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ND Offensive struggles--Diagnosis & Prescriptions


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Even our most "addicted to BUMMERISM "--:grin:--posters can't muster much energy to complain about the defense---it has been simply terrific.

 

It does seem unlikely though that we can continue to win consistently without some more punch from our anemic offense.

 

Diagnosis---

 

A full slate of deficiency ranging from the QB position to the RB position to the OLINE, and yes even the TE spot is struggling---starting from the less severe to the most problematic---

 

TE---we really have gotten NOTHING out of Koyack & NIcklas---since game one Nicklas has disappeared from view-- and to make matters worse our TE production has been doubly slowed down becuause Eifert has just not been the same since he had his bell wrung---Despite his big catch at the end of michigan there has been a major fall off since purdue and the incident.--Hopefully that will be behind him after two weeks more rest!

 

RB---There we have carries for THEO averaging 3.5 which although featured some timely & tough runs has overall been NOTHING LIKE LAST YEARS COMBO EFFORTS FROM WOOD & GRAY!!___

 

QB---We have seen some serious struggles from the redshirt ---and although tommy has come in to do some good things to keep everetts slate clean there really has been no fire from the QB spot---and i don't expect Tommy to turn this offense into something explosive--

 

OLINE--these guys have been a disappointment--just UNABLE to dominate any of the three big ten lines even for part of the game--

 

 

All of this is interrelated----Last year Tommy had several things going on in this offense that helped us move the ball that have been just not there this year---NO EXPLOSIVE RUNNING GAME--damn we had alot of long runs in 2011 and alot of corners turned for nice gains---NO FLOYD---the Wr position is truly struggling----Daniels WILL BE GOOD but is still finding himself---Goodman had two or three big catches but thats the ONLY catches---TJ & Toma have had the best moments but none of that is anything to get excited about---Brown--we have tried that go route 3 times and missed a TD and got a pick INT---Neal/ Smith/ ETC---NOTHING!

 

Inexperienced WRs and a lackluster Running game HAVE NOT HELPED MR GOLSON the way jonas gray/ Cierre Wood & MIchael helped last years offense move the ball well at least some of the time when we weren't turning it over!

 

A potential solution would be to switch to Tommy full time---- at least we get the audibles and a smoother running offense---But tommy has only thrown 17 passes--thats IT!!---His INTS will be coming if he gets more reps---and the general aura will be one of "going backwards" that will likely infect the whole team--defense included.--Tommy is an option but not a happy one. Good off the bench but as the full time starter thats a discouraging prospect.

 

Playcalling---many of you blame the conservative playcalling but i tend to discount that---yes we could run a few more reverses or misdirection plays--we could get Golson out of the pocket more---but EXECUTION & INEXPERIENCE seem to be the heart of the problem then simply more aggressive and imaginative playcalling.

 

So the diagnosis is somewhat systemic IMHO--lots of problems in lots of area's---so given that here is my best shot at a prescription to make the patient respond better--:grin:

 

FIRST---We need a more explosive running game---we need some 15 yard gains on a regular basis---that means COACH has to swallow whatever is bothering him about Cierre's behavior or attitude or whatever and FEED HIM THE BALL___

 

Cierre is the IMMEDIATE SOLUTION to our running game --he is faster and more explosive out of the backfield then THEO---HE MUST START IMO--AND NEEDS 20 CARRIES A GAME___That will give the offense a big lift---

 

ON WR___i think we have to accept that our WRs are going to need all year to develop at least---there simply is NOT going to be a new floyd emerging anytime soon---Its tough on Golson or Tommy not to have a floyd to go to but thats the way it is---WE NEED TO ACCEPT REALITY & COMPENSATE___

 

That means MUCH MUCH MORE TE---More EIFERT--More NICKLAS----And if they do to good a job taking that away--WE NEED MUCH MUCH MORE recieving from our running backs---MORE SWING PASSES & FLARE PASSES___GET THEO __WOOD & GA3 --THE BALL OUT OF THE BACKFIELD ON SHORT STUFF AND PRESSURE THE DEFENSE & THE OUTSIDE WITH THOSE PASSES---hell even our defense is vulnerable to a short passing game to RBs coming out-----

 

Let TJ--Davaris and Toma work within an offense that is looking mainly for the BACKS & TEs---and then we will get some nice plays downfield even if its only a few of them.

