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NAU Game (9/21/19)

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fourthandshort
Senior
Posts: 2288
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:06 pm

Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:05 am

Got the 2-1 Northern Arizona Lumberjacks this week ... game time is 6:30pm CST. Spme of you may vaguely recall our loss to them in 2017 at their place. WE came out fast and aggressive on defense, and out a lot of pressure on their QB .. but our energy faded as game wore on. Our offense struggled to get run game going despite them not being a strong run defense. The game gradually slipped away from us. Have to believe Spack has thi game circled on his calendar ... not just payback game but also a key game we need to win before heading into MVFC conference season.

That was then, this is now ... not to mention, we aren't playing this game at 6,000 foot elevation. I really believe, this caused our breakdown defensively 2 years ago. I recall what their stud Qb Cook said after the gane when told he threw for 380 yards ... something like, "Really ? Against that defense ? It didn't feel like it.".

They've played MoST (won by 14 athome) a decent FBS Arizona (got smoked 65-41, but put up yards/points), and a weak D-II West NM St (0-10) again giving up some points 55-21. Against MoST .. score was 37-23, total yards were 351 to 289, 1st downs were 22-20 .. so MoST gave them hard time on road. Neither team ran with any success, but both passed well.

We need to be ready to open up our pass attack somewhat because they figured our offense out 2 years ago. We ran 29 times for 63 yards, Robinson has 10 carries for 21 yards, Smith was only a little better. Our OL needs to be ready to play. Kolbe threw for 25 of 45 for 225 yards, since run game was going nowhere that day .. but he had 3 picked... 1 was tipped ball by our receiver, 1 was late desperation thrown, 1 was bad throw. Play calling was highly suspect .. Dicken game plan was out the window because we all logically assumed we would be able to run on them.

On other hand, their QB is lighting it up ... #1 in passing yards, top 10 in QBR, avergaing 400 yards per game. Their run game seems pretty weak, so we shouldn't have to stack the box too much. They will probably come out slining the ball with quick drops having seen what our defense is capable of .. I don;t think they have a lot of returnees on offense, but their QB is healthy after being injured most of last year.

Going to be an interesting chess match of game strategies. But we will probably want to slow it down some to be sure our defense is rested for their pass attack. But we need a nice mix oof run and pass , they will force us to throw it after watching any of our game tape and seeing our stats.
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redbirdfan04
Freshman
Posts: 111
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:51 am

Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:53 am

NAU 39
ISU 21

This kid is the best QB we are going to see this year and the ball is going to come out faster than our line will be able to get to him. Until we can throw for more than 31 yards I do not see to many more wins coming this year. God I hope I am wrong!!
cpacmel
Senior
Posts: 899
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:29 pm

Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:44 am

Illinois State -10.5

Over / under 54

Edited to add over/ under
Last edited by cpacmel on Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Redbirdwarrior
Junior
Posts: 654
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:46 pm

Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:27 am

The birds are ranked #10 in the country, NAU is unranked. ISU is at home and NAU is 1000 miles from home. They may have a good QB- even a great one- but an 11 point line is a BIG line and I always trust Vegas.

The D-Line continues to get pressure and we continue seeing incremental improvement from the offense.

NAU- 20
ISU- 29
Phantom
Sophomore
Posts: 388
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:17 am

Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:40 am

Gonna be a tough one. But winnable and I like us at home. Our run vs. their pass. If we can prevent the quick-strike score (and get a turnover or two) while controlling the clock as much as we can, we'll be fine.

Us 24
Them 17
fourthandshort
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Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:06 pm

Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:47 am

They have 4 new starters on OL. The only returnee moved from LG to RG. Hard to establish both run and pass game with so many new pieces. Our DL should overwhelm them at times ... I would look.for them to do lot of 3 and 5 step drops to get rid of ball quick. The QB knows he needs to get rid of the ball against us ... we have to take advantage of this if they do. But he is the best QB we will face all year .. he can carry a team if we aren't ready.
Redbird Nation Rising ... Fans and donors need to get on board !!
fourthandshort
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Posts: 2288
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:06 pm

Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:30 pm

fourthandshort wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:47 am
They have 4 new starters on OL. The only returnee moved from LG to RG. Hard to establish both run and pass game with so many new pieces. Our DL should overwhelm them at times ... I would look.for them to do lot of 3 and 5 step drops to get rid of ball quick. The QB knows he needs to get rid of the ball against us ... we have to take advantage of this if they do. But he is the best QB we will face all year .. he can carry a team if we aren't ready.
More on their OL .. 4 of 5 starters are new, but 2 are coming off the bench this year

- LT 6'4" 290 lb SO ... first year starter, UNLV transfer, so looks like he sat out last year
- LG 6'4" 275 lb JR .. started at RG last year
- C 6'4" 255 lb SR .. first year starters, transfer from some small school; as small as he is, he replaced the 245 C from last year
- RG 6'5" 260 lb SO ... first year starter
- RT 6'5" 310 lb SR ... started in 2016 & 17, guessing he as injured in 2018

So technically 2 returning starters including the injured RT. But this is a very small group inside that will be trying to run block or even pass block:

- 6'6" 325 Ridgeway
- 6'4" 295 lb Podkulski
- 6'6" 290 lb Lewan

We outweigh their interior by 20-70 lbs per man .. I mean picture 325 lb Ridgeway bull rushing their 255 lb center ? If he goes down, the back up is 245 lb C that started last year but got benched.
Redbird Nation Rising ... Fans and donors need to get on board !!
CaliRdBrd
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Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:36 pm

cpacmel wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:44 am
Illinois State -10.5
Saw that, too. That’s crazy.

