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Game # 4: @ Liberty Flames


GoZips86
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How big is this injury?

 

Check out this article recapping Liberty vs Southern Miss.

 

"What we thought was going to be the Charlie Brewer era at Liberty lasted only nine minutes. Liberty did not move the ball that well on the Golden Eagles during his time. I thought it was from poor play, but sources stated Brewer left with an apparent fracture hand.

Johnathan Bennett stepped up and brought spark with the play of his legs. It reminded me a little of the Malik Willis days, but one problem for Bennett was inaccuracy. Bennett was 7/18 for 37 yards and two INT’s which everyone could tell you, that is not getting the job done. The second-string QB’s last play was a pick-six leading to a 10-17 deficit in the fourth quarter. Then out of desperation, Kaidon Salter, the third string comes into the game. Not only did his presence on the field look like he was QB1, but he won the game! He brought the Flames back from deficits of 10-17 and 17-24 in the fourth. He by far was the most accurate QB of the night throwing for 8/13 for 148 yards with two TD’s and one INT. Salter was also effective with his legs rushing for 65 yards and being the leading rusher. All of that in one quarter and 4OT periods is impressive."

 

 

Also of note, Liberty gave up 252 rush yds on 54 attempts to Southern Miss. Maybe we'll finally be able to run the ball.

Edited by Let'sGoZips94
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Another one I can't watch, but will be listening in. Dave Skoczen is okay, but I miss Frenchy. He definitely wasn't what he used to be, but he was fun to listen to a lot of the time and told the story of the game very well. The complaining went a bit too far toward the end, but I'll forever miss listening to him call games. 

 

I haven't had the chance to watch much Liberty, so I'm thankful to a few of our posters giving a nice scouting report. With the report of the QB situation, the line has gone down a few points. The Zips are +26.5 as I write this. I look at Liberty as if they're a very good MAC team this year, perhaps the talent level of a team that's favored to win the MAC. With that said, they're in a bit of a rebuilding phase after losing a freak QB last year. And their coach, while a scumbag, is a hell of a coach. This is a very challenging game for Akron, but not impossible.

 

While the SFU game was a near disaster, I think this will give us a better idea of what we're looking at with the Zips this year than any of the other three games. Joe said after SFU that in camp leading up to the game, he felt a sense of excitement and looseness, and once we got to September 1, he felt a cloud of anxiety over the team, and they played like it. Fortunate to get that W. Just as Liberty was fortunate to get one over So. Miss to open the season. 

 

The results the last two weeks have been extremely frustrating, so far beyond getting blown out when you know you're going to get blown out. A couple of fumbles in the red zone when moving the ball, dropped passes, dropped touchdowns, it's just been annoying. But I would much rather have that issue than overall constipation like we've seen on offense the last couple of seasons. At some point, you hope to see a breakthrough where those missed opportunities and field goals start turning into touchdowns. While I don't expect Joe to empty the playbook, I see this game as a great opportunity to show the college football world that Akron football isn't going to be what they think it is anymore. Liberty has won a lot recently, and their players know how to win. Akron's players have won just as often as they've eaten Thanksgiving dinner over the last 4 years. 

 

I don't expect to win, but I truly expect this to be a semi-competitive game. I see no reason why it shouldn't be. Here's how I will look at the results:

 

1. Zips get blown out and Liberty covers with ease--we've got a looooong road ahead, and will be fortunate to win another game, let alone two in MAC play

2. Zips keep it within a couple scores, and maybe even have a chance to tie in the second half--IMO, this should be the minimum expectation at this point. While I'm not expecting this to be a championship team in 2022, I'm going to hold Joe to a high standard, you can see it in his eye and hear it in his voice that he is going to get this going, and that he's not just going to bow down and accept mediocrity, even this year. While I wouldn't mind if he plays this one conservative and waits until MAC play to turn it up, I would like to think he would realize how much of a statement and how meaningful a win or competitive fight would be. 

3. Back and forth game and the Zips either lose close or win close--The more this group can figure out how to win and play in close games, the better this season will turn out. It's almost a blessing that SFU went the way it did. They saw themselves pull out a close ball game where they trailed a lot of the way. And it was perhaps a bit of a wake-up call. In the previous regime, though they didn't play in many close games, when they did they would pee down their leg (Miami 2019, OU 2020, WMU 2021).

 

I'm antsy. I'm ready to see Akron football turn the corner. It's been too damn long. I believe in you, Joe! Make us proud! Go Zips!

 

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40 minutes ago, ZippyRulz said:

How many of our players are out because of the MSU and UT games?

 

I’m assuming Terry was injured against MSU because he did not play at Tennessee. Boateng and JKP were injured against Tenn, but I don’t know their status.  Of course the Irons situation. Seems like Bubba missed some game time at some point too.

 

Overall, that’s nothing out of the ordinary. 

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38 minutes ago, 94zipgrad said:

I hear they got a RB down & with the new QB they are going 4 wide & both our old recruits will be on the field

Shredo is a nice gadget type RB for them, but Sibley doesn't yet have a reception this year, though did appear to have 2 targets last week.

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Liberty – Bowden’s ULM team beat these guys last year. Why not the Zips? Probably because we don’t yet have the horses. I’ll bet on an entertaining, high-scoring game. Zips cover, but lose.

My prediction from the July Season Prediction thread. I still feel the Zips will cover.

 

Maybe with the opponent's injuries, it'll be closer than I thought?

