Game Analysis - What I saw (Long) | The Boneyard

Game Analysis - What I saw (Long)

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My stomach still hurts. What an absolutely horrible loss. Some observations:

  • Jimmy Bennett should never leave the starting lineup. Many will remember his whiff towards the end of the game. Not a great time to have a mental lapse (Bennet was not beat because of technique on that play, it was obvious he was in the wrong protection. He stepped inside when he obviously needed to look outside). But aside from Petrus, he was far and away the best lineman on the field. Loved his technique on pass pro, handled defenders easily one on one. Also good technique in the run game, you could tell he had an understanding of what he needed to do. Solid reach blocks, used angles extremely well.
  • There are not many better centers in the nation than Petrus.
  • Mike Ryan and Adam Masters need to pick up their games. Ryan could not generate any push, despite being a behemoth, and unlike last year, I rarely saw him laying a block on the 2nd level. Looked slow. I was wondering during the game if maybe he is carrying a little too much weight.
  • Saw Kevin Friend to start at left guard, but also saw Steve Greene in there. I thought Friend did a good job. And Greene threw some ferocious blocks on some solid McCummings gain
  • Yes, I am an O Line nerd.
  • Running Backs were not good. And with all the qb criticism (and rightfully so) I think the poor play here will be overlooked. McCombs is 5'8 170 but he is not an outside runner. He does his best when he hits the hole and makes 1 hard cut. He has a lot of trouble reading blocks. The line should not be completely blamed for the run game. There were some great inside traps where McCoombs didn't even look to the correct hole, he just raced to the sideline. He is not fast enough to do that. Trust the call, trust your blockers, and react to the blocks. If the guard/TE/Fb kicks out the key defender, cut inside, if they hook him in, cut outside. Just horrible.
  • DJ Shoemate. Don't know what to say. For a guy who has fumbling problems, you would think he would protect the ball. I would say we won't see him again, but what our the options? With the horrifc display of blocking by the tight ends this game, I think he should get a look as an hback type.
  • Ah yes, the TE blocking. Atrocious. It looks like Coach Deleone's bread and butter run play is the inside trap where the tight end in motion trap blocks an inside man. I personally like this play. Use the tight end to trap, have fullback lead through hole. But here is the catch, you actually need the tight ends to block. And they didn't. They should be salivating at the opportunity to blindside a D Tackle. What happened was they whiffed, or got shoved into the backfield. And I partly blame the play call, but no way should John Delahunt be blocking an end one on one on a 5 step drop like he was asked to do. Predictably, this resulted in a sack.
  • Did I mention lack of blocking? Hello Wide Receivers. A continuation of last year, receivers look absolutely disinterested in laying a block on the outside. Until their coach sits one of them or yanks them out of the game due to horrendous blocking, I see this trend continuing. Block your guy! You don't have to lay him out. Shadow him.
  • Isaiah Moore - Man is he maddeningly inconsistent. That fumble was a killer. But he did show me something. He was consistently open and was able to catch the passes that were catchable.
  • Quarterback: Oof. MCummings missing a wide open McCoombs was tough to stomach. I mean wide open. Remember that trick play by Iowa State? The one where the receiver was wide open? The passer put touch on the ball. No reason to throw a laser, exactly what McCummings did. He shows zero touch on any of his passes. But he is a solid runner. Goes down easy but he reads the blocks well. McEntee? Not a good game. No pocket presence, rushes passes, shows no touch at all on short passes, and his accuracy is dreadful for a bcs college qb. When I watch Nebrich I see a kid with a ton of energy who is obviously not 100 % ready to play but just has "it". (see his scramble for a first down. Just looks like a leader to me, having a good time out there. His reps need to be increased, and I would not be dissapointed if he was the full time starter. But we all need to understand, Nebrich isn't going to be a world beater this year. There will be a ton of growing pains. But I am willing to deal with it.
  • One positive of McEntee - Wow. What a great job he does with the play fake.
  • Geremy Davis seemed confused alot. Maybe its just his body language after a play. I don't know. Am I the only one who thinks this?
  • Defensive Line: Awesome. Reyes is an absolute stud. Would not be surprised if he sneaks into the late first round next year.
  • I continue to like what I see of Teddy Jennings. Just a tough, relentless kid. Look extremely fast when they stood him up to rush as well.
  • Linebacker: Inconsistent. On ISU's long runs I honestly could not see a linebacker anywhere. Not good.
  • Does anyone know who blew coverages in the game on the long passes? I honestly couldn't tell.
  • Byron Jones. Keep him on the field. Kid is an athlete. I expect lumps like all safeties go through, but he is just one of those players that stands out to me when watching the game.
  • Gratz sticking his nose in the run game. He made some nice open field tackles.
  • Liking what I see of Smallwood.
  • UCONN didn't have a lot of penalties which is great to see.
  • When you turn the ball over like we did, expect to lose. Always.
  • I like Brown's defense and I expect it to get even better over time. Those guys play their hearts out. Not easy when the O is getting 3 and outs and turning the ball over all the time. With that said, big plays will happen. Nature of the beast.
  • Pick off the ISU qb 3 times, and get 3 points? Really? Inexcusable.
The season is not lost. We are tied for first in the big east. Defense is fantastic. This is what needs to be resolved: Offense. This team needs an offensive identity. Switching in qbs during a non red zone series? I think McCummings as a red zone qb can absolutely work, but enough as the short yardage outside the red zone. Let the qbs get into a rhythm. Don't ignore Griffin. Use play action liberally. Get the ball to the tight ends and running backs.
 
