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Overall thoughts coming out of the spring? (Both pleasant surprises and concerns)

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Duff Man, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    Pleasant Surprises
    1. The overall offensive scheme. We seem to finally have a scheme where we know what we want to do. No more Chinese Fire Drills pre-snap and no lining up in the shotgun for 90% of the time. We actually seem to have a coaching staff implementing a scheme that will bring out the best in the players.
    2. The running backs. We knew we had a good starter entering the spring, but Tony Jones and Josh Ford have really stepped it up as well. If Lockridge can stay healthy in the fall, we have a really solid group here. Certainly not the biggest group of backs, but some playmakers for the new offense.
    3. Conrad Obi. Fans have been waiting for this guy to break out and it appears Obi is making the most of his senior year. He was very impressive in the spring game and looks to be an important contributor for the defense this season.

    Concerns
    1. Cornerback. It was one the obvious concerns heading into the spring and we did not get many answers coming out of spring. We have an inexperienced group regardless of who starts, so hopefully they are able to hit the ground running.
    2. The kicking game. We still are seeing inconsistency here and it is not just the kickers. The snappers still have a ways to go. Really hoping we can at least be mediocre here for the 2011 season.
    3. Injuries. The team at the spring game will not be the same team that takes the field in Honolulu, but it does give a glimpse at how this team looks with just a few injuries at certain positions (wide receiver, center, and safety to name a few). With questionable depth at several positions, we need to stay healthy for this team to have a shot with a 13-game schedule and no byes.
     
  2. 96 Buff

    96 Buff Resident Commie Bastard Club Member Junta Member

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    Unwad your panties.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Mick Ronson

    Mick Ronson Well-Known Member

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    it would be a relief to actually be able to line up and run our plays without being on a seemingly destined path for 3rd and 9, a penalty killed drive that moves the ball between the 35's but stalls, or the ever-popular delay of game out of a timeout.
     
  4. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    I will add another Pleasant surprise:
    The Quarterbacks: I expected this to be a big problem for us, especially depth wise. Tyler Hansen stepping up and taking the job is great news. Also, I don't know if anyone else noted this, but his accuracy has gotten better. An article in the last week talked about Rip has been workign with his mechanics. So nice to have a dedicated and experienced QB coach! And although Hirschman is still a project, he has obviously come a long way.

    Concerns: DE. Nobody stepped up. Due to injury or other concern, this is still a weakness. And a big one with a weak CB situation as well.
     
  5. Gramburglar

    Gramburglar Literally has hundreds of dollars Club Member

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    The secondary overall is very concerning. I am optimistic with Perkins return there will be improvement, but I see a sieve like secondary this year.
     
  6. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    last year's pass defense was ranked 112 out of like 118 in the country.. With two NFL corners. Who are gone. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
     
  7. Tractor

    Tractor Club Member Club Member

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    The overall offensive scheme was my biggest positive as well. Not only were a lot of plays going to the tight end (YEEEEESSSSSSS), but I liked the idea of getting the ball to our playmakers. If teams want to play P Rich with a 12 yard cushion, we should just throw over there and let him go 1-1. He got about 8 yards a pop on that play alone. Teams did that same nonsense to us all year last year (F-ing Baylor's WR screen that we made look like the best play ever designed).

    Punish teams for respecting our playmakers. Make them move their CBs up, and that will cause the safety to slide a little more his direction to protect the over the top play. It helps the rest of our team.

    You could actually see plays setting up other plays in this scrimmage. What a concept. We threw those short ones to P-Rich and then got him up the sideline as they started to creep up on him. HUGE fan of the offensive scheme we saw, even if it was just a small %.
     
  8. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    God this is good to hear. For a noob, EB keeps sounding better and better.
     
  9. buffedup

    buffedup Cooler than a Popsicle Stand. Club Member

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    Damnit! I knew that was coming.
     
  10. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    Exactly. If nothing else, let's make the other team respect our passing game between the tackles. We have some tight end talent that needs to be a part of the game. Thorton and Slavin are versatile enough that you can line them up out wide or in the slot as well. Goes without saying that Richardson needs to get touches in every single game too.

    Also agree on plays setting up other plays. Really think we can put up a lot of points on offense this year.
     
