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  1. #16
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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrocksmypants View Post
    I think the only loss Rhoads has that was definitively a game we should have won would be Colorado in 2010. We just flat out laid an egg there. Other than that, I think he's won the games we should win and got some big upsets in there too.

    As for offense, I like our passing game plan, when we actually pass. The running game drives me nuts, though. We need some just straight up running plays. Not every run has to be a read option. Plus, it's starting to get very predictable, kinda like Mac was. I remember in his last season I accurately predicted 100 percent of the plays if they'd be a run or pass. I'm getting closer and closer to being able to do that with Mess too. And if I can do it, you can bet your *** a defensive coordinator can.
    I'd like to see us get away from the spread somewhat. Not calling for it to be abandoned completely, but if most teams use it, then most defences are ready for it.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Offensive line- needs to get better, i think it will get better with these recruits.

    Defense is schemed well.

    We are a star QB and a softer schedule away from winning 10+ games. Cant plan on the schedule lightening up, but we do have a solid core of guys right now. Rhoads just needs that one star plater to build a team around.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Quote Originally Posted by dualthreat View Post
    Offensive line- needs to get better, i think it will get better with these recruits.

    Defense is schemed well.

    We are a star QB and a softer schedule away from winning 10+ games. Cant plan on the schedule lightening up, but we do have a solid core of guys right now. Rhoads just needs that one star plater to build a team around.
    The Oline has been the best part of the offense for 4 years, yet it is singled out to get better?



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    I agree with everything, but I disagree when you suggest the QB evaluation is possibly a negative.

    Both Mess and CPR have stated that Sammy Sunshine hasn't shown this level of play in practice, or they would've put him in the season sooner. From what I understand, the only reason he was put in vs Kansas is because Jantz was tested for a concussion and the med staff had their doubts.

    Not to turn this into a QB thread.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    I'm in agreement with a lot of the OP's point and was thinking about this very topic last night while the rest of the house peacefully snoozed. Year Four basically brings an end to the "rebuilding" required from a transition and the program becomes the fully owned product of the current regime. You can make an argument that it's maybe Year Five or in some circumstances (where talent isn't a problem like Florida, Auburn or Ohio State) it's Year Three.

    I too have been thrilled with the height of the highs, like at Texas in 2010, at Texas Tech and of course Oklahoma State in 2011. The lows have been few really, like at Colorado, Utah and Oklahoma in 2010 and Missouri 2011. We've had some heartbreakers in there where you actually don't feel about your program despite the loss, like all the recent games against KSU and Nebraska in 2010.

    I'm very happy with the defensive play and dread each off-season now, fearing that Burnham will retire. The defense is the most sound we've been in a long, long time from a fundamentals standpoint. As with anyone, we could benefit from better recruiting at the DL and need to do a better job, surprisingly, at linebacker. I've been impressed by our ability to land high quality DBs and I think they're getting quality coaching despite a transition in year three. Clearly, we need more quality depth and I'm a little disappointed at the dropoff from our first teamers this year.

    The offense, frankly, has been a huge disappointment. From a recruiting and development standpoint, it's been very mixed. I think we have a solid, if not spectacular core on the OL with an NFL 2nd round pick and several good players as well. RB has been good overall but not great, but there is a very nice corps of skills there. The TE and WRs have been a ridiculous spectrum from excellent to borderline terrible, ranging from a Colin Franklin to some guys who were probably not BCS caliber athletes who got by on heart and grit. We've been deficient at QB going back to Meyer, and it spiraled out of control this season as we sought some spark, anything to get us bowl eligible. The coaching and teaching on offense has also been pretty suspect with our inability to pick up a middle blitz on the OL for 2 years+; our WRs have been wildly inconsistent catching the football, blocking and route running and then don't do things that most HS coaches drill into their players like coming back to the QB on a scramble or not giving up on a play/going for the ball. The QB spot - let's just say I'm glad the last few years are behind us.

    I'm happy with the punting as we have a gem in the 'Punt Doctor' in Kirby, however I think we've struggled at the kicker spot. Arceo overcame a rocky first half and really came on strong in the second half which gives me some hope for the future. We got a redshirt for Netten and have only two scholarahips tied up in the kicking game rather than three between him and Kirby. Overall, the coverage and return games have been all over the board but on the whole not great, but not too bad. We haven't had a game-changer return man but most teams don't.

