What jumps out at me from Game 1 | The Boneyard

What jumps out at me from Game 1

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Had a chance to look at some replay online, and look at some numbers. What immediately jumped out to me, is the yardages per pass. We rotated three QB's, went about 50% completions for 1 TD and 1 Int.

NUmbers don't look any different from last year, if you look at them alone, but after looking at some replay - I looked at yards per attempt, and we doubled our average yardage per completion from last year, to over 10 yards per completion.

Granted - it was fordham, but if we can run effectively, and play our power football game on the ground and keep defenses run support honest, we are definitely looking at plays that will move the ball farther vertically on the field on through the air, and if we complete those patterns downfield when the ball does go up......good things to come.
 
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+1.

Also noticed two other passing game things relative to last year while watching the replay:

1. Our QBs (JMac a couple of times, Nebrich at least once) really threaded the needle and got the ball in some tight spots. Haven't seen that since late 2009 when Zach was in a zone.

2. The balls were very catchable. Even the ones across the middle with some zip on them.

I thought that was the case when I saw them live but it isn't always apparent at game speed and with so many different things to watch each play.
 
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I remember DJ and the offense racking up over 500 yards of offense against URI. The offense was brutal that year against real opponents. Ever since then I have been really wary of drawing conclusions after game one.

In 2009 our offense looked pretty iffy against Ohio. But that year turned out be probably the best our offense ever was post-Orlovsky.

The fact that JMac throws catchable balls is pretty encouraging. With a good OLine and a QB that can throw a catchable pass, we should be serviceable.
 
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I rewatched.

How did Edsall start Frazer ahead of Mac?

Nebrich went 3-8 but... one drop, one throw away and one INT caused by the TE. He also has a dimension of escapability the others don't. That could be key in BE play.

We look to be in pretty good shape.
 
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For the same reason that Edsall liked nearly every other of the WR over Easley.
 
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I like what Nebrich brings to the table. Still needs a ton of game experience, but he's got the potential to be quite a weapon for us.
 
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Went through a little closer. I'm not going to get too detailed, never know whos reading...;)

You can't avoid that quality of opponent in this game, the players were physically overmatched in many spots, but not in others....BUT - football is football, and x's and o's are x's and o's.

What I believe I saw, is that there are a whole bunch of different pass patterns in the play calls - there are multiple options that are in that 12-20 yard vertical distance pass route range from scrimmage. When you factor in the actual distance the ball has to travel for those kinds of gains at the point of the catch, those are pretty long throws, and long patterns to run, and you need time for the QB to throw, and we completed a bunch of them. We had those kinds of things worked into the offense in the past, but not as often as I think I saw on Saturday and not as many options on the same plays. What it all means, is that on a passing down, the opportunities to move the ball big chunks of yardage are going to be there - especially if we can draw a defense in on run support.

Same basic principles as the past on offense - run dominant offense, ground oriented foundation and framework to the offense - but the options out there are very unpredictable for a defense.

Just got to iron out the blocking protections, always a learning curve there, hopefully steep.

What's most important, is that it's on film, and future opponents will have to respect it.

As for the QB play, Nebrich clearly has physical tools and smarts. Looks to me like he just needs more reps at game speed to get really comfortable out there. McEntee looked California cool in the heat. He didn't move real well under pressure though. McCummings got very lucky that we got the ball back on the goal line after the center exchange trip up, and he's clearly a very good option running QB. Ball security seems to be a legit area of concern though.
 
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Went through a little closer. I'm not going to get too detailed, never know whos reading...;)

What I believe I saw, is that there are a whole bunch of different pass patterns in the play calls - there are multiple options that are in that 12-20 yard vertical distance pass route range from scrimmage. When you factor in the actual distance the ball has to travel for those kinds of gains at the point of the catch, those are pretty long throws, and long patterns to run, and you need time for the QB to throw, and we completed a bunch of them. We had those kinds of things worked into the offense in the past, but not as often as I think I saw on Saturday and not as many options on the same plays. What it all means, is that on a passing down, the opportunities to move the ball big chunks of yardage are going to be there - especially if we can draw a defense in on run support.

