We knew coming into the season that we had lost 3 all MAC defensive playmakers to transfer. Well, we do miss them but seem to have replaced them with some solid players and they will get better with experience. We have been really good against the run both games, and UK ran very well at Florida.
A reason most people picked us to win the MAC East was that we had all 5 starting offensive linemen returning and we added a couple of transfers and looked great opening holes against North Texas in the bowl game. Well, one of the starters did not come back, one got hurt in the Preview, one got hurt against UK. So we really just have 2 of them playing right now. Another reason was that we had a 4th year QB who was picked as the best QB in the MAC in preseason rankings. Well we don’t have him any more either.
So maybe we are not the same team we thought we were getting. We do have replacement guys with some talent, but they are inexperienced and they make mistakes.
I think our special teams coordinator may be in over his head. Two games and all kinds of mistakes. The worst was when we had our 2’s in at the end of the game, we seemed totally unprepared and disorganized. On a punt return we had Kevin Davis in and he looked completely lost, his mistake cost us 7 points. Then after RMU scored in the last minute and we lined up for the kickoff, we only had 8 guys out on the field and had to run 3 guys on at the last minute. Even Jr High special teams are better prepared than these guys look. We have had a blocked punt and a blocked kick. We have given up a 100 yard kickoff return. Normally, that is more huge mistakes than we have been seeing in an entire season, not just two games. This guy needs to shape up now or be replaced. He is doing a terrible job, IMO. We have smart guys and have had great special teams in recent years. The problem has to be the new coach. Ohio State saved their season last year by replacing their defensive coordinators after the first couple of games.
I agree about special teams. On one of their kick off returns, following the 100 yard return for a TD, they used the same blocking scheme and were able to get it to midfield. It looked like we didn’t learn from the first one.
I would say game 1, you get a pass…game 2 I agree there is some concern there…ST needs to be the focus this week, just below offensive game plan…b/c there’s not much that a Bearcat team does not like more than blocking punts, using speed and flying around.
Our ST was somewhat Bengal-like you could say (that one hurt…)
ST has been in the spotlight after both games. No question that lanes and leverage have to be a focal point for the coverage teams this week. Protection needs work too! I am confident that CM will provide the proper attention this week. I am unconcerned about KD’s mistake, that was an individual mistake that is correctable by substitution.
I was hoping to know what the offense without Gabbert would look like after Saturday. I saw plays but no offense. Should we assume that this was all part of the plan to prepare and evaluate? I would give the offense a C+ grade for the game. 2 drives resulted in TD’s that easily could have stalled. (1 appeared to be blatant OPI on a fly ball that Hip caught for a TD. Another could have been OPI in the South EZ that was ruled DPI to keep the drive alive where we eventually scored) I was impressed with Aveon’s accuracy on the short routes and his ability to throw on the run. The RPO plays were not pretty. I would prefer to see a designed run, designed pass. Kenny Tracy looked like Kenny Tracy,he needs more reps! Marshall could be a factor as the season goes on, though I would like to see more physicality out of a big body guy like him. The 2’s group exposed a lack of ready depth. I thought that Hesson looked sufficient and showed good presence, I was impressed with Brunson as a short yardage guy. I would have liked to have seen both the series before with some of the 1’s. One more thing…we have to be quicker at getting plays in!
I would give the D a solid B. Individually, Saunders Jr stood out, the kid has a ton of potential but has to learn to cover instead of just reading the QB. His ability to close with the ball in the air is elite, if he won’t cover he may be better suited as a FS. I say “won’t” because it is clear that he is choosing to read the QB to try to get picks. Ugwu was another stand out, if he gains consistency he will be a force in conference play. Overall, the future appears strong at DE.
I sincerely hope that we go into this week with a plan to win and not a plan to learn, not show anything and not get blown out.
They never had 5 guys coming back to the OL after the bowl game it was always just four. I wouldn’t say Borders was the sure starter, Martin said throughout camp and spring it was between Brekke and Borders. The only true starting OL lost since the bowl game is Vaughn, there are three starters from the bowl game still playing: Feth, Shaffer and Holskey.
I mentioned the same on Aveon’s RPO…I said let’s just run with him…that one clear Aveon run play went very well.
I feel like Chuck was trying to not show much for UC, again it may not matter, but at least there’s some element of “what does Miami have @ QB spot?”
Personally, I’d like to see Bolden at FB/TE…and couple run plays with him leading the way, he was a LB, he’s use to “hitting people in the face” as they say…with Tracy, Tyre and Mozee.
Roll Aveon out of pocket a fair amount…
One small note, I think the flag for Muersch was worse than the possible OPI with Hipp…seemed like under thrown ball and DB was not blatant… Hipp’s “push”, think that’s modern football, DB and WR both looked back at ball and they engaged hands?
ST is significantly in the hole because of the long snapper. The coverage has been iffy, but the sample size against comparable talent is lacking. But as the Bengals learned, it’s hard to do much with a sub-par long snapper.
Funny enough, they offered a '23 long snapper a scholarship not too long ago.
Looking back at my comments last night, I went too far in calling for him to be replaced. He is inexperienced at being in charge of these units and he probably needs more supervision for awhile. As a new coach in charge of something, you have to realize that anything the players do not know is your fault. And that goes for your subs. And just because you told somebody once or went through it once does not mean they have learned it. Keep repeating and emphasizing things until every player has it all down. How efficient is your system for notifying players if someone gets hurt and you need to use his backup? We have shown some issues with filling the lanes against kickoff returns. We had snaps on punts at UK that took too long to get to our punter, and then he did not hurry to make up for it. There are quite a few things which must be corrected or the next two teams will abuse us. They both have had excellent special teams in the past.
I agree with your revised post. I don’t know ST well enough to know what the personnel changes have been since last year. The issues may be primarily execution based. Bottom line…things must improve this week!
LS is a funny position to find. I feel like most good ones are TE’s or LB’s in HS and haven’t dedicated time to it. Often (not saying it’s the case here) specialized HS LS’s are that because they aren’t getting on the field at another spot.
I just started listening, why not…have not heard anything yet.
Basically saying thought we played well enough vs RMU, acknowledged our run game was okay considering opponent…and UC is insanely good and different animal, greater challenge than UK, even.
Talked about UC comes after punts like crazy…so sounds like Chuck is working with ST this week some.
Sad the new field is sweet and a fast, safer track.
Pretty cool and a bit unfortunate of course…but Chuck talks about Ivan Pace and how he knew he was good enough to play here, UC or Ohio State out of high school…yet this is this new world and he’s not with us. Speaks to Chuck’s talent evaluations…got to trust that we at least see potential leap in QB/OL play this week.
PS Ty Wise is a cool dude…and what appears to be a real success story of the portal, as he seems happy to be onboard.