1. The Tech defense is salty: If anybody would have thought Tech would be the worst defense in the conference in 2010 raise your hand? No one? Good. Coach Glasgow nobody on this blog in 2011 wants to see a Raider defense torched either. Aside from the friendly confines of the Jones the Raiders are going to need to slap down and skull drag the majority of their opponents in order to not put the Seth Doege led offense in a hole and flinging desperation passes all over the field. Three things strike me as important to that effect - 1. Get a down linemen rotation going which always has a rush end like D. Bush, Leon Mackey or Scot Smith (Free Scotty).. I think you want the Left offensive tackle always worn out chasing the speedier defensive end . 2. In our end of the field don’t play man coverage especially against the big receivers Mizzou, aTm, OSU and OU are going to field, I mean we aren’t going to win these jump ball events. Our corners are like all the other corners small fast guys who can’t catch so they play defense. The damage report: OU’s Ryan Broyles 3 x scores, Mizzou ‘s T.J. Moe and M. Egnew have 182 receptions between them and 11 scores from 2010, OSU’s Justin Blackmon 1 x score and 207 yards versus Tech and aTm’s Jeff Fuller 1 x score and was part of a record setting Aggie explosion of 449 yards in the air allowed. So these 5 x receivers accounted for over 600 yards and 5 scores on last year’s Tech passing Defense. Help Coach. 3. If we’re going to blitz let’s do it on a running situation or in an obvious long throwing down. I can’t count how many times I saw B. Duncan, S.Fehoko or B. Bird picked up and chipped away from the QB or just cut and the running back sprinted outside. It was lots and speaks to inherent lack of pressure on QB’s; Pressure was a dirty word - the Tech defense could not generate much. More pressure Coach.
2. Running it doesn’t mean on every first down - lets strive to see a little defensive indecision inflicted upon our opponents in the play calling. Coach Neal Brown the predictability of the wig wag is playing against us, what I mean is everyone figured out Tech had 63.4 %(+) chance (predeliction) of running on first down from a throwing formation. We get it.. look like something you are not but the def coord’s got it too, they run stunted and blitzed up front so Tech RB’s don’t get 5 yards, we get 3.2 yards this lands you in a unpleasant 2nd and long and they know we are throwing an out route. I am not an expert on football deception but sheesh. They of course are now in press man or cover 2 with an extra D back because we take so long to call a play the other guy subbed in his counter pass package.. The mix has got to focus on beating one of the def down line men and getting a hat on some linebacker preferably right where the Tech running back is going. So between Coach Moore and Coach Brown could you two please address this schematically?
3.Throw it to the open guy - nobody needs to be the favorite guy(s) just get it to whoever has 4 yards plus separation; a completion equals YAC / RAC. This really speaks to the evening out of receptions in this venue we don’t need 2 x guys with 170 catches and the 5 other receivers with 30 or less. What would be ideal is 6 guys with 50 (+) catches and 3 more guys with 20 plus. The commensurate amount of fade, slant, pick play crossing route TDs executed. I think 30 plus wide out scores thru the air in 2011 but it could be higher. And the talented RB’s are likely to catch 5 - 7 scores as well. Touches equals opportunities for first downs which equals more time for the defense to stay off the field. Coaches Mainord and Cumby get the ball to the open guy?
4. Tight Ends on the roster does not mean power sweeps - we only have 2.5 (not going down the Sally James road) (again) it’s not a panacea for power I football just let the guy catch or block on the middle screen. In fact Trahan may get a lot more touches than Amero. Someone said on this blog (bleedredandblack or oldschool? ) we should see the TE's get touchs out of play action off the "Pistol" formation. Seems effective to me but more plays in the playbook equals less practice per play equals more complexity which ends up with less effective execution. Not to look back. We are moving forward. We have tight ends or really big H backs. Who look like linemen with wheels, Okay let them not limit but expand touches. TE's are blockers too..
5. Offensive line play needs a minimum of 5 pancakes per game> I would like to see the offensive linemen get a more dominating series of performances find the DT/ DE that can be pushed around and lay them out. This is the weak point which gets exploited over and over until the def coord over compensates and you toss in the play action / screen and the explosive play is generated. Mickey Okafor, Lonnie Edwards, LaAdrian Waddle all have the potential to be All Big 12 by seasons end ..Coach Moore I like syrup on my pancakes..
