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McCombs

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Looks like he may be leading Division 1 in rushing attempts. Question is....can he keep it up?
 
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I give a ton of credit to McCombs, who is developing into an above average running back (who unfortunately is also a well below average pass blocking running back). His improvement has been apparent. Previously he had been trying to stretch plays out, but I rarely see that now. HE runs up the middle with little wasted motion. Great to see a back improve like that.
 
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I give a ton of credit to McCombs, who is developing into an above average running back (who unfortunately is also a well below average pass blocking running back). His improvement has been apparent. Previously he had been trying to stretch plays out, but I rarely see that now. HE runs up the middle with little wasted motion. Great to see a back improve like that.
I think you make 2 very good observations.
 
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He has improved running the ball, but his blocking, if it doesn't get worked out, will result in him not seeing as much playing time in the near future.
 
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I'm worried about the possibility of a breakdown.....can he keep up the 25 carries a game pace? Is coach putting him at risk for a late season breakdown?
 
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He has improved running the ball, but his blocking, if it doesn't get worked out, will result in him not seeing as much playing time in the near future.

I think the playing time issue will be on obvious passing downs. You can mask a backs lack of blocking skill on early passing downs, by simply running him out into a pattern and using a tight end/h back to block.

It is frustrating to watch, though (feel bad for the O Lineman who seem to be getting all the pass block blame when it's the backs who can't block!) But what is the answer? JJL is a better blocker but not by much. This is where we miss DJ. Wonder if we have an H back type TE who can be the 3rd down "back".
 
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I'm worried about the possibility of a breakdown.....can he keep up the 25 carries a game pace? Is coach putting him at risk for a late season breakdown?
Agreed that it's not good for any back, let alone a small one, to get 25+ carries a game, but I think that is a reflection their perception of our options at RB at this point. I am guessing they figure it's worth risking him wearing down/getting injured, because they can't see us winning with him touching the ball fewer than 25 times a game anyway. That's my guess.
 
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We need somebody BIGGER to compliment him.. Hard to believe we don't have a guy on the roster capable of doing this... There was a running play in the 4th quarter yesterday where CLEARLY he should've cut back outside... and he stayed inside... He's already gotten my respect as a small guy able to run inside... I think he forgets he can get outside now... He puts it together he's definitely something special... ( he already is actually, because of his toughness )....
 
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We need somebody BIGGER to compliment him.. Hard to believe we don't have a guy on the roster capable of doing this...

Why do you say that? Pass blocking? Because despite his small stature, McCombs is not a burner, and is actually a very solid inside runner. We need a burner to compliment him. , IMO.
 
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Agreed that it's not good for any back, let alone a small one, to get 25+ carries a game, but I think that is a reflection their perception of our options at RB at this point. I am guessing they figure it's worth risking him wearing down/getting injured, because they can't see us winning with him touching the ball fewer than 25 times a game anyway. That's my guess.

I think that the carries issue in regards to a smaller running back is completely overrated. Completely. A bigger back has just as much a chance of running out of gas as a smaller back. Look at the backs that have carried big loads recently - Jaquizz Rogers, Ronnie Hillman . . . etc.
 

ConnHuskBask

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I'm worried about the possibility of a breakdown.....can he keep up the 25 carries a game pace? Is coach putting him at risk for a late season breakdown?

I don't understand why JJL can't get more than 1-2 carries a game. I realize there is probably a reason for this, but I think you have to do something to preserve McCombs for later in the season. He takes a beating every single week.

Case in point, 4th quarter of the WV game last week. We were down by like 25 points and P was still running McCombs into the ground.
 
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Somebody else simply needs to get some playing time. And by that I don't mean the few token plays that JJL is seeing. Too much risk and not enough reward to have McCombs carrying the ball 25-30 times a game.
 
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I think that the carries issue in regards to a smaller running back is completely overrated. Completely. A bigger back has just as much a chance of running out of gas as a smaller back. Look at the backs that have carried big loads recently - Jaquizz Rogers, Ronnie Hillman . . . etc.
Good point-there are certainly more than just isolated examples of small RB's that carry the load over the long haul. I guess I mean more that they have less muscle mass to absorb the blows, not that they'll necessarily get "worn down" quicker than a big back, and this can potentially lead to nagging injuries. But then again I suppose the counter to having less muscle mass to absorb hits from defenders is the idea that smaller backs tend to make sure they take less full-on hits than bigger backs. I guess I don't know what I'm talking about. That's normal for me, so I'm comfortable with that!;)
 
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JJL did very well yesterday. I think that we will see him more as it gets colder and we get in games where we have to move the pile.
 
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mccombs is a shifty runner, but I counted at least 3 sacks that were directly resulted from a blocking scheme that asks the RB to pick up a LB/DE. now, mccombs has to improve bigtime at blocking, however what kind of asinine playcaller actually schemes that way? from 229, very frustrating to watch
 
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Agree with everything here and I have to eat a little crow. I did not believe he could play the kind of game he did yesterday between the tackles. Nor did I believe he would hold up this well at his size.

His pass blocking is non-existant. JJL did look good yesterday and pass blocks very well. I think we see more of him.
 
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Agree with everything here and I have to eat a little crow. I did not believe he could play the kind of game he did yesterday between the tackles. Nor did I believe he would hold up this well at his size.

His pass blocking is non-existant. JJL did look good yesterday and pass blocks very well. I think we see more of him.

I too am impressed-as a small guy, and a young back, I have been quite impressed by how little he dances. He generally reads the hole, makes a firm cut and immediately gets going North-South. You don't see that often in new backs, OR in small backs, and he's both. On the other hand, I am surprised that he does not seem to have the type of speed I generally expect at the 1A level in small backs. He seems to be successful using a style of running NOT matched up to what his talents "should" be based on his size. I am happy with him back there, but as you said, pass blocking has to improve.
 

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One thing I notice a couple of times during the game and saw about seven times while rewatching it during power hour was that we did quite a bit of guard pulling on running plays yesterday (each was quite effective). This is how we ran for the prior half dozen years but for some reason (Deleone's philosophy?) was scrapped for this season until yesterday. I hope that we will go back to something we had done very well in the recent past.
 
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One thing I notice a couple of times during the game and saw about seven times while rewatching it during power hour was that we did quite a bit of guard pulling on running plays yesterday (each was quite effective). This is how we ran for the prior half dozen years but for some reason (Deleone's philosophy?) was scrapped for this season until yesterday. I hope that we will go back to something we had done very well in the recent past.

DeLeone's scheme this year has utilized pulling linemen quite a bit.
 
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McCombss reads the offensive line very well, has a decent burst and can make some folks miss. He has also been very, very good with ball security.

But IMHO, his numbers are a credit to the offensive line. He has virtually zero yards after contact. The holes are there and the OL does a great job sustaining blocks, it is a tribute to the guys up front.
 
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