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Program health check

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 17:52
edited by Jay, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 19:00

Scribbling some thoughts at ten thousand feet. Give me your ranks, 1-5, on the state of various aspects of the program:

5= robust
1= sickly

Offense
- lineup for next year (QB, OL, skill)
- lineup for 2016
- recruiting
- scheme

Defense
- lineup for next year (front, coverage)
- lineup for 2016
- recruiting
- scheme

Special teams (immediate future)
- kicking
- punting
- return game
- cover teams

Program
- Strength and Conditioning
- Skill Development
- Nutrition
- Medical
- Facilities
- Administrative Support (aka "will to win")

Other
- National Reputation
- Conference affiliation / stability

Tags:
big picture

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fun thread to read; thanks for the effort

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 13:03 @ Jay

Thought it might be good to go a little deeper than ND sucks / doesn't suck. Good stuff.

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Ah, that's the level of analysis you were looking for.

by Greg, the 'Dena, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 13:14 @ Jay
edited by Greg, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 13:20

Then let me just add this:

Caveat: I don't feel this way. But it's a rainy day in Los Angeles (yes, really) and I want to honor the Three Rules by not being uninteresting.

---
#asshat

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You're dumb!

by Joe ⌂ @, North Endzone Goal Line, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 15:15 @ Greg

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More bullish than some but I have concerns

by Brendan ⌂ @, The Chemical and Oil Refinery State, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 11:52 @ Jay

Offense
- lineup for next year (QB, OL, skill): 4/4/5 with potential to be 5/5/5. The talent is there.
- lineup for 2016: 4/5/4+ (depends on who might leave early).
- recruiting: 4+. QB and OL recruiting in particular have been excellent, and skill position seems to be coming around.
- scheme: 4. This scheme can be very successful - we've seen it - and doesn't require any singularly exceptional talent at any one position to work. Just top-level execution, which is pretty common for most schemes.

Defense
- lineup for next year (front, coverage): 4/4. Depth at DL and S are still a concern, but we should be in much better shape at CB and MLB. DE is a big question mark with potential.
- lineup for 2016: 5/4. The volume and athleticism of front seven recruits in 2014 and 2015 is really impressive and I think it'll pay off big time in 2016. Same with the secondary, but I'm still a little worried about the safety position without a clear successor to Shumate (and possibly Redfield) on campus yet.
- recruiting: 4. I like what the staff has done a lot, but they aren't pulling in enough blue-chippers right now to deserve a 5.
- scheme: 4+. I'm in the boat that believes a healthy BVG defense will be fun to watch again. Plus, keep in mind that as we get more players on the field who are capable of multiple responsibilities - run and pass, for example - the need for packages will diminish and the defense will be less susceptible to some of the things that killed it this year.

Special teams (immediate future)
- kicking: ?. True freshman kicker who looks awesome in high school, but so did Kopka.
- punting: ?. Tyler Newsome will probably be just fine, but still, no game action for him yet so who knows.
- return game: 3. I'd actually give punt returns a 4 (with the spread punt formation, I'm OK with a few yards here and there and the occasional breaker) and kick returns a 2 (no excuse for these being as poor as they are).
- cover teams: 4. I think both coverage teams are above average, especially the punt coverage team.

Program
- Strength and Conditioning: 3, I guess? Kind of hard to tell. Doesn't seem like an obvious issue, at least, like it was during Weis's tenure.
- Skill Development: 3. To cite some examples, Will Fuller, Corey Robinson, and Tarean Folston have taken enormous steps forward, but Koyack, Elmer, and to a lesser extent Golson have taken big steps back and Bryant, Redfield, and Shumate seem stuck in neutral. I still believe the staff is very capable of developing talent, but 2014 was definitely a mixed bag.
- Nutrition: No idea, but I'll guess 4-5. I'm sure ND has very smart and dedicated people working on this.
- Medical: Again, 4-5 - there's no particular reason to think otherwise. If all our injuries were hamstring pulls or chronic concussions or something, OK. But ligament tears and broken bones aren't really connected to quality of care.
- Facilities: 4. The Gug is as nice as it should be.
- Administrative Support (aka "will to win"): 3, which is high as it will ever be at ND. And I'm OK with that.

Other
- National Reputation: Institution, 4. I'd say 5, but there are a number of people still saying we're frauds because of Declan, Lizzie, the "academic scandal," etc. Program, 2-3. People outside the program tend to have a much better opinion of Kelly than we do, and I think the general feeling is that if he can't win here it's more because of ND than him. So our program reputation is probably that we're a bit of a mess but we're in good hands.
- Conference affiliation / stability: 4. As others have noted, I'm not in love with the ACC for football but it's great for a lot of our other sports, and it's about as good as we could've hoped for. It's certainly better than the Big 12 and the Pac 12 and SEC had no reason to have an interest in us.

---
Listen to the voice of Life, and you will hear Life crying, "Be!"

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mine

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:19 @ Jay

Offense
- lineup for next year (QB, OL, skill) -3
- lineup for 2016 - Always in motion is the future
- recruiting - 4
- scheme - 2

Defense
- lineup for next year (front, coverage) - 3
- lineup for 2016 - Always in motion is the future
- recruiting - 4
- scheme - incomplete

Special teams (immediate future)
- kicking - 1
- punting -2
- return game - 1
- cover teams - 3

Program
- Strength and Conditioning - 4
- Skill Development - 5
- Nutrition - 3
- Medical - ??
- Facilities - 3
- Administrative Support (aka "will to win") - 5 by ND standards, 1 by college football standards

Other
- National Reputation - See Savage below
- Conference affiliation / stability - 5

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Mine...

by Mobster, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 08:40 @ Jay

5= robust
1= sickly

Offense
- lineup for next year (QB, OL, skill): 4
- lineup for 2016 : 3
- recruiting : 3
- scheme : 2

Defense
- lineup for next year (front, coverage) : 4
- lineup for 2016 :3
- recruiting : 3
- scheme : 3

Special teams (immediate future)
- kicking : 3
- punting : 3
- return game : 2
- cover teams : 3

Program
- Strength and Conditioning : 2
- Skill Development : 3
- Nutrition : 3
- Medical : 3
- Facilities : 4
- Administrative Support (aka "will to win") : 4

Other
- National Reputation : 3
- Conference affiliation / stability : 4

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Mine

by Buffalo @, The Dirty South, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 08:26 @ Jay

