Am I the only one who thought our game plan with Minor and Brown healthy was supposed to be to pound them all day long? We ran good on the first series and scored, then we got into 3rd and longs every time because of pass plays that failed on 1st and 2nd down. Minor, Brown, and Tate/Denard were having great success running the ball then all the sudden we just start throwing every play. Tate's shoulder clearly is still hurt and this would have played into our game plan. I dont understand the play calling, we should have run the ball more because it was working and apparently the coaches can't see that WTF!
What happend to the running game?
David Molk re-injured his foot. As soon as that happened I was afraid the running game would vanish.
Another thing that went wrong is that we never established the passing game. Because we couldn't get it going through the air, PSU was able to play close to the LOS and effectively shut down our running game.
One of the interesting things I read in Football Prospectus (if you're a statistics/football nerd it's a fantastic resource btw) is that the conventional wisdom of "establishing the run" early is actually inaccurate. They found that the running game was usually at it's most successful after the PASS had been established, because defenses now have to play off the line a little bit.
I can't remember what page that article was on or in what edition I found it, but it was eye-opening and thought-provoking.
Yep. Loss of Molk, adjustments by PSU, and PSU's dominating D-line made passing very difficult. That and the drops.
The running game was slightly hampered by that new play call RR has. He used it 5 or 6 times. It's called " 32 TE drop". He likes to call this play on first down when the defense is in cover two with a run heavy formation. The idea is to suck the linebackers up and let the TE get behind the LB's. Then the QB is to throw the ball to the TE which he then bats to the ground. It is desigend to intimdate the opposing defense.
Re: Molk. If I remember correctly, didn't he get injured on the 2nd or 3rd play of the game? After he left, we were still able to run the ball well and get our only TD.
We were able to run the ball w/o Molk on that first drive... not sure what happened after that.
You can't blame the running game's lack of dominance (they actually performed fairly well, so I guess that's the vibe here), on Molk. While important, Molk wasn't the reason why the running game was not dominant. The running game was not dominant because PSU was smothering the pass game and were biting on the run. They crept further and further up knowing full well our temptation to run because the passing game was going nowhere. And the passing game was going nowhere because Tate played poorly again along with key drops by the receivers.