Up front: The OL vs. SDSU

Some Day...Maybe

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Not a lot to report from the third quarter, when we managed to run just nine plays from scrimmage.

But what we lacked in volume we made up for with inconsistency. :confused:

First possession, second down: Quick toss out to the WR, with Seth Green tasked with making an open-field block on the DB. Green gets in position ... then just simply fails to move his feet, misses the block and the play is snuffed. You don't expect an athlete like Green to forget to move.

Next play, third and long, we're passing. The 'Rabbits run twists on both sides of the line. Faalele and Dunlap handle it adequately, if not seamlessly. The other side of the ball is a different story. Schlueter opens wide and appears to be in decent position. Andries locks up with the DT. The DE then loops inside Andries, and Schlueter is left to watch as the guys sacks Morgan for an 11-yard loss. The blame could probably be divvied up between Schlueter and Andries, but I think most of the fault here lies with Schlueter. He made no contact with anyone on the play; even though Andries probably should have come off his block and protected inside, Schlueter provided no outside pressure on the guy Andries was locked up with.

After falling behind 21-20, we open the next possession with an incomplete long toss down the right sideline, which seemed like a questionable call to me at the time. Then Johnson dropped a pass, leaving us with third and long. The 'Rabbits run another twist against the left side of our line. Andries and Schlueter handle it well, but Andries isn't quite balanced and is forced back. On the other side, the DT loops around Dunlap and gets in the face of Morgan, who somehow manages to escape and hits Johnson for a first down.

A few plays later, we're faced with third-and-two. It's a run to the left. Dunlap fails to get position and is outmuscled by the DT, who works his way down the line and drops Mo for no gain. Schlueter and Olson were also substandard on the play, but the primary failure was Dunlap's.

After inexplicably wasting a timeout, we punt.

For the quarter:

Schlueter: 83.3% run, 66.7% pass
Andries: 100% run, 86.7% pass
Olson: 83.3% run, 93.3% pass
Dunlap: 58.3% run, 80% pass
Faalele: 91.7% run, 93.3% pass

Rough quarter for the two new starters on the OL.

More later.

JTG

Sounds, and seems to me Schlueter just isn’t the caliber we need. Does Schmitz or someone step up at guard and Andries get moved to tackle at some point?


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die hard gopher

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I'm a bit surprised myself that the run grade is this high at the half. We had 74 yards on 23 carries, about 3.2 yards per, which doesn't get the job done. Yet I graded the OL as a group at 91.6%, which is solid.

I watch every play at least 5-6 times, but I'm mostly looking at each individual lineman in turn. Most of the time, I focus on individual performances, rather than trying to analyze where a play broke down. But while the OL certainly didn't impress, it also didn't seem that they were horribly inept in the run game.

During the half, there were not a whole lot of examples of guys just completely blowing their assignment on runs. Here's the breakdown:
Schlueter -- 1
Olson -- 2
Dunlap -- 1
Faalele -- 1

I will say that there was a decided lack of movement up front. Our size advantage didn't translate into any blowouts. Them 'Rabbits stood strong.

Paulson's whiff came in the second quarter, and just as you said, he ducked his head, taking his eyes off the defender, who dodged around him unscathed. Technique is everything, and Paulson committed the deadly sin of taking his eyes off his target.

Thanks for the tip regarding the podcasts. I'll try to make time to check that out.

JTG

After re-watching the game, I thought the O-line actually blocked decent on run plays because our backs were able to get 3-5 or more yards on several carries. We just weren't able to break the long one which I think is more of a reflection on how well SDSU tackled and how gap sound they are.
 

rockford

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After re-watching the game, I thought the O-line actually blocked decent on run plays because our backs were able to get 3-5 or more yards on several carries. We just weren't able to break the long one which I think is more of a reflection on how well SDSU tackled and how gap sound they are.

I think you're on to somethin', die hard.

Through the first three quarters, anyway, it seems that while we didn't get much movement up front, we were seldom just simply beaten. Yes, there were some breakdowns. For instance, simple twists -- which the OL handled extremely well last year -- left us out of position and looking silly several times.

I'm left with the perception that what happened Thursday -- at least regarding our offense -- had more to do with SDSU's talent level and desire than it did ineptitude on our part. Yeah, there's a heck of a lot to clean up and improve ... but the 'Rabbits are no slouch.

And other than the pick six, our defense did us no favors in this game. The offense ended up doing just enough to win, but needed a gift fumble to get the job done.

Not an auspicious debut.

JTG
 

hungan1

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With Weyler no longer around to call OL plays, his replacement has big shoes to fill and has to learn quickly to make adjustments during the game.
 

die hard gopher

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With Weyler no longer around to call OL plays, his replacement has big shoes to fill and has to learn quickly to make adjustments during the game.

Olson started the entire season at center two years ago while Weyler was at guard.
 

fan of Ray Williams

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I'm a bit surprised myself that the run grade is this high at the half. We had 74 yards on 23 carries, about 3.2 yards per, which doesn't get the job done. Yet I graded the OL as a group at 91.6%, which is solid.

