Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Dylan Swingle Appears to Have Left BG's Program

 So, if you check out the BGSU MBB Roster, Dylan Swingle is no longer listed.  Without any official word, it would appear that he has left the program.  

He transferred from Duquesne, received a surprise waiver to play right away and played 50 games over 2 years, with 22 starts. He averaged 12 minutes or so his senior year and 4 points and 2.4 rebounds.

Best of everything to Dylan.

Monday, September 27, 2021

BG Sweeps MAC East Player of the Week Awards

 First, I listened to Loeffler's presser.  He says Terion Stewart is much better.  Other than that, it was almost entirely praise for Kent State, etc.  Total Coachtalk.

Beyond that, BG won all 3 MAC East Weekly Awards. If there was any idea of when the last time BG won all 3 awards in the same week, but we can safely say it has been a while, at least six years.  At least.

Good for them.

The three honorees:

  • Matt McDonald, who scored twice and converted a 4th and 1 with an 18-yard run.
  • Brock Horne,  nine tackles, 1.0 sack and one forced fumble...huge week.
  • Matt Naranjo, with two inside the 20 and a 77-stadium record punt.
Congrats to these young men in BG's win for the ages on Saturday.  Nice job, boys.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Past and Future Opponent Land

Tennessee (2-2):  Lost to Florida

South Alabama (3-0) Idle

Murray State: (1-2):  Idle

Kent State (1-3): Lost 37-16 to Maryland

Akron (1-3):  Led Ohio State, lost big

Northern Illinois (2-2):  Beat Maine

Eastern Michigan (3-1)  Beat Texas State 59-21

Buffalo (2-2): Beat ODU 35-34

Toledo (2-2):  Beat Ball State

Miami (1-3): Lost to Army

Ohio (0-4):  Lost to Northwestern

MAC vs. P5:  3-17 

MAC vs G5:  6-9

MAC vs. FSC:  10-1

East vs. West:  Null set

No, it wasn't a dream

The sun comes up....and BG still beat Minnesota yesterday.

Still unbelievable.  Still so proud of our guys.  Thanks so much for the heartache and hard work.  

Here's what is amazing about the result.  As surprised as we all are, I think we can agree that the most surprising element of all is that the win was led by the defense.

Let's review.  

2016:  118th in the nation (out of 128) 38 PPG
2017:  122nd in the nation (out of 129) 38 PPG
2018:  124th in the nation (out of  129), 40 PPG
2019:  126th in the nation (out of 130) 38 PPG
2020:  126th in the nation (out of 127)...45 PPG

Then, after 2020, BG loses three of its top players on the defensive side of the ball and the defensive coordinator.

I will admit, I didn't have much optimism for this unit this year.  And they have been fantastic.

I think a lot of the credit goes to Eric Lewis, the new DC.  This defense just seems to be where they need to be and they are tackling better than any defense we have had since the days of Mike Elko.  

Fleck said we ran a system that they don't see much.  

He said:  "they would move, twist, stunt and blitz to be able to create some type of fury. That is what they did. They created confusion for some of our guys and we have to give them credit."

That's game prep for our new DC.  (And a non-elite performance from Fleck's staff).

Also, BG did help themselves in the portal.  Davon Ferguson had 2 sacks in this one and Devin Taylor had the second to last INT to help close the victory out.  Bryce Brand made 7 tackles.  

One of the fanbase's biggest gripes was lack of portal usage by Loeffler, and hopefully, this will open the door to a middle ground.  We don't want to dominate the team with transfers, but filling gaps is OK.  Clawson did it with success.

Just as importantly, though, homegrown Falcons made big plays.

You have Billie Roberts making maybe the game's key play on Fleck's 4th and 1 gamble inside his own well as breaking up a pass inside 4 minutes to play on a 3rd and 8 on the drive after the BG fumble, forcing a MN punt.  (The last pass the Gophers threw that wasn't INT).

You have Jordan Anderson with the game-clinching pick--a great play.  

