough nights shooting.  Rodrick Caldwell bounced back from his tough shooting night at Oakland, going 3 of 5.

Wiggins did add 12 rebounds and Ali had 6 assists over 2 TOs.  Denny had 7 rebounds.

Listened to the pre-game, and Coach said he is trying to balance out the minutes so no one plays more than 30.  This is similar to the way Akron plays.  He said he feels BG's depth is a strength...which is accurate.  BG doesn't have a lot of great players but they don't lose as much as some teams when they go the bench and you want to capitalize on that.

The next five for BG are at home, including three on consecutive days starting Saturday.  Previews on that are upcoming later in the week, but looking forward to seeing BG hang some W's up.

Past and Future Opponent Land

Ohio State (9-1)  Destroyed Maryland
North Dakota (9-2) Beat North Arizona.  Undefeated in conference, #10 FCS team entering game.
Middle TN (6-4) Lost 42-17 to Marshall
Memphis (6-4) The unbeatable Memphis Tigers lost to USF 49-42 at home.
EMU (6-4) Beat Ball State
OU  (7-3) Idle
Toledo (8-2) Beat NIU
Miami (5-6) Beat Buffalo
NIU (3-7) lost to UT
Kent (3-7) Lost to NIU
Buffalo (2-8) Lost to Miami


FBS:  13-21
P5:  4-10
FCS:  9-4

West:  9
East:  5

Sunday, November 13, 2016

25 Questions without a single Flash joke

Nick "Sky: Saban at Doyt
 What is their body of work?

Look, it is tough. Since 2001 they have had exactly two winning 2001, and the dream 2012 season.  Beyond that, it has been a huge amount of futility.

They are 3-7 this year.  They have beaten Monmouth, Buffalo and CMU.  Loses to Penn State, Alabama, North Carolina A&T, Akron, Miami, Ohio,  and WMU.  Obviously, the North Carolina A&T isn't anything worth bragging about, though they are the #9 ranked FCS team.  KSU only lost to Miami and OU by 4.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

They have 22...which is a young team.  They are especially young on offense.  They have 6 FR and SO starters on offense.

Who are their statistical leaders?

Shyne Hyne is #19 in field goals per game, and #1 in y's.
Najee Murray is #8 in passes defended.
The suspended Nate Holley is #1 in tackles.

What is their turnover ratio?

(Most of the stats below are conference only).  They are tied for MAC lead at +8, which is amazing for a team that is 2-4.


 How is their QB play?

Nick Holley was a RB when the year started.  (He went to Whitmer).  Kent was struggling at QB and they moved Holley to QB.  He had one big game against Akron, but has struggled by and large.  They haven't asked him to pass too much.  He's thrown 21 or fewer passes in four of the last five games.  His QB rating is 102, which is not very good.  He has 50% completions, 11.6 yards per completion and 3 TD over 3 INT.  He is their leading rusher, with 5 yards per rush.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

They are #9 in scoring offense and #12 in yards per play.

Can they run the ball?

They are #4 in rushing....both in yards per carry and yards per game.  For context, UT is right behind them.

Do they pass the ball?

They are last in pass efficiency.

How is their run/pass balance?

Understandably, they run on 66% of their plays.  This is a very high number in today's game.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

They are 8th at the MAC average at 39%.

Do they score in the red zone?

They are OK at 4.75 per trip.  In 20 red zone trips, they have 11 TDs and 6 FGs.

Do they protect the quarterback?

They give up sacks on 8.3% of their pass attempts, which is pretty high.

The Great Don James

Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

This is a defensively-focused program.  They are #4 in scoring and #3 in yards per play allowed.  They lead the MAC in forcing turnovers.

Do they defend the run effectively?

Yes.  They are #4 in the MAC allowing 4.1 yards per attempt, which is 1.6 per carry less than Akron.  BG will probably have to be a little more balanced to get it done in this game.

Can they be passed on?

They are #2 here as well.  They allow only 48% completions with 7 TDs and 6 INT.  However, they have allowed 14.3 yards per completions, which is really high.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

Pretty good, they are 4th in the MAC.

Do they defend in the red zone?

They are below average at 5.2 points per trip.  Have allowed 19 red zone trips, only 3 zeros.

Do they pressure the QB?

No,  they have 9 sacks which is 5% of attempts.

Special Teams:
Spent a long afternnoon watching BG not tackle this guy


Poor.  They are 10h in net punting.  They have been blocked twice, allowed one TD and give up 10 yards per return.

Punt Return?

No blocks and 7 yards per return, which is not great.