I watch every play at least 5-6 times, but I'm mostly looking at each individual lineman in turn. Most of the time, I focus on individual performances, rather than trying to analyze where a play broke down. But while the OL certainly didn't impress, it also didn't seem that they were horribly inept in the run game.

During the half, there were not a whole lot of examples of guys just completely blowing their assignment on runs. Here's the breakdown:
Schlueter -- 1
Olson -- 2
Dunlap -- 1
Faalele -- 1

I will say that there was a decided lack of movement up front. Our size advantage didn't translate into any blowouts. Them 'Rabbits stood strong.

Paulson's whiff came in the second quarter, and just as you said, he ducked his head, taking his eyes off the defender, who dodged around him unscathed. Technique is everything, and Paulson committed the deadly sin of taking his eyes off his target.

Thanks for the tip regarding the podcasts. I'll try to make time to check that out.

JTG

Just watched that one on the replay. The defender he missed gets the sack and they go from 2nd and 9 to 3rd and 13. Morgan didn't have a chance. Ha! He was just setting up for the Bateman catch.(Side note, those Jackrabbit running backs look to be faster than the Gopher running backs.)
 
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salzie

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Just watched that one on the replay. The defender he missed gets the sack and they go from 2nd and 9 to 3rd and 13. Morgan didn't have a chance. Ha! He was just setting up for the Bateman catch.(Side note, those Jackrabbit running backs look to be faster than the Gopher running backs.)


even though it was a win, not sure I have stomach to rewatch.
 

Gophers_4life

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Thanks a lot for doing this, rockford !!!

Here is the big, hairy, problem for the OL, now: it's on film.


Guess what Fresno is going to be doing, all night long on passing downs?? Stunts.

If stunts result in sacks, they don't even have to blitz.


Stunts are risky, if the offense is willing run a play that can gash them, like an inside quick hitting run, or sometimes a draw works too. But usually if it's a passing down, you have to throw the ball.

Will be interesting to see how it goes. But the big boys up front better work on stunts this week.
 

rockford

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OK, stuff just got real. Rockford has video capabilities.

<iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/Y0aoDMJhgHosthGezO" width="480" height="286" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/fs1-gopher-football-Y0aoDMJhgHosthGezO">via GIPHY</a></p>

Will try to finish this up this evening.

JTG
 

Oregon Gopher

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I keep forgetting these kids are 18-19 year-old with developing minds and bodies. If there is a choice of red shirting all of them, it will be much better.

However, they don't have very any choice but to burn some red shirts. The larder is not exactly full. When these guys mature in the next couple of years, the guys behind them will benefit.

If they can, they should have three OLs in every recruiting class.

Here is the OL count in 2019 for each Big Ten Team:
MN 16
IA 22
WI 16
NW 16
IL 16
PU 18
NE 26
-------
OSU 21
MI 23
MSU 16
PSU 20
MD 17
IND 18
RUT 21

Are these numbers including PWOs Hungan?


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PMWinSTP

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I though Morgan did a great job extending plays, but it’s not sustainable to have him running for his life half of his dropbacks.

Looked very similar in that way with ZA at the start of last year...
 

Oregon Gopher

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As far as picking up the defensive stunts go, how much of that is on the center to recognize and call it out pre snap. Just wondering how much the team misses Weyler vs bad execution.
Thanks JTG

According to PJ the stunting was new for SDSU so no potential tells or calls by the defensive captain to lead to the deduction a Stunt is coming. It’s not like there aren’t several different alignments that stunts can emerge from. The center call in most cases is simply to determine who you’ll designate as Mike in their alignment so the OL knows their responsibilities, or if the D is overloading one side of the line on a pass play to tell folks how they’ll slide to meet a potential blitz- not to recognize an impending stunt.


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Oregon Gopher

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Thanks Rockford. Love reading this breakdown.
Your % in the run game seem high as we didn't run the ball very well for the entire game.
I would think with those % we would have had at least 1 run of more than 10 yards in the first half.

Interested to see what your second half breakdown % turn out to be.
Really thought the OL struggled with all that SDSU was doing, especially the side with Dunlop and Faalele.
Your number kind of show that.

Remember- if each blocker on the O line has an RER (Rockford Efficiency Rating) of 85% then the probability of all five having ideal blocks is 0.85 to the 5th or only ~45%.


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rockford

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Remember- if each blocker on the O line has an RER (Rockford Efficiency Rating) of 85% then the probability of all five having ideal blocks is 0.85 to the 5th or only ~45%.


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Rockford Efficiency Rating? Damn! That sounds legit.

:cool:

JTG
 

rockford

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OK, when I suggested earlier that the OL finished with a strong fourth quarter, I was a little, er ... wrong. They had a pretty damn good final, game-winning drive, but overall, their fourth-quarter performance was nothing to brag about.

The quarter began promisingly enough. On our third play, QB Morgan executed an absolutely perfect read and keep for a 13-yard gain and a first down in 'Rabbitville territory.

What transpired next was so astonishingly bad, I had to get jiggy with der Google and learn how to create GIFs (yeah, I'm old) just so I could share it with you.

