PJ Fleck Interview new - Sunday 11-10-19

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Gopher football coach PJ Fleck appeared on the Sports Huddle on WCCO Radio.

Sid: I've been covering football 75 years. never seen anything like that. the game and the post-game deal. tell me about the kid who intercepted the pass.
PJ: Jordan Howden from Las Vegas - same school as Cam Wiley. the HS coach helps us out there. he's a special player. had to fill in for Winfield last year as a true FR. he was highly recruited, but had some academic things to finish up. as a result, he lost some offers from West Coast teams. great player. we were fortunate to get him. last year he had to play way too early Jordan was back there in a major position. he really didn't know his feet from his head. he's come a long way. really tremendous young man. we're excited to have him.

Sid: Seniors on defense
PJ: whole class. proud of them. being here. when we 1st got here they didn't leave they stayed. they became the culture. Coughlin tremendous. got pressure on them. didn't get a lot of sacks, but we were able to get the ball out of the QB's hands. Barber played well. Winfield. We didn't have Kamal Martin. Oliver, Sori-Marin. had to step in and play big

Sid: your QB. 18 for 20. WR's amazing.
PJ: Tanner - it's the culmination of a lot of work. great leader. intangibles. special player. does a great job distributing the football. like a PG in basketball. put the ball where it needs to be. your play-makers take it from there. we needed the players to be the reason why we won. they were able to do that.

Max: thinking about how you throw the ball. looks like you thought how to attack their defense
PJ: Last week most of the coaches were out recruiting. Kirk C and Joe R stayed all weekend. dissect Penn State. come up with new ideas. nobody better at watching film than Kirk. big one to Rashad was a check. We knew we had to run the football. Sometimes you need to run to set up the pass. On Saturday, by passing we were able to soften them up for the run game. It was a huge win because it was the next one. the players find a way to get better. they compete against themselves.

Mona: better student section. Coaching staff did things interesting to watch. pass protection. bring in another Off lineman. PSU #2 in country on defense. creation of pocket.
PJ: needed to do things with our protection. we knew we couldn't sit back in 5 or 6-man protection. teams that did that against PSU had 9 sacks. Our offensive staff, Callahan, Burns, Patterson, Kirk did a great job of manipulating situations. play-action. max protect. chip with the backs. chips inside. backs come in and block in B gap. had a great game plan. the job is to find a way to win.

Sid: did you know you could throw the ball that well?
PJ: It's not just against who we play that week. We need to be able to throw every week. need to be able to run the ball every week. Over 4 quarters, watch how the game unfolds. we can do both. we're better at that this year than we were last year. when you can do both, you can do special things.

Max: QB doesn't make mistakes. limit interceptions. Is that a teaching process?
PJ: it's about consistency. Kirk is a great teacher. break it down. Don't focus on what you know, focus on what the QB knows. we take it step by step. It's going to take time. teaching progression. there are things we're doing this year that we couldn't do last year. have to continue to get better. players get success, need to make them fail again. the progression starts over again.

Mona: brought in new kicker. 99% of fans hadn't heard of him
PJ: Brock Walker. Lantz had some leg tightness. felt it was in our best interest to go with Brock. he's earned it. knew that sometime we would have to use him. He's got ice in his veins. did a great job. he's put himself in a position to have the opportunity to continue to do that.

Sid: Green. key score from 1-yard line.
PJ: one thing we did - we made all 6 offensive linemen as captains. let them know what kind of game it's going to be. Seth Green gets to run behind those guys. good athlete. good vision. He can hit the hole. He had the extra blocker. OL was outstanding. Callahan deserves a lot of credit.

Max: no penalties. how do you teach that?
PJ: it's a long process. started the day we got here. most games are lost. lot of games that are won are lost less than the opponent. got to be smarter. better in situational football. 78% wins games. when we get the 78% we're almost undefeated since we've been here. when we lose the battle, we lose almost all the time. find ways to build culture around foundational pieces. disciplined. we spend a lot of time on technique and fundamentals. we try to make our system player-friendly. find a simplistic way of mixing it up. find the right people who are committed. 85 players above 3.0 GPA. this is a very smart football team. we'll have clips in our meeting from teams that lost games because of personal fouls, penalties, bonehead plays. give them the reason why. easy way to learn is from watching other people do it. the hard way is from you doing it. cultural basis. slogans are based on situations.

Mona: Morgan clock management. never took snap early. Looked like PSU got away with play after play clock ran out. did you get an explanation?
PJ: I did get an explanation. But I don't understand it. what they said is, if the clock goes to zero. the back judge looks down to see if ball is snapped. if ball is snapped, he lets it go. I thought it hung on zero for a second. they said he looked up, it said zero. he looked down, the ball was snapped.

Sid: crowd noise. Outstanding WR's. MN never had as many good WR's
PJ: that is the best collegiate environment I've ever been in as a player or head coach. It was real, genuine. Had the whole State of MN behind you. felt it from kickoff. that is what we can be, could be, should be every single week. can't thank fans enough. WR's - Coach Simon does great job. got a lot of high draft picks. comes from recruiting to your system. guys believing in that. buying into that.

