Thursday, December 8, 2011

Scheduling for ACC BBall

I think the ACC should do the following

-Play every team once (13 games)

-Play 3 permanent rivals a 2nd time (up to 16)

-Rotate two more teams to play a 2nd time (18 total).

By having 3 permanent rivals that means there are 10 teams left. If you rotate 2 teams from that 10, then you will play each of those teams twice a year every 5 years. Meaning the total over those 5 years would be 6 games (3 home and 3 away).

So to use SU as an example we would play everyone at least once. Then our 3 permanent rivals (MD, Pitt, BC) a second time. Then 2 more games as follows:

Year 1: VT and UVA
Year 2: UNC and NC St
Year 3: Duke and Wake
Year 4: FSU and Miami
Year 5: Clemson and GA Tech

The permanent rivalries will be as follows:

SU: MD, Pitt, BC
Pitt: SU, BC, VT
BC: SU, Pitt, VT
MD: Duke, SU, UVA
VT: Pitt, BC, UVA
UNC: Duke, NC St, UVA
Duke: UNC, MD, Wake
NC St: UNC, Wake, FSU
Wake: Duke, NC St, GA Tech
GA Tech: Wake, Clemson, Miami
Clemson: GA Tech, FSU, Miami
FSU: NC St, Clemson, Miami
Miami: GA Tech, Clemson, FSU

That all means that you play 8 teams once a year and 5 teams twice a year (18 games). Of those 5 twice a year teams, three you see every year. Two you see twice a year once in five years.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cuse Cast LXI

KingOtto and Cuseman give a brief recap of the Cincy game, preview the Pitt game, and touch on the BBall team

Length about 22 mins

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cuse Cast LX

Cuse Cast LX featuring KingOtto and Cuseman as they discuss the upcoming FB game vs CIncy, and touch on the BBall team's start of the season.

Length about 18 mins

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cuse Cast LIX

Hear KingOtto and Cuseman recap the UConn game and then get into a heated exchange on who will win the USF game.

Length about 25 mins

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cuse Cast LVIII

KingOtto and Cuseman discuss the UL loss and preview the UConn win. After giving their predictions, they quickly touch on the BBall team, who started their season.

Length about 17:30 mins

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cuse Cast LVII

Has the Cuse turned a corner? Find out in this week's Cuse Cast, as KingOtto and Cuseman recap WV and look ahead to Louisville.

Length about 22 mins

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cuse Cast LVI

KingOtto and Cuseman recap the Tulane game and then offer predictions for the rest of the year.

Length about 24 mins

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cuse Cast LV

KingOtto and Cuseman recap the RU game, talk about the O system, and preview the Tulane game.

Length about 24 mins

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cuse Cast LIV

KingOtto and Cuseman discuss the Toledo win and give their predictions on Rutgers.

Length about 24 mins

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How the ACC should schedule

While the easy thing would be to do a North and South set up, that isn't possible for several reasons. First the South is a lot stronger in FB. Second, teams that would be in the North would be losing rivalries from the South. So my solution is a pod system. FSU and Miami would always be split. For FB this is beneficial as you want those two meeting in the ACC CG. They can still play yearly and go back to the opening game of the year like the used to. That keeps the game relevant should they meet again. For BBall they would only play once a year. They may not be happy about that but they have been only playing each other twice a year since 2004. So there isn't a long history, and shouldn't be a deal breaker. The pods would be as follows...

North- BC, SU, Pitt
Atlantic- MD, UVA, VT
Coastal- UNC, Duke, NC St
South- Wake, Clemson, Ga Tech

You are guaranteed to play the teams in your pod every year in FB and twice a year in BBall. The rest of the schedule you rotate the pods together each year. That should keep UNC and Duke happy. MD might be a little mad as they lose twice a year match ups vs UNC and Duke. Instead they would play those teams 4 times in 3 years (year 1 and 2 once a year, year 3 twice). So the divisions would be like below...

Year 1
FSU, BC, SU, Pitt, MD, UVA, VT
Miami, UNC, Duke, NC St, Wake, Clemson, Ga Tech

Year 2
FSU, BC, SU, Pitt, UNC, Duke, NC St
Miami, MD, UVA, VT, Wake, Clemson, Ga Tech

Year 3
FSU, BC, SU, Pitt, Wake, Clemson, Ga Tech
Miami, MD, UVA, VT, UNC, Duke, NC St

Year 4, 5, and 6 are like 1, 2, and 3 except flip FSU and Miami

So scheduling would go as follows. In FB you play your 6 division mates. Then you play a cross over rival from the other division (for example FSU would play Miami). Then you play on a rotating basis 2 of the other 6 teams for 9 total conference games. For BBall you play you 6 division mates twice and the other division teams once for 19 games. The FB yearly cross rivals would be as so...

