Some things I'm thinking about after game two | Syracusefan.com

Some things I'm thinking about after game two

OttoinGrotto

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I'll begin with the negatives so that the post ends on a positive note.

The crap:

- Others have mentioned it, but we have an extremely undisciplined defense. I don't know how much that will improve over the course of the season, because some of the worst offenders are found among our most experienced players.

- I really do not think los hermanos Thomas have what it takes to play together right now in pass defense. They just aren't very good in coverage together, and I think their individual weakness there compounds the problem.

- Compounding problems are an issue on the offensive line too. I think having weak guys next to each other is killing us. I didn't realize it was so bad that a subdivision team could push us around though.

- I do not like the way Bailey is being deployed on offense. Last year he was a very efficient and effective two-way back. This season he's being used as a one-dimensional player, and no, splitting him wide with an empty backfield is not the same. I think posters are right to be concerned about whether Ant is an everydown back. I also think we should be concerned about whether he is being placed in a position that maximizes his strengths and to be successful.

- I think a lot of people are barking up the wrong tree thinking that AAM is a difference maker right now. If he was ready I think he would be out there and featured somewhat. I am certain that even if he does play and carry the rock he doesn't magically improve our run blocking by simply gracing the backfield with his presence.

- SWC said elsewhere that he'd take Long punting out of the endzone, but Raupers from midfield to pin the opponent. I think that's an extremely nice way of saying that Raupers doesn't have the requisite leg to be an average D-1 punter.

- Our tackling and inability to make stops on third down is really, really discouraging.

The good:

- I think between Chew and Lemon we have two really, really good wideouts (Sales could have made the mix really special). I'm curious just how good Chew really is. I think he might be an NFL wideout - he's certainly not the skinny kid he once was. I think we're seeing what those guys can do now that they're healthy. The problems Lemon had with drops seem to be gone now that his hands aren't injured. Funny how that works. I never understood how a guy with issues catching the ball left highschool as his state's all-time leader in receptions (people are picking up on what I'm saying, right? Right? Injuries to the hands affect guys when they try to catch the ball, right?). You can go ahead and call me Ottostradamus, because on the exGF board I called him as our breakout player during the slow summer days of few posts, and that's how he's going to finish the season. I don't expect him to maintain his current pace, but if he does he'll demolish the school's career receptions record this season.

- The interior DL has performed better than I expected. I'm cautiously optimistic that we're ok here.

- Shamarko is so good against the run. If there's a better safety in run support I'd like to see him.

- I LOVED that we were aggressive on 4th down. It was the right call to go for it instead of pooch punting or opting for a field goal. LOVE it. Now, if we end up in similar situations against USC and the other name teams on our schedule and aren't as aggressive, I'm going to bemoan the return to scaredy cat football. Play to win guys, not to have a close game late that we hope to pull out.

- Nassib's on a ridiculous run. I'd say 6 TDs against 1 int averaging 250 yards and completing better than 70% of his passes is a pretty good start. Two games in he's also 25% of the way to breaking his own record for pass completions in a season. He also has got to have a ridiculous 4th quarter efficiency rating. Close and late the guy just gets the job done.

- We just need 4 more.
 

hungrychuck

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I'll begin with the negatives so that the post ends on a positive note.

The crap:

- Others have mentioned it, but we have an extremely undisciplined defense. I don't know how much that will improve over the course of the season, because some of the worst offenders are found among our most experienced players.

- I really do not think los hermanos Thomas have what it takes to play together right now in pass defense. They just aren't very good in coverage together, and I think their individual weakness there compounds the problem.

- Compounding problems are an issue on the offensive line too. I think having weak guys next to each other is killing us. I didn't realize it was so bad that a subdivision team could push us around though.

- I do not like the way Bailey is being deployed on offense. Last year he was a very efficient and effective two-way back. This season he's being used as a one-dimensional player, and no, splitting him wide with an empty backfield is not the same. I think posters are right to be concerned about whether Ant is an everydown back. I also think we should be concerned about whether he is being placed in a position that maximizes his strengths and to be successful.

