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Blog Exchange: Falcon Blog

Falcon Blog, run by BJ Fischer is one of the better sources for information on Bowling Green football and basketball. He runs a lot of great weekly features some of which I have adopted on Bull Run (25 questions, special teams grading).

Among other things he is one of the voting members in the CBS blog poll and member of the MAC Blogger round table, and one of the leaders in the weekly Bull Run pick'em .

Bull Run: Any good interrogation of a Bowling Green fan is going to start with Freddie Barnes. While it would be foolish to expect to keep him under 10 catches it has been done. What did Ohio do to keep him 'out of the game'? Zone Blitzing? Tight man? Jamming him at the line? Swine Flu? Kryptonite? If UB can cover him, or if he is called away to save a bus full of school kids, how does Sheehan work with his other receivers?

Falcon Blog: Yes, in fact, Boise and OU both kept Freddie under 10 receptions, so it can be done. Frankly, I'm not sure I understand how he continues to get open, since people obviously know where we are going with the ball. Freddie is the "x" receiver, which means he lines up on the weak side, normally in single coverage. The defense is forced to put two guys on the short field, or defend him one on one.

OU has a really good secondary and got nice pressure on Sheehan, and he never felt comfortable in the pocket. Also, believe it or not, Freddie had some drops in that game. The best way to contain Freddie Barnes and our offense as a whole, is to get pressure with four people and drop 7. That formula has caused us the most problems this season. Coach Clawson insists we just take what the defense gives us, and despite huge injuries at WR, Sheehan has shown the ability to throw to Chris Wright and Justus Jones, along with TE Sheidler as well. On really key plays, he does seem to lock onto Freddie.

BR: Speaking of Sheehan I noticed he has worked his way into Phil Steels All-Mac team (behind LeFevour and Opelt), you have to be happy that experts are looking at him as being a better back than someone like Hiller. How much of it is him, and how much is Barnes?

FB: Sheehan is a very good QB. He is a senior and started in his true-freshmen year, so he has a boatload of snaps under his belt. He has certainly benefitted from having Freddie there, but he has a very good completion percentage and has avoided throwing interceptions this year. His yardage per attempt is up, as Coach Clawson is allowing him to go downfield more than Brandon did. As with any QB, fans expect him to make every play, and that doesn't happen for him anymore than it does for anyone else. Furthermore, what he is producing this year he is doing with a very one-sided offense, because we are very poor on the run.

BR: Clawson adjusted and integrated into his new position faster than any of the five new coaches in the Conference, except perhaps Beckman in Toledo. Assuming that the season is old enough to officially call the honeymoon over, and because of the teams with a new coach Bowling Green was perhaps the best situation (again maybe Toledo was better) how are the fans holding up with the 3-5 start? If I put a Nerf gun to your head and made you pick between Griping about Beckman or wearing a rockets t-shirt what would the gripe be?

FB: Well, we could go 0-12 and I wouldn't wear a rocket shirt. I think fans are fine with Coach Clawson's season. It was a pretty decent situation to take over, but also probably not as good as it appeared. The defense, in particular, was really hit by graduation and then by suspensions, and the out of conference schedule was especially tough. BG has a chance to win out (no disrespect intended), and even at 6-6, I think fans would be OK.

BR: In as unbiased a mindset as you can manage answer this question: Which teams season is more disappointing so far Buffalo or Bowling Green?

FB: Well, from my perspective, I'm not sure either is especially surprising or disappointing. While the Bulls were everybody's pick to win the East, I didn't see it that way. Still, I guess Buffalo's season is a little more disappointing.

BR: UB is the 4th best rushing team in the MAC, and that is after an absolutely terrible first four games. Ike Nduka has run off games of 172,131,172 in his three full starts. How has the Falcons run defense progressed through this season. Your started the season with a young and smallish, but athletic, defensive line. Eight games into the season are they performing any better?

FB: Our run defense is very poor. We're allowing 5.8 yards per rush, and only EMU is worse. Teams routinely run for 200 yards against us. Furthermore, I don't think we are getting a lot better. We are small, and tackle inconsistently, which has been a problem for the program for years.

BR: Which match up is most likely to determine the game? Barnes against our secondary or Nduka against your front seven?

FB: Most football games are won on the line of scrimmage. Our front seven has to contain Buffalo's run attack and force Buffalo to show they can throw, and our offensive line has to protect against a four man rush and force blitzes. It would also be helpful, though unexpected, if our line gave some support to Willie Geter and the running game, but time will tell.

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This weeks blog exchange comes with a wager. If Bowling Green manages to come up and beat UB I have to replace my pristine banner with this monstrosity:


And keep it up for a week (until the Ohio Game). Now some might say that I placed this bet because I am going to be gone next week, sparing me the suffering of looking at this thing, but in reality I made the bet because I cant wait to see what Falcon Blogs site looks like with this at the top.