Gardner just can't look off receivers. He'll lock into his #1 read (Gallon 90% Funchess 8%) and if its not there, he'll still try to fit it in or go into a mad scramble because one of the interior linemen have been beat. Honestly take your pick at which one. None of them are very good at pass protection. Miller is just not very good at anything, unfortunately.
Question for coaches and O-line experts (Also, Sunday Snowflake Thread)
The problem with our passing game last night was that Gardner went into a mental funk after that first INT. He was not getting rid of the ball on time, and his mechanics were way off. I think there were several times where he had receivers open and either just didn't throw the ball or else didn't set his feet and zinged it low or behind the receiver.
teams realize that Gallon is our only good receiver. The other receivers have been unable to get separation against man to man coverage, which is another huge problem. The result is Devin locking on to Gallon, and when he isn't open he doesn't have anywhere else to go so he starts to run around.
Gardner is definitely a bag of Skittles but since the first game I've kept saying that the receivers are really an unimpressive group. Just no real deep threats and it certainly looks like we'll have to wait another few years to get there probably not until Drake and the kid from Florida get on campus and get some seasoning.
I don't agree that there are no real deep threats, at least if you're talking about speed. Chesson beat his guy deep at least twice last night, but one was a shade underthrown (Chesson could have adjusted better but he's young) and he slowed down on the other but it still would have been a tough catch.
Chesson has speed to burn. He just needs to keep improving some of the other aspects of his game.
On the one down the right sideline he was open but it was underthrown and the guy made a nice interception - was right in front of me. The other I recall was over the middle and would have been a touchdown but the receiver (can't remember offhand if it was Chesson or Reynolds) got hung up and slowed down looking back for the ball - that's experience. I get the sense big plays are there if they can get things smoothed out.
It was Jehu- and that was right in front of me. I think the ball had more zip than he thought. to be fair, i also thought Devin floated it, but in reality it was a tremendous pass, Chesson just needed to continue with his route.
The one down the middle was Chesson.
Then I would say he's showing some consistency in getting free - things could get better with a little more game experience. He also had a nice diving catch on that big 3rd down they reviewed. He was wide open and the throw was a little short but on the safe side.
I don't know if UConn was wearing down on D but things looked noticeably better in the 4th quarter.
I think both were wind related. The first one that got picked was thrown into the wind and just died and fell into the defender's arms. The second one was with the wind and I think got hung up and took off on Chesson.
for this fact-based post. It made me feel a little better about that game.
On the opinion parts, I hope you're right!
Ehh Gardner couldn't hit the broad side of a barn last night and his receivers weren't helping him. The one to Gallon was high but catchable and Chesson barely made an effort on the int to him.
Just because a guy does something wrong doesn't mean he lacks effort. Chesson is a redshirt freshman, and he's not the biggest, strongest guy. If you throw him a jump ball, there's at least a decent chance that he will get outmuscled.
I need to rewatch it but it looked like he just about watched the CB catch the ball. In any case we may have just seen why he doesn't get the ball too often.
On the INT, the ball was underthrown and the DB had inside position. The pass should have been thrown further so Chesson could have run under it. Since it was into the wind, perhaps that's why it was underthrown?
In any event, I certainly don't think you can fault Chesson for a lack of effort on that play. Although I think the INT was Gardner's fault for underthrowing the pass, I suppose you can argue that Chesson maybe misjudged it and should have pulled-up earlier--but that's more of a "why are you not Jerry Rice?" thing, not an effort thing.
You have to remember he had his guy beat, great positioning if Gardner threw an average ball. The problem came when he missed short. This results in Chesson now having stop fast than the CB moving slower than him, and come father back to the ball. He probably wasn't expecting him to throw it short either with his separation. This first INT may also be the reason he slowed down on his second route because he didn’t want him to throw it short again.
Miller has two problems, he is lost on his calls and probably a step slow, then you add on he doesn't have the power to make up for those problems.
damned if you do, damned if you dont.
Jack Miller is terrible. He either blows his assignment or gets blown off the ball. Usually this destroys the play before it even really gets going.
Tight End blocking has been very bad as well. Allowing to much penetration.
Borges is foolishly running the ball into 8 and 9 man fronts when he should be making them pay for stacking the box. I would like to see more power running out of 3 wide reciever sets to spread the defense out a little bit, kind of what notre dame did to us.
"when he should be making them pay for stacking the box"
While I agree, Gardner looked lost in the passing game last night.
Damned if u don't, and damned if you don't......
