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Thread: Quick Question

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    Quick Question

    I'm having a discussion about Barney Cotton on a Husker BBS and I was wondering what was the class makeup of the 2006 ISU offensive line? I couldn't help but notice that the number of sacks given up by the ISU O-line was bascially cut in half between 06 & 07.

    Thanks, guys!



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    Re: Quick Question

    Quote Originally Posted by garn91 View Post
    I'm having a discussion about Barney Cotton on a Husker BBS and I was wondering what was the class makeup of the 2006 ISU offensive line? I couldn't help but notice that the number of sacks given up by the ISU O-line was bascially cut in half between 06 & 07.

    Thanks, guys!
    I can't answer your question specifically but I think at least part of the reason for the reduced sacks was play calling and Meyer throwing the ball away a lot more.



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    Re: Quick Question

    Stephenson, Fisher (I think he started most of the games), Stephens, Zehr, and Brant were all seniors in 2006.



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    Re: Quick Question

    I think it was all senior minus a sophomore. Stephenson, Fischer, Fischer, Brandt,Schemling & Zehr.

    I think oh wait here



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    Re: Quick Question

    4 seniors and 1 soph is correct I believe.

    And 2 of those seniors flirted with the NFL. How the line was that bad is beyond me.



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    Re: Quick Question

    Thanks again, I appreciate it. I thought it was a senior dominated line, but wanted to make sure.



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    Re: Quick Question

    Here's what Cotton had to work with in 2006:

    Aaron Brant - a 6'7" 320 lb Senior. Came in as a 3 star, 49th rated OT in the Nation.
    Paul Fisher - 6'7" 325 lb Senior. Came in as a 4 star OT. Junior College Top 50.
    Scott Fisher - 6'7" 335 lb Senior. 3 star OT our of Junior college.
    Ahtyba Rubin - 6'3" 285 Jr from Florida.
    Tom Schmeling - 6'3" 290 lb Soph.
    Bastian Schober - 6'2" 305 lb Junior out of Texas. Interest from Nebraska and ND.
    Reggie Stephens - 6'4" 315 lb RFr out or Texas. Came in as a 3 star (54 best OG in nation)
    Scott Stephenson - 6'4" 305 ln Senior out of MN. 55th best DE out of high school.
    Lee Tibbs - 6'4" 325 lbo Jr. Came out of JC as a 3 star.
    John Tjaden - 6'7" 305 lb Jr. Came in as 3 star, 33 best OT in the nation. Best player in Iowa.
    Seth Zehr - 6'6" 300 lb sr. 2 star recruit out of Iowa. Top 100 OT.

    In summary, he had 5 seniors, 5 Juniors, 4 sophs. Most of which the "experts" believed had plenty of potential coming in to ISU. Looking at the size of these guys and remebering how they got manhandled in 2006... their development under Cotton was horrid.


    Last edited by ColoradoClone; 01-10-2008 at 08:21 AM.

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    Re: Quick Question

    Most Cyclone fans were afraid that offensive line would be the biggest weakness because we had to replace 4 seniors with an unheralded group of underclassmen. The improvement and growth in the offensive line was in my opinion the surprise of the season. Run blocking was significantly improved as the season progressed, and the turnaround in sacks allowed was nothing short of incredible.

    I can't provide specific quotes, but I remember comments by the offensive linemen from spring practice that they were excited about the new techniques that McFarland had brought to the table. The new coaching staff also seemed to instill an attitude of toughness in the players.



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    Re: Quick Question

    Quick question - long (copy and pasted) answer.

    Here is what Scout.com had to say about the 2006 line.......