  11. Liver

    Liver modded mod Club Member Junta Member

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    i feel like we are on the right track from a strategic perspective. the staff has a clear vision of what it wants to do, which is awesome. and, of course, the fact that the vision revolves around physicality and toughness makes all of us long-timers very pleased. all the best Buff teams ever have run the ball with authority.

    i think we are in for some serious bumps in the road in the next season or 2 because we do not have the athletes, across the board, to compete at the highest levels yet. but, i think the staff will get the most from what we have and they appear to be working their arses off to recruit the elite guys here, too.

    all in all, i thought the spring went great. they've set a tone and a direction. now, it is about executing on the plan over the next few years to get us back to greatness.
     
  12. sliderNcider

    sliderNcider MacLovin Club Member

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    Next year is what we should worry about. No Hansen, speedy, we lose 3 SR starters on OL, Toney, Deehan. We'll take steps forward on D but the O will be interesting
     
  13. The Guest

    The Guest Guest

    Signed,

    Drunk guy who slept through the scrimmage
     
  14. Buff_since76

    Buff_since76 Still a fan... Club Member

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    The best part of the game was strategy. You definitely had a sense of what the offensive game plan was, and how they were going to execute it. It was also apparent that the team could use some more time together to get the timing aspect down better. Since this is Spring, and they have summer 7’s and Fall camp, we should see improvement come Hawaii. Defensively it seems we need 1-2 pieces to be added in, and get everyone on the same page to get some improvement. Whether the players are freshman or guys coming back from injury I don’t know, but we need a little something extra if we are going to shift from competing to winning. As with all things when you scrimmage every good has a bad. I will mention just a few I saw:

    With the new center there did seem to be some plays where they had miss communication and missed blocks – Obi was able to take advantage and blow up several running plays.

    Tyler did a great fake hand-off on a naked bootleg, and had 15 yards to the closest defender who had to decide whether to cover the TE or go after Tyler – weak side DE and LB were far to over aggressive to stop the run and set the offensive up for a big gain.

    Hirshman threw a 15 yard post to Canty who made a great catch between the CB and safety coming over to help – Smith went for the ball instead of the man, and if he would have aimed at Canty his timing was perfect, and there would be no way to hold onto that ball and a good chance he goes off on a stretcher.

    On a screen pass that was sold well and gave the running back 3 blockers heading down field with only one DL (no one else within about 10 yards of the blockers) in the way #60 blew his assignment and let the DL past which would have led to a gain of 0 – the play actually went for 20+ because the lineman who shed the block missed what should have been a routine tackle (in this case two wrongs do not make a right).
     
  15. Darian3Hagan

    Darian3Hagan '89 Player of the Year Club Member

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    The new offensive scheme and production should help the defense this year. What was our time of possession avg last year?
     
  16. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    Truth. fact. (allcaps).
     
  17. SJBuff

    SJBuff Club Member Club Member

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    +1 to everything posted above.
    My excitment comes from the attitude and aggressiveness displayed by the whole team. They seem to play meaner and with a much higher level of intensity. They are pissed and they have something to prove. That's exactly the attitude we need heading into the schedule we will face this year.

    Edit: Was it me or did the players seem to be just a bit quicker and play with more brute force. I'm loving our S&C coach. Can't wait to see how the team looks after a whole summer of him whipping up on them. :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  18. buff190

    buff190 Club Member Club Member

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    Oh man I remember that play. Smith could have taken Canty's head off!!! I am a little thankful that he didn't make the hit but if that situation comes up in a real game Smith better be head hunting!
     
  19. BlackNGold

    BlackNGold Club Member Club Member

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    I think a real key is the advancement that Tyler Hansen has made. I am not talking about just the spring game but watching other practices, I believe he has made big strides. The way the QB position was handled in the past did not help him at all. I think without that hanging over his head he can just go out and compete.

    I think the staff probably got 30% of what they want implemented in the spring. A big part of that is setting the tone, culture, attitude or whatever you want to call it.

    Biggest concern is depth on both side of the ball and special teams.
     
  20. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    Depth, DBs and special teams are going to be the biggest issues all year long, although special teams is my biggest concern. An average team with bad special teams is a bad team. Psychologically, when you bust your ass to get to the 30 yard line, you need to have confidence that your kicker will get you points. When that doesn't happen, it's devastating. How many times did we start out strong in a game last year, only to have a special teams blowup kill any momentum we had?

    I'm a big believer in the value of special teams. We don't have much going for us right now in this department.
     
