2 Complaints - yards per carry and coaching
The 2 biggest complaints I have from last night is our running game and Mac's coaching. The defense obviously struggled but they are young and will get better. Basically, 8 new starters is a lot to work through. I was impressed with Tuba. I expected big and fat but he moved very well. I do think we will struggle with a consistent pass rush the rest of the season but there is talent and speed all over the place. I think the special teams will come along as well. I like the resume of the new special teams coach. Again, new players in game situations take some time.
What worries me is our rushing attack. I though Meyer ran extremely well. It reminded me of the Miami of Ohio game. I think Hicks ran hard and had some nice runs. My problem is that they both averaged 3.9 yards per carry. I tend to evaluate our rushing effectiveness by this stat. Less than 4 ypc in college is not good. Meyer gets hurt by sack yardage so his is understandable but in college your top back should average 5+ ypc. Last year, Hicks averaged 3.66. KSU's top back averaged 4.65 and KU's 5.82. Perhaps the problem with Hicks is that he never gets the 30+ yard runs. Until we can get a combination O-line and running back that can average over 5 ypc our offense will struggle especially with Mac's conservative nature.
My other complaint is Mac's coaching. Last season, we lost 3 OT games where we had second half leads. Mac acknowledged this problem and I would hope has made some changes. So what happens in our first game of 06, we blow a second half lead to see the game go to overtime. At least this year we won. Why, because Mac was aggressive in OT and went to Blythe (only after being coached by Blythe). My problem is why wait until OT? Why not go for the knockout punch in the second half with the passing attack? First play after the fumble, we should have gone deep to Blythe and finished the game off. I do not understand how we can forget that Todd Blythe is on our team. It reminded me of the KU game last year. I think it is a sad reflection of the coaching staff when a player has to tell them basically get me the ball and we win. They do what he says and we win. I just get frustrated seeing the same patterns game after game and year after year.