Just to give you some background, I played football through college. It was div 3, but we had a lot of success, and I learned a lot about the game. I played wide receiver so I mostly know technique and route combinations. I don't know as much as a full time coach, but I'll give some of my insights after watching the game again. Maybe somebody will find it interesting.
- I think the illegal chop block was a bad call on our first drive. Coach Rod said this in his presser, and he was right. Right after the snap, Molk went for the cut. Mooseman did not engage the DT, the DT just put one hand on Mooseman's shoulder. It really should not have been called.
- I watched Matthew's TD catch about 30 times on my DVR and was lucky enough to pause it right before he hit the ground. His hand was under the ball, and it was a catch. It was hard to see on the replay though. I'm still not surprised the call wasn't reversed.
- On ND's long TD, Graham may have sacked Clausen if he wasn't getting bear hugged by the TE. It was pretty obvious holding. I'm not sure how anybody misses a call like that.
- On ND's other long pass play, Warren got smoked at the line. Tate didn't even give him much of a move, but it put Warren on his heels and allowed him to go open on the slant. He still caught up to him and slowed him down. Brown should have made an easy tackle.
- I didn't think the LB's were very good. I'm not sure what they were reading, but they bit on several ND counter plays. They also allowed the lead blocker to get into their body and push them back. They need to work on keeping the correct shoulder free and shedding those blocks. Ezeh also has a bad habit of dropping his head and lunging at tackles. The could be bad news against a back like PJ Hill.
- I thought the DL actually played pretty well. They got a pretty consistent push. When Johnson or Taylor got doubled, they held their ground and freed up the linebackers. Jamison threw their tackles around like a rag doll. Van Bergen and Mike Martin are going to be outstanding players for the next couple years.
- The passing game seems to consist of fader routes, bubble screens, slant bubble combos, and routes to sell four vertical. On the 4th and 6 after the fake punt, Stonum ran a route where he sold the vertical seem and stopped. It was like comeback, but to the inside. I think Matthews was on the other side and ran the same route. Butler ran a TE delay sit route. All three of these guys were open, but Threet threw the fade to Odoms. He thrwos it to anybody else, and its a first down.
- On Threet's fumble, Stonum put a nice move on the press corner and was running downfield wide open. The safety was rolling to the middle of the field to take the place of the safety rolling down. This was the touchdown Rod was talking about at the presser. It looked like Threet was rotating the ball to find the laces and just dropped it. This could have been a huge play.
- Our receivers do not do a very good job of staying vertical on fade routes. If you stay vertical, the qb puts the ball over your outside shoulder. It is very hard to defend this way. Our receivers seem to fade to the sideline during the route leaving almost no room for a pass. Maybe they are coaching it differently than what I know, but it looks much harder to complete.
- On Sheridan's first interception, he probably sould have thrown the slant to Matthews. He was open, and I would think the slant would be his first read. Butler also should have got his head around and caught the ball.
- On Sheridan's second interception, Babb did not run his seam pattern enough to the inside. If he takes his pattern closer to the hash or inside the hash, the corner cannot come over and make that interception. It was also a bad pass, but I don't think the route was run correctly.
- On our zone running plays, the O-line does a pretty terrible jobs on their cut blocks. Severa times, it was back side DT's running down the play from behind and making a tackle. They are lunging on the these blocks instead of getting their head across and driving their shoulder pads through the defender's legs.
Overall, I think we look pretty good going forward. The O-Line play was much better, but still needs to improve for Big Ten play. The LB's also need to improve. Of course thats just my opinion, I could be wrong.