If we lose that game because were not playing hard or giving great effort or not in it in the fourth quarter, yeah, Im panicking, said BG head coach Gregg Brandon. But we had the game won with a minute 20 (seconds) left. Weve got the lead and a vastly improved defense going out on the field and theyve (EMU) got one time out and weve had three three-and-outs in a row.
Still, the Falcons did lose as the Eagles drove 77 yards in six plays using just 45 seconds to score the eventual game-winning touchdown. EMU quarterback Andy Schmitt was 5-of-5 on the drive for 72 yards, including a 16-yard scoring pass to a wide-open Tyler Jones.
We kind of stood around on defense, uncharacteristically, Brandon said. The first four games, we were flying around. We stood around and allowed that quarterback to sit in there and get comfortable. We didnt cover. We didnt get pressure as much as we needed to and lost the game for us.
The last drive. Im thinking, shoot, were going to get a three-and-out and or at least theyre going to run out of time, he continued. I told Coach (Mike) Ward (BGs defensive coordinator), listen we may have to go back on defense again. He said Thats all right coach well stop them because weve had three three-and-outs in a row prior to that. Then boom we come out and were like statues.
The Falcons, 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the Mid-American Conference travel to Akron, 3-3, 1-1, Saturday with kickoff at 6 p.m.
Tailback Willie Geter is battling a strained ligament in his knee and his status for Saturdays game is still in doubt.
I maybe sound like Im going to make excuses, but so what. Were a beat up football team still from that non-conference schedule, Brandon said. Ive got one healthy running back in Chris Bullock, who got tired. He played hard and ran hard, but got tired.
Anthony Turner did return to the lineup after not playing since the Boise State game on Sept. 13 and he got between 20 and 30 snaps, Brandon said. Turner had eight carries for 55 yards and two receptions for six yards.
Also, Freddie Barnes who can go into the backfield and carry the ball, is still slowed by a shoulder injury.
We had him prepared (to run the ball) against Eastern. We just never got to it, Brandon said.
After the loss Saturday, Brandon commented about undisciplined penalties saying Weve got to fix those things either with the players we are playing with or we need to replace some guys.
On Monday, he backtracked.
That was probably a knee-jerk reaction to the game, he said. To lose a tough one like that at home, you want to start blaming people from where I sit. The kids played hard and we had a chance at the end to win the game. Thats the thing that, well you say its Eastern Michigan, so what, its a MAC team and at the end of the game we dont get it done.
They made one more play than we did.
BG is last in the MAC in red-zone defense, allowing a 100 percent efficiency rate.
Opponents have been in the red zone 16 times and come away with 14 touchdowns, 11 rushing and three passing, and two field goals.
Published reports have Eastern Michigan head coach Jeff Genyk, a former BG player and a graduate of Bowling Green, allowing his team to burn his Falcon jersey after the game.
Brandon had no comment when asked about the incident.
After Bowling Greens post-game press conference Saturday, reporters spotted Genyk, who was in a suit and tie, heading toward the Bowling Green locker room. Brandon and Genyk were on Northwesterns staff at the same time.
This week, there were no players made available for either print or broadcast media.
They have got a lot of tests this week because there is a fall break coming up, Brandon said when asked about players availability. Its getting into the middle of the semester.
We should be able to come back and spend time with them next week.