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Let’s get this thing rolling — yeah, I’ll say it again, “no moral victories”… Sure as shit had our chance to make our mark, but didn’t finish. That’s the next thing on the syllabus — how to finish. Through that game on Saturday, you saw that this team has pretty much every skill it takes to compete in this conference. Everybody knows the next step is playing 60 minutes to the plan and finishing off an opponent. Frankly, Michigan State didn’t have their shit together the first half — if you can’t finish off a bully when he’s on his heels, then he’s know he’s going to give you hell when he gets on his toes. Since we didn’t knock Sparty out, he came back and took us on points.
*No idea why, but apparently it was “Chicks Taking Pictures of Each Other” Day on Saturday — so that’s what we’ve got…
Let’s get going on these questions….
@BeingBielema: Did you stop playing after the first half today?
You’re not fucking helping, Bret.
Official explanation: Sparty was stacking the Sam and the Mike ‘backers on top of the DEs and then stacking at least one safety too. In the second half, they started shading those linebackers out a bit, but still they were packing the box with at least 8 bodies and clogging up the middle.
In the first half we had a lot of success with bubble screens and short throws in the flats, but those dried up in the 2nd half. Could we have run more? Sure, with probably the same results right into the strength of the top defense in the conference. Not sure that more throws to the TE either would have been the answer, as there was a lot of traffic out there. Could we have gotten bit more vertical? Maybe.
What we probably need to work on as coaches going forward is getting better feedback from the players and translating that into better adjustments — 17 games in, the system is taking hold, and that’s what we saw in the first half. I think we’re talking the same language and everybody is on the same page, but next step is for players to be bringing information back off the field to us so we can come up with the next the step. Sort of like how they say the best race car drivers aren’t just the ones that get around the track fastest, but also the ones that can best describe what the car needs to the mechanics.
@nikemunley: #iufb needs a little inspiration to find a breakthrough. How do you schedule Ray Lewis?
Hey Lexy — find out when the Ravens bye week is, get Nancy Boy on the blower, then have him get Ray’s digits through Harbaugh. But making sure there’s none of that chicken dancing.
@crobinson32: Why was 83 ejected from the game? I think IU recovered the fumbled punt.
Yeah, we’ve been running that tape too. Teddy Bolser is a hell of a special teams player — he put himself right in there to try and get that ball back but he had that ref standing right on top of him. Now this is just my opinion, but whatever goes on in that scrum where people can’t see is fair game. Problem was at that moment that ref was standing right over the pile and saw that Teddy may have given Sparty a bit of the business.
Still not clear what this means going into next week — after the game we said that the ejection meant that we’d lose 83 for next week against Ohio State, but on closer look that not an official conference rule. We’ll get back to you on that.
@cpedigo25: Might come out of the hurry up next time?
Lots of questions about this — like we saw in the 1st quarter, our offense really fires when we get in the rhythm. getting that quick hit, sometimes only for three yards or so, on first down is pretty damn important. But like we saw in the second half, if you don’t make that pass, or that one on 2nd down, it leads to some pretty goddamm critical 3rd down — and most of those are long. What happened Saturday in the 2nd half was a number of critical 3 and outs that took less than thirty seconds off the clock. That just means more pressure on the defense.
On the other side of this coin is what if we started landing punches? What if we keep hitting those passes, keep getting first downs, and keep on our schedule? Those cats over there in green already had there hands on their hips in the first half, so I expect that if we started moving the ball at the same pace we had earlier, we would have worn them out. Sucks that we didn’t get that chance.
The fast paced offense is sort of a “live by the sword, die by the sword sort of thing” — right now, I have to believe it’s helping us make ground on folks quicker than we would elsewise — and anyway, it’s a hell of a lot of fun to play, and hopefully watch.
@Tim_E_OBrien: Your nuts or Texas: which are bigger?
This is about the onside kick, right? Yeah, that was nice piece of business. Didn’t know if I’d be able to make it back in the locker room at half time — hell, I thought the boys would have to ride shotgun on the drive home after the game. When we have the opportunity, I think we’ll keep seeing us roll the dice once in a while on special teams and on fourth downs — gotta like the odds when you can get a 10 to 14 point swing on your opponent out of something you created on one play.
Special Teams: Erich Toth, P — When Mitchell Voss went down after Sparty crashed into his plant foot, the Brebeuf kid came in and did a hell of a job coming in cold and putting up a 41.7 yard average on seven punts, plus two holds for Ewald. This cat gave us everything we asked him for when his turn came up.
Offense: Shane Wynn, WR — Shane was the dude who got his hands on a bunch of those passes out to the sideline, making 12 catches for 70 yards. Along the way, he took some big hits and kept the talented Sparty corners on their toes.
Defense: The whole damn Defense — Best game we’ve seen from that side of the ball. Damn near dominant in the 1st quarter, and able to come up with a bunch of three and outs. My favorite thing were the deflected passes — don’t know the number, but had to be 4 or 5. Gotta love seeing Replogle & Black in their backfield giving them shit — love seeing the front seven go toe to toe with an experienced B1G O-line and punch them in the throat.
Next man up: Ohio State
Alright — let’s talk about the Ohio State game. No doubt this is the most talented team that we’ll see this year. They’ve got the whole package — talent, speed, & experience. Just like we did this past week, we’re going to keep working and come up with plan to give them our best four quarters. Gotta say we’ve made progress each game this season. This next Saturday is going to be a test if we can keep that movement going forward.
You remember those calculus test in high school or those finite exams in college where the highest score in that class was a 74? Yeah, this game might just be one of those. Not saying that we’ve got lower expectations or that we’ll be grading on a curve, but our fans need to be right there with us keeping there heads down, staying low, shoulders against the sled… Hell yeah, we’re gaining on them.
AlrightWeGood? Hell of a lot of work to do this week. Bring your best game Saturday night — we’ll leave you with this from #42: