No problem with getting burned - as long as we get better. Much rather see us play aggressive and play the younger guys. This pass defense is a lot better than last year. If you don't think so - you are not remembering um, MSU, Clemson, Wisc., IN, Cal, - I'm sure I've missed a few - those were horrible to watch. The TD before the half was on the coaches to some degree. Should have made sure that the DBacks were reminded - NO ONE GETS BEHIND YOU!
That is a great one!
Are we there yet? No way - but if you don't think Cincy was a big improvement after watching the disaster last year - then you are not remembering correctly. Last year we pretty much got beat on everything, anywhere, anytime - screens, slants, go routes, bombs, shuffle passes - if the ball was in the air - we were in trouble.
I did not get that sense against Cincy. Coverage was tighter, which in and of itself opens you up to giving up more big plays, and we defended some screens, slants and short passes - much better than we did last year. And the biggest reason for optimism is that:
1. We are playing more aggressively
2. We are playing the young kids (McMillian, Bell, Apple)
I wish we would have done this last year. Most of the long balls given up were player mistakes by young guys. I have complained a lot about the coaching and the only real beef I had with the staff on Saturday was the TD with :48 left in the half. We needed to pull the backs in and make sure they understood to NOT LET ANYONE GET BEHIND YOU! That and our receivers not being able to catch were the only big issues for me. The Defense is getting better, the offensive play calling is FINALLY coming around after 2+ years. Same game plan with Cincy and KSU against VA Tech and Bucks win by 2+ scores.
FINALLY - love the offensive game plan the last two games. Short passes, slants, screens and higher percentage throws early to give JT and the OLIne some confidence -though Cincy's D is suspect at best.
Have to spread the ball around on the outside for the running game to work on the inside. We need a back getting the bulk of the carries inside for everything else to work. When we rotate backs, it seems like no one can really gain any momentum. If the receivers can catch the ball, we would have extended a couple more drives giving everyone more opportunity for touches.
That is the MO - rank them high (SEC) in preseason polls (ie., when was the last time GA was NOT supposed to challenge for the NC?) (think the last time they won it was 1980 with Herschel?) The preseason polls come out and then when they are over ranked, whoever the winner is gets credit for beating a top 5 or 10 team, even though at the end of the season, that team may have 3 or 4 losses (but they are SEC losses)(It is very hard to run the SEC schedule undefeated). They lose a game - ie SC by 4 TD's to TAM and drop from 5 to 18 - then they come back the next week and barely beat Vandy and jump to #12. I hope the actual year end polling is much more objective and looks at the entire season.
Totally agree ALLIN - anyone who thinks we haven't improved doesn't remember last year at um, Clemson, Wisconsin, IN, MSU. At least we are now contesting the throws and even though we are getting beat some, it has a different feel than last year. Last year it was like we expected them to make the catch after playing off 10 yards and we were going to try and limit the YAC - it was awful. This year, we are playing more aggressively, even broke up some slants and screens yesterday that would have been automatic last year AND we are playing the young guys - McMillian, Bell, Apple, etc. The only defensive play that really bothered me from a coaching perspective was the TD with :48 left in the half. With young guys in, it is imperative on the coaching staff to make sure that they know NOT TO LET ANYONE GET BEHIND YOU! There were several mental errors but they were made, I believe, trying to be aggressive and I have been saying for the past 2 years, play the young guys more and get them some experience. If the D is going to look like s#@$, let some good come from it.
Even though we are talking D - finally - for two games in a row - Hermann/Meyer have had good game plans - spread it out, get everyone involved, start off with some high percentage plays to get JT and the O Line some confidence and then keep it going. Hope they don't revert.
I am not sure we will really know how much the team has improved until East Lansing. MN, PSU, and um scare me. MN and PSU because they are on the road - and um because they will want to send Hoke out with a win - ala Earle Bruce. Just keep getting better!
May not be the sentiment of everyone but the back 7 showed improvement on D. We were able to get off the field more on third down and played tight enough coverage that we broke up some screens and short passes. I guess in any defense, if you are going to play tight coverage, the downside is that you are going to give up some big plays. The only one that I thought was really bad (considering the experience level of the DB's) was the touchdown pass right before the half - how do you let any receiver get behind us? I thought that one was on the coaching - remembering you have young guys - would it hurt to pull them aside with a timeout and say NO DEEP BALLS. We weren't close. Other than that, the other long TD's appeared to be player coverage error. I have been on here saying play the freshman and sophomores, I'd rather see them get experience and learn before the B1G schedule started. I think Cincy's defense was weak but this is the second game in a row that we had some decent offensive play calling - getting many involved and opening up the game in a manner to get JT comfortable. If we keep improving, we could win out, but I think the big test comes in East Lansing - that will show how good of a team we really have. (We do have several other tests, like PSU away, MN, and um who will be playing to send Hoke out on a positive note - ala Earle Bruce.)
Glad to see Apple, Bell, and McMillian on the field. May have made a few mistakes last night but the experience will pay dividends.
I was one asking for the young guys to get playing time. Rather have them getting experience than seeing the older guys get torched. All in all, the D looked better, in my opinion, than they did at the end of last year. They defended a couple of screens, and shorter passing routes, got off the field on third down more often than not, and seemed to be improved tackling. We may stumble before MSU, though I doubt it, I don't think we will really know how much we have improved on both sides of the ball until then.
I agree with many of the posts here regarding the improvement in the defense - regardless of the quick scores. You play tight coverage and you are susceptible to getting burned occasionally. Add in playing the young guys over the older guys -- you give up mistakes. I am one who has been saying if we are going to get torched anyway, lets do it with youth. Glad to see McMillian, Apple, Bell, etc getting the bulk of the snaps. It will help in the future.
