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Game 2 Thoughts


catdaddyp
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A few thoughts from yesterday:

 

- The OL (and Irons) looked much better and were moving the ball until the turnover bug reared it’s ugly head. That’s the kind of improvement I expected to see from this staff. Good things are on the horizon…..but it probably won’t be in the next two weeks due to the opponents.

 

- Undercuffler had a rough outing, but I’m not ready to throw him under the bus. He does not have as big an arm as Irons and struggles to make certain throws, but we had an idea that would be the case from his FCS film. I trust the staff will curtail the game plan around Undercuffler in the coming weeks and put him in a position to be as successful as he can be, while limiting the throws/plays he struggles with. He has enough arm strength to move the offense down the field, but the deep balls and cross field throws will have to be minimized. He will get more comfortable with more reps.

 

- We landed some really good to solid players out of the portal in SJL, George, Banks, Whigan, Banes (looked much better), and Wiley on offense. On defense Jones, Harper, Terry, and Golden-Nelson have been the key pickups. I wondered why we did not see some of the other players on the roster in Week 1 and we found out why against MSU. The best players were already seeing the field. While there is certainly some potential waiting in the wings, some players just are not ready to help us yet. Maybe that changes by conference play?

 

- I really like the front 4 combo of Jones, Harper, Wilson, Johnson. Along with Bubba and Terry at LB. Lewis continued his active play at Nickel and Golden-Nelson has done a nice job at CB. MSU picked on Hooks all game long at the other CB spot. Safety play was better at times in the run game, but still struggled against the pass. I do not know what the answer is there outside of hoping our current rotation continues to improve. 


- I do not feel the final score is indicative of what this team could become. Are we where we need to be? Absolutely not. Irons going down and the turnovers completely doomed us yesterday. But if improvements continue to be made - which they will - this team should be competitive in the MAC. So far, no one in the MAC has seemed head and shoulders above anyone else.

 

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20 minutes ago, catdaddyp said:

do not feel the final score is indicative of what this team could become. Are we were we need to be? Absolutely not. Irons going down and the turnovers completely doomed us yesterday. But if improvements continue to be made - which they will - this team should be competitive in the MAC. So far, no one in the MAC has seemed head and shoulders above anyone else.


This is how I’m feeling too, and why I’m most worried about DJ going down. Could Undercuffler make progress in the next few weeks if need be to move into MAC play as the guy? Why not. But I have felt since Moorhead got the job that this is DJs team and he could lead them into the future. As much as I want the MAC to be be good…it isn’t. It’s bad. The East specifically. It’s going to be a pretty open race once again, and I fear the Zips are going to miss out again on playing meaningful November football. I don’t expect a trip to Detroit, but with teams like BG, OU, Miami, and Buffalo on the schedule, you’ve got to put up a couple Ws. 

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Watching Undercuffler struggle, I can see why JoeMo was tight-lipped about our offense going into the season. He didn't want people to know it was DJ Irons or bust.

 

Teams have been picking on Hooks for a couple of years now. Didn't we get a CB transfer from Mississippi State?  Did he play at all yesterday? ... EDIT: Yeah... Cam Threatt. I can't believe he's not a better option than Hooks.

 

Irons going down threw the entire game off.  With Irons we were moving the ball and thus killing clock & keeping our defense off the field.  With Undercuffler... not so much.

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3 hours ago, Blue & Gold said:

Watching Undercuffler struggle, I can see why JoeMo was tight-lipped about our offense going into the season. He didn't want people to know it was DJ Irons or bust.

 

Teams have been picking on Hooks for a couple of years now. Didn't we get a CB transfer from Mississippi State?  Did he play at all yesterday? ... EDIT: Yeah... Cam Threatt. I can't believe he's not a better option than Hooks.

 

Irons going down threw the entire game off.  With Irons we were moving the ball and thus killing clock & keeping our defense off the field.  With Undercuffler... not so much.

I really liked the concerted effort to have Irons run yesterday. He looked comfortable and in command of the offense. It’ll be disappointing if he misses a considerable amount of time. Best case scenario Undercuffler gains confidence and becomes a reliable option by the time conference play rolls around as Irons heals up.

 

Hooks just isn’t getting it done. I wasn’t watching that closely in 4th quarter but from what I did see, we don’t have many (or any) better options right now. That doesn’t mean someone else won’t develop as the season goes on, but the notion that our secondary is a strength (according to the media) is false. Yes, there is some talent that could develop, but no depth at the moment ready to help. That being said, I did notice Threatt on a few plays near the end, so maybe he will get a look at some point?

 

It’s become clear why JoeMo was hesitant in answering the question about the roster looking like an FBS roster. We do at certain starting positions, but the productive depth is lacking. I feel good about our front 6 on defense (7 if Lewis is included in that Nickel front) so that is improvement over last year. Plus, one CB spot is locked down. DT depth is ok. We need for either Behm, Boateng, or Fish to take a major leap forward and not have LB play drop substantially when they enter the game. Our two P5 safety transfers have disappointed so far and need to start playing like P5 players. JKP saw more snaps than either of them last game and probably should be starting in one of those spots. I liked Woods activity at S for his limited snaps, so maybe he will help down the line?

