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Game 3 Thoughts


catdaddyp
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- Irons looked fantastic. From his pocket movement, to decisions, to ball placement, he was excellent against a strong P5 defense.

- Tennessee showed a different defensive front than MSU and our OL really struggled getting any push in the run game. 

- Once the run game gets going, this offense will be fun to watch as that’s when JoeMo becomes so good at finding all the mismatches/open receivers. That’s predicated on a successful run game though.

- Caden Clark saw playing time, but is clearly behind Banks and Brank. He has the ability to become a really good player once he settles in.

- Wiley tried, but was often bullied in pass pro.

- Still not sure why Norrils is not receiving more PT. He’s done some good things the past two games.

 

- Bubba had a whale of a game. 
- Thompson and Martin were second and third in tackles respectively but that is misleading. They missed their fair share of tackles and were often late coming down to help or did not squeeze their run fits well, which led to big runs by the offense.

- No one in the secondary was spared this game. Tennessee went after Hooks and Hence first half and was unbiased in the second half.

- Robinson saw his most minutes at DT and had a few promising plays. He’s not much of a pass rusher, but can be a force in the run game when lined up correctly and fires off quickly.

- Harper was doubled almost all game.

- As athletic as Fish is he really struggled with Tennessee’s counter and misdirection plays, often getting caught badly out of position or allowing a block to climb to him.

- Thomas was used as a DE first half and was ineffective. He tried speed rushing but that caused a loss of contain and he rarely got close to the QB.

- I did not see Terry this game and Boateng started.

- I don’t think Golden-Nelson played the first quarter. Not sure what was going on there. Hooks and Durant started at CB, Lewis at Nickel, Thompson and Martin at S.

 

 

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I was also very encouraged by DJ. He got real fired up and played with a lot of emotion, but used it to his advantage instead of letting it get under his skin to make mistakes. That was awesome, haven’t seen a Zips QB do something like that in a while. As for the drops, unacceptable and those will lose us MAC games. Adam’s would’ve been inside the 10, and Brank cost the offense a valuable touchdown. George with a costly fumble too. Nice game from Tony Grimes, I’m glad this staff is putting him to use. 
 

My concerns with the defense as a whole stay the same. I liked some of the run defense, when Tennessee ran between the tackles, the front wasn’t always getting bullied. But as a whole? This whole group lacks speed, and some bad penalties too. No bueno. 
 

Special teams—stellar move by Gettman to avoid the block! He punted pretty well. I also like Perez at PK. I’ve never been a big Smigel fan, and Perez is 100% on kicks Smigel has been missing. 

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Spot on thought as usual, IMO. Only other things I’d add are:

I thought pass protection was good the first 3 quarters. Think Irons was only sacked once at that point, though he did take a few other hits.

 

Wiley in general hasn’t impressed me much yet. Agree on Norrils getting more PT. 
 

Seemed to me we took the Irons designed runs out of the playbook, which makes sense considering it was suprising he played. 
 

still like all of our WR threats even though Adams and Brank had inexcusable drops.
 

The offense should be fun to watch during conference play. Defense is the wildcard. The injuries starting to pile up and Robinson and Threatt not working out thus far hurts as well. We had high expectations for them. I hope we can get Amankwaa and Richardson back. Both have been out with injury thus far and both are upgrades to the current starters IMO.

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Really impressed with Irons (and again, screw the announcers for encouraging him to go to transfer portal so much. I don't care if it was joking, it irritated me so much). He has made strides in just a year, and I really like him being the leader of our offense.

 

I agree about Wiley, not too impressed so far. And Norrils should play more. Is he in the dog house or something?

 

With that, I agree with all the others points being made. To trim down my post, I'll just say even though MSU and TN were rough games, I think when MAC play starts the Zips will be able to win games. If anything, they will make games tight. The past 2 games (and maybe Liberty?) have been rough due to being completely outmatched, but I think we can and will compete in the MAC this season.

 

In Joe we trust. Go Zips!

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Excellent post as usual.