Pitt-Ga Tech

That means those teams would play every year in FB. That helps keep rivalries even more so. Using this system would result in the following for SU...

FB over a 9 year period

9 games against BC, Pitt, and MD
7 games against Duke
6 games against FSU and Miami
5 games against UVA, VT, UNC, NC St, Wake, Clemson, Ga Tech

BBall over a 6 year period

12 games vs BC and Pitt
9 games vs FSU and Miami
8 games vs MD, UVA, VT, UNC, NC St, Duke, Wake, Clemson, Ga Tech

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Game review

Once again SU was able to pull one out at home. This was a big W IMO. Had SU lost it would make next week's RU game a must win. Now SU has some breathing room to get to a Bowl.

You have to love how Marrone has been able to piece together wins the last two years. When he is able to get talent here look out. We have a good HC. However Marrone continues to struggle on time management and nearly cost SU the game. He cost SU 10-45 seconds at the end of the half which allowed Toledo to get a FG. On first down SU snapped the ball with 9 seconds on the play clock. That is 5-6 seconds right there. Then on 2nd down he should have called a run play IMO. You are still trying for a TD but calling a draw or a pitch to take time off the clock. If Toledo doesn't call TO after the play, then you can take another 40 seconds off the clock. If Toledo does call TO then another 2-3 seconds. So worst case 7 seconds have gone by and Toledo has 1 less TO. Which means one of the two TOs they used on their drive, they would have had to spike it instead. That adds at least another 2-3 seconds. That brings at minimum 9 seconds lost by time management. At most around 46 seconds. Since Toledo kicked the FG with 6 seconds left, they would have ran out of time easily and never gotten the FG.

The funny thing is this totally changed the game. Had he used proper time management then SU goes for two instead of the missed PAT at the end to go up by 7 points. So Toledo woulda been down 5 or 7 points that last drive.

Then to start the 2nd half he used a TO with 13:45 left. IMO 2nd half TOs should be treated like gold. SU ended up punting one play later. Waste of a TO.

I like the O in the 1st half but hated the 2nd half. We looked pretty good in the 1st half and scored 13 points despite not touching the ball in the 1st Q. So it was almost like 13 points in one quarter and not an entire half. Then in the 2nd half we were too adamant on running the ball and only passed when we had to. Hell we even ran on a 3rd and 12. That made zero sense. I have to wonder if we were running so much to keep Toledo off the field. And we weren't even running well. We had some nice gains on pitches and draws, but the bulk of our runs on normal handoffs had to be under 3 yards per cary. Bailey was at 4.1 which is decent in the NFL but poor in CFB, where you should be near 5 yards per carry. This was a game where we needed to outscore Toledo yet we were conservative in the 3rd Q when our D was actually making stops. Hated the fade call on the questionable PI play as well.

I still think we are too conservative out there. We did finally use some twists at least by the DL. Even so it didn't generate much pressure. Also I don't get using the LBs in passing situations. I know we have injuries but if we are going to play zone and try to just cover teams on these 3rd and longs, then shouldn't we use DBs? I rather see Desir at FS, Reddish at CB, and then Phil Thomas and Scott at Nickle/Dime. Sure we would be playing FR, but they would be replacing Lynch (FR) and Anene (walkon). So either way you have inexperience out there. Does it not make more sense to have more speed and actual cover guys out there vs having LBs? Hopefully Shamwow and Fisher are back this week and we won't have to worry about this anymore.

I also didn't get the running the DTs on and off the field in the 1st Q. It seemed like it was every play. I know you want to keep guys fresh, but having them constantly sprint on and off IMO uses more energy than having them play 4-5 play in a row and then coming off.

Nassib again had a pretty good game. He took a bad sack on one play and missed a wide open Chew. Besides that he was good as usual. The Chew play killed as we had momentum and coulda put Toledo in a hole. He has to do better there. The throw to Lemon though was great. And he continued to improve by making some good throws by stepping up in the pocket.

Wow PTG. Love him. He has a serious burst. hope we continue to use him the way we do. Not sure he woudl be effective on normal runs though. Bailey could never really get going. For whatever reason this year he seems to be off balance a lot.

What a run by Provo. He did a great job just to get the 1st down and then carried a guy well after that. It was nice seeing some other WRs stepping up. Nice 3rd down catch by Graham. Two big 3rd down catches by West. And a big 4th down by Stevens. Chew made a nice pass but was lucky there was no INT with double coverage. Shoulda thrown it away.

