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September 21, 2023

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Regaining momentum hasn’t been hard for BG

The biggest difference between the 2006 Falcons and the 2007 Falcons is clearly the ability the team has to bounce back from plays that don’t go their way – plain and simple.

The biggest swing in momentum Saturday was the second half. The Falcons went in after giving up a touchdown that should have only been a field goal at most.

The same defense that kept the final drive alive with penalties came out in the second half and scored two touchdowns on fumble recoveries. Experience and leadership allowed the unit to stay focused.

“We’ve been there before in close games at halftime and came out fired up,” said linebacker Erique Dozier.

The offense had its own problems with three first-half turnovers, but Tyler Sheehan and company stayed level-headed and made plays when they needed to.

But perhaps the biggest improvement this week was the special teams. The Falcons had trouble in their first two games with kickoff coverage and kickoff return.

Today, the coverage was nothing if not spectacular.

The plan had been to kick it away from Temple return man Travis Shelton, but when the coaching staff realized their team was up to the task, they let them loose.

“After the first one, we thought, ‘Well shoot, we’re ready to go,’ ” Brandon said.

The Falcons had Shelton backpedaling on his returns and swarmed to him every time he got the ball.

“We really hammered that today,” Brandon said.

Last season we saw the Falcons continually lose momentum and never get it back. Attribute that to having a young team. Also attribute it to the fact that when you can’t run the type of offense that your coaches thrive with, it’s not easy to make big, game-changing plays.

The Falcons also have a kicker and a punter who they can depend on, three “go-to” receivers and about three or four other receivers who can catch passes.

Last season it was a lot of Corey Partridge and Kenneth Brantley II and a running game of Anthony Turner and Chris Bullock. Sprinkle in a little bit of Freddie Barnes in the running, passing and receiving games, and you have the 2006 Falcons’ offense.

This year they have an overwhelming amount of versatility and have been able to sustain different shifts in momentum, and their 2-1 record shows it.

It’s not ironic that we’re talking about the difference in this team after the Temple game.

In last year’s Temple game, the Falcons faced adversity and couldn’t fight through it.

In this season’s game, they fought through it twice. And according to the players, there was never a thought in their minds whether they’d fall to the Owls in two consecutive years.

“That wasn’t a factor at all,” Dozier said.

Despite one or two “here we go again” moments Saturday, the Falcons’ confidence stayed at about the same level throughout the game.

“The disappointing thing is that we emptied the bench there in the fourth quarter and we let them get a couple scores on us,” Brandon said.

Well, if that’s the disappointing thing, then there’s a lot to be happy about.

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