Thoughts and observations from the road. | The Boneyard

Thoughts and observations from the road.

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Game 8 is in the books.

I have a feeling that this team, these players and coaches may catch a lot of grief from fans and media after the performance on national TV last night. I hope not. They don't deserve it. Those guys were laying the wood out there, and playing with all the passion and energy you can muster. The only question there is.....Is are they (the players and coaches) capable of more? It's a big question.

That's a question they all have to ask themselves, after looking at the film, and then put it behind them and get to work on Syracuse at home in what 9 days?

Observations.

Attention to details. A wide open receiver, absoluely cannot step out of bounds before making a catch. That was a head scratcher. That's something where a player is capable of more. Speaking of tight ends. I won't be able to atch th game until late tonight on the tube, but it seemed to me that there was a heavy dose of the TE's and the Y receiver in this game plan. There was a potential TD to a TE that happened very close to me, that went off his hands. And it seemed that the play callng in the pass game revolved around the TE routes. I don't think I've ever seen a uconn WR as wide open as Kashif was on that TD. It looked to me like it happened b/c the safety as focused on the TE routes. As another poster around here has mentioned several times, this offense produces open receivers, all over the place.

As for QB. It looked to me like there was clearly a check out of play calls happening in the cadence at the LOS. First time I've seen that clearly. Might be wrong, but it appeared to be so. It looked like it was a system of checking into different running plays or blocking schemes. So that's something new in the offense.

What didn't look good was the QB's timing and footwork. Awful. I don't think the offensive line did a bad job, or the backs in pass protection but I won't know until looking at the film. There's always breakdowns, but it looked like McEntee had time, but he was shuffling and not getting the ball out quick, and I couunted a bunch of throws that looked like he was leaning back off his back foot. The throw to the wide open kashif in particular. Again, might be wrong. Johnny didn't look too good last night, and niether did th TE's.

On McCUmmings, I"ll say this until I'm blue in the face. We don't have enough horses in the backfield to run and entire 4 quarter offensive game plan around an option running QB with him. When a defense can key in on him and force him to either pitch or throw, we'll get stuffed after 10-15 plays. We're getting the best we can out of that offense.

Offensive line, I think the OL did a pretty good job. Looked like Mccombs had big holes to run through regularly, and asnoted, McEntee had time to throw.

McCombs - i love the little guy, but I don't know how many ankle tackles I saw once he got through the line to the second level. Can he do better? Back to that first question Iwrote way above. Full backs were part of the game plan, did a good job.

Defense. Oh man. Tackling. We are just not consistent enouh in the defensive backfield and in tackling. For every excellent play, we shot our selves in the foot the next play. Defensve line looked dominant. Trevardo made his first big time appearance this season. We are getting killed on quick timing slants and misdirecton plays over the middle and that's on the Linebackers and safeties.

Specials, nick williams hands, and energy. That's all. If somebody tries to tell me this kis is a bad punt returner, I'll take your knees out. I wish I could put that kids hands and heart in a 6'4" 220lb body with 4.4 speed.

Anyway, it's never as bad as it seems, it's never as good as it seems once you look at the film and put it behind you.

The only question, again, is can they all do better?

It starts in practice very soon, whenver they get on their regular schedule again.

There's a lot of meaning in that game coming up next Saturday.
 

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If you don't support McCummings full time, then you have to support splitting McCummings with Nebrich. You cannot support MacEntee continuing as the QB, in any situation, under any circumstances.
 
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Carl, there was no reason for McEntee to be playing in the second half. I posted at the end of the 1st quarter it was time for the hook. He looked scared. Looked at the pass rush instead of down the field. Pass rush came within a few yards of him and he went into the fetal position.

I don't blame him. He is what he is. But it's unforgivable for the coaching staff not to realize his severe limitations. Could it have been any worse to see Nebrich last night? Mind boggling how they stubbornly stayed with Mac last night. Not saying we were winning that game if the change was made, but there was no reason not to make it.

How about the TO we took with 40 ticks left in the first half as Pitt was at the 40 with a 2nd & 2? McCombs still getting banged around on the last drive under 2 minutes to go? Don Brown continuing to blitz as we get torched on quick slants and leaving the middle wide open. It's almost as if we had a game plan and gosh darn it we were going to dance with the girl we brought to the prom. No adjustments at all.

Unbelievable coaching last night.
 
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I think that Nebrich needs to earn the starting job in practices, and I think that competition is the best way to make players play better, soI'd be surprised if he's not getting a real good opportunity to earn that spot this week in practices.

none of us see what happens in there, though, and I know these coaches are doing everythign they possibly can to win games, so if Nebrich isn't out there again next week, it tells me something about Nebrich, that's simple - he's not ready.
 