5= robust
1= sickly

Offense
- lineup for next year (QB, OL, skill) QB - 3 (due to uncertainty, apparent leadership void); OL - 4 (there is a lot of talent and want-to here; believe primary problems are scheme and coaching); Skill - 5
- lineup for 2016 - 4
- recruiting - 4
- scheme - 2 (This very low number is driven by the lack of consistent red-zone success over multiple seasons, lack of running game when it is absolutely needed, and over-reliance on superior QB play)

Defense
- lineup for next year (front, coverage) front - 3 (Day is really good, but no obvious pass rushers on DL); coverage- 4 (Assuming Russell is back. Safeties are a huge question mark and make this a borderline 3/4)
- lineup for 2016 - 4 (the young guys should be all grown up; but if Jaylon leaves after 2015, this moves to a 3 because of lack of an obvious elite difference maker)
- recruiting - 3 (again, where are the elite players? don't see them on this team)
- scheme - 3 (only because I don't believe it matters much; defense more about talent)

Special teams (immediate future)(NOte-all of these are downgraded severely because this appears to be an area that Kelly has either neglected or botched royally so far in his tenure; it will be more of the same in '15)
- kicking - 2 (freshman kicker, new punter)
- punting - 2
- return game - 2
- cover teams - 3

Program
- Strength and Conditioning - 4
- Skill Development - 3
- Nutrition - 4
- Medical - 4
- Facilities - 4
- Administrative Support (aka "will to win") - 3 (how could this be higher? maybe it's a "5" for Notre Dame's standards, but I think this is capped compared to other schools.)

Other
- National Reputation - 3
- Conference affiliation / stability - 4

In sum, I'm feeling pessimistic.

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Mine

by Jason93, Raining debris all over Europe, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 08:12 @ Jay

Scribbling some thoughts at ten thousand feet. Give me your ranks, 1-5, on the state of various aspects of the program:

5= robust
1= sickly

Offense
- lineup for next year (QB, OL, skill) QB - 4; OL - 3; Skill - 5
- lineup for 2016 - 4
- recruiting - 4
- scheme - 4

Defense
- lineup for next year (front, coverage) front - 4; coverage- 4
- lineup for 2016 - 4
- recruiting - 4
- scheme - 4

Special teams (immediate future)
- kicking - 3
- punting - 3
- return game - 4
- cover teams - 3

Program
- Strength and Conditioning - 4
- Skill Development - 3
- Nutrition - 5
- Medical - 5
- Facilities - 4
- Administrative Support (aka "will to win") - 5

Other
- National Reputation - 3
- Conference affiliation / stability - 4

---
I think the children like it when I "get down" verbally.

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My own take

by HullieAndMikes, Joe Turner's bookcase, ALHS, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 07:56 @ Jay

I omitted 2016 and recruiting. I don't follow it enough to judge.

Offense
- lineup for next year: QB 2 OR 5(who are you, Everett?), OL 3 (not optimistic), skill 5 (Fuller go route time!)
- scheme: 3 I enjoy passing as much as anyone, but I am getting a little worn out by the quick outs with Folston just standing there. I'm hoping this year is a little of an outlier since BK went into shootout mode.

Defense
- lineup for next year: 4 front, 3 coverage, obviously dependent on injury and draft situation.
- scheme: I have no idea. A 4/5 through Navy, a 1/2 after, which means I have no read on it

Special teams (immediate future)
- kicking: 2, just because we replace Brindza with an unknown
- punting: Ditto
- return game: 4, I am bullish on this with what I saw from Bryant
- cover teams: 3, because they can't stalk block to save their lives.

Program
- Strength and Conditioning: 3/4, depending on whether the injuries and worn down team is an anomaly or a trend
- Skill Development: 4
- Nutrition: I dunno
- Medical: 3
- Facilities: 4, with Crossroads potentially taking it to 5
- Administrative Support (aka "will to win"): 5, since I have no doubt Jenkins and Swarbrick both want nothing less than a national championship contender,

Other
- National Reputation: 3/4, since it seems like people are recognizing injuries destroyed us after an impressive game against FSU
- Conference affiliation / stability: 3, which is what I would give anyone.

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Nit w/r/t ST

by Pat (Moco), Slave Den, Brian Cook's Basement, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 08:09 @ HullieAndMikes

The stalk blocking is on returns, specifically with the punt returns. I agree with the sentiments in most part, but that's mostly because BK appears to be using ST to get younger guys on the team playing time on gamedays. If he replaces the guys on the coverage teams with new guys, it's sort-of in the same boat as the kicker/punter situation--they will all be unknowns. I think they'll certainly get a boost if he jettisons Booker and hires a ST coach who knows what he's doing.

And I am with you on Bryant. Very bullish.

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Yeah I'll defer to you on that

by HullieAndMikes, Joe Turner's bookcase, ALHS, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 08:29 @ Pat (Moco)

I might be misusing technical terms sometimes since my football experience is as a fan.

Basically, I just don't think our blocking is at a point where returns can make a difference in the game. I feel like we are very bad at flipping the field.

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Mine.

by Bingo @, Fort Wayne, IN, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 07:44 @ Jay

Scribbling some thoughts at ten thousand feet. Give me your ranks, 1-5, on the state of various aspects of the program:

5= robust
1= sickly

Offense
- lineup for next year (QB, OL, skill) - 4, I say this with the thought that Golson gets his shit together, or Zaire steps up. If the line develops, this could be a 5.
- lineup for 2016 - 4
- recruiting - 4
- scheme - 2, I'm a guy who loves whipping the ball around the field and we have the personnel to do that, but until Kelly shows that he'll commit to a run game when it's needed, then I'll remain skeptical.

Defense
- lineup for next year (front, coverage) - 5, I don't see how it can be less. The only question mark going into next year in my opinion is safety and we have the talent (Redfield, Shumate), they just need to take another step. Our D-Line and Corners should be fantastic and I think Morgan makes a jump. I suppose I could be talked down to a 4 but I doubt it.
- lineup for 2016 - 2 We lose a ton off the line and leadership, lots of talent but there will be big question marks.
- recruiting - 4, We're in good shape here.
- scheme - 4, Let's not forget those first 7 games of the season before we got decimated with injuries. This defense was fun as shit to watch. They flew around the field and made huge plays. When your down to your 6-7th D-lineman and your 5-6th safety, then scheme means approximately dick.

Special teams (immediate future)
- kicking - 1
- punting - 1
- return game - 3, Made a step forward this year. Needs to be better but at least we have some play makers back there now.
- cover teams - 3, We're fine here.

