Sunday, September 6, 2009

King Ottos Konclusion

Well here is my first game recap of the year. I think it is still too early to tell what we have here this year. We wont know for sure until after the NW game. They say you improve greatly from game one to two. But with PSU it wont mater. So we will have to wait another week. That being said it was a good start. The game really game down to our first play and last play on O.

He didnt seem too involded during the game and let the coordinators do their thing. He seemed to be isolated on the sideline the way a SP throwing a no hitter is. But for a guy whose strength is his organizational skills, his very first play was as disorganized as can be. And may very well have cost SU the game. The play clock was winding down and the team was in disarray. At that point I was yelling take a TO. Yes that doesnt look good to start the game, but it is better than a broken play which was likely to occur. And of course the snap goes over Paulus' head for a turnover. Interesting that at the end of regulation the D was in disarray and he called a TO.

I liked that he called a diverse game. However I would have liked to see a few more deep shots. Also we NEED to establish a consistent running game if we are to be successful. The second half O was piss poor. I think we need to be a run first team to be successful.

Did a great job with the D. We did give up a few big plays but bottomline we gave up only 20 points in regulation. And the first 14 the D was put in a hole by the O and STs. But Minn was all pass and no run. It will be interesting to see if the D does as well against a running or balanced O. Also he brought a lot of pressure but we only got 2 sacks. Weber rushed because of the pressure but had more time then he thought.

Wow did he get mad after that block in the back flag was picked up. I think the refs made the right call but he went insane. I think anything is possible now on STs.

He reminded me of Nunes and that isnt even including his last play. He lacks arm strength and made several bad decisions. There were three balls that coulda easily have been INTs that ended up as incompletions. One of which woulda been a pick 6. Now it was his first game in 4 years and he is basically a freshman at this level. So he has a lot of room to improve. And his arm strength should improve as well. If he were to stay at his current level, he wont go very far. But if he continues to improve as I think he will, we will have a shot in every game but PSU. That being said for a guy who is suppossed to be smart, he made as dumb of a play as one can make.

DC3 is a beast, he just doesnt go down. He gets extra yards just on his strength. However we couldnt really ever get him going. Bailey ran the ball well out of the wildcat, or Stallion as we call it. Mike Jones didnt do anything on O but looked good as a KR.

Lots of double TE sets. Provo got hurt early. Catalina was in there plenty but didnt have a ball thrown his way. Which was a little odd since he was a factor in the Spring game. We didnt see any of those play actions called. Owen had a rough game. Penalties and drops hurt the team.

We seemed to go 2 WR mostly. MW had a nice game. There was a deep ball that you expect him to come up with but it was underthrown and not an easy catch. Later on a big third down he dropped a ball that hit him in the pads. Lemon made a couple nice catches. He seemed to struggle to make guys miss on the bubble screens. And on one tunnel screen he missed a ball that he deflected up in the air, and it was almost picked. The play looked blocked as well. Davis looked like the 3rd WR. Unfortunately he was blocking on many bubble screens, which for his size is difficult for him. Dont feel comfy with him returning punts but there really isnt anyone else out there. Sales seemed to barely play. Big disappointment. Lobdell made an appearance catching a bubble screen. He also beat a man deep that Paulus missed badly.

They didnt open many holes for the RBs. I thought pass blocking they did ok. Part of that was Paulus getting rid of the ball quickly. But I believe there was only 1 play all game that Paulus had no chance to get rid of the ball, and only 3 sacks allowed in 36 pass plays. Not too bad. Meldrum seemed to play all but the 4th Q. I wonder if something happened as Rosner came in.

Art Jones played well. Tribbey was in to spell him every now and then. Lewis and Perkins split time at the other DT and I didnt really notice either making plays. Marinovich played most of the game. Made a nice deflection dropping back in coverage. Chandler Jones got most of the time at the other DE, with Kimmel in every now and then spelling him. Sharpe was at DE in the Okie. I think Ball played as well.

