BG gains momentum against Akron

Let’s rewind two weeks ago when Akron gave The University of Michigan a scare in the Big House losing by one touchdown. In my mind I thought, “is Michigan really this bad?” It’s Akron, the same team that won one game all of last year. This can’t be right. After that brief moment of talking to myself I immediately went back to worrying about the route BG was taking at Memorial Stadium by Indiana. To say the least, I was instantly worried what would happen at the Doyt.

Fast forward back to Saturday afternoon at the Doyt as I sat down in my seat in the press box and became nervous. I have been hearing all week about this Akron quarterback Kyle Pohl and how he had such a strong arm but just did not have the weapons to help him like he needed.

On Akron’s first drive of the game everyone in the Doyt witnessed that arm that I heard so much about. The Akron play call was for Pohl to take a shot deep to receiver L.T. Smith. He was matched up against BG corner Aaron Foster and he executed his route so well that Foster was left at the 45-yard line with no play on the ball. Pohl stepped back and threw a pass right into Smith’s hands at the 20-yard line as Smith cruised into the end zone giving Akron the early lead.

If that did not scare the Falcon fans, then the first 25 minutes should have as the Falcon offense looked out of rhythm. The offensive line was struggling to open holes for the running backs and Johnson was running for his life in the pocket.

It looked like it would be a bad afternoon for the Falcons until the defense earned a stop on Akron late in the second quarter and the offense then scored a late touchdown. Although Joplin dropped two early passes, Johnson went back to him. He bobbled the ball but had enough concentration to keep control of it and evade the Akron safety to get in the end zone.

In the second half we saw the Falcon team that handily beat Tulsa and Kent. The defense was locked in for all 30 minutes of that second half and the offense was moving the ball at will.

The offensive line looked like a totally different group as they opened up holes for the running backs. Greene was able to break multiple long runs as he finished with 142 yards rushing, one touchdown and one receiving touchdown. The running game was able to get started, which gave Johnson more time in the pocket as he finished with 229 yards and two touchdowns.

The highlight of the day came as the Falcons were running a screen to Greene but the defensive line got in Johnson’s face too fast and forced him to scramble to his left. While running to his left and falling backwards, he was able to get off a shovel pass to Green as he received it and made a few Akron players miss as he ran into the end zone for the 30-yard touchdown. It seems the Falcons constantly come up with a highlight reel play that we can go back and think, wow, what a play.

This combination of Johnson and Greene has really started to come together in the past weeks as each of them have had their week on the MAC east offensive player of the week list. Johnson’s ability to keep the play alive for his receivers and Greene’s ability to make people miss and even his ability to take hits makes this offense very versatile going into the heart of the schedule.

The defense is beginning to resemble the defense from last year that dominated the MAC. We all know this defense can stop the run but in the second half they showed that they can lock in and stop the pass as well.

With that combination of a dangerous and versatile offense and a dominating defense, the Falcons should continue to sit atop the MAC East standings fighting for a trip to Detroit. They still have to face MAC contenders Toledo and Ohio, as well as a game at Mississippi State. If the Falcons keep rolling along I do not see why they would finish the season with more than 2 or three losses. If that happens, a potential matchup against defending MAC champion Northern Illnois will be waiting in Detroit.

For now fans can be happy that the Falcons are 4-1. A homecoming matchup against Massachusetts on Saturday should allow them to build their confidence up before they travel to Mississippi State in two weeks.