You have Brock Horne with 9 tackles, a sack and a key forced fumble.

Darren Anders, 7 tackles.

Karl Brooks, sack.

And, of course, an overall great team effort.

Minnesota scored 30 points against Colorado, a P5 team.

They scored 10 against us.  They made 12 first downs.  

Their lead back had 141 on 27, but that includes a 54-yard run.  Take that out and he had 87 yards on 26 carries.  And he didn't make that 4th down conversion.

They attempted only 13 passes and completed only 5.  And four sacks and 2 picks.  Literally, they had more negative passing plays than positive passing plays.

They averaged 4.2 yards per play.  They had 6.3 against the Buffaloes.

It is truly something to be proud of for our defense.  The offense really struggled again, but the defense put them in position with the 4th down stop.  The offense strung together an 8 play drive--including a 4th down CONVERSION inside our own territory (row that boat) and a big connection to Taron Keith and then the defense closed the door at the end.

In fact, MN was completely imploding at the end.  BG had a drive from 13 minutes to 7 minutes that was extended twice by MN penalties, including after a missed FG.  Their last four plays were blocked pass, heart-stopping muffed punt, and then 2 INT.  Meanwhile, our guys were making plays.

It is one for the ages.  All Big Ten wins are...truly all of them....but this was special because of the struggles that the program has had and the patience required as we rebuild.  At last, we have some evidence--something beyond blind faith--that we are getting there.  In my preview, I thought we might win 0 and would be likely to win 2.  We are at 2 now...enjoy the ride.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Sweet Sweet Sweet Sweet Sweet Sweet Victory

Oh, man.  That's one for the ages.

31 point underdog.  No FBS wins since that Akron game in 2019.  Coming off our worst season in 85 years.  On the road, homecoming, Big 10 opponent.

And the Falcons get the win.  So improbable.  So unlikely.  And yet it happened.  Say what you like about Scot Loeffler, but he now owns two of the 20 biggest point spread upsets in college football history.

According to ESPN, it was the second-biggest point spread win in FBS on FBS action in the last 10 years and the other one (Texas State over Houston) was Texas State's first FBS game.

So happy for our players, who have suffered through a lot of rough days in the past few years.  They were outscored 225-57 last year, for heaven's sake.  And, frankly, it wasn't looking like there were going to be too many good moments this year, either.

Those who stuck it out got rewarded with the thrill of a lifetime today.  Those who didn't....didn't.  Hopefully not the last one, but this is a day they will always remember.  So happy for them to get that victory.

And how about Sam Nemerov leading Ay-Ziggy-Zoomba?

Does that get your heart racing?  Sure did for me.

As a fan...this is why we love sports.

Say what you like about Minnesota...but every MAC win over a Big 10 is meaningful.  And that is #9 for the Falcons.  (I originally said 8 but I forgot Maryland).

It's highly satisfying.  Get paid $1.5M to come in and win on the Gopher homecoming.  It cannot be a good feeling up in Minneapolis.  In fact, I peeked in on Twitter and it isn't.  

Fleck's dinner restaurant

The Star-Tribune isn't much better.

How's this headline work?

Saturday shocker: Lowly Bowling Green beats Gophers 14-10 in historic upset

Lowly?  What's lower than low?

Or this one:

Worst Gophers upset ever? Among the worst in recent decades, at least

From their columnist Chip Scroggins of the most inexcusable losses in program history

This latest embarrassment belongs entirely to Fleck. All of it. The stain of a 14-10 loss to Bowling Green can't be scrubbed away with catchphrases.

They [BG] were the better team in every facet. Coaching. Offense. Defense. Special teams.

Pretty good, though Scroggins took an unnecessary shot at hot dish.

More to come as we savor this moment.  For tonight, and every minute of the 24 hour rule....laissez les bon temps rouler.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Gopher Preview

So, the next game up is going to be probably BG's best opponent of the season, the Minnesota Golden Gophers.  It will also be a reunion with our old friend PJ Fleck, who is rowing the boat in Minneapolis.

