My Take

sutomcat

Former Iggy Winner. I used to be somebody special
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Wow, what a depressing game to watch. Tough to stomach after 2 weeks of waiting.

I was struck by how much smaller and weaker we appeared to be. That is to be expected against Clemson. But Duke? Really?

The team we destroyed last year on their field just physically dominated us.

One lesson to take from this is that when a team embarrasses another team, it may come back to bite them later. Duke played really hard. It looked like they wanted it more. Props to them...they made a ton of mistakes and frankly, I don’t think they are a very good team, but they were clearly the better team today and clearly deserved to get the win.

When I compare how the offense has changed from when Eric was the QB to since Tommy took over, I don’t see much difference in big plays. We might even have more big plays with Tommy as the QB. The huge difference to me lies in sustained drives. We seemed to have a lot of long, sustained drives when Eric was here. These have largely disappeared under Tommy.

Why? No question the OL has been part of the issue.. It was crappy under Eric as well, though they ended up decent for his senior season. Last year the OL might have been the worst OL at SU in 100 years. It has improved some this year. Things aren’t great. But they are doing good enough to generally give Tommy enough time to run plays.

I think the quality of the WRs has gone down since Eric was the QB. That is part of the problem.

Taj is fast and a good WR. He has pretty good hands. Not very physical. He gets run off his route way too often. If it comes down to a 50-50 game, he isn’t going to win very often. Nice route for the long TD at the start of the game. Was open again on a deep route, and I think should have been the catch (it wasn’t easy but was catchable). Your lead WR needs to make those plays.
Wish he was more physical and tough.

Nykeim looks better this season and gets open a lot. He has dropped a couple of short ones over the middle that a slot guy has to catch and made a couple of mental errors that really hurt today. One play he was in motion and starting running forward before the ball was snapped. He had a couple of issues attempting to return KOs as well.

Courtney is getting some run now and struggling some. Should have had that one long pass thrown to him. A BCS WR has to make that catch. I think he dropped another short one in the flat too. He has talent and I think will eventually be a good WR. But he is triggering now.

Good to see at least a few attempts to pass the ball to the TEs. Good coaches make game plans to take advantage of the resources they have to work with. Our coaches need to do better at this.

Again, back to the question...why can’t this team complete sustained drives? What is the root cause?

Part is our inability to run the ball. The OL is struggling to open decent holes. This is slowly getting better and with Tucker as the RB, there is hope for improvement. But there are still too many runs for short yardage. Part of it is poor pass blocking. We get beat really quickly by DL way too early. Even when the OL has only 3 to block, they routinely miss someone and give Tommy little time to make a play. This is a huge issue. Servais is really struggling. Duke has a couple of good DEs but wow, Servais gets beat badly far too often. Bergeron seems to be doing a little better but does not appear to be solid. The interior of the line was awful early but looks to have become decent here. Props to them for that.

A big issue though is Tommy. If the defense is able to take away Tommy’s primary option, 99% of the time, the play will be a sack, Tommy running OB for a loss or an incomplete pass. Tommy rarely is able to find his second option. Tommy is rarely able to make something of a broken play. He has gotten better this year running for a first down when his first option is covered (or Tommy just doesn’t feel good about throwing to him). Part of that is surely that until today, he was fully healthy. But he is really bad at finding someone open on the run. He is really bad at throwing on the run period. For whatever reason, he is not good saving a broken play. He has no moves in the open field. I don’t remember him breaking a tackle. Ever. He goes down very easily. In some ways, he is the anti-thesis of Eric Dungey. That wouldn’t be a big problem if he played for a team with a great OL that rarely has breakdowns. It is a huge deal for this team and this OL.

The coaches seem aware the OL is a problem. We switched the OTs this week, Didn’t seem to help much. We made a major fundamental change in philosophy and ran a lot of plays with Tommy behind center, instead of using the shotgun. Stephen Bailey said this was done to give Tommy a chance to run some play action to get the WRs a little more breathing room.
Didn’t seem to work much.

I think Duke did the usual approach against the Babers offense. Play the corners on an island in man and load up the box to take away the run. They sat on the short routes to the flat or over the middle, and largely took them away from us. To do this, they left themselves really exposed to long passes. I think they decided they would take their changes getting beat long, relying on their great DEs to put pressure on Tommy and trying to take away Tommy’s primary target whenever possible.

This disrupted SU’s offense and got them to run a lot of low percentage long passing plays. Sometimes the SU WRs couldn’t get open. A lot of time, the Duke pass rush disrupted Tommy from getting a pass off. A few times the SU WRs dropped balls. And a few times Tommy just missed WRs who were wide open.

We can expect more of this in the future. Until we can beat other teams long consistently when we are defended this way, it is going to keep happening. Even Liberty will try this next week.

