MadBird wrote: ↑
Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:51 am
fourthandshort wrote: ↑
Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:14 pm
famous last words .. but Bison lose a lot of seniors next year. If we get our offensive passing game a little more proficient, I'm liking our chances of contending next year. I'll admit .. I had much higher hopes for this past season
, but I'll start a thread with my recap and grades.
We have to take into consideration who's in our conference, we're going to have to beat very good, ranked teams every year, BUT - two of our losses were to 2 of the final 4, another to a playoff team (UNI). We lost two "clinkers" on the road to MSU and InSU by a total of 8 points. We win those we're in the playoffs.
I'm hoping Beathard and Davis having some time to work together, improved OL and WR play, will contribute to realizing the high hopes in 2019.
agreed .. suddenly our 5 losses don't look as bad in rear view mirror, except for fact that we played badly against UNI. But if you look at NDSU and SDSU seasons, our losses to them were much closer than most of their games ... both on score board and in box score (i.e. stats). As for our 2 "weakest" losses, ISUb and MoST .. both teams were hot when we played them .. recall MoST was top 25 at time and we played horrible 1st half. Now compare our 2 weak losses this year to last year (NAU and SIU debacles). Also consider while 3 of our 5 losses were to playoff teams, ISUb was considered 1st team out, and further a consensus pick for most screwed team to not make playoffs over other 6-4 teams from much weaker conferences like Lamar, Incarnate Word from Southland. So really we had 4 of 5 losses to playoff teams.
I know, I know, I know ... we still finished 6-5 again, and out of playoffs for 2nd year in a row. But this was one of Spack's youngest 2 deeps ever, and we have quality players on our 2nd string ready to step up.
But couple issues that can't be argued need solving:
- Pass Game
.. got to get our short-intermediate pass game on terack to keep defenses honest. A full offseason for Davis with our skill players can only help. Beathard had to narrow his playbook considerably at times because of this ... this really hurt us against good teams with good defenses.
- Field Position
.. got to figure out what all contributed to certain game where we got killed in field position. I detailed this in another thread .. there were games where we lost 200 to 350 yards in field position. Many things contributed to this ... inconsistent pass game, special teams miscues on punt/kick coverage, inopportune penalties or turnovers. In our convincing wins, we usually broke even in field position (which says something in itself because we didn't need field position to win). But in our losses, we usually got destroyed in field position. The simple way to interpret importance of this stat ... if you have 225 yard field position disadvantage (15 drives, ours avg start at 22, theirs at 37), then we would have needed our offense to gain 225 MORE total yards just to break even
in that game and give us a better chance to win.
- Position Group needs
: need immediate help (someone step up or a transfer) at following positions: WR, placekicker, and then speedrusher at DE. I like our DL, but we need more speed at times. Also need our QB to get more proficient in short to intermediate pass game .... need offseason reps !!!!!!
I know people think I am too optimistic at times ... guilty as charged !!! but for good reasons, I think. In rear view mirror, our 5 losses were not as dire looking as many of us thought when they happened. But fact remains, we fell short again and there are things to fix. My point I guess is we're not as far away as it might seem.
p.s. the STX win may not have counted for playoffs, but what does it matter which division our "patsy" played in ... it was going to be an easy win regardless. And our SOS was top 10 again, so while the STX was completely stupid to schedule, this was a 6-5 team that was 2 very close losses from being an 8-3 team. And we played NDSU and SDSU closer than most teams. Yet here we sit watching playoffs.
Redbird Nation Rising ... Fans and donors need to get on board !!