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5 hours ago, catdaddyp said:

- I do not feel the final score is indicative of what this team could become. Are we were we need to be? Absolutely not. Irons going down and the turnovers completely doomed us yesterday. But if improvements continue to be made - which they will - this team should be competitive in the MAC. So far, no one in the MAC has seemed head and shoulders above anyone else.

 

 

This. We were statistically outperforming MSU through a quarter and a half, minus the turnovers. I think we kept out playbook under wraps week 1 and sort of "sandbagged" it. Under Irons, we looked like we'd be in the running to make an appearance in Detroit on Dec. 3rd.

 

I know Undercuffler doesn't have the biggest arm and the coaching staff will switch up the playbook to fit Undercuffler's abilities. However, I was watching him struggle to throw basic out routes. Do you think any of that could've been nerves? Or will his playbook just not have those plays as much?

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5 hours ago, catdaddyp said:

A few thoughts from yesterday:

 

- The OL (and Irons) looked much better and were moving the ball until the turnover bug reared it’s ugly head. That’s the kind of improvement I expected to see from this staff. Good things are on the horizon…..but it probably won’t be in the next two weeks due to the opponents.

 

- Undercuffler had a rough outing, but I’m not ready to throw him under the bus. He does not have as big an arm as Irons and struggles to make certain throws, but we had an idea that would be the case from his FCS film. I trust the staff will curtail the game plan around Undercuffler in the coming weeks and put him in a position to be as successful as he can be, while limiting the throws/plays he struggles with. He has enough arm strength to move the offense down the field, but the deep balls and cross field throws will have to be minimized. He will get more comfortable with more reps.

 

- We landed some really good to solid players out of the portal in SJL, George, Banks, Whigan, Banes (looked much better), and Wiley on offense. On defense Jones, Harper, Terry, and Golden-Nelson have been the key pickups. I wondered why we did not see some of the other players on the roster in Week 1 and we found out why against MSU. The best players were already seeing the field. While there is certainly some potential waiting in the wings, some players just are not ready to help us yet. Maybe that changes by conference play?

 

- I really like the front 4 combo of Jones, Harper, Wilson, Johnson. Along with Bubba and Terry at LB. Lewis continued his active play at Nickel and Golden-Nelson has done a nice job at CB. MSU picked on Hooks all game long at the other CB spot. Safety play was better at times in the run game, but still struggled against the pass. I do not know what the answer is there outside of hoping our current rotation continues to improve. 


- I do not feel the final score is indicative of what this team could become. Are we were we need to be? Absolutely not. Irons going down and the turnovers completely doomed us yesterday. But if improvements continue to be made - which they will - this team should be competitive in the MAC. So far, no one in the MAC has seemed head and shoulders above anyone else.

 

Ever the optimist! I like that.

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16 hours ago, Let'sGoZips94 said:

 

This. We were statistically outperforming MSU through a quarter and a half, minus the turnovers. I think we kept out playbook under wraps week 1 and sort of "sandbagged" it. Under Irons, we looked like we'd be in the running to make an appearance in Detroit on Dec. 3rd.

 

I know Undercuffler doesn't have the biggest arm and the coaching staff will switch up the playbook to fit Undercuffler's abilities. However, I was watching him struggle to throw basic out routes. Do you think any of that could've been nerves? Or will his playbook just not have those plays as much?

I’m sure nerves played a part of it. I think what I originally posted about Undercuffler when he committed was that his strength was on throws 20 yards and in. The zip on his passes seems to fall off some on anything beyond that. He definitely struggled throwing those out routes from the far hash. Maybe he completes them against lesser competition? But that type of throw isn’t a strength of his.

 

A few times he climbed and moved around in the pocket really well. For instance, there was one play where he gave himself some time, stepped up, and found a wide open Wiley. Unfortunately, he threw it right at Wiley’s feet for an incompletion. He threw a few nice balls at other times at well. So there is some potential there and he is with the right staff to get the best out of him. I hate that we face Tennessee next week as they are likely going to make both our offense and defense look rough.

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OK folks, take a deep breath. Akron was not going to hang with MSU(the check is in the mail). They are not going to hang with Tennessee(the check is in the mail). The Liberty game might be closer,but not going to be a win. If the BGSU game goes south then there is more of a problem than we thought. Relax until 10-1-22.

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13 hours ago, catdaddyp said:

A few thoughts from yesterday:

 

- The OL (and Irons) looked much better and were moving the ball until the turnover bug reared it’s ugly head. That’s the kind of improvement I expected to see from this staff. Good things are on the horizon…..but it probably won’t be in the next two weeks due to the opponents.

