Offense...Offense!!! | Syracusefan.com

Offense...Offense!!!

SWC75

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I woke up today and began thinking about this team. Last year the defense carried the offense. This was a year where the offense was supposed to carry the young defense. Right now this team is looking a lot like last year's team. The offense has worked in spurts but mostly sputterred. We were extremely lucky to win two of the games we won in overtime and barely beat an FCS team for the other win. The Rutgers game was more of the same except we weren't as lucky. We need more than that. A defense that is starting to look like last year's defense will help but offense continues to be a problem for this team.

I thought about the greatst team SU has had in the two platoon era: the undefeated 1987 team. We hope to have a team like that and a season like that, (similar goals but distinctly different), again in the near future. How far are we from that?

Pretty far, obviously, but I focused on two areas. Here are the yards per game by the various running backs on the 1987 team and so far this year:

1987
FULLBACKS- Daryl Johnston 51, Chris Barnes 1, Duane Kinnon 2
TAILBACKS- Robert Drummond 68, Michael Owens 48, Bryon Abraham 13
QUARTERBACKS- Don McPherson 18, Bill Scarr 0, Todd Philcox -1
TEAM- 211 yards per game

2011
FULLBACKS- Adam Harris 2, Jerome Smith 1
TAILBACKS- Antwon Bailey 88, Prince-Tyson Gulley 22
QARTERBACKS- Ryan Nassib -3
TEAM- 102 yard per game.

Comment: Bailey will wind up with more yards rushing this year than anybody on the 1987 team but that is totally misleading. He's the whole show, especially with Gulley gone. He's gaining 87% of our rushing yards, (Drummond gained 32% of our rushing yards in 1987). An Antwon is going to wear down if he carries the enitre load all year. We have got to get other players involved here. Obviously that Smith, Moore and Rene. I'd even like to see a little more from Nassib. I don't want him trying to pancake linebackers but he's a mobile quarterback. How about some draws, bootlegs or even an occassional option play?

I'll also put in my annual plea to go back to the future. Football is cyclical. There's nothing going on out there that's really new. It's just what you choose to do, how often you do it and when. Defenses prepare to stop what they are used to seeing. When you give them a blast from the past, they aren't ready for it.

Growing up I saw Jim Nance and the Larry Csonka and Floyd Little. Penn State had Franco Harris and Lydell Mitchell. In the pros it was Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris, then Franco Harris and Rockey Bleier. Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside. It's jsut as much of an advatnage to have the defesne noit know who is going to get the ball on a running play as on a passing play. A back can run the ball, block or catch passes. A wide-out can only catch passes, (he can block downfield to maximize a play but not to initiate it). next year we will have two three name guys who would make the perfect Mr. Inside-Mr. Outside combination: Adonis Ameen-Moore and Prince-Tyson Gulley. Please, please bring back the old Fullback-Halfback offense next year, HCDM! Don't give us Gulley up the middle with Moore watching on the sidelines. And don't make Moore the new Adam Harris.

The other thing I looked at was the per game passing stats of Don McPherson and Ryan Nassib:

MCPHERSON 12 of 21, (.571) for 213 yards (17.8 per completion, 10.1 per attempt), 2TDs, 1 interception. Rating: 164.3.

NASSIB 21 of 32 (656) for 222 yards (10.6 per compeltion, 6.9 per attempt), 2TDs 1 interception. Rating: 139.1.

Nassib is throwing short constantly, hoping that the receiver can break a tackle and make a big play out of slant or quick out. It isn't happening. The whole point of trying to "establish the run" is to pull the safeties in so we can throw deep. We're feeding the ball to Bailey 20-25 times a game but we aren't thowing deep, (I think there was once deep ball vs. Rutgers). But you can also set up the long ball with the short pass and our line is improving and we need to throw more deep, or at least intermediate passes.

The 2011 isn't going to turn into the 1987 team but I just wanted to look at two of what I think are our major failings by comparing them. This team has so many young players on both sides of the ball, we are basically going to see the same team next year, (augmented with another recruiting class). Watching them develop will be the fun of it and these are two areas we really need to get better in.
 

ORANGEsPHK

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Good comparison. How do you think the landscape of play calling, and defensive schemes, have changed since the '87 team?

Watching them develop will be the fun of it and these are two areas we really need to get better in.

I agree whole-heartedly - this is what I'm looking forward to, watching this team grow and improve, because I believe the potential is there for it.
 

Czar

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I'm sorry, but when exactly was the air raid run in the past? Are you being coy by saying there is nothing new out there or do you actually believe that?
 

SWC75

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Good comparison. How do you think the landscape of play calling, and defensive schemes, have changed since the '87 team?.

I don't think it has changed such that throwing only short and haivng one back do all your ball carrying is a good idea. And if defenses have changed, it may mean that twould have probelsm defedning a two backfield because they aren't used to it. The "widlcat" was basically the old single wing and nobody knew how to defend it. The triple option was basically rugby.
 

SWC75

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I'm sorry, but when exactly was the air raid run in the past? Are you being coy by saying there is nothing new out there or do you actually believe that?

I'm not sure who you are responding to or what you trying to say.
 

Czar

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I'm not sure who you are responding to or what you trying to say.

I'll also put in my annual plea to go back to the future. Football is cyclical. There's nothing going on out there that's really new.
 

SWC75

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I don't know what an "air raid run" is. I've read a lot aobut the history of the sport and looked at a lot of vintage film and I really don't see anything out there that ahsn't been used before.
 

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