Hate to say it but the bet here has to be NAU. Right?
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Redbird28
Sophomore
Posts: 354
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:26 pm

Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:54 pm

CaliRdBrd wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:36 pm
cpacmel wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:44 am
Illinois State -10.5
Saw that, too. That’s crazy.

Hate to say it but the bet here has to be NAU. Right?
That's emotional hedge bet so even if we lose you still gain something and don't smash your smart tv, phone, or however else you watch this game into a million pieces.
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Redbird28
Sophomore
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Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:55 pm

cpacmel wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:44 am
Illinois State -10.5
So, we get 3 points just for being at home and then another TD+. Interesting. Was that the opening line or had some bets already rolled in that moved that number?
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StLRedbird
Sophomore
Posts: 428
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:09 pm

Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:30 pm

Massey has us ranked #18 and NAU ranked #42. We have a win probability of 79% with a projected score of...

Im a Lumberjack and I’m okay 21
Redbirds. 34
cpacmel
Senior
Posts: 899
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:29 pm

Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:44 pm

Redbird28 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:55 pm
cpacmel wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:44 am
Illinois State -10.5
So, we get 3 points just for being at home and then another TD+. Interesting. Was that the opening line or had some bets already rolled in that moved that number?
Opening
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Total Red
Junior
Posts: 530
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:42 pm

Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:38 am

It should be a great game to watch with the focus on QB Cookus and their outstanding offense versus our dominating defense. Strength vs. Strength. So naturally the game will be decided on the other side of the ball or on special teams. A large vocal crowd would be nice.
GO YOU REDBIRDS
DaveBird10
Sophomore
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:05 am

Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:24 am

I wonder how weather may impact the NAU passing game? As of now calling for showers in the evening on Saturday.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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Chi-bird
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Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:44 am

DaveBird10 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:24 am
I wonder how weather may impact the NAU passing game? As of now calling for showers in the evening on Saturday.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
I think the rain might affect our secondary as much as or more than their passing game. The wind might be a big help, though.
fourthandshort
Senior
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Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:06 pm

Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:45 am

Chi-bird wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:44 am
DaveBird10 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:24 am
I wonder how weather may impact the NAU passing game? As of now calling for showers in the evening on Saturday.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
I think the rain might affect our secondary as much as or more than their passing game. The wind might be a big help, though.
That can swing either way ... but with a QB that good, it probably helps offense more than defense simply because offense knows where their going, defense has to react. But it will throw off their timing some.

We just have have to get to the QB often to throw off their timing even more.

Just looking at their roster starters and size, they are pretty small so I'm assuming they play fast. They have a lot of corners and receivers in the 170-185 lb range. I already laid out their OL .. other than the 2 tackles, it has to be one of the smallest OL interiors in all of FCS. Doesn't mean they aren't good, but 40-50 lbs is a lot to overcome.

According to Keepers, here's what each team has returning:

OFFENSE DEFENSE
Team Conf Off Starts Rush Pass Rec OL Def Starts DL LB DB
NAU BIG SKY 5.1 128 70 121 2.1 7.0 25% 12% 22% 59%
ISUr MVFC 7.3 131 177 116 3.2 6.8 20% 20% 22% 62%
AVG FCS 6.7 112 136 132 3.1 6.5 14% 22% 27% 62%

Our defense had 8.8 until we lost the 2 Grad transfers. I don't believe their 7 returners on defense .. I know they lost their top 4 tacklers, plus a couple others I believe.. Offensively, their QB is back after missing over half the season due to injury .. so that is obviously big deal for them. They do RB by committee, so no idea who we'll see at that position.

This game will come down to how well we contain their pass game ... they will make plays. Just a question of how well we control the trenches .. which we need to do in this game. And we have to manage the clock and move chains so our defense is rested enough. I reviewed the 1st half stats of our game 2 years ago .. we dominated then until the last drive of 1st half. The wheels fell of after that ... thinking elevation played a roll, but who knows.
Redbird Nation Rising ... Fans and donors need to get on board !!
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RBFANTOO
Sophomore
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Location: Anywhere but Bradley

Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:19 am

I am mildly optimistic. Our passing game will still struggle but hope we can dominate on the ground.
Therefore:
NAU- 21
ISU- 27
:pray:
Redbird Nation Rising
DannyCooksey
Senior
Posts: 809
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:27 pm

Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:27 am

I believe we will win and Davis will play a very good game.

Birds 44
NAU---28
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chuckie1980
Junior
Posts: 600
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:02 pm

Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:44 am

NAU 0
Birds 28
fourthandshort
Senior
Posts: 2288
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:06 pm

Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:27 am

chuckie1980 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:44 am
NAU 0
Birds 28
seriously chuckie ... zero ?

I can see this going both ways on defesne for us .. if their QB gets hot and turf is wet, who knows.

So my pick is Redbirds win 34-24 .. defense and run game controls game, and pass game shows some signs of life.

But I can see them scoring more. Playing at home at normal elevation bods well for our defense. Hoping the rain stays away so more fans turn out and fire up our defense.
Redbird Nation Rising ... Fans and donors need to get on board !!
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