Perhaps having a productive offense isn't so easy

Maestro's picture
October 18, 2011 at 6:17p

Here is the scenario

Team A plays against Team B.

Weather, low temperature of the day 53 degrees F, high temp 84 degrees F, avg wind speed 2.5 mph, precipitation 0.0 inches

Team A has 194 total yards of offense on 59 plays for an average of 3.3 yards per play against Team B.

Team B has given up at least 4.7 yards per play against all previous 6 opponents.  Team B has given up at least 6.5 yards per play against 2 of those 6 opponents.  Team that only gained 4.7 yards per play is currently 0-6.

Team A is starting a freshman QB who was the #9 QB in the 2011 recruiting class and they also play a freshman who was the #1 ranked Pro Style QB in the 2011 recruiting class.  Team A is starting a senior RB with over 2,000 career rushing yards and over 20 career TD's.  Team A is starting a senior WR with over 90 career receptions and another WR who was the #2 ranked WR in the country in the class of 2009.

Team B is the 98th ranked run defense in the country, even after giving up only 66 yards rushing to Team A.  Team B is the 89th ranked pass defense in the country even after giving up only 128 yards passing to Team A.  Team B is the 60th ranked scoring defense in the country, even after giving up only 6 points to Team A.

Team A has an offensive coordinator who has been a head coach in college football.  Team A's offensive coordinator has also been an offensive coordinator in the NFL.  He has won 3 Super Bowls as an offensive coordinator.

Yes, the Florida Gators with all of their offensive firepower and offensive coaching acumen have now gained fewer than 225 yards in 3 consecutive games.  Yes, a freshman QB completely changes the ability of an offense to succeed at a high level.  Yes, Florida had averaged over 450 yards per game prior to losing their experienced starting QB.

Seriously Buckeye fans, wake up to the reality that this offense has a complete dearth of experience on the offensive side of the ball at WR and QB.  Wake up to the fact that even a Super Bowl winning offensive coordinator is completely handcuffed by having no experience at QB.  NO MATTER HOW TALENTED THAT QB MIGHT BE.


Comments Show All Comments

BoFuquel's picture

 Great stuff! Oh Master continue to learn us.

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Maestro's picture

Thanks for reading BOFUQUEL.  You might be the only one, but that's cool.

Here is another recent example.

USC 2008 finished the season 11th in the country in total offense.  Averaged 455 yards per game and 37.5 points per game good for 14th in the country.

USC 2009 returned 14 of the 17 players who caught a pass in 2008.  Returned 201 of 253 receptions from the previous year.  USC 2009 returned 11 of 13 players who had any rushing yards in 2008.  Returned 2526 of the 2543 yards rushing from the previous year.

USC 2009 had a freshman QB and fell to 54th in the country in total offense and 64th in the country in scoring offense even with all other those other skill players returning.

True freshman QB's who are productive is an extreme rarity, especially on BCS conference teams.

vacuuming sucks

Kurt's picture

Good and interesting analysis.  How much of that is system though?  Florida with Weis and USC ran (and run) a pro-style offense, which for a first year starter is more complicated to immediately learn and succeed within - even for qb's with multiple years of experience.  I understand your point is with freshman, but at the same time names that come to my mind are Newton and Boyd.  Newton only played one year as we know and pretty much dominated.  Boyd is also in his first year, and also the team's first year in the offense, and is dominating.  Each in spread offenses.  First true freshman that comes to mind who in a spread offense is Pat White.  His team went 11-1 and pounded on Georgia in the Sugar Bowl as a true frosh.

For all we know Florida could be struggling right now with Brantley at qb.  If they were it could just as well be chalked up to the fact that it's his first year in the new Weis offense (different than the current reason: that it's about the freshmen more than the offense).  I think it's the offense.

William's picture

I agree. I'm not disagreeing with Maestro that we are severely lacking in experience, but a lot of an offense's success has to do with the scheme as well. The offense we run is just dumb anyway, its a smattering of zone-read, option, pro-style and spread. Just pick one scheme that fits your players best. The spread would fit Miller best. Pat White is a good example. Boyd though is not a freshman, but he is learning a completely new system, the spread, and its working very well for Clemson. Newton had previous experience in the spread from his time at Florida and then at his JUCO in Texas.

BoFuquel's picture

Plus it's extremly difficult to adjust to the heavy pounding of big time college football.I still think Brax should have been red shirted.But I guess to many people had too much riding on him.Well looks like everybody looses.But especially him,starting from square one next year sucks.

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Doug Buckles's picture

Productive offenses are easy. It comes down to coaching. Weis's fatass was proven overrated long ago.

Hitches/slants/outs/comebacks/curls, there is your easy on the eyes passing attack for a frosh qb. Multiple options on one side of the field allow his eyes to take him to the open wr. If he is never put in a situation for easy quick hitters, no rhythm or confidence is ever found. Consequently, when you ask the newbie to hit a third and long with three routes spread across the width of the field, you are setting the young buck up to fail.

