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BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

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Unknowns helping fool opponents

For the second straight week, the Falcons will head into hostile territory to face a Big Ten opponent.

For the second straight week, they’re double-digit underdogs.

If I was a betting man I’d be loving the Falcons right about now.

It’s always a great thing when your team has talent that no one knows about, and the Falcons will more than likely continue to take advantage of that. Teams will go after their secondary, not knowing that they are really fast and talented. Teams will base their gameplan on things that they think are weak.

Minnesota blitzed the heck out of the Falcons last week, and they sent five receivers out and got down the field in four plays on each of their first two drives.

They probably thought that Tyler Sheehan would buckle under pressure. They may have expected the Falcons to run the ball. Whatever the case, BG was effective because their opponent had no clue what was coming.

When Anthony Turner came in, the Gophers knew he would run, but he has the tools to throw the ball downfield as well.

So they guarded all of the receivers in the spread offense and Turner cruised for a big gain almost every time he got the call.

Credit the offensive line for making all of that possible, but credit the offensive weapons for coming through when they were supposed to.

There is no question that the offense will put points on the board. The Spartans defense does not feature a guy named Leonidas at linebacker. They’ve been historically bad, especially their secondary. Two words: Braylon Edwards (I’m covering my head as Appalachian State remarks bounce off the page).

The big thing to worry about tomorrow is the rush defense. The Falcons were worn out last week by a tandem. It was a quarterback-running back tandem, but I think when Javon Ringer and Jehuu Caulcrick are lined up next to each other, it will be even harder to stop.

Compare it to a cement truck and a Ford Mustang driving next to one another, which would you rather put your Kawasaki Ninja in front of?

The Falcons defense is quick to the ball. But they may not have the kind of power they need to take down such big rushers over and over, especially in one-on-one situations.

Another aspect that makes it so tough for the defense is how quickly the offense gets down the field on every drive. The defense gets a small amount of time to rest. By the time the fourth quarter rolls around, the defense can be quite winded.

They’ll deny such a claim. Anyone would. But its not easy to be on the field for two-thirds of the second half like the Falcon defense was last week.

Gregg Brandon said that missed assignments were more to blame on the defense’s rocky second half, but there’s no way the Falcons were as full of energy as they were in the first half.

If the Falcons can establish the rush defense as quickly as they did last week, forcing a passing game that isn’t quite perfected yet, it could be a similar outcome to last week.

But if they allow the Spartans to pound the ball into the secondary every play, it will be a long day for the defense because they’ll be on the field for a good chunk of the game.

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