 

I love our open field tackling. It seems like we're missing far less tackles in space, which is setting up more and longer 2nd & 3rd downs for the opponents.

 

DJ is a stud. As annoying as the commentators were, they were right about him being P5 material - if he keeps up this level of play & poise. 

 

Our offense is going to be an issue for the MAC. Two straight weeks we've been able to move the ball, at least for solid stretches, against Top 25 P5 opponents. Scoring has come at a premium due to having to be perfect to overcome the talent difference, but I have zero concerns vs the MAC. We should also be able to run the ball better, which will open up the passing game.

 

Lastly, part of my confidence in our success in the MAC this year stems from the level of our coaching. We've gone against two coaching staffs that have a combined payroll that equals or surpasses the MAC's entire media revenue for the year. We will be able to outcoach most of our MAC opponents, and it will come down to execution. 

 

Bring on Liberty. 

Edited by Let'sGoZips94
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5 minutes ago, GoZips86 said:

Really impressed with Irons (and again, screw the announcers for encouraging him to go to transfer portal so much. I don't care if it was joking, it irritated me so much). He has made strides in just a year, and I really like him being the leader of our offense.

Was it Bob Kesling? You can email him and let him know at kesling@tennessee.edu

 

17 minutes ago, LZIp said:

Wiley in general hasn’t impressed me much yet. 

His pass protection last night was a failing grade. 

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38 minutes ago, LZIp said:

I hope we can get Amankwaa and Richardson back. Both have been out with injury thus far and both are upgrades to the current starters IMO.

Thanks for reminding me of Amankwaa and Richardson.  Amankwaa led the team in interceptions last season.  And we sent Richardson (along with DJ) as one of our two player representatives to Detroit for MAC Media Day, didn't we?

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Irons looks REALLY good to me but Shocky Jacques-Louis has been amazing averaging nearly 7 catches per game.  He certainly has taken the sting off Mumpfield leaving.  As a player and now a fan I love playing against the P5 teams but I there was a way we could get out of them for next next year or two.  We can't afford injuries and I would to get Ws

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6 hours ago, LZIp said:

Spot on thought as usual, IMO. Only other things I’d add are:

I thought pass protection was good the first 3 quarters. Think Irons was only sacked once at that point, though he did take a few other hits.

 

Wiley in general hasn’t impressed me much yet. Agree on Norrils getting more PT. 
 

Seemed to me we took the Irons designed runs out of the playbook, which makes sense considering it was suprising he played. 
 

still like all of our WR threats even though Adams and Brank had inexcusable drops.
 

The offense should be fun to watch during conference play. Defense is the wildcard. The injuries starting to pile up and Robinson and Threatt not working out thus far hurts as well. We had high expectations for them. I hope we can get Amankwaa and Richardson back. Both have been out with injury thus far and both are upgrades to the current starters IMO.

Frustrating drops by Adams and Banks for sure. On the bright side, they were able to get open against a solid secondary and without the threat of any run game. 
 

You’re right, neither Threatt nor Robinson have panned out so far. Threatt missed a tackle in open space that led to a TD and I don’t think he got in the game again after that. The good news is Robinson made a few productive plays, so while he’s not anywhere close to what we hoped, he’s at least starting to contribute. Threatt is listed as a redshirt freshman so he still has plenty of time to develop in the coming years. Although, we could certainly use him this year.

 

We have so many new faces and a lot of inexperience, I feel some things we’ve seen in the past few games will get corrected over time. I expect to see our pass rush pick up when we hit MAC play which would help our secondary. I’d think our run fits would be better too. It’d be nice to get Amankwaa and Richardson back sooner than later though.

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13 hours ago, catdaddyp said:

- Irons looked fantastic. 

 

 

What is the color of the sky in your world?  When you lose by 57 points and do not score a TD, nobody looks fantastic.  Please post the cool aid recipe that you are drinking so I can be an endless optimist.  Irons is probably the best option we have, but the game was an embarassment.  Irons was successful on short passes, but he did nothing to put the Zips in position to win.  I see other MAC schools scoring multiple TD's on other FBS opponents.  Also, lowly BG beat Marshall who beat ND who played competitively with the Suckeyes.  Also, Eastern Michigan beat Arizona State and Akron is awful, to be polite.  I hope that the fortunes change, but I see no improvement over Arth.