Sid: your coaching staff doesn't get enough credit. how lucky MN is to have you as Coach and get that new contract. Murray's. lucky break Coyle got you for the coach.
PJ: RTB, Ski-U-Mah, Go Gophers. Now we're back to 0-0. we've got to find a way to be 1-0 against Iowa.
 

GoGophersUMN

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Mona: Morgan clock management. never took snap early. Looked like PSU got away with play after play clock ran out. did you get an explanation?
PJ: I did get an explanation. But I don't understand it. what they said is, if the clock goes to zero. the back judge looks down to see if ball is snapped. if ball is snapped, he lets it go. I thought it hung on zero for a second. they said he looked up, it said zero. he looked down, the ball was snapped.
I'm amazed there's so much technology in football and they're fine making judgement calls like targeting using replay but can't come up with a better solution for delay of game than the back judge turning his head. Delay of game should be reviewable and the back judge should have a buzzer that goes off when the clock hits 0 so it doesn't have to be reviewed.

Looking at a Youtube video of it, the snap was between 12 and 13 frames after the clock hit 0 on a 30 FPS video. That means it was slightly more than .4 seconds late. Imagine if a basketball buzzer beater was .4 seconds late but the refs didn't even review it and just let it stand. For baseball that's about the equivalent of a runner being 8 feet in front of first base when the ball gets there but still being called out. Any of those would be unacceptable at this level but somehow it is fine in football because the back judge needs to turn his head.
 

TNGophfan

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I'm amazed there's so much technology in football and they're fine making judgement calls like targeting using replay but can't come up with a better solution for delay of game than the back judge turning his head. Delay of game should be reviewable and the back judge should have a buzzer that goes off when the clock hits 0 so it doesn't have to be reviewed.

Looking at a Youtube video of it, the snap was between 12 and 13 frames after the clock hit 0 on a 30 FPS video. That means it was slightly more than .4 seconds late. Imagine if a basketball buzzer beater was .4 seconds late but the refs didn't even review it and just let it stand. For baseball that's about the equivalent of a runner being 8 feet in front of first base when the ball gets there but still being called out. Any of those would be unacceptable at this level but somehow it is fine in football because the back judge needs to turn his head.
Agree with this. Never understood why it isn't challengable or reviewable. Easy to do with replay.
 

fan of Ray Williams

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Thanks a lot SON. Sometimes I take what you do for granted. That's how good and consistent you are. You are the Tanner Morgan of Sunday morning.
 

GophersInIowa

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I'm amazed there's so much technology in football and they're fine making judgement calls like targeting using replay but can't come up with a better solution for delay of game than the back judge turning his head. Delay of game should be reviewable and the back judge should have a buzzer that goes off when the clock hits 0 so it doesn't have to be reviewed.

Looking at a Youtube video of it, the snap was between 12 and 13 frames after the clock hit 0 on a 30 FPS video. That means it was slightly more than .4 seconds late. Imagine if a basketball buzzer beater was .4 seconds late but the refs didn't even review it and just let it stand. For baseball that's about the equivalent of a runner being 8 feet in front of first base when the ball gets there but still being called out. Any of those would be unacceptable at this level but somehow it is fine in football because the back judge needs to turn his head.
You would think it would easy to have some kind of buzzer or something connected to the clock so one of the refs gets notified when it hits 0, then they aren't having to look at the clock.

Mona: brought in new kicker. 99% of fans hadn't heard of him
PJ: Brock Walker. Lantz had some leg tightness. felt it was in our best interest to go with Brock. he's earned it. knew that sometime we would have to use him. He's got ice in his veins. did a great job. he's put himself in a position to have the opportunity to continue to do that.
I didn't even realize this at the game. Whatever happened to the UConn transfer kicker?
 

hungan1

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The PSU Center could have rigor mortis and they still wouldn't call a delay of game against PSU.
 

Taji34

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I'm amazed there's so much technology in football and they're fine making judgement calls like targeting using replay but can't come up with a better solution for delay of game than the back judge turning his head. Delay of game should be reviewable and the back judge should have a buzzer that goes off when the clock hits 0 so it doesn't have to be reviewed.

Looking at a Youtube video of it, the snap was between 12 and 13 frames after the clock hit 0 on a 30 FPS video. That means it was slightly more than .4 seconds late. Imagine if a basketball buzzer beater was .4 seconds late but the refs didn't even review it and just let it stand. For baseball that's about the equivalent of a runner being 8 feet in front of first base when the ball gets there but still being called out. Any of those would be unacceptable at this level but somehow it is fine in football because the back judge needs to turn his head.
I had an interaction with someone of CFB about a TO that was called before the snap in the game, but the play happened and was called back. We agreeded it was likely refs not paying attention and letting the play run. I said the coaches should just have a button to press when calling a TO. That way the refs don't miss it and the coaches don't have to run down feild to get the ref's attention.

There are so many simple technology things that would solve a lot of problems, but no one seems to take the initiative.
 

