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MEMBER SINCE   July 14, 2017

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Comment 10 Oct 2019

We all knew that the back half of the season was going to be the most difficult.  The only real change to what we expected here is that PUS is looking better (though, honestly, who have they played that's good?) and the skunkweasels are looking discombobulated when they were expected to be challenging this year.  Essentially, that's a push to the level of difficulty.  

What we didn't expect, and what's happened, is that Fields appears to be in complete control of a balanced offense.  Sure, we hoped Dobbins would bounce back, but this is better than I think we hoped.  Same with Fields - figured he'd learn the offense, but not be this far along.  That being said, the biggest surprise here is the defense.  I'm pretty sure we all would've been happy if they'd made if halfway out of the hole of suck they resided in last year.  But no, they weren't content with that - they're back at the top of the charts.

Right now, in terms of how challenging Wiscy and PUS will be, I'm looking at the next two weeks when Sparty has to play both.  That'll give us a measure of how those two play vs how we played them.  Another game to watch is the PUS-skunkweasel game.  That'll have kittens facing the first might be competent team.  

Comment 09 Oct 2019

That's what I'm thinking.  It's bye week now, which helps everyone heal up and prepare for Northwestern.  Since that shouldn't present too much of a challenge, I'm hoping everyone will be in good health for Wiscy so we can get our win there and truly show the world where we're at.  Plus, due to the fun of this schedule, we get an extra day in between NW and Wiscy to recover and plan.  

Then another bye as the Wiscy game will be rather physical and I'm guessing the rest'll be nice.  

Luckily, that's followed by Maryland (as long as our defense doesn't fall apart, this is a win) and  at Rutgers (pretty sure we could start the 3rd string and get a win here).  Then the tough games.  PUS and going to the skunkweasels.  It's hard to predict how good PUS will be at this point as they've not played anyone.  By the time we play them, we'll have seen them perform against Sparty, Iowa, Minnesota, and the skunkweasels.  If they come out of that unscathed, they're likely to be our toughest test.  Then we've got to go to ttun, which may be closer than it should simply because they'll have nothing to lose at that point.  Hell, given their schedule, it's possible they won't even be bowl eligible if we beat them (teams I think should beat them:  PUS, ND, and us.  Teams that have a fighting chance are Sparty and IU.  If that all came to fruition, they'd have 6 losses, no?  Wouldn't that eliminate them?)  

Comment 02 Oct 2019

I've thought similar things myself.  While I agree with the authors that it counts, I'm going to be much happier when he gets to 8-0 as the permanent HC.  Firstly, it's more comparable to the other coaches. Secondly, that means there's no asterisk next to the record.

Though, to be fair, it's not like Day didn't face TCU during those interim days.  They weren't a Little Sisters of the Poor team.  That's why I don't argue to hard against anyone saying he's 8-0.  

Comment 01 Oct 2019

I'm more interested in hearing from the local beat reporter.  We know that our offense is clicking.  We also know that their offense is its normal mediocre self.  Passing is up, but rushing is down.  With our D, I suspect their offense will suffer.  They'll probably slow our offense down a bit, but not stop us.  

On the overall, this should be a good game for the team to stretch and learn a bit.  Probably more adversity than the offense has faced this season, so hopefully they function well here.

Comment 30 Sep 2019

Sparty's stats are of interest to me, especially after reading about how much more Lewerke's been throwing the rock around.  


  • 1,345 total passing yards, 269 yards/game, 10 TDs, 1 Int
    • They're averaging 12.7 yards/completion, 7.6 yards/attempt
    • To put that in perspective, Fields alone has 1,092 yards in total, 16 TDs, and no Ints.  More amusing is that Lewerke seems to have been on the field for the entire time for 3/5 of the games.  Fields, as we know, is generally out not too far after the half and we've been in a commanding lead position for every game at halftime.  Less total yards and significantly more TDs, but less playing time.


  • 729 total yards on 181 carries, or a 4 ypc average and 6 TDs.  
    • Only once have they had a rusher break 100 yards/game (Collins vs Western MI).  
    • 3 times games have Lewerke as at least the 2nd best rusher on the team, including Indiana where he was the best rusher.  
    • Dobbins has 654 yards, 5 TDs and has broken 100 yards 3 separate times.  Teague has 326 yards, 3 TDs, and has broken 100yds once.  Those are only two of our players - who've been splitting carries and JK hasn't even played that much in the 2nd half as Teague, Chambers, and others have been in there.  None of this even includes the yards and TDs that Fields has picked up.