Smith and hogue played the whole game, and seemed ok. The Will seemed to be split between Gillum and Carter. Both made some nice plays and both made some mistakes. Shamarko was that Okie LB.

Both of the Scotts got beat deep, but it seemed like Nico was picked on more. Holmes and Suter made a lot of plays out there. Surprised Suter came out in the Okie in favor of Phillip Thomas.

Lichtenstein was 2 for 2 and neither was easy. The first had a weird angle and the second was over 40. Long looked fine punting and kicking off.

1st Half

SU won the toss. Personally I woulda kicked so I could have the ball to start the second half. I would not have wanted a three and out on O. Also I would have been worried my players would be too amped up. Better to have the D out there with the crowd behind them. The game started out about as bad as can be. Minn went up 14-3 and had the ball with over 11 mins left in the 1st Q.

To start the game the O was huddled up and the GA (Eric Sanders) looked to be talking to them trying to pump them up. Not sure if that was the issue. The first TD was too easy. A simple run that was bounced to the outside. Someone was responsible for the outside. Since the DE was lined in and the Will went inside I have to guess it was the S, who was blocked, or the CB. The CB was easily run off and may need to keep an eye out for the run.

When they were talking about Jedd Fisch they showed an old guy at first. And another time they showed what looked to be a GA. Thought that was funny. After their first TD we counter with a KR to the 16. We scored a TD that was called back due to an illegal formation. I noticed it live. Paulus waved Owen in motion and MW never replaced him on the LOS. The 2nd time organization hurt the team. We then tried a toss, which I hate in short yardage, that was stopped to make it 4th and 1. I have no issue with Marrone taking 3 points there as he just wants to get on the board. Not sure if anyone else noticed Loeb and Dantley giving in signals and were pretty animated. One is a decoy but it is fun to watch.

The ensuing KO no one had contain and Minn got a big return. It looked like Merk was the one who got caught too far inside. Minn then hit Decker deep. It wasnt a well thrown ball and Kevin Scott shoulda been able to make a play. At worst he shoulda interfered with Decker to prevent a big play. They said in the broadcast that they switched Weber's motion, why? The guy had a good year last year. Why mess with that? Maybe in the NFL it would mater but in CFB you can throw the ball under hand and it wouldnt mater. Weber was off all day. Not sure if this was a factor. Minn was stopped on 3rd and goal with a nice play by Kevin Scott. But a false start gave them another shot. We only rushed 4 on the play but the guy beat on the play was Carter. He had help to the outside and let the WR beat him inside for an easy score.

SU came back with a 3 and out and things started to look worse than when GRob was here. On 3rd Provo was hurt and he never returned. Minn now had the ball with SU in trouble. Marinovich almost made a big play. On a screen pass the ball went off the RB and he almost got an INT. Not sure but it looked like they had the screen blocked. On 3rd and 7 we brought no pressure. Weber hit his WR but the ball was bobbled out of bounds incomplete. For now the bleeding had stopped.

The next drive Paulus got lucky he didnt throw an INT. He under threw it behind Lemon, who made a great play to break it up. We finally got our first 1st down with 7:30 left in the 1st Q. It was 3rd and 2 and we ran the ball in a one WR set. I dont like the formation or play, and we barely got the 1st. Owen made his first mistake when we ran and end around for Davis. Owen missed a block that would have sealed the corner. On a swing pass to Lemon, Davis made a nice cut block but it seemed like Lemon ran right at the guy. The defender made a nice play but Lemon shoulda avoided him. Paulus picked up a first down on a run but Bartholomew was called for a hold, which didnt look like too much of a hold. So with it 3rd and long we call a tunnel screen which looked to be blocked but Lemon had the ball bounce off of him and it was almost an INT.

On Minn's first play they run the Wildcat for a loss. Nice play by Carter. For the first time we see the Okie D. Sharpe came in at DE for Chandler Jones, Phillip Thomas at SS for Suter, and Shamarko as the Okie for Lewis/Perkins. I was surprised that Suter wasnt at SS or Okie. Minn ran a screen and a nice play was made by Gillum. A shovel pass was stuffed for no gain and Minn was forced to punt.

