Week 4 - (W) UT 17 at ISU 7

Well a win is a win I suppose. 

Definitely wasn't pretty, and not all that exciting of a game to watch. I don't think it was much of a surprise either. The D looked great, and our O looked awful. 

I'll start with my thoughts on the offense.


Beck blows (broken record here)
I get it, we're working with a patchwork offensive line, but this guy isn't our longterm solution at OC. I suppose he could turn it around, but I doubt it. I don't love the style of O he's running with these players (and his inability to adjust his offense to them) and poor play calling. 

- Stop with the sideways stuff: I counted 12 plays that were either a designed run outside the tackles or a designed pass/screen to the outside (behind the line). These were the results:
8 negative plays - literally negative yards or worse. 1 was the fumbled reverse, and 2 running plays had holds on the oline, because these back up olineman can't make the necessary blocks on stretch plays.
3 positive plays - 2 first downs (Heard and Hemphill-Mapps quick screens from the slot, and a Duvernay 6 yard play)
1 neutral play

I think it's 3 things.
1. Our oline and RBs (especially Warren) are better at runs between the tackles. (I actually think the fish RB Carter has enough juice for some outside runs - more Toe Nail please!)
2. WRs can't hold blocks long enough on the outside. It seemed like they did a better job of it under Gilbert last year, but not that great this year.
3. The play design is so meh...

... this play smells like hot garbage.

Sorry, this play smells like hot garbage.

Here's a run to the outside. Nice burst by Carter as I mentioned, but of course, our crappy oline held on the play.

Our WRs (not) finding holes against a zone
It seemed to me that several times the ISU D rushed 3 and had 8 guys playing zone. Even if Buechele had all day to throw, he couldn't find an open guy. While this could be the play call (Beck calling crossing routes - exactly what you don't want to do against a zone), I'm not convinced our WRs are doing a great job at finding holes in zones and posting up. 

It seems very simple, but a lot of practice (should) go in to QBs/WRs being on the same page of where a window is in a zone. Romo and Witten built careers on the stick route. It's literally just run to a window at the sticks and move the chains. It doesn't require athleticism - Witten is still good at it and he could be most of our WRs' dad. I hope our guys can improve as the season goes on.

The play below is actually a hot route (yes, like Vince Vaughn calls in Wedding Crashers). This basically means there's a dedicated WR who cuts his route short and looks for the ball quickly in case there's a blitz to his side. Lil'Jordan does it perfectly below and uses his athleticism for a big play. While it's not apples to apples to a rush 3 and drop 8 zone, it's still about making yourself an easy target for the QB and making play after the catch.

He kind of did the opposite of Ehlinger from the USC game in that he started pretty well and got worse as the game progressed. At this point, I'm convinced they're both capable of being B+ QBs and nothing more (at least in this offense), but at least neither of them are bad. For the record, I wouldn't mind seeing Ehlinger get another chance. 

This play illustrates his potential. Stands in the pocket and delivers a great ball on time right before getting smashed. (Carter again!)

The 3rd quarter was down right awful for our O, and this was Buechele's contribution. He forces a throw into traffic when all he had to do was dump it off to Porter. From other angles you can see that Porter has 15 yds until the next defender, but even if he doesn't get it, you flip the field, and our D will take care of the rest.

Now, for the sexy part. Defense:

I love how awesome our D looked. We played the run extremely well, had great blitz design and execution (again), and our studs did their thing. Not much to say, because the play just speaks for itself. I just hope our O can score a little more moving forward.

One thing I will say, even though he did get some pressure to help cause the errant throws, it helped us for sure that The Jesus from The Big Lebowski was playing QB for ISU and throwing it right to our players.

Jacob Park is The Jesus

Here are a couple examples of great blitz design and execution. Bold statement here, Elliott has been playing lights out recently. Love it.

Second blitz:

Poona... so sexy. 

Finally, when Malik is decisive (and takes the right angle), it just looks unfair, like a beastly LB with DB speed. If he can just stay aggressive, smart, AND take good angles.

Another great example of his speed:

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