- I think a lot of people are barking up the wrong tree thinking that AAM is a difference maker right now. If he was ready I think he would be out there and featured somewhat. I am certain that even if he does play and carry the rock he doesn't magically improve our run blocking by simply gracing the backfield with his presence.

- SWC said elsewhere that he'd take Long punting out of the endzone, but Raupers from midfield to pin the opponent. I think that's an extremely nice way of saying that Raupers doesn't have the requisite leg to be an average D-1 punter.

- Our tackling and inability to make stops on third down is really, really discouraging.

The good:

- I think between Chew and Lemon we have two really, really good wideouts (Sales could have made the mix really special). I'm curious just how good Chew really is. I think he might be an NFL wideout - he's certainly not the skinny kid he once was. I think we're seeing what those guys can do now that they're healthy. The problems Lemon had with drops seem to be gone now that his hands aren't injured. Funny how that works. I never understood how a guy with issues catching the ball left highschool as his state's all-time leader in receptions (people are picking up on what I'm saying, right? Right? Injuries to the hands affect guys when they try to catch the ball, right?). You can go ahead and call me Ottostradamus, because on the exGF board I called him as our breakout player during the slow summer days of few posts, and that's how he's going to finish the season. I don't expect him to maintain his current pace, but if he does he'll demolish the school's career receptions record this season.

- The interior DL has performed better than I expected. I'm cautiously optimistic that we're ok here.

- Shamarko is so good against the run. If there's a better safety in run support I'd like to see him.

- I LOVED that we were aggressive on 4th down. It was the right call to go for it instead of pooch punting or opting for a field goal. LOVE it. Now, if we end up in similar situations against USC and the other name teams on our schedule and aren't as aggressive, I'm going to bemoan the return to scaredy cat football. Play to win guys, not to have a close game late that we hope to pull out.

- Nassib's on a ridiculous run. I'd say 6 TDs against 1 int averaging 250 yards and completing better than 70% of his passes is a pretty good start. Two games in he's also 25% of the way to breaking his own record for pass completions in a season. He also has got to have a ridiculous 4th quarter efficiency rating. Close and late the guy just gets the job done.

- We just need 4 more.

Not sure I would use a word like "riduculous" when the opposition has been Wake Forest and Rhode Island. BTW, Wake gave up 27 today, all on FGs or pass plays. And Ryan's breakout game last year was against defense-challenged KState.

Now granted, he has the handicap of playing behind one of the worst pass-protecting lines in D-1 football, without a true deep threat at WR. And, of course, without a running game this year. But as someone who sat through Ryan's performance against UConn last year, perhaps we should wait a bit before erecting the quad statue.
 

OttoinGrotto

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Not sure I would use a word like "riduculous" when the opposition has been Wake Forest and Rhode Island. BTW, Wake gave up 27 today, all on FGs or pass plays. And Ryan's breakout game last year was against defense-challenged KState.

Now granted, he has the handicap of playing behind one of the worst pass-protecting lines in D-1 football, without a true deep threat at WR. And, of course, without a running game this year. But as someone who sat through Ryan's performance against UConn last year, perhaps we should wait a bit before erecting the quad statue.
First off, have you looked at my avatar? I take it you haven't, otherwise you would know I'm the last person on this board you want to discuss Nassib and erecting things with.

Second, you can't discount Nassib's accomplishments because of the underwhelming competition while acknowledging in the same breath how much other units struggled against the same underwhelming competition. Somebody had to perform in order to get those wins for the team, and Nassib has been the guy that has stepped up. Regardless, has an SU QB ever thrown 9 TDs over three games?
 

hungrychuck

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First off, have you looked at my avatar? I take it you haven't, otherwise you would know I'm the last person on this board you want to discuss Nassib and erecting things with.

Second, you can't discount Nassib's accomplishments because of the underwhelming competition while acknowledging in the same breath how much other units struggled against the same underwhelming competition. Somebody had to perform in order to get those wins for the team, and Nassib has been the guy that has stepped up. Regardless, has an SU QB ever thrown 9 TDs over three games?