You pop enough hitches and a hitch and go is a gimme. Outs for days lead to out and ups. Multiple slants lead to sluggos and slant outs. Comebacks are a prelude to the aforementioned andgo. Curls are easy because a good receiver will get on the dbs' feet before making his post cut forcing the db out of his back pedal, this allows the wr to sink into his cut and drive out of his break into the curl route. An outside linebacker is sitting in his area you say? A good wr's coach will have the wr trained to pick a side of the backer and sit in the hole on either side and the qb will know this to be the case from practice and coaching.

It's called 'taking what the defense gives you,' this forces the defense to adjust which is easy pickings for an average offensive coordinator to take a high percentage shot.

On second shot, screw all that noise let's run boom on dave 22 times a game. Being difficult to scout on film is irrelevant in today's football landscape.

Football goes one of two ways; the offense dictates to the defense or vice versa. We dictated to Illinois, let's see if all you boom lovers feel we can dictate to Wisky with that same modus operandi. I do not, but I have been wrong once before.

Maestro's picture

Did you watch the Nebraska game DB?  There is clearly another layer to the playbook with Miller at the helm.  It just was needed in Champaign.


Why risk a pick 6 on a very windy day when the opponent is not stopping the run?

vacuuming sucks

Doug Buckles's picture

Wind is not an excuse to not throw the ball from my experience. Never has been. Yes, with a pass there is a risk of a pick 6 on any play, I'm one of those high risk high reward mindsets when it comes to play calling I suppose.


Maestro's picture

How could you ever be a Buckeye fan in that case? wink

vacuuming sucks

Doug Buckles's picture

You know what really stresses a defense? Bunch formations with three receivers. You cannot go man so you are already dictating to the defense that they are going to be in zone. Well coached receivers can find the holes in the zone whether there are eight dropping into coverage or five dropping because the d decided to blitz. The best defense is for the outside backer or nickel or ss to jam the one the ball receiver which may muck up the wr's releases but if the wr's are properly coached on hand/wrist release techniques it should render the jamming defender moot.

I have yet to see Stoney on the line out wide with Hall in the slot between Stoney and the o line with Smith/Brown/fill in the blank wr on the outside of Stoney. Having Miller roll to that side with a back to pick up rushers or be an outlet for the qb would be the most difficult formation for a defense to stop.

TallTom's picture

Illlnois was the adage, keep running it unti l they stop it.  as long as Bucks were getting respectable yardage and had the lead, they were not going to take risks unless needed too. I was there, it was windy, but had Illinois come back to tighten the score, then I believe would have tried a few things.  As it was, the defense was keeping them out of scoring position, the game was a field position battle, and the situation didn't warrant it so they didn't burn any plays just for the sake of "balance".  As I saw it, Miller only had 3 incompletions and a touchdown plus we won on boom's 114 yd performance.  

This week I imagine will be devoted to improving the passing offense and to emphasizing defensive positioning and staying disciplined within the scheme.


Maestro's picture

Thanks for that contribution Talltom. Since you were there and all. Completely agree with your balance comment. Herm Edwards said it best, "you play to win the game."...............not to "develop" your quarterbacks skill set.

vacuuming sucks

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I'm guessing Team A is Florida and Team B is Auburn.

What worked against Illinois might not work against Wisconsin.  I don't think we'll be able to bully them with the run game like we did with Illinois. 

Sometimes it is good to mix up pro-style, option, spread, etc.  I think different guys on the offense are best suited for different styles.  For example, at RB, Hall would be better suited for a spread, whereas Herron and Hyde might be better for pro-style.  The key is WHEN to run certain things.  You vary up your strategy depending on your opponent.  If you do the same exact thing every week, you become predictable. 

As I see it, we need four things to happen to beat Wisconsin:
1.  Defense must play their best game of the year.
2.  We must win the turnover battle.  Make them earn everything, no gimmies.
3.  We must control time of possession.
4.  We must be more balanced on offense, because the run game alone is not going to get it done vs. Wisconsin. 

Class of 2010.

Maestro's picture

Far from suggesting that the same offensive approach will work against Wisconsin. That doesn't mean it wasn't perfectly fine and effective against Illinois.

Once again for emphasis look at the Nebraska game. That was not the same offense that we saw against Illinois. TE screens, crossing routes to WR's etc. Why would someone believe that from week to week the offense is not going to change based on the game situations and opponent etc.?

Yes, you are correct about Team A and B. Auburn had been one of the worst defense in the entire country until they met Florida with their Super Bowl Champion O.C. and a couple of true freshman QB's. All of a sudden Auburn's defense was the '85 Bears?

vacuuming sucks

Nick's picture

 I disagree, Wisconsin is bad on defense, especially against the run. Run all day in my opinion and have a short passing game mixed in, don't need to throw more than 15-20 times.

Maestro's picture

I wouldn't say they are bad on defense, but they aren't great. They are coming off their worst performance against the run though. IU piled up over 200 yards rushing against them. Oregon State was Wisky best performance against the run, and they are 107th in rushing offense.

There are yards to be had. Don't turn the ball over. Hit Stoney and Brown a few times and run the ball to pick up first downs. Miller's ankle should be feeling pretty good by then.

vacuuming sucks