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Level Setting: sitting 4-1 .. I'll take it, but ....

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fourthandshort
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Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:07 pm

So there's more good news than bad sitting here at 4-1 .. our only loss being MoST game we could have won in OT if we make the FG.

The good news:
- run game is what we thought
- OL is in good shape, but work in progress
- defense has been better than I expected this early
- secondary looks real good so far .. forced McGuire to have his owrst game of year
- our punter (SO, JT BOHLKEN) has a great leg, just need to work on placement a little more. But I'm more than willing to be patient with this guy ... he's very good for 1st year punter

The not so good news:
- after strong start, QB and pass game has slipped the last 2 weeks. We finished strong against MoST, but we were down and playing with nothing to lose and MoST was probably in prevent. Against, WIU, we practically stopped trying to throw ball with a small lead before pulling away with pick 6 and stopping them on 4th down and taking over at their 25.
- place kicking .. not looking good, JR Fenlanson has strong enough leg for kickoffs, but FG accuracy or timing is off. They went to Punter Bohlken against WIU.

Special teams .. return & cover has been sporadic, but more good than bad .. yesterday was bad at times. But prior to yesterday, we were doing pretty well .. we'll see how it goes from here as schedule gets tougher.

I'll take 4-1 for sure and love the trajectory on our mostly new defensive unit ... the depth is incredible considering what we lost from last year. Plus we've got a lot of underclassmen on the 2 deep. That's true on offense as well, so 2019 is looking very promising. But got to shore things up on offense if 2018 is going to be a playoff run type year .. mainly, it is pass game that needs some work and confidence.
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Total Red
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Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:27 pm

If you want to be a championship team they say you need to run the ball and stop the run. We've checked those boxes, but damn it sure would be nice if we had a passing game to go along for the ride. I agree with others that have noted that our schedule will get tougher and we cannot afford to be one-dimensional. We can't keep asking Robinson to run around and over people because the box is stacked with defenders.

So do we hold tight to Davis as the starting QB? Hell if I know. Davis had a bad first half in Spfld, Mo and if he had played poorly in the 2nd half too I can guarantee that someone would have posted that it was clear that Davis didn't have it that day and the coaches were fools for not making a change. As it turned out Davis played well in the 2nd half and the Redbirds nearly put the game into OT, so the point is that it's really hard to tell when a QB is going to come out of a funk and start moving the offense.

Again it's clear that passing game needs improvement but it doesn't all fall on the QB position. The QB needs to play better, the receivers need to play better, the line can block better and the coaching staff could coach and call plays better. We're far from perfect in a lot of areas.

Fourth has made the case for giving Kolbe some playing time and I won't disagree with him but I'll focus on a part that he left out. When was the last time you saw a starting QB get platooned when he has 10 TD passes and ZERO interceptions? Not too shabby, you might even be winning 80% of your games with those numbers. I was concerned about INT's because early in the season and preseason Davis was trying to throw the ball into tight coverage. I guess he got the memo on that because since then he's done a fantastic job of protecting the ball (knock wood).

As much as I respect Coach fourth I'm going to let Coaches Beathard and Spack make the call on this one. If they want to give Jake a chance I'm cool with that. If they want to stick with Davis I'll support that too. Either way it falls on a lot of people to get our passing game airborne again.

fourthandshort
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Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:11 pm

Always appreciate TR posts and usually agree with his perspectives. My concern with Davis starts with the whole notion of "it". I just don't buy it .. maybe over time, as het gets more comfortable in our system. But it seems like he is letting his command of the game slip away. Which makes me wonder if opponents aren't scouting his tendencies and figuring him out. Got one more "easier" game against SIU ... but then the gauntlet games start: NDSU, SDSU, and UNI .. then YSU a traditional defensive program, maybe not this year.

In 2016, Kolbe proved he could throw the ball at this level. In 2017 with lot more not working on offense, he struggled to throw the ball, but he managed the pocket much better .. and with a much worse OL in 2017 than he had in 2016. The other thing about 2016, he got better as season progressed .. when he had a good OL. If we wait too long to give him a shot to prove he can help us with a much better offense and OC, we may end up with neither of them helping us.