We continue to struggle running between the tackles. If we run out of the shotgun, on a draw, or on a pitch then we are fine. Rest of our runs I bet get 2.5 ypc this year. Mackey started off horrible. He had the bad snap and then a holding. He continues to struggle often getting blown back on runs and passes. In addition Chibane continues to struggle on run blocking. Usually his struggles come when he has a DT in the gap between him and Mackey. While he should be able to make that block, you wonder why he doesn't at least get a chip from the C. Did that happen last year with Bart? Does that explain why he struggles so much this year vs last? If so then Mackey should at least chip the DT before releasing to the LBs.

Still can't get a pass rush. Marinovich did a nice job running down plays from the week side. Ball made a big shoestring tackle on a 3rd down when the Toledo QB took off. Bromley got a good push on the OT INT preventing the QB from stepping into the pass, which was under thrown.

Quiet day for the group. I like Lynch but he missed a few tackles. Davis fell for play fakes twice that lead to big gains to Page over the middle. In his defense should he really be responsible for an All American WR?

Big INT by Scott. Continue to like what I see from Lyn. Thomas had a nice game and made a nice hit on Owens to get a 4th down stop. Wilkes missed a few tackles which was disappointing. I like our secondary and think the issues are not with them but the middle zone and LBs. I also think we miss Fisher a lot on passing situations.

Krautman struggled hitting one upright and missing a PAT entirely. Good KRs by both Graham and Kobena. Surprised we kicked so often to Page. We got a lucky call on the KR TD.

Odd PAT play. Ref said it was good and one angle looked good. Other looked no good. Can't overturn. Thought the block in back on Page's KR TD was a bad call. Equally questionable though was PI on the throw to Lemon. I wouldn't have called it but it could have been. A play earlier Wales was called for a false start when the defender moved first and was in the neutral zone. So a 2nd and 2 turned into a 2nd and 12. Bailey was an obvious facemask, no call. End of half the refs missed the spot on the illegal pass, giving Toledo an extra 2 yards making the FG easier.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cuse Cast LIII

In this edition of the Cuse Cast KingOtto and Cuseman recap the USC game and discuss the upcoming game vs Toledo.

Length about 25.5 mins

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

USC game thoughts

Once again I was at the game live and watched again on DVR. These are my thoughts.

We are now a quarter of the way through the season. Before the season I picked us to go 6-6 but be 1-2 at this point. So we are ahead of the game. However after watching the first 3 games I am concerned we do not get to 6 Ws and a Bowl. Overall I have been happy with our O, especially our passing game. But the total lack of a running game is a concern. However the biggest concern is the D. We are lacking talent, lacking experience, and have had several injuries. IMO that is all made worse by our conservative style. I think this causes a mismatch for many of the teams remaining on our schedule. I still think we will end 6-6 but the Ws will go from preseason Toledo, RU, Tulane, Louisville, Cincy to Tulane, Louisville, UConn, Cincy due to the style of D we have played the last 8 games.

Thought the end of the first half was a bit risky but I understand his thinking. Happy with the rest.

I guess you can nit pick the 2nd and 2 from the 5. Perfect play action situation and we just called a pass play that lost yardage. Rest of the game you have to like what you saw.

G-U-T-L-E-S-S Where in sam hell did our aggressive style of play go? And it isn't just this year. We have played 8 straight games where the D has just sat back all game. And before that we sat back vs Washington and Colgate too. As great as we looked against WV, Cincy, and USF last year we have looked as bad in the other 13 games. It is starting to look like the good games are outliers and this concerns me.

This year we lack talent and experience. So what is the plan? Sit back and try to cover vs Os with more talent and experience? That is asinine. Until we have the talent, we should be playing like Rutgers does on D. They are aggressive as hell. Feast or famine. TD or TO. They don't have a lot of talent and their style works very well against bad and mediocre teams. However when playing decent teams they struggle. But you know what? When you lack talent you will struggle anyway against good teams. So you might as well take a chance and hope you get TOs vs good teams. And when you play mediocre or bad teams you look great.

I don't mind being conservative on D in the first half. Then depending on how the game plays out ramping up pressure when needed or if behind in the second half. I get to idea of not taking chances early to keep the game close. But when you fall well behind USC on the road, why just sit back? Makes zero sense. We rarely if ever blitz anymore. But the crazy thing is when we do, we have success (see end of RI and end of USC games). And how in the hell are we stuck in single coverage if we aren't blitzing? Where are the safeties?