Program
- Strength and Conditioning - 4
- Skill Development - 4
- Nutrition - 4
- Medical - I, need to see how they handle all these injuries this year.
- Facilities - 5
- Administrative Support (aka "will to win") - 3, but I think that's all we can expect at ND, it simply can't be a 5 because of the commitment to education. Sure they want to win, but compared to 'Bama and the ESSSSS EEEEEE CCCCEEEEEEE teams we really have a passing interest in winning. I'm fine with that. I never want to get into, grayshirt, paying players land.

Other
- National Reputation - 3
- Conference affiliation / stability - 5, Savvy Jack, that is all.

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could use some more ranks here

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 07:30 @ Jay

My intent was not to start another discussion only about the offense.

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Ranks (excl. 2016 parts)

by Kevin @, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 07:45 @ Jay

Offense
- lineup for next year (QB, OL, skill): 3 (3, 2, 4)
- recruiting: 3 (QB recruiting 5, OL recruiting 4, RB recruiting 2, WR recruiting 2)
- scheme: 3 (theoretically sound scheme, not soundly executed, playcalling uneven)

Defense
- lineup for next year (front, coverage): 3 (DL starters 5; DL depth 3; LB 3; CB 4; S 2)
- recruiting: 3 (good enough to field a good first team; getting better at LB; need more DL depth an Safeties)
- scheme: incomplete

Special teams (immediate future)
- kicking: unknown going forward
- punting: unknown going forward
- return game: 3 (goal is to field punts and have decent KRs; 4 might even be fair by those measures)
- cover teams: 4 or 5 (this is getting way better)

Program
- Strength and Conditioning: no idea
- Skill Development: 2 or 3 (poor execution is bogging down the offense; tackling deteriorated, perhaps understandably so)
- Nutrition: no idea
- Medical: 0. Stop letting guys get hurt. That's a joke.
- Facilities: 4 (they seem pretty nice; having an Alabama practice facility seems grotesque)
- Administrative Support (aka "will to win"): 5 (they fall short only in things they shouldn't be doing, anyway)

Other
- National Reputation: 3
- Conference affiliation / stability: 3 (I hate the ACC, but I don't know what else they could do)

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For special teams, how do you define "Immediate future?"

by Pat (Moco), Slave Den, Brian Cook's Basement, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 19:50 @ Jay

If it's the next game, those numbers might differ from next season. If it is next season, I think both kicking and punting have to be in the 2-3 range, since we'll have two new bodies (Yoon and Newsome) there next season. I'd put the return game at a 5 if they keep letting Bryant do it. Coverage really depends on whether they keep the same units or filter in the new kids who play early. I'd put them at a 3. All of those numbers might go up if they fire Booker and hire someone who actually knows what they're doing on special teams.

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I think our coverage teams have been pretty good this year

by Bill, Southern California, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:31 @ Pat (Moco)

If we can maintain that, I have no problem with a 4 rating. But a '5' for a kickoff and punt return team? That seems way out of line. With Bryant back there, I think we've moved to 'average', which would be a 3. We'd need to have Rocket returning kicks for me to believe we get a 5.

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I'm assuming Bryant takes over every role.

by Pat (Moco), Slave Den, Brian Cook's Basement, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 21:08 @ Bill

I think it's at a 3 right now, considering all of the return rankings are right around average. With Bryant back there, I think it has the potential to be better. He improved as the season went on, with the Louisville game being his breakout moment. That was the closest ND came to a punt return TD in 4 years.

It might be worth splitting kick/punt returns. I'd most certainly put punt return at a 5 if Bryant keeps the job. In this day and age of spread punts, I don't think you can get better than having a good return man and hoping for at least 1 good return (+5 yards) per game. Kick return is probably a 3-4, if Bryant takes the job from Carlisle, it'll be higher, at least for me. Everything would get a bump from me if they replace Booker with a bonafide ST coach.

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My ranks

by Larry, Enemy Territory, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 19:19 @ Jay

Scribbling some thoughts at ten thousand feet. Give me your ranks, 1-5, on the state of various aspects of the program:

5= robust
1= sickly

Offense
- lineup for next year (QB, OL, skill) (4)
- lineup for 2016 (3)
- recruiting (4)
- scheme (3)

Defense
- lineup for next year (front, coverage) (4)
- lineup for 2016 (3)
- recruiting (3)
- scheme (3)

Special teams (immediate future)
- kicking (3)
- punting (3)
- return game (1)
- cover teams (4)

Program
- Strength and Conditioning (4)
- Skill Development (4)
- Nutrition (5)
- Medical (4)
- Facilities (5)
- Administrative Support (aka "will to win") (4)

Other
- National Reputation- (4)
- Conference affiliation / stability (4)

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ranks

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 18:46 @ Jay
edited by Jay, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 18:50

Offense
4 - lineup for next year (QB, OL, skill)
4 - lineup for 2016
4 - recruiting
3 - scheme

Think offensive depth is set up very well for at least the next three years, especially if you consider the depth with the current frosh and incoming recruits. I think the scheme could use some fresh thinking though.

Defense
2 - lineup for next year (front, coverage)
4 - lineup for 2016
4 - recruiting
i - scheme

Think the lineup for next year is precarious with the injury question marks and the still relative youth of the squad. Should be a VERY seasoned group by 2016 though. Scheme/coaching gets an Incomplete.

Special teams (immediate future)
2 - kicking
2 - punting
3 - return game
4 - cover teams

Just have no idea on our kicking specialists for next year; this is obviously more of an unknown. Figure returns will remain mediocre and coverage fairly decent. Still would like us to hire a ST maven to lay down some fundamentals for us.

Program
4 - Strength and Conditioning
4 - Skill Development
4 - Nutrition
? - Medical
3 - Facilities

I'm hard pressed to think of guys who actually regressed apart from injury situations so I have to think S&C and dev are working. Same with nutrition: guys seem in shape, not a lot of hands on hips at the end of games. Facilities are adequate but compared to the big boys we're a step behind.

Other
3 - National Reputation
4 - Conference affiliation / stability

National rep remains hurt until we knock off a perceived power or beat somebody really good in a bowl game. Conf stability is solid; only question mark is whether playoff considerations would force us into a conference. At the USC luncheon both Swarbrick and Haden talked about how hard it was to preserve the series; I assume that pressure won't abate.

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I think you're too low on the 2015 defensive lineup

by BPH, San Diego, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:00 @ Jay

Sure, there are some problem areas (safety in particular) and still more youth than is ideal. But we'll have one of the best starting CB tandems in the country and no fewer than 10 (ten!!) defensive linemen who have logged a significant number of snaps.

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I would downgrade our offensive scheme to a "2"

by Bill, Southern California, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 19:47 @ Jay

As we don't have any true core competencies, each year is a 'reinvention' with little year-to-year continuity in terms of strengths and weaknesses and seems wholly dependent on exceptional quarterback play.