#2Gopher

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Super thanks Son! Interesting takes regarding timeouts and the play clock. Agree something should be able to be done.
 

GoGophersUMN

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I had an interaction with someone of CFB about a TO that was called before the snap in the game, but the play happened and was called back. We agreeded it was likely refs not paying attention and letting the play run. I said the coaches should just have a button to press when calling a TO. That way the refs don't miss it and the coaches don't have to run down feild to get the ref's attention.

There are so many simple technology things that would solve a lot of problems, but no one seems to take the initiative.
I'm a little bit more okay with how timeouts work because it requires the coach to do work so there is more to it but I agree that it could be done much more easily.

I believe the technology already exists. I've heard that after bottlegate they gave the refs buzzers connected to the review booth so that they could know if they wanted more time instantly. At the FBS level the cost should be low relative to the overall budget. I'm sure it's been proposed and discussed but I don't know why it hasn't been done. I don't want to be a conspiracy theorist but it seems like the current method is a really easy way for someone who wanted to influence the game for whatever reason to give 1 team an advantage in something that is considered accepted. I can't think of any reason why they wouldn't want buzzers.
 

Flecknation

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No penalties? Thought we had some?

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Yes, I just rewatched the game and we had about 4-5 penalties.
 

Flecknation

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Yes, I just rewatched the game and we had about 4-5 penalties.
What is max talking about then where they all defense besides special teams and the delay of game for the punt?

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Panthadad2

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Yes, I just rewatched the game and we had about 4-5 penalties.
A few minutes into the 3rd quarter I was muttering to my buddy that the Gophs started the 2nd half with three penalties and a fumble. I THINK it was 3. Too lazy to look it up.
 

EG#9

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I love the final quote of being back to 0-0 and finding a way to go 1-0 against Iowa.

I also found it interesting that the big play to Bateman was a check. Did Morgan see the blitz coming and check to that play (that would be my interpretation of the quote)? If so that is simply fantastic awareness from a Sophomore QB in such a big game.
 

GopherinPhilly

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A few minutes into the 3rd quarter I was muttering to my buddy that the Gophs started the 2nd half with three penalties and a fumble. I THINK it was 3. Too lazy to look it up.
I think Sid was saying no penalties against the O-line...
 

bamor5229

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What is a check?
Check out of play call into another play due to defensive alignment that does not favor your called play. Usually happens at LOS just before the snap. Sometimes QB just sees something that gives the offense an advantage and changes the play.
 
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Lakeville Goldy

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I'm amazed there's so much technology in football and they're fine making judgement calls like targeting using replay but can't come up with a better solution for delay of game than the back judge turning his head. Delay of game should be reviewable and the back judge should have a buzzer that goes off when the clock hits 0 so it doesn't have to be reviewed.

Looking at a Youtube video of it, the snap was between 12 and 13 frames after the clock hit 0 on a 30 FPS video. That means it was slightly more than .4 seconds late. Imagine if a basketball buzzer beater was .4 seconds late but the refs didn't even review it and just let it stand. For baseball that's about the equivalent of a runner being 8 feet in front of first base when the ball gets there but still being called out. Any of those would be unacceptable at this level but somehow it is fine in football because the back judge needs to turn his head.
I heard this explained at the NFL level and I'm assuming it's the same for college. They simply don't want to call delay of game very often, so they give teams the extra half second of looking at the clock then looking down. It isn't that there aren't other ways, or whatever, they just don't like calling delay of game unless it's blatant as it slows down the game so much (ironically, calling a delay of game creates a significant delay in the game).

Not saying it's right, but it's why you'll see Aaron Rodgers take so many snaps after the clock says zero. The good teams know how to take advantage of it.
 

Ski U Mah Gopher

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I heard this explained at the NFL level and I'm assuming it's the same for college. They simply don't want to call delay of game very often, so they give teams the extra half second of looking at the clock then looking down. It isn't that there aren't other ways, or whatever, they just don't like calling delay of game unless it's blatant as it slows down the game so much (ironically, calling a delay of game creates a significant delay in the game).

Not saying it's right, but it's why you'll see Aaron Rodgers take so many snaps after the clock says zero. The good teams know how to take advantage of it.
Michael Rand Explains
 

Face The Facts

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Check out of play call into another play due to defensive alignment that does not favor your called play. Usually happens at LOS just before the snap. Sometimes QB just sees something that gives the offense an advantage and changes the play.
I'll just add, many college QB's (and some low level NFL starters) are given the option to check but to a more-conservative play. (Not as likely to check from run to pass).
Check to a pass is something Jim Harbaugh did under Ditka on MNF against the Vikings once (resulting in an interception) which made for an epic confrontation and allowed the Vikings back into the game to win.
 

Taji34

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Check out of play call into another play due to defensive alignment that does not favor your called play. Usually happens at LOS just before the snap. Sometimes QB just sees something that gives the offense an advantage and changes the play.
An audible
Ah, thank you both for the explanation. Shows Morgan has maturity and smarts as a QB.
 

Spoofin

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Thanks Son. Much appreciated!


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