Did you notice if there were check-down outlets available in these pass plays? Given the strong protection on Saturday we didn't need them much, although MacEntee did hit McCombs a few times out of the backfield. Since he's not going to avoid too many rushers, it would be comforting to know that he has some bailout options.

Re: McCummings, other than the fumble, I thought he looked much better running the option on TV than he did in person. In person I didn't think he looked comfortable at all and was indecisive. On TV it looked like he made the right read most of the time.
 

mets1090

Probably returning some video tapes...
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I thought McCummings looked good running the option in person. As long as he can maintain success at the faster pace of D1 opponents, the added wrinkle of the option/option pass should be good for a big play every now and then.

The way I see it is even if our current offensive players aren't quite ready, the wrinkles in the offensive game plan will be enough that their athletic ability combined with surprise calls can create some good scoring opportunities.
 
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Bugsy,
I agree but I think he'd be better next year....I'm pretty concerned that we only put up 35 points on a very weak opponent. Part of the problem is that using 3 quaarterbacks, while it made for an interesting day, didn't ever allow the offense to get into any kind of rythm. I get the idea of occassionally throwing in McCummings to run the option. But I really think that it is important to have a quarterback. If you think Nebrich is it, bite the bullet and put him in...if he isn't getting it done, you can make a switch. If you think Mac is the guy, just go with him. I just found this to be a very unsatisfying performance in many ways. Not sure that it told anyone anything.
 
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I am definitely in the camp that wants Mac as the starter with McCummings brought in for certain situations.

We should have scored 50 against those guys.
 
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FS: I'm sure that will happen at some point. But I don't know that it will be before the Big East opener. I think Nebrich will be given September to win the job, and either he or Johnny Mc will stop getting reps come either WMU or West Virginia. It is a risky play, because you make it harder to get to 5-0, but I have no problem with P being more worried about being the best we can be come conference play than trying to minimize the odds of a bad loss getting there.
 
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Or you run the risk of not having a QB that's ready for conference play because he doesn't have enough in game reps.
 
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Did you notice if there were check-down outlets available in these pass plays? Given the strong protection on Saturday we didn't need them much, although MacEntee did hit McCombs a few times out of the backfield. Since he's not going to avoid too many rushers, it would be comforting to know that he has some bailout options.

Re: McCummings, other than the fumble, I thought he looked much better running the option on TV than he did in person. In person I didn't think he looked comfortable at all and was indecisive. On TV it looked like he made the right read most of the time.

Yes - there were short options on those plays that I did remember seeing on the field live in the 0 to +10 range from scrimmage. But I don't think the term "check down" means hwat it did in the past to these guys, because I didn't see much standing around by receivers waiting for the ball at all, constant motion. Keep in mind, there are a potential 5 downfield options out of an offensive formation on any throw over the line of scrimmage.

What I think is there in the pass plays, not the true check downs and dump offs of backs and TE's that release over scrimmage, and then sit down in a designated space on the field and basically wait and drift with the QB for the ball if the QB needs to get rid of it, but instead, space eating pass patterns that basically start somewhere in the 0 to +10 yardage range and then extend downfield, all worked into the plays once the blocking gets picked up.

It looked to me like the offense in general, had some trouble throughout the game, with protections on blocking, especially the help blocking, and assignment specific blocking - not so much from the line or from the X and Z on the outside of the formations - no offensive line is going to be perfect, and they got beat from time to time, but the problems came from the pass route runners on the flanks and backfield of whatever offensive formation and their blocks.

But once they can see it live on film against an opponent other than our own defense, I think it will start to make more sense to those guys, and there will be a big learning curve, and also bet that with Shoemate in the backfield, it's going to be a little bit better with opening up those underneath routes based on blocking protection assignments.