And that's not to say that we haven't produced some decent offenses during Kelly's tenure. But there doesn't appear to be a programatic approach that we can count on from year to year or build upon from season to season.

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I would be very surprised

by Brendan ⌂ @, The Chemical and Oil Refinery State, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 07:40 @ Bill

if the offense looks substantially different, from an "identity" standpoint, next year. When Tommy Rees was the quarterback or when Golson was very green and we had a phenomenal defense, our offense looked different. But the offense we saw this year was actually fairly similar to the early 2010 offense, before Dayne Crist got hurt.

Crist was mobile with a big arm. Golson, Zaire, Kizer, and Wimbush are all mobile with big arms. We shouldn't be in a situation again, at least in the near future, where we have an immobile, weak-armed quarterback or an extremely green quarterback. So I'd expect the early 2010/2014 pattern to continue in 2015.

---
Listen to the voice of Life, and you will hear Life crying, "Be!"

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you just mean the run game, right?

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:00 @ Bill

[ No text ]

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No, I mean having an offensive identity.

by Bill, Southern California, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:02 @ Jay

Oregon has one. Baylor has one. Alabama has one. Ohio State has one. Texas Tech has one. We don't.

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I think you're being a little unfair

by BPH, San Diego, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 19:57 @ Bill

Isn't it hard to build a programmatic approach when you don't have a QB who fits what you want to do for three of your first four seasons and don't have the same QB as your starter until your sixth season?

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Do you know what our offense is going to be like next year?

by Bill, Southern California, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:00 @ BPH

What will be our strengths and weaknesses? What do you expect us to do exceptionally well?

Oregon, Alabama, Stanford, Baylor, Texas Tech, Ohio State, etc. fans can all answer that question pretty easily. I have no idea what to expect for next season because it changes from year to year. That's not a 'program' offense.

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I think compentence is a much bigger issue than consistency.

by Kevin @, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 04:27 @ Bill

All last year, we heard ND was a QB away. It was all Tommy's fault, with his slow feet and noodle arm. This year, with the pieces in place, we don't even have a top-40 scoring offense. The showing against SC was abysmal. The turnovers and sloppiness were surreal. The red zone issues reappeared down the stretch.

Sure, the offense had some flashes. They looked good after putting us in an early hole against UNC. Between ASU's starting and finishing blowouts, they put up a lot of points in a hurry. They were brilliant against FSU. Otherwise, they were largely either stagnant, sloppy, or both. Whether that's scheme or development or more snakes biting Brian Kelly, saying this offense is unimpressive seems entirely reasonable.

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Gravity game

by Eric M, Western New York, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 07:18 @ Kevin

S&P Offensive Rankings
2010- 27
2011- 20
2012- 7
2013- 27
2014- 17

Points Per Game
2010- 26.3
2011- 29.2
2012- 25.8
2013- 27.2
2014- 33.0

Yards Per Play
2010- 5.52
2011- 5.93
2012- 5.99
2013- 6.07
2014- 6.13

I get the sense that the goalposts will always be moved regarding Kelly's offense until he puts up a season that is so overwhelmingly dominant.

For example, 33 PPG and 6.1 YPP was right in the wheelhouse for increased expectations before the season. Well, here we are and the majority of the language to describe the offense is not kind.

I think there's plenty of room for criticism of the offense. And I guess we could make the case that the offense should have been better and carried the team even more than they did. I wouldn't dispute either of those arguments.

What are we expecting realistically? Do we wait for 40 points per game before we drop the unimpressive talk? Sure, this is a different era and some historical averages can be leapfrogged. Still, 40 PPG would be (as far as I'm aware) a school record and nearly 3 PPG more than the record-setting 1968 offense.

I guess I'm fine with the argument that in today's game, with our talent, that maybe we should be pushing up to those records and among the top 6 or 7 highest scoring major conference teams. That's a really high bar, especially without a FCS team or another cupcake to feast on. But what we've seen in 2014 being unimpressive? No, I don't think so.

---
-Ya boy Jackmerius Tacktheritrix

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It's better but not good enough.

by Kevin @, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 07:38 @ Eric M

They needed to carry the defense and couldn't do so. They finished 37th in total offense, 41st in scoring offense, and just got done doing absolutely nothing in a humiliating loss to an 8-4 USC team.

It may be academic, thanks to the defense, but while the offense has improved, it hasn't improved enough. There's no disagreement here that quick-tempo, well-executed spread offenses can be devastating. Even Saban knows that. And if we ever run one of those for an entire game, we'll be something, too. But for now, our players either aren't good enough, aren't smart enough, or aren't well-coached enough to do that.

By the way, I don't appreciate the "moving the goalposts" remark. Disagree if you want. A better offense wouldn't have beaten USC, for example, because USC would have simply chosen to score more points and done so. But I'm not implying bad faith on your part, and I'd appreciate the same when you jump into these exchanges.

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31st scoring & total offense vs. FBS.

by PAK, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 08:52 @ Kevin

1.8 points per game away from 25th scoring offense.

We missed 10 field goals and 1 extra point this year, and took one ill-advised 2-point conversion.

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I do disagree

by Eric M, Western New York, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 08:27 @ Kevin

We improved in a lot of areas and reached a lot of the statistical goals that were set before the season. You thought the offense was unimpressive and I simply disagree.

I don't think it's fair to say the offense was better but still unimpressive. I don't think you can square those two away UNLESS you retroactively move the goal posts and criticize the offense for not being one of top handful best in the country. I'm sorry if this offends you or is me not arguing in good faith.

Yeah, we needed the offense to carry the team more and be the most productive in 20 years. Not reaching those heights just doesn't equal unimpressive to me.

Do you see the disconnect there?

---
-Ya boy Jackmerius Tacktheritrix

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I do think it's fair to say that the offense was better

by Bill, Southern California, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 08:51 @ Eric M

but still unimpressive. It was unimpressive last season. Getting better doesn't necessarily move the needle from unimpressive to impressive.

Offensive line play was unimpressive.
Short yardage running was unimpressive.
Tight end play was unimpressive.
Incorporation of the running game (once Folston became impressive) was unimpressive.

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Please define "impressive"

by Dylan, Santa Barbara, CA, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:08 @ Bill

Otherwise we're just talking about your feelings.

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I think you would use the phrase

by Greg, the 'Dena, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:39 @ Dylan

"nad-tingling". Or you would have (and did) a few years back. Hell, maybe it was a decade back. We're old. But that was a good phrase, particularly in the context in which it was used.