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Good stuff... I totally agree about Nebrich... He clearly showed the presence we need at the QB position...
 
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Second game in a row that the D gave up a big play to lose in the 4th. Whoever says that they were gassed is wrong - we had TOP 31 minutes to 28 minutes. Take care business.

That did not lose it though. 2 fumbles, 1 INT and 2 missed chip shots. QB's missed two wide open guys on trick plays - ONE FOR A TD.

I know many are complaining about PP and the coaching staff. It's marathon not a sprint. Thought is that compared to last week it was a major improvement against a better opponent.

Side bar - I like McCombs in the long run, but how big was losing Frey. Wow!!
 
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Very nice post.

The offense has some real problems and the best we can hope for this season is progress. We are desperately in need of another RB. My guess is that play action is going to be less and less effective as the season progresses (as hard as that might be to believe) as opponents figure out we have problems with our running game.
 
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Very nice post.

The offense has some real problems and the best we can hope for this season is progress. We are desperately in need of another RB. My guess is that play action is going to be less and less effective as the season progresses (as hard as that might be to believe) as opponents figure out we have problems with our running game.

I think our running game can be completely fine, if McCoombs runs the way he is supposed to and doesn't try to string it out. He tried that multiple times and was stuffed each time. But when he hits the hole hard? He would have no problem averaging 5 yards a carry. The key is finding a back to share the load. They used Foxx one time for a nice play, why not see what he can do with 5-8 carries a game?
 
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Second game in a row that the D gave up a big play to lose in the 4th. Whoever says that they were gassed is wrong - we had TOP 31 minutes to 28 minutes. Take care business.

That did not lose it though. 2 fumbles, 1 INT and 2 missed chip shots.

I know many are complaining about PP and the coaching staff. It's marathon not a sprint. Thought is that compared to last week it was a major improvement against a better opponent.

Side bar - I like McCombs in the long run, but how big was losing Frey. Wow!!

No doubt this game was lost by turnovers first and foremost. And if Teggart made one of those 2 fgs, this would be a different ballgame (IF Coach P didn't call a TO to discuss a 1 yard out on the previous series).

As for D, as I mentioned earlier, it is the nature of the beast. Don Brown gambles alot by running his blitzing scheme, and if the O has the right play called and the rush doesn't generate pressure? You are going to see some of those long gains.
 
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And as for losing Frey, no question that was a huge blow. On specials, and in the running game. That inside trap is perfect for Robbie's running style. Robbie and McCoombs would have been a perfect tandem.
 
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I did not think Moe had a good game. I noticed many low snaps last night..Our Qbs need all the help they can get;they have their own problems and low snaps should not be one of them
 

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Running Backs were not good. And with all the qb criticism (and rightfully so) I think the poor play here will be overlooked. McCombs is 5'8 170 but he is not an outside runner. He does his best when he hits the hole and makes 1 hard cut. He has a lot of trouble reading blocks. The line should not be completely blamed for the run game. There were some great inside traps where McCoombs didn't even look to the correct hole, he just raced to the sideline. He is not fast enough to do that. Trust the call, trust your blockers, and react to the blocks.

Good observation. Part of what made Todman so go was his his patience to let the play develop.
 
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Second game in a row that the D gave up a big play to lose in the 4th. Whoever says that they were gassed is wrong - we had TOP 31 minutes to 28 minutes. Take care business.

That did not lose it though. 2 fumbles, 1 INT and 2 missed chip shots.

I know many are complaining about PP and the coaching staff. It's marathon not a sprint. Thought is that compared to last week it was a major improvement against a better opponent.

Side bar - I like McCombs in the long run, but how big was losing Frey. Wow!!