Go Zips!!!

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28 minutes ago, bigjim said:

What is the color of the sky in your world?  When you lose by 57 points and do not score a TD, nobody looks fantastic.  Please post the cool aid recipe that you are drinking so I can be an endless optimist.  Irons is probably the best option we have, but the game was an embarassment.  Irons was successful on short passes, but he did nothing to put the Zips in position to win.  I see other MAC schools scoring multiple TD's on other FBS opponents.  Also, lowly BG beat Marshall who beat ND who played competitively with the Suckeyes.  Also, Eastern Michigan beat Arizona State and Akron is awful, to be polite.  I hope that the fortunes change, but I see no improvement over Arth.

Go Zips!!!

Have to disagree with you there. Irons was able to throw the ball for 241 yards even with Tennessee knowing he’d have to throw the ball. He finished with an overall rating of 118.7 and a PFF rating of 77. There can be standout players even in losses. Marshall and Notre Dame aren’t on the same level as Tennessee. Maybe in year’s past, but not in 2022. Notre Dame lost to an unranked Cal team this past weekend, FYI. The first game we played shouldn’t have been that close, I will give you that. But we were overmatched against MSU and against an even better Tennessee team. Liberty is also further ahead of us but I expect to see a more competitive game this Saturday than the previous two weeks. MAC play will be the true test. This team is already more fundamentally sound than Arth’s teams in just about every area. I also think I’ve been pretty forthcoming about our weaknesses and where we need to improve.

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31 minutes ago, catdaddyp said:

Have to disagree with you there. Irons was able to throw the ball for 241 yards even with Tennessee knowing he’d have to throw the ball. He finished with an overall rating of 118.7 and a PFF rating of 77. There can be standout players even in losses. Marshall and Notre Dame aren’t on the same level as Tennessee. Maybe in year’s past, but not in 2022. Notre Dame lost to an unranked Cal team this past weekend, FYI. The first game we played shouldn’t have been that close, I will give you that. But we were overmatched against MSU and against an even better Tennessee team. Liberty is also further ahead of us but I expect to see a more competitive game this Saturday than the previous two weeks. MAC play will be the true test. This team is already more fundamentally sound than Arth’s teams in just about every area. I also think I’ve been pretty forthcoming about our weaknesses and where we need to improve.

First of all, you are the best and most competent poster that the Zips nation has ever seen, so I really respect your comments.  However, when I see something that I totally disagree with, I will comment.  As an alumnus and former athlete, I love my Zips, and I try to be optimistic, but I will comment on points I disagree with.  I apologize if I was blunt and rude, but I only have to say:

Go Zips!!! 

 

PS.  Notre Dame beat Cal.  Even the best make a mistake 😀

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8 hours ago, bigjim said:

First of all, you are the best and most competent poster that the Zips nation has ever seen, so I really respect your comments.  However, when I see something that I totally disagree with, I will comment.  As an alumnus and former athlete, I love my Zips, and I try to be optimistic, but I will comment on points I disagree with.  I apologize if I was blunt and rude, but I only have to say:

Go Zips!!! 

 

PS.  Notre Dame beat Cal.  Even the best make a mistake 😀

You are absolutely correct, it was Marshall that beat ND last week I was thinking about. Ask my wife and she’ll tell you I constantly make mistakes. Haha. But I’ll also argue ND is overrated and will have more losses coming their way.

 

I didn’t take your comments as being rude and it’s 100% ok if we disagree and see something differently. I also appreciate the compliment as we have some excellent posters here. 
 

Don’t get me wrong, getting our tails handed to us by the scores we’ve seen is not ok. I’m not going to get into the scheduling debate about who made the schedule and why, but this three game stretch (not including week 1) would be difficult for any of the first year head coaches at non-P5 schools.

