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Central Arkansas (10/7/19) playoff game

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fourthandshort
Senior
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Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:34 pm

will do more research but UCA is a lot like SEMO in this sense .. their stats reflect a 7-5 or 6-6 team, not a 9-3 team. Though I would say Southland is a step above OVC for sure.

Buy UCA opponents have more 1st downs and more total yards than UCS, but UCA kept finding ways to win. They got the 8th seed, but lost easily to the 2 best teams in their conference, SELA and Nicholls St, both good but inconsistent .. so UCA might be the 3rd best team in Southland, despite being the top seed from Southland (8th seed). Like us, they avoided upsets for most part, but otherwise didn't really play like a top 8 seed or a 9-3 team.

But they throw a lot more than they run, and throw & catch it well .. and they just aren't very good running the ball and they sure won't look to run on us. Normally, if they run 65 plays, 40 will be passes, 25 will be runs .. but probably even less runs against us.

We will need to go with more speed in our LBer group. And time to dial up our pass rush .. looking for 5+ sacks and 10 QBHs !!!!
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cpacmel
Senior
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Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:10 pm

According to UCA’s website, kickoff is set for 2pm.
Birdswin
Junior
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Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:06 pm

Well, my wife and I went down to UCA several years ago - not this time - we are bad luck. Good to hear Fourth thinks they are similar to SEMO - gives the Birds a good chance!!!!! Their field is odd - purple and gray striped, with gray sidelines.

Look at Mel teasing us - game time, ok, that is a good start. Now, I will be waiting for the spread and O/U .
MadBird
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Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:54 pm

We are not going to make the trip down to Conway, BUT -- if we were, we'd sure make plans to stop in Sikeston, MO, off I-55/I-57, to hit Lambert's for some throwed rolls and some of the best down home food you could wish for!! Either on the way down or back, you gotta stop there. Can't be beat.

https://throwedrolls.com/
fourthandshort
Senior
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Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:28 pm

They rank 111th in rushing offense in FCS, which was 10th of 11 Southland teams; and 39th in run defense, good for 5th in conf.

Their total offense ranks 52nd in FCS, and 7th in conf; total defense they rank 84th in FCS, good for 7th in conf.

Their passing offense QBR, they rank 25th, good for 3rd in conf; passing defense QBR, they rank 69th in FCS, good for 5th in conf.

So while UCA has been winning most of their games, it's not like theyve been dominating, other than a strong pass game in a conference where most teams like to pass a lot.

Hard to believe they went 9-3 with those stats, but again they found ways to win. And I do believe Southland is better than OVC.
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cpacmel
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Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:27 pm

Illinois State -2

Over / under 38.5
birdfan68
Freshman
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Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:54 pm

Very good job by the coaching staff and the players to win that game against SEMO. Controlled the ball and kept it away from them. You can't score without the ball. No turnovers and we played with the lead so no desperation to catch up. We may tweak a few things that the staff saw that we can do better. Football is actually simple in that you have to block, tackle, and keep errors out of your offense and defense.
I liked the 4 players grouped in the back field. You can call different plays out of that formation that their defense has to react to.
Different formations will cause the defense to adjust and you can run different plays or the same play out of those formations. Over the years, single wing, T formation, old pro set, wing T, Double wing set, overload one side, move a slot back to get on a safety, fake the run to hold linbacker and slip the tight end a couple yards down field, send wide receivers on fly patterns to take corners and safety away from the line, etc.
I think we will do what we did last week with some adjustments. I don't think we need to complicate our offense at this time. Its block and tackle. We did it last week, we can do it this week.
Birdswin
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Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:50 pm

Thanks Mel.

I agree with 68 - do not over think it, but we need to execute and please no more receivers starting early - once at YSU and twice last week. Mental discipline is a must. Also, nice to see Solomon with not near as many matador blocks.

Birds are 9-0 when they score first and 6-0 when we score on our first offensive possession.
fourthandshort
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:49 am

so when they played Nicholls St (clearly the strongest run team in Southland) earlier in season, the started the game in a traditional 4-3-4 alignment. But lost by 20 and could not stop their run game

In final regular season game against IW (love the throw a lot), they started in a 4-2-5 alignment.