---
#asshat

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Well, I didn't introduce the term into the discussion.

by Bill, Southern California, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:24 @ Dylan

But if you want to focus solely on my 'feelings' and not those of others that started using the term, okay.

Regarding the offensive line: They gave up too many sacks and hurries and did an inadequate job of protecting the quarterback in pass protection. They were unable to 'move the pile' in short yardage situations to the point where our goal line offense became ineffective. They whiffed on key plays and possessions.

Regarding our short yardage running game. It was pretty much non-existent. We couldn't get an offensive line push or running back penentration. We continuously hit a brick wall.

Regarding our tight end play: Blocking was poor and inadequate, both in pass protection, and run support. Receiving was 'okay', but lacked any real threat or any yards after catch capability.

Incorporation of the running game into the offense: Once Folston took the reins in the second half of the season, we failed to use him more extensively (to take the load off of a beleaguered QB) or build upon it by getting Bryant some carries.

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Top 40 is not a "handful."

by Kevin @, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 08:34 @ Eric M

[ No text ]

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17th in S&P offense

by Eric M, Western New York, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 08:52 @ Kevin

Which is a far more accurate indicator than a traditional national scoring average ranking that doesn't factor in scheduling at all.

Shoot, we're 41st in scoring with 17 non-Power 5 teams ahead of us. Without them we're already in the top 25 using that ranking.

The S&P ranking is a lot more accurate. Which is to say the offense wasn't elite but in the next tier of teams who were all pretty good.

---
-Ya boy Jackmerius Tacktheritrix

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Does S&P consider how many points an offense surrenders

by Ken Fowler, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:23 @ Eric M

to another team? Turnovers in own territory?

Is it possible to critique it for weighing yardage gained more than it should be, when compared to points scored per possession?

I ask because I don't know.

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Plenty of room for critique on S&P, sure

by Eric M, Western New York, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:41 @ Ken Fowler

[ No text ]

---
-Ya boy Jackmerius Tacktheritrix

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I thought "points scored" seemed pretty accurate.

by Kevin @, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:11 @ Eric M

As for scheduling, ND played four very strong defenses -- Stanford, Michigan, Louisville, and Florida State. They did great against Michigan and FSU, did well offensively against Louisville (but lost), and struggled against Stanford (but won).

Other high-water marks came against Rice (91st-ranked defense), Purdue (98th-ranked defense), North Carolina (119th-ranked defense), Syracuse (47th-ranked defense), and Navy (87th-ranked defense). ASU had the 75th-ranked defense, and USC had the 38th-ranked defense.

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11th highest scoring average since 1960

by Eric M, Western New York, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:23 @ Kevin

I'm fighting on your turf with this and still only 10 ND seasons have had a higher PPG average in 50+ years. I haven't done the research but I think only a couple offenses prior to '60 ever scored more than 30 per game.

6th highest scoring average for a team since I've been alive (1982).

At what point do we cross over to impressive at least in some fashion?

Sure, it's a different era and the schedule wasn't crazy strong. And I agree this offense should have been in the 35 PPG range this season. They should have been better.

---
-Ya boy Jackmerius Tacktheritrix

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Special teams cost them > 2 ppg. 10 missed FGs.

by PAK, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:41 @ Eric M

Missed field goals were obviously not going to do the trick against USC but Louisville and NW were lost on the back of poor special teams and Stanford was a very narrow win when it should have been a solid victory.

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And Stanford was a lot closer than it should have been.

by Pat (Moco), Slave Den, Brian Cook's Basement, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 17:46 @ PAK

I'm willing to blame that one on the weather, however. But you could argue it at least.

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"Impressive" seems to be driving this subthread.

by Kevin @, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:31 @ Eric M

I wrote, "saying this offense is unimpressive seems entirely reasonable." If you find it impressive, that's fine. I don't think that's an unsupportable word to use, either.

I hate when people keep repeating the same shit, but I only do so here to summarize why I think what I do. They should have been better and easily could have been better. They didn't execute when they needed to. They turned the ball over too often. They got worse as the year went on. They scored 13 second-half points against Northwestern and embarrassed themselves against USC. They had bursts of productivity and bursts of self-defeating mistakes. And I think they padded their numbers against mediocre defenses.

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Our offensive SOS was 18th per FEI.

by PAK, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:15 @ Kevin

[ No text ]

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So we're 24th out of 65 "Power 5" teams in that category.

by Bill, Southern California, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 08:55 @ Eric M

[ No text ]

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Without schedule adjusting, yes

by Eric M, Western New York, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 08:59 @ Bill

[ No text ]

---
-Ya boy Jackmerius Tacktheritrix

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National offensive rankings are essentially meaningless

by Dylan, Santa Barbara, CA, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 08:50 @ Kevin

Here's your top 40:

Baylor
Marshall
East Carolina
Oregon
TCU
Western Kentucky
Washington State
Boise State
Mississippi State
Texas Tech
Ohio State
West Virginia
Colorado State
Michigan State
California
Alabama
Auburn
Georgia Southern
Toledo
Oklahoma
Wisconsin
Arizona
Arkansas State
Georgia Tech
UCLA
Texas State
BYU
Appalachian State
Georgia
Cincinnati
USC
South Carolina
Texas A&M
Arizona State
Nebraska
Navy
Notre Dame
Western Michigan
Mississippi
Old Dominion

Just waaaaaay too much disparity in terms of the quality of opposition for it to mean anything.

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I think it means something when you consider what we needed.

by Kevin @, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:18 @ Dylan

Before the first in-season injury, we knew this would need to be a top points-scoring team to be a successful team. It wasn't.

As things turned out, this may largely have been harmless error. The defense unraveled beyond the point of recognition, but that doesn't change the fact that the offense wasn't so hot. They racked up points against bad defenses, turned the ball over constantly, and didn't come through when we needed them to. Specific examples: second half against Northwestern, turnovers against ASU, first-and-goal to win the game against Louisville. And they didn't lose the USC game, but they certainly weren't worth a shit, either.

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We averaged 33 ppg. ASU (#19) averaged 37.

by Dylan, Santa Barbara, CA, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:30 @ Kevin

That's 48 points over the course of the season.

ASU gained 33 yards per game more than we did and had nearly identical passing stats.

We lost 26 turnovers, ASU lost 13.

Do we have an "offense" problem or a turnover problem?

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Can one contribute to another?

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:39 @ Dylan

I think an offensive problem led to a turnover problem.

Defensive problems may have also led to offensive problems.

There's the old football motif of a good defense saddled with a terrible offense. The defense plays well, until its exhausted and compromised by the terrible offense, possibly making it worse than it truly is. Believe me, I have a lot of first hand familiarity with this motif -- I'm a Bears fan.