It also kills me to see us sit back in a Zone on 3rd and long while rushing 3 DLs. If we had a good pass rushing DL you could get away with it. But not our DL. teams convert 3rd downs with ease. I bet you teams are over 50% on 3rd and long when we rush 3 DL (and we do it A LOT). That is crazy as 3rd and long should be around a 25% conversion rate. Hell the FG before half for USC they got two 3rd and longs in a row to set up the score. Both times 3 man rush. It is silly to think we can cover USC with zero pass rush. If Shafer keeps this up, I hope he goes elsewhere next year. In fairness he has always seemed like an aggressive DC. Wonder if he is being handcuffed?

Nassib is having a good season. Have to like the way he has played so far. Besides a throw at Lemon's feet in the flat on third and long I liked what he did. Looked good in the pocket too. His fumble late hurt as we could have kept the score respectable with some points there.

Liked the way we used Bailey getting him some catches. Gulley looked good in limited action. However I think we need to get a real RB. We really miss having a workhorse. Not sure anyone on the roster can fill that role.

Chew was pretty quiet and likely overmatched by USC's talent. Kid is great against every other team though. Lemon had another nice game. He did have a very big 3rd down drop that could have kept early momentum. But overall good game. Also he threw a TD pass, although it wasn't pretty. We really need a 3rd WR and I worry about our depth. Thankfully Provo filled that role this game and hope he can keep it up.

We just cannot run between the Ts. We have very weak run blocking. I really think we are better off going Spread. That will help us run the ball IMO. The problem is we only have 2 WRs. Chibane continues to struggle this year and Macky is not ready for this level.

The DTs have been a nice surprise this year. Like how they are playing especially Goggins. They have played a key role in making our run D pretty damn good. The DEs are a huge concern. The have zero ability to get pressure on a QB. We miss Chandler A LOT. Marinovich isn't that good and likely wouldn't play at other BE schools. I had hopes for Sharpe but he is now a JR and hasn't stepped up. He made a dumb play (ticky tacky but still dumb) that turned a 3rd and long into a first down. We better recruit a lot of DEs cuz we need them badly. Especially with the style of D that we play relying only on the DL for a pass rush.

It seemed Davis played less this game. Wonder if he is still hurt. We saw Coker early in the game which was a surprise.

Thought the CBs played pretty well. Scott got screwed on a PI, awful call. Almost got screwed later as well. Love Keon Lyn. Hopefully he is ok. That seems to be a theme this year at DB. Anderson, Lyn, both Thomases, and Fisher have all been hurt. It worries me that Shamarko seems to be always be hurt. Phil Thomas continues to struggle. He should have had two picks but misplayed both balls. Then on the play Reddish was beat deep he was just sitting there in a slow back peddle. He needs to do a better job of recognizing the play and then getting over to help. He had zero concern for the WR. Have to wonder if he keeps his job when everyone is back healthy.

Kobena struggled as he tried to use his speed to make things happen instead of just getting up field. That doesn't work vs USC. Raupers was replaced. His punts have been well too short but at least there was no return yardage. Still it seems time to seem what Fisher can do.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cuse Cast LII

In a special edition of the Cuse Cast KingOtto and Cuseman discus the move to the ACC.

Length about 40 mins

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cuse Cast LI

KingOtto and Cuseman discuss the last game vs RI, breaking down the O and D. They also make their predictions about the upcoming game vs USC. KingOtto thinks that we will see a totally different O this week and keep it close.

Length about 27.5 mins

Monday, September 12, 2011

Game Review Rhode Island

Once again I saw the game live and then again on DVR. Here are my thoughts...

For the most part I liked what Marrone did. I liked both 4th down calls. The one we didn't convert was the right call. It was a long FG, we should go for it there. However I did not understand the end of the half. From our own 12 yard line with no TOs and 40 secs left and we try and move the ball? Too risky IMO. Then when we do get the first down and play stopped we do not spike the ball. This resulted in 13 lost seconds. If we are going to try and move the ball (wrong decision IMO) that is awful time management.

I thought Hacket did a good job overall. I like that we came out agressive and get up early. Unfortunately we didn't execute. I thought the O was good the first half and decent the 4th Q. However the 3rd Q we were awful.