Totally agree with your side bar: Frey, Todman. Cody. What if they were on this team? Wouldn't we be 3-0? CT is not a recruiter's delight. We are not 3 deep at every position like LSU. We are "thin" in depth. Lose guys like that, and it's rebuilding time. All this hand wringing is frustrating.
 
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Excellent write up. Totally agree that Nebrich has the "it" factor. Nebrich's ball fakes are better than McEntee's.
 
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Good observation. Part of what made Todman so go was his his patience to let the play develop.

And that he had some time to develop. Not so much McCoombs. Give him time. I think he'll be good.
 

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Bennett could use more upper body strength but beyond that he will be solid. When it was announced that Masters was moving to guard (late August) I felt playing him on the left side (as most of his tackle & HS experience was on the left side) would have made more sense. Regardless, that we now appear to be playing converted tackles (except for Greene, who was a tackle in HS) at guard, there will be a bit of a learning curve. There also will be some time required for the lineman to get used toi each other. For the most part I understand what the staff is trying to accomplish but part of me thinks they should have started this about a month ago. If Bullock (I believe he has been moved to center is and projected as Mo's replacement) can handle center next year we will have a solid (and very experienced) offensive line next year.

Foxx actually looked decent on his one run. McCombs isn't bad but he is more suited to being a change of pace back (but we have nothing for him to change the pace from). I don't know what to say about Shoemate beyond what I posted in another thread, He really has no running back instincts. For the first time since before Caulley we really don't have a back who can carry the load against a pretty good team. I really don't understand the two TE sets if the TE's are only used as blockers (and keeping Griffin or Delahunt in as a pass blocker is infuriating).

On Isaiah's fumble he broke a couple of tackles first. It hurts when you see this but unfortunately this is part of the game (I cannot tell you how many times a back or receiver lost the ball after adding a number of yards to the play). For the most part our WR's are too small or too young to block well at this level. Hopefully with Tebucky Jr & Geremy this will change in a year or two.

The difference in the game can be stated as ISU hit on their trick play while we didn't. Davis is very inconsitent but he is young. I believe that in a couple of years we will be solid at WR with TJ, GD and whoever else comes along. We just need to work through the next year or so.

I spoke elsewhere about the poor tackling at the LOS. We need to fix this immediately (I'm guessing that with the attacking defense our young LB's aren't focused enough on run support). There really weren't a lot of blown coverages. BWW had position (on ISU's first real offensive play) but their WR was a good amount bigger and went through him for the reception. On the trick play, it would be difficult to isolate who was in error. Gratz let the WR go for run support (there would have been a huge lane if he did not) and Junior came over (far too late) from the other side of the field. Our formation on that play made cocvering their WR almost impossible. Agbor was very close to (Lantz?) on his acrobatic catch (although he may have been able to push him out of bounds) and there were a couple of plays where they found opts in a zone. I am more concerned about the blown tackle on their last TD than our pass coverage. Not punishing them for three early picks was a backbreaker. We could have had them out of the game before the end of the first quarter but didn't capitalize. You have to step on the opponent's throat when you have the opportunity.

The season is not lost. We've looked far better in our first two losses this year than we did in our first two last season. Our defense has shown a lot and the stray lapses/sloppiness can be corrected by the start of the BE schedule. I fully expected far more from our special teams than we have seen. I don't know what has happened there.

The staff has to use our games Buffalo and Western Michigan as confidence boosters for our offense. If not, we will be in for a long BE season. Again I am hoping that they shorten our playbook focus more on execution. One major concern is that doing what we have been on offense against UB & WMU can be fool's gold (leading DeLeone to believe that we have mastered it because of success against inferior competition). We need to stabilize (and set) our offensive line, solidify our backfield and receivers (including limiting the substitutions) and get everyone comfortable with what we are trying to accomplish on each play. As far as our playbook is concerned, this could well be a less is more situation. I just hope that GD is looking at it this way.
 

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great read i agree mostly. my 2 cents

qb-JM is not the answer. he throws off his back foot some, not accurate etc. if he is the answer and the best of the 3 then we need to stick with him and play him the whole game. but we don't don that and hes a walkon junior. he should not see the field then and he shouldn't take any 1st reps in practice. MCC-i like the wildcat and he can run, but hes not the answer i don't think either. if he was then why dont we play him all day etc. i think we can use him as a wildcat with nebrich in at the same time! yes at the same time!
MN is the answer! why? not becuase he had suck a killer game last night(sarcasm), but this:
if were going to win games with this ok ST, great D and bad O then win games with one of the other qbs. but were not winning games, and coach p's play calling reflects what he thinks of the other 2 qb's. just brutal. If were going to lose, you lose with your true freshmen playing qb, learning the game etc. i for one think nebrich can run when needed and throw better than the other 2. i say play him the rest of the season and we see what happens. stop the musical qb madness and play the fid who has your future here as a coach in his hands. even if you have plans of a stud qb next year to put your mark on the program, you still need 2 years of fill at qb coach p, nebrich is your ticket to that, stop around with the 3 guys we have left. JM belongs as a walk on becuase of daddy's$ or a d3 qb, SMCC is a career wildcat or a transfer this spring. give the ball and more importantly the reps to MN.
 
