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  1. #1
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    What to think - 2 days later....

    Okay, my wife and i tripped down for the Nebraska Game and enjoyed the day, everything except the game that is.....

    So, i've ran through several scenarios in my mind about what, who, why and this teams looks the way it looks, here's my list of explanations....

    1. Poor Coaching: IMO the past two weeks can be directly attributed to coaching. To watch that game in person was so painful, my wife was proud of me for not dropping "F" bombs every 3 plays because thats how many plays we had before we punted! So many aspects to the coaching to me is becoming more then clear. Our players did not look prepared for this game both offensively or defensively. Explain this to me, why do we stay in our base package when they would go 3-4 wide? I could see the coverage we were in well before the snap of the ball - it looked like we stayed in the base 2 deep zone nearly the entire game. Tell you what, give an experienced guy the same look every down and just as they said last year, thats high school stuff - we allowed the offense to dictate the coverage he would see and knew before the snap who would be open and where. It was so easy for them, we're lucky the score wasn't 60-70 to 7. I will leave the game planning for another topic - its long too!!!!

    2. Talent: I know i've heard so many talking about well Baylor and Nebraska are going through what we went through last year - THATS BS.....When Mac was let go, our squad was not left with competition at every position - we had the talent level to compete but not thrive in the Missouri Valley Conference. Nebraska's team that you saw out there today had a senior class recruit rating of 5 and 20th for juniors not to mention 13 and 30th last year. Any way you look at it, the quality of players top to bottom is superior. However, the one player on the field that i saw continuing to make an impact for either team was Leonard Johnson - he may have been the best player on the field regardless of team.

    3. Schemes/Game Plan: WOW - where to start. I cannot believe that every team thats played Nebraska has exploited the nebraska weakness, Linebackers that cannot cover downfield and Corners that make mistakes. Well, based on what i witnessed - some of the poor game execution could have come from bringing in a true freshman to start this game - why this game? Sorry but on several occasions i could see 72 get beat and our qb take the abuse afterwards. KO did not have a good game, neither did Haughton. Not sure why the coaching staff chose this week to shake up the OL, maybe they've conceded this team is not good and they're already sending the message they're playing this season out in hopes of establishing who will be playing next year. But our OL got beat on almost every play the second half. Not sure if anyone else noticed this, but, the very thing i blasted Bret Meyer for last year, i'm beginning to see the same resemblance from AA - LOCK ON A RECEIVER AND THROW IT - regardless of if hes covered or not. If were looking at next year, the heck with it, open up the play book, lets have fun with it. A three yard slant on 3rd and 15 based on the hope he will break a tackle and get the first down stupid. Why do we ever look to the sideline - i saw only twice in the whole game that we changed the play, on one of those we got a delay call. Our QB must be prepared to read and adjust to what he sees. I could not believe on one of our second half possessions that i could easily see 9 guys in the box either for a blitz or to stop the run - we ran right into it for a 2 yard loss. Why don't we change to a quick hitter? Why are our TE's not used? Why do we run the bubble screen 3 times in our first 8 plays? I put all this blame on the OC - Mcfarland needs to either open things up, change something because they've become as predictable as the later days of the Hayden Fry era when it was 3rd and 15, everyone including the water boy knew a draw was coming.

    Defense: Where is the aggressive attacking ball hawking schemes we expected when Chizik was hired? What does Bolt do? He surely didn't prepare this team to play this offense? They looked confused, out of place and we used 1-3 schemes the entire day. It was worse then the score showed. I mean really, Nebraska has the ball 3rd and 5, we sit in a zone and swift drags across the middle and sits down - how easy was it? There was no pressure on Ganz, very few blitzes, and when we did, we used those stupid delay blitzes that only shows how slow we truly are in the middle of the field. I know everyone was talking about Jesse Smiths tackles, thats great but we need 11 guys flying to the ball, not 3. Our tackling (I mean come on, its a fundamental) was lousy!!!!! Not wrapping up, and when we did, #54 got up from the tackle. Thats why he gets so many tackles, even if it is 8 yards downfield. If our game plan is to sit back in a cover 2 zone, the rest of the season is a loss even to Texas A&M. We cannot afford to sit back, its time to either give up the 70 yard play and press or sit back and allow them to eat up the clock and wear our defense out with long drives - the outcome is the same - a lot of points. To me, to give up this amount of points can only be attributed to coaching. If we know we have inferior talent, then we need to outcoach/outscheme - right now that is not happening!!!!!

