BiG TWITTER POST: Falcons struggle on offense, finish w/ just 266 yards of TO, and wear down defensively to suffer 37-0 loss at Virginia Tech Saturday
BiG OVERVIEW: The Falcons played Virginia Tech evenly in the first quarter, creating the only scoring opportunity of the period by driving to the Hokies’ 25 before Stephen Stein missed a 43-yard field goal. Virginia Tech began a TD drive late in the first quarter and scored on a 10-yard pass from Logan Thomas to J.C. Coleman with 9:25 left in the second period. After a BG punt the Hokies scored again on a 46-yard pass from Thomas to Dyrell Roberts. The Falcons punted again and Virginia Tech drove 62 yards on nine plays, with Thomas scoring from a yard out. On their first drive of the third quarter the Hokies covered 61 yards on seven plays, with Michael Holmes scoring on a two-yard run before VT missed the extra point. In the final period Virginia Tech added a 35-yard field goal by Cody Journell and a touchdown run of four yards by Martin Scales.
BiG PLAY: It’s not very realistic to say one play made the difference in a 37-point loss … and to make matters worse, I’m going to pick two plays, not one. The first came early in the second quarter, with the Virginia Tech offense facing a third-and-10 from its own 30. Remember, to that point the Hokies had generated just 48 yards and two first downs on 16 plays. But Logan Thomas completed a pass to Tony Gregory for 11 yards and a first down, then covered 59 more yards on nine plays to score the first TD of the game. If the Falcons get a stop there … well, who knows? The second play came after another three-and-out by the BG defense, with the Hokies taking the ball on their own 44. On the fourth play of the drive Thomas found Dyrell Roberts behind the BG defense for a 42-yard touchdown strike, and the air left the Falcons’ balloon.
OFFENSIVE BiG MAN: I hesitate to hand out this award after the struggles of the BG offense Saturday. The Falcons finished with just 266 yards, split right down the middle between 133 yards rushing and passing (but the attempts weren’t even – there were 26 runs and 42 passes). Both QBs struggled, no back had more than 55 yards and no receiver had more than three catches or 32 yards. Let’s give the nod to redshirt freshman running back Andre Givens, who had a 47-yard run and an eight-yard run in his first action of the season. His 55 yards rushing was tops for the Falcons ... No honorable mentions, please.
DEFENSIVE BiG MAN: Sophomore CB Darrell Hunter was the defender who was torched for the 42-yard TD pass above. But Hunter was able to bounce back and had a solid game otherwise. He made a nice play for an interception late in the third quarter and finished with eight tackles to lead the Falcons in that category. ... Honorable mention goes to junior LB Paul Swan, who finished with six tackles, including a half-tackle for loss; senior DT Chris Jones, who has become a regular on this list thanks to five tackles that included two tackles for loss (good for 13 yards in losses) and an 11-yard quarterback sack; and sophomore DE Charlie Walker, who was injured at one point in the game and returned to finish with five tackles as well as a quarterback “hurry.”
SPECIAL TEAMS BiG MAN: The Falcons’ special teams weren’t great, but they held their own against a Virginia Tech program that is known for its prowess on special teams. Let’s give the nod to junior punter Brian Schmiedebusch, who had eight punts for 345 yards for an average of 43.1 yards per kick. He landed two inside the Hokies’ 20, had two punts cover 50 yards or more and had only one touchback. His only problem was controlling the returns as Virginia Tech returned three punts for 45 yards… Honorable mention goes to freshman kickoff specialist Anthony Farinella, whose only kickoff of the contest resulted in a touchback, and junior kickoff returner BooBoo Gates, who had three returns for 64 yards with a long of 29 yards.
BiG NUMBERS: Unfortunately, the BiG Numbers this week actually are little numbers: The Falcons finished with just 266 yards of total offense. The average of 3.9 yards per play isn’t good enough, but here’s a number that is far worse: The Falcons had 14 drives Saturday, which means they gained just 19 yards per drive. BG had six three-and-outs (including a two-play drive that ended with a fumble) and had just two drives that covered more than 30 yards.
BiG QUESTION: The Falcons weren’t expected to win Saturday, but they were expected to put up more of a fight – and that holds especially true for the offense. BG will enter Saturday’s game against Rhode Island as a solid favorite, so it won’t be good enough to just win. The Falcons need to claim a convincing victory over this FCS school to gain some confidence entering the heart of the Mid-American Conference schedule.Click here to read The Blade story from Saturday’s contest. Click here to read the notebook from Saturday’s contest. Click here to read the in-game chat from Saturday’s game.