As I said in the other snowflake thread, look at our OL and WR recruiting in 2010 and 2011. It's not really a surprise that those are our weakest positions this year. Miller and Bryant are our only OL from both classes, and we've already seen what we have with Miller. Even from the 2012 class, Kalis is our only interior OL. 3 interior OL in the last 3 classes combined... yeah. The cavalry arrived with the monster 2013 OL class, but it won't take effect til next year at the earliest when they're all redshirt freshmen. More likely it'll take until 2015.
WR is in a similar boat, with Gallon being the only hit from 2010 and 2011. The really sucky part is that we would be in a pretty good or even great spot at WR this year if Darboh wasn't hurt and if Ole Miss weren't cheating scumbags who (IMO) pretty obviously paid Treadwell to steal him from us. Treadwell and Darboh on this offense would have changed things big time.
I would give you a +1 if I could
cheated cuz we didn't get a guy who wanted to get paid? In my world, that ain't a loss.
I am hungover, so we really must need a lot of improvement in many areas.
When are they going to change something... and so running their heads into a wall. Its not working so CHANGE SOMETHING!
This post kind of gets to the heart of things.
You have to keep in mind that the players are being coached on their techniques and having their mistakes corrected constantly each week. The players can, do, and must improve over the course of the season.
If a particular play isn't working, I can understand why some guy in the stands or watching on TV thinks, "oh, that play isn't working--do something else next time!" If a player isn't performing well, I can understand that same fan saying "try somebody else!" But in reality, those are not usually the right moves. Maybe the play didn't work because one guy missed an assignment--correct that missed assignment, and now the play works. But if you scrap the play altogether and start over with a new play, now you're probably going to have a whole new set of mistakes that the players are making when they try to execute that new play.
Same thing with personnel--the guy who's starting is presumably the best player you have at that position. If he isn't doing something right, you point out the error and show him how to fix it. Hopefully he does. But if you just put somebody else in--somebody who's already shown that he isn't as good as the original player--then that guy has to go through the same growing pains.
This is why it's important to be patient and support the team.
Can we all please try and keep some semblance of perspective here? The team is 4-0 with a road win and a victory over a team ranked in the top 15. I was as pissed as anybody last night but woke up this morning with a bit of perspective. We won. We played like shit, dug ourselves a 14 point hole on the road and we won. It seems like we've collectively forgotten that detail in our despair over not playing as well as we should.
A brief flashback. In 1988 we were ranked #9 and opened the season at Notre Dame. We dug a 13-0 hole but fought back and led 17-16 with under 2 minutes to play. Notre Dame kicked their fourth field goal to take the lead back with a minute to go but we drove down the field and had a chance to win the game only to have the normally reliable Mike Gillette miss a 48 yard kick as time expired as we lost. Then we came home to host #1 ranked Miami and played the best football I've seen for 3.5 quarters and led 30-14 with less than 6 minutes to play only to see Miami coming storming back in the last five minutes to score 17 points and win 31-30. We played well, VERY well, against two highly ranked teams but were 0-2.
Trust me when I say the disapointment over playing poorly against two bad teams and winning is a milliionity-jillionity times better than being 0-2 and playing well against two good teams.
Last season we played three teams that went undefeated for the season - and two played for the MNC. That doesn't take away the angst we are feeling heading into the conference part of the schedule. Also, we actually looked good against our first two opponents, which makes the seeming collapse all the more painful. I have tickets to the Minnie game. I wasn't expecting a nailbiter, but I am now.
All rankings at this point in the year are a wash as most teams haven't gotten far enough into their schedule to show who they are, so throw the rankings out of the window. ND doesn't seem to be all that good at this point in time. Look at who they've played and relate that to their opponents opponents and it doesn't look like the great win we've made it out to be. Although winning has some comfort, the way in which a team wins/plays has much more comfort.
The 1988 team may have some similarities, but a case could be made for any team throughout the country at any point in their history having similarities to this team and most wouldn't out rank the others on a case by case basis. The reason being that those teams weren't led by this group of coaches. That is the biggest variable in the equation.
Are there coaching problems? Most definitely, at LB, OL, and perhaps DL as well. Egos need to be put aside and changes need to be made if this continues, but considering the team is comprised of almost 60% first or second year players it is somewhat understandable, but the talent discrepancy against these last two opponents should make that less relevant than it is appearing. These blowups are a nice little walk back in time to the RR years so it has been a little bit of fun seeing people act so irrationally.
Agreed on the assistant coach assessment - especially the comparison to what coach B did a few years ago re his assistant staff. It will be interesting to see if Hoke is more like Beilein (team first - assistant loyality second) or more like RR (Tony Gibson Uber Alles) when it comes down to making the tough decisions.
And it was nice to meet you a few weeks ago. I hope the Chicken Avocado bake lived up to expectations.......