On the overall, it looks like Sparty will struggle to run the ball and they'll be dependent upon Lewerke's arm.  Makes me think we'll need to focus more on the pass and keeping Lewerke contained so he doesn't extend drives more than anything.    

Comment 27 Sep 2019

My guess is they're going to try to copy Miami's gameplan (at least the first two drives of it).  Quick passes, probably in the middle on crossing routes, bubble screens, etc, and try to get to the edge with speed.  If they can establish that, then maybe they'll look for chunk plays down the field (assuming Martinez has enough time to make that happen).  This might mean that having the corners play a bit more press just to disrupt the timing might be in order.  That should give the d-line enough time to disrupt Martinez and make him feel rushed.  

Comment 26 Sep 2019

I do have concern, but from what I've seen out of both teams, I think we win by a comfortable margin.  There may be a drive or two in the first quarter where their offense looks good, but we'll adjust and be able to shut them down pretty well.  I don't think their defense can hang.  

Basically, here's the equation in my mind

  • When we have the ball, their defense won't be able to consistently stop our offense, meaning we'll likely put up lots of points.
  • When they've got the ball, our defense will be able to shut their offense down more often than not, so they won't put up nearly as many points.  

That's a win for the good guys.

Assuming that holds out to be true, what I foresee bothering me is that after we beat down Nebraska, they'll be now viewed as no different than us beating IU, the Bearcats, etc.  It'll all be a, "but who have they played?"

Comment 24 Sep 2019

Given that Miami had some success with quick, up tempo, passing and speed around the edge, I expect other teams to try that, too.  It can negate what Young and the rest of the d-line want to do, can work against zone coverage with the DB playing off, etc.  The plus side is that we adjusted to it, but I'd be prepared for other teams with better talent to try that tack with us.  

Comment 18 Sep 2019

I must now confess that I've had a thing for Debbie Gibson as we're basically the same age.  It's worth noting that she released a calendar in 2000 (which I bought) and even had a new album out around that time (which I also bought).  

Comment 18 Sep 2019

I dunno if I'd go as far as to say they've not done anything of substance.  What they've done is almost exactly what we wanted them to do.  They've lived up to, if not exceeded, expectations of much of the country.  They've continued to play at a high level and improved where they needed (the running game, the defense).  To me, that substantive.  

Now, will the improvements hold up against better teams?  Will their intensity remain at a high level?  Will we have another Purdon't?  All of that remains to be seen, but 

Comment 13 Sep 2019

Given what I'm hearing, the game plan should potentially be something like this:

  • When we have the ball - just keep building on what we've been doing.  Establish a balanced offense, given Dobbins holes to hit.  Make sure Fields can run just enough to keep the math in our favor.  From there, let Fields do his thing when passing.  Would be nice to see some over the top shots, but I'll take shorter passes with our receivers getting quality YAC.
  • When they've got the ball - probably stay in a defense more focused on stopping the pass and forcing them to rush. Allow the front 4 to wreak the havoc that they do on the QB and rushing game.  It seems that if we can stop their passing game, they'll have very little to fall back on.  This could be modified slightly if Penix is their starter, though.  We'll have to account for him.  
Comment 12 Sep 2019

Sounds like the game plan will be to keep contain on the QB, have the DBs make sure they maintain coverage for long enough that the pass rush gets there.  

This article seems to completely ignore their defense, though.  Is that because we believe they can't stop us?  Are they weaker against the run or pass?  It looks like Ball State was able to put up pretty decent passing yards on them.  

Comment 09 Sep 2019

One thing that jumped out at me - if they're the 2nd most experienced team, are they that way simply because they don't have enough starters that are good enough to get drafted?  

Another thing is that they don't appear to have a rushing attack.  Against Ball State, Penis had the most rushing yards.  That did change against Eastern Illinois, but their best rusher only had 61 yards.  

Shut down their passing game and force them to try to run it.  Keep enough pressure on the QB to force him to make mistakes against coverage.  Our linebackers, with their improved play, should be able to limit any rushers that get past the d-line blowing them up all day.