    Offensive Linemen
    It's a huge, experienced line that has to be night-and-day better than last year when it paved the way for a mere 111 rushing yards per game and allowed a whopping 39 sacks. Averaging around 310 pounds per man among the projected starting five, the running game should be better with more physical all-around play. There's solid depth with several good, young, big bodies ready to fill in. JUCO transfer Lee Tibbs and freshman Jose Vargas could make things interesting this summer.
    The key to the unit: The line has to play up to its size and do more in pass protection. The tackles need to play better.
    Offensive Line Rating: 7

    Projected Starters
    - OT Scott Fisher, Sr.
    Scott and his twin brother Paul will be huge factors on the line. Scott is 6-7 and 335 pounds and experienced after starting the final five games of last year. He's a former BYU Cougar who's athletic enough to be more effective as a pass blocker.
    - OG Tom Schmeling, Soph.
    A backup so far, the 6-3, 290-pound sophomore will get one of the first looks at left guard. He has made a huge jump in production from last season to this spring and is expected to grow into a key blocker.
    - C Scott Stephenson, Sr.
    The former transfer from Minnesota turned into an All-Big 12 blocker in the middle. He's 6-4 and 305 pounds with great movement and athleticism along with a relentless hitting ability. He missed spring ball recovering from shoulder surgery, but he'll be back this fall to be the line's anchor.
    - OG Seth Zehr, Sr.
    A solid veteran with 31 starts, the 6-6, 300-pound senior is a great athlete who's versatile enough to play either center or guard. He was out this spring with a broken hand, but he'll be back this fall as a mainstay at right guard.
    - OT Aaron Brant, Sr.
    Brant is finally starting to live up to the lofty promise he showed as a true freshmen when the coaches were raving about him from day one. He's an experienced starter with tremendous size at 6-4 and 320 pounds. Now he has to take another step up in his pass blocking ability.

    Top Backups
    - C Bastian Schober, Jr.
    An academic all-star, the 305-pound junior saw plenty of work this spring while Scott Stephenson was recovering from a shoulder problem. He needs more game experience before he's ready to come close to matching Stephenson's production.
    - G Paul Fisher, Sr.
    The 6-7, 325-pound senior isn't quite as big as his brother Scott, but he's a massive body with the potential to take over a starting spot at right guard. If nothing else, he'll be a key reserve.
    - G Reggie Stephens, RFr.
    On the fast track to becoming a top guard, the 315-pound redshirt freshman showed enough promise this off-season to be a starter if needed. He'll be a top backup behind


    Here is what they said about the 2007 line.......

    Offensive Linemen

    Projected Starters: Don't get comfortable with the lineup, it could quickly change. Junior Tom Schmeling is the only returning starter after getting the nod in the first eight games of last year. Up to 295 pounds, he needs to be a tough run blocker who anchors the line with his experience. Able to play either guard spot, he'll stat out on the right side.

    At left guard will be the beef of the line, 322-pound sophomore Reggie Stephens. He's shown enough promise starting the last four games of last season to be relied on as one of the team's steadier blockers.

    At center, taking over for Scott Stephenson, will be 309-pound junior Brandon Johnson, a former defensive lineman who spent last year learning the ins and outs of the offensive line. If nothing else, his size and aggressiveness will help in the ground game.

    On the left side will be sophomore Doug Dedrick, a transfer from Scottsdale CC who's only 271 pounds replacing Scott Fisher. Dedrick might be one of the lightest tackles in the Big 12, but he'll also be among the quickest.

    6-4, 315-pound senior Lee Tibbs didn't do anything last year after coming over from Northeast Oklahoma A&M, but he'll have to be a key pass protector in place of Aaron Brant. He has the size, and now he has to show he has enough quickness to keep Bret Meyer upright.

    Projected Top Reserves: The starters are hardly in place, so the reserves are in an even greater state of chaos. 297-pound junior Joe Blaes is a key JUCO transfer who's a lighter, quicker option than Stephens at left guard. He has the talent to be among the team's better linemen as the season goes on, or at least be a top reserve.

    290-pound sophomore Alex Alvarez comes over from Kilgore CC to fill in at either guard or tackle. While he played left tackle at the JUCO level and in high school, he projects to be more of a guard playing behind Schmeling on the right side.