I am beginning to get a little worried here. IMO the last 15 games the D has had 4 really good games, 1 game where we were bad for a half and good for a half, and 10 games where we were bad. At what point do we question if something is wrong and not chalk this years troubles to the youth? We have had 7 straight games where the D cannot get off the field. Sure the D isn't allowing points. But when the other team is dictating the way the game is playing out and the O never has the ball, there is an issue. It also causes the O to NEED to go on long drives to score, which is near impossible with our OL. Can we dictate a game for once? We can't keep squeaking out wins like this. And for God's sake get off the field on 3rd and long. I have counted 11 of them this year. That is INSANE. Think about that in 2 games we have allowed a team to convert on 3rd and 7 or longer ELEVEN times!!!!! That is half a season's worth for a mediocre D. These problems were there last year as well.

The 2nd Q of this game was a joke. A mediocre 1AA team had the ball for 11:45 (plus last 33 secs of the 1st as well)!!! We did a great job in the 1st Q but after that it was all downhill. Remember this was RI's first game. Once they shook off the 1st game jitters they played well vs our D. And right after we scored and gained momentum back in the 2nd, the D went out and let up a long drive to give momentum right back. Luckily it ended up in a missed FG. Then to start the 2nd half, RI goes for a TD to tie game. Unacceptable.

Nothing really happened good or bad here.

Nassib had a good game overall. The over thrown INT was bad. And his deep sideline passes he continues to struggle on. Those usually end up out of bounds. Usually in the middle of the field he is ok. However the Chew pass was poorly thrown. IMO Chew misjudged the ball and that prevented a potential PI call, but a good throw and that isn't a factor. In the Stevens pass he stopped his route then when he realized the ball was going to him he continued to run. That prevented him from catching up to the pass (you couldn't see this on TV). Also I think a WR makes a play and possibly catches that ball. Can't blame Nassib here.

On to the good, he continues to throw the mid range passes like ropes. Right now I would only trade Nassib for Collaros in the BE (I knwo that isn't saying much). Yes I think he is better than the other QBs who are in much better situations. As to some of his dopey critics, do you not realize why we are calling the O we are? It is because of our OL. That is why you see a ton of passes to the flat and a ton of bootlegs. You need to either get rid of the ball or get out of there quickly. Yes eventually teams will catch up to us and take this away, and at that point we will be in trouble. But that is all we can do right now as a team. It certainly isn't the QB who is the 4th best QB ever at SU (also not saying much). I love how people think McPherson, Graves, and McNabb grow on trees. We were lucky to have one QB in our lifetime like those guys let alone three. And one more thing he is NOT a game manager. Those players only need to hand it off and not make mistakes. That isn't his role. He has made plenty of plays for us. Enjoy him.

We really never tried to establish a running game. I think the strategy was to get up early and when that didn't happen it hurt our ability to run the ball. I do think we need more carries from our backups as you cannot really solely on Bailey. Also it would be nice to get Bailey pass receptions. I really though this year with Mackey's lack of size, his ability to shotgun snap, and Bailey's versatility we would see some Spread this year. It really fits our team better. A bit disappointed we are still stuck trying to beat people with a pro style O where you need talent to score points.

Good games by both Lemon and Chew. I would still like to see a 3rd WR emerge. We tried to get by last year with just two guys and both were walking wounded by the end of the regular season. Maybe the lack of WR depth is why we do not go Spread? For the TEs Stevens continues to be a decent target and Provo continues to be invisible. We have been waiting for him to breakout a few years now. The first game he looked good. Lets hope this game was not the norm.

Boy what a mess. Mackey is really struggling out there. If people cannot see this they need to take a closer look. And it isn't only a strength thing. I saw a few plays where he had poor technique and got beat. On one play he had a free release to the LB. All he really needed to do was get in the way and Bailey would have gotten a decent gain. Instead the LB, who was at normal depth and not blitzing) read the play and went right by Mackey. That was 110% Mackey's man. He had release to get to the 2nd level and had no one else in sight. But he let the guy right by him. Maybe one day Mackey will be a good one but right now he is a liability. As to the rest of the line they continue to not do much. Chibane struggled quit a bit making blocks. The 4th down conversion where Nassib did a great job to get it out for the 1st down, Chibane let a DL through and nearly had Nassib killed (we had to call TO to let him recover). Although one play was a difficult block that he really needed help on. It was a run to the right with the DT lined in the gap to Chibane's right. It was impossible for him to get in front of the guy. And he couldn't block down into the run. His only other option was to cut the guy. Then again we do not know if this was a miscommunication. It is possible he thought he would get help from Mackey, who ended up combo blocking the other DT with Tiller. A wiser C may have fixed the blocking.