For the first time we see our Wildcat, or Stallion set with Nassib split wide. It was interesting that Minn played with 2 safeties deep against this formation all day. Paulus threw a ball deep for MW who was doubled. It was under thrown and a difficult ball but coulda been caught. Davis was open on the play as well. A few plays later Paulus makes a great fake on the bubble and hits a wide open MW for a TD. SU is back in the game.

On Minns next drive they have a 3rd and 12. We dont bring pressure and give Weber all day. But he throws an INT to Holmes, who made a nice catch on the sideline. SU does nothing with the ball on the next drive. On 3rd down Minn brings a blitz and gets their first sack. On the punt we had bad coverage as Kimmel, Leo, and Gillum all missed chances at a tackle. A flag was thrown for a block in the back but was correctly picked up. Casullo went nuts for about 5 mins. He went a little over board.

Minn was forced into a 3rd and 1. Art Jones made a nice play to stuff the FB making it 4th down. Minn decides to go for it with a QB sneak that was stopped thanks again to Art Jones. The play was reviewed an correctly called as the ball was behind Weber's body.

We ran a bubble to Lemon for a nice gain. MW made a good block. It seemed like the play worked better with MW there instead of Davis, who cant block it as well. A few plays later Lobdell made a catch and nice move for 5 yards. He then got open deep but Paulus missed him. On a 3rd and 1, DC3 was stopped. Again a 1 WR set. Marrone trusted Lichy and he came through for 3.

SU stops Minn and gets the ball back. Paulus makes a few nice plays against blitzes and SU gets rolling. On the drive MW made a few catches and SU overcame a few penalties. DC3 had a long run to the 1 and then scored over the top to give SU its first lead.

Good KO coverage stops Minn at its own 18. On 3rd down Minn is trying to kill the clock and SU doesnt call TO. If Marrone calls TO after 2nd down with 5 secs left, Minn would only have 1 play left. So they would have to either try for a 75 yard TD or play it safe with a run. If they run SU could call TO and force a punt. But Marrone decided to let the half end. Minus the first play it was a very good half for SU. Wish we had the ball to start the second half.

2nd Half

The stats show Minn had only 63 yards passing, mostly on the early pass to Decker, and only three 1st downs. Their first 3 plays went for 54 yards, while the last 27 went for 60. Paulus was 12-17 for 128 yards.

Marinovich makes a nice play to bat a ball away. And on third down a bad pass leads to a punt that Davis muffed but goes out of bounds. On third Speller false starts making it 13 yards to go. Paulus throws a dangerous pass that is almost an INT and then almost caught off the deflection by MW. A bounced snap leads to a bad punt and good field position for Minn.

Minn almost scores on a deep pass that Suter barely tips away. Nico was blitzing and missed Weber for a sack. On third and long Minn picked up the blitz, but the pass fell incomplete. Kevin Scott was called for PI as he was grabbing Decker. Minn ends up getting a FG on the drive to cut the lead to 3.

Paulus almost throws a pick 6 on an attempted screen to Lemon. The next play Minn gets called for a late hit giving SU its first 1st down of the half at the 7:45 mark. On a 2nd down Davis is stopped on an end around and has his shoe thrown down the field, but no penalty is called. Personally I dont like plays like this on anything but 1st downs. That way if it is blown up you dont have a 3rd and long. On 3rd and 8 Paulus throws to Owen short of the first. It looks like a catch and fumble but is called incomplete. SU has to punt and the PR calls a fair catch to fake out Mayes who had a shot at downing it before going into the endzone.

Weber has all day to pass but great coverage leads to him throwing it away. Then on 2nd down Kevin Scott blows up a bubble screen and Weber has to hold it and take a sack. SU forces the 3 and out. Davis gets nothing on the PR, which continues a problem from the GRob era.