Going to assume they will go 4-3-4 against us:

- Their DL runs: 268, 285, 302, 245
- Their LBers run: 225, 232, 238 .. decent size, but their backups play a lot and run smaller in the 215-220 rrange
- Ther DBs run: 176, 178, 190, 182 ... so definitely smallish, which wil hurt them when Robinson gets to next level.

So this front 7 defense will be bigger than SEMO

A UCA fan on AGS named Bear told me they like to rotate on defense and at WR to keep their legs fresh for late in game. Their offensive and defensive stats reflect this.
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Total Red
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:28 am

I don't know much about UCA but they were good enough to be seeded so they should be tougher than SEMO and a big challenge. I don't expect Robinson to gain 200 yards much less 297. Jefferson will need to throw for more than 52. Will he be able to? The answer to that question will go a long way towards determining the outcome.

The 33-yard TD pass from Jefferson to Edgar was mind-blowing. It was the only long pass completion of the day for the Redbirds and it came on a play where the O-Line blocking was completely fouled up. The LT Himmelman turned inside and helped double-team a tackle. TE Gillum may have had responsibility for #93 the DE but he was distracted by a LB'er showing blitz. Instead the LB'er dropped into coverage leaving Gillum standing there all by himself just chillin' on a pleasant afternoon in Cape Girardeau. Meanwhile #93 for SEMO has to be the most shocked FB player in all of Missouri. He's been going against a stone wall by the name of Himmelman all day and suddenly nothing and nobody is standing between him and Redbird QB Jefferson. #93 isn't built for speed but he does manage to get in Jefferson's ear but Jefferson heaves the ball deep down the middle of the field. If he threw the ball out of the endzone to avoid a sack I would have credited Jefferson with good pocket presence and a good play but he drops a dime neatly into Edgar's eager hands. Edgar had to be the 2nd most surprised FB player in the state of Missouri. The radio guys Dick and Ted said that Jefferson can do that. He's a little like Tre in that he isn't always accurate on short passes but he throws a good deep ball. We'll call Jefferson Tre Jr. He looked like Tre Jr. on his 16 yard TD jaunt. A SEMO player had an angle on him but Jefferson just veered away and went in untouched.

Defense/Special teams? Just keep it up. It will be a real test for the secondary but we need another game from Devin Taylor just like the last one. He played both the run and the pass very well. In eight quarters of playoff football nobody has scored a TD on a Valley team. DeForest has earned our trust as a punt returner. The drama is greatly diminished. Bohlken has been nailing punts.

Should be another great game.
Phantom
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:08 pm

Just slug & grind. Their front 7 is pretty big and will be prepared to deliver (and hopefully take) a lot of shots after what JR did at SEMO. Should be a physical one...another reason where the Proctor injury sucks.

Control the clock, don't turn it over and slug it out. Winnable.
fourthandshort
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:13 pm

https://goredbirds.com/sports/football

if you listen to Spack press conference from today, he talked a lot about Robinson. What peaked my interest the most was how "giddy" he got talking about how he practiced today ... seemed to infer he came out ready to go showing no signs of wear and tear from his 41 carries. The most impressive thing about the run game last week was how rarely he got hit at the LOS .. so while he ran many times for a lot of yards, most of his hits were against the back 6 players .. LBers and DBs. So he didn't take much of a pounding last week, despite the 41 carries.

Anyway, it was good to hear Spack talk about his energy level today ... it is only Tuesday.
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fourthandshort
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:10 pm

Going to be a very nice fall day in Comway, TX this saturday .. 55 degrees, sunny, winds 5 mph ... given this weather report and Spack's Robinson practice report today, I'm thinking Robinson will have a little more bounce in his step this saturday ... like he did in the 60 degree weather in southeast Missouri. Legs always feel a little more bounce in goood weather and his energy/confidence level has got be riding high.