Fleck is having some success.  In 2019 his team was 11-2 and ended up in the top 10 at the end of the year.  It was the most wins at Minnesota since 1904 and only their 2nd 10+ win season in modern football.  They won the Outback Bowl.  They started out last year ranked #19, but ended up with a 3-4 season.  

It is hard to believe but Fleck has been there for 5 seasons.

BG is 1-2 against the Gophers.  In 2007 BG won at Minnesota (think Sheehan to Barnes in the corner of the end zone for the OT win), but BG lost both in 1986 and in 2008 in BG, a memorable game for BG having a Big 10 team in the house.

Phil Steele has them #4 in the Big Ten West.  They return 10 starters on both sides of the ball. 

They are 2-1 on the season.  They opened playing OSU very tough before losing by two touchdowns.  They also beat Colorado 30-0....the Buffs are picked to be #5 in the PAC-12 South.

But the game we are most interested in is the middle game, against Miami.  The Redhawks were MAC Champions in 2019 and trailed against the Gophers by only 1 point with 12 minutes left in the game.  Minnesota ended up winning 31-26.

That's a close call.  Despite having a highly ranked offense, MN had only 4.6 yards per play against Miami and was actually outgained for the contest.  Miami had 2 turnovers and the Gophers none...or that game could have gone the other way.

So, I don't think BG is as good as Miami, but Minnesota did not blow them off the field.

They are a run-oriented team.  Phil Steele has them with the #3 OL in the Big 10 and they have run the ball on 71% of their offensive plays.  Their star back was going to be Mohammed Ibrhaim, but he suffered a season-ending injury in the opener.  Trey Potts has been getting the carries since then and is averaging 4.8 yards per carry, which is OK but nothing great.  He averaged 5.2 yards per carry against Miami.

They also have a top-flight QB, Tanner Morgan.  Morgan had committed to WMU and then went to Minnesota with Fleck.  Steele has him the #3 QB in the Big 10.  He is not off to a good start.  He is the #11 QB in the Big 10, based on QBR.  He had 55% completions, 3 TD, 0 INT...and 14.5 per completion which is good.  Could indicate a lower percentage, long pass game plan.  He's been sacked 4 times on 63 attempts, which is 6% and not great.  He had 112 passing yards against Miami.

Their top WR is Texas A&M transfer Dylan Wright, who has 9 catches for over 18 yards per reception.  They have another top WR, Chris Autman-Bell who was injured during camp and was back for the CU game.

On defense, they gave up points to OSU and Miami but shut out Colorado, which helps the overall numbers look good.  Their defense was not predicted to be good--Steele ranked each unit in the bottom four of the Big 10.  Miami ran for only 3.8 against them.  Clearly, this will present a challenge for the Falcons.

Their pass defense is pretty solid.  They are holding teams to 53% completions and held Miami under 50%.  They have 2 picks on the year and have allowed 6 TDs.

For special teams, their kicker is 3-5 with one miss under 30.  They are 11th in the Big 10 in net punting and #9 in kickoffs.

Minnesota is a 31 point favorite.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Men's Basketball Verbal

 The Falcons have a verbal commit for men's basketball '22.  

His name is Willie Lightfoot.  He is a 6'0" G who is from Niagara Falls, NY.  He is highly recruited.  Rivals has him ranked as the #38 PG in the country and the Nagara Gazette reports offers from  Oregon, Alabama, Minnesota, Marquette, Buffalo, Niagara, Canisius, Youngstown State and Stony Brook.

He was a metro player of the year in Niagara as a FR.  He then played at the Sunrise Christian Academy, a top prep school program in Kansas.  Next year he will finish HS at the Good Better Best Academy in Durham, NC.

Lightfoot's Coach told the Buffalo News that defense is probably Lightfoot's strength, which  made BG a good fit.  He also said that Lightfoot like the idea of being coached by a PG.