    The schedule setup really well for a breakthrough year this year with a very good defense and a solid nucleus returning on offense. Then came the QB shuffle, as we sought answers our QB problems. In hindsight, we're probably fortunate the escape that disastrous conference stretch and remain bowl eligible. Good news in that I think we found a guy late who is more of a complete player in the core QB skills and we'll have him for three more years. It's early, but there is a lot of promise in what we saw those last couple of games. If Rohach can beat out Richardson in the next couple of years, we'll not only by good but perhaps very good.

    Getting better quality play in the passing game is what we need to get past 6-6, in my opinion. That means better QB and better receiver play. I like the core of young guys we have at the WR spot - they have the size but just need development and we need a legitimate deep threat to emerge. Brun has the potential to be very good as a senior in my opinion.

    Overall, I think the Defense gave us better than .500 play the majority of season despite being asked to do WAY more than is reasonable because of the inept offense. On the whole, we could stand to get more pressure on the QB and be a little more stout on the DL, but weren't bad overall. I think we saw deficiencies when both Watson and Givens were out of the lineup, and Knott was our best player in the last four years on either side of the ball. I'm actually pretty confident that Burnham will find a way to be adequate or better to our level of competition. My hope is that Messingham learned a lot in his first year, because despite some real bumps in the road (dealing with finding something that the offense could run successfully during the QB carousel), I think he did a pretty good job. Bleil needs to consult with a few colleagues on how to pick up the middle blitz and flooded zone because this is an ongoing problem. It obviously helps to have QB who knows and can see to throw to a vacated zone on this and we saw Richardson torch KU twice on that and WVU once, so it's not just an OL problem.

    Overall, it's a successful foundational Four years for a new regime, but we have an exciting opportunity in front of us. Several of our neighboring programs are suffering a bit of a downturn with Missouri and Iowa being down and it being unclear whether those are aberrant blips or signs of real down period. Nebraska I think is never going to return to their glory days. I think we're largely in a 'stay the course' situation, but some keys to moving forward are hold the home turf and avoiding the QB carousel. Going 1 and 4 at home is simply unacceptable and will hurt attendance and enthusiasm in time - we blew our chance at taking another step as program with a pretty decent schedule this year, but it shows how unforgiving this conference is. Avoiding the QB carousel is really a rock and a hard place scenario and why these guys get paid big bucks. Our QB play through the middle stretch was a difference between 6-6 and 8-4 I think, and it makes me wonder what Mess was looking at by not giving Richardson more of a chance earlier. It's easy to Monday Morning QB that, but Richardson certainly appeared to have some real ability and I think Rhoads may have injected himself in that process to get Sam in there. I think and really hope we're past these problems.

    Overall, I'm excited for the future and approach the bowl season and off-season with more optimism than under any coach in my 35+ years as a fan. The foundation has been laid. It will be fun and gut-wrenching in the future I'm sure. No matter what, I think Rhoads a great fit and we're doing our part as fans to help him take us farther.

    Cheers



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    CPR took Chizik/McCarney players and went 7-6 (3-5 conference) in his first season. Season two was 5-7 (3-5 conference), Season 3 was 6-7 (3-6 conference). Season 4 will either be 7-6 or 6-7 (3-6 conference).

    To use a weather analogy (since ISU has a weather event as a mascot), ISU is like hot, energy-laden, humid air trapped at the surface in a capped atmosphere situation. If ISU could somehow punch through the cap, storms would quickly develop, and possibly a cyclone (pun intended) would develop that could wreak havoc on the conference. However, if ISU can't break through...it just becomes more and more unpleasant and discouraging, because the anticipation of the future storm is never fulfilled, and the relief of pleasant conditions after the storm never comes. Eventually, the energy-laden air is pushed out, and the opportunity is lost.

    This upcoming bowl game is pretty big. A loss makes three losing seasons in a row. Also, ISU is still trapped down at the bottom of the conference, and not making progress (at least record-wise) there.

    I see two things holding ISU back. To continue with the weather analogy, I think the QB situation (and perhaps offensive coordinator) has been keeping ISU from punching the cap. Perhaps that situation is now gaining enough energy to punch through. Once the above situation is solved and ISU to punches through, I see the bend-not-break defense being something that keeps ISU from developing into a monster storm. ISU needs get some stops to keep the opponents on the opponent's side of the 50 yd line, to give the offense more scoring chances and better field position.

    On the positive side, as others have metnioned, it looks like ISU is to the point where embarrassing blowouts may be a thing of the past. This is a big step.