 

- Undercuffler had a rough outing, but I’m not ready to throw him under the bus. He does not have as big an arm as Irons and struggles to make certain throws, but we had an idea that would be the case from his FCS film. I trust the staff will curtail the game plan around Undercuffler in the coming weeks and put him in a position to be as successful as he can be, while limiting the throws/plays he struggles with. He has enough arm strength to move the offense down the field, but the deep balls and cross field throws will have to be minimized. He will get more comfortable with more reps.

 

- We landed some really good to solid players out of the portal in SJL, George, Banks, Whigan, Banes (looked much better), and Wiley on offense. On defense Jones, Harper, Terry, and Golden-Nelson have been the key pickups. I wondered why we did not see some of the other players on the roster in Week 1 and we found out why against MSU. The best players were already seeing the field. While there is certainly some potential waiting in the wings, some players just are not ready to help us yet. Maybe that changes by conference play?

 

- I really like the front 4 combo of Jones, Harper, Wilson, Johnson. Along with Bubba and Terry at LB. Lewis continued his active play at Nickel and Golden-Nelson has done a nice job at CB. MSU picked on Hooks all game long at the other CB spot. Safety play was better at times in the run game, but still struggled against the pass. I do not know what the answer is there outside of hoping our current rotation continues to improve. 


- I do not feel the final score is indicative of what this team could become. Are we were we need to be? Absolutely not. Irons going down and the turnovers completely doomed us yesterday. But if improvements continue to be made - which they will - this team should be competitive in the MAC. So far, no one in the MAC has seemed head and shoulders above anyone else.

 

 

Thanks for the insights. I am 2 for 2 on September Saturday weddings this year but what is more important, right? 🤔

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I thought that, until Irons was injured, it was the best a Zips team had looked since we beat Northwestern. Great offensive play calling and execution (sans turnovers, of course)...fast and aggressive on defense. We looked like we belonged on the same field as a solid Big10 team, for an extended period of time. 

 

I wasn't too keen on seeing more of Irons running. Not because he isn't a great running QB, but because he's not proven to be the most durable Zips QB. And he's our key to a competitive season.  

 

I was so encouraged by how we looked to begin the game...and by the beginning of the 4th quarter I had to turn the TV off. I've seen how that type of beatdown plays out too many times over the past few years. You get tired of repeatedly hearing the opponent's fight song, and seeing the opposing fans mugging for the camera and dancing in the stands.

 

Undercuffler has less arm strength than Irons, less pocket awareness, and can't run nearly as well. It is a big step down. I hope Irons is healthy by MAC time. With him healthy, we are a solid MAC team, and can win at least 4 MAC games. Without him, I don't know how much Joe can coach up a kid who's glory days were 3 years ago, against the likes of Central Connecticut State, Bryant and Lafayette. If anyone can, it's Joe. Maybe we run the wishbone against the Vols next week? 😁

 

I'll be in Knoxville. I've seen the Zips lose every game they've played against a P5/G5 opponent  not named BGSU for the past 4 calendar years, so waiting another week or two for Joe and Co to start seeing results of their work in the win column ain't no big thing. 🦘💪

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18 hours ago, Lee Adams said:

OK folks, take a deep breath. Akron was not going to hang with MSU(the check is in the mail). They are not going to hang with Tennessee(the check is in the mail). The Liberty game might be closer,but not going to be a win. If the BGSU game goes south then there is more of a problem than we thought. Relax until 10-1-22.

Got to agree with Lee. Our team is a work in progress. I went to the MSU game and came away hopeful. I realize Irons is hurt, perhaps for a long time. Joe will find a replacement altho we may lose game we counted on winning. But our OL got better. They protected and opened holes. The DL looks much improved and showed they are capable of putting pressure on the QB. The game is won on the lines and we are setting a solid foundation. We have to solve problems in the secondary and at LB. Joe called a good game. Not so sure on the defensive side.

 

So we are a team of a lot of new, moving parts. Chemistry is building. The only tradition we have to rely on is bad tradition. We need time. The culture is changing and when it changes completely we will win. In Jo We Trust.

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The Zips may be a "work in progress" and have "a lot of moving parts", but they are highly thought of by those responsible for ranking FBS teams. Witness, MSUs victory over the Zips vaulted the Spartans 3 spots in the AP poll to #11 and 2 spots in the Coaches poll to #9. Now if that's not respect, I don't know what is. GO ZIPS 

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2 hours ago, Zipmeister said:

The Zips may be a "work in progress" and have "a lot of moving parts", but they are highly thought of by those responsible for ranking FBS teams. Witness, MSUs victory over the Zips vaulted the Spartans 3 spots in the AP poll to #11 and 2 spots in the Coaches poll to #9. Now if that's not respect, I don't know what is. GO ZIPS 

You are clearly a guy that says the glass is half full. Bring on the Vols. 

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