Welcome to the Falcons, Willie.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Past and Future Opponent Land

 Tennessee (2-1):  Beat Tennessee Tech 56-0

South Alabama (3-0) Beat FCS Alcorn State by 7

Minnesota (2-1):  Won 30-0 at Colorado

Kent State (1-2): Lost 30-7 to Iowa

Akron (1-2):  Defeat Bryant

Northern Illinois (1-2):  Michigan opens a can

Eastern Michigan (2-1)  Beat UMass

Buffalo (1-2): Very nearly upset #16 Coastal Carolina.

Toledo (1-2):  Terrible loss at home to Colorado State

Miami (1-2): Beat Long Island

Ohio (0-3):  Slide continues, loses to Lousiana

MAC vs. P5:  2-14 (WMU beat Pitt)

MAC vs G5:  2-8

MAC vs. FSC:  9-1

East vs. West:  Null set

Sweet Victory!


And there it is.  After 686 days, the Falcons are on the winning side.

Yes, you are supposed to win your FCS game.  Yes, Murray State hasn't won an FCS game in 27 years.  Yet, they were favored by 2.5 points in this game, on the road.

In a nowhere-to-go-but-up season, this was up.

To be honest, I was traveling and following the game on the game cast.  There's an un-bylined story in The Blade that recaps the effort pretty effectively.

Some things I like....

BG winning the second half 17-0.  That's a shutout for the defense and enough from the offense to put the game away.  BG had the ball for 21 minutes in the 2nd half.  That's the game plan.

Taking away victory formations and sacks, BG had 146 yards on 37 carries, almost four yards per carry.  Of the backs, only Mosely averaged over 5 yards per carry.  The total was augmented by two 16-yard runs by the WRs.  Coach said after the game that more work is still needed here, but that it was a step in the right direction,   And it was, but more will be needed elsewhere on the schedule.

The defense did an excellent job against the Racers.  The RBs averaged about 3 yards per carry and the passing game was under 50% completions, 132 yards, 3 sacks and 2 INT,  including a key one to set the tone for the game. I think we are clearly benefitting from our new DC and the transfers who came in.  Taylor made a key play and both he and Ferguson had 5 tackles, multiple break ups, etc.

Matt McDonald had another productive game.  He is #5 in the MAC in passing efficiency.  He did throw a pick, finally.  He is clicking well with Osborne, his HS teammate.

BG did make a switch on the o-line, starting Alex Wollschlager in Jordan Murphy's spot.

Villapiano was in the house.  Seems to work out.

Mostly, I am happy for our players.  These guys that are here have stuck it out through some tough times (that are not over) and they deserved to celebrate.  A lot of sweat and work goes into it and I am glad they got to leave the stadium as a winner.

Love the attendance figure, too.  Glad to see the fans rewarded with a win.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Preview: Murray State

Next on the schedule is Murray State, BG's FCS opponent in 2021.

This, however, is not your normal FCS game.

Last year, they went 5-2 for only their third winning season since 2005.  They were ranked in the Top-25 of the FCS polls last season, finished 17/18.  They have not beaten an FCS team since 1994 and they are 1-29-1 all-time against the FBS.  They lost to BG in the only meeting between the two teams.

They return all 22 starters from that team and are picked to win the OVC.  They are not ranked right now in FCS.

This year, they beat MississippiValley State, an FCS team from the SWAC.  

Then, they played #8 (FBS) Cincinnati to a 7-7 tie in the first half before losing 42-7.

Their coach is Dean Hood.  They were 4-8 before he arrived and he upgraded them to 5-2 (as noted above).  Before that, he was on the staff at Kentucky for 3 years and at Charlotte for one year before that.  For 8 years before that he was at Eastern Kentucky, where he won 2 OVC titles and earned 3 FCS tournament bids.  He was OVC Coach of the Year once.  He did coach at OU for a couple years.

Dean Hood....appearing here as sales manager
Of the local Chevy dealership

They placed 13 players on the All-OVC team last year.