    Hoping to punch through the cap next year. If ISU doesn't, the unpleasantness may start heating up...


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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    The next year or so will be the first one that I really judge how we are improving. Until this point Chizik still had a significant impact on the program. These are now all Rhoads guys. The best players until this year were brought here by Chizik and personally I don't see the ability to recruit top players yet, hopefully it will come. I also think the last two years we have flat lined in terms of improvement.



  8. #23
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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Quote Originally Posted by Skidoosh View Post
    I agree with everything, but I disagree when you suggest the QB evaluation is possibly a negative.

    Both Mess and CPR have stated that Sammy Sunshine hasn't shown this level of play in practice, or they would've put him in the season sooner. From what I understand, the only reason he was put in vs Kansas is because Jantz was tested for a concussion and the med staff had their doubts. Yeah, so much for the qb tryouts. The staff kept getting the wrong answer. .
    SR looks like a better touch passer and even a better runner and can hang in the pocket. Makes you wonder if the evaluations were tilted.


    Last edited by Wesley; 11-24-2012 at 10:59 AM.
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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    I am very disappointed with the offense, this is not just a CPR problem but it is his now. ISU has been pretty much bottom of the barrel offensively in the Big 12 for about a decade. Yesterday slammed that home. West Virginia was giving up at least 39 points in EVERY Big 12 game so far this year. We managed to put up a paltry 24. West Virginia was giving up 496 yards/game. ISU was held to 100 yards under that. In fact most games ISU helped out the opponents defensive averages this season, that is not good. Every coach on the offensive side of the ball should fee uncomfortable in their position. Do not give me the athletes garbage either. Plenty of BCS schools across the country play against better defenses for the most part and seem to put up more yards then ISU. IMO there should be a shakeup on the offensive staff, demote Mess to a position coach and have him stick with special teams and new coaches across the board.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    One thing I have looked at is quality of product on the field year to year, depth, and of course fan enthusiasm. Fan enthusiasm has reached a fever pitch, I dont feel that will last forever if 6-6 is the continued norm. This years team would smoke the 2009 version, that is a fact. We had 4 non-conference games then and a rotating schedule. We also got smoked by good Iowa team in the non-con. It took us getting incredibly lucky against a Nebraska team that completely looked past us to become bowl eligible, Also happened in 2010 with Texas. Nobody looks past us anymore and we didnt get lucky this year in a win once. The fact that we are bowl elligible with this schedule, the injuries on d and qb carousel (sp?) this year is nothing short of amazing. Losing Givens hurt us more than losing Jake Knott IMO based on who was backing each player up.
    CPR preaches a resiliency that I have never seen out of an ISU team. They play their ***** off.
    Look back to 2005 which I bet most people would consider our best overall team in recent memory. They played 3 non-con games. They played a average Nebraska/bad K-State/ok Mizzou/bad OSU/bad aTm/bad Baylor/average KU/decent Colorado teams. How would this team do against that schedule, I would expect better than 7-4.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Quote Originally Posted by swarthmoreCY View Post
    The Oline has been the best part of the offense for 4 years, yet it is singled out to get better?
    Yes. We are 9th in the big 12 in rushing. Largely due to the offensive line.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Offense clearly needs improvement. 4 years of ineptitude.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Coach Rhoads has been amazing but I do think ISU underachieved this year. But with QB issues and Jake Knott going down late in the year 6-7 wins was probably about right. I'm just disappointed in the losses to Tech and WVU at home. That shouldn't happen, particularly the Tech game coming off a bye week and the team completely healthy. Two years in a row we start 3-0 and have a great opportunity in that 4th game to take the next step on the season and we can't do it.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    with a healthy defense, i think we probably would have won yesterday. 7 regular season wins is pretty successful here. Rhoads has done a pretty admirable job. Hopefully we play a big 10 team in the bowl game and finish off the season on a positive note. 7-6



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Quote Originally Posted by dualthreat View Post
    with a healthy defense, i think we probably would have won yesterday. 7 regular season wins is pretty successful here. Rhoads has done a pretty admirable job. Hopefully we play a big 10 team in the bowl game and finish off the season on a positive note. 7-6
    The Tavon Austin 'catch' for 75 yards was a big deal. If ISU has a healthy secondary, that play never happens. Maybe a 30 yard gain but no TD and perhaps WVU has to settle for a field goal?



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