    I'm off my rant, i think the overall level of talent is increasing and i know that it takes time. He's not trying to do what Prince has done at KSU, he's selling out to win now. Chizik and his staff are betting on the long haul, and i respect that. Playing the quantity of freshman that we are, should benefit us down the road. However, regardless of experience, IMO we have been so soft that its actually not harnessing the actual playmakers we have on defense. I cannot believe the quantity of snaps that i saw LJ and Benton taken off the field for Mcdowell and Singleton. My two favorite players on this team right now are LJ and Kennard Banks - if Banks does not remind many of us of Bob Sanders, i don't know what will, he's very impressive. We have the corners imo to be aggressive, but, we don't allow them to cover, instead we put them in a zone and allow them to make tackles because bigtime wide receivers will find the openings, especially when you have ZERO pressure. Are we really harnessing the athletes we have on this team?

    Punt Returns: I hope someone that's being recruited is a shutterbug punt returner, McDowell looks slow in reading his blocks and then to cough it up, that play sealed the game for them. We need someone back there that if his only role on our roster is to give us an impact at Punter Returner, we need it. LJ returning kicks is exciting, he appears destined to return one for a td!!!

    To me, this all reverts back to coaching, i put a large portion of the Nebraska game at the feet of McFarland and Bolt. Both aspects of the team appeared to be under prepared and changes were not made during the game to slow down or stop anyone. I know a lot of people want to lay blame on this or that, but, to me, the players are told what to do, and it appeared in this game that the coaches actually hurt this team more then they helped it this week.

    Hopefully, we can make adjustments both as a team full of young players but also a coaching staff that still has some growth. I hope one of the coaches stands up and says you know what, i screwed up, don't lay all this on the team not being good - thats BS.



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    Re: What to think - 2 days later....

    Well said KMAC. I agree with most of what you're saying. Most disturbing to me is that we scored only 10 on Baylor and 7 against Nebraska...



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    Re: What to think - 2 days later....

    Good summary, KMAC.



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    Re: What to think - 2 days later....

    I agree with you for the most part as it seemed to be in base cover 2 80% of the time. The only thing I disagree with was the few times we played man we couldn't cover. Although LJ played well he got a beat a couple times pretty bad, twice on the first drive, but I understand he is young and it takes time and he will be a great player.

    And yes the coaching and preperation needs to improve immensely.


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    Re: What to think - 2 days later....

    Here are some funny numbers....In thel last four games, UNLV, KU, Baylor, and Nebraska, there quarterbacks are completing 75% of their passes. Those 4 qbs have been 81 for 108. How is that even possible. Also, I'm sure that a few of those 27 incomplete passes were just dropped by their receivers so the amount of incomplete passes that our D has produced is probably less than 27. That is horrible, and I know I hear all the time that we don't have the athletes to compete, but why in the hell aren't we playing a defense that the athletes we do have can be somewhat successful in? I thought I read/heard that Coach Bolt sometimes visits this website, and I would love him to explain these numbers.



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    Re: What to think - 2 days later....

    Best post I've seen in a long time.

    Thanks KMAC



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    Re: What to think - 2 days later....

    I feel like he just did my brain dump.

    Good post KMAC


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    Re: What to think - 2 days later....

    I attribute a lot of the loss to offensive play calling, and inexperience of athletes. I am not sure if Chizik is calling the plays, or if it is McFarland, but whomever it is, needs to turn over the duty. It is also important to stress to the players, to know where the marker is. It's not Arnauds fault for hitting several short routes on 3rd down... it's on the wide receivers for running their routes short. This is on the coaching staff as well as the players.

    I did think our defense played well given the amount of time they were on the field. It is sad that we are losing games when we consistently recovering more turnovers than our opponents.

    I would not be surprised to see some changes on our offensive coaching staff at the end of the season.



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    Re: What to think - 2 days later....

    Quote Originally Posted by zimman18 View Post

    I did think our defense played well given the amount of time they were on the field. It is sad that we are losing games when we consistently recovering more turnovers than our opponents.
    .
    Thanks Zimman18, you reminded me of another item i tossed around while contemplating slitting my wrists at JTS saturday.....

    Could the efforts of our coaching staff to stress the importance of turnovers actually take away from the importance of first wrapping up. I saw on multiple occasions Lucky running parallel to the line and one of our DB's especially LJ rippin trying to get the big play. Well, if we don't get the big play, then what we've actually done is give up more yards then that play should have given up. In actuality, the great turnovers forced indicator is simply clouding up the issue of not tackling. Now, i will give our team one thing - LJ and Banks will lay a pop on someone. I did see twice that Swift was wide open crossing the middle and it APPEARED he short armed it, both times headed to the left side towards Banks!!!!!

    Everything aside, i will take being burnt now and then for the aggressive, in your face style of defense that we should be playing....

    We as a fan base are so easily excited, if you simply show promise for the future we will wait. Right now, unlike last year, we're regressing instead of progressing. To me, just as it was last year when everyone including myself was identifying the improved play on coaching, then so too is the blame if the play is turning for the worse.

    Bottom line, that team on the field against NU did not look prepared - period!



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    Re: What to think - 2 days later....