 

The OLINE--i have no real answer for there less then stellar play so far---maybe facing weaker DLINES will help or maybe some personel changes are due!

 

But overall---i suggest some overarching changes in the offensive gameplan----More TE--A running attack that features Cierre--A passing attack that looks for swing passes and short stuff and goes vertical only occasionally.---

 

We can't win on defense alone--well we can --but its not what we should be looking for---

 

LETS FEATURE OUR STRENGTH ON OFFENSE___TIGHT END & RUNNING BACK___MORE PASSING AIMED AT THEM SPECIFICALLY AND MORE CARRIES TO OUR FEATURE BACK CIERRE WOOD--WHEN WE DO GO VERTICAL ROLL GOLSON OUT , HE HAS HAD HIS BEST PASSES FROM THAT SPOT!

 

Thats the best i can come up with as a plan to juice up this offense---

 

OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS__WE NEED OFFENSIVE THERAPY!

 

aloha's go irish!

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I think an immediate thing we need to do is go back to the gap blocking on the Offensive line and not the zone that Heistand has put on the line. Cave has even said that it has been hard having the package changed each year under the 4 OC's that he has seen at ND. Last year we used gap, and we created alot of holes. This year we are using zone and it is just a cluster f on the line. When these guys go up the middle, there are no holes, just bodies. Either quit running it up the middle and use zone or use gap and run it wherever you want to.

Edited by SpeedsterX
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I think an immediate thing we need to do is go back to the gap blocking on the Offensive line and not the zone that Heistand has put on the line. Cave has even said that it has been hard having the package changed each year under the 4 OC's that he has seen at ND. Last year we used gap, and we created alot of holes. This year we are using zone and it is just a cluster f on the line. When these guys go up the middle, there are no holes, just bodies. Either quit running it up the middle and use zone or use gap and run it wherever you want to.

 

100 % Agree. There were holes last year. There are none this year. I can't see Heistand being retained next season. The pass protection has been pretty good with the exception of the Purdue game (Mike Golic Jr is a turnstile). It's the blocking scheme that is causing a lot of our problems in the run game.

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Faith is right. We don't utilize Golson as a spread quarterback. The speed option is open for the quarterback to keep the ball. When you need 3-5 yards this would be effective. Teams just don't think he will run.

 

Where are the crossing routes to the tight ends?? You can't cover a 6' 6'' fast tight end when he breaks a crossing route. Like you said Hawaii, roll Golson, buy another couple of seconds and then hit the tight end crossing. Holtz would run a double tight end crossing route. Just pick the most open one. How the heck would you stop Eifert and Niklas both on crossing routes???

 

More swing stuff to Riddick. He always makes the first guy miss.

 

Feed Cierre, but not until I win my bet with you.

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100 % Agree. There were holes last year. There are none this year. I can't see Heistand being retained next season. The pass protection has been pretty good with the exception of the Purdue game (Mike Golic Jr is a turnstile). It's the blocking scheme that is causing a lot of our problems in the run game.

 

Are there no holes, or is Riddick just not finding them?

 

Riddick has the most carries on the team with 63. He is averaging 3.8 YPC, which is awful.

 

GAIII has 19 carries. He is averaging 7.7 YPC.

 

Cierre has 17 carries. He is averaging 5.6 YPC. Last year Cierre averaged 5.1 YPC. He's actually doing better thus far this year.

 

I think the answer is, Kelly has the wrong guy running the ball.

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Faith is right. We don't utilize Golson as a spread quarterback. The speed option is open for the quarterback to keep the ball. When you need 3-5 yards this would be effective. Teams just don't think he will run.

 

Where are the crossing routes to the tight ends?? You can't cover a 6' 6'' fast tight end when he breaks a crossing route. Like you said Hawaii, roll Golson, buy another couple of seconds and then hit the tight end crossing. Holtz would run a double tight end crossing route. Just pick the most open one. How the heck would you stop Eifert and Niklas both on crossing routes???

 

More swing stuff to Riddick. He always makes the first guy miss.