 

I try to watch the action and ignore the score (especially when watching these types of games) starting with the line of scrimmage and moving out. I’m encouraged by the progress we see each week and can also say we have some players who are better than anyone we saw last year playing on our OL and DL. For example, Banes and Whigan have been solid additions to the OL, while Harper and Jones have been solid on the DL. We are also witnessing returning guys like Lewis take advantage of the coaching change and new scheme.

 

Positives are happening. It’s just not easy to see with the schedule we’ve played and the issue of depth/talent still not quite up to par at certain positions - at least not to give us any type of upset potential against top 25 teams. That’ll change over the coming years, but we still have an opportunity to make a statement when MAC play arrives. While some mistakes are being made, I’m not seeing nearly as many egregious ones as we saw last year.

Edited by catdaddyp
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26 minutes ago, LZIp said:

Really impressive when you consider our first 3 games might have been the toughest out of anyone in the country.

The only team I’d say that has played a more difficult schedule is South Carolina. Vs Georgia State in week one (hasn’t lived up to their potential), at Arkansas in week 2, vs Georgia in week 3. Granted Carolina is further ahead in their rebuild than Akron, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell from this past Saturday. Not only did Carolina lay an egg, but Georgia looks to be legitimate. I thought Alabama was the clear cut favorite before the season started, but it looks like Georgia is right up there with them…again. Stetson Bennett at QB - wow. He made me a believer.

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Unlike every other recent Akron team, this team has put itself in position to be successful many times through three games. And while I wish game 1 would've been easier, I see now that there have been some kinks being worked out, and the last two weeks you can certainly see the offense opening up. Considering a missed FG, a dropped wide open pass in the red zone, a fumble inside the 5, and a dropped TD by an All-MAC TE, it may be easy to get discouraged by the final score, but for a program with 3 wins from 2019-2021, the goal posts absolutely have to be moved when looking for improvements, especially against powerhouses like these.

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1 minute ago, GoZips86 said:

Off-topic, but those white unis with the white helmet is a snazzy look in my opinion! 🙂

Love them.  Would also like to see us work in white pants once in a while.  I love the all-white look. (From my understanding we don't have white pants this year. So maybe next.) I'm a uniform junky. I can bore the average person with uniform talk all day. 

tenor-108780254.gif.b00e7d0e8261a885d6c2ff4cddb8f103.gif

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10 minutes ago, Blue & Gold said:

Love them.  Would also like to see us work in white pants once in a while.  I love the all-white look. (From my understanding we don't have white pants this year. So maybe next.) I'm a uniform junky. I can bore the average person with uniform talk all day. 

tenor-108780254.gif.b00e7d0e8261a885d6c2ff4cddb8f103.gif

 

Haha I'm here for it my friend, I love uniform discussions too!! White pants with those jerseys and helmets would be killer!! I hope they get white pants in for next season. All in all, an upgraded look I like. And the new "A" is slick, too. 

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1 hour ago, GoZips86 said:

 

Haha I'm here for it my friend, I love uniform discussions too!! White pants with those jerseys and helmets would be killer!! I hope they get white pants in for next season. All in all, an upgraded look I like. And the new "A" is slick, too. 

 

I think we could move the uniforms from killer to serial killer if we had sequence running the complete length of both legs and fringe on the jerseys.

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On 9/18/2022 at 9:28 AM, Dr Z said:

Was it Bob Kesling? You can email him and let him know at kesling@tennessee.edu

 

His pass protection last night was a failing grade. 

 

It wasn't Kesling.  He's UT's radio announcer.  I grew up in Akron and now live in Tennessee, so I'm both an Akron and Tennessee fan.  It was Aaron Murray, the ex-Georgia Bulldog QB who was the color commentator.  He was the one who kept suggesting that Irons transfer.  One time, it may have been a joke.  Mentioning it over and over again... unprofessional and irritating.  Of course, Murray is an ex-QB of the Leg Humpers...

Edited by TennesseeZippy
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