I think we're seeing a bit of the reverse here. The defense eventually got so bad that a good offense was stressed and stretched beyond its limits to try to be great or even excellent. The by-product of that stress is the turnover problem.

My hypothesis is something like "A true-great offense can perform at truly great levels. A true-good offense can perform at truly great levels -- with a price of a turnover problem." I think the problem is that we were the latter. I do not think we were the former with another plague of bad luck.

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Yes and no

by Greg, the 'Dena, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:52 @ HumanRobot

I think we're seeing a bit of the reverse here. The defense eventually got so bad that a good offense was stressed and stretched beyond its limits to try to be great or even excellent. The by-product of that stress is the turnover problem.

Yes, by the Louisville and SC games, the defense was so bad that the good (parts of the) offense was (were) stressed and fractured and so the offense became bad.

But the turnover problems started before then. Heck, in the first quarter of the Syracuse game (while the defense was still strong, and Syracuse had scored exactly zero points), 3 of our 4 drives ended on: (1) Golson fumble (recovered by Cuse), (2) Golson sacked and fumbled on third down (recovered by ND, punt); and (4) Golson 55-yards-in-the-air pass intercepted.

You cannot blame the late-season state of the defense and the pressure put on the offense for that first-quarter debacle. That's on one guy who was not taking care of the ball. In the second quarter, it was a drive for a TD, a one-play pass-to-Fuller TD, and then another fumble by Golson (recovered by Cuse) after we had it first-and-ten at Cuse's 15 with about 30 seconds left, leading 14-3. Are you telling me that a 21-3 halftime lead would not have made that game different?

Against Navy, up 28-14 and again with about 30 seconds left in the half and the ball on Navy's 35, another interception. Navy throws a pass and gets the FG to cut it to 28-17. Are you telling me that a 35-14 game would not have been much different?

In both those games, prior to the defense collapsing late in the season, ill-timed or multiple instances of not taking care of the ball led to games being closer than they should have been.

Again, not the defense's fault.

---
#asshat

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why were they running that route in the Navy game?

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:58 @ Greg

Because Kelly felt the need to get it to 3 scores before half to bury them.

I thought Kelly handled the Syracuse game almost perfectly -- he went to an extremely conservative underneath plan after the turnovers and it was enough to win the day. Unfortunately, that wasn't an option against anybody UNC and afterwards.

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Sure, but look at ASU's offense and look at ours

by Dylan, Santa Barbara, CA, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:46 @ HumanRobot

(Apologies in advance for formatting)

I considered that maybe the problem was that our offense was turnover prone due to the emphasis on passing/QB play, but so is ASU's.


Name G Att Comp Pct. Yards Yards/Att TD Int Rating Att/G Yards/G

Notre Dame 12 437 259 59.3 3525 8.1 29 14 142.51 36.4 293.8

Arizona State 12 433 257 59.4 3316 7.7 32 9 143.91 36.1 276.3

What is the difference? It's the turnovers. How many of those turnovers were fluky?

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I think our turnover problem was systemic.

by Bill, Southern California, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:56 @ Dylan

If our turnovers were solely on Golson continuously making bad reads or throws, then you might have a point. But they weren't. They were a result of poor offensive line play where Golson was hurried, sacked or had passes tipped at the LOS. They were a result of poor decision making by Everett. They were a result of players not being able to catch or hold on to the ball.

If this were just a Golson problem (and I think that we've had a number of threads here that show that it was not) then I would feel much better that they were easily correctible. I don't think that's the case though. They're part of a larger problem set.

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a Golson problem or not is almost immaterial

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 10:02 @ Bill

Like in 2012, we've seen Kelly display a willingness to pull a QB when he's felt he could throttle down the offense. If we had the 2012 defense, I have no doubt Kelly would have pulled Golson a couple times during the season. As it was, I think he knew he was going to be desperate for points and didn't think it was a real option.

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Efficiency matters, not absolute points for one team

by ndphilo @, Seal Beach, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 12:43 @ HumanRobot

I think the "we need to score a lot" story is not a good one. With a bad defense, you need to score as efficiently as possible, you don't need to maximize your own points scored.

If you lengthen the game and try to score quickly with an overmatched defense, you better be really efficient at scoring quickly. Same goes if you score slowly (and keep the overall points down). The bigger the efficiency gap in your favor, the longer you want the game to be (so your efficiency swamps fluky stuff in a small sample size). The greater the difference not in you favor, the more you want to shorten the game in hopes that the fluky stuff helps you over the small sample.

High tempo, score as many times as you can is not the solution to a bad defense. Be as efficient as possible is (along with shortening the game).

In the abstract, if you are going to score roughly 70% of the time, and the opposition 95%, you sure don't want to maximize possession and drive up your own total score. The result of that will be a loss unless lots of fluky stuff happens. You want to limit possessions.

Once it became clear we were having persistent problems with efficiency on both offense and defense (turnovers, injuries) we needed to shift from trying to score quickly, and instead shorten the game while trying to work on improving offensive efficiency in particular. Maybe that is what they tried to do, but if they were just trying to score as much as possible, they were making a strategic mistake.

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counterpoint

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 13:15 @ ndphilo

If you can force the other team's offense to play catch up you can really help out your defense, because they will have to become much more predictable. With this approach it is more desirable to score early and quickly, get the lead, and then shorten the game / reduce possessions as the game goes on.

We saw ND attempt this a number of times throughout the year, trying to take a big shot downfield in the first and/or second offensive series, or trying to grab a two-score lead.

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True, but efficiency still matters

by ndphilo @, Seal Beach, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 13:23 @ Jay

If those big shots miss and it stalls your drive, you just screwed your (depleted) defense and put yourself in the hole.

I think this is how navy gets itself into trouble against us recently (though late in games). The current coach isn't quite disciplined enough, and thinks he has to "take a shot" rather than sticking with the high efficiency offense. So he tries some kind of trick play, or something off the usual playbook. When that shot fails, its over.

If you can take those shots with a high enough success rate, or you can manage them so that they won't tank your drive, I suppose you can go for it. But there really is no benefit to scoring on your first three drives in under 6 minutes, versus scoring on those drive in 20 minutes if you are worried that your defense is going to struggle and you think you have an overall efficiency deficit. It just leaves more time for the more efficient offense to dig itself out, and more chance for your less efficient offense to make mistakes.

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agreed

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 12:58 @ ndphilo

I don't think we're really arguing different things, just perhaps from different perspectives.