Let’s take defense a bit. I worried losing Cisco was going to hurt us defending the run the most. That proved true. We have a lot of really young guys playing now. They aren’t physically to play. When the other team has the ball, it looks like a team of men playing a team of boys. They got worn down as the game went on, as the offense again was incredibly bad at holding on to the ball and giving them a rest.

Garrett Williams got picked on again and Duke had some success throwing it his way. More than anyone else has so far this year. Iffy had his worst game of the season. Bobo abused him pretty badly. Not good.

Our pass rush was not very good...pretty the worst it has been this season. Not good. When we had pressure, it was usually because of a blitz. I thought the SU DL and LBs got worn down and the Duke OL had their way with them most of the game. Some of this was because our guys don’t know what to do...some because they are just not physically ready to play. Hoping they will get better as time goes on. I think so.

Injuries

Carter got hurt early. That proved to be the beginning of the end. He came back in the second half but hurt again. It looked like a shoulder injury. Not good. For a time, we had a walk on come in to replace him. We have so few safeties left, losing him would be a killer.

Cantin-Arcu hurt his knee. It looked pretty serious. His play this year has been up and down but his talent is undeniable and if he is out for a long time, again, it would be devastating.

Tucker also got hurt. Not sure what his injury is. He limped off the field but it wasn’t a big limp. Maybe he will be able to play next week?

And of course, Tommy got hurt. When Dino says it doesn’t look good, that is not a good sign. At this point, I would be really happy if he got back for the games in November.

This is a serious issue. Is Tommy struggling? Yes. Is he playing great? No, I don’t think even his biggest supporters would say that. But the drop off from him to the other QBs is a major one. If we have to play without Tommy for a while, we have really serious issues.

I am hoping Rex can run the ball and we can do some stuff featuring that ability. For a team struggling mightily to put together sustained drives, it is not good news to introduce a QB who appears to have little ability to throw the ball accurately. If Tommy can’t play, I think Liberty should probably be favored next week. We just lost the most winnable conference game on the schedule. Badly.

Liberty has decent talent. They are probably going to be able to run the ball well against us. I think everyone will for the rest of this year. I hope we can find a way to move the ball and put some points up. Otherwise, it is going to be a very very long rest of the season. Especially after seeing NC State and BC, two of the teams we were counting on being wins at home, looking very good today.
 

gmoney44

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I think Liberty puts it on us at home next week. Our walking MASH unit won’t have the horses to compete. This probably won’t go over well but I think this is now a Bob Seger “Turn the Page” season. Every decision needs to go toward making next years team better. You don’t have to play it out for the Seniors because they all have the ability to come back if they choose.
 

syrBossHogg

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Good takes Tom, I'm hoping as the O-line gets healthier we will run the ball better. We're gonna have to shorten games and play field position if we want to compete/win any of the remaining games.
 

Toga

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Wow, what a depressing game to watch. Tough to stomach after 2 weeks of waiting.

I was struck by how much smaller and weaker we appeared to be. That is to be expected against Clemson. But Duke? Really?

The team we destroyed last year on their field just physically dominated us.

One lesson to take from this is that when a team embarrasses another team, it may come back to bite them later. Duke played really hard. It looked like they wanted it more. Props to them...they made a ton of mistakes and frankly, I don’t think they are a very good team, but they were clearly the better team today and clearly deserved to get the win.

When I compare how the offense has changed from when Eric was the QB to since Tommy took over, I don’t see much difference in big plays. We might even have more big plays with Tommy as the QB. The huge difference to me lies in sustained drives. We seemed to have a lot of long, sustained drives when Eric was here. These have largely disappeared under Tommy.

Why? No question the OL has been part of the issue.. It was crappy under Eric as well, though they ended up decent for his senior season. Last year the OL might have been the worst OL at SU in 100 years. It has improved some this year. Things aren’t great. But they are doing good enough to generally give Tommy enough time to run plays.

I think the quality of the WRs has gone down since Eric was the QB. That is part of the problem.

Taj is fast and a good WR. He has pretty good hands. Not very physical. He gets run off his route way too often. If it comes down to a 50-50 game, he isn’t going to win very often. Nice route for the long TD at the start of the game. Was open again on a deep route, and I think should have been the catch (it wasn’t easy but was catchable). Your lead WR needs to make those plays.
Wish he was more physical and tough.

Nykeim looks better this season and gets open a lot. He has dropped a couple of short ones over the middle that a slot guy has to catch and made a couple of mental errors that really hurt today. One play he was in motion and starting running forward before the ball was snapped. He had a couple of issues attempting to return KOs as well.

Courtney is getting some run now and struggling some. Should have had that one long pass thrown to him. A BCS WR has to make that catch. I think he dropped another short one in the flat too. He has talent and I think will eventually be a good WR. But he is triggering now.

