My thoughts on the game.
I haven't seen anyone give a comprehensive look at the game so I'll throw mine out there.
There was much talk about the changes. I got there about 15 minutes beforehand and thus never heard the "sirens". If they were loud though I would have thought I'd have heard them on my way there. Someone led the crowd in cheers, with at best moderate success. I think the size of JTS makes it hard to do large organized cheers because of the time it takes for the sound to travel. There was a video set to Thunderstruck, but they have retained the techno song thing from previous years. Being able to clap to something is a necessity IMO so this did not disappoint me. I think I will end up liking the helmet, but it could take some time to grow on me. I thought the atmosphere was relatively good, and I was encouraged by the participation of the non-student sections.
I was not very impressed with our O-line unfortunatelly. They only gave up 1? sack that I remember, on a missed block by Stevie. That said, Meyer rolled out of the pocket a lot (by design). There were a lot of times that Stevie just did not have room to run though, but his running seemed solid aside from a fumble (I really hate fumbles). Meyer was our best running back and the QB draw was run A LOT. Almost all of our offense was run from the shotgun and I have to wonder if our running game could be helped if Meyer played more under center. Our passing game carried us and was very effective in overtime, making one wonder why we did not stretch the field more during regulation. The key and question mark still seems to be our run blocking.
Where to start... it could be a long year if we don't improve (which we should given the number of young guys).
D-Line: I was worried about us stopping the run at the begining of the game, but they seemed to go away from that as the game went on (possibly due to the effectiveness of their passing). Our line seemed to have trouble getting penetration and their QB had all day to throw if we didn't blitz. I saw Curvey in pass coverage at least twice so we either did some zone blitzing or things were really ****ed up.
Linebackers: I had thought this would be the strength of our defense and was very dissapointed. They bit on play fakes way too much after which they would throw to a wide open guy on the other side of the field for about 8 yards a pop. I am probably spoiled from watching Dobbins, but very rarely did they hit someone and stop them in their tracks. Toledo usually got some yardage after contact as they fell forward. This group was also supposed to be very fast, but got eaten alive in pass coverage. I remember a specific play where a Toledo player outran Bowen after the catch.
Secondary: As mentioned, they ate us alive with their passing. I only remember one play where Jackson made a play, which indicates that they avoided him. I can't count the number of passes completed where there were three or more guys within 5 yards of the reciever but no one had good enough coverage to prevent the completion.
Special Teams: :Sick:
Did we get a new special teams coach this year? If so do you think it is too early to fire him? Perhaps a bit premature, but they looked ugly aside from Shaggy's kicking. They returned their first kickoff out past the 40. We then blocked their extra point attempt and then had about 4 people run past the ball, allowing them to pick it up and run it in for 2. We later bobbled a punt snap and got off about a 3 yard kick, which was fortunately negated by them having 12 people on the field. Our punter seems to take way too much time to get kicks away. We later kicked a kickoff out of bounds. We later went for a field goal to go up by two scores, at which point the ball was snapped over Flynn's head. He did a remarkable job of keeping it alive, but of course no one ran a route so he could try and throw it. As for the good news, Shaggy had one just under 40 yard field goal and numerous extra points, all of which were very good kicks.
There is a LOT to work on, but hopefully our guys can gel as the season goes on and the poor coverage seems to be a mental problem that should be correctable (otherwise I dread the TT and Nebraska games). A win is a win though and hopefully finally winning in OT will get a monkey off of these guy's back.
excellent review.. that's how i saw it go down as well..
i'll gladly take the win, but we have hard work ahead of us...
I have to admit I was totally disappointed in the linebackers as well. They got straight up worked, and they missed coverages and got burned a lot. I thought they would be the strength, and now I hope we can just keep it together through 11 more games.
Originally Posted by BryceC
Can someone cover the tight end? Chandler would have had over 200 yards recieving tonight. If the defense dosn't gel quickly it's going to be a long year.
Just saw the Blythe highlight on ESPN. Nice!
Originally Posted by Kyle
"Teams make the biggest improvment between weeks one and two."
I forget who said it, but it was a non-ISU coach. Let's just hope it's true. One thing to realize is that this was the first time this team got to hit someone else other than each other and it was expected for such a young D to struggle. Let's hope having 8 days off will leave us better for the rest of the season.
Don't confuse hope for a plan.
