They let the 2012 Bulls play for a bit, the 2011 Bulls played, and even the Bulls of 2010 got to play. As a result, the present Bulls won't play for a championship and questions about the future of the Bulls under Coach Quinn linger.
The game began with suffocating defense and weak offense, vintage UB 2012. I openly asked if we'd be better with Zordich in, and I still wonder if that would have helped.* I wanted to see UB dominate early to ease the nerves, but they did not. However this was how UB did things this year, I was just waiting for UB 2013 to arrive to overpower the opponent as the game wore on.
*I was upset with the move to play Zordich at Baylor, only because he came in AFTER a TD pass, in a game where Licata to Neutz was clicking on all cylinders. In the BGSU game where we couldn't jump start the running game, I would have loved to see Zordich play.
UB 2013 finally showed up in the 2nd quarter. Licata with crossing routes to a bunch of different receivers, the threat of the run creating gaps in the zones and BO punctuating the drive with an easy scored from in close.** 7-3, in the first half, I got confident, UB 2013 is here, this is where we turn up the pressure and suffocate the Falcons.
**I'll have to re-watch, but it seems to be the only running play we ran where there was misdirection: the play looked to have BO dive inside, and all 11 Falcons went to the hole, probably stopping BO if he decided to go there. Instead BO bounced it outside.
Unfortunately, UB 2010 came to play in the third. Throwing with reckless abandon*** as the game slipped away due to poor play in the secondary. There is a reason 2010 was the year we care not to mention, and as long as the vault where we kick awful football into to forget is open, I'd like to throw the 3rd quarter of the 2013 BGSU game in there.
*** BO's carries by quarter. 8-5-4-1. Looks like someone gave up on the run game that was the foundation of this team from 2011 - 12/28/2013.
Hoping to find UB 2008 jogging out for the 4th quarter (maybe in the throwback uniforms ala Mighty Ducks 2). The 2008 Bulls were in the exact same predicament as the 2013 Bulls, down big late in the 4th in a MAC East clinching game against Bowling Green. The 2008 Bulls never really changed who they were, so when defenses softened up to protect the lead, the 2008 Bulls pounced.
There was no such luck in 2013. Not even the 2013 Bulls who fought back against Toledo showed up. In the fourth quarter, the only Bulls I saw were the 2011 Chazz Anderson Bulls. Those Bulls could never come from behind (disregard NIU 2011), because once they fell behind, they put their best weapon, Branden Oliver**** on the bench.
****At the Ralph, BO had 4 carries (vs 5 Licata dropbacks) before BGSU scored to make it 3-0. BO then had 7 carries, (vs. 8 Licata dropbacks) the last carry resulting in a TD and a 7-3 UB lead. With the lead, BO saw 3 more carries (vs 8 Licata dropbacks) before BGSU took the lead for good. Facing a deficit, BO only saw 4 more carries (vs. 26 dropbacks! for Licata).
The abandonment of a working offensive gameplan, the loyalty to a failed defensive gameplan, and losing a must-win game at home looks bad for the head coach. There have been 2 types of teams in the MAC East: The Opportunists, who win when the moons align but do not sustain success and the Icons who win consistently. Currently Ohio and Bowling Green have been the Icons, but the Opportunists have been more successful. Opportunists like Akron '05, Buffalo '08 and Miami '10 won the MAC, while Kent '12 went undefeated and spent a good part of the year as the highest ranked Mid-Major. Meanwhile Icons such as Miami '04 & '07, and Ohio '09 & '11 are 0-4 in the MAC Championship game.
Quinn has failed to capitalize on the opportunity given to him by Turner Gill, will Quinn show the ability to bring in more talent (he has already brought in exciting players for the future like: the offensive line, Boise Ross, Devin Campbell and Joe Licata) and turn UB into an Icon of the MAC East?
Quinn has shown the ability to beat the bad teams, which is huge, because you only need to win six games to gain bowl eligibility, and your average MAC team IS a bad team. This season's end is disappointing, because it's easy to focus on how far we could have gone. We must also realize we are where only one other team has been before: a winning record, and awaiting a bowl game.