    At center, 290-pound senior Anthony Walker has been around long enough to see time in the rotation, but he hasn't been a factor in anyway. He's a strong, smart player who might be called on quickly if Johnson struggles at center.

    Watch Out For ... things to possibly be just as bad as last season. With four new starters and no experience among the reserves, it could be a while before this is a cohesive unit.
    Strength: Um, uh .... JUCO transfers? With three brought in to play right away, there's at least a little playing experience among the newcomers. It's just not at the D-I level.
    Weakness: Experience. With only one returning starter, and Schmeling not exactly an All-Big 12 talent, the line will be a work in progress. The depth is an even bigger concern.
    Outlook: The line has to be night-and-day better than last year when it was a major disappointment allowing 57 sacks and doing nothing for the ground game. It might not be.



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    Re: Quick Question

    Great find c.y.c.l.o.n.e.s. It's really amazing the difference coaching can make. One year the line is full of expereinced players and expected to be the stregth of the team, but it takes a giant dump on the field. The next year, all the experience is gone, and the talent doesn't look as good, and it's expected to be the worst part of the team. Enter a new position coach and it turns out to be one of the teams strengths.

    I'm just thankful that MacFarland came in when he did, because I can't imagine what would have happened otherwise. Bret may have been killed.



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    Re: Quick Question

    Quote Originally Posted by 1100011CS View Post
    I can't answer your question specifically but I think at least part of the reason for the reduced sacks was play calling and Meyer throwing the ball away a lot more.
    Exactly. QB coach Petersen has this quirky thought - sacks are very, very bad.

    They worked a lot with Meyer the second they arrived in regards to getting rid of the ball much quicker. You'll notice he rarely held onto the ball very long - either getting to a receiver, running or throwing it away. This was the biggest reason the number of sacks went down.

    I'm not trying to take away anything from the improved line play last season, they were much better, but getting rid of the ball quick was the key.



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    Re: Quick Question

    That's true, but when you go from having a senior dominated offensive line that had some very good players on it to a line that has a vastly undersized JUCO, a converted defensive lineman, a RSFr. converted tight end, and the one returning starter that had a hard time keeping his job... that tells me coaching was an extreme issue and frankly Barney was the OC and offensive line coach. He couldn't figure it out. He did a bad job with both. The buck stops with him and Mac when it came to the offensive line and total offense and both were a complete disaster for years.

    The change in philosophy when it comes to getting rid of the ball was good. But it wasn't the end all be all because the run game sucked balls before this last year as well.




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    Re: Quick Question

    I guess the thing that still really gets me is how Nebraska fans were laughing at us 5-6 years ago for hiring Cotton after they ran him out of town. He goes and fails here, we fire him, they rehire him, and then tell us that it was our system that was the reason why he was a failure.

    Does this confuse the hell out of anyone else?


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    Re: Quick Question

    I don't disagree coaching was an issue. It tells me our previous QB coach wasn't near as good as I thought he was (I had said back then he was one of our best assistants) and I'm damn glad he decided not to stick around.

    Meyer had absolutely no clock in his head as far as when the ball needed to get out. He helped make that offensive line look 10x worse than it was.

    Both Cotton and the QB coach dropped the ball with the '06 group.

    Another reason we got some help in the running game this year was group of pretty decent running backs and when one guy got injured - we didn't have a nobody to put in there. Hicks didn't have an A-Rob behind him and - Hicks wasn't all that and a bag of chips himself.

    Think of what our running game would have looked like if we only had one good back and a couple so-so guys behind him. No different than last year, IMO.



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    Re: Quick Question

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUFan22 View Post
    Think of what our running game would have looked like if we only had one good back and a couple so-so guys behind him. No different than last year, IMO.
    I think we know exactly what that would have looked like. It was called Ryan Kock ramming the ball down Mizzou's throats all game, and it was something several of us were calling for all year.




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