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Old 05-05-2020, 10:26 PM   #22
Wild Bill
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Wild Bill  should be giving advice to Kelly!Wild Bill  should be giving advice to Kelly!Wild Bill  should be giving advice to Kelly!Wild Bill  should be giving advice to Kelly!Wild Bill  should be giving advice to Kelly!Wild Bill  should be giving advice to Kelly!Wild Bill  should be giving advice to Kelly!Wild Bill  should be giving advice to Kelly!Wild Bill  should be giving advice to Kelly!Wild Bill  should be giving advice to Kelly!Wild Bill  should be giving advice to Kelly!


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Originally Posted by Rack Em View Post
You make a lot of compelling arguments here. It's really well thought out. But, anecdotally, I think we can look to what Clark Lea/Elko have done without elite talent (except Kyle Hamilton) and schemed/coached up a top 25 defense. That's passable to win a natty. But if you don't have an elite QB or other offensive skill players, then you're just a 9 win team with a good defense.
Coaching definitely matters on defense, and I agree Lea has been a difference maker, I just don't think defenses have been as positively affected by the tech advances relative to offenses. Defensive gurus seem few and far between and Belicek seems like the only one left that is creative. Everyone else just reacts to whatever the offense dictates. Maybe my perspective is off but that's how it seems to me.
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Old 05-05-2020, 10:48 PM   #23
Old Man Mike
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If you don't have the QB you better have everything else. For several years now the better TV commentators have said: If you want a chance against Alabama, you better bring a quarterback --- and they don't mean a "four-star level QB" but a game wrecker five-star+ superman (Manziel, Watson, etc.)

Alabama itself (unless Tua was healthy) couldn't really threaten the Big Boys unless it had a game-wrecker like Jeudy or Cooper to cure any Just-OK Man-ball play. (of course they always have one)

When have we been able to recruit a QB superman (who really played like one) and had a game-wrecker (or two) to terrorize the DCs so that superman didn't have to be everything (like Watson sometimes seemed to have to do and Lawrence couldn't quite do?)

Asking for the Championship mixture is REALLY HARD for anyone let alone ND. Could Quinn plus Lea do it? Clausen plus Lea? Quinn plus Fuller plus Lea? What are we asking and will it be reasonable to do much more than wait for a Messiah without complaining that much?

My naive hope is for that almost-a-Messiah QB plus our typical mauler lines plus Kelly's Bigger-than-you receiver offense with one Jeudy/Fuller plus SOME FOR-GAWD'S-SAKE RB. ... and some schedule breaks so as not to wear everybody out and put some on the sidelines. .... before Clark Lea leaves.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:27 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Whiskeyjack View Post
Following up on what Gower wrote above, we seem to run a pretty balanced version of the spread. And as the article mentioned, the strength of the spread is not in declaring, "This is what we do, we're really good at it, now try to stop us," but in taking whatever the defense the gives you, which (if done properly) ensures you've always got an advantage. That runs counter to those who complain about our "lack of offensive identity". None of the top programs are winning by playing Manball™ anymore.

Here's our OFEI for every year under Kelly:



Give him elite skill players, and Kelly will field a championship-caliber attack (2014's combo of Kizer, Prosise, Adams and Fuller). Give him merely good players, and our offense will at least be good enough to make the playoffs (2017's combo, etc.)

The fact that we don't recruit the offensive skill positions well enough to replicate 2015's success more than once a decade is obviously, uh... not great, and no one but Kelly can be blamed for that. But I don't think there's any problem with our scheme. We're doing the same stuff all the top offenses are, just with far fewer game-breakers.
Whether it is scheme or personnel, the trend has been consistent that the offense struggles against top 25 defenses. As you pointed out, taking what the defense gives, is the goal. But as the article stated well, it's also about finding the weak link and exploiting it. That is where I think ND has troubles against the top teams. If the opponent changes something / adjusts, we are often taking a long time to "figure it out" and adjust accordingly. Whether that is coaching, scheme, or whatever, I am not sure. I do know that it's noticeable by armchairs like me.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:48 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskeyjack View Post
Following up on what Gower wrote above, we seem to run a pretty balanced version of the spread. And as the article mentioned, the strength of the spread is not in declaring, "This is what we do, we're really good at it, now try to stop us," but in taking whatever the defense the gives you, which (if done properly) ensures you've always got an advantage. That runs counter to those who complain about our "lack of offensive identity". None of the top programs are winning by playing Manball™ anymore.

Here's our OFEI for every year under Kelly:



Give him elite skill players, and Kelly will field a championship-caliber attack (2014's combo of Kizer, Prosise, Adams and Fuller). Give him merely good players, and our offense will at least be good enough to make the playoffs (2017's combo, etc.)

The fact that we don't recruit the offensive skill positions well enough to replicate 2015's success more than once a decade is obviously, uh... not great, and no one but Kelly can be blamed for that. But I don't think there's any problem with our scheme. We're doing the same stuff all the top offenses are, just with far fewer game-breakers.
Every time I look at how many players from the defensive side of the ball on the 2015 team ended up in the NFL I want to cry. That team had the talent on both sides of the ball to be great.

Give the 17, 18 or 19 teams a QB like Kizer and I think they make the playoffs all three years and who knows. ND is close but the margin for error is razor thin in college football even for the factories.
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:27 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ndaccountant View Post
Whether it is scheme or personnel, the trend has been consistent that the offense struggles against top 25 defenses. As you pointed out, taking what the defense gives, is the goal. But as the article stated well, it's also about finding the weak link and exploiting it. That is where I think ND has troubles against the top teams. If the opponent changes something / adjusts, we are often taking a long time to "figure it out" and adjust accordingly. Whether that is coaching, scheme, or whatever, I am not sure. I do know that it's noticeable by armchairs like me.
That last quote from Rodriguez is telling. Pretty much every offense is trying to get an advantage via QB options (Zone Read, RPO, etc.) Defenses stop that by playing man-up and pressing the offense at the line of scrimmage. Offenses then try to counter by running pick and rub routes that beat man-coverage.

ND moves the ball pretty well against elite opponents when we're allowed to run our base offense. Our problem comes in when they take away our easy RPOs and throws and we have to beat them man-on-man, because we don't recruit the skill positions well enough to do that against a roster full of 5-star DBs and LBs. Then our offense grinds to a halt, etc.

I don't think our coaching staff is "slow to adjust"; it's just that we physically lack the horses to counter-punch against a top-10 defense in the current meta. At that point, your own defense has to either pitch a shutout or score points on its own if you want to have a chance to win, which isn't easy. Though in Kelly's two seasons where we made a post-season run, that's essentially what happened.
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