McCombs ran very well, and has a burst of speed from a little guy that I haven't seen since a healthy Caulley, but I believe that blocking out of the backfield is going to be very important in the success of both our running and passing game, and he's got a lot of room to improve there. That's the hardest part about getting a complicated pass offense like this down, is understanding all the blocking assignments on any given play, before you get to the pass routes.

Interesting observation on the option, I got the opposite. I thought that McCummings looked great live running the option, but when I looked at the replay, I can't believe how well he ran it, the fakes looked very robotic to me, can't believe people fell for it. But at game speed, he makes it happen.

No right or wrong when you're looking at football game, though. Everybody sees things different.
 
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Or you run the risk of not having a QB that's ready for conference play because he doesn't have enough in game reps.
If you're worried that he won't get enough reps, put him in the game and leave him there. My real concern is that this will be a nothing offense...no identity whatsoever and no ability to go to its strength at a critical moment. I agree with you bl, that he is giving nebrich every opportunity to win the job. But to me it that is what you want to do, have Nebrch as your quarterback you just do it and live with the consequences. I think the current plan could result in a head scratching loss without the benefit of finding out whether Nebrich is ready.
 
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I disagree with the comments on the offense not having a rhythm. I think the speed of the offense in general, in getting the personnel groupings moving off and on the field needs improvement, and getting up to scrimmage and getting the plays off needs to be more smooth, but given where this team was at offensively 9 months ago, to where it's at now - I was much impressed by that aspect of the game. I expected a lot more false starts, substitutions, basic clock management issues the play clock on offense, given that they were running different QB's in and out on top of everything else, but that discipline was good. Needs to improve, but was good.

As for the concept of settling on a single QB? I'm very interested to see how this plays out, and how long it goes, because it seems like that's exactly what's going to happen.

I think the longer that all 3 can continue to play? The tougher a team we're going to be to defend going into league play, and if they can continue then? So be it.

There's nothing to fear with rotating QB's in and out of a game, as long as the entire team is along with the ride, and the team is practiced at it, and there is proper leadership on the field in the huddle at all times. That appears to be the case. They've been rotating QB's in and out by all accounts since March.

The leadership aspect of the QB position is the most valueable aspect of having a set starter that's in there all the time. As long as that leadership can somehow be maintained through all the rotations, and it takes the other 10 guys on the field to maintain it with the QB's....nothing to fear at all, and makes game preparation for the offense very difficult for a defense.

There's only so much time in a week to practice, and you have to chose what your'e going to practice for.

Is having 3 QB's rotating ideal? No. But it can work when the situation is right.

Not much to say about defense right now, didn't really look to hard at that side of the ball. They were essentially 1 play away from a shutout. I think that's all I need to know for now.

Great, great job on that side of the ball.
 
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It was 35 to 3 with 5 minutes to go in the third. My perspective is that Pasqualoni was a gentleman: he basically toned down the pursuit of points. We could have easily gotten into the 40s and beyond. Watching the 4th quarter again on TV replay showed nothing much ... except the Geremy Davis catch.
 
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If you're worried that he won't get enough reps, put him in the game and leave him there. My real concern is that this will be a nothing offense...no identity whatsoever and no ability to go to its strength at a critical moment. I agree with you bl, that he is giving nebrich every opportunity to win the job. But to me it that is what you want to do, have Nebrch as your quarterback you just do it and live with the consequences. I think the current plan could result in a head scratching loss without the benefit of finding out whether Nebrich is ready.

I understand the point. And I don't (none of us have) any idea if this strategy is going to pay off or not. But I can see not "settling" for 2-5 in the conference, even if it's 7-5 overall, and I can see the coaches believing that we're not going to do better than that unless Nebrich grows. I will risk dropping an OOC game to have a chance to have a winning record in the conference. And I say that not knocking McEntee -- it's just somewhere we need a playmaker on O, and if it's not coming from the QB I'm not sure we have playmakers. Competent skill guys, yes, which I believe McEntee can be, but not playmakers.
 