All games, he's 15-20 with a 43 long.  He's 9 of 12 inside 40 and 6 of 8 outside 40.  Two blocks.


Teams start on the 26, #11 in MAC.  No TDs.

Kickoff Return?

They start on the 27, all games.  No TDs.

This is Grog, the Kent Mascot until 1974.
Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

Coach Clawson used to say that this is a game to see who loves football.  On paper, neither team has anything to play for.  No one is going bowl game, just this game and one more.

So, who loves football more?  We will see.

This is a much different assignment than the Akron game, where BG was able to run right over them.  That will be more difficult against these defense.  However, Kent is one-dimensional offensively.

This is a winnable game for BG but far from an easy win.  Kent views us exactly like we view them.  You have a shot to finish 4-8, and while that's not what we wanted, it would be something to build on.  As mentioned, like it or not, the program is re-booting.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Men's Basketball Update--Oakland and South Dakota

So, we're one game into the season and about to be two.

BG opened Friday with Oakland.  Frankly, going in if I had thought BG was only going to lose by 8, I would have taken it.  If you told me that it would happen with Ish Ali and Antwon Lillard suspended and Justin Turner injured, I would have been very surprised.

And yet, that was what happened, with a 78-70 Oakland victory.

Not surprisingly, that Falcon team struggled to score.  They had .86 points per possession, which is rarely a winning amount.  The biggest problems was shooting....FGs and FTs.  BG shot an unbelievably bad 32% on 2-point FGs, a number only salvaged a little by hitting 9 of 20 from 3FG.  Overall, BG had an EFG of 43%, which is well below the average of around 50.  BG did take good care of the ball--without its PG--with a turnover on only 14% of its possessions--but had a very poor offensive rebound game at 21% and shot 53% from the line, which is also really bad.

On defense, Oakland had only .96 points per possession, so if BG struggled on offense they had an effective night on defense.  They shot just over 50% on EFG, which is about average.  They had a lot of turnovers--22%--but also didn't do much on the offensive boards at 18%.  Perhaps the biggest deciding factor was FTs....the Golden Grizzlies were 21 of 26 from the line, 81%.  They were +12 at the line.

Individually, BG was led by Wes Alcegaire, who had 19 points on 7 of 13 and 4 of 7 shooting, which is really good.  Denny had 15 but on 6 of 19 shooting, so that's a little less efficient.  Matt Fox also had 10 points.  Jeffrey Uju had 7 rebounds while Worrell had 6 as did Rodrick Caldwell.

Oh, and you're going to see some comments about Rodrick Caldwell's shooting, which was 1-16.  It was his first game and he was starting on the road at PG...he also had those rebounds, 6 assists and 1 turnover.  I think he will be fine.

The best thing was that Coach reported the team fought all the way through and kept battling, something that was not true last year.  If that's the case...and you add those other guys back have a shot to compete.

And Ali and Lillard will play Sunday at South Dakota.  Not sure about Turner.

So, about South Dakota.  This actually has the potential to be a very interesting game.  South Dakota is at home, but not a great team.  Blue Ribbon picked them to be 7th in the Summit...their media also picked them #7.

They were 14-18 last year but lost all of their starters and all of their guards to graduation.  Ten of their 15 players are either new to the program or newly eligible.

They are 1-0 this year, with a win @Drake to start the year out.  (Drake also has low expectations.)

They were led in that game by 6'6" Trey Burch-Manning, a JUCO Transfer who scored 24 points on 9 of 11 shooting and added 11 rebounds.  Matt Mooney--a 6'3" G transfer from Air Force--had 21 points on 8 of 16 shooting.  Tyler Flack--a 6'7" SR--had 12 points and 10 rebounds.  Carlton Hurst is a transfer from Colorado State and Trey Dickerson from Iowa, though they played lesser roles in the game against Drake.

Overall, the Coyotes shot the ball well.  They had 1.11 points per possession, made 54% from 2 FG and overall 52% on 3FG.  They were huge on the offensive boards, getting 43% of the available boards and took reasonable care of the ball with 18% turnovers.  They only made 58% of their free throws.

They weren't great on defense, allowing 1.04 points per possession, which is right around average.  They gave up 54% effective FG shooting, but kept Drake off the offensive boards (27%).  They did not force a lot of turnovers, at 19.7% and gave up 19 FTs, which is the a below average rate.

Anyway, with BG's full unit on the floor for the first time--and maybe some more fire this year over last year--this is a shot for an early road win.  It seems to line up as a pretty evenly matched game.  A key test will be on the boards.  South Dakota was very good on the boards and BG really needs to keep do that, and defend the shot, if they have a shot at winning.