I think the DTs have been a nice surprise. I think they have played pretty well. And in limited play Sharpe and Ball have made some plays. Losing Chandler has been big. And the other guy has been invisible. He has had a quiet career on the field. I had hopes that he would finally break through his SR season but it looks like that isn't going to happen. More hype than production.

Spruill has a nice game. The sacks at the end were hugh. But even bigger was the tipped ball that was picked by Thomas. If RI had scored there right before half who knows what happens. Vaughan and Lynch continue to look nice. Davis though is frustrating as hell, as he should be being an undersized Frosh. He has made some great plays out there and then some awful ones. Enough with the missed tackles. Heck one play RI's small slot WR blocked Davis off the LOS with ease.

I think Scott is having a solid year. I love Lyn. I hope with Anderson back he continues to start as he is a lot better player. Shamwow has been great this year. Then you have his evil twin. The bizarro Thomas has been awful this year, despite being BE D player of week. The tackling and coverage have been lacking. Last year he had teh same issues. Not to mention some questionable decision making. Last year he was given a pass due to being a young starter. This year I suppose we can give him a pass until BE play because of the time missed during camp. But he better start playing to his All BE talent that he has. If not then it is time for Wilkes, who is good enough to start but has no room.

Finally I want to mention that was the smallest crowd I have ever seen in the Dome. It is sad and pathetic the support that this team gets. I know there is always a lag when a team hits bottom but this game it seemed like even some die hards didn't show.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Conference Shuffle

Here is my prediction to how it all shakes out...

West- Wash, WSU, Ore, Ore St, Stan, Cal, UCLA, USC
East- ASU, Zona, Utah, BYU, Col, KU, OU, Okie St

East- ND, Purdue, Indiana, Mich St, Mich, OSU, PSU, RU
West- Texas, Mizzou, Illinois, NW, Wisc, Minn, Neb, Iowa

East- Florida, FSU, Uga, Ga Tech, SC, Clemson, Tenn, Vandy
West- Bama, Aub, Miss, Miss St, LSU, Ark, A&M, UK

North- USF, Louisville, WV, Pitt, Nova, UConn, SU, BC
South- MD, VT, UVA, UNC, Wake, NC St, Duke, Miami

East- K St, ISU, Houston, TCU, Baylor, Texas Tech, New Mexico, Air Force
West- CSU, Wyoming, Boise St, UNLV, Nevada, Fresno St, SD St, Hawaii

East- Temple, Marshall, Cincy, ECU, UAB, Troy, FAU, UCF
West- Memphis, So Miss, Tulane, La Tech, Rice, SMU, UTEP, Tulsa

East- Navy, Army, UB, UMass, Ohio, Kent, Miami, Akron
West- Bowling Green, WKU, Ball St, NIU, EMU, CMU, WMU, Toledo

East- App St, FIU, Georgia Southern, So Alabama, Mid Tenn, Ark St, UL-Laf, UL-Monroe
West- N Texas, Texas St, UTSA, NM St, Utah St, Idaho, Montana, SJ St

Big East
GTown, Butler, Marquette, St Johns, Xavier, St Joes, Seton Hall, Providence, DePaul, Detroit

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cuse Cast L

KingOtto and Cuseman recap the Wake game and discuss how the team looks going forward.

Length about 23 mins

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Stats are for losers

That famous quote from Shafer was true to form in the Wake game. Statistically SU was beaten up. But at the end of the day the scoreboard read in SU's favor. Personally I am not in agreement with Shafer, as I believe over time you cannot be on the wrong side of the stat line and be successful.

Since this was the first game, it is hard to determine how much stock to put into SU's performance. if what we saw Thursday night is what we will see all year, then SU is in trouble and may not make a Bowl. However I expect this to be a very different team by the time we play Toledo. So without getting too much into the negatives, here are my observations having seen the game live and then again on ESPN3.

Game in general
This win really was an upset. Watching the game you could tell which team was the more talented. That is a very disappointing statement. If we are a bit aways from Wake in talent, then we still have a long way to go. Wake left a lot of points on the field. We were really lucky to hang around and steal this game. Also I felt that Wake was the better coached team. Their play calling on both sides of the ball seemed a step ahead all game long. An aside here, Wake had quite a few kids from Texas. I know that SU used to get a few kids here and there from Texas. Hopefully with TCU joining the BE, we can start getting some kids from there. If Wake can no reason why we cannot.

