My Take

Redrum

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As some have noticed, I haven’t posted any takes on the season so far.

Sorry about that. Just moved. Lots of stuff going on.

Here is a quick review of my thoughts on things 3 games in.

Offense:

I think you have to start here discussing the OL, which apparently had a series of injuries befall it last spring. If everyone was healthy, I believe we would have exactly 1 of our current starters starting where they are playing now. I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say things have not gone according to plan.

All told, I think the OL has played pretty well, and it looks like it is getting better. To be fair, they haven’t had the luxury of 3 or 4 easy OOC games to learn to play together, and getting Pitt in game two was a really tough assignment.

Add to that the task of braking in 2 RBs playing a lot for the first time and it is easy to understand why we would have problemS on offense.

Has Tommy been part of the problem? IMHO, yes. I think he has a tendency to hold the ball unless he sees his primary target wide open. I think good things rarely happen if he doesn’t deliver the ball on time to his primary target. He has a tendency to leave the pocket going to the sideline, and this almost always leads to a sack or incompletion.

He is just not good improvising. On the positive side, this year, he has been far better running for first downs when the pocket breaks down and he can’t find anyone open. We are actually getting some first downs on broken plays, which is great to see.

We see many pass attempts end with Tommy holding the ball for a long time, a really long time. Is this happening because receivers are not getting open, because Tommy freezes up sometimes and can/t/won’t try to make throws, or because Tommy just can’t see open receivers in the heat of the battle? Or is the OL/RB mostly at fault for not giving Tommy enough time? If I had the opportunity to watch games in person (I planned to attend all 3 games played to date), I would feel much more qualified to answer this.

It is hard trying to watching on TV. But I think it is a mix of all of these things.

Clearly some of our OL have been beaten almost immediately on some passing plays. No way they have given Tommy a chance to succeed. Pretty much all of them look to have missed their man on a few plays. Pierre has been really bad at picking up blitzes as well.

But Tommy has definitely missed some open receivers. And Tommy has made some bad passes to open receivers. And receivers have made some bad drops on catches that should be routine.

I think the play calling has been suspect at times as well. And one wonders if the offense has been structured to best take advantage of the resources available to work with.

So I think it has been a group effort. Even with the major improvements on Saturday, there are clear problems with this unit. They just do not seem capable of running sustained drives. Too many mistakes too often. I don’t think we can win games consistently by having a few big plays. That said, with the lack of spring ball, the injuries, the opt outs, the chaos of pre-season and the lack of OOC games is going to have an impact. One hopes they can get it together.

GT is bad defending the run. It was great to see Tucker do some damage against them in the first half. No doubt establishing the run opened up the passing game and helped make the long passes work, I think the key to this offense and the key to our season lies here. If we can find a way to have a respectable rushing attack, the offense will work, we will score a lot of points and win our share of games. It was great to see Tucker step up and make some plays Saturday. We all know Jordan is capable of making plays as well, and I think he will show he is a player as well later this season.

It was great to see Nykeim step up as a viable #2 receiver to Taj Saturday. It is a great concern that we haven’t seen other WRs step up and be factors yet. Queeley has shown some signs, as has Courtney Jackson. We need players other than Taj we can rely on and that Tommy will have confidence to throw to. On that topic, I agree with many on the board suggesting we throw the ball to the TEs more. I don’t get the reluctance to do it. Hope that changes.

Defense:

I love the basic concepts behind the San Diego State 3-3-5. I tempered my expectations based on Rocky Long’s comments about how long it takes to install this defense properly. So far, it has exceeds my hopes and been a huge pleasant surprise. I love how he has used so many players so far, helping to keep the defense fresh for four quarters. Love how he has been willing to play talented young players and give them a chance to show what they can do. I much prefer an aggressive defense that puts pressure on the offense and puts extreme pressure on them. I think it is our best chance to beat teams that are generally going to be more talented than we are.

He is doing a great job taking advantage of the players he has to work with. Love what I see from the youngsters: Carter, G Williams, Thompson, Cantin-Arcu, Linton, Wax, Hanna, Nunn...so many young players playing a lot and playing well. The vets are doing well too. Iffy rarely gets balls thrown his way. M Williams, Jonathan, Black and even the JUCO guy Roscoe are making plays, and Cisco and Trill have been great too.

Special teams:

Cooney has been solid punting and kicking off. Big and pleasant surprise. Nyk has been good returning punts and KOs. Andre has been good kicking FGs. The return teams have been somewhat suspect but look like they are getting better. Things are looking good here; we should have an advantage over most of the teams we play.

Hope Andre and Tyrell are okay and will be ready in two weeks. We are going to need them. Again, the key to me is us finding a way to run the ball successfully. It looks like this patchwork OL might be able to open some holes. It looks like Tucker has good vision, and has the speed and strength to get the yards we need. Maybe, just maybe we have a chance to be a good team.
I’ll give yuu he missed 3 open deep throws this year 2 to quelly tommy owes him .
But to say he holds the ball to long is dead wrong . I praised the line this week and they deserve it but other than this game how the heck is he holding the ball to long with no time to throw ? It’s a oxymoron of sorts . And let’s not forget the sea of defenders vs our few WRs Tom Brady wouldn’t like it either.
I would like to see some on the run designed roll out comebacks . Throwing on the run in a vertical offense isn’t ideal
 

OttoinGrotto

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Defense has played well. I have only one complaint, and that would be there has been some really poor tackling. Expect this may be due to the relative youth, especially in the LB corps, but tackling needs to improve.
Yeah, that can definitely get better.
 