Good to see at least a few attempts to pass the ball to the TEs. Good coaches make game plans to take advantage of the resources they have to work with. Our coaches need to do better at this.

Again, back to the question...why can’t this team complete sustained drives? What is the root cause?

Part is our inability to run the ball. The OL is struggling to open decent holes. This is slowly getting better and with Tucker as the RB, there is hope for improvement. But there are still too many runs for short yardage. Part of it is poor pass blocking. We get beat really quickly by DL way too early. Even when the OL has only 3 to block, they routinely miss someone and give Tommy little time to make a play. This is a huge issue. Servais is really struggling. Duke has a couple of good DEs but wow, Servais gets beat badly far too often. Bergeron seems to be doing a little better but does not appear to be solid. The interior of the line was awful early but looks to have become decent here. Props to them for that.

A big issue though is Tommy. If the defense is able to take away Tommy’s primary option, 99% of the time, the play will be a sack, Tommy running OB for a loss or an incomplete pass. Tommy rarely is able to find his second option. Tommy is rarely able to make something of a broken play. He has gotten better this year running for a first down when his first option is covered (or Tommy just doesn’t feel good about throwing to him). Part of that is surely that until today, he was fully healthy. But he is really bad at finding someone open on the run. He is really bad at throwing on the run period. For whatever reason, he is not good saving a broken play. He has no moves in the open field. I don’t remember him breaking a tackle. Ever. He goes down very easily. In some ways, he is the anti-thesis of Eric Dungey. That wouldn’t be a big problem if he played for a team with a great OL that rarely has breakdowns. It is a huge deal for this team and this OL.

The coaches seem aware the OL is a problem. We switched the OTs this week, Didn’t seem to help much. We made a major fundamental change in philosophy and ran a lot of plays with Tommy behind center, instead of using the shotgun. Stephen Bailey said this was done to give Tommy a chance to run some play action to get the WRs a little more breathing room.
Didn’t seem to work much.

I think Duke did the usual approach against the Babers offense. Play the corners on an island in man and load up the box to take away the run. They sat on the short routes to the flat or over the middle, and largely took them away from us. To do this, they left themselves really exposed to long passes. I think they decided they would take their changes getting beat long, relying on their great DEs to put pressure on Tommy and trying to take away Tommy’s primary target whenever possible.

This disrupted SU’s offense and got them to run a lot of low percentage long passing plays. Sometimes the SU WRs couldn’t get open. A lot of time, the Duke pass rush disrupted Tommy from getting a pass off. A few times the SU WRs dropped balls. And a few times Tommy just missed WRs who were wide open.

We can expect more of this in the future. Until we can beat other teams long consistently when we are defended this way, it is going to keep happening. Even Liberty will try this next week.

Let’s take defense a bit. I worried losing Cisco was going to hurt us defending the run the most. That proved true. We have a lot of really young guys playing now. They aren’t physically to play. When the other team has the ball, it looks like a team of men playing a team of boys. They got worn down as the game went on, as the offense again was incredibly bad at holding on to the ball and giving them a rest.

Garrett Williams got picked on again and Duke had some success throwing it his way. More than anyone else has so far this year. Iffy had his worst game of the season. Bobo abused him pretty badly. Not good.

Our pass rush was not very good...pretty the worst it has been this season. Not good. When we had pressure, it was usually because of a blitz. I thought the SU DL and LBs got worn down and the Duke OL had their way with them most of the game. Some of this was because our guys don’t know what to do...some because they are just not physically ready to play. Hoping they will get better as time goes on. I think so.

Injuries

Carter got hurt early. That proved to be the beginning of the end. He came back in the second half but hurt again. It looked like a shoulder injury. Not good. For a time, we had a walk on come in to replace him. We have so few safeties left, losing him would be a killer.

Cantin-Arcu hurt his knee. It looked pretty serious. His play this year has been up and down but his talent is undeniable and if he is out for a long time, again, it would be devastating.

Tucker also got hurt. Not sure what his injury is. He limped off the field but it wasn’t a big limp. Maybe he will be able to play next week?

And of course, Tommy got hurt. When Dino says it doesn’t look good, that is not a good sign. At this point, I would be really happy if he got back for the games in November.

This is a serious issue. Is Tommy struggling? Yes. Is he playing great? No, I don’t think even his biggest supporters would say that. But the drop off from him to the other QBs is a major one. If we have to play without Tommy for a while, we have really serious issues.

I am hoping Rex can run the ball and we can do some stuff featuring that ability. For a team struggling mightily to put together sustained drives, it is not good news to introduce a QB who appears to have little ability to throw the ball accurately. If Tommy can’t play, I think Liberty should probably be favored next week. We just lost the most winnable conference game on the schedule. Badly.