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IMHO (I'm completely out of my depth when analyzing OL play) our OL has gotten MUCH better since Week 1.  They were able to pass block with much more success against MSU & TN than they did against lowly StFU.  We were a sieve against FCS StFU.

 

Did replacing Xavier Gray with Jordan Daniels really make that much of a difference?  

🤯🤯🤯

Another consideration for someone(s) with a higher Football IQ than me: Were we possibly StFU's "Super Bowl" so they threw everything but the kitchen sink at us (scheme wise) & were able to confuse our OL, while MSU & TN knew they'd handle us rather easily so just ran vanilla defensive schemes so as to not put too much on tape for their future B1G & SEC opponents, respectively, thus making it more simple to block & therefore I'm just getting my hopes up for our OL for no good reason?

 

 

Edited by Blue & Gold
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1 hour ago, Blue & Gold said:

IMHO (I'm completely out of my depth when analyzing OL play) our OL has gotten MUCH better since Week 1.  They were able to pass block with much more success against MSU & TN than they did against lowly StFU.  We were a sieve against FCS StFU.

 

Did replacing Xavier Gray with Jordan Daniels really make that much of a difference?  

🤯🤯🤯

Another consideration for someone(s) with a higher Football IQ than me: Were we possibly StFU's "Super Bowl" so they threw everything but the kitchen sink at us (scheme wise) & were able to confuse our OL, while MSU & TN knew they'd handle us rather easily so just ran vanilla defensive schemes so as to not put too much on tape for their future B1G & SEC opponents, respectively, thus making it more simple to block & therefore I'm just getting my hopes up for our OL for no good reason?

 

 

I think there were a number of different issues going on against SFU. Despite some of the players having extensive PT last year, they were all new to each other in a game environment - meaning the person next to them was not someone they played beside previously in a game. Cohesion and understanding what the person next to you is doing, or is going to do, is invaluable on the OL.

 

SFU threw a number of slants, twists, and blitzes at us that caused some confusion. In the long run that helps with our OL’s development, but it’s difficult to watch during the game itself.

 

The scout team had no way of simulating the actual speed and efficiency that SFU’s defense was doing to play with. As the season goes on, that part of it is not as big of a deal because the players have adjusted, have experience, and it starts to shift more on the side of what we do best vs what the opponent is going to do. I’m not saying it’s not important what the opponent does, just in the way that our OL has already seen a variety of looks so it will not be their first time experiencing it.

 

If I recall correctly, SFU also played with a nose the majority of the game which can wreak havoc on the interior of the OL. If that defender can fire off quickly at the snap, it causes the interior OL (especially the Center) to be on their heels.

 

Daniels moves much better than Gray. Gray has what I call “heavy feet.” He’s massive, but just doesn’t move well enough at this stage. Hopefully, he’ll work hard and improve to give us a viable option down the line. 

Edited by catdaddyp
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1 hour ago, Blue & Gold said:

IMHO (I'm completely out of my depth when analyzing OL play) our OL has gotten MUCH better since Week 1.  They were able to pass block with much more success against MSU & TN than they did against lowly StFU.  We were a sieve against FCS StFU.

 

Did replacing Xavier Gray with Jordan Daniels really make that much of a difference?  

🤯🤯🤯

Another consideration for someone(s) with a higher Football IQ than me: Were we possibly StFU's "Super Bowl" so they threw everything but the kitchen sink at us (scheme wise) & were able to confuse our OL, while MSU & TN knew they'd handle us rather easily so just ran vanilla defensive schemes so as to not put too much on tape for their future B1G & SEC opponents, respectively, thus making it more simple to block & therefore I'm just getting my hopes up for our OL for no good reason?

 

 

IMHO

SFU stunted up front and brought blitzes from somewhere every play & we was bad in all phases of handling that.  
1.  Communication between lineman on stunts is huge

2.  Back picking up missed blitzes

3.  Play calls to hit blitzes where they hurt, quick slants etc.

4.  QB knowing who the hot read is

 

but replacing gray was huge cause he gets edged rushed to death & once he gets out there & they cut in & slap an arm he damn near falls down with no balance & good footwork

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Also keep in mind that JoeMo held the offense back week 1. A simplified offense can make blocking harder; you're not giving as many looks to the defense, so they can more or less pin their ears back.

 

The same thing happened in the Tennessee game, as we let Irons run. The difference is the 2 weeks of actual game play to get more acclimated as an OLine group (and swapping Gary out). 

 

 

Side note: love how analytical this coaching staff is. Utilizing PFF is incredibly nice for promoting the program and showcasing the direction we are headed in. 

 

Spoiler alert: that direction is "up"

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Just now, GoZips86 said:

We can win this game tomorrow. With Liberty's injuries, the Zips can win the game if they don't shoot themselves in the foot like they have done every game so far this season.

 

I'm keeping positive. Unlike last week, I'm amped for this game! 

 

This is quite the opportunity to make our mark. Those injuries for Liberty are a massive equalizer.

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Take this for what it’s worth regarding the improvement and who is now playing on our OL. Here are the snaps and ratings from 2021.

 

Chambers = 8 games - 347 snaps - 29.6

Gray = 7 games - 344 snaps - 42.1

Murphy = 11 games - 692 snaps - 50.1
Williams = 6 games - 326 snaps - 59.9

Daniels = 9 games - 327 snaps - 49.7

Beckman = 12 games - 780 snaps - 48.4

Robarge = 10 games - 613 snaps - 56.1

Georges = 10 games - 608 snaps - 44.3

 

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