6. Who dominates is not important: A Running Back is the preferred guy (historically @ Tech - over the last 11 seasons - they always get 20 plus touches a game by position) and a wide out is okay. See Corndog (Cornelius Douglas) or Alex Torres. The offense is going to generated over 3000 yards. Someone is the "weapon" but balance being defined as touches, the effective dagger in the heart touches yields 6.7 -8.9 yards a pop. Since we have so many good,serviceable backs Daniel, McCray, Stephens, Crawford (Jeffers if he recovers) it’s likely one them gets 300 yards receiving and 650 - 900 rushing over the season; if the blocking gets better you might see a stretch where a back pops out for 140 - 150 yards a game (not talking about OU, aTm, UT) but any other opponent might let this happen. The other weapon the wide outs typically get fewer touches 3 - 9 per outing but can pop the 30 - 60 yard sprint on a missed tackle. Just based on the 2.5 deep it’s unlikely anyone breaks out for 12-15 catches in a single game. Not impossible just unlikely.
7. The leading tacklers better not be a safety: TCU safeties are run stuffers but the leading tacklers are linebackers. In the 4-2-5 DE’s strip blockers, DT’s clog running lanes, the Linebackers tackle people in space & the Safeties clean up the leakers. Or force the action back inside to the pursuit. If Cody Davis or Brett Dewhurst ends up with close to 100 tackle this year then I say Coach Chad Glasgow failed to get the new scheme installed or coached up. It’s exactly like when former Tech Safeties Joe Garcia and Darcel McBath lead the team in 2007 2008 - it means we are getting blocked on the front "6".
8. No missed Field goals inside the 20 yard line: Nervous, nervous, nervous though it’s got to be a kicker’s competition the new kid from Blinn Jr. College needs a chance. I am not convinced Donnie Carona can get air under the ball close to the goal line. The nature of what Neal brown is trying to do dictates that we aren’t going to kick (Attempt) more than 8 or 10 FG’s a season but since we have penchant for keeping it close let’s not take point off the board by missing FG’s. Getting up by 2 plus scores is very demoralizing and I can’t help but think an improved defensive stance is going to remove a couple of scoring opportunities per game. So our chances are so much the better. Tubs is after all a conventional guy. Learning to be a spread guy. Or maybe he is a CEO guy letting his coordinators learn to be Head coaches…
9. Sacks equals take aways: 15 Tech sacks equals a 7 - 5 at the finish line; 20 sacks equals a 9-3 season; 28 sacks equals a 10 - 2 campaign.. this all speaks to the disturbing defensive trend of giving up explosive plays at inopportune times. One 2010 vignette; Ticket City bowl front end of the 4th period your Raiders have a 2 score lead on Northwestern, Tech has just pressured the NU QB inot an incomplet , Wildcats are in a fourth and 10+ on the 17 yard line and Techs defense promptly allows the RS freshmen QB to throw an out route (just over the cornerbacks (Mr. Neboh I think) fingertips) into the end zone. It’s now a one score game. This illustrates the frustration of the entire year. What the team is needing is outstanding rushing DE play, they need a couple guys dueling on the edge producing 8-12 sacks each to effectively erase a possession in each half. Do that and someone else’s offensive scheme is in the toilet..
10. Red zone efficiency equals Big 12 champions: Against the Aggies, Mizzou, Ut, OSU, and Ou the Raiders aren’t going to get a lot of opportunities to score. If they putz around and punt 3 times in the first period like the 2010 guys did against Iowa state and OSU, they will be the guys trailing by two scores. Far better to be in a shoot out as opposed to a stern chase. We all know this, all I am saying is go down the field punch it in and kick the extra point (every time) and do it over and over. If R. Erxlaben never punts because Carona is kicking off due to a Raider score that’s fine with me. Thing is barring a massive uptick in take aways, sacks and pass break up you are not going to see extra chances for the Raider offense. In all the above mentioned five games especially I expect that besides the obligatory beginning of the half KO possession all they will get is 6 - 7 offensive possessions. The Raiders can’t miss scoring on at least five of those opportunities against this caliber of opponents. You have got to figure there will be couple of forced fumbles or interceptions per half, whichever team converts the turnover to points gets the "bulge" on the other.* * = "Bulge" is a N. B. Forest civil war era term connoting unreasonable fear or apprehension.
My first 10 things list of the new season. Fire away fellow Raider fans.