 

Feed Cierre, but not until I win my bet with you.

 

exactly, bootleg, keeper on the read option, heart be still speed option, throw it to eifert, niklas on a crosser, screen to chris brown, devonte neal.

 

These are not hard answers.

 

wake up martin and kelly, I'm sorry not usually critical, but they are not utilizing the pieces they have and driving me NUTS

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I think already we have some good stuff and some consensus---listening coach!!--:grin:

 

RUN CIERRE

ROLL GOLSON

MORE TE, & TEs

MORE PASSING TO OUR 3 BACK MONSTER--THEO/CIERRE/GA3

EVALUATE THE EFFECT OF HARRY'S ZONE BLOCKING!

 

sounds like a good prescription coming together so far

 

come'on coach---you have a DREAM DEFENSE--and alot of talent albiet inexpereinced on offense---have to be flexible---

 

One thing is clear to me---our young athletes are finding it easier to show athletic ability on defense---SEE SHELDON/KEIVARE/SHUMATE/

 

Offense is more challenging --more nuiance--more technique--more experience required--- LETS TRY & FIX IT IN TWO WEEKS--OR AT LEAST SOME OF IT!

 

aloha's

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Our Offensive line will improve when teams respect our passing game, defenses loading 8 & 9 in the box inhibit the best O-lines. Rees and Golson don't frighten anyone yet.

 

True - but watch the film and focus on Golic. It's like a revolving door there. I could accept the 8-9 in the box, but it one on one he loses continually, there's issues there alot deeper than 8-9 in the box or zone vs gap. Another thing, watch him pull and see if he gets the LB -- he missed him continually. MI LBs were just too fast for him.

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Golson needs to be able to keep the defenses honest with running ability. There need to be some designed QB draws put into game plans and at other times, when he rolls out of the pocket,l instead of running to the sidelines before throwing it in the seats, he needs to pull it down, turn upfield and let his legs do some damage.

Agree the Oline is not opening holes like last year and the run up the gut is stuffed all to easily, If gap blocking got the job done last year, why change success?

Also, with the speed we have in the young WRs, why not some more slip screens to Neal, Toma, Brown, Jones and let their speed turn the play into 30 yards gains?

Also, if Eiffert is indeed the best blocking TE, why not more sweeps to his side with Atkinson so he can turn the corner and use his sprinter speed?

 

Hawaii is right: we can't expect the defense to win every game outright. The offense has to come out of its conservative slumber and attack, much like the defense does

Edited by Jersey Irish
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I think everything is predicated on the fact that our OLine (with the exception of the Navy game) has been somewhat disappointing this year.

 

I think it has to do with the Zone blocking scheme of Harry Heinstand...I have to say I'm not a fan.

 

Our OLine was really solid last year, and the only thing that's changed was going from a man blocking scheme to zone blocking.

 

I remember during the Purdue game where Braxton Cave just let his guy go right by him thinking someone else was going to pick him up (zone blocking) and the DT just had a straight line to Golson

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I think everything is predicated on the fact that our OLine (with the exception of the Navy game) has been somewhat disappointing this year.

 

I think it has to do with the Zone blocking scheme of Harry Heinstand...I have to say I'm not a fan.

 

Our OLine was really solid last year, and the only thing that's changed was going from a man blocking scheme to zone blocking.

 

I remember during the Purdue game where Braxton Cave just let his guy go right by him thinking someone else was going to pick him up (zone blocking) and the DT just had a straight line to Golson

 

The other thing that is different is our starting RB was a WR last year. As mentioned above, Wood is actually averaging more yards per carry this year than last. The Oline issues don't seem to be affecting him, and that is without Navy to pad his stats.

 

Once Wood is number one again, we should see the run game pick up.

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1. Spread the field with formations

2. Throw deep(Brown and Daniels)

3. Golson needs to run

4. Running backs need to be patient, seems like they have gotten into a habit of trying to cut back every run.

5. When in a 3 bring Tate Nichols in as a 3rd TE(played that position in high school-Koyack has not been doing good-this was Mike Frank's idea, i just happen to like it)

6. Need to get Neal the ball in space

7. Faster pace

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