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Is Colorado not a good rushing team?

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Justin M Guerriero, Oct 9, 2016.

  1. Justin M Guerriero

    Justin M Guerriero Well-Known Member Club Member

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    I have much love for Phillip Lindsay and now for Kyle Evans, as he's starting to have meaningful impacts on games.

    But as of right now, I'm finding myself being able to to draw too many similarities between inefficiencies this year that also plagued the 2015 team.

    I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record player here, but these run plays that the offense has been running are starting to become appalling. After the loss at Michigan, in which the team converted just one third down, coach Mac said that the offense had way too many second/third-and-longs. Long story short, I've noticed that the Buffs are not looking good on first down.

    I'll limit this criticism to the team's losses at USC as well as the Michigan.

    CU vs. Michigan on first down:

    Q1: (excluding a 50-yard bomb to Shay Fields) 9 first down plays, net gain of 25 yards
    Q2: 7 first down plays, net gain of 3 yards
    Q3: (excluding a 70-yard TD pass to Shay Fields, Jr.) 5 first down plays, net gain of 9 yards
    Q4: 5 first down plays, net gain of 3 yards

    The loss at USC was abysmal too in terms of the offense's production on first down. Here's a quarter by quarter breakdown.

    Q1: 8 first down plays, net gain of 11 yards
    Q2: 6 first down plays, net gain of 12 yards
    Q3 (excluding the 67-yard trick play TD from Bobo to Lindsay, which was on 1st down)
    6 first down plays, net gain of 18 yards
    Q4: (the best quarter for the team in terms of 1st down efficiency) 8 first down plays, net gain of 73 yards

    So to come full circle...excluding the big trick play TD pass, on 1st down during the game, the Buffs ran 28 plays for 114 yards, or 4.07 yards per play. Now hold on a second...because 4 yards per play sounds pretty good. But let's not fall for that distorted stat.

    If we take away two big fourth quarter plays, a 37-yard rush by Lindsay and a 21-yard pass to Bryce Bobo, the Buffs ran 26 first down plays and gained 56 yards for a 2.23 yards per play average.

    That is downright awful!

    At least in my mind this problem is due to these dumbass play calls in regards to the run game. Personally, I think that the team needs to utilize fullbacks in a better way.

    The Buffs have in George Frazier a suitable candidate to lead block for Lindsay and Evans. Even though he's listed as a tight end on CUBuffs, Frazier is the starting fullback on this team.

    That said, he really doesn't see a lot of action. Partly because the Buffs are too handcuffed to the shotgun formation. Adding an occasional regular and offset I formation could be helpful. Getting back to the constant second/third-and-long issue, a big reason for that are these ineffective run plays on first down. Phillip Lindsay is 5'8" and a powerful running back for his size. However, he can't be expected to burst through an enemy team's front seven with no lead blocker.

    Things need to change...better play calling is how that change begins.
     
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  2. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    No. Colorado is not a good rushing team. Not as bad as it has been, but still no better than adequate. Effective against lesser defenses but CU is forced to get one dimensional against good defenses.
     
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  3. Justin M Guerriero

    Justin M Guerriero Well-Known Member Club Member

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    Well said. I think people got a bit too excited when they beat up on UMass and Nicholls, and did the same this year vs. CSu and Idaho State. At the end of the day, this team has major struggles on the ground against respectable defenses. Way too predictable. I'm surprised that the repetitive play calling has been allowed to exist for this long. I'm not sure how the play calling breaks down between Lindgren and Chev, but some creativity is needed. Not that I think Mac should blatantly demand that...but damn. If I'm Mike MacIntyre, watching the team be so bad on first down, and watching Phil Lindsay constantly getting stuffed up the gut, I'd be wondering to myself about the direction that the offense is headed in regards to rushing. I'd like to see more pitches to the outside, more formations in the backfield, and for the love of god, do something other than that shotgun draw play to Lindsay on first down!
     
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  4. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Sure. But the counter argument to that is that trying to pull anything out of the hat was a big problem last season. Maybe it's better to have an identity and stick with it even if it's not working because you have play action and other plays that are set up by it? Maybe it's also good from the standpoint that you establish an expectation for your team to become a team that can win those battles? In that same equation, there was that double pass trick play that went for a touchdown. That play would not have been set up and worked if they hadn't already tried and failed to gain yards on so many WR screens that gave the exact same look. Sometimes there's usefulness and purpose to a dive play that doesn't gain yards. Also, on Saturday the defense was exhausted and they really needed to shorten the game to have any chance of stealing that one by making a play at the end.
     
  5. Tatanka™

    Tatanka™ Well-Known Member

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    We've come a long way on the o-line, but we're still not good enough to ram it down a good D's throat. Especially with our top three backs being undersized. I think it would have helped to take some shots deep against SC early to loosen up their D a bit. Don't know why we waited so long to do that.

    I am also a big proponent of using a lead blocker whether it's a TE in motion or a FB. I'd put that in the play calling mix a lot more.
     
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  6. MiamiBuffs

    MiamiBuffs Wᴉɐɯᴉ qnɟɟs Club Member

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    Remeber where we were last year. Be happy about where we are this year with that in mind. I like the trajectory for the future.
     
  7. Burrito Palazzo

    Burrito Palazzo huff my smug Club Member

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    This is the common denominator.
     
  8. MiamiBuffs

    MiamiBuffs Wᴉɐɯᴉ qnɟɟs Club Member

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    From an uncommon poster.
     
  9. Mighty Buff

    Mighty Buff Asshat BANNED

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    Justin has it way correct.....