Mojo is a fickle thing .. sometimes is works, sometimes it doesn't .. it is up to coaches to bring out the best in players. Put Kolbe in a position to succeed this year and give him a chance to prove himself. They've given Davis a chance .. started well and slipped fast. As Spack said, we have 2 starting QBs .. time to open up the competition before it's too late for this season.
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saxman210
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Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:08 pm

fourthandshort wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:11 pm
Spack said, we have 2 starting QBs .. time to open up the competition before it's too late for this season.
Wrong. We had the competition and Brady Davis won the starting job. Kolbe will be there, if Davis gets hurt.
BRMM 2003-2006

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Total Red
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Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:56 pm

saxman210 wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:08 pm

Wrong. We had the competition and Brady Davis won the starting job. Kolbe will be there, if Davis gets hurt.
So you think Davis keeps the job regardless of how he plays??

Reggie Redbird
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Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:18 pm

I’m concerned about Markel Smith’s antics on the sidelines. It seems he gets into it with someone at each home game. Throwing a punch/lunging at your teammate is not a good sign. The last thing we needed at that point was Davis needing to get in the middle and trying to break it up.

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Virginia Redbird
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Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:22 am

4-1 is where I thought the Redbirds would be at this point but I thought the loss would be to Colorado State, not MoState. Nice to beat an FBS team but I would gladly swap a Conference win for a Non-Conference loss. Anyway, Southern lost to the Penguins by a field goal Saturday. From the box score, it looked like truly a game between two teams with losing records. Its Homecoming and the Redbirds owe the Salukis a big payback for last year. I see a W for ISU.
After that, it is NDSU at their dome...probably a loss regardless but if Davis can't find a bit more accuracy in his throws then figure it to be a big blowout. If the Redbirds are one dimensional in this game they get embarrassed.
South Dakota State at home follows. They are still playing well it appears although the Sycamores gave them all they could handle. The Birds get this game at home and they always seem to play the Jacks tough so a good opportunity to move to 6-2. This game has been so close in recent years it is way too hard to call.
The next week it is away to UNI. UNI blew a 14 point lead against the Bison and then got run over in a 28-0 fourth quarter. A tough road game for the Redbirds but a game they should be able to win if they play their game. I see this one being close and our kicking game could be a factor here but if the Birds find a passing game I see them winning this contest.
On the road again to ISU Blue. The Sycamores gave SDSU a heck of a game and scored a bunch of points. I have not seen SDSU play so I don't know how good their defense is but the Redbird D is looking pretty stout. The Birds win this game I think.
The season wraps up with the Penguins at Hancock. YSU seems to be improving after a pretty bad start but I still don't think they are a very good team. Maybe they will be much improved by the last game but I still see the Birds winning.
In a nutshell if the Birds lose to the Salukis next Saturday start making plans for next season...this one is over as far as the playoffs. They almost certainly lose to NDSU no matter who starts at QB and no matter what happens in the FCS universe. The SDSU, UNI and maybe the ISU Blue games could go either way in close contests where again the kicking game may be the deciding factor. I am not down on the kicking game at all it is just young and has already cost the team a chance to pull out a win from a game they did not deserve.
It should be interesting folks!
“When you have great players, playing great, well that’s great football!”
John Madden

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saxman210
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Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:26 am

Total Red wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:56 pm
saxman210 wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:08 pm

Wrong. We had the competition and Brady Davis won the starting job. Kolbe will be there, if Davis gets hurt.
So you think Davis keeps the job regardless of how he plays??
No. My argument is that saying that we need to open up the competition is wrong. Davis needs to see that he has the starting spot, not play on pins and needles thinking each series is a competition.
BRMM 2003-2006

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Total Red
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Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:25 am

saxman210 wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:26 am

No. My argument is that saying that we need to open up the competition is wrong. Davis needs to see that he has the starting spot, not play on pins and needles thinking each series is a competition.
Well if your job depends on how well you play then the competition IS open. It's true for every position. Kanugh is the starting right guard but he's being challenged by Rients who is also getting playing time. If you can't take the pressure of competition then D-I football is not for you.

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saxman210
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Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:06 am

My point is more to fourthandshort who preaches every week that he wants Kolbe to play. The fact of the matter is that Davis beat out Kolbe for the starting position and the coaching staff wants to stick with him.

Has Davis thrown a pick yet? No. Is there room for improvement? Absolutely.

I’m just tired of “we’re winning games but let’s give Kolbe a shot because Davis isn’t winning the games for us.” I agree that Davis needs to be better but I don’t think he gets better riding the pine. That’s all I’m saying.
BRMM 2003-2006

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Redbird28
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Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:25 am

saxman210 wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:06 am
My point is more to fourthandshort who preaches every week that he wants Kolbe to play. The fact of the matter is that Davis beat out Kolbe for the starting position and the coaching staff wants to stick with him.

