My impressions - offense

I think we all agree that the offensive performance has been more mixed than the defense thus far.

I admit I was initially skeptical of the Briles scheme, knowing Frank was probably never going to regain his former degree of mobility. And, I always fear a hurry-up scheme helps to wear out your defense.

Happily, the defense has, thus far, done fine…though I think we all felt like they did wear out against Georgia.

I studied the Briles scheme alot over the summer. I like most aspects of it. I particularly like the option components…and not just the RPO’s everyone is running. (More on that). I do wish we would use the QB under the center in short yardage. The good ole QB sneak is the best short yardage play in history.

That said, I think the offense is getting better and better.

Franks has played really well IMO. He has come under some criticism from some posters, for things like bad footwork. Holding onto the ball too long, etc. Overall, though, I think most of us understand that Franks is humongous upgrade over anything we have had since the Allen boys were on campus. He has a couple of BAD turnovers that have hurt us…but overall has protected the ball well. He has shown his terrific arm. Has good accuracy. Reads defenses well. And is a LEADER. The latter is the biggest thing.

I am so pleased with D. Warren I could bust. I think we have 3 really fine receivers…with Morris and hopefully Knox continuing to produce. (C’mon Knox! We need you man!).

Burks is, of course, a GREAT PLAYER. More on him in a second.

We have all been disappointed in the running game to a degree. I think we are all impressed with Smith, and know that #5 needs to get it going. That said, Rakeem hasn’t been totally healthy…and the run blocking has been the weakness of the offense. We have to get better play from two specific positions, to be candid. They are not playing at the same level of the other three. Clary especially is playing his rear off. But until we get all five playing at a high level…maintaining blocks and getting some push…the counters, and powers, and stretch plays are gonna be tough sledding.

Burks and Smith need some lanes. They are having to make too many people miss at the first level.

Which brings me back to the option plays. I have LOVED them. On the first snap of the most important drive against Ole Miss…when we had not moved it at all on the 2nd half…we ran a version of the old triple option. The TV announcers said it was a “simple play to get Burks in space.” It was far more than that. It started with a “ride” in the belly of Rakeem as he and the o-line flowed left. Franks then pulled the ball, headed right, where we had “optioned” their backer. Curiously, the backer took Franks, allowing Feleipe to make the option pitch to Burks, who had been in the slot. Burks then popped a really nice run. The fact that the “option toss” was made overhand doesn’t change what the play was.

It was the old counter triple option. A version of it anyway.

We ran that a couple of other times against Ole Miss. I can’t recall it not working. Maybe I missed one…but I don’t think so.

I think that is something we should use more often. I also liked the “give the ball to Burks on the speed sweep with Rakeem as the pitchman option” that we ran earlier this season. I think that play has real possibilities. I didn’t work versus Georgia…but I think it deserves to be re-explored.

Bottom line…I think these option concepts that involve arguably our best offensive player (#16!) are our best chance to establish a ground game as our o-line develops. And…I agree with Pittman when he says we have to run the ball.

I do think that we have the chance to get the base running plays to the level I know Briles wants them. The o-line will keep improving. and Rakeem getting healthier will help too.

Hopefully some running game will gel against the hated Aggies…allowing us to hurt them with some big plays when they have to commit to the box. I think the scheme, the pace, and #16…and his mates…can lead to our fight song being heard in College Station several times.

And that would make us all very, very happy.

Go Hogs baby!

1 Like

Our receivers are playing winning football. Our TEs are improved. QB is slow on decisions and very limited athletically (after his injury), and his running has been painful. But he’s not been turning it over much, and he throws a very nice ball. Our TB’s are solid, and if Boyd returns to normal, then they are a real strength.

But it all depends on our OL, as Clay always tells us. If they improve, SIGNIFICANTLY, then we have a chance to be very good. If they can’t, then we will end up around 3-7. They really are the key to this season.


1 Like

They are the key to every season!!!

1 Like

Franks is probably slow on decisions compared to the NFL guys we all watch, but I don’t feel like he’s slow compared to the QB’s I watch on other college teams. I think the whole offense is feeling its way along, Franks is, I am sure, learning what may be an offense he’s lived with for awhile…but not at SEC speed.

I totally agree that the remainder of the season falls upon the offensive line. The line gelling as a whole…and getting better play from RT and LG.

Though I agree the O-Line needs to improve for the offense to also improve, I also think the backs could make slightly better decisions on their cuts in the holes. There were a number of times against both Auburn and Ole Miss that both RBs made the incorrect cut and cost themselves positive yardage. For the offense to run efficiently the O-Line has to block obviously but the RBs need to make good decisions as well. I do not think the O-line has played well enough for our running game to prosper but our backs can still help them a little bit.

1 Like

I’m wondering about the “how” this group can improve significantly through the remainder of the season. Personally, I don’t see how. Maybe next year.

I don’t either. But I also do not understand our defense-at all.

so we have the personnel we have, and they aren’t going to get 2 years older and stronger during this season. so it’s up to our coaches to focus on technique and effort. I’m really interested to see how this goes.

Maybe the O line has better technique and consistent supreme effort. and the skill players are more used to each other and the scheme. and Boyd and Burks get healthier. and Knox wakes up. and Franks adjusts to his new ankle. a little here, a little there, and it can add up to big changes.

If Franks sees 2 early reads on our first 2 offensive possessions, they are both BIG plays-footraces to the endzone, and Devion is a fast dude. If our TE doesn’t drop a pass in the EZ, if Boyd doesn’t drop that screen. Several drives died on those awkward reads where Franks ended up running slowly by himself, really looked like busted plays. So the Ole Miss game could easily have been a complete blowout.

anyway, I just can’t wait to watch what this team does. if we could somehow get to 4-6, I’d be happy as a clam.


I agree with most of what you are saying but most of all about the snap from under center. Not only because of the QB sneak, which can be very effective if you have at least one hoss on the interior three of the oline, but another is something learned from the botched call at the Auburn game. One of the announcers said you can’t clock the ball from the shotgun, else it’s intentional grounding–I didn’t know that. So not being able to go under center removes at least two options from our arsenal. I know some have said in todays game its not needed or desired, citing that some QBs coming out of high school have never taken a snap from under center in their lives. But I think if you’re going to play at a next level you should be able to learn something new. Kind of ironic–when I was playing in high school Tom Landry’s shotgun was new to us. Our coach tried running it, but we had too many disastrously bad snaps, so it was abandoned. This could happen now the other way around, but I am of the mind that more practice of the unfamiliar skill would correct that.

My other thought is on the lack of a consistent and/or big play run game–we could use more help from our tight ends when it comes to blocking. No doubt the rest of the oline needs to keep improving–we’re still pretty mediocre, not real good and not real bad, but it seems to me that when I watch the replays I see more blocking break downs from the TEs on running plays. I was thinking that it was mostly Hudson Henry and that he needed more experience, but I’m not sure that some of them weren’t Blake Kern, too.

Can’t wait to get the hosses on the oline that Sam and the rest of us want. And if we can get back to being TE U and RB U we’ll get back that running game that can make all the difference.

This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.