Welcome to SlackChat! Slack is the messaging platform the staff uses to communicate. We had a Slack chat about the offense!
Seth 7:26 PM
joined #slackchat along with 4 others.
Seth 7:30 PM
The loss to Arizona had me bummed and I thought that it might be good to talk it out a bit. I thought we’d start with a conversation about what ails the offense and then eventually move to what the offense could do to fix the problems.
Spencer 7:33 PM
It’s difficult to not start with looking at the struggles of the offensive line. Arizona was able to regularly bring pressure with only 3 players
briandc 7:33 PM
And when they brought any type of blitz, it was usually lights out
Seth 7:34 PM
I felt like I was watching TCU or Missouri defense of the Leach years, where they rushed 3, the quarterback was a bit lost where to go and everything was outside the hashes. Everything.
Michael LaBarre 7:35 PM
There’s a reason why when teams start to build their offenses, typically they start with the offensive line. And with a 4-5 per class too. You can have playmakers across the board, but your offense won’t do anything without someone to give them time. They looked like Houston Texans. Talent, but not enough time to show the talent
Spencer 7:35 PM
Which is strange since this was the unit on offense that was pointed to having the most returning talent
Seth 7:36 PM
And they were at full strength with Steele and Anderson both back, so despite the OL being at full strength, there was significant issues.
Michael LaBarre 7:36 PM
I wonder if Terrence Steele was still injured. He drew a lot of penalties and was struggling hard out there. Perhaps he wasn’t 100%
briandc 7:37 PM
I agree, there should be enough returning players for the line to be much more cohesive than what it was. Watching the game again, all I could think of was “What is this offense’s identity? What are we trying to establish?”
Seth 7:37 PM
Yeah, so that’s my problem Brian, which is what is this offense supposed to be. We were told that the offense was going to be 50/50 run/pass and more physical and that’s not what we saw.
briandc 7:38 PM
We looked panicked when the passing game wasn’t really working. It’s like we stripped the head of a screw and just kept on drilling just in case we could grab some traction and it just made things worse
Michael LaBarre 7:39 PM
Anytime the run game got going we starting passing a ton instead of leaving it balanced or going play action like y’all said. And when we did, it was just a screen pass and nothing down the field, which is the point of a play action.
Seth 7:40 PM
So is this a physicality issue with the offensive line? Are they not kicking enough ass? Are they not nasty enough?
Michael LaBarre 7:41 PM
They’re a part of it, but not the only issue. The screen game not being successful had nothing to do with the O-line. Bowman throwing fades and go routes on third down had nothing to with the O-line. The play calling and execution wasn’t always there are times. There was signs of good football, and then we’d have a bad couple plays (edited)
Seth 7:42 PM
So Wells somewhat lamented after the game, near the end of his press conference, where the offense looked really good running the ball, and then there would be a 0 yard gain and then everything would be thrown off because you’re 2nd and 3rd and long.
And as an aside, I’m always a little bit comforted when the head coach sees the same thing that most of the fans are complaining about.
briandc 7:43 PM
There was a play where the receivers on the left side of the field clearly didn’t know what the call was, motioned to Bowman that they weren’t sure what to do, Bowman snaps the ball anyway, and they both end up running the same route and ended up in the same place. Needless to say the pass was incomplete. I think execution was a huge issue on the night
Michael LaBarre 7:45 PM
You’re going to have zero yard gains. That’s part of football and running the ball. You can’t expect a large gain every play. The problem is, can you gain 10 yards in the two plays after that. Tech struggled to do that
Spencer 7:45 PM
To Michaels point, you can’t give up running when you don’t gain yards on a carry
Michael LaBarre 7:46 PM
As far as Brian’s point was, I saw the exact same thing. That play frustrated me the most all night (edited)
briandc 7:46 PM
Especially when it seems to be what’s working best for you. I really liked the way our backs, especially Shyne, ran on Saturday
Michael LaBarre 7:47 PM
Shyne needs to be the feature back in my opinion. He has great vision and just looks like a running back. He knows where the hole will be and attack it when necessary. He transferred not because he was bad. Zack Moss at Utah is a Heisman candidate
Spencer 7:48 PM
Shyne was kicking butt as the starter this past weekend
michael 7:48 PM
Tech ran 7 rushing plays in a row on that third drive, with Shyne getting most of the carries. Bowman’s only throw that drive was the first interception. Between abandoning the run and the fake field goal, Tech was playing like they were down 14 in the 4th when they were down 6 in the 2nd.
Seth 7:49 PM
So the issues so far: 1) the offensive was not very good; 2) play calling was inconsistent; 3) lack of execution; and 4) failure to stay with the running game because Shyne was really pretty terrific.
What about Bowman, he was so good last year as a true freshman and now, there seems to be a disconnect. Is anyone worried about Bowman’s progression?
Michael LaBarre 7:50 PM
First off, Bowman’s max potential was with Kingsbury. He’s a QB guru. We like to talk about what he did wrong a lot, but he knew how to coach quarterbacks
Seth 7:51 PM
Yost has had a pretty good track record though.
michael 7:52 PM
The disappearance of his deep ball and/or all of the receiver miscommunication could be due to the new system.
briandc 7:52 PM
I’m not exactly sure, and that’s what’s so frustrating. When you switch timezones and play a late game, things can go pear-shaped. With as much experience as he had last year, he’s still only a sophomore. But it’s like he forgot. . . everything sometimes. More often than not he wasn’t planting his feet. He would either side arm or short arm his passes, not throw his shoulder into things. It got rough to watch. But then other times he would be vintage, like when he came in again in the 3rd after his injury. Just inconsistent
But it looked like we kept sticking to the sides of the field. Mannix had his big completion between the hashes, but for the most part we weren’t getting anywhere near the middle of the field mid-range. Did they see something on tape with Zona’s linebackers? (edited)
Seth 7:54 PM
So much of those quirky throws are intentional and so he’s seemingly freelancing a bit, which is fine so long as they work.
