Each week we look at how the offense performed in the game. What does the offense need to do at The Jones on Saturday night to be awarded A’s next week?
The biggest priority for the line this week will be to give QB Nic Shimonek time in the pocket. Arizona State does have 10 sacks in 2 games this year so they can be a threat in the pass rush. Also, the line needs to get the push against the Sun Devils’ defensive front like they were able to against Eastern Washington that allowed Nisby and Stockton to become a legitimate threat. However, this is a power five team, not an FCS squad.
Last week against San Diego State, running back Rashaad Penny had 18 carries for 216 yards. Clearly ASU can be run on, and Nisby and Stockton need to provide that. The passing game really got going last game once Tech had established a running attack. On passing plays when there is a back on the field, they need to pick up any blitzes or unblocked defenders so Shimonek can focus on the downfield plays.
ASU is around the middle of the pack nationwide in pass defense, but they have played SDSU and NMSU. The receivers need to run their routes cleanly and bewrae of pick plays, as there seems to be an emphasis by the officials on cutting down on these plays. Also, Cameron Batson has the potential to be a difference maker in the return game, giving the offense a shorter field. Expect to see just as many different targets in this game as usual, with players jumping in and out, as the receiving corps is rather deep, like every year at Tech.
In the season opener, Shimonek opened the game with low risk low reward throws and it led to 3 straight punts. However, it did seem to build confidence in the 5th year senior’s first career start, leading to 14 straight completions. Against ASU we need to start quicker, but maintain our efficiency and effectiveness. If Nic can do that, we should have no problem putting up points against the Sun Devils defense.