In the last game we focused on the run game, running the football more than we passed it. This week we did the opposite. The vast majority of the plays were passes, and we seemed to have mixed success. What happened? Why did we pass it so much? To find out, let’s breakdown the first half…
Passing Game Breakdown (1st Quarter):
- The main reason we passed so much is because Tulsa’s defense was geared to stop the run. We saw this a lot last year, and it’s a smart strategy I think if you just don’t have the talent to match up with OU. Our run game is strong and there’s just nothing a lighter team can do to stop it. Our passing attack has been less consistent, so if you have to pick your poison it makes sense to go this route.
- Tulsa’s LB’s and one of the Safeties react strongly and aggressively to play-action in order to stop the run by outnumbering us in the box. They also like to play their corners up on the receivers. So, in a sense, they were daring us to throw the deep ball.
- We struggled early with the deep ball, Trevor overthrowing Shepard and then Shepard not hanging on to a couple in the end-zone when Knight did put it in the right spot.
- After throwing too long in the first couple of deep balls, Trevor tried to adjust and ended up underthrowing him later in the game. He just couldn’t quite get it right. Luckily, even with the underthrow we were able to complete a couple.
- A little over 50% of our passes in the first half (not counting the long yardage plays at the very end of the half) were play-action. That’s unusual for our offense and indicates even more strongly that we were trying to take advantage of their focus on the run. If we are going to have success on offense this year, we must be able to take advantage of defenses like this. Hopefully, with some more practice we’ll be able to connect on more of those deep balls.
- Bell’s first TD catch was a read play where the receiver runs a seam route and the QB reads the safety. If the safety comes up, he pulls the ball out and passes to the seam. Because of the way their defense was playing the run I wish we would have run this play more than twice. I say keep running it till they stop being so aggressive!
- I’ve heard several fans question why Young isn’t getting more passes and why Quick isn’t getting much time. Well, the best answer is that they aren’t out on the field very often. And for good reason. Our 2 WR packages are awesome!
- Because Flowers is such a good receiver on the line and can run such great routes, and because Bell and the RB’s are good at running routes and catching the ball as well, this gives our offense a huge advantage. We can spread one, two, or all 3 of them out for a one-back or empty backfield look! Imagine being the defense with your power set personnel on the field and having to defend a 5 wide formation! That creates so many match-up problems! So, as good as Young (and Quick) are, it’ll be hard to see much of the field since your presence takes away a big advantage our offense has.