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I think we are close to getting over the hump. We are clearly loaded with talent. The areas of weakness I see are.....
Play calling - the stretch run on the goal line? Naked PA bootleg to start off the game, right into a defender where EJ has to make a great move just to get the ball off? Slow developing runs when we are struggling to block?
Punt returning - I did not think Greg Reid would be missed this much.
OL - still looks a year away.
Depends on the hump ... They have talent to be a national title contender now. Obviously circumstances are a little different.
The goal line run seemed odd. Then again, I'm not a huge fan of running out of the shotgun in many circumstances if you're not a spread team ...
Punt returning is just silly at this point.
I think the OL wasn't as bad as we thought ... not that they had a good game, but VT blitzed the lights out, many times there were simply more rushers than blockers.
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Thanks for the reply. So what would the solutions be? Different offensive sets? Or we just need to get better at picking up blitzes/recognition?
Also, does it seem like defensively we rely too much on our talent at times instead of trying to confuse opponents?
I really like where we are headed, just trying to understand our last little obstacles.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by NOLES_WIN 20 months ago
Although the play calling appears to be questionable at times, this is really monday morning quarterbacking.
I think one of the issues is that EJ is struggling to deal with blitzes because this is his first year seeing most of them.
Last year we were so bad on offensive line that opposing teams didn't really need to dial up blitzes against us to put pressure on. This issue is amplified because we are young at offensive line and at running back since Thompson went down. I do think that at times EJ also has problems with the short passes. He flat out overthrew a couple in the flats yesterday.
Defensive coordinators are trying different strategies to get pressure on this year and so far with one exception [NC State] we have figured it out. The other area that EJ drives me crazy with is his unwillingness to throw it away when the play is not there. At least 3 of last nights sacks could have been avoided by just throwing it away.
Defensively, we are playing a little reactive. I would like us to be more aggressive earlier.
In short, we are a really good team, that just is too young at some key spots. In my opinion, we are having a great season and seem to be getting better as we go along. Coaching is fine. If we win out and play a decent ACC championship game then this season is a great success. Lose to UF, less so. Lose two more we underachieved.
That Duke game needs to be the mold.. That zone read stretch should have went with CT4.. Run more one back or I formation.. It seems to get EJ in rhythm on his drops. It seems like the reads on the play-action out the gun are predictable.. I personally don't think in film study Jimbo mixes up the progression on reads.. Run the wat sons side, that's your strong side..as far as the defense, either you trust Terrence Brooks or you don't.. Joiner can help deep coverage, need that other safety dropping second level to help the lb in the shallow areas
The solution is to keep playing. Any game where we score 28 points, we're going to win. In the mean time, keep improving individually and as a team.
There is no change needed, though.
Thanks for all the replies.
Didn't ND blitz us a lot in the first half last year?
Nobody thinks that type of run call on our own goal line that led to the safety seems like an odd call? It wouldn't be better to run straight at them, or pass?
Defensively, nobody thinks we could get a bit more "exotic" and make it even more challenging on teams?
And if we had only scored 28 against Clemson, we would have lost.
This post was edited by NOLES_WIN 20 months ago
Playcalling was silly. We ran stretch runs all day against duke out of the i to nullify any inside pressure then mixed it with the reads out of the shotgun. This game no i formation to speak of. No play action at all, at times the back would leave the back field the opposite way of the fake hand off. There was also no vertical or screen game in this game which is really stupid against a team blitzing.
Ej did have his lapses when getting pressured he should have just tucked it away and run on a couple of those but you could see he wanted to pass instead. Return game at this point is silly muffing a fair catch then fair catching when he had space THEN not catching it when it wouldve been a20 yard punt... just terrible. I thought the d played pretty well for the most part they played conservatively but got turnovers, pressure, and made them one dimensional.
Still the main issue was play calling... when you are getting pressure you alleviate it with draws, screens, and roll outs. That makes the d not just pin there ears back and rush.
I clearly remember a PA naked bootleg as one of the the first few plays of the game.
EJ turned to find a defender all over him, made a move to get the ball off, and threw it up to Rodney Smith, who was pass interfered with.
And if the staff is aware we are getting blitzed like crazy, why the slow developing run calls?
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