Spencer 7:54 PM
There was something Yost said about having to live with a QBs throwing motion when you recruit them because he wasn’t going to change it. That concerns me that the mechanics were seeing with Bowman, which feels like a regression, will remain under Yost
Seth 7:55 PM
And he said that before the game.
I kind of get the feeling that the offense and Yost just weren’t ready for the linebackers and secondary just flooding the middle of the field and if Bowman is missing deep and the Cats take away the middle of the field, there’s really no where else for Bowman to go.
Michael LaBarre 7:56 PM
I think people are always afraid to go over the middle, but that’s the easier way to get open. It’s a shorter distance to throw and you can pick defenders if you do it correctly. Really we haven’t seen much of it the first few weeks. When they did try it, it seems to work
Especially with all our good slot guys, we should be owning that part of the field (edited)
Seth 7:57 PM
Yeah, I think that’s a simple solution and one they need to work to be good at. Figure out ways to be good over the middle.
briandc 7:57 PM
It goes back to identity. If we’re not the team that dictates what the defense does, we have to at least adapt to what they’re giving us
Michael LaBarre 7:58 PM
Adapting is huge. If defenses know a weakness, they’ll try to force it (edited)
Seth 7:59 PM
So this goes into where how we fix the offense with Bowman out. I read yesterday that Kansas pretty much went to total RPO’s to beat Boston College handily. I think this leads to a couple of questions. Does the offense need to change and if so, what needs to change about the offense, especially since it will be either Duffey or Tyner, most likely Tyner who has a terrible completion percentage and more interceptions that touchdowns.
Michael LaBarre 8:01 PM
Depends what their skill set it. I would not expect Bowman and Duffy to run all the same plays. Play to your player’s strengths. You can keep the offense the way you want, but alter it slightly to where your guy can be successful (edited)
briandc 8:02 PM
I think you have to start with the QB’s strengths. Start with what they do well and work out. If they don’t do much well? You actually let your running game breathe
Spencer 8:02 PM
I say you have to go to Duffey if Bowman is going to be out an extended time. You need to go ahead and make a shift in the offense and roll with what Duffey can give you. Make the defenses account for the QB run and hopefully open up the middle of the defense
If it’s expected Bowman will only miss a few weeks, roll with Tyner and try to build on what Bowman can do when he returns
Seth 8:04 PM
I’m in agreement with Spencer in that I think Duffey is the better quarterback, he has the chance to absolutely torpedo the season, but he also has the chance to be great.
And when I say great, I mean pretty good.
briandc 8:05 PM
Fortune favors the bold. Wait.
Michael LaBarre 8:05 PM
How about Fortune favors the smart?
Seth 8:05 PM
I have never been more fooled by a statement than that one.
Spencer 8:05 PM
And without your QB1, what’s it going to hurt to go all in on a guy like Duffey who may torpedo everything?
Michael LaBarre 8:06 PM
I think that’s a great point. That loss hindered the expectations among most the fan base. Youre not getting fired this year. Go for it. (edited)
briandc 8:06 PM
I’d rather be exciting and have a chance to win than be boring and trudge through a game
Seth 8:07 PM
Yeah, I’m fine absolutely letting it all hang out. At this point, I think most fans are pretty reserved with Bowman out that there’s nothing to lose.
briandc 8:07 PM
Let’s get weird
Michael LaBarre 8:07 PM
One benefit this offense has is that it shouldn’t have to score 50 a game. This defense is the best I’ve seen at Tech since I started watching them in 2012. Use this year to work out the offense against Big 12 competition and see what happens (edited)
Seth 8:08 PM
And if Wells and Yost choose Tyner over Duffey, does that give you all an indication as to how they deal with these situations. I think Brian’s description is pretty accurate, be cray cray with Duffey and potentially incredibly safe with Tyner.
briandc 8:08 PM
I know this is an offensive chat, but I really was impressed by the defense, especially on a second viewing
Michael LaBarre 8:09 PM
Yep. You could argue if we didn’t screw up on the long Tate touchdown, we could be talking about a different outcome
Seth 8:09 PM
This is a 7 win defense. I’m convinced of that.
Spencer 8:10 PM
I’d agree, if we had 2018 Bowman
michael 8:13 PM
They could emphasize the middle more with Tyner. He may have been born to throw drag routes, but we dont know it yet.
Michael LaBarre 8:13 PM
So I mentioned to y’all earlier this week I don’t think Wells is a magic man who can make an offense great out of thin air. It takes time to build a program. Lets see what he does the rest of year in improving the offense, the players in it and their familiarity with one another
Seth 8:14 PM
Yeah, this just can’t turn into a Willie Taggert situation where the shit just falls apart. I had high hopes that he would turn things around quickly.
I appreciate everyone’s participation, any parting words?
Michael LaBarre 8:16 PM
Taggert took over a team that consistently won a ton of games a year. Wells took over one with a losing record the past three seasons, with the peak being 8 games six years ago. Be patient. Don’t overreact. And just try to enjoy what works well
briandc 8:18 PM
Have fun this season! There will be good moments. You can always just get on Twitter and make friends & jokes to ease the pain if things go south. It’s worked for me for the past 7 years
Spencer 8:20 PM
Enjoy one of the best defenses at Tech this season
michael 8:25 PM
And one way to do that is by appreciating Jordyn Brooks.