I give you points on sense of humor for your first paragraph.

But you lose those on logic in the second. Sure I can discount Nassib's accomplishments based on competition. Is he one of the best players on the Syracuse team? Absolutely. Is he a better quarterback than our O-linemen are O-linemen? You bet. But he still has been getting his numbers against bad defenses. So if you want to tie your "ridiculous" assessment to your first point and your avatar, go for it. I'll wait a little longer to use words like that.

As to your last question, outside of the Greggers era, how many of our quarterbacks have played in a pro offense (in other words, an offense that involved throwing a forward pass as anything other than trickeration)?
 

OttoinGrotto

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I don't think you understood my argument at all, especially given the Greggers question.

Keep questioning Nassib, it's cool. There are reasons to doubt him. It doesn't affect him or the team one way or another.

If I'm going to look for reasons to believe in this team though I would think it makes sense to look at the guy that's putting up huge numbers the likes of which have never been seen in program history albeit against crappy competition over young guys that haven't proven anything against that same crappy competition or can't even see the field against that same crappy competition like so many here are eager to do (not necessarily you).

People want to see him play well against a good team. I get it. But you know who has played well on offense for us of late against good teams?

Nobody.

With that in mind, even if at his best we have a guy that bullies lesser teams and gets spanked by the big boys, well, we have more lesser teams on the schedule than big boys, so Nassib might be all we need to make this season work.
 

hungrychuck

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I don't think you understood my argument at all, especially given the Greggers question.

Keep questioning Nassib, it's cool. There are reasons to doubt him. It doesn't affect him or the team one way or another.

If I'm going to look for reasons to believe in this team though I would think it makes sense to look at the guy that's putting up huge numbers the likes of which have never been seen in program history albeit against crappy competition over young guys that haven't proven anything against that same crappy competition or can't even see the field against that same crappy competition like so many here are eager to do (not necessarily you).

People want to see him play well against a good team. I get it. But you know who has played well on offense for us of late against good teams?

Nobody.

With that in mind, even if at his best we have a guy that bullies lesser teams and gets spanked by the big boys, well, we have more lesser teams on the schedule than big boys, so Nassib might be all we need to make this season work.

I'm glad you included the "not necessarily you" bit. Because I am not suggesting that we have a better alternative to Nassib. As far as I know, there is absolutely no evidence that we have another D1 quarterback on the roster. And what I would agree with is that he is the one player we can least afford to lose from this team.

Also, I know he's one of those high-character kids we like to have in our program and he represents SU very well in that respect. And, I think he's a pretty good quarterback and has a chance to get better.

Anyway, I know what I say doesn't affect him or the team -- at least I sure as hell hope not. I assume they all have better things to do with their time than visit this board.

And I am not giving up on him or the team. I will be in LA Coliseum on Saturday to see how he does against a better team.

I hope he does very well.
 

OttoinGrotto

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Oh, that was more a comment on the people touting the young guys on defense and clamoring for Ameen-Moore than saying anyone is calling for Loeb or Kinder or anything. I don't think anybody's really doing that.
 

ssbriefcase

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So what do you do then, wait until the O-line gets together and all the sudden starts run blocking? Or since Marrone said he's using 4 rb's at least try a change of pace with a power runner? It's not a want anymore, the power run game is a need. So I think if you had terrible run blocking, you would be better off changing up the pace and put a guy in that would plow through the line, rather than someone that gets stuffed in the back field. Maybe like someone else mentioned there is the pass protecting issue, and maybe that's why AD, and Jerome Smith for that matter aren't getting on the field. But man, I can't see keeping with the same run game as the past 2 weeks. Just my 2 cents
 

JoeSU

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Not sure I would use a word like "riduculous" when the opposition has been Wake Forest and Rhode Island. BTW, Wake gave up 27 today, all on FGs or pass plays. And Ryan's breakout game last year was against defense-challenged KState.

