Tuesday, September 6, 2011
But why not just run right over Boise State?
This is a thought that has haunted me since the opening snap (false start) against Boise. Why did we not just blow them off the ball and shove it down their throats? I don't understand it. I don't understand how we didn't line up, keep our pads low, and drive them backwards.
I play NCAA12 by EA sports. Now, aside from the game being horribly glitchy and an overall awful representation of what a finished product should be, it does a few things right. Namely, it does a great job of imitating Alabama's running scheme. The Alabama OL on that game is enormous, and they basically drive straight forward and pancake the defensive line. It's "video game football" at its best. My question - if we're gonna line up in Video Game unis, why not play video game football? Why would we not just pound the other team senseless?
Going into the game, I had a feeling we would pound the ball between the tackles, then, when the defense was tired, start firing it downfield to our speedy receivers. Doesn't that make sense? Would it be perfectly reasonable to expect our team to work to its strength and size, and then, only after we've tired the other guys out, start to beat them up in space? I think it makes sense. Apparently not. Apparently, the smart thing to do is come out in shotgun and try to run counters and traps, because the defense is "expecting" the pounding. This will catch them off guard and create success.
I believe I said in a blog last year that I believe in grabbing hold of a style of play, getting good at it, and then riding it until someone else can stop it. That's what the best teams do. You're not gonna see Oregon come out in a Power-I in the national title game because they've been running the spread all year, and Auburn would be ready for that. It's just plain dumb.
When you're bigger, stronger, and faster, be the bully. That's what I wanted to see - bully football. I didn't need pulling guards coming around and assisting on a block, only to completely avoid an untouched man in the middle of the hole. I didn't need to see a handoff six yards deep in the backfield instead of a dive where we rock guys off the line of scrimmage.
But, I don't make gameplans. No, I just complain about them.
To be fair to Mike Bobo, I don't think there's any way he could have imagined Aaron Murray would play so poorly. Let's be honest - the majority of Murray's mistakes were not due to a heavy pass rush. The majority of his mistakes weren't due to receivers letting him down. The majority of Murray's mistakes came as a result of his inability to produce under pressure. This game had a lot of hype on it. All eyes were on Murray. The gameplan was apparently geared toward letting him distribute the ball and make things happen...to take pressure off the tailbacks. But, the QB - supposedly the one absolute "sure thing" on the offense - did not hold up his end of the bargain. As an OC, you don't plan for that. You don't plan for your Freshman-All SEC and Pre-Season All-SEC QB to lay a fat steamer on the field at the dome.
That's the only explanation I have. Bobo must have built his gameplan around the wrong assumption - that when all else fails, Murray will deliver. He didn't. We lost.