Estrada's picture


Lookin' California, Feelin' Midwestern

Member since 30 August 2010 | Blog


  • SPORTS MOMENT: 1/3/2003

Recent Activity

Comment 18 Sep 2016

I think that field position also helped things in the early goings.  It seemed like when we punted that we were usually able to pin them deep and flip the field, while they didn't have that same luxury. 

This is just one of a list of things we did well last night (and yet, there are still a lot of things to clean up), but this team clearly has the potential to be as good as the 2014 team during the final 3-game-stretch (possibly better, which is amazing).

Comment 30 Aug 2016

While some people don't really dig analytics (and they certainly have their limits), the numbers were not very fond of Iowa last year (47th in S&P+ at the end of the year).  This provided a slightly more objective measure to compliment the more subjective eye test that said to some (read: me and the few others in my echo chamber) Iowa was not a top tier team.

This isn't to say Iowa was/is hot garbage, rather it's to say that Iowa was mostly a good team that was also rather fortunate.  When they ran into a team with superior talent and a bit of time to game plan (i.e. Stanford), they were absolutely boat-raced.  I can't get the image of Stanford doing almost anything they wanted with Iowa in the Rose Bowl out of my head.

You couple this with the fact that the best Ferentz coached teams tend to be those no one expects anything from, but when expectations are high his Hawkeyes tend to stumble and have a lack-luster season.  

All of that adds up to plenty of reasons to sell Iowa stock.

Comment 29 Aug 2016

I think the real thing to pay attention to is how many designed QB runs are called.  That's not nearly as easy to track because it won't translate into the game stats.

And with option plays it's tough to predict who the opposing team will try to take away when those plays are called.  JT runs the option pretty darn well, which means he puts the ball where the defender dictates (to maximize our gain)--so while Urban can hope JT only needs to keep it 6 times or so, it really depends on what the defense is (or isn't) doing.

All that said, I don't disagree that JT will likely run it 15 times per game (on average; perhaps even more), I just hope Urban sticks to his estimation of designed QB runs.

Comment 13 Aug 2016

Man did those 95 and 96 Northwestern teams benefit from not having to play OSU those years.  Yes they beat that team up north, but our performance against them was not representative of the team's ability in the Cooper era.  I'm of the opinion that OSU would have handled the plucky wildcats both years.  Their resurrection was a nice feel-good story (because they were next-level terrible in the 80s, and pretty bad in the 70s and early 90s), but I think us being off their schedule ultimately bolstered their record.

Comment 08 Mar 2016

I agree about the defense, though additional wrinkles aren't a bad thing if the players understand an execute the current schemes properly.

As for the offense, we all saw the difference between the early/mid-season form and the close of the season when it was finally firing on all cylinders (when Warinner moved to the booth).  So I think the biggest change is that they've moved Ed up into the booth permanently (and hired Studrawa), which all happened prior to spring ball (i.e. basically after the MSU debacle).

Comment 05 Feb 2016

Abe Simpson dropping truth bombs...

Comment 06 Jan 2016

I have to disagree with the loss to MSU in '13.  Our secondary wasn't up to the task that year.  They had the talent, but until Chris Ash came to town our D wasn't quite ready to help deliver a Natty (the talent was there, just not appropriately utilized: e.g. Pitt Brown starting over Vonn Bell until the bowl game).

Comment 29 Nov 2015

It's plausible, though not likely, that the committee could leave UNC out even if they beat Clemson.  While people have (correctly) stated that last year our fate set a precedent (i.e. that conference champions from a conference with a championship game that only have 1 loss will still get in), Baylor's fate from last year is also informative.  Baylor was punished last year because of their soft schedule (at least partially).  You want a soft schedule, look no further than UNC which boasts 2 victories over FCS squads.  In addition they've bested 1 team that was ranked (Pitt was 23rd) when they played and 0 from the current top 25.  If you bust out the FEI strength of schedule, they're schedule is 117th most difficult (according to last week's data).

This isn't to say that they'd be left out even if they beat Clemson, but it may be more nuanced than just a binary decision.  Did UNC look awful as Clemson managed to finally Clemson themselves into a loss?  We probably have good shot.  Did UNC look like we did last year against Wisconsin?  Then UNC is playoff bound.  Somewhere in between?  That's where the rubber meets the road, but we'll still have a chance (not a great one, mind you, but a chance).

In the end I doubt it will matter; while Clemson may be more likely to lose than Alabama (against a Florida team sans offense), that isn't saying much.

Comment 04 Oct 2015

This is most of it, but not all of it.  There were a couple more:

3) Execution in the red zone.  Some of these were penalties, but there were also plenty of poorly executed plays (a glaring example being Cardale missing an open Thomas).  Both offensively and defensively they seemed to play mediocre to bad in the red zone (the defense's exception being at the end of the game).

4) 3rd downs.  We were bad on 3rd down yesterday (2 for 14).  The play-calling was sub-optimal at times (and other times downright confusing), and sometimes penalties contributed there as well.  During the magical 3 game stretch last year Cardale seemed to pull a rabbit out of his hat quite often on 3rd down (be it scrambling, throwing, or a combination of both), but he and the entire offense just didn't have it yesterday.

Comment 08 Sep 2015

I think VT certainly would have scored more with Brewer at the helm, but I seriously doubt they would have been able to keep pace with the Buckeye offense in the 2nd half.  So I think dodged a bullet is a bit too strong, rather we wouldn't have been able to get 2nd stringers reps as the game would have been closer (we also would have had to keep our foot on the gas as well).