There were quite a few times where the team seemed disorganized. Since it is the first game I am going to move on. The TOs in the 4th Q were odd. I believe his thinking there is to keep as much time on the clock should we need two scores. That way we should we miss the 2 pt conversion, we would still have time to score. I am a fan of extending games as long as possible but I don't see the need here. I don't believe Wake was looking to kill the clock quite yet. So the TO would save more time later in the game. However maybe Marrone also wanted the TO to make sure the D was set up to make a stop and get the ball back. Which you cannot blame him for. Then he used his final TO after the 3rd down. That IMO should have been kept for later use. While the use of the TOs was unconventional, it really was not a big deal.

Now on to something that has a HUUUUUGE deal. The last drive was horseshit. First of all the 2nd down play we barely got off and were barely setup. We had to rush to get the play off before a delay of game coming out of a TO!!! Totally unacceptable. The play was doomed for failure. On top of that why play for a FG? There was over 3 mins left. Waaaaay too much time to play for three. Not to mention that snaps, holds, kicks, and blocks make FGs in CFB far from a sure thing. Ok now we are on the right hash and have a 3rd down. Why not throw the ball there? Why not go for 7? What do you have to lose? A sack moves you back a few yards but we were at the 10, so yardage wasn't an issue. Plus we ended up taking a delay of game anyway so I am sure we weren't worried about yardage. If the pass fell incomplete then the clock stops. Ok if there was under 2 mins left in the game I could see how you want to leave as little time for Wake to counter as possible. However there was over 3 mins left!!!! They have plenty of time for a TD, let alone a FG to tie. IMO 40 secs is not worth 4 points. Lastly there would be a chance of an INT, but you can say the same about a fumble from a running play. Marrone was lucky that this didn't cost SU the game. Partially thanks to Grobe for not calling another play from midfield with 50 seconds left.

Lets end things with a positive. Great job keeping the kids in it. They never gave up and played hard till the end. We know that we will get that with Marrone. And in most cases we will have an advantage pn game planning and adjustments. I just wish his time management and strategy were better. They are easy things to improve, which makes it frustrating we he makes mistakes.

I really do not have much to say about him as much as our system. I will say that I hate having QBs roll to their left as that is a difficult throw. I think this game we wanted to run the ball. Marrone has said before that he wants to pound the ball vs 3 man fronts. However I think that plays away from our strengths this year. Having double TEs instead of 3 WRs, a smaller C, and a smaller RB is a formula for pounding the FB. And we looked like a functional O once we opened it up in the 4th Q. Same can be said last year vs K St. I know K St had a bad D but were they really significantly worse than the other 12 teams we played last year? And was Wake so good that we had NEGATIVE yardage after 1 Q?

I really think part of our issues coem from our system. We don't have many play makers on O. When that happens it is very difficult to score using a pro style O. That is why so many teams run college Os to make up for this. It is an equalizer. Just about everyone out there has a functional O, except for SU. Even teams with little talent. How can that be? I don't think it is a coincidence that when we open things up we look liek a real O.

He is starting to enter overrated territory. This is 6 straight games now where the D has struggled to get off the field. Our D hasn't dictated play since the CIncy game. That isn't what I want out of an O. I will say that in Shafer defense he was not very happy after the win. He knows that we need to improve a lot on D. I will also say in his defense that we likely gameplanned to shut down the Wake RB. We did that. The problem is we did not get it done on 3rd and long. Which unfortunately is becoming a pattern for Shafer's D. 3rd and short or 3rd and medium, teh O still is at an advanatge. However on 3rd and long the D should rarely give up a first down. They should get enough pressure where the QB has to get rid of the ball quickly and complete a pass well short of the first. But once again our D struggled in this regard. We gave up SIX 3rd and long conversions to Wake. That is insane. We got very little pressure on those plays, and in most cases did not blitz. Sending 3 DL and playing zone D is asking for a conversion.

I think the O will struggle big time all year. We don't have a work horse RB to fall back on this year. We won't be able to sustain many drives. We will need a short field and big plays to score. I do think with Bailey at RB and a greater willingness to take shots, we will see plenty of big plays. The problem is we will see a lot of short drives as well. I think we will be hit or miss with not much in between. We will struggle to have any consistency in the running game. Because of that we will not move the chains on the ground. As to the pass we are forced to throw a lot into the flat due to our protection issues. This was the case in the ED scrimmage as well. I bet you that is why Stevens was our leading receiver during camp. That is a concern to me. If we had some WRs who could break a tackle and turn it into a big play I would feel different. But that isn't the case. If we are forced to throw into the flat for 3-4 yards gains, it will be difficult to move the ball. Defenses will creep up and take that away. Then what? Not to mention it makes it harder to run with more players around the LOS. And it invites more blitzes as teams know they won't get burnt often.