Behold:

<iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/Sr2EB47R71dD0qemo3" width="480" height="278" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/fs1-gopher-football-Sr2EB47R71dD0qemo3">via GIPHY</a></p>

I know you can see it, but please, let me describe it: Schlueter breaks off the line, hell-bent on knocking linemate Andries off his feet (at which he succeeds) and leaving TE Paulson alone to block two DL. One of the DL is so astonished, he obligingly jumps back in front of Schlueter. The other DL runs through Paulson and is two yards deep in the backfield, waiting for the ballcarrier ... along with about a quarter of his teammates. Cuz this ain't the worst thing that happens on this play. It's not Andries, sprawling face down in the turf, failing to make contact with LB Longhair, who also joins the party in the backfield. It's not Olson, who somehow managed to check past two of the three guys in our backfield. (OK, so maybe only one of them was likely his responsibility. But still ...) No, I think the worst is Dunlap almost completely whiffing on the DT ... then falling to the ground.

Yes, this play truly was a paradigm of ineptitude.

Two plays later, 3rd and eight, and Andries is flagged for a devastatingly effective (and legal) block on the screen play. Now it's 3rd and 23, and Schlueter allows a hit on Morgan as he throws. Punt.

I don't know what transpired on the sideline, but the OL that came out for the final drive looked decidedly different. (Maybe they were simply charged by the gift fumble SDSU handled them.) Schlueter in particular was as quick and decisive and determined as he's probably ever been in his life. One of the TV announcers mistakenly attributed to Olson a pancake block during this drive. It wasn't Olson, it was Schlueter, who took his man about five yards downfield before getting up under his pads and de-cleating him.

But even on the final drive, when we ran five times for 34 yards and a TD, the OL wasn't entirely impressive, grading out at 89.3% for the drive. Perfect scores for Schlueter and Andries on the game-winning drive, however.

For the quarter
Schlueter: 86.7% rush, 66.7% pass
Andries: 86.7% rush, 100% pass
Olson: 86.7% rush, 100% pass
Dunlap: 73.3% rush, 100% pass
Faalele: 83.3% rush, 88.9% pass

For the game
Schlueter: 89.2% rush, 75.8% pass
Andries: 94.6% rush, 86.4% pass
Olson: 87.4% rush, 97.0% pass
Dunlap: 82.9% rush, 85.7% pass
Faalele: 88.3% rush, 84.8% pass

If I were to nominate an OL for a game ball, it would be Andries, who was damn good on the run and held up as well as anyone on the pass (except Olson, who wasn't tested).

I saw enough from Schlueter that I wouldn't hesitate to start him again ... unless I had somebody behind him who was pushing really, really hard.

As expected, Olson was fine at center.

Dunlap struggled at times.

Faalele was aight. Aight ain't good enough for him.

I suspect we learned a few things from the fact that the only substitute on the OL we saw during the whole game was when Dunlap got dinged up and Schmitz came in at center. First, it either tells us they like Schmitz more at center than guard, or with the stunts the 'Rabbits were throwing at us, they thought an old hand like Olson at G could help shore things up. Second, it may be a hint that neither Schmitz nor Dickson are breathing down any starter's neck.

I'm inclined to both applaud SDSU on a job well done, and chide our boys on what can only be described as a disappointing performance.

I wonder what SDSU's win probability percentage was before they fumbled the ball over to us.

JTG
 

Pompous Elitist

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I finally finished re-watching the game today and that play you highlighted in the gif above was truly a beauty. Then the (legal) illegal (not) blindside block 15 yarder by official longhair (possibly blind or blocked in a fashion), then Schlueter getting bulldozed into Morgan on the long 3 (what would have been a dump to a shallow crossing 13 that probably doesn’t go anywhere).

I think the saving grace as you pointed out was the last 8-9 minutes - a glimpse of the team that finished last year. There is hope.
 

PitinoFan

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3 Jackalopes on top of Rodney the moment he touches the ball. Nice.


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Spoofin

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Thanks Rockford. Great posts!


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Face The Facts

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Behold:

<iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/Sr2EB47R71dD0qemo3" width="480" height="278" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/fs1-gopher-football-Sr2EB47R71dD0qemo3">via GIPHY</a></p>


Wow, that's an ugly play.
It it better if the lineman all synchronize their bad play into one play, so only one play is affected, or is it better if they each whiff on separate plays so there is still a bit of hope for the Running Back to not be killed?
 

Otis

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I'm really disappointed in Rodney on that play! if only he would have bounced to the right instead of the left, he would have lost a yard or two less on the play.

On second thought, it's pretty clear the line thought it was a screen to Rodney.
 

Replacement Gopher

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Remember- if each blocker on the O line has an RER (Rockford Efficiency Rating) of 85% then the probability of all five having ideal blocks is 0.85 to the 5th or only ~45%.


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Correction: this is the Post of the Day!
 

rockford

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The Bill James of Gopher hole.

LOL!

For the record, the Gophers OL posted an RER (hat tip @Oregon Gopher :D) of 88.5 rushing and 85.9 passing.

Based on this game, anyway, it seems reasonable to consider 85 to be the bottom of the "barely acceptable" range.

IOW, we barely did enough to win. Seems about right.

JTG
 
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