The pre-season OVC team includes the following Racers:

QB Preston Rice

WR LaMatrez Brooks

WR Jacob Bell

OL Levi Nesler, Jacob Vance

DE Ethan Edmondson

LB Scotty Humpich

LB Eric Samuta

CB Marcis Floyd

PR Malik Honeycutt


Offensively, they were very effective.  They were #13 in scoring offense in FCS last and #2 in total offense (yards).  They were first in passing yards and #5 in pass efficiency.  Obviously, everyone is back from that team including the top 2 WRs.  However, they did not run the ball, finished #85 in the country.

Defensively, their specialty last year was interceptions.  They had 11 picks in 7 games, #5 in the nation and #1 in the conference.  They were also listed as the #5 defense in the country in pass defense efficiency.  They did not have a great rushing defense.  Which doesn't make a great matchup for the Falcons, who'd prefer it to be the other way around.  

On special teams, their kicker has missed both of his FG attempts and the punter is kind of below average.

This is one of BG's better chances to win a game but this is not a gimmee.  Let's hope they put it together.

Class of '11

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Neverov Ends Wild Ride

And that's the story on Sam Neverov who is medically retiring from football.  Nothing but the best to Sam and thanks for the years of effort and service.  Best wishes for a long and healthy life.  You are a Falcon forever. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Loeffler Presser

 So Coach Loeffler did his presser yesterday.  Not a ton of new stuff, but here goes....

The biggest thing that was interesting was the talk about the trick play.  Coach says that BG was "90%" going to get the right defense to run that against and that they came out in a "two-fire" which I have no idea what it is, I assume it's a two-high fire blitz, which is a zone blitz.  He says that the last time this coach called that defense was when he was at Indiana.  Anyway, Loeffler I think hit on the key point which was that was an impossible position to put a true FR in.

Also, I know there was some debate on Twitter about who is calling plays.  Loeffler said he should have "killed" the play.  From that, I am guessing that the playcaller is making the call upstairs and Loeffler can kill it or send it on.

The other thing was the offensive line.  Coach says there are not a ton of missed assignments.  The issues on the line are youth and size and strength.  That's actually not great news.  You can fix missed assignments, but you can't fix strength overnight.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Past and Future Opponent Land

Tennessee (1-1):  Lost to Pitt

Murray State (1-1):  Lost 41-7 to UC, tied 7-7 at half.

Minnesota (1-1):  Avoid upset to Miami, 31-26

Kent State (1-1):  Smoked VMI

Akron (0-2):  Lost 45-24 to Temple

Northern Illinois (1-1):  Lost 50-43 to Wyoming in wild affair

Eastern Michigan (1-1)  Lost to Wisconsin

Buffalo (1-1):  Lost to Nebraska

Toledo (1-1):  Lost heartbreaker at Notre Dame.  Unbelievable.

Miami (0-2): Nearly upset Minnesota, but lost

Ohio (0-2):  Lost to FCS Duqusne.

MAC vs. P5:  1-11

MAC vs G5:  0-4

MAC vs. FSC:  7-1

East vs. West:  Null set

Sadness Accrues

And there was much sadness in the nation.  It has been 680 days since Bowling Green has won a football game and yesterday's game could have been it.

But it was not to be.  BG is better than last year, but is still not a very good football team.  BG was ahead 19-12 with 8 minutes to play.  You know, in chess they talk about games where a team has more pieces but is in a worse position.  That's kind of what this was. As Coach said, because of things that happened earlier, yes, BG had a 6 point lead but also a very tired defense that had been on the field too much and the Jaguars were able to finally move the ball and tie the game and then BG fumbled at the worst possible time in the last minute and USA had the winning field goal in its grasp.

The game plan all along was for an improved offense to keep the defense off the field.  The defense is improved--appears to be as good as it has been for years, maybe since 2015--but the offense is just completely ineffective and they are not keeping the defense off the field.

As Coach says, it starts with being able to run the ball.  We just can't be one-dimensional.  Even in the Babers passing offense, Greene was racking up numbers.  This might be the pass-happy NCAA, but winning teams can also run the ball.

