#4 really bothered me during the game. Along with that one there was another point in the 4th quarter where we were down 1 I think and it was the exact same defense. No defender was in the middle of the field and I think it was an obvious passing down. I fully expected to see one of our guys run a hot route to the wide open middle of the field but nobody did. I can't remember the result of the play but I believe it was an incomplete pass to a covered guy on the sideline.
Beyond frustrating to watch.
I'll add another thought too. When we marched down the field in the 3rd quarter it was mostly due to effective running out of the Pistol and the 2 back set running a sweep with the other back as the lead blocker. We were running the ball very well. I hardly recall either of those formations the rest of the game, I think we went back to zone-read. Can anyone confirm if we abandoned the only thing that was working on offense?
My thought 24 hours later are we played a horrible game and still won with ease. Be lucky we didn't rout. LOL @ you guys thinking you would win, next time listen to me.
1. The offense quit on Jantz against Tech; not compeltely but menatally at least a little; after the Iowa debacle it was time to bench Jantz. Yes we won but its the kind of win that plants doubts in the minds of the team regarding their on the field leader.
2. After Tulsa game the offense came out guns blazing against Iowa only to have their confidence deflated by our inability to put them away when we should have.
3. Go back to the Rutgers game; there was a reason why Jantz came in; Barnett missed like 6 or 7 wide open receivers in a row. We would have crushed Rutgers if Barnett would have completed the passes to wide open receivers. After that Rutgers was like wow; they only thing they can do is run so lets just stack the box. They did after Jantz came in. He couldn't do anything either and offense seemed to run much worse under his helm as it did Barnett. But Barnett couldn't even hit wide open receivers so what was the point. Both were horrible that game.
The running game appeared to be having some success at the edges of the defense, little to no success up the middle. Our running play selection did not seem to reflect an effort to attack the edges.
I also wondered if a reverse or counter might have been successful at slowing down the defensive pursuit from the ends and backers. I don't have the trained eye to follow what the defense is doing, but thought some misdirection might have been called for at times.
Here are my thoughts (before having seen the replay):
1. I will eat crow. I claimed several times that our DB/LBs would beat their WRs because they are smarter and better coached. For the most part, our DB/LBs did their usual fine job and the TTU receivers didn't do much that was special. However, the TTU catches on the sides followed by WRs running back against the grain seemed to catch us off-guard. It seemed to happen 3-4 times at important points in the game. I'll credit this one to gameplan and/or adjustments in play-calling, as well as really good execution. I can't wait to see the replay to analyze this further.
2. TTU corners packed the line. Coach Rhoads talked about this after the game. Not sure why we couldn't make better adjustments to that.
3. Surprised to read the stats that White and Johnson had the same number of carries. I barely noticed Johnson apart from a few plays in the second half. I think we need to get rid of the play where our RBs go one direction with the ball for a step, then come back the other way. We aren't selling the fake and just giving away all our momentum (e.g. Woody for the safety). I sit in the middle of the endzone and it seemed like we had good holes, but weren't using them much of the time.
4. Last week, Jantz talked about "letting the game come to him," then he runs 20 times. I'll give him credit for the long third down on which he gave the extra effort to get the first down. That was Jantz at his best. But on most of the runs, it seemed like he took off too soon and wasn't looking to do much else. However, I will wait to see the replay to see if he was reacting to pressure that was getting through the line. And the unforced fumble, well, . . .
I don't expect to win all these games, but I still expect to win more than 3 conference games. We have smart, athletic, well-coached players. So, it will come down to gameplans and adjustments, as well as execution. Take away a few dumb turnovers and make a few better adjustments in playcalling (on defense also, such as anticipating the catch-and-runs against the grain), and we win that game 21-14. Easier said than done, but I still see us having a good chance to win against TCU next week.
People are giving Steele a lot of guff for keeping the ball so many times Saturday night. If you watch they have a defender upfield taking away the option to give the ball to the RB almost the whole game. Their defense dictated that zone read play all night and bottled up Steele for short gains. Fact is Rut, Iowa (red zone), and TT have ran the same defensive look and we are not making any adjustments. It was like watching a kid bang his head on the wall thinking one of these times somthing diffrent is going to happen.
I feel if ISU is going to be a running team then they are going have get a much more aggressive rushing attack. This cute one back slow zone read stuff would be great if the defense was on its heels after being gouged on the outside by some short passes with some catch and run but it is worthless as it currently is.
The offense would look different if you had a QB that could read the defense, make the right read, and be so what of a threat running the ball. Add to that someone that has an accurate arm and enough smarts to check out of a play if a blitz is coming right at you instead running directly into it!
Every D-I defense we have played in that last 5 games has found a way to blow up the zone read play.