Liberty has decent talent. They are probably going to be able to run the ball well against us. I think everyone will for the rest of this year. I hope we can find a way to move the ball and put some points up. Otherwise, it is going to be a very very long rest of the season. Especially after seeing NC State and BC, two of the teams we were counting on being wins at home, looking very good today.
Other than that Mrs. Lincoln
 

phil77

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I think the route tree we ask the WRs to run are all messed up compared to when ED was here. Were are the Erv Phillips hitters over the middle that was key to keeping drives moving. Seems our WRs only run one route and that is a fly route. When we do run other routes we seem to have success but far too often Tommy is launching it 50 yards down the field.

I was under the impression that if you have an OL that can't pass block for long periods of time and have no real running game then you must get the ball out of the QBs hands fast on short passing routes. Instead, we are asking a NON-mobile QB to stand behind a weak offensive line and throw bombs why? Why is this the design of the offense now?
 

SWC75

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I think Duke did the usual approach against the Babers offense. Play the corners on an island in man and load up the box to take away the run. They sat on the short routes to the flat or over the middle, and largely took them away from us. To do this, they left themselves really exposed to long passes. I think they decided they would take their changes getting beat long, relying on their great DEs to put pressure on Tommy and trying to take away Tommy’s primary target whenever possible.

This disrupted SU’s offense and got them to run a lot of low percentage long passing plays. Sometimes the SU WRs couldn’t get open. A lot of time, the Duke pass rush disrupted Tommy from getting a pass off. A few times the SU WRs dropped balls. And a few times Tommy just missed WRs who were wide open.

We can expect more of this in the future. Until we can beat other teams long consistently when we are defended this way, it is going to keep happening. Even Liberty will try this next week.
I think the route tree we ask the WRs to run are all messed up compared to when ED was here. Were are the Erv Phillips hitters over the middle that was key to keeping drives moving. Seems our WRs only run one route and that is a fly route. When we do run other routes we seem to have success but far too often Tommy is launching it 50 yards down the field.

I was under the impression that if you have an OL that can't pass block for long periods of time and have no real running game then you must get the ball out of the QBs hands fast on short passing routes. Instead, we are asking a NON-mobile QB to stand behind a weak offensive line and throw bombs why? Why is this the design of the offense now?
Are were throwing deep so much because we decided that was what we wanted to do or because the other team is forcing us to do so? Could we decide to concentrate on shorter passes and the running game or has that bene taken away from us.
 

FrancoPizza

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One lesson to take from this is that when a team embarrasses another team, it may come back to bite them later.
Are you suggesting we should never blow a team out? It’s not like we ran up the score on them last year.
 

sufandu

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Are you suggesting we should never blow a team out? It’s not like we ran up the score on them last year.
I highly doubt he is saying that. But if you blow a team out one year, expect them to come in highly motivated the next and prepare accordingly.
 

City of Cuse

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I was listening to the 2nd half on the radio and Matt Park said something like, Syracuse gets to 3rd as quick as any other team in the nation. It is so true too, if you look away for a second, the offense is on 3rd down.
 

NineOneSeven

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Re: defense- this is a game I think many thought we could have this year given our inexperience AND a new system. The fact we have largely out performed expectation makes this game more surprising. But, if this was game 1 yes it would have been criticized but more explainable. I’m confident in the talent moving forward. Tons of guys playing valuable possessions at a young age.

Re: offense- by far the biggest problem. Let me repeat that- BY FAR THE BIGGEST PROBLEM. It is absolutely horrific. It’s also not explainable simply by injuries. Do they contribute? Sure. Are they a significant aspect? I just don’t buy it. We didn’t lose world beaters. We have a blend of under performance across the entire unit and I cannot see it significantly improving this year. It’s an issue and we need answers. It’s shocking how predictably terrible 90% of the possessions are. It’s entirely boom or bust, and the boom are few and far between. Recipe for disaster.
 

FrancoPizza

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I highly doubt he is saying that. But if you blow a team out one year, expect them to come in highly motivated the next and prepare accordingly.
I think that’s just a sound bite honestly that broadcasters and sportswriters use. I wish this was just a w.t.f. loss that could be chalked up to revenge.
 

Cuse69

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I think DB has wrote off the season, especially with him giving the injury info out that cisco and jordan are done for awhile, he's essentially waving the white flag on the season. He probably senses this is spiraling out of control and if it's a 1-2 win campaign he better have some reasons and something to point to that next season will be better.
 

griddy

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‘You go to war with the army you have, not the army you may wish you had or the one you may have at some other time.’