Translating what I'm saying into your perspective, "Kelly couldn't afford a hit to per-drive average." In games like ASU or Louisville (or even UNC after the 0-14 start), it could be fatal if he throws away a series by playing Zaire or calling a couple conservative plays to get his nerves settled. In 2012 Kelly probably felt like he could throw away an offensive drive or two since the defense was so good.

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Depends if those conservative calls really would reduce

by ndphilo @, Seal Beach, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 13:11 @ HumanRobot

efficiency.

The only way staying really aggressive is justified with a bad defense is if your offense is much more efficient being aggressive than it is being more conservative. I think this is part of what those calling for more offensive identity are after. What are our go to, relatively efficient, reliable calls that we can use to grind out first down when we need them? We didn't seem to have that gear this year. We could be aggressive and explosive, but when we weren't efficient (turnovers) and the defense struggled (injuries) we didn't have another gear to shift into the grind out a win.

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I grant that some of those turnovers were fluky

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:54 @ Dylan

Let's take the ASU game. Golson has a terrible fumble which ASU capitalizes on and scores.

Instead of using the next series to rebuild Golson's confidence and get him calmed and poised, they come out firing... an interception. Why? Probably because Kelly feels he needs 35+ points to win the game and he can't throwaway an offensive series.

I think Kelly felt the need to red-line a good offense.

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I think we have an offensive problem.

by Kevin @, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:31 @ Dylan

A defensive problem, a fumbling problem, an interception problem, an injury problem, a kicking problem, a holding problem, a blocking problem, a play-calling problem.

I recognize there's a thin line among the rankings. There's also a thin line between 7-5 and 9-3. And between 12 wins and 10 in 2012, but we won the 12 and that's all there is to it. I don't think we should re-litigate that, and I think the same reasoning should apply here.

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It's the elephant in the room

by Dylan, Santa Barbara, CA, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:40 @ Kevin

[ No text ]

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It should not be.

by Kevin @, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:47 @ Dylan
edited by Kevin, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 09:51

There are always ways to dismiss or excuse wins or losses, but I don't think those are the right way to evaluate a team or a staff.

We won the 12 games in 2012, doing what we needed to win. Outside of the Pitt game, I don't even think the breaks were that remarkable. No, the offense wasn't that productive. But it was the offense it needed to be, sometimes suffocating teams in a boring fashion. The BC game was beautiful in that way -- get ahead, close door. Other Kelly ND teams have had moments like that, too. The Pinstripe Bowl wasn't pretty, but ND got ahead and took the decision.

This year, they didn't do what they needed to win. Yes, the defense was a bigger problem, and injuries killed the defense. I think it's possible to believe that and also say the offense wasn't so hot overall and wasn't good enough to make the difference in games when that was possible.

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we are actually much improved from last year

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 06:40 @ Kevin

on just about every statistical category, especially scoring offense, where we're a touchdown better per game and jumped from 74th to 41st. That's massive improvement. This is not to say it wasn't sloppy; imagine where this offense could have been with just half the turnovers it committed.

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True, though we had nowhere to go but up.

by Kevin @, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 06:57 @ Jay

Last year's offense had few tools to work with. The QB was not a deep threat and not a running threat. The backs were Cam, GAIII, and true Freshman Folston. The line was exponentially better.

I'd have to go back through the threads, but I think the consensus before this season was that we'd need a top-25 scoring offense to hit double-digit wins. I don't think anyone would be surprised to hear this year was a disappointment if they heard we finished 41st in scoring.

Some of the turnovers were sloppy. Fumbling is always slop. Same with the dropped passes that bounced into defenders' hands. Others came because it wasn't too hard to force Everett outside and sit on what was coming, particularly when we were looking at 3rd and long.

No doubt, the turnovers were killers, to the offense and defense. For example, ND wasn't awful in yards/attempt or yards/play, but ND was 55th in total plays, thanks in part to the TOs.

Something else ND sucked at -- sacks allowed. 28 sacks allowed was good for 87th place. Golson's completion percentage was another big issue. In a scheme/system like ours, quick, accurate hitters are pretty important. Golson completed 59% of his passes. That was good for 57th place.

I do think scheme, or more precisely, play-calling in individual situations, was part of the problem. But awful fundamentals and decision-making were bigger problems.

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What did you expect this year?

by Spesh ⌂ @, Los Angeles, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:09 @ Bill

What about the offensive scheme really surprised you?

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It changes from year to year...

by BPH, San Diego, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:04 @ Bill
edited by BPH, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:12

because our QB changes from year to year, and the one QB (Rees) is not anything like the other (Golson). Most programs don't have to deal with shit like that.

So what do I expect in 2015? An offense is which the QB is the focal point, which passes more than it runs, which puts major stress on the opposing secondary, and which gets a lot of big-chunk plays in the air and on the ground. If Golson keeps his job, hopefully we'll also see fewer turnovers and more improvement in the red zone.

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It changes from year to year, which is precisely the point

by Bill, Southern California, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:07 @ BPH

that we lack any 'programatic' offense. And we're already fast-forwarding to 2016?

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Consistency

by Dylan, Santa Barbara, CA, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:52 @ Bill

2012 Alabama - 40 rushes, 228 yards per game, ranked 16th. 23 passes, 218 yards per game, ranked 76th.

2014 Alabama - 40 rushes, 206 yards per game, ranked 37th. 32 passes, 282 yards per game, ranked 22nd.


Is that a change in identity, or a reflection of personnel?

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Right or wrong, his offense revolves around the QB

by BPH, San Diego, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:11 @ Bill

(so do many other programs' offenses incidentally). Kelly wants QBs like Golson, which is why he now has them stacked four deep. But he didn't have a QB like Golson until 2012, and then not again until 2014. And Rees wasn't capable of doing what Golson is, or Zaire, or Kizer, or Wimbush. Thus the offense looks different.

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Offenses will always look different

by Spesh ⌂ @, Los Angeles, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:20 @ BPH

They're always tweaked to fit what players do best. This isn't unique to ND. We're just so close to the team in terms of following it year to year that we don't see how other offenses change depending upon personnel.

And Bama has certainly changed this year. The "get the ball to Cooper" strategy is Kiffin's MO from USC when he did it with Woods and then Lee. Stanford's offense has also changed as their TE personnel has changed and they've tried to find ways to incorporate Montgomery more.

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Then we should give him an incomplete, in Year 5.

by Bill, Southern California, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:14 @ BPH

[ No text ]

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You can give him whatever you want

by BPH, San Diego, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:18 @ Bill

But he does have an offensive identity.