I have also been a very critical of our coaching and still find some of the stuff we do head scratching. First real test of how much we improve comes in East Lansing. If we haven't improved drastically, and it is still hard to tell based on the competition, we won't have to wait until Nov against MSU to find out.
Couldn't agree more. They did do some different things against KSU but hope to see it continue against Cincy.
Good for IU! Carry that water for the B1G. Nebraska looked good too - though I'm not sure how good Miami is - but I can't stand them - they still try to act all bad like it's the 80's and they just can't back it up - way to go Nebraska. VT loss not good. Now if we can just get the Bucks rolling - entire picture of the B1G is different if the Bucks are 4-1 or 5-0 in the last 5 games instead of 2-3. They should have been 5-0. Hope the staff has learned some lessons. They will need to be drastically improved to beat MSU on the road.
After all of the blustering by um fans, I hope they sign him to an extension as a vote of confidence. VT going down again - not good for the Bucks. Nebraska looked good.
Tim - exactly right - McMillian already appears to be much better in pass coverage than Grant. Grant does appear better overall - but if it's me, I'm starting McMillian.
This will be UC's big game for the year. Tuberville is undefeated (I think) against Meyer. Since UC's season started so late , I'm guessing we will see some things we weren't expecting. The bye week should help us. Had a co-worker at the Toledo game who said UC couldn't stop the run with 12 guys in the box. I am guessing that we see Kiel throw more than 50 passes, but mostly short, possession type throws and the D stacks the box and dares JT to beat them.
I voted no unless the SEC is declared ineligible for postseason play.
Heard 2 different announcers justifying how South Carolina or Georgia could end up in the final 4.MO is to rank all of the SEC teams high at the start of the year and then when one gets beat - as in GA the last two years, the winner jumps a bunch in the standings. How is SC a top 20 team after getting destroyed 52-34 by TAM? OSU has little chance this year unless the committee really does think for itself, several B1G teams get ranked top 15, and OSU blows out everyone left on the schedule.
Aside from receiver drops, hope we play the same against Cincy - including the coaching and play calling. That was encouraging. Watched PSU-Rutgers and someone posted above - the atmosphere was crazy - hope they keep it up. They really should have won - 5 interceptions by the Rutgers QB doomed them. Turned on the um game to see them putting the hammer down on Miami U (It was 17-10) (Miami thought they were finally going to break out of their losing streak in front of a less than packed big house.)
I believe when Curtis came in, he was looked at as a potential defensive end because he had played many different positions in high school. 3 head coaching changes have not helped either. With the issue with Spence, it would be great to see him on the edge rushing the passer with McMillian in the middle.
Larry - Raekwon should stay on the field the rest of the year. He even got a pass interference penalty which was a huge step forward. We've not had a linebacker close enough to a receiver this year to get called for pass interference.
It would have been great if the coaching had been half as good last week as well.I know it was only Kent State but a lot of what they tried today would have been a huge improvement last week.
Would give you 100 up votes if I could. This is much better said than I have been attempting. It takes only common sense to see how bad our play calling is. I also agree - pick your best players and let them play.
Exactly - Our play calling has been overcome by #5, #34, and our OLine last year. It's not just the losses where we have been outcoached either. Our talent level has overcome much of the stupid play calling and bad game management on both sides of the ball. um last year, Northwestern, um in 2012 - most of the other games we are just much better athletically than the opponent. Couldn't believe last year when we had a Def Coord who never coordinated the DLine, Linebackers and DBacks? They were pretty much playing as small units and not as a team - no wonder our D sucked so bad. And HOW do you go through and entire year as the Head Coach and allow this to happen? It is mind blowing and it is not at all where I expected us to be at the start of year 3 of the UFM era. We need some new assistant coaches. Based on what happened with UFM while at Florida, either he is off his game or he hasn't yet hired the level of assistants needed. Hope we get it together soon. I am really tied of losing winnable games - and that goes back to Tressel. As good as he was - I thought UFM was the final piece to get us over the top and I am not seeing it yet.
Nashville - you are right. We are getting outcoached and outgameplanned consistently. It goes back to 2012. I'm tired of hearing such and such needs to play - JUST PLAY HIM! I'm tired of hearing were not going to redshirt and then guys get redshirted (Mitchell) and we lose them. The defensive coaches met separate last year and couldn't get on the same page. Its like no one is really in charge or actually managing the assistants. They just do whatever they want to do. I know that is probably a bit over the top but we had chances to really shine vs. um, MSU, Clemson, and Va Tech and in my estimation, we blew everyone - and not the players - the coaches. Even um - Hoke/Borges out coached us. This is not where I thought the Bucks would be at the start of the 3rd year of the UFM era. Maybe we'll get it together, but I am really disappointed.
Based on results, we do not have the best coaching staff in the business. This can't be the same UFM that left UF or the coaching staff he has now is subpar compared to his UF staffs. Head coach gets all the credit for hiring and managing his staff. We have some good staff members but we have 2 coordinators that are continually out coached or out game planned. Starting with the um game last year, our coaching staff on one or both sides of the ball have failed either in preparation or in game management. The only game in that span that I thought was encouraging was Navy, where we seemed to make adjustments at halftime to help the OLine. I'm tired of listening to talk and want to see some results. Perhaps my expectations were too high when UFM took over, but this is not where I expected us to be starting year 3.
Exactly - the only clown show in town is our coaching. I think we are just getting what we "want to hear." Some our coaching has been head scratching going back to 2012. Expectations were really high - maybe too high - but 4 of the last 5 games have been really disappointing - and not from a players perspective. The issues with freshman playing, redshirting, game planning, play calling - it is not at all what I expected.
Lets hope KSU doesn't load the box.