Instead of going to war with the team we have, we have stubbornly clung to the offense we wish we had. The result has been disastrous. Series after series we stick with the four WR sets even as it produces the same 3-and-out results. Our talented young defense, whose coach is playing with the army he has, is eventually worn down and crumbles. Our quarterback is put in a position in which he is continually bludgeoned and, then, predictably, knocked out for the season. Two of our three best skill position players are relegated to blocking and have a total of four catches all season between them, three of them for first downs and one for a touchdown. We continually leave points on the field, even when the defense gives us the ball in prime position. A player who scored six touchdowns last season hasn’t been targeted once in the red zone all season.
Playing with the army we have, instead of the one we wish we had, would have meant going to a two TE set, using our slot for quick hitters, letting our quarterback use his extraordinary arm to throw into windows on shorter routes instead of having him take a constant beating in the quest for a home run throw down the sideline.
We came into yesterday’s game ranked dead last in total offense among the 75 college football teams playing this fall. We had a bye week to prepare, to adjust. But we continued to scheme for the offense we wished we had. Once again, four WR sets continually produced 3-and-outs, wore down our defense, and eventually cost us our quarterback for the rest of the season. We threw to our tight ends exactly three times ... every one generated a first down, including a PI penalty, a touchdown, and a tackle-breaking first down run.
I believe if we had played to our strengths we would have at least one more win, maybe two. Maybe you don’t buy that. But ask yourself, could it have been any worse than what we have seen?
.
 

sufandu

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I think that’s just a sound bite honestly that broadcasters and sportswriters use. I wish this was just a w.t.f. loss that could be chalked up to revenge.
Have you played sports before? When someone embarrasses you, you want tomget them back. Sometimes motivation is overstated, but it isn't irrelevant.
 

Scotch

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The dual threat aspect is really missing on offense. Dungey could keep the chains moving with his legs so teams had to spy him more often which freed up the quick hitters in the middle of the field.
It’s all about this. Dungey’s athleticism and playmaking covered for so many deficiencies.
 

Cusefan78

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I think DB has wrote off the season, especially with him giving the injury info out that cisco and jordan are done for awhile, he's essentially waving the white flag on the season. He probably senses this is spiraling out of control and if it's a 1-2 win campaign he better have some reasons and something to point to that next season will be better.
Have you ever played sports? D1 players and coaches don’t give up its not in their dna to keep pushing and that’s why they are where they are. If Dino has given up or thinks this season means nothing then he needs to be fired this second.
 

23Zone

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Tell you what...Babers is no offensive genius. He was hired as an offensive guru. Except for one season when Dungey basically did everything with his legs, his offenses have flat out completely sucked. He adheres to an offensive philosophy that is completely unsuited for the pieces that he is playing with and for him to not be able to recognize that can only means one thing...he is flagrantly incompetent! However, with that said, he won't ever get fired because we don't have the money to hire another coach. Sad state of affairs.
 

Cusefan78

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Tell you what...Babers is no offensive genius. He was hired as an offensive guru. Except for one season when Dungey basically did everything with his legs, his offenses have flat out completely sucked. He adheres to an offensive philosophy that is completely unsuited for the pieces that he is playing with and for him to not be able to recognize that can only means one thing...he is flagrantly incompetent! However, with that said, he won't ever get fired because we don't have the money to hire another coach. Sad state of affairs.
if they want to make a change money won’t be an issue. They just invested how much into the dome? A 1.8 million dollar salary isn’t going to be the reason why they don’t recoup the investment
 

upperdeck

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if you cant catch 95% of the routine passes you are gonna have issues moving the ball. if you cant run also drop passes what do you do... But when we block 6 on 3 and still get beat over and over what is left..

Still as bad as it was it was a one score game in the 4th somehow.. we failed again on 3 and medium like we did most of the game .. Every key point in the game we made the mistake and that adds up.. We should have been up 2-3 scores at the half but we turned that into trailing. we dropped a couple simple INts , and still won the turnover game. do we really not have any WRs that can catch most of the passes they get 2 hands on..
 

tipphill

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Wow, what a depressing game to watch. Tough to stomach after 2 weeks of waiting.

I was struck by how much smaller and weaker we appeared to be. That is to be expected against Clemson. But Duke? Really?

The team we destroyed last year on their field just physically dominated us.

One lesson to take from this is that when a team embarrasses another team, it may come back to bite them later. Duke played really hard. It looked like they wanted it more. Props to them...they made a ton of mistakes and frankly, I don’t think they are a very good team, but they were clearly the better team today and clearly deserved to get the win.

When I compare how the offense has changed from when Eric was the QB to since Tommy took over, I don’t see much difference in big plays. We might even have more big plays with Tommy as the QB. The huge difference to me lies in sustained drives. We seemed to have a lot of long, sustained drives when Eric was here. These have largely disappeared under Tommy.

Why? No question the OL has been part of the issue.. It was crappy under Eric as well, though they ended up decent for his senior season. Last year the OL might have been the worst OL at SU in 100 years. It has improved some this year. Things aren’t great. But they are doing good enough to generally give Tommy enough time to run plays.