Which BG cannot.  The backs are good.  The problem is up front.  It was one thing to be dominated by Tennessee.  The USA dline--which is good--is more like we will see every week.  And it was rough.  I don't blame the players out there.  There are youth issues and strength issues.  We have one guy who moved from defense and god bless him for being a team guy and giving what he's got, but he's completely over-matched.

Overall, BG was 19 rushes for 9 yards.  If you take the 3 sacks out, BG was 16 for 38....2.4 yards per carry.  The long run was 9 yards by Matt McDonald.  It's just not good at all.

BG averaged 6.1 yards per play. which is pretty good.  But 175 yards of their total offense came on four plays.  BG had 10 first downs and ran only 52 plays.  Meanwhile, USA ran 83.  More on that in a minute.

Loeffler did not halp.  As he conceded, he made two playcalling mistakes.  

The first was mid-second quarter when BG was on the USA 25 for a 3rd and 8.  BG is up 8-3.  We tried to pass, McDonald was sacked for a 15 yard loss and any chance for a FG was lost.  Coach acknowledges he should have just run the ball and settled for the FG.  A couple things, it was into the wind, so the FG was not automatic and McDonald was way out of the pocket and has to get rid of that ball.  But, that was a rare time for a struggling offense to be in scoring position and we ended up with nothing.

The second was very late 3rd Q with BG up 19-12.  The Falcons hit Taron Keith for a 44-yard reception down to the USA 31.  This is a key opportunity to build a two-score lead, which would have changed USA's playcalling in the 4th Quarter.  Continuing the drive would have also killed time.

Inexplicably, BG called a double pass, lateraling to Jadeyn McKinstry who looked to pass back across the field.  The USA safety was 100% not fooled and the pass never had a chance and was easily intercepted.  Loeffler concedes this was an error and it was a big one.

I'd add a third.  Early on, up 2-0, BG was on the USA 29 for a 4th and 1 and rather than QB sneak it, we tried to run out of a 22 personnel group and got stuffed.  Just seems like given the line issues you'd want to minimize the time for the dline to beat their man.

That's 3 times in USA territory where BG got in its own way and you can pile those on top of the other execution issues and an inability to control the line of scrimmage and you have an offensive performance that was not good enough to win.  Remember, that 8 of BG's 19 points came on defense and special teams.

Lastly, when the offense had the ball in the last minute and just needed a first down to get to OT, Christian Sims was extending the ball for the first down and fumbled and USA had the ball very near FG range which led to the winning FG.  (Note, Sims was our leading receiver and had a very solid game otherwise).

The defense played well enough to win. After three quarters, USA had 26 rushes for 51 yards.  The preview showed us that they are not a good running team and BG was getting it done.  We just do not have the depth and strength to play 83 plays effectively.  

USA ran the ball 11 times for 63 yards in the 4th quarter and completed 9-11 passes to put the game away. That included a 15-play, 87 yard drive over 7 minutes.

BG also had way too many penalties.  BG had 10 penalties for 99 yards and USA had 2 for 25.

This is just not a very good team.  There are signs of promise.  Coach says we need to figure out how to run the ball.  Not sure how that's going to be done with the issues up front.

Friday, September 10, 2021

South Alabama Preview

Program History:

The Jaguars have only had a football program since 2009 and have been in the FBS since 2012.  They have had zero winning seasons.  Their most recent coach, Steve Campbell, was 9-26 in his three seasons, before being relieved.

Their new coach is Kane Wommack, who was DC at Indiana.  It will be his 2nd game at the helm.  

There have been horrors in Mobile

They are picked to be 4th in the Sun Belt West by Phil Steele.  

And they are 14 point favorites on the road.

This is the team BG beat in the Camilla Bowl in 2014 (Babers 1), with the late bomb from James Knapke to Roger Lewis.

They beat Southern Miss to open the season, which they also did last year as well.  They fell behind 7-0 and scored the next 31 points to win the game.  It was a pretty convincing win..  USA was a 2-point favorite.