Now granted, he has the handicap of playing behind one of the worst pass-protecting lines in D-1 football, without a true deep threat at WR. And, of course, without a running game this year. But as someone who sat through Ryan's performance against UConn last year, perhaps we should wait a bit before erecting the quad statue.
Playing against a 9 man front, I would have expected to see more of Baily leaking out on short dump-off passes in the space vacated by the LBs (the way the Ravens utilize Ray Rice). Bailey's got great hands and those short passes would be one way to get him the ball in space.
 

ssbriefcase

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Playing against a 9 man front, I would have expected to see more of Baily leaking out on short dump-off passes in the space vacated by the LBs (the way the Ravens utilize Ray Rice). Bailey's got great hands and those short passes would be one way to get him the ball in space.

Agreed. You'd think more of that has to be in the game plan for next week.
 

OttoinGrotto

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So what do you do then, wait until the O-line gets together and all the sudden starts run blocking? Or since Marrone said he's using 4 rb's at least try a change of pace with a power runner? It's not a want anymore, the power run game is a need. So I think if you had terrible run blocking, you would be better off changing up the pace and put a guy in that would plow through the line, rather than someone that gets stuffed in the back field. Maybe like someone else mentioned there is the pass protecting issue, and maybe that's why AD, and Jerome Smith for that matter aren't getting on the field. But man, I can't see keeping with the same run game as the past 2 weeks. Just my 2 cents
That's not quite it. I guess I'm saying I don't think it matters who lines up behind Nassib so long as the line isn't getting it done. I get what you're saying about a change of pace, but I'm openly questioning whether Smith and AAM have given us any reason to think that they'll be any better. All we realy have is that they're different size wise. Do we really know enough about their running styles and abilities to think they would plow through the line? If the only similarity they have to Carter is that they're bigger than Bailey and Gulley, I just don't think that's enough. In fact, I think you end up with an even worse scenario - slower guys that get stuffed in the backfield.
 

IHeartSUFball

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I just want to some minute eating, move the chains type of drives that we are going to need to ebat usc. The defense is on the field a lot more than they should and thereforeare winded by mid second quarter. Yes we need to help oursleves and get more 3 and outs, but without carter getting 4 yds on first down we seem to always be 2nd and 9 and third and 7 which isnt helping at all. We will know this week if we are good enough to compete for the big east title or the beef o bradys bowl. To be honest i'd take a bowl game no matter what this year and be satisifed going into a crucial year 4 for Marrone.
 

ssbriefcase

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That's not quite it. I guess I'm saying I don't think it matters who lines up behind Nassib so long as the line isn't getting it done. I get what you're saying about a change of pace, but I'm openly questioning whether Smith and AAM have given us any reason to think that they'll be any better. All we realy have is that they're different size wise. Do we really know enough about their running styles and abilities to think they would plow through the line? If the only similarity they have to Carter is that they're bigger than Bailey and Gulley, I just don't think that's enough. In fact, I think you end up with an even worse scenario - slower guys that get stuffed in the backfield.

Just going by what is being said happens in practice when AD gets the ball, it's been said by teammates and beat writers and coaches, that he runs very hard and runs people over and is the hardest back on the team to bring down, always falling forward. I think that's worth a look. But I'm no coach, maybe there are other reasons they don't play him. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I just really don't want to be sitting in the coliseum, watching Bailey get eaten, going up the middle. Like Joe said, hope the game plan is more Bailey friendly to suit his talents.
 

Chip

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Not sure I would use a word like "riduculous" when the opposition has been Wake Forest and Rhode Island. BTW, Wake gave up 27 today, all on FGs or pass plays. And Ryan's breakout game last year was against defense-challenged KState.

Now granted, he has the handicap of playing behind one of the worst pass-protecting lines in D-1 football, without a true deep threat at WR. And, of course, without a running game this year. But as someone who sat through Ryan's performance against UConn last year, perhaps we should wait a bit before erecting the quad statue.

