The rout of Montana State yesterday was nothing short of awesome. There were so many new things that were showcased to fans and boosters alike. Watching again, I saw some things that I didn’t really get to notice on the first watch. Some were good, others bad, others just intriguing. Here are 5 things I noticed after re-watching the game from Montana State:
1. The Playbook was VERY limited
Now, this is one of those I’ll file under good. There’s a saying that you have to walk before you can run, and I’ll apply that here. This is a new coaching staff, with some new pieces, and even a new position that no one has seen in Lubbock in quite some time. There were very few base concepts that the Red Raiders offense ran in this game and that’s okay in my book. The even better news is that the offense ran those concepts to perfection and it resulted in many touchdowns scored.
There could be many reasons that the coaching staff decided to make this game’s playbook very simple, and I think it’s the same reason we might not see much else from this offense for at least the next two games. They don’t want the Big 12 to see what the full capability of this playbook is. I think there’s some different thing Coach Yost is going to put in that they might not have run at Utah State. It could also be that the offensive coaching staff just doesn’t want to overwhelm this new team and they just want them to be perfect at few things rather than good at many things.
We didn’t see many different plays being ran. Inside runs, wide receiver screens, and seam routes took up well over half the playbook. These were all run to perfection at times and should give us all hope going into the next few games.
2. The depth chart shouldn’t change.... much
Coach Wells told us going into this game that especially at receiver and running back there was gonna be a ton of guys playing and a ton of guys getting the ball. I honestly believed there would be some depth, but not this much. Not only did we play a ton of guys, all of those guys played well.
13 different skill guys touched the ball and almost all of them had more than one touch. That’s a huge number, even for playing against an FCS team. Everyone that had the ball made plays, it was really fun to watch, especially the guys that are or were until recently walk-ons.
I don’t think many things will change going into next week. I think Armand Shyne and Xavier White might get some more reps next week, but I don’t think that makes them the starter or even the one getting the most reps at their position.
3. Alan Bowman has control of this offense
I know, none of us should be surprised and I’m not. It is great to see that even in the early stages of this season, Bowman has complete control of where everything is going and which one of his guys he’s gonna throw the ball to. The most impressive thing to me was the speed of which Bowman got up to the line, called plays, and got the snap off compared to last year.
It’s hard for pros to make that many on-time, on-target screen passes to players as Bowman did yesterday. He didn’t throw the ball down the field all too much, which might be a welcome sight as Kingsbury loved to do nothing but throw the ball down the field and hope someone catches it. Bowman has really bought in since day 1 with Wells, and I’m happy to see that his commitment has come to fruition.
4. Running Back will be the focal point and we have 3 great ones
All three running backs had their moments yesterday. All three of them had over 75 all-purpose yards in the game with all of them getting at least 10 yards both from the air and on the ground. Armand Shyne had the most yards and the biggest play and don’t get me wrong he played very well and I think that will result in more carries next week but, the other two guys did enough to keep their spots as well.
Ta’Zhawn Henry did a very good job of keeping the ball moving forward and he showed me that he is more than a home-run hitter. He is someone that can run between the tackles and someone that can be consistently good for this team. SaRodorick Thompson did many good things in this game and I don’t think he’s even gotten started yet. He got a couple of short-yardage touchdowns but he also showed what he can do in the open field. He’s got some really great footwork and it showed yesterday.
5. Jordyn Brooks is going to lead this defense to new heights
Everyone should be impressed with the entire defense yesterday. Yes, there were some mistakes made but that should be expected with a new system and a new coaching staff. The great news is that those mistakes were few and far-between. The leader on that side of the ball yesterday was Jordyn Brooks.
Brooks not only led the team in tackles but commanded this defense and made it his own. From blitzes to coverage to run defense, Brooks played great in all facets of this defensive scheme. He got snubbed from the preseason All-Big 12 Team and I think that is something that the Big 12 voters will regret going into this season. Brooks looks ready to go and ready to make an impact this season.
These were just five of the many things I saw while re-watching this game. I’m very pleased with what I saw so far and I’m even more excited for our next game against UTEP. I think more things will be revealed once we get another look at this team.
What did you think of the game yesterday? Let us know in the comment section below!