They clearly had a big game on offense to open up.  They are highlighted by Jalen Tolbert, who Loeffler thinks is a first round draft pick.  He was all-Sun Belt last year and was pre-season All-Sun Belt from a number of publications.  USM held him to 5 catches and no scores.  Their local media says he is probably the best player in program history, which isn't that long, but still.

They are also well quarterbacked.  Jake Bently is a Utah transfer who was a highly recruited HS player.  He had a very efficient in the opener, going 17 of 22 for 269 yards, 2 TD/0 INT.  Actually those aren't incredible numbers for a team that won 31-7.  Truth be told, USM turned the ball over 4 times.  One of USA's TDs was a pick 6 and another game after USM fumbled inside their own 25.  So maybe a misleading offensive performance.

They didn't run the ball effectively at all.  Steele had their RBs ranked 9th in the SBC.  It wasn't for lack of trying.  The backs ran the ball 28 times for 38 yards.

Their line returns 69 starts, which is 78th in FBS.  In addition to the poor running they gave up 3 sacks on 25 pass attempts in the opener.  Phil Steele ranked them last in the SBC.

Miss Pawla and SouthPaw


They shut USM down pretty effectively.  USM had only 133 yards passing, plus 2 INT and 4 sacks...if you pull the sacks out USM did move the ball on the ground.  They had only 3.5 yards per play.

Phil Steele ranked their Dline #3 in the SBC, with LB #8 and DBs #6.  The Head Coach is a DC and played the "Swarm" defense when he was at USA previously.

Their top DB is Devin Rockette.  He had a head injury in the 2ndQ of the opener, but is back at practice this week.

Special teams

They were OK last year.  Their K was 13 of 17 last season with a long of 54 and 8-8 inside 40.  They were #6 in the Sun Belt in net punting last year.  Their return game was supposed to be improved but they had 0 opportunities in the opener.  They did a solid job defending returns from USM.
Eddie "The Brat" Stanky, won 71% of games as Jags coach

Overall Outlook

On the plus side, they don't run the ball especially well, which is good for BG.  They aren't as good as those 31 points would seem to indicate.  BG has a shot at keeping USA from a bunch of points.

On the negative side, they have a good defensive line, which has to be licking its chops to face the very young Falcon offensive line.

A path to BG winning is to keep the offense on the field and hopefully establish a running game, though that might be unlikely.  BG will also need to take care of the ball. 

On defense, if they can avoid the big plays and keep Tolbert in front of them, they have a shot to stay in the game and who knows from there?

The Waterman Globe, Mobile AL

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Loeffler Presser/Depth Chart

Coach had a Labor Day edition of his presser and he managed to find some sports reporters who were not at the Solheim Event (which was just great).  Not too much came in the way of news....mostly questions in advance of the Levi Gazarek and Austin Osborne features undoubtedly coming this week.

A few things.

Coach is absolutely gushing about true FR Jamal Johnson of Frankfort IL. 

He said that Jadeyn McKinstry advanced a slant pass, the first time that has happened in his (Loeffler's) tenure at BG.  (We are in a nowhere-to-go-but-up mode.  That's up).

The most important thing involves Sam Neverov.  After representing BG at media day and being the only upperclassmen on the BG line, Neverov was DNP in Knoxville and is not on the depth chart for the USA game.  Coach said that they would get more information THAT afternoon (as in yesterday) as to whether Sam would be able to "help" the team.

He thinks the D-line and d-backfield have a chance to be competitive in '22.

Also, he thinks if BG can figure out how to run the ball and keep the QB safe, we have a shot for a decent offense.  There was no shot to run the ball in Knoxville.

We will await further information, but I think you'd have to agree it sounds fairly serious.

Depth Chart is out.  Sims, Simms and Broden are all back, giving BG a boost heading into the game Saturday.

BG is a 14 point underdog.  I honestly think we cover this one, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Monday, September 06, 2021

Anders MAC East Defensive POW

Congratulations to Darren Anders for being MAC East Defensive Player of the Week.   