A 3rd and 2 slant to MW gets a PI call extending the drive. A false start in which the D line moved but didnt go into the neutral zone pushes SU back 5 yards. On a bubble screen Lemon goes outside toward the defender instead of going in for more yards. On 3rd and 6 MW has the ball hit him in the chest and SU has to punt.

After 3 Qs Weber is 8/23 for 75 yards. On 3rd and 4 Weber hits Decker for a 1st. Before that they were 1 of 10 on 3rd. Decker beats Nico deep for 53 yards. On a blitz Marinovich knocks away a pass in the flat. SU goes Okie and Sharpe beats his man for a sack. On the way down Weber hits his OLman and the ball comes free. SU recovers. But again SU goes 3 and out. Paulus leads Owen into the safety and he cant hold on, but most could not.

Minn starts running the ball and gets some yards. On a 3rd and 2 Decker makes a great catch while double covered. Neither DB made a play on the ball. Holmes turned too late. Smith tips a pass that is almost an INT. On 3rd and 9 Weber throws it out of Deckers reach in the endzone. Minn has to settle for 3, but the 47 yarder is miss struck and falls well short. SU survives again.

Bailey goes down on both knees and the ball comes out. The refs rule it a fumble. For what ever reason the booth doesnt call for a review and Marrone has to challenge it, to get it over turned. I never understand why some easy calls are reviewed and plays like this the booth lets go. Owen is called for a hold making it 2nd and long. A slant to MW gets SUs first 1st down of the half not by penalty. This comes with 8 mins left in the 4th. A hold called on Rosner pushes SU back again. A bubble to Lemon loses yards as Davis misses a block. On 3rd and 16 Paulus feels pressure and pulls the ball down instead of just stepping up and keeping his head up. The sack forces SU to punt.

Minn takes over at the 12. Chandler Jones hits Weber forcing an incomplete. Then on 3rd and 4 SU goes to the Okie, which we will see the rest of the drive. Weber hits a quick slant for the 1st. SU forces another 3rd and 4 and Minn uses the same play for the 1st down. Weber hits his TE for a big play. Then he hits Decker to the 26 when SU only rushes 3. On the drive Art Jones dropped back into a zone several times which prevented him from making any plays. On a 2nd and 10 they run the same slant a 3rd time. Gillum may have missed a chance to stop it. On the play he was in a zone. He drifted inside with the TE instead of staying put. In which he may have tipped the ball or picked it off.

SU then takes a TO as the D was trying to change personnel. We were trying to go back to our base D and Suter ran on late. He was then running off as we had 12 on the field but Marrone called TO. He shoulda done this the first play of the game. After the TO we stay in the Okie. Before 3rd down for some reason Brewster takes a TO with 1:05 left instead of letting 30 secs fall off the clock. They were 1-10 on 3rd and then went 4-5. But this time SU makes the stop as Weber overthrows a fade to Decker. The FG ties the game at 20.

With little time left Paulus hits MW on a slant short of the 1st. The next play Paulus decides to tuck it in and then is sacked. He likley didnt want to take any chance there. Time runs out and we go to OT.

We run a shovle to DC3. Then a draw in which he breaks three tackles and then drags another to the 10. It reminded me of the Wyoming game where he carried us to victory. A pitch to DC3 takes it to the 5. The next play is a bad job by DC3. He runs into the line instead of bouncing it to the outside, where he likely scores. Now on 3rd down I am thinking TE throw back. Then I see the formation and think it is a fade to MW. Instead MW does an out and is open. There is pressure from the outside, but if Paulus steps in the pocket he can easily make the pass. Instead he scrambles to the backside. Then comes the Nunesque throw.

We stop Minn at the 18 and they have to kick a FG for the win. Marrone calls TO to freeze the K. I am glad he didnt call it just before the snap as it could give the K a second chance. I am hoping Casullo magic will keep SU alive. Holmes almost gets through but the K is good for the Minn win.

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