We continue to struggle to get consistent pressure on the QB. However we did a great job on the Wake RB. The team is young a will improve. I think by BE season they will be fine.

Overall I think we played decent. Graham needs to know better on the penalty. The short snaps were a joke. I was a little worried on punts getting blocked as Wake put pressure every time. But over coverage looked good and Kobena looked awesome. And Raupers did a pretty nice job. The other killer was the KO out of bounds. First I hate that rule giving teams the ball at the 40. Too harsh a penalty IMO. That being said it was an awful kick by Krautman. The rest of his kicks were nice though.

I thought Nassib played well over all. He was under pressure early and often. He did have Chew deep once and threw it out of bounds, nowhere near Chew. Besides that throw he looked good. He made several strong throw in tight places. And he was able to step things up in the 4th to get us to OT.

I though Bailey had a nice game. He ran well and made a few nice blocks in pass protection. The 1st TD was a nice hard determined run. The 2nd TD run was a big time play. However the fumble was weak. At that point I think he was just trying to make something happen, as the O stunk till then. So he ran with the ball a little too lose and fumbled. He needs to do better but at least it was in effort and not laziness. Harris had a nice game as well.

Provo had that big drop early. But after that he looked like a beast. Lemon had a nice little game. Chew was awesome in the 4th Q/OT making two great catches. We didn't play much 3 WR. I hope that is not because we don't have a WR ready to fill that role (like last year until Sales was released). That is a question going forward. I think we did miss Sales and that the O will be a lot different without him. We can't go the whole year with just Chew and Lemon.

I think this is the worst unit on the team. It boggles my mind how people thought this would be a strength. Other units might be raw and make mistakes. But they alos have talent and room for improvement. The OL scares me. In the ED scrimmage we struggled mightily to run the ball between the tackles. Then vs Wake we see the same thing. How much of that is from the change from a bruising C (Bart) to a small technical one? Also the pass blocking just plain stinks. The right side of the lien struggles mightily and Mac added another piece of concern to that.

I thought the DTs had a pretty decent game. I think all made plays in the back field. However the DEs again failed to do much. It is possible that the coaches wanted our DL not to get too far up field because of the run. I am sure the #1 concern was the Wake RB. So I will give them a pass on 1st and 2nd downs. But on 3rd they still didn't do much and even lost contain a few times. Sharpe did make a few plays but Chandler and Marinovich were invisible. Time for those two to step up. At this point they need to be judged on production and not potential.

We will struggle at times because we are not physical enough. Spruill isn't your hard hitting MLB. Right now he is more the size and ability of a WLB. Davis is a FS playing the WILL.Notice how I used FS and not SS. Too often I saw him getting pushed back on blocks or missing tackles. Vaughan did make some nice plays and Lynch looked decent. I think we have plenty of talent but just need to get bigger. Unfortunately you cannot do that in season. I will say having Davis at WLB helps a lot vs teams that spread it out. He has to speed to get out on the slot and to come back in to stop a run. That will negate some of the advantage Spread Os have vs base Ds.

I like Lynn a lot. He was step for step with his man several times. He does need to improve on playing the ball but that will come in time. Scott made a big time play on the INT. On the TD I will give him a pass. He was well off the ball and had to come up and make an open field tackle on a pretty good WR. That is a hard play for any DB to make. I will say he should have at least slowed him down though. Shamwow was awesome. He was flying all over the place. I love what he brings on D. However we was beat in coverage twice. That is a concern as his coverage away from the LOS hasn't been great. The out and up was a great throw by the QB but Shamarko did over play the out, letting the WR get open. Also on the long TD pass Shamarko came up on the underneath route, leaving Phil Thomas with no help deep. Speaking of Phil, I was disappointed with him. I know that he did leave with an injury for a while. And that he has missed a bunch of camp. So I will give him the benefit here. But going forward he needs to step it up. The kid has a ton of potential and has all BE talent. But too often last year, and twice in the Wake game, Phil's decision making in coverage was lacking. That is a concern. I will end it with a positive, I like Wilkes a lot. I know he is in for the Okie but I wish we could see more of him. I think he is one of our better defenders and we should be getting our 11 best guys out there. I would love to see a 4-2-5 D with Shamarko and Wilkes both playing SS and Phil playing CF. You can have both SSs playing closer than normal for a S but further than normal for an OLB. I think that would improve our coverage and run D as well.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cuse Cast XLIX

KingOtto and Cuseman give some quick thoughts on the upcoming season, breaking down the O and D. Then they give their predictions on the Wake game, as well as their season predictions.

Length about 23 mins

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