When you read his post the Nassib part stuck out? The entire first part is terrifying, I barely made it to the Nassib part. We're 2-0 with a QB completing 70% of his passes and a 6 to 1 TD/INT ratio. That's good no matter who we're playing. Given that reality is probably going to set in fairly quickly, it just seems strange that anyone could view Nassib so far as anything other than a major positive. Sure, he's had some bad throws, but not that many, and he probably has less time (or confidence in his OL) than most D1 QBs. Rougher times are ahead for him, so I hope he continues to improve.
 

hungrychuck

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When you read his post the Nassib part stuck out? The entire first part is terrifying, I barely made it to the Nassib part. We're 2-0 with a QB completing 70% of his passes and a 6 to 1 TD/INT ratio. That's good no matter who we're playing. Given that reality is probably going to set in fairly quickly, it just seems strange that anyone could view Nassib so far as anything other than a major positive. Sure, he's had some bad throws, but not that many, and he probably has less time (or confidence in his OL) than most D1 QBs. Rougher times are ahead for him, so I hope he continues to improve.

Actually, I thought other points in his post were very good. And I wasn't particularly picking on Otto on the Nassib segment. There has been, in my opinion, a tendency to overhype him on this board, and it was just Otto's post that finally triggered a response. More cumulative than anything. As I said later, I think Ryan is pretty good. I just don't think he's better than that, at least not at this stage. But since there are at least three Nassib-oriented threads working right now, and I do like the kid, I'm going to give that argument a rest.
 

FranCuse

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Actually, I thought other points in his post were very good. And I wasn't particularly picking on Otto on the Nassib segment. There has been, in my opinion, a tendency to overhype him on this board, and it was just Otto's post that finally triggered a response. More cumulative than anything. As I said later, I think Ryan is pretty good. I just don't think he's better than that, at least not at this stage. But since there are at least three Nassib-oriented threads working right now, and I do like the kid, I'm going to give that argument a rest.

If Nassib did not have two good games so far, we would be 0-2. If we are one-dimensional in our offensive scheme, the defensive game plans will put overwhelming pressure on him and it wouldn't matter if we had Tom Brady, Payton Manning, or even Ryan Fitzpatrick:D back there.
 

kingtidge

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That's not quite it. I guess I'm saying I don't think it matters who lines up behind Nassib so long as the line isn't getting it done. I get what you're saying about a change of pace, but I'm openly questioning whether Smith and AAM have given us any reason to think that they'll be any better. All we realy have is that they're different size wise. Do we really know enough about their running styles and abilities to think they would plow through the line? If the only similarity they have to Carter is that they're bigger than Bailey and Gulley, I just don't think that's enough. In fact, I think you end up with an even worse scenario - slower guys that get stuffed in the backfield.

I think our blocking has regressed to some degree but moreover, I think we simply see how much we miss Carter... a guy who would often take first contact 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage and power forward dragging tacklers for a 3 yard gain...

You don't simply replace a guy like that.

Hopefully AAM will be able to do some of that in the future, but from what little I've seen of him, he's likely still growing into his body (seemed to have a little extra baby fat and could definitely hit the weights and chisel things up a bit)... hopefully he'll add a touch more speed as he matures as well... Not altogether surprising for a big frosh back like him, but make no mistakes, Carter as a senior was an absolute Clidesdale and AAM I don't think can simply take that baton at this stage.
 

ssbriefcase

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I think our blocking has regressed to some degree but moreover, I think we simply see how much we miss Carter... a guy who would often take first contact 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage and power forward dragging tacklers for a 3 yard gain...

You don't simply replace a guy like that.

Hopefully AAM will be able to do some of that in the future, but from what little I've seen of him, he's likely still growing into his body (seemed to have a little extra baby fat and could definitely hit the weights and chisel things up a bit)... hopefully he'll add a touch more speed as he matures as well... Not altogether surprising for a big frosh back like him, but make no mistakes, Carter as a senior was an absolute Clidesdale and AAM I don't think can simply take that baton at this stage.

I gotcha tidge, not trying to go rounds. But from your quote, you subscribe to the fact we're missing a power run game correct? And when you say..a guy who would often take first contact behind the line and power forward dragging tacklers for a 3 yard gain...that's exactly what's been said about AD in practice and what he's known for. So we need to impliment JS/or AD to try and see what we got. I'm resigned to the fact if we don't get a power run game soon it will directly impact our win column.
 

