Around this time of year, you hear coaches, players, and fans trot out the same tired cliché: By this point in the season, there are no more freshmen. The point is this: if players have started the majority of your team's games in a season, then they have experience.
That point, to be blunt, is nonsense.
That's because there is experience and there is experience. The Falcons are gaining experience this season, but championship teams often have a veteran core that carries them through tough times and difficult situations because of its experience.
If you think the Falcons have experience, let's compare them to the Northern Illinois team that bounced them at the Doyt on Tuesday. BG's 11 defensive starters in that game have started 121 career games; that number jumps to 153 career starts if you include Kevin Moore, a senior who did not play in the first half because of disciplinary issues.
Seem like a lot? It's not, at least compared to the Huskies offense. On the offensive line alone NIU had four seniors and a junior who now have started a combined 165 career games. Add in senior QB Chandler Harnish and his 41 career starts, and the number rises over 200 — with five positions to fill.
The BG offense is only a little better, with 171 combined career starts after Tuesday's loss. The only truly experienced player is senior center Ben Bojicic, who has started 40 times.
In short, the Falcons aren't an experienced team. They are still gaining experience, something that hopefully will pay off in the seasons to come.
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