Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Further vivisection in the wake of the RMS

CU is always supposed to beat CSU in football.  Year-in-year-out, no exceptions.  That is just a baseline program expectation.  So, when the odd year rolls by that little brother does turn the tables on the State's flagship (thankfully, only three times in the past decade), the fanbase gets a little shaken.  Case-in-point: the ridiculous post on AllBuffs highlighted by SBNation (using the word "takeover" is hardly ever appropriate).

But, yes, in the wake of the loss, plenty of blame is bound to be thrown around.  Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy and O-Line coach Steve Marshall tried to take much of it in light of the poor showing from the run game.  That showing Saturday, which saw only 58 running yards created on 29 carries (a paltry 2 yards per attempt) is the kind that gets coaches fired, especially when the staff has repeatedly communicated a desire to play a ground-heavy style of offense.  I highly doubt the axe is coming in early September (although ask the Houston OC how that thinking goes), but it's obvious that the run game needs to turn around in a hurry.
Tony Jones found scant running room Saturday.  Complete failure by everyone involved.  From: the BDC
Beyond the run game, however, there are a few additional nits on my radar that seem worthy of picking.

QB Jordan Webb apparently suffered a hip pointer late in the first half, leaving him with pain and a visible limp after the game.  Over the final 30 minutes, the transfer starter from Kansas only completed 7 of his 18 pass attempts, getting sacked twice, and throwing an interception that was only overturned because of a roughing the passer penalty.  The injury (as well as the O-Line's inability to give him time) seemed to have an effect on his play, a fact Coach Embree admitted as much during his weekly presser.  Still, Wood stayed in the game up to the final whistle.
Webb was visibly slowed in the second half Saturday.  Where were the backups?  From: The BDC
The backup tandem of Connor Wood and Nick Hirschman (with Wood the anointed backup) must be completely off the radar if an injured QB, completely under siege behind a bumbling offensive line, is still the best option with the game on the line.  Would the final drives of the season opener against a rabid opponent be a difficult time to go to the backup?  Sure, but sometimes a situation dictates an uncomfortable choice.

Additionally, Saturday saw the introduction of a no-huddle offense.  Communication and read/recognition was, by the team's own admission, a major problem as a result of the new style.  Hey it's the first real game with the new system, but it's eye-raising to hear that the team was struggling with basic concepts like identifying the "Mike" linebacker, considering that the style had been installed since spring ball.  If it's not better, faster this Saturday against Sacramento State, I'll be really concerned.
No one was happy with the results, least of all Coach Embree.
Speaking of the Sac St game, it can't come fast enough.  The bad taste of the CSU loss needs to be expunged, and that can only come through another 60 minutes of play.  The keyword will be improvement, and there had better be lots of it.

1 comment:

Aaron Jordan said...

I just want to see a first game for the Buffs where we don't look completely disorganized. It seems like every year we come out and nobody knows the plan, and some years we win because of athletic prowess and other years we lose because nobody knows what is going on.