SUbear

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I’ll give yuu he missed 3 open deep throws this year 2 to quelly tommy owes him .
But to say he holds the ball to long is dead wrong . I praised the line this week and they deserve it but other than this game how the heck is he holding the ball to long with no time to throw ? It’s a oxymoron of sorts . And let’s not forget the sea of defenders vs our few WRs Tom Brady wouldn’t like it either.
I would like to see some on the run designed roll out comebacks . Throwing on the run in a vertical offense isn’t ideal
There is no doubt his protection could/should be better. He made one really bad throw on a semi roll where he jumped while throwing taking away most of his power the result was a slightly underthrown ball that was intercepted, I am not sure jumping was necessary and is never advisable when throwing the ball, if the throw had more on it, it would probably been caught by Taj but certainly not intercepted. He made two excellent passes for long scoring plays and we won the game so he gets at least a B.
I hope and expect we improve and he gets better protection after the bye week.
 

JRHEETER

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Defense has played well. I have only one complaint, and that would be there has been some really poor tackling. Expect this may be due to the relative youth, especially in the LB corps, but tackling needs to improve.

I agree but tackling looks better this season than the past two. At least we are tackling at the feet instead of just trying to strip the ball/tackling at the shoulders.

We might be missing a few tackles and they need to improve without a doubt but I think this is another reason we haven’t seen too many jailbreak touchdowns this season.
 

SWC75

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Yeah - we seemed to be good for 1-2 of those jailbreak TD’s where the opponent scored in under 3 plays almost every game, in prior seasons.

Guess that’s a benefit of the 3-3-5:
they’ll get thru the 3, and sometimes the other 3, but not all of the 5.


The farther you ar from the line of scrimmage, the harder your will be to block.
 

23Zone

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I think this teams peeks the week we beat Clemson and then runs the table.

Great incite Tomcat.

LOL, that's funny. Clemson is going to absolutely wreck us. I just hope we don't suffer any season ending injuries in a game that we have a 99.9 % likelihood of losing...
 

Trueblue25

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Anyone else feel like some of the missed tackles looked to be our Lb’s losing footing on the new turf?
 

dollarbill44

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LOL, that's funny. Clemson is going to absolutely wreck us. I just hope we don't suffer any season ending injuries in a game that we have a 99.9 % likelihood of losing...
Which are slightly better odds than we had against Nebraska. I'm not implying we are going to win, just that there have been much bigger upsets in the sporting world.
 

23Zone

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Which are slightly better odds than we had against Nebraska. I'm not implying we are going to win, just that there have been much bigger upsets in the sporting world.

I would agree if this game was played at home.
No way cuse is winning in death valley.
At least not this year.
 

gmoney44

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LOL, that's funny. Clemson is going to absolutely wreck us. I just hope we don't suffer any season ending injuries in a game that we have a 99.9 % likelihood of losing...

That’s exactly what I said walking out of the Dome after we lost to Middle Tennessee St.
 

SkyTopBus44

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Defense has played well. I have only one complaint, and that would be there has been some really poor tackling. Expect this may be due to the relative youth, especially in the LB corps, but tackling needs to improve.
i think Dino referenced tackling at the half
 
Last edited:

007

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Anyone else feel like some of the missed tackles looked to be our Lb’s losing footing on the new turf?
Could be.

I wish our LBs brought a little more thump at the point of contact, especially the at the mike. I know this won't be popular, but there is a difference when Wax hits RBs and when Cantin-Arku hits someone. Great motor, just wish he was a stronger finisher.

I think teams are now going to try to run over us with a power rushing game.
 

Keger03

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Could be.

I wish our LBs brought a little more thump at the point of contact, especially the at the mike. I know this won't be popular, but there is a difference when Wax hits RBs and when Cantin-Arku hits someone. Great motor, just wish he was a stronger finisher.

I think teams are now going to try to run over us with a power rushing game.
I agree with Wax. Dude is sneaky fast. Twitchy. Interested to see some more playing time for him.
 

PhatOrange

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Roscoe is a grad transfer not a juco. Any idea if grad transfers get a year back? Could he return?
 

Orangeman

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It's interesting to me that we haven't seen the defense gives up the really huge, back breaking plays anymore. I've gotten used to that. Very interesting to see us play so many guys on defense and not be giving up huge plays.

Jinx Coke Beer :)
 

Steelerswan

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Defense has played well. I have only one complaint, and that would be there has been some really poor tackling. Expect this may be due to the relative youth, especially in the LB corps, but tackling needs to improve.

Good point, our stud talent is young and it will come. The most dynamic D in dinos tenure. These young guys fly around and can only get better. Geeez, they are fun to watch.
 

Steelerswan

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I would agree if this game was played at home.
No way cuse is winning in death valley.
At least not this year.

Interesting that you guys still think home field matters. The only factor is travel and playing on a foreign field. In the end, these teams love playing on our fast track wo the dome noise.
 

CuseLegacy

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Interesting that you guys still think home field matters. The only factor is travel and playing on a foreign field. In the end, these teams love playing on our fast track wo the dome noise.
You must not have paid any attention to the articles or Dino's presser. They are piping in crowd noise and Babers said it was so loud that he lost his voice trying to be heard during the game.
 

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