It was nice to meet you as well. The CAB energized me for the entire game. Thanks for hospitality.
when they play Oklahoma. So far, ND has really only laid an egg against Purdue.
They kinda laid an egg last night too. Bailed out by some questionable PI calls. I guess their strategy was "throw deep passes that won't get caught and pray for a flag".
They won because MSU laid a bigger egg. Their offense...yeesh.
I'm no expert but it seems to me teams are challenging Michigan to throw the ball similar to the way they defended Denard. So when Michigan runs, there are 8 in the box and you have a bunch of players with esentially first year starter experience(Funchess, Butt, Miller, Glasgow, Kalis) all trying to execute together. One of those makes a mistake and it can completely ruin the play.
Once Gardner became frazzled the pass timing was completely off and the defense could sell out even more for the run. Seems he needs his confidence built up with easy passes to receivers who will hold onto it but the trouble is the WRs have trouble getting seperation. His timing also seems off with WRs not named Gallon on the deep passes.
Duder, we've got two red-shirt sophomores and a red-shirt frosh on the line. You can't expect those guys to be minimally functional against Akron and UConn. I mean theyre redshirt froshes and sophomores ferchrissakes. Its well known that redshirt sophomores can't block Akron.
I don't think not bring "fired up" is the problem. How many humiliations do you need to get fired up? One half against Akron? No, not fired up yet? How about an embarrassing near loss to Akron? No? How about being neutered for a half by UConn, a team that couldn't pressure on Towson? Surely now you'll be fired up. What's that? Oh, after all that you get stuffed on 3rd and 1 on the very first drive out of the half causing your QB to fumble the ball and put you in a two-TD hole against possibly the worst team in the FBS?
Being fired up is not the problem.
Not to pile on but I don't remember ayone saying the O-line was the shit.
He blocked Clowney well. I'm sorry but your not going to go the full year without being beat a sometime.
Gardner appears to have lost confidence in himself which doesn't help play calling, audibles, or any form of adjustments. He was really struggling after the first interception. Hopefully they get his head straightened out during the bye week. He also looked like he had a bad hammy or something like that in the 4th quarter.
UConn defense loaded the box and the line struggles with that. You would expect savvy defensive coordinators to take advantage of a young line learning how to play together and guy calling the blocking scheme for the first time this year.
Jordan Lewis and another freshman (name escapes me at the moment) screwed up two punts. One didn't get away from the ball and the other threw a block 15 yards behind Dileo negating a huge return.
Ugly stuff done by young/inexperienced teams and usually only corrected through playing time.
But, after all the errors and turnovers, we won...on the road. The team didn't fold under the pressure and found a way to win. Let's hope the lessons have sunk in by the time November rolls around. The talent is there. They just need to harness it.
And I still don't see how that's his fault. Shouldn't Dileo be shouting at the top of his lungs to get the fuck back and waving his hands and shit? I think he was unlucky more than anything.
actually dileo was trying to fake out the defense by pretending to catch the ball at the 10; knowing it was going over his head. that fake can freeze defenders sometimes and allow the ball to bounce into the endzone. the blockers have no business going inside the 10 yard line.
Jones has to find the football and get away from it. If the returner is standing on the 10-yard line and shouldn't catch anything inside of it, then there's no reason for Jones to be there, either. It's a lack of awareness of field position, game situation, and where the ball is. That will come with time, but the freshmen on special teams made numerous mistakes last night.
That's not being young, that's having a brain cramp. Even casual fans know what Jones should have done, and I suspect he did, too.
A brain cramp is part of being young. Lots of kids (and adults) can point to open receivers, call penalties, find open holes, etc. on television. Clearly, it's tougher when you're on the field actually trying to do those things. Are you suggesting that experience doesn't matter? Everyone knows that you shouldn't false start, either, but Graham Glasgow has done so 3 times in 4 games. Does that mean he'll have 9 false start penalties every year from now until he graduates?
Sure, experience matters. And I'll buy experience as a factor in false starts. A split second reaction by a younger player still adjusting to the complexities of blocking schemes, audibles, and the quarterback's cadence is understandable. But in the case of a punt returner deep in his own territrory, he knows what to do and has time to think it through. From the neck up, he isn't doing anything he wasn't doing in high school. Keeping track of the ball, not wandering inside the ten, and steering clear of a ball you don't field is basic stuff at any level.
Just a pet peeve of mine - I hate this business of penalizing players who block someone "too far from the play". Being 15 yards behind doesn't mean you can't make a play on a return. There's always the possibility a guy will cut back and you can close. If you're pursuing a play, expect to be blocked. If you don't want to get blocked, stop pursuing.