He's a warrior for BG in some of our toughest times.  He is well deserving of this recognition.

Anders led Bowling Green with 14 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 FF, 1 FR. Anders was the only player in the nation the first week of the season to notch at least 10+ tackles (14), force a fumble (1), recover a fumble (1) and record at least one sack (1) when he did so at Tennessee. He had the third-highest tackle total in the nation over the weekend.

In case you are curious (because I was). the last BG player to be POW on a non-special teams area was Grant Loy is 2019, under circumstances that no one will ever forget.

The last defensive POW was Brandon Harris who won at the end of 2013 against Ball State as a freshman.

Sunday, September 05, 2021

Past and Future Opponent Land

South Alabama (1-0):  Beat Southern Miss 31-7

Murray State (1-0):  Beat Mississippi Valley State 35-0

Minnesota (0-1):  Ran out of oars, lost to OSU

Kent State (0-1):  Lost 41-10 at Texas A&M

Akron (0-1):  Lost 60-10 to Auburn

Northern Illinois (1-0):  Pulled upset of the day, beat Georgia Tech in Atlanta

Eastern Michigan (1-0)  Beat St Francis PA 35-10

Buffalo (1-0):  Destroyed Wagner

Toledo (1-0):  Destroyed Norfolk State (1-0)

Miami (0-1): Lost to UC, 49-14

Ohio (0-1):  Lost 29-9 to Syracuse

MAC vs. P5:  1-6

MAC vs G5:  0-1

MAC vs. FSC:  4-0

East vs. West:  Null set

Friday, September 03, 2021

Game Report: BG loses opener

Well, we can start with the whole "no moral victory" thing and even if there were moral victories I am not sure that would be one...but it was, for me, an encouraging performance.

This thing was set up to be ugly.  The Vols are a fast-moving offensive team with a high-level offensive coach.  BG's very young defense gave up 45 a game last year in all-MAC play, lost solid guys from that team...the last time this team walked off the field they had lost 31-3 to Akron.

BG started out thin and then played without Neverov, Broden, Sims, Simms and Hawkins, some of the few players they have who have game experience.

From that perspective, a 38-6 loss seemed to me that we showed some progress.  Yes, it is a very low bar.  We are in the nowhere-to-go-but-up mode and this was up.

The Vols scored twice in the first 8 minutes.  But BG did not fold up.  (I'm looking at you, year one of the Jinks era).  BG was only down 14-6 at the half.  The second quarter was the kind of football we need to play...we kept our offense on the field and the defense on the bench.  We didn't make enough plays to get touchdowns but we made enough to stay on the field and get points.

Matt McDonald played much better.  Coach said he missed one big play but that overall he was "10 times" better than last year.  Also a low bar, but up is up.  

BG found production in Levi Gazerak, Cavon Croom, Jadeyn McKinstry and Austin Osborne, among others.  If you add Broden and Sims back into the mix, there could be a decent set of WRs and TEs.

The O-line play was better than I had feared it would be.  Even without Neverov, the line won a share of the battles.  Not all and not most, but a share.  Obviously, we had zero ability to run the ball, which is not surprising and hopefully improves.  McDonald was sacked twice and hurried three times in 40 attempts, which felt fairly solid.

Also, BG did not turn the ball over.

The defense also had its moments.  There were 3 sacks of Milton, a couple of them coverage sacks.  BG did force a turnover.  TN came out in the second half and did what P5 teams usually do against us when the game is close at halftime...they ran the ball.  In the third quarter, TN ran 26 plays and 21 were runs.  They completed no passes.  

Special teams.  How about Nate Needham, huh?  50 yard bomb?  Are you kidding me?  I don't know how many 50+ FGs we have in our program's history, but it can't be that many.

There's a long way to go and lots to "clean up" (in Coach's words).  Progress needs to continue and be sustained.  Week after week.  A winning team has to be able to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.  So we'll see how things go next Saturday.  But for today, this wasn't a train wreck.  It was something to build on.