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I understand the point. And I don't (none of us have) any idea if this strategy is going to pay off or not. But I can see not "settling" for 2-5 in the conference, even if it's 7-5 overall, and I can see the coaches believing that we're not going to do better than that unless Nebrich grows. I will risk dropping an OOC game to have a chance to have a winning record in the conference. And I say that not knocking McEntee -- it's just somewhere we need a playmaker on O, and if it's not coming from the QB I'm not sure we have playmakers. Competent skill guys, yes, which I believe McEntee can be, but not playmakers.

Got to disagree. I think McCombs is a play maker. He's got speed, and he's small enough to hide among the trees before showing it. Is he durable? We'll find out, but he's definitely got the goods. I also think that we've got receivers that can do things with the ball down field, especially since mixing Williams in, but are still getting used to the whole concept of using the entire field on any play and having the ball come their way.

It's been a very long time, since we've put an offense on the field with the pass options I believe I saw on Saturday.

I also disagree that you risk losing any game at the benefit of winning others. You play to win - always.
:)
 
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First of all, I just don't think the concept of multiple quarterbacks ultimately can work. It has been tried many many times by many many coaches and has never really been successful. Occassionally some backup somehwere comes in and wins a game from way behind and everyone says let's go with the "relief pitcher" model, but nobody does it. People have tried the one guy 1st and 4th quarter the other guy 2nd and 3rd, too, but that rarely works either. I don't by the way, think putting the guy you think is best in there for the whole game constitutes settling for anything. As it stands right now I'm not sure who our best guy is, nor whether or not he or anyone else is really BCS quaility. But I'm also concerned that substituting them like they are wide recievers really will ever get us to the point where we know. To me it has the feel of desperation more than any plan. I would hope to see a starter play most of the snaps on Saturday. You want to bring in McCummings to run the option in certain situations like on the goalline, fine, but unless we're up 24 with 2 minutes to play or down 24 with 2 minutes to play, my preference would be to have one guy taking all the snaps.
 
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To me it has the feel of desperation more than any plan.

I still maintain that there is a plan -- that the staff will eventually make Nebrich the starter but doesn't want to just throw him to the wolves just yet. Otherwise, there's no real reason to play him against Fordham. I think P and DeLeone feel that while the offense is best right now with McEntee, its ceiling is higher with Nebrich. But I have no evidence other than my own gut to support that.
 
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I think JM and MN are splitting time because neither had any game experience, and the coaches want to see how they respond to live action.

Lots of guys are stars in practice.

I'm comfortable with McCummings' role. I don't care who wins the starting job, I just care about results. If forced to, I'd give the job to Nebrich. He's a true freshman in a very close battle with a redshirt junior, based on that alone, I think he's a superior long term option.
 
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I still maintain that there is a plan -- that the staff will eventually make Nebrich the starter but doesn't want to just throw him to the wolves just yet. Otherwise, there's no real reason to play him against Fordham. I think P and DeLeone feel that while the offense is best right now with McEntee, its ceiling is higher with Nebrich. But I have no evidence other than my own gut to support that.

My sentiments exactly.

Overall I think the coaching staff is doing the right thing for now, and we should all have a somewhat better idea where things stand after Vandy.
 
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I think JM and MN are splitting time because neither had any game experience, and the coaches want to see how they respond to live action.

Lots of guys are stars in practice.

I'm comfortable with McCummings' role. I don't care who wins the starting job, I just care about results. If forced to, I'd give the job to Nebrich. He's a true freshman in a very close battle with a redshirt junior, based on that alone, I think he's a superior long term option.

i agree with you. i think a lot of people are overthinking it. the bottom line is McEntee adn NEbrich were pretty comparable last saturday, and they've probably been pretty comparable in practice. i'm sure each has had their great and poor moments, but nothing to set them apart. also like you said, if everything really is equal, i'd go with youth. rarely are things truly equal though, and i'd go with experience and knowledge of the system as the tie breaker. of course with a new coach and offense, judging that by age may be misleading
 
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