I think the quality of the WRs has gone down since Eric was the QB. That is part of the problem.

Taj is fast and a good WR. He has pretty good hands. Not very physical. He gets run off his route way too often. If it comes down to a 50-50 game, he isn’t going to win very often. Nice route for the long TD at the start of the game. Was open again on a deep route, and I think should have been the catch (it wasn’t easy but was catchable). Your lead WR needs to make those plays.
Wish he was more physical and tough.

Nykeim looks better this season and gets open a lot. He has dropped a couple of short ones over the middle that a slot guy has to catch and made a couple of mental errors that really hurt today. One play he was in motion and starting running forward before the ball was snapped. He had a couple of issues attempting to return KOs as well.

Courtney is getting some run now and struggling some. Should have had that one long pass thrown to him. A BCS WR has to make that catch. I think he dropped another short one in the flat too. He has talent and I think will eventually be a good WR. But he is triggering now.

Good to see at least a few attempts to pass the ball to the TEs. Good coaches make game plans to take advantage of the resources they have to work with. Our coaches need to do better at this.

Again, back to the question...why can’t this team complete sustained drives? What is the root cause?

Part is our inability to run the ball. The OL is struggling to open decent holes. This is slowly getting better and with Tucker as the RB, there is hope for improvement. But there are still too many runs for short yardage. Part of it is poor pass blocking. We get beat really quickly by DL way too early. Even when the OL has only 3 to block, they routinely miss someone and give Tommy little time to make a play. This is a huge issue. Servais is really struggling. Duke has a couple of good DEs but wow, Servais gets beat badly far too often. Bergeron seems to be doing a little better but does not appear to be solid. The interior of the line was awful early but looks to have become decent here. Props to them for that.

A big issue though is Tommy. If the defense is able to take away Tommy’s primary option, 99% of the time, the play will be a sack, Tommy running OB for a loss or an incomplete pass. Tommy rarely is able to find his second option. Tommy is rarely able to make something of a broken play. He has gotten better this year running for a first down when his first option is covered (or Tommy just doesn’t feel good about throwing to him). Part of that is surely that until today, he was fully healthy. But he is really bad at finding someone open on the run. He is really bad at throwing on the run period. For whatever reason, he is not good saving a broken play. He has no moves in the open field. I don’t remember him breaking a tackle. Ever. He goes down very easily. In some ways, he is the anti-thesis of Eric Dungey. That wouldn’t be a big problem if he played for a team with a great OL that rarely has breakdowns. It is a huge deal for this team and this OL.

The coaches seem aware the OL is a problem. We switched the OTs this week, Didn’t seem to help much. We made a major fundamental change in philosophy and ran a lot of plays with Tommy behind center, instead of using the shotgun. Stephen Bailey said this was done to give Tommy a chance to run some play action to get the WRs a little more breathing room.
Didn’t seem to work much.

I think Duke did the usual approach against the Babers offense. Play the corners on an island in man and load up the box to take away the run. They sat on the short routes to the flat or over the middle, and largely took them away from us. To do this, they left themselves really exposed to long passes. I think they decided they would take their changes getting beat long, relying on their great DEs to put pressure on Tommy and trying to take away Tommy’s primary target whenever possible.

This disrupted SU’s offense and got them to run a lot of low percentage long passing plays. Sometimes the SU WRs couldn’t get open. A lot of time, the Duke pass rush disrupted Tommy from getting a pass off. A few times the SU WRs dropped balls. And a few times Tommy just missed WRs who were wide open.

We can expect more of this in the future. Until we can beat other teams long consistently when we are defended this way, it is going to keep happening. Even Liberty will try this next week.

Let’s take defense a bit. I worried losing Cisco was going to hurt us defending the run the most. That proved true. We have a lot of really young guys playing now. They aren’t physically to play. When the other team has the ball, it looks like a team of men playing a team of boys. They got worn down as the game went on, as the offense again was incredibly bad at holding on to the ball and giving them a rest.

Garrett Williams got picked on again and Duke had some success throwing it his way. More than anyone else has so far this year. Iffy had his worst game of the season. Bobo abused him pretty badly. Not good.

Our pass rush was not very good...pretty the worst it has been this season. Not good. When we had pressure, it was usually because of a blitz. I thought the SU DL and LBs got worn down and the Duke OL had their way with them most of the game. Some of this was because our guys don’t know what to do...some because they are just not physically ready to play. Hoping they will get better as time goes on. I think so.

Injuries

Carter got hurt early. That proved to be the beginning of the end. He came back in the second half but hurt again. It looked like a shoulder injury. Not good. For a time, we had a walk on come in to replace him. We have so few safeties left, losing him would be a killer.

