What can be fixed

Ok I watched every play for the last game in slow motion just to try and understand what happened in maybe the second worse loss in modern history.

And while where there are many things big and small that affected this game, in my opinion there are significant things that affected the outcome that can be worked on now and some that are just going to take time.

Significant that takes time.

  1. Oline and Dline size and talent. Not enough push not enough pressure. This is only going to get worse this season due to the lines we are going to face.
  2. QB experience - better vision, offense execution. Overthrows, underthrows.
  3. Freshman or new player mistakes. We’ve been inserting quickly lots of new players and occasionally they are just making huge mistakes. Wrong cover choice, wrong blocking choice etc. We are a young team. There is a reason experience matters. And you can see it on tape.

Significant that can be corrected now.

  1. Linebacker scheme. It is unbelievable to watch in slow motion the number of times our linebackers weren’t disciplined. Is that scheme? Or coaching or what? It’s not talent.
    They rush into holes before the play develops only to be in the totally wrong positions to defend a wide run or short middle cross. I’ll argue linebacker scheme is the number one reason our defense is currently bad. They are simply out of position way too often. Watching the SJS linebackers was weird in that they positioned the way I wish our linebackers would have.

  2. QB decision making. I never like to pick on a player but Starkel was right in his comments related to his play. We would have easily scored a lot more points if not for many bad decisions he made. Likely because he was pressing and thought he could get away with his arm, which sometimes he can. But in this game he actually had time and many opportunities to choose an easier open throw. I think this is what chad was referring too related to playing within the offense. I think there is a big lesson learned here and I’m betting Starkel gets much better in this affect.

  3. QB accuracy on easy throws. Starkel missed a lot of easy targets. Often times too high. Some too low. This matters A LOT in this offense. We aren’t beating anyone with power. We will rely a lot on finesse and good reads. I’ll bet Starkel gets better here too as the game slows down and he stops pressing.

  4. Too many early down 50/50 balls thrown into coverage. The let’s take a shot mentality is killing more momentum on drives than we are gaining on average. Some well designed and executed 50/50s are going to be needed. I get it. But when you are moving the ball with lower ratios of risk to reward Keep the momentum. Don’t know if that is Starkel choice but watching last year I’ll bet that is mainly craddock or Morris.

  5. Developing some Quicker developing run plays vs reads in the arsenal. In slow motion believe it or not this line opened some holes, but because we are almost always making a read the back is too slow getting to the hole. As a side note the back is choosing the wrong holes too often.

That’s the short list of significance. Not saying fixing those things will win us a lot of games due to the things that will take time. But the things we should be able to correct over the short term will definitely makes us more competitive.

For the I don’t care fire the coach crowd this type of stuff isn’t for you. For those who try to extract optimism and entertainment out of a season like this, and are brave enough to watch a disaster again let me know what you think.

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Good analysis. As far as Starkel’s overthrows, most were because he wasn’t following thru on his passes because the line wasn’t keeping the pocket clean. He did try forcing too many into double coverage like Mallett used to do.

At least two of Starkel’s INTs were on the receivers, one of whom wasn’t looking for the ball and another who turned the wrong way (saw Starkel gesturing at him after the play on the sideline).

Can’t teach heart - that is where we are at. If they (players) have some heart they will learn from this and steal a win to make up for the lousy loss. If they don’t have heart they may well go 2-10.

Most of the overthrows I’m referring to have absolutely nothing to do with the Oline or pocket. Gotta watch the tape. He missed a designed outlet to a back high. He missed an short at the sticks wide open middle throw high. There are more. I’m not counting the harder throws that were off target and under pressure. I’m talking only the throws that mattered, were easy, no pressure and I’m sure Nick would say he should have made.

As for the heart thing, I’m not buying it. It’s too easy to say that. In a split second no receiver is not trying to get to the ball and make a catch, etc… They may make mistakes. Later in the season if they are beat down, I think you will see the evidence of heart or not and likely at the line of scrimmage where it can be more about strain and push and will power. But not yet. Don’t see it on tape. These kids have heart.