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Did we really get "exceptional" QB play in 2012?

by Spesh ⌂ @, Los Angeles, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 19:55 @ Bill

[ No text ]

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Was that an excellent offense?

by Bill, Southern California, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 19:55 @ Spesh

[ No text ]

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Also a different guy calling the plays

by Rob (Rakes of Mallow), Chicago, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 05:45 @ Bill

[ No text ]

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You wrote

by Spesh ⌂ @, Los Angeles, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:15 @ Bill

That the scheme involves the need for exceptional QB play. That wasn't the case in 2012 or down the stretch in 2010. I think you're projecting your own ideas on how Kelly schemes. The evidence doesn't support your ideas.

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I don't think that's a fair criticism of Bill's point

by Ken Fowler, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:29 @ Spesh

1. Our points per game in 2012 was incredibly low.

2. Of all the years Kelly has been at ND, 2012 was the year where he ran an offense that didn't rely on exceptional QB play.

To say the offense we run today can be successful based on 2012 just doesn't hold up.

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The point is

by Spesh ⌂ @, Los Angeles, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:44 @ Ken Fowler

Kelly builds his offense around the talent he has in order to win games. It's why he said a few years ago that you need talent on defense, but he can manufacture points. The scheme has not changed that dramatically in five years, but plays are called that fit the talent best. It's why we saw no jet sweeps by Toma in the slot but now we see them by Prosise, Brown, and Carlisle.

His original point was that QB play has to be exceptional in this scheme, but that's simply not true. QB expectations will always be proportional to defensive expectations. If Kelly thinks he has to manufacture more points, then yes, the QB play will have to be exceptional.

What we have seen the last six weeks or so shows this. As the defense has been decimated and younger players have not performed, more has been placed on the shoulders of Golson. And he has been maddeningly inconsistent.

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That says to me that there is no scheme

by Bill, Southern California, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:49 @ Spesh

Which I think justifies my '2' rating.

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of course there's a "scheme"

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 06:45 @ Bill

It's actually a garden variety single back, shotgun spread offense, with all of the formations, routes, blocking, and pass protections you might find at any number of other schools using the same approach.

I think your beef is with execution. This whole "identity" line of questioning really misses the mark. I sense you know this, and are just venting.

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What is FSU's scheme?

by BPH, San Diego, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:52 @ Bill

Couldn't it be argued that Kelly's is roughly similar, except Fisher went from E.J. Manuel to Winston at QB, while Kelly went from Rees to Golson to Rees back to Golson?

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How do you define scheme?

by Spesh ⌂ @, Los Angeles, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:51 @ Bill
edited by Spesh, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 20:54

Fifteen plays we run over and over?

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My thoughts

by CK08, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 18:24 @ Jay

Scribbling some thoughts at ten thousand feet. Give me your ranks, 1-5, on the state of various aspects of the program:

5= robust
1= sickly

Offense
-lineup for next year (QB, OL, skill) - 4. Good, but QB and OL keep it from being a 5.
- lineup for 2016 - 4. 5 if Zaire gets serious experience in 2015.
- recruiting - 4
- scheme - 3. It's fine, but we score on talent and execution, not scheme.

Defense
- lineup for next year (front, coverage) - 3. So much experience, but much of it is either injured or not playing well.
- lineup for 2016 - 3.
- recruiting - 4.
- scheme - 3. Hard to form an opinion of BVG yet.

Special teams
- kicking - 2.
- punting - 2.
- return game - 3.
- cover teams - 3.

Program
- Strength and Conditioning. 4. Still seems good.
-Development. 3. Split this from S/C. It's been wildly uneven. The staff has worked miracles with some guys, some guys have played well but not really improved, and some guys have gotten worse.
- Nutrition. 4. Certainly much improved from Burger King and Chicago-Alfredo Pasta.
- Medical. 4. I trust we have good people on the medical staff.
- Facilities. 4. We don't have a palace, but we have nice facilities.

Other
- National Reputation. 4 when considering all of Division 1A. 3 when considering the Power 5.
- Conference affiliation / stability. 5. Thanks, Jack.

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makes sense to split S&C from skill development

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 18:31 @ CK08

[ No text ]

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Just numbers, no comments save for one hedge.

by Savage, Around Ye Olde Colonial College, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 18:10 @ Jay
edited by Savage, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 18:18

My hedge is on the national reputation. Clearly our reputation is a 5 if we're considering it an absolute, where we're being all-pairs compared with the likes of ODU and Eastern Michigan. But relative to other supposed "Tier I" programs, I get the feeling we're pretty near the bottom, in the sense that we've not won anything of any consequence in the memories of anyone below middle-aged, and we've been routinely pilloried, blown out, embarrassed, and mocked for most of the last 2 decades.

But beyond that, just the numbers:

Offense
4 lineup for next year (QB, OL, skill)
4 lineup for 2016
3 recruiting
2 scheme

Defense
4 lineup for next year (front, coverage)
4 lineup for 2016
3 recruiting
4 scheme

Special teams
1 kicking
3 punting
2 return game
4 cover teams

Program
3 Strength and Conditioning / Development
2 Nutrition
? Medical
3 Facilities

Other
5/2 National Reputation
4 Conference affiliation / stability

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are there any other aspects to add?

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 18:18 @ Savage

I guess it wasn't obvious but if people wanted to break out the positional groups they could do that too. I think it's useful to think of offense as QB, OL, and skill; defense as Front and Coverage.

Also, Scheme can serve as a proxy for coaching acumen for that particular side of the ball.

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Agree --

by Savage, Around Ye Olde Colonial College, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 18:53 @ Jay
edited by Savage, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 18:59

QB/OL/Skill DL/LB/DB can all have different returning levels of talent.

I might break recruiting into two categories: numbers and talent. As we've learned with LBs under Kelly, DLs under Weis, OLs under Willingham, there are times when you have to take a guy even if he's "just a body", and that's important (especially at those power positions that require years of development and, in the case of DL, a large stock for rotation). But also important is getting impact performers with the potential to be All-American types, not just "bodies" or "role players" or even "replacement-level starters".

It's nebulous and open to interpretation, but "administrative support" might be another category. Whether that hooks in admissions, reslife, budgeting, or what have you. I'm not sure what the anchor is, though -- relative to other schools, relative to ND in "the Lou old days", or relative to ND itself in recent times?

I did consider scheme as primarily "the style of O/D and how it fits the personnel that ND has now or could expect to regularly stock itself with", but you're right, since we don't necessarily know that much about the details of how good the staff is at coaching up players, which staff-members are most influential about schemes and gameplans, etc. it might all fit best under one umbrella category.

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added Admin Support / Will to Win

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, December 02, 2014, 19:01 @ Savage

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