    Anyone else really ticked off that everytime we run the ball, the RB takes a delay step, instead of getting to the hole? Or, Arnaud runs back 5 yards to hand it off while they sit and wait for a hole. By the time they find it, it's closed.

    Our RB's are not fast enough for that, and our O-line can't hold blocks long enough either.

    Can anyone else see this or am I taking crazy pills here?!?



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    Re: What to think - 2 days later....

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUonthemove View Post
    Anyone else really ticked off that everytime we run the ball, the RB takes a delay step, instead of getting to the hole? Or, Arnaud runs back 5 yards to hand it off while they sit and wait for a hole. By the time they find it, it's closed.

    Our RB's are not fast enough for that, and our O-line can't hold blocks long enough either.

    Can anyone else see this or am I taking crazy pills here?!?
    Arnaud taking the 5 yards before handing the ball off is a designed draw play - it's supposed to make the defense think we're setting up a passing play and instead running the ball. Unfortunately, Arnaud has been tipping this off by holding the ball out for the entire defense to see. He really needs to tuck that ball in and hide it for the draw to work.

    Otherwise, I get what you're saying. I'd also go as far as to say that our O-Line isn't capable of blocking for it either. It's why our end arounds and stretch plays get busted up in the backfield - we're not capable of blocking it for one, but we may not be fast enough to run them either.


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    Re: What to think - 2 days later....

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    Arnaud taking the 5 yards before handing the ball off is a designed draw play - it's supposed to make the defense think we're setting up a passing play and instead running the ball. Unfortunately, Arnaud has been tipping this off by holding the ball out for the entire defense to see. He really needs to tuck that ball in and hide it for the draw to work.
    I don't think that is the case at all, and it was covered on the board after the Baylor game.

    Draw: Arnaud takes a normal 5 or 7 step drop like he is passing the ball, takes a look, hands off ball.

    Standard Run Play: Arnaud takes snap, holds ball out, HB takes the ball. Reason for this is to set up the play fake. The defense sees the ball all the way for the hand off, keys on it, and fails when we actually pull it back.

    The few times we have been effective running the ball (early on against Kansas for one) the play fakes have worked very, very well using this method.



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    Re: What to think - 2 days later....

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    Arnaud taking the 5 yards before handing the ball off is a designed draw play - it's supposed to make the defense think we're setting up a passing play and instead running the ball. Unfortunately, Arnaud has been tipping this off by holding the ball out for the entire defense to see. He really needs to tuck that ball in and hide it for the draw to work.

    Otherwise, I get what you're saying. I'd also go as far as to say that our O-Line isn't capable of blocking for it either. It's why our end arounds and stretch plays get busted up in the backfield - we're not capable of blocking it for one, but we may not be fast enough to run them either.

    I know you're not purposely insulting my football intelligence, but I know what a draw looks like. What I'm talking about are not draw plays. They are run plays from the git-go. Arnaud goes back 5 yards to put the ball in the RB's arms, then he tries to find a hole.

    Drives me freakin insane.

    When we go to the I formation with Bass, there is no delay, he hits the hole for big yardage.



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    Re: What to think - 2 days later....

    As for the rest, great post KMAC.

    Earlier in the year I was willing to defend McFarland because he can't be accountable for all the dropped passes during games. However, as the games wore on and as Austen apparently got hurt I feel that McFarland has not adjusted to this. Same goes for his coaching of the offensive line. I see big guys who can move earth playing without a mean streak. No aggressiveness when they very much have the advantage of dictating where the play goes.

    As for the defense I think a lot of it goes in to the line recognizing some of the simpler plays. Two third downs in a row Nebraska ran a screen to Lucky. It worked the first time then we snuffed it out the second time when Frere realized what was going on. They ran the play a few times earlier in the game and had success with it as well too...and we were just rushing 4.

    The most disappointing fact about all that is how smart our guys looked early in the year about picking up on plays they saw on film. That has regressed and that is the coach's fault for lack of preparation and the player's for just not concentrating during games.

    I'm telling you, if our guys can just focus for four quarters we can overcome a lot. That is just missing and that starts with the coaches during the week and in the game.



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    Re: What to think - 2 days later....

    Quote Originally Posted by d4nim4l View Post
    I don't think that is the case at all, and it was covered on the board after the Baylor game.

    Draw: Arnaud takes a normal 5 or 7 step drop like he is passing the ball, takes a look, hands off ball.

    Standard Run Play: Arnaud takes snap, holds ball out, HB takes the ball. Reason for this is to set up the play fake. The defense sees the ball all the way for the hand off, keys on it, and fails when we actually pull it back.

    The few times we have been effective running the ball (early on against Kansas for one) the play fakes have worked very, very well using this method.
    I'm not disagreeing this doesn't work for teams, but it doesn't work for us because we have no run game for DB's to bite on.



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