As a long time reader of this site who has never really posted his ideas, I felt oddly compelled to share something as I reflect on the game today. As I was watching our offense operate, it felt exactly like the first year in my NCAA '09 dynasty. Granted that may sound ridiculous, but please bear with me. I spent a few hours setting up formation substitutions, audibles, and the whole works before I got started. What resulted was an offense that tried to get the ball into too many different players' hands—Minor would get a carry, Brown would get two, McGuffie would mix in, along with Shaw here and there. I would screen to Odoms, or run slants to Hemingway and Clemons. If I was in trouble, I'd try to audible a go route to Matthews. I had created a monster—an offense that had no consistent play-maker. I tried to get too many different people involved. I know it's a spread offense, but that doesn't mean you need to spread the ball to 10 different guys just because they have potential. There is something to be said about setting up some consistency.
Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, we didn't do that today. We tried a couple of times, but when we went back to a RB or a WR who made a nice play, we got terrible blocking or a lineman completely missed an assignment. I have seen several posts here and at umgoblue.com where people have stated they were happy that our line played better than they expected. I have to ask, are you kidding me? Our run-blocking was atrocious at best, and our pass-blocking was riddled with missed opportunities. Do you want to know why Threet missed a wide open Darryl Stonum on the 4th and 5 play? His mechanics showed that he was certain he would not get quality protection and he released in such a way that it assured a high pass.
The 25-23 score is very misleading. If we were not blessed with Utah's asinine amount of mental mistakes and penalties, we could not have made it that close. They will likely attribute that to first game jitters. As an optimist, I'd also like to attribute our struggles to first game jitters. Most of us, I hope, realized this would be a tough season. Just like my NCAA dynasty, I expect a mighty struggle during year one. But in year two, when I recruited a quarterback who could handle the offense, when I trained my linemen, and when I settled on 2 backs and two top wide-outs... it was a whole different story. I get an eerie feeling that life is going to imitate art, or at least video games, in our situation.