Has Davis thrown a pick yet? No. Is there room for improvement? Absolutely.

I’m just tired of “we’re winning games but let’s give Kolbe a shot because Davis isn’t winning the games for us.” I agree that Davis needs to be better but I don’t think he gets better riding the pine. That’s all I’m saying.
:text-+1:
Feel free to follow me @RPKraemer on the Twitter Machine. Always up for talking Redbird Hoops and Football. Go Birds!

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TIMMY
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Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:07 pm

Quarterback platoons often become awkward and disruptive, a guessing game about who plays when and how much and the right time to make a switch. It can divide a team into factions. Even coaching staffs. And what's the upside? A few more short completions and a few more sacks.

These coaches are not lunkheads. There are well thought out reasons for why we have one starting QB and a guard who rotates in. They're not comparable situations. They are different positions and different individuals. QB controversies are never productive. We don't need that 5 weeks in.
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TIMMY
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Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:14 pm

For crying out loud am I the only one who remembers the Jack Concannon, Bobby Douglass, Virgil Carter controversy? 1-13 I tell ya!
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MadBird
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Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:54 pm

TIMMY wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:14 pm
For crying out loud am I the only one who remembers the Jack Concannon, Bobby Douglass, Virgil Carter controversy? 1-13 I tell ya!
Uh, sure okay Timmy, but you gotta consider not just the "rotation", but who it is who's rotating!! :lol:

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Total Red
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Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:29 pm

Brady Davis was struggling in the first half of the Mo. St. game so late in first half Jake Kolbe was inserted and Davis got to view the game from the sideline. There weren't any locker room hysterics reported at halftime and Davis and the team did not suffer any psychological harm. Davis and the Redbird offense simply hit the reset button and went out and played a good 2nd half.

So we can rail against the wisdom of a QB switch but it has already happened once and if Davis struggles the coaches will do it again. But don't let that stop you because I need something to read and I appreciate the posts.

Morans14
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Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:57 pm

saxman210 wrote:My point is more to fourthandshort who preaches every week that he wants Kolbe to play. The fact of the matter is that Davis beat out Kolbe for the starting position and the coaching staff wants to stick with him.

Has Davis thrown a pick yet? No. Is there room for improvement? Absolutely.

I’m just tired of “we’re winning games but let’s give Kolbe a shot because Davis isn’t winning the games for us.” I agree that Davis needs to be better but I don’t think he gets better riding the pine. That’s all I’m saying.
+1


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CB2K
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Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:14 pm

Does anyone know why the replay is not on ESPN+? The original broadcast was on ESPN+ but I cannot find the replay. I can see all of the other MVFC games on there but not the ISU game.

ChiRedbirdfan
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Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:23 pm

TIMMY wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:14 pm
For crying out loud am I the only one who remembers the Jack Concannon, Bobby Douglass, Virgil Carter controversy? 1-13 I tell ya!
Hahah..i can barely remember my older brothers arguing about Douglass being good or bad. This is directly out of his wiki>>>"Douglass had little success as a passer, going 507-for-1178 for 36 touchdowns and 64 interceptions with a quarterback passer rating of only 48.5 during his 11-season NFL career.
After his NFL career was over, Douglass briefly played minor league baseball in the Chicago White Sox organization. In 1979, he pitched four games for the Iowa Oaks where he had 7 innings pitched, issued 13 walks and failed to record a strikeout."

Sounds like he was borderline awful.

fourthandshort
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Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:28 pm

My concern with Davis was twofold... accuracy and unproven. We saw the accuracy issue in August when he completed just 48% of his passes to Kolbes 71%

Season starts .. ignoring STX scrimmage.. he has a strong 3 qtrs against EIU. He has a strong half against CSU. He has a strong 4th quarter against MoST. He had no strong qtrs against WIU. Maybe teams have figured him out the more tape there is. And we've yet to play the toughest defenses on our schedule. If we wait too long to get Kolbe some reps, we could waste entire season figuring out who our QB should be.

Maybe Davis rebounds from this .. maybe he doesn't. How many more games do we wait to start getting Kolbe ready. Wouldn't make sense to throw Kolbe into fire during the NDSU SDSU UNI stint. Get him ready now against team like SIU.
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Birdswin
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Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:27 pm

I can help you out Fourth - no Kolbe unless there is an injury, period. End of conversation on the QB.

No one I have seen has mentioned the kicking change - with Bohlken taking over the place kicking duties. Fenlason is still the kickoff guy.

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