Cantin-Arcu hurt his knee. It looked pretty serious. His play this year has been up and down but his talent is undeniable and if he is out for a long time, again, it would be devastating.

Tucker also got hurt. Not sure what his injury is. He limped off the field but it wasn’t a big limp. Maybe he will be able to play next week?

And of course, Tommy got hurt. When Dino says it doesn’t look good, that is not a good sign. At this point, I would be really happy if he got back for the games in November.

This is a serious issue. Is Tommy struggling? Yes. Is he playing great? No, I don’t think even his biggest supporters would say that. But the drop off from him to the other QBs is a major one. If we have to play without Tommy for a while, we have really serious issues.

I am hoping Rex can run the ball and we can do some stuff featuring that ability. For a team struggling mightily to put together sustained drives, it is not good news to introduce a QB who appears to have little ability to throw the ball accurately. If Tommy can’t play, I think Liberty should probably be favored next week. We just lost the most winnable conference game on the schedule. Badly.

here
agree --the most glaring thing i see is how undersized we are, bad coaching, bad recruiting (hopefully new class is better). i question if dino is up for the task --i think he gets 2 more years to prove it. i like dino. i have never bought into the offense as i am old school. i have always been an advocate of the big uglies and dual threat qbs. since he has been here the ol has been a big issue. i sincerely hope that next year is different(selfishly for my sake)
why are so many players hurt???????this is a serious question
 

GreekFreak

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Have you ever played sports? D1 players and coaches don’t give up its not in their dna to keep pushing and that’s why they are where they are. If Dino has given up or thinks this season means nothing then he needs to be fired this second.
Did you watch Louisville in 2018 because they absolutely quit on Petrino?
 

DoctorBombay

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Wow, what a depressing game to watch. Tough to stomach after 2 weeks of waiting.

I was struck by how much smaller and weaker we appeared to be. That is to be expected against Clemson. But Duke? Really?

The team we destroyed last year on their field just physically dominated us.

One lesson to take from this is that when a team embarrasses another team, it may come back to bite them later. Duke played really hard. It looked like they wanted it more. Props to them...they made a ton of mistakes and frankly, I don’t think they are a very good team, but they were clearly the better team today and clearly deserved to get the win.

When I compare how the offense has changed from when Eric was the QB to since Tommy took over, I don’t see much difference in big plays. We might even have more big plays with Tommy as the QB. The huge difference to me lies in sustained drives. We seemed to have a lot of long, sustained drives when Eric was here. These have largely disappeared under Tommy.

Why? No question the OL has been part of the issue.. It was crappy under Eric as well, though they ended up decent for his senior season. Last year the OL might have been the worst OL at SU in 100 years. It has improved some this year. Things aren’t great. But they are doing good enough to generally give Tommy enough time to run plays.

I think the quality of the WRs has gone down since Eric was the QB. That is part of the problem.

Taj is fast and a good WR. He has pretty good hands. Not very physical. He gets run off his route way too often. If it comes down to a 50-50 game, he isn’t going to win very often. Nice route for the long TD at the start of the game. Was open again on a deep route, and I think should have been the catch (it wasn’t easy but was catchable). Your lead WR needs to make those plays.
Wish he was more physical and tough.

Nykeim looks better this season and gets open a lot. He has dropped a couple of short ones over the middle that a slot guy has to catch and made a couple of mental errors that really hurt today. One play he was in motion and starting running forward before the ball was snapped. He had a couple of issues attempting to return KOs as well.

Courtney is getting some run now and struggling some. Should have had that one long pass thrown to him. A BCS WR has to make that catch. I think he dropped another short one in the flat too. He has talent and I think will eventually be a good WR. But he is triggering now.

Good to see at least a few attempts to pass the ball to the TEs. Good coaches make game plans to take advantage of the resources they have to work with. Our coaches need to do better at this.

Again, back to the question...why can’t this team complete sustained drives? What is the root cause?

Part is our inability to run the ball. The OL is struggling to open decent holes. This is slowly getting better and with Tucker as the RB, there is hope for improvement. But there are still too many runs for short yardage. Part of it is poor pass blocking. We get beat really quickly by DL way too early. Even when the OL has only 3 to block, they routinely miss someone and give Tommy little time to make a play. This is a huge issue. Servais is really struggling. Duke has a couple of good DEs but wow, Servais gets beat badly far too often. Bergeron seems to be doing a little better but does not appear to be solid. The interior of the line was awful early but looks to have become decent here. Props to them for that.