These kids are trying hard. But they are making mistakes. Don’t know if that is experience, training or what.

I noticed the same thing at the at Portland State… the holes were open by the oline but the backs often didn’t choose the right hole.

At time it looks as if we practices running plays but have not developed the football skills related to the execution of the play. Whaly has a false step out of stance that takes away the timing of the play. He is slow off the snap count.

Nothing about our football teams fortunes change until problems with both lines get fixed. Unfortunately, these problems have been on going for at least five years. Bad coaching, recruiting, player evaluation, and development have been sorely lacking for the past several years. Last years recruiting class was good, but needs to be maintained on a consistent basis. In this league, you can’t afford to have a sub par year recruiting linemen or you will find yourselves in the position we are in today.

I believe after watching it in slo mo our line play was plenty good enough to win the SJS game. We had plenty of easy opportunities we just blew with poor execution or decisions beyond the O and D line.

However, our lines aren’t generally good enough to win an sec game without much much better execution and scheme elsewhere.

The running backs seemed to be quicker and faster vs CSU than last week. Hit the holes without a lot of hesitation and ran hard. Seemed more hesitant vs SJS, but I don’t know if it was their fault or the OL?

I also noticed the LB’s running themselves out of the play. Can say the same for the safeties too. DB’s? Seems they let the receiver go by them and can’t catch up or play so far off them they curl under and are wide open.

I have no idea if it’s talent, lack of experience, or coaching. Hopefully, they grow up and get better soon.

Hognc, you deserve some type of award for not only re-watching but in slow-motion!

I like your analysis, it does appear the LBers are struggling mightily. Hopefully that can be corrected quickly.

Did you see the slow mo when Ty Clary was knocked about 5 yards in the backfield? Or when the line got stuffed on all 4th and short?

Worried about #7 at FS… don’t think he has the speed/range to play at a high level in the SEC. Hope Catalon starts pushing him.

You made several good points, but we have to recruit even better than we did last year. Our recruiting was ranked great nationally but towards the bottom in the Sec west, our recruiting has to rise and our coaching staff has to develop players better than the staffs in other Sec staffs. That’s a tall order to fill comparing the quality of teams and coaching staffs we are going to face every season. Can it be done,sure but not overnight, is our staff up to the task, who knows but we will have a better sample of play by thanksgiving. We seem to be in the perfect storm of college football and once you get down it’s tough to get back up. Looking forward to Saturday’s game and to see what we’re made As far as effort and fight of this team. WPS

You are right about the dbacks although I think some of that is normal and ours aren’t NFL caliber. What you note and I saw as well is the struggle with the underneath route. Seems like chavis wants them to keep everything deep underneath or play press.

But I think this still comes back to linebacker scheme and play. If there is tons of room underneath because the backers are at the line of scrimmage and the dbs were playing off, it makes for easy underneath throws. If our dbs, and Dends for that matter could just be a little more patient we would be less susceptible to the underneath routes.

I’m quite sure I don’t understand this like chavis. He’s clearly picking one poison over another. But it’s also clear our dbacks aren’t in position to make a play too often.

Yes and actually ty tripped over another guy in that awkward play. He wasn’t just driven or blown off the line through sheer physicality. Make no mistake we struggled with their nose all night. They also placed their dlineman off the line and got more of a running start. Our guys also seem to back up early in protection. Clearly they are taught that but makes for a deep pocket. Nick needs to step up more to avoid the ends. We struggle a lot more at the tackles than guard.

We should not have been in those 4th and shorts nor should we have tried power when we were.

Yes I agree and we need o lineman and more speed everywhere. Won’t help this year. I don’t know how they recruit better if they don’t get more wins and therefore hope vs doubt.

Blocking and tackling.

Both are deficiencies and that’s football.

You don’t have to have five stars everywhere to be able to tackle well.

I would hope we could at least fix tackling and have gang tackling mentality if takes more than one.