    Things need to change...better play calling is how that change begins.
     
  10. HuskerHater

    HuskerHater Club Member Club Member

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    So if we're counting all first down plays against Michigan and USC we average 9.7 yards per play. We may not be a great rushing team but I think we'll be okay.
     
  11. BuffUp

    BuffUp W.T.T.F. Club Member

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    We are not. Have not been for a long time now and must improve in this area to keep The Rise going. I am having a hard time determining if it's not good run blocking or not very good RB's?? maybe a little of both? The RB's we have are serviceable, but no true game changer or put the ball in their hands when needed. Would any of them run better behind other Pac12 lines?
     
  12. chitownbuff

    chitownbuff Club Member Club Member

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    More screens (to the RB's).
     
  13. Clean Undies

    Clean Undies Flagship of the 12-Pac Club Member

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    Is there any legitimate case to burn Beau Bisharat's red shirt at this time?
     
  14. BuffUp

    BuffUp W.T.T.F. Club Member

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    where is Gordon at? we need some size back there #1
     
  15. onealcd

    onealcd Club Member Club Member

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    It has already been burned.
     
  16. BuffUp

    BuffUp W.T.T.F. Club Member

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    would have been nice to have Carrs speed this year, but we need size back there. Size with speed would be bonus.
     
  17. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    Already burned.
     
  18. buffaholic

    buffaholic Club Member Club Member

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    Bigger RB's will only hit the non-existent holes slower and lose more yards. The running game is NOT there against stout defenses. USC played us straight up 4-2 up front and won the LOS all day, and got pressure on the QB at will.

    Blame it on play calling!

    FWIW, ASU will be tough up front. But their DBs don't cover as well and they blow assignments on a regular basis, giving up explosive plays. The play calling will be so much better against such a D. You'll see.
     
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  19. pcbuff

    pcbuff Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a fan of the read options central to this offense. It has a running QB as a necessary element. When Sefo or Montez were healthy, our running game looked pretty good. When they get hurt from the hits, everything stalls. When Mac wins six and we are bowl bound and he is extended, QB depth is a huge item on his to do list.
     
  20. onealcd

    onealcd Club Member Club Member

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    I think some of it is emphasis driven as well. If we wanted to run the ball consistently and effectively Callahan would not be sitting the bench and would be the right tackle. Instead the coaching staff believes Haigler and Kronsage are better in the passing game so they get the call there.
     
  21. Bufffan68

    Bufffan68 Club Member Club Member

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    This
     
  22. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    Zone read is a great equalizer.
     
  23. TSchekler

    TSchekler Darth's Hero Club Member

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    Adequate is definitely the right way to describe CU's running game. They've dominated against CSU, ISU, OSU and Oregon and were not good against UM (1.9/per) and SC (3.3/per). I think CU can compete with any team in the PAC when it comes to the skill positions, but we are average, at best, in the trenches (which we all knew). It's why landing Polley and Sherman, and maybe flipping Newman would be huge. The developmental approach to OL is OK, but at some point, we're going to need more talented OL, instead of simply relying on mediocre ones physically maturing.
     
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  24. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    Our OL isn't dominant, so we have to scheme our running game. We also have solid but not elite talent at rb. So it's ok to good but can't be seen as dependable against good defenses that can rely on athletes to win enough individual battles
     
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  25. buffaholic

    buffaholic Club Member Club Member

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    Myth. There is no controversy here. Callahan is not good enough.

    Why don't we talk about why Rippy isn't starting or why Yuri didn't start both ways last year?
     
  26. onealcd

    onealcd Club Member Club Member

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    It's not a myth at all, Callahan played a lot last year so I don't really understand the comparison to Rippy or Yuri. CL does some great breakdowns on the rivals/Scout board (I think DarthSnow has used quite a few of them on here) but he showed over and over last year that Callahan is stout in the run game and simply has strength and power that others don't.
     
  27. MiamiBuffs

    MiamiBuffs Wᴉɐɯᴉ qnɟɟs Club Member

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    Were not a complete team. But we have enough pieces to be good at a few things and weak at others. Anyone mad at losing to USC or Michigan is a fool for drinking the Kool Aid. Im pretty happy with how we played both because I see progress. I think this is a program that is on its way to a better place
     
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  28. buffaholic

    buffaholic Club Member Club Member

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    I agree. Our weak spot is Power running teams with TE's on offense and big, physical, and fast defenses. USC and Michigan have top 5 talent on both sides. USC is probably playing as well right now as many top 10 teams on the defensive side. Maybe better. On offense, they are vastly improving with new QB.

    This wasn't like the last few years when we could count on teams overlooking CU. USC was ready to play.
     
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  29. BuffLuKe

    BuffLuKe Club Member Club Member

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    Need to mix it up with the run. I mean even get receivers involved at times. Give a lot of eye candy out there, keep them guessing. Some teams we won't have to do a lot of that, some we will.
     
  30. MiamiBuffs

    MiamiBuffs Wᴉɐɯᴉ qnɟɟs Club Member

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    The goal is to make a bowl game and prove The Rise is real and net some recruits that are a next level upgrade from what we've been getting (last 10 years) that put the future for CU Football in a better place.

    If we can win most of the rest of our games and keep all our coaches we should be in good shape for that. Bonus if we beat Stanford. Bonus if we win the south. Bonus if we hang around the Top 25 rankings to the end. It would be nice to look back and see our only losses were Michigan and USC because they are considered power houses that just reload. Though I expect at least one more loss to come from someone.
     

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