My biggest gripe is with about 12 min left, and we got the ball, we sat on it and 3 and out. 1 play to Stevie up the middle, 1 QB draw and then no one open on 3rd down. When we slow it down, we, our selves take Meyer out of the game. They know Stevie will get it up the middle and if a decent defensive line as Toledo had we won't get anywhere. Force the defense to take Meyer out of the game!! By all of a sudden going conservative, it cost us dearly. We could have ended the game there by another score or at least a couple of first downs. Should never been in that position (by coaching decisions) that gave Toledo more life. Hand it to Toledo to take it to us when given to them on a silver platter. Perhaps the players learned more this way, but obviously the coaches have not.
Toledo is a good team and am glad we won. As Mac said afterwards they have a lot of improvements to do. And we did get our money's worth. Also lots of fortitude by Cyclones to hang in there and do what it took. They are going to have lots of tests this year.
Disagree on Oline. Last night was the first night I saw consistent holes from an oline at ISU in about four or five years - regardless of the opponent. Was every play a sucess. no but they aren't at UT, NU, OU USC either.
Linebackers will be fine. They need some work in pass coverage but they have the athletism to get it. Remember these guys are incredibly athletic and showed last night they are football players, but they haven't played many games. I am not concerned at all about the LB's. (I think part of what you saw Bryce was scheme...we played the Skladany prevent all night...think at NU last year, at MU)
I had two concerns from last night. No pressure on QB on 95% of plays. We made a couple big sacks that likely saved the game...thank you parker...but most of his throws were made 4-6 seconds from the snap and he could have waited longer.
My second concern was conservative play calling in second half. I totally support the running game, but we got out balance in the second half and took away the biggest strength of our team. Meyer to Blythe, Meyer to Davis, Meyer to Flynn etc. Meyer had 100 plus yards passing in 1st quarter and only another 100 in the rest of regulation.
If the defense doesn't come together (and I think it will) then you have got to be willing to use your ponies aggressively to outscore them in a track meet.
I totally agree with the statement about playcalling. I don't know why we always do that. I hate it how we do not finish things off. Run up the middle? TWICE? on their 43 yard line? We had our hands on their throat and all we had to do was go down and get a score. And we go 3 and out. I'm glad we won, but i am also reminded why i get frustrated with the playcalling.
Go for it, don't dink around with them.
Hilton-Bring on the Magic
You must have watched a different game then I did. Our O-line was not very good. I think Stevie rushed for 89 yards on 23 carries. That is still less than 4 yards a carry against Toledo. They did not give up many sacks but overall I was unimpressed with this group again. They do not look much better than last year.
Originally Posted by JCloned
I was also very disappointed in the LBs. They all look undersized. They were continually out of position and I thought did a poor job of tackling. The middle was open all game long. I agree about the pass rush, it was non-existent.
I thought the playcalling was fairly conservative all night. Especially after the Toledo turnover. I kept waiting for the ball to go deep and it never really did. I have to eat my words on the Toledo quarterback too......I thought he might be a weakness as a new starter and obviously I didn't know what I was talking about. Overall a good win against a tough opponent. I was also impressed with the atmosphere of the game as it seems like they are really trying hard to keep fans involved. Meyer for Heisman by the way!
We still don't know how good Toledo is. Maybe they are a very good team and this will be a big win later in the year. Who knows? I am glad we won the way we did. Learned a lot about our team and what needs to be fixed. Better than playing Montana in the first game.
Was a good early season test. ISU did win in OT verses previous years loses in OT. Area of concern, other teams Quarterback in second career start completes 80% of passes......?
Toledo may beat Kansas in their next game.
The linebackers are undersized but they did track the people down. Dobbins hits spoiled us.
I was disappointed by the penetration of the front four all night long.
Bob is totally on - McC is way too conservative in those calls near end of game. That is why he has lost so many overtime games. He better relearn you need to go all out on the throttle if your team is not the national champions.
BryceC, was 39 receptions in JackTrice a record by an opponent?
Parmalee looked hard to tackle for being a little guy or was it us? That pass deflection at Hopkins at the end of the game (that won it) may have saved the season.
Looking forward to CFH magic for the next bball season, Georges style.
The passing yards by Toledo was not all the DB's fault. Until late in the game we on now pressure on the QB, and if you give any QB all day to throw someone is eventually going to get open. Also there times when there QB made awesome passes into good coverage and their recievers were able make great catches.
We will get better as the year goes on though.
Anyone remember how poorly we played against Ill. St. and Army last year? This was a great warmup. They took us to the brink, and our guys didnt back down. We need to improve in several things, but they have a week of practice. Winning a game like this will help us later in the season.