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I just don't see how anyone can say Nebrich is the best option right now......He was 1/3 for 4 yards and 4 rushes for a total of -4 yards when you take into account the 2 sacks.

Sure there is not a huge body of work here to go off of.....and our other options are not exactly fantastic.....but some of you folks are seeing something that I'm not when you say that he is our best option. He's shown nothing so far to prove that he should be the starter or that we can win with him.

To say you want to throw him in there to give him training for next year and the years after....not so sure that's the best idea. He might not even win the starting job ever while here at UConn. We do have other QB's coming in who could beat him out. He does need to get some plays in each game so he can get used to what's going on out there. He certainly needs some seasoning....but you cannot go with him 3/4 and SM 1/4 in the wildcat. We'll get absolutely creamed.

I don't envy HCPP on this QB selection business at all.

McEntee is the only one who's shown the ability to actually throw the ball downfield. Yes he locks on to receivers, sure he's not always on target, he absolutely does throw the ball into coverages he shouldn't. But he is the only person that is going to keep defenses honest on the medium to long range stuff.

Nebrich may or may not be the long term solution at UConn....but he has not shown anything during his limited game time experience to show that he's the answer now. My guess is that he hasn't shown it at practice either...or he'd be getting more of a shot. People who say he has a "presence" back there are watching 3 different games than I have. Again....I'm not saying he won't be good 2 years from now, he just isn't ready yet.

McCummings (Can't believe I'm saying this) actually probably gives us the best chance to win right now. His legs seems to be a threat and we have shown some trickery with him in there that could be used to keep Defenses honest. I don't believe his arm can deliver us a bunch of wins....but we may be able to win "ugly" with a combination of ball control running by him and the RB's, the option, and the occasional surprise play thrown into the mix.
 
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And that he had some time to develop. Not so much McCoombs. Give him time. I think he'll be good.

No doubt, if he plays to his strengths, which is running between the tackles, he will be fine. You would think a 5'8 170 pound back would be fast, but McCoombs is not. He is not slow, but he is not Noel Devine/Darren Sproles/Jacquizz Rodgers quick. Every single time he went to the outside instead of squaring his shoulders he was stuffed. And it was usually by an end. But he showed glimpses charging through the line. He has great start up speed, just not long speed. And he can absolutely be successful with that skill set. Hopefully he learns from this game.
 
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McCummings (Can't believe I'm saying this) actually probably gives us the best chance to win right now. His legs seems to be a threat and we have shown some trickery with him in there that could be used to keep Defenses honest. I don't believe his arm can deliver us a bunch of wins....but we may be able to win "ugly" with a combination of ball control running by him and the RB's, the option, and the occasional surprise play thrown into the mix.

I would like to see Nebrich get all the time McEntee is getting. But . . . I do agree on McCummings. He does have wheels and because of that he opens some things up. That play call by Deleone where McCumming ducked his shoulder than brought the ball back was a thing of beauty. Except that McCummings threw a laser that far overshot the back. He needs to get some touch on the ball.
 
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I did not think Moe had a good game. I noticed many low snaps last night..Our Qbs need all the help they can get;they have their own problems and low snaps should not be one of them

Moe had some low snaps, which he is very prone to do, but his blocking was excellent. He is not always going to blow a defender off the ball, but he positions himself very well between the defender and ball carrier. And he does a great job of making blocks on the second level. It was the Ryan/Masters tandem that was mediocre.
 
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Foxx actually looked decent on his one run. McCombs isn't bad but he is more suited to being a change of pace back (but we have nothing for him to change the pace from). I don't know what to say about Shoemate beyond what I posted in another thread, He really has no running back instincts. For the first time since before Caulley we really don't have a back who can carry the load against a pretty good team. I really don't understand the two TE sets if the TE's are only used as blockers (and keeping Griffin or Delahunt in as a pass blocker is infuriating).

Foxx looks to be the fastest back, why not a McCoombs/Foxx tandem? I know its weird to call McCoombs the thunder part of a running back stable, but his best work comes between the tackles. Shomate needs to have a role in this offense, his blocking and receiving skills are too valuable (yes, he is a good receiver). Use him as the loan back on passing downs, or as an h-back who can motion to be a pass blocker while the tailback runs a pattern.
 
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