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Old December 14th, 2016, 09:50 AM   #41
AlabamAlum
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Nick Saban is rumored for one high profile college job (i.e. Texas) and a couple of NFL jobs every year (Dallas, Browns, Indy, etc, etc).
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Old December 15th, 2016, 05:57 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannibal View Post
Brutal schedule. I see five losses (Florida, MSU, Wisky, PSU, and OSU).
Why do you think we'll lose to spartie? I think we win anywhere from 2 to 5 of those games.
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Old December 15th, 2016, 06:22 PM   #43
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Florida or sparty scare me a but, the other 3 I'm in wait n see, but agree with you.
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Old December 15th, 2016, 07:31 PM   #44
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Dantonio to the Rams.. they could have the same record
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Old December 15th, 2016, 08:27 PM   #45
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Florida would be dangerous if they can address (a) the O-Line and (2) find a competent QB. Otherwise, not so much.
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Old December 15th, 2016, 09:08 PM   #46
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Maybe i am drinking the Blue Kool Aid, but I see 10 wins there at least.
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Old December 15th, 2016, 09:19 PM   #47
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So do I.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 10:52 PM   #48
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Hannibal offered in the Orange Bowl thread that the problem with M's run game is that it is limited by it's "anachronistic" style. I'm not sure what that means and if Hannibal is implying it looks like Bo's play book of the 70s and 80s, I don't think that is accurate.

Neither of us have the play book so that limits the quality of our opinions and observations. Having said that, here's where I think the problems are and it has nothing to do with poor run game production due to an anachronistic or stale running game approach.

Some of this is coming from a recent article at mgoblog about the scrape exchange or how opponents figured out how to render the Pepcat package ineffective. You can read it to get details but essentially the criticism of that particular run play - and that is all that it ever was designed to be - is that it lacked counters.

That notion gives you a glimpse into what it appears the offensive cabal was trying to do in the run game. The article describes how defenses read and defeated the Pepcat package but it also shows how during the season there was a PA play intended to be a run play where rock instead of paper appeared (a counter) and when the defense pulled out scissors (e.g., the scrape exchange), it resulted in consistent 5, 8 and 10 yard run plays and it didn't matter who was running the ball (Smith, Isaac, Higdon or Evans).

The point is that there was no Rock in the Pepcat package like there was in the PA run play; it was strictly paper and why that came to pass is an unknown. Maybe it was just not being able to rep that kind of thing in practice. It does help to explain why later in the season, every D was prepared for it.

That's not an anachronistic style run game in my book, it's either (1) a failure on the part of the offensive cabal to recognize an opportunity to set up the D for one thing or (2) - more likely - there just wasn't time to rep counters in practice given everything else that needed refinement.

Clearly, as the article points out, Harbughffense understands counters like they appeared in the PA run play. These options in the PA run game are fully explained in the mgoblue article.

For me, saying that M's run game is anachronistic and that's why its not good is over generalizing and it fails to understand how complex and difficult - in terms of what each player in the offense has to know how to do it and then execute it - actually is. I think it is fair to say that in Harbaugh's second season, for the offense to master a probably pretty complex run game, is asking a lot. When a team has a system in place, particularly the run game system, that allows running backs, TEs and offensive line men to grow up in it for 4 or 5 years, those guys playing in their 3rd, 4th or even 5th year are going to be good at it.

It's probably true that a spready power offense is easier for players to master in a shorter period of time than a pro-style, power run game is, that doesn't mean that what's developing at M can't be deadly efficient in time. One can argue that given the current state of CFB where it's becoming common place for skill players playing behind offensive lines to be 2 or 3 years and done and therefor the spread and all that entails is the way to go, an equally powerful argument can be made that talented players, seeking to matriculate to the NFL will find opportunity in a CFB offense that plays football like they do on Sundays and those NFL offenses are by no means anachronistic
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Old December 21st, 2016, 08:08 AM   #49
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I agree with Jimbo Fisher. It's real football - the kind they play on Sundays. The problem was the offensive line wasn't good enough to make it work.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 08:21 AM   #50
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IMO, M coaches weren't committed to the Pepcat package. It was novelty. They were fooling around offensive concepts outside their core philosophy. It would have been better, IMO, to integrate Peppers into the HARBAUGHOFFENSE rather than to create a RichGOD set of limited plays for him.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 08:23 AM   #51
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IMO, running the ball is an interesting question. For this comment, I start from the NFL perspective. In the NFL it is brutally hard to run the ball. Even with a great OL and a good back (Dallas), running is still difficult. That said it can still be effective, in NFL terms, and is a nice asset to have. But it's unnecessary.

The NFL is like on like. Really good, fast defensive players against really good OL and backs. And the defense generally wins. That, and in the NFL there is absolutely zero willingness to run the QB -- for very good reason.