UCA has a bigger front 7 than SEMO, but looking forward to seeing how well he bounces back. Would love to see a 175 - 200 yard level game this week.
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StLRedbird
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Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:12 am

fourthandshort wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:13 pm
https://goredbirds.com/sports/football

if you listen to Spack press conference from today, he talked a lot about Robinson. What peaked my interest the most was how "giddy" he got talking about how he practiced today ... seemed to infer he came out ready to go showing no signs of wear and tear from his 41 carries. The most impressive thing about the run game last week was how rarely he got hit at the LOS .. so while he ran many times for a lot of yards, most of his hits were against the back 6 players .. LBers and DBs. So he didn't take much of a pounding last week, despite the 41 carries.

Anyway, it was good to hear Spack talk about his energy level today ... it is only Tuesday.
The last time we played in Conway I had a good conversation with JRs grandfather. Paid particular attention his - JRs - demeanor since Now, I dunno if it's blocking schemes or execution or play calling or leadership or the location of celestial bodies in the night sky. An energetic, motivated JR is a beast. Go get 'em, kid.
fourthandshort
Senior
Posts: 2473
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:06 pm

Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:05 am

StLRedbird wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:12 am
fourthandshort wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:13 pm
https://goredbirds.com/sports/football

if you listen to Spack press conference from today, he talked a lot about Robinson. What peaked my interest the most was how "giddy" he got talking about how he practiced today ... seemed to infer he came out ready to go showing no signs of wear and tear from his 41 carries. The most impressive thing about the run game last week was how rarely he got hit at the LOS .. so while he ran many times for a lot of yards, most of his hits were against the back 6 players .. LBers and DBs. So he didn't take much of a pounding last week, despite the 41 carries.

Anyway, it was good to hear Spack talk about his energy level today ... it is only Tuesday.
The last time we played in Conway I had a good conversation with JRs grandfather. Paid particular attention his - JRs - demeanor since Now, I dunno if it's blocking schemes or execution or play calling or leadership or the location of celestial bodies in the night sky. An energetic, motivated JR is a beast. Go get 'em, kid.
exactly what I was getting at .. he took a lot pounding this entire year .. then the seas parted last week aganst SEMO and he looked like a kid who just finished school year and was finally out summer vacation .. just another level of bounce in step and renewed attitude. Thinking he can't wait to get back out there again after the beating he took all regular season.

UCA defense will be bigger and tougher than SEMO, but they will not be NDSU, UNI, NIU, or SDSU.
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chuckie1980
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Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:15 am

ISU 24
CentralArk 6
cpacmel
Senior
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Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:06 pm

Game will be televised on ESPN College Extra. Most sports bars have these channels available (Directv 788-798). Though a channel # has not been assigned yet.
Birdswin
Junior
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Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:55 pm

Let's hope the offense will include several QB runs like what Roberson used to do. Also, if Jefferson can run for the first down on a rollout - I am in favor of that versus trying to throw for a few extra yards. If they is a receiver well behind (10 yards) the defense, then by all means - otherwise, get the first down and go from there.

Play-action with Robinson has to be used on first and second down at least 6 times per half.

On Defense - follow Doug Buffone's theory - Tackle the man with the pigskin and PRESSURE the QB.
fourthandshort
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Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:56 am

found this highlight reel for UCA vs WKU ... UCA played well and won in week 1. WKU plays a very weak schedule but did go 8-4 this year. And their defense is considered good for CUSA .. so they're a tall FBS midget.

Reel runs about 11 mins and does a good job showing lot of both teams highlights.

QB Breylin Smith has a real nice touch and likes to throw on run. He's a little carefree with mechanics and feet .. but again, nice natural touch and fairly mobile, but doesn't seem to leave backfield much .. just likes to buy time.

They have several receivers they like to go to. Reminder, they throw 65% of the time.

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Loyl2u
Freshman
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Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:34 am

Great film of CA - WKU game. Redbird DBs will have their hands full. They will absolutely see the halfback pass sometime in the game, especially as much as Birds come up to make plays against run game. Will need to stay home and d-line and LBs will need to step up. On the other hand, WKU had lots of space and stubbed their own toe several times. Redbirds will need to control the pace of game to be successful and, as always in the playoffs, winning the turnovers battle will likely determine the winner of the war. Mixing in Jefferson quick outs on 2nd and 6-7; and taking a couple shots on 2nd and short can keep this defense lose.
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