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I think that Nebrich needs to earn the starting job in practices, and I think that competition is the best way to make players play better, soI'd be surprised if he's not getting a real good opportunity to earn that spot this week in practices.

none of us see what happens in there, though, and I know these coaches are doing everythign they possibly can to win games, so if Nebrich isn't out there again next week, it tells me something about Nebrich, that's simple - he's not ready.

This is a complete crock.

"There must be a reason!" Yeah, maybe the reason sucks.
 
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I don't think coaching was an issue folks. I think the coaches need to dig deeper to get these players a little bit more motivated and attention to details. The game plans and game management aren't an issue. We've got opportunity all over the place to make plays and win games. Its the attention to detail showing up on the field where the coaches are failing. Griffin stepping out of bounds. OMG. What a way to set the tone of that game.

If a coach sees something on the field that warrants a TO, or something bad might happen, would you raher they NOT call the TO? Pitt called an odd timoe out too later in the game. THey saw something on the field they didn'tlike.

The game plans were solid. Offensively and defensively. We missed tackes all over he place, and blew coverages. ON that last killer TD, I think it was a TE - the safety was running away from the post pattern at the snap, and then the Corner coming over late completely blew the tackle. Gratz I think. Gratz has developed a habit of layng his shoulder into somebody to try to make a big hit, instead of just wrapping up and making the tackle. Receiver ran right around him into the endzone. I dont like to single out players like this on a website, but it is what it is, he knows he missed the tackle and the safety knows he blew it.
 
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This is a complete crock.

"There must be a reason!" Yeah, maybe the reason sucks.

Huh?

I'd be surprised if Nebrich isn' getting more snaps in practice this week, McEntee needs to get better, and somebody needs to push him.
 
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Attention to details. That's why we lost that game. THat's on the coaches and players. It's tough when you're learning new systems, and getting tested week in and week out on the field, to get all the details down. But that's why these guys get paid what they do on the sidelines, and why those kids have scholarships.

Got to look at the film, ask themselves all if they can do better, and then go do it, because I guarantee that after they look at it, the answer to whether or not they can do better is easy. Its...YES Dangnabbit, YES.
 
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FWIW, and even I don't think it is worth much, I would have brought Nebrich in at halftime. JM just looked utterly lost in the first half.

That having been said, JM obviously played much closer to his normal in the second half.
 
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I do think the players share a lot of the burden in regards to the performance on the field. The tackling was as poor as I've seen from a UConn team in a long time.

That being said, the coaching and game plans on both sides of the ball was bad. I don't care what happens in practice. What I see during the games is not good from the QB position. A change needs to happen. Period. On defense, Pitt was so ready for our blitzing schemes it wasn't even funny.

Players and coaches are equally accountable. Neither had a good night last night.
 
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Attention to details. That's why we lost that game.

I enjoy your posts Carl but you are way off here. How many underneath routes can be run for significant gains, how many blitz packages fail to even pressure the QB before he hits a wide open hot receiver, not just the hot receiver, a wide open, where's the rotation. Agree, tackling poor, but this is all on the poor defensive schemes and failure to make adjustments. As someone said earlier, the D coaches should donate their weekly checks to charity.
 
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I disagree on game plans. The plays were there to be made all night long. We blew them on both sides of the ball, more than we were making them. I'm stealing somebody else's line, don' know who,so sorry, but this passin offense produces wide open receivers all over the field, and last night, I think the run blocking was as good as I"ve seen it all year, not sure, but it sure seemed to me that our RB's were able to get through that LOS pretty clean, but simply weren't able to make somebody miss and/or break a tackle as soon as they got to the second level. So many one armed, ankle, leg tackles that I think I saw from Pitt on our guys. I could be wrong, but it's what I think I saw.

On defense, the spacing, recognition of timing/pass routes to cut off, and open field tacklig was completely inconsistent.

That's what drives me nuts. You get a great play on one down, and then you get a brain fart on the next.

The only way you fix that is hard coaching and practice reps and film study.

To Pitt's credit. They played the way the were capable of, we did not.
 
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Attention to details. That's why we lost that game.

I enjoy your posts Carl but you are way off here. How many underneath routes can be run for significant gains, how many blitz packages fail to even pressure the QB before he hits a wide open hot receiver, not just the hot receiver, a wide open, where's the rotation. Agree, tackling poor, but this is all on the poor defensive schemes and failure to make adjustments. As someone said earlier, the D coaches should donate their weekly checks to charity.

I disagree. Can't say it any other way than I already have. The game plans were fine. We didn't make plays and our attention to details on both side of the ball was poor. No consistency. That falls on both coaches and players to fix.

THe kind of things you describe above happen in every game, to the very best of teams. WHen it happens too often, it's the details, the tiny minutiae of every movement and action on the field that are not up to par.
 
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