In CFB, the discrepancy in talent makes running viable. Plus, the passing games aren't anywhere near as advanced or reliable as they are in the NFL, so running is not only viable, but necessary. However, when it gets to "like on like" -- things start to regress toward the NFL. I mean, we go decades to Miami throttling spectacular OU running games. Or even further -- OSU/M games being 12-10 wars when both teams ran all day on everyone else. Or this year -- LSU choking down Alabama and, of course, M and OSU choking down the other team's respective running game (OSU ended up with 200 yards, but probably 75 of those game of JTB scrambles).

So, as it relates to M, not being able to run the ball against OSU's defense is understandable. The thing that is somewhat of a concern is the game at Iowa. But, that's only one game.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 08:49 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iam416 View Post
IMO, M coaches weren't committed to the Pepcat package. It was novelty. They were fooling around offensive concepts outside their core philosophy. It would have been better, IMO, to integrate Peppers into the HARBAUGHOFFENSE rather than to create a RichGOD set of limited plays for him.
Agree ........

........ and that was implied by the guy that wrote the piece on the scrape exchange sissors to M's paper in the PepCat package.

Going down memory lane, it was Rodriguez who came up with the variations in the read option plays to defeat what defenses we're doing in response to them. He was good at it. But defenses evolved, not sure he did or he didn't evolve enough.

So, it makes sense that the M offensive cabal wasn't really that interested in going all exotic with that package. Just too hard to do. If the defense stops it, ok, run something else. If they don't, great.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 08:59 AM   #53
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The offense didn't need Peppers, IMO. I thought Darboah an Chesson were good at stretching the field -- both ways -- they did a nice job of working in some jet sweeps. They consistently mismatched defenses with Butt. The OL was strong at pass protection and probably competent at run blocking. The RB rotation was solid, if unspectacular.

I dunno, I don't see what Peppers added to the offense. It felt like a marketing ploy to me. I mean, I don't doubt the staff's sincere belief that it would work, but it didn't when it mattered. I still can't fathom putting Peppers in on 3rd and Goal from the 6 against OSU. Especially when you consider what M ran on the 4th and G in the 1st OT -- OSU mobbed Butt leaving both wide guys in single coverage and those guys are good enough to create some space and give Speight an entirely makeable throw. Now, he failed to do that on a crucial 3rd down in the 4th Q, but he succeeded in OT. Which is to say it had a WAAAAY better chance of working than Peppers.

It will be interesting to see how the offense evolves as they get better skill players. It wasn't a speed offense, and Stanford wasn't a speed offense. Personally, I don't think you can manball your way to a CFP title with bulldozing backs. I think you need guys like Evans, who I think can bee really good for M.

But, man, the Pepcat was awful.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 09:28 AM   #54
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The Wildcat package should be put out to pasture by all coaches, it was a novelty 5 years ago, now it is just a play waster.

I refuse to read anything that talks about scrape exchange. It's a Brian Cook special, beat the term to the group to push your knowledge of the game.

The problem with focusing to much on the run game in college is eventually to win a national championship you will find yourself having to win a shooutout.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 09:35 AM   #55
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Yeah, I remember shaking fist at the TV. WTF?

I don't think Harbaugh believes you can manball yourself into the CFP either. He's more likely to embrace a pro-style NFL concept that has a credible passing threat but in the college game leans to power because of those mismatches you note can be exploited in the run game.

Spready type offense? He might look at that but it's going to be out of a pistol or WCO style set of plays. I don't think he's going to follow Saban's approach using a guy like Jalen Hurts in his offense but then again you never know.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 09:38 AM   #56
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His QB recruiting tells me you actually do know -- at least for the next 5 years. And that includes the kid from Gorman they'll get for 2018, who is athletic, but can really spin the ball.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 09:42 AM   #57
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The way Peppers was used is the biggest lingering question mark of the season for me. Lloyd Carr used Woodson better than Harbaugh used Peppers, and IMO Peppers was a much better candidate to be used. I agree that Peppers should have been worked into the regular offense rather than Pepcat. Very, very disappointing.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 09:51 AM   #58
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They should have just used Peppers as a tailback and run isolation plays.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 10:12 AM   #59
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Yes. Or in the slot. Or in the McDoom role.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 10:13 AM   #60
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......I refuse to read anything that talks about scrape exchange. It's a Brian Cook special, beat the term to the group to push your knowledge of the game.
There's more terms for different plays, schemes and the like than you can count. It's less about the terminology for me than it is about understanding how a play is run and how it's defended.

I don't think there is a web site that I know of that does a better job of explaining plays, both on offense and defense, even punting, than mgoblog. There are plenty of resources to look stuff up if you want to but sometimes the explanation is too detailed and too long. Mgoblog gives the cliff notes with diagrams and pictures. I'm a visual learner.

It's also not Brian doing that. It's a writer named Seth. I don't know what his background is but a guy that can diagram plays like he does, attaché visuals and explain them to a layman has to know something.
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