Welcome to Falcon Fodder, coming to you live from Michigan Stadium as we get ready for BG's game against the Wolverines. I'll share thoughts, stats, and anything of interest from the Doyt (newest posts are at the top). Here we go ...
6:20 p.m. -- A few final stats as I finish up the story and notebook for tomorrow's paper ... BG finished with just 32 net yards rushing (Geter had 33 yards on 12 rushes, Hopgood had 25 on 9). BG had 251 yards passing (Pankratz completed 17-of-28 for 231 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT). Jorden had five catches for 64 yards; Pronty had 3 for 92. Dwayne Woods led the defense with 13 tackles, while Jovan Leacock finished with 12. ... Michigan finished with 466 yards rushing (Robinson had 129 on 5 carries before leaving with five minutes left in the first quarter). UM had 255 yards passing (Forcier was 12-for-12 for 110 yards and a TD, while Robinson completed 4-of-4 for 60 yards; Gardner was "only" 7-of-10 for 85 yards and a TD). Roundtree had 9 catches for 118 yards. Jordan Kovacs (Clay High School) led UM with eight tackles, while Jonas Mouton had 7. ... More tomorrow on Sunday Morning Quarterback. Have a good Saturday night!
3:04 p.m. -- Getting ready to head to the post-game interviews, but first here's a number for you to chew on: BG has allowed Michigan to compile 721 yards of total offense, including 466 yards rushing. Remember that Denard Robinson has not played since the six-minute mark of the first quarter. That's how you end up losing 65-21.
2:39 p.m. -- End of third quarter, UM leads 44-21. UM also is winning the statistical battle. BG has 235 yards of total offense, 16 yards rushing (Geter has 30 on 10 carries) and 219 yards passing (Pankratz is 15-of-24 for 219 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT). Top receivers are Pronty (3 catches for 92 yards) and Jorden (5 catches for 64 yards). UM has 538 yards of total offense, 286 yards rushing (Denard Robinson had 129 on five carries before 1Q injury) and 252 yards passing (Forcier is 12-for-12 for 110 yards and 1 TD). Top receiver is Roy Roundtree (9 for 118 yards).
2:19 p.m. -- With 7:21 left in the third quarter, Michigan has 501 yards of total offense (227 rushing, 224 passing) even though Robinson left the game with six minutes left in the first quarter. Michigan has scored on all but two of its drives in this game.
2:12 p.m. -- Note to self ... watch the participation stats for the Falcons, particularly on defense. There are a lot of young guys on the field for that unit, one reason Michigan already has 479 yards of total offense with 25 minutes still to go in this contest.
1:59 p.m. -- Watching the Michigan cheerleaders spell the name of their school wasn't pretty ... probably would be better for them if they went to a school with a simpler name, like "BG."
1:35 p.m. -- A few halftime stats ... BG has 164 yards of total offense, 16 yards rushing (Jordan Hopgood has 11 yards on four carries, Willie Geter has 8 net on six carries) and 148 yards passing (Aaron Pankratz is 9-of-15 for 148 yards and zero INTs). Top receiver is Tyrone Pronty with 3 for 92 yards; Kamar Jorden has 2 catches for 23 yards) ... Michigan has 428 yards of total offense, 241 yards rushing (Denard Robinson has 129 on 5 carries) and 187 yards passing (split between three QBs ... Gardner was 6-for-9 for 82 yards; Forcier was 6-for-6 for 45; Robinson was 4-for-4 for 60 yards). Top receiver for the Wolverines is Roy Roundtree with 6 for 79 yards.
A couple of thoughts about the first half ... defensively, BG's poor tackling has been a killer. It has caused several short-yardage plays to become touchdowns, and at worst allowed for several negative plays to become positives. Offensively the Falcons' inconsistency has been troubling. Several dropped passes, several plays that could have been bigger had they been clean. Anyone who tells you Pankratz and the quarterbacking has been the problem just hasn't been watching. He has been among the least of the Falcons' troubles.
1:28 p.m. -- Well, that 10-play, 68-yard drive certainly hurt BG's hopes of making the Wolverines sweat. Can the Falcons answer with 42 seconds left in the half to continue the Marshall foreshadowing?
1:21 p.m. -- Had to chuckle on the BG TD pass from Pankrats to Tyrone Pronty ... the BG O-Lineman who seemed close to tackling Pronty was Jordan Roussos, who just moved from defense to offense a few weeks ago. He was confused, right? But he let go, and Pronty did the rest. Another Marshall flashback? Stay tuned ...
1:16 p.m. ... The BG defense now is playing a game more similar to the first two weeks ... lots of yards at Troy and Tulsa (BG has allowed 359 yards against UM, including 217 on the ground), but a fumble and a fourth-down stop on the last two possessions give signs of hope. If the D can continue this trent, it's on the offense to pick up its share of the load.
1:08 p.m. -- Technical issues (hopefully) resolved ... did I miss anything? Oh yeah, terrific play by Jairus Campbell to force the fumble that set up the BG score. The offense is still a little shaky at times, but it got the job done and pushed to the EZ. Similar to the Marshall game where BG blew out to big lead, then watched Marshall come back. But the Falcons still have a LOT of work to do to continue that trend. And plays like that one, where a big TD pass drop is followed by a big TD pass play, are bad signs.
12:30 p.m. -- To explain the penalty: Michigan had two players wearing #9. It's a five-yard penalty that BG took as a chance to repunt. The next definitely was a positive for the Falcons (roughly a 30-yard change in field position), especially with the holding penalty.
12:21 p.m. -- It's not bad enough that the Falcons have started out behind 14-0. Michigan has 168 yards of total offense, including 108 yards rushing. In its first drive BG had just five yards of total offense (1 rushing, 4 passing). UPDATE AFTER TWO DRIVES: UM has 168 yards total offense (108 rush, 60 pass); BG has 7 yards total offense (-6 rushing, 13 passing).
12:12 p.m. -- Interesting decision on offense to keep a back in the backfield on pass protection. Willie Geter never really leaked out of the backfield, but the O-Line did a nice job of giving Pankratz time. No one seemed to be open, though; never really thought about the fact that it's incumbent on the WRs to get open as quickly as possible to limit the time it takes a pass play to develop. Something to watch ...
12:08 p.m. -- If you didn't see the BG defense against Troy, the Wolverine's first series highlight all the problems the Falcons had in Alabama. Shoddy tackling that allowed several short-yardage plays to become bigger plays, a big pass play, and not one third-down faced. The good news is that the tackling is a correctable error. But it needs to be corrected.
12:02 p.m. -- BG wins the first battle of the day ... Falcons win the toss and defer to the second half. Michigan will receive; BG will defend the north goal. Falcons will have the wind in the first quarter.
11:52 a.m. -- Slight overcast here at Michigan Stadium, strong wind blowing from the north end zone to the south. The flags the band is using are blowing straight out. It will affect the kickiing game, and perhaps the passing game as well. Temperature is a comfortable mid-60s, and it's funny to see so many people wearing coats, sweaters and blankets. C'mon people, it's not that cold! Of course, I'm sitting up here in a comfortable press box, so what can I say?
11:46 a.m. -- Press box food report: Excellent spread. Roast beef was outstanding, as was the chicken. Missed out on the cookies (even had blue cookies in a block "M"), but the Rice Krispie treats were excellent. And I'm partial to Cherry Coke, so that was good. But it wasn't very nice to call the chicken, "Fried Falcon." Oh well ...
11:44 a.m. -- Man, these noon kickoffs sneak up on you! I'll have a bunch of posts shortly ... press box food report, wind and weather, and then the game itself. Buckle up ...