Millhouse

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I think our blocking has regressed to some degree but moreover, I think we simply see how much we miss Carter... a guy who would often take first contact 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage and power forward dragging tacklers for a 3 yard gain...

You don't simply replace a guy like that.
.
This is a complete myth.

Carter needed holes too. everyone does. somehow carter has turned into a one man gang who carried guys for a thousand yards last year.

URI was a repeat of Maine last year where we ran for 78 yards and 3 yards per carry. these teams just sold out to stop the run

SU was held under a 100 yards 5 times last year fwiw
 

qdawgg

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This is a complete myth.

Carter needed holes too. everyone does. somehow carter has turned into a one man gang who carried guys for a thousand yards last year.

URI was a repeat of Maine last year where we ran for 78 yards and 3 yards per carry. these teams just sold out to stop the run

SU was held under a 100 yards 5 times last year fwiw

Yes because we had these same exact arguments last year about the line and getting no push. The DC haters at the time complained that he wasn't fast enough, had lost a step, and so on. The people that still knew DC had talent said nobody can run when the defense stacks the box, there are more guys on D committed to the run then guys to block them all.

The blocking hasn't regressed, it may not have gotten better but it definitely hasn't gotten worse. It was pretty bad at times last year - just like this year. I've wanted to see AAM in the backfield as well too but I don't think that just because he goes into the game that he automatically moves the pile. I just think we need a different RB look at times, you can't just keep running Bailey into a pile of defenders. At some point you need to put a big guy in there to at least unload some pain and wear down the defense even if he's not statistically getting any more yards than Bailey.
 

upperdeck

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The Oline is what it is.. if anything this year they are passing protecting better, whether thats related to the competition is yet to be seen. If we could run just a little better I think we would see even better passing as we could pass more when we want and had control of the down and distance. If we could run better we would control the clock better, probably wear down the D better and help our D too.. We may not actually score more points but have better control of the games..

I think USC with better athletes is even less worried about the passing game and it might be harder to run than that last 2 weeks. But we have gotten rcvrs open deep 7-10 times in two games and took the shots.. Maybe this week we complete 3-4 instead of 1-2.. that in itself could be the difference. if they sell out to stop the run we get more 1on1 chances.. They could also feel they can stop the run with the front 7 and make passing harder. I think as long as they do what they have for 2 games the coaches will scheme against it. Minn moved the ball with a Fr QB. Utah moved it with a QB that couldn't throw 25 yds down field..

even vs PSU two years ago we had our chances to score and make it a game. We missed 1-2 tackles and a bad TO from staying in that game late. I would like to think we are better and I really think USC is not as good as that PSU team was.. Lets hope their young guys continue to make mistakes..
 

All4SU

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The Oline is what it is.. if anything this year they are passing protecting better, whether thats related to the competition is yet to be seen. If we could run just a little better I think we would see even better passing as we could pass more when we want and had control of the down and distance. If we could run better we would control the clock better, probably wear down the D better and help our D too.. We may not actually score more points but have better control of the games..

I think USC with better athletes is even less worried about the passing game and it might be harder to run than that last 2 weeks. But we have gotten rcvrs open deep 7-10 times in two games and took the shots.. Maybe this week we complete 3-4 instead of 1-2.. that in itself could be the difference. if they sell out to stop the run we get more 1on1 chances.. They could also feel they can stop the run with the front 7 and make passing harder. I think as long as they do what they have for 2 games the coaches will scheme against it. Minn moved the ball with a Fr QB. Utah moved it with a QB that couldn't throw 25 yds down field..

even vs PSU two years ago we had our chances to score and make it a game. We missed 1-2 tackles and a bad TO from staying in that game late. I would like to think we are better and I really think USC is not as good as that PSU team was.. Lets hope their young guys continue to make mistakes..

Good post, UD. Agree with all of that. And I expect that USC will feel like they don't need to stack the box, and play us straight up instead.
 

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