  21. SJBuff

    SJBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Totally with you on this one. ST has a long way to go to just be servicable.
    I read in one of the articles last week how Mac used to call the Punt the most important play in the whole play book. JE shared how Mac would send hand written invitations to the players that he wanted on his Punt team. Mac was a F'ing genius motivator.
     
  22. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    We actually ranked in the top 25 for TOP last season. TOP can be misleading if you look at it all by itself. We just have not been nearly efficient enough on offense. Here are the stats that really jump out at me on offense under Hawkins:

    2006
    Scoring offense-107th
    Rushing offense-22nd
    FG made per game-6th (only made 68% of attempts though)
    Net punting-31st

    2007
    Scoring offense-62nd
    Rushing offense-68th
    FG made per game-49th (only made 64% of attempts though)
    Net punting-61st

    2008
    Scoring offense-100th
    Rushing offense-86th
    FG made per game-NR (36% of attempts made)
    Net punting-81st

    2009
    Scoring offense-92nd
    Rushing offense-113th
    FG made per game-91st (only 56% of attempts made)
    Net punting-113th

    2010
    Scoring offense-84th
    Rushing offense-85th
    FG made per game-84th (only 66% of attempts made)
    Net punting-88th

    Some observations from those stats:

    1. We left far too many points on the field with missed FGs. That not only hurts scoring offense, but it hurts overall team morale if you cannot consistently make FGs.
    2. Missed FGs often means leaving your defense in a hole with bad field position.
    3. When net punting is as bad as it has been, it leaves your defense in a hole with bad field position.
    4. The rushing offense stats show a certain lack of toughness by the team. If you cannot consistently move the ball on the ground, you are not really wearing the other team down unless you can run a fast-break offense (which we couldn't).

    If we can improve in FG percentage, net punting, and rushing offense, this team becomes better pretty quickly.
     
  23. Darian3Hagan

    Darian3Hagan '89 Player of the Year Club Member

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    I guess top was high because it forever to get a play called. What was the opositions starting field position I wonder.
     
  24. Darian3Hagan

    Darian3Hagan '89 Player of the Year Club Member

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    I would just like to us get off the goddamned field on 3rd and long this year.
     
  25. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    I couldn't find that stat, but I think it is safe to assume it was horrible.
     
  26. Darian3Hagan

    Darian3Hagan '89 Player of the Year Club Member

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  27. leftybuff

    leftybuff Iconoclast Club Member

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    I was curious to see how much the CU offense looked like Shanny's offenses when he had the Broncs for the last few years. Lots of zone runs, passes to the TE and waggle/bootlegs. With Thornton, Deehan and Slavin, using the TE could be a good thing for the Buffs this fall.

    The OL looked just OK. Munyer saw a lot of time at Center. As with any zone scheme, penetration a DL really sets the run play up for some losses. Overall though, I liked the RB's Ford, Tony Jones and RS looked pretty good. I would not be suprised if BLock, Tony Jones and Ford seriously cut into the number of carries RS gets.

    TH is the QB, I don't know how it can be said anybody else is really challenging him, although Hirsch is coming along nicely. Burnette has a lot of work to do, and Marquez took him down badly on that pick. One can only wonder what TH might have been if he had a fair shake at QB previoulsy.

    PRich is the only playmaker at WR. TClem is too, IMO, but didn't play. There are a lot of role player type guys at WR, Cefalo, Canty (who juked Bell out of his jock), Darden (huge body but hands?), WillJeff (good speed but hands?), a true frosh could see the field here.

    The d was hard to get a handle on but Obi, Major and Polk all looked good.


    ST? Man that is a concern.....
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  28. aik

    aik Club Member Club Member

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    Ends and corners scare me, along with anything that goes with the pass defense. Field goals are giving me nightmares, and it's not primarily Castor, it's the snap-hold combo that's not getting it there in time for him to kick and it's getting him out of rhythm,

    Pleasantly surprised on offense. RBs following good blocks and great TE depth once Thornton is good to go.
     
  29. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

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    Didnt west and Kasa sit out the scrimmage? if that is the case expect end play to pick up massively just by getting those 2 back.
     
  30. aik

    aik Club Member Club Member

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    Yes, we'll see. I think it's a little skewed to the fact that I may have seen more if contact on the QB was allowed.
     

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