A big issue though is Tommy. If the defense is able to take away Tommy’s primary option, 99% of the time, the play will be a sack, Tommy running OB for a loss or an incomplete pass. Tommy rarely is able to find his second option. Tommy is rarely able to make something of a broken play. He has gotten better this year running for a first down when his first option is covered (or Tommy just doesn’t feel good about throwing to him). Part of that is surely that until today, he was fully healthy. But he is really bad at finding someone open on the run. He is really bad at throwing on the run period. For whatever reason, he is not good saving a broken play. He has no moves in the open field. I don’t remember him breaking a tackle. Ever. He goes down very easily. In some ways, he is the anti-thesis of Eric Dungey. That wouldn’t be a big problem if he played for a team with a great OL that rarely has breakdowns. It is a huge deal for this team and this OL.

The coaches seem aware the OL is a problem. We switched the OTs this week, Didn’t seem to help much. We made a major fundamental change in philosophy and ran a lot of plays with Tommy behind center, instead of using the shotgun. Stephen Bailey said this was done to give Tommy a chance to run some play action to get the WRs a little more breathing room.
Didn’t seem to work much.

I think Duke did the usual approach against the Babers offense. Play the corners on an island in man and load up the box to take away the run. They sat on the short routes to the flat or over the middle, and largely took them away from us. To do this, they left themselves really exposed to long passes. I think they decided they would take their changes getting beat long, relying on their great DEs to put pressure on Tommy and trying to take away Tommy’s primary target whenever possible.

This disrupted SU’s offense and got them to run a lot of low percentage long passing plays. Sometimes the SU WRs couldn’t get open. A lot of time, the Duke pass rush disrupted Tommy from getting a pass off. A few times the SU WRs dropped balls. And a few times Tommy just missed WRs who were wide open.

We can expect more of this in the future. Until we can beat other teams long consistently when we are defended this way, it is going to keep happening. Even Liberty will try this next week.

Let’s take defense a bit. I worried losing Cisco was going to hurt us defending the run the most. That proved true. We have a lot of really young guys playing now. They aren’t physically to play. When the other team has the ball, it looks like a team of men playing a team of boys. They got worn down as the game went on, as the offense again was incredibly bad at holding on to the ball and giving them a rest.

Garrett Williams got picked on again and Duke had some success throwing it his way. More than anyone else has so far this year. Iffy had his worst game of the season. Bobo abused him pretty badly. Not good.

Our pass rush was not very good...pretty the worst it has been this season. Not good. When we had pressure, it was usually because of a blitz. I thought the SU DL and LBs got worn down and the Duke OL had their way with them most of the game. Some of this was because our guys don’t know what to do...some because they are just not physically ready to play. Hoping they will get better as time goes on. I think so.

Injuries

Carter got hurt early. That proved to be the beginning of the end. He came back in the second half but hurt again. It looked like a shoulder injury. Not good. For a time, we had a walk on come in to replace him. We have so few safeties left, losing him would be a killer.

Cantin-Arcu hurt his knee. It looked pretty serious. His play this year has been up and down but his talent is undeniable and if he is out for a long time, again, it would be devastating.

Tucker also got hurt. Not sure what his injury is. He limped off the field but it wasn’t a big limp. Maybe he will be able to play next week?

And of course, Tommy got hurt. When Dino says it doesn’t look good, that is not a good sign. At this point, I would be really happy if he got back for the games in November.

This is a serious issue. Is Tommy struggling? Yes. Is he playing great? No, I don’t think even his biggest supporters would say that. But the drop off from him to the other QBs is a major one. If we have to play without Tommy for a while, we have really serious issues.

I am hoping Rex can run the ball and we can do some stuff featuring that ability. For a team struggling mightily to put together sustained drives, it is not good news to introduce a QB who appears to have little ability to throw the ball accurately. If Tommy can’t play, I think Liberty should probably be favored next week. We just lost the most winnable conference game on the schedule. Badly.

Liberty has decent talent. They are probably going to be able to run the ball well against us. I think everyone will for the rest of this year. I hope we can find a way to move the ball and put some points up. Otherwise, it is going to be a very very long rest of the season. Especially after seeing NC State and BC, two of the teams we were counting on being wins at home, looking very good today.
Yes, depressing would be one way to put it, “ishtshow” would certainly be another.
I’m baffled by our incompetence on offense- just unreal. We just seem so reactive to circumstances, not proactive. Teams dictate to us, not vice-versa and we’re stuck trying to fight the LAST war, with the same troops and tactics we have now.
Also, let’s not forget & correct me if I’m wrong, that Eric Dungey stepped in as a frosh, whenTerrell Hunt got hurt. If Rex can’t perform moving forward, let’s see what some of these other kids can do. Or is our QB & OL recruiting so weak that none of our new guys can step in and get a head start “managing” the game?
The trends by HCDB are not good, at all. To say the least, our player recruiting & development has been weak. Dino, pardon the pun if you’re a Flintstone’s fan, is an old dog. He really really needs to employ some new recruiting, development, game-management tricks, or he’ll be out sooner rather than later.
 
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