Offense: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

After watching Saturday night's game against UNT, I really didn't know how to feel. Part of me was satisfied, part of me was angry, and part of me felt like I was one of <B>P.T. Barnum's</b> infamous "suckers" for paying thirty dollars to watch the game.

In my years of coaching, I realized there were three types of games: 1) those that looked good, but after watching film, looked bad, 2) those that looked bad, and after watching film, looked really bad, and 3) those games that looked bad and turned out to be O.K. This game fell into the last category. After perusing the message boards after the game, I know that some of the Greg Davis lynch mob won't want to believe me. So, let me shed some light…

The Good

  • Robbie Doane -- Robbie graded out at 95%, and his grade on pass plays was 100%. I don't think the left tackle spot will be a source of worry. Two plays that really stood out to me were the first touchdown play (where he caved in his side of the line) and the WR tunnel screen (where he displayed good run technique).
  • The pass blocking -- OK, most of you just tuned me out. However, the offensive line graded out at 86% on pass-blocking plays. This number can be a little misleading because all it takes is one blown assignment to create a sack. The starting offensive line unit did not give up a sack on the entire night (Jason Glynn starts on the offensive line, BTW). The sacks only came when Alfio Randall-Veasey, Beau Baker, or Will Allen had subbed for a first-teamer.
  • Jonathan Scott -- Jonathan graded out at 89% in his first collegiate football game. He displayed superior pass-blocking technique, and he received the highest grade for run blocking in the offensive line unit. The play that stood out to me the most was toss sweep to Cedric. Scott showed tremendous quickness in getting to the corner and making a cut block. There is a huge drop-off when you get to Randall-Veasey.
  • Chris Simms looking off receivers -- You asked for it. Lee Corso brought it up in the last week. Simms eased my troubled mind over this aspect of his game. One play to notice in particular was the short pass into the endzone intended for Sloan Thomas. Although it was an incompletion, Simms looking off the safety gave him a larger passing lane to Sloan. The pass itself could have been more accurate, but it's a start.
  • Chris Simms didn't force passes -- Simms didn't force passes across the middle, into the flats, or into double coverage deep. I saw a lot of improvement in Simms' game from last December, and that is all we can ask for.
  • Greg Davis Internet connection -- How else could he have known to run a version of the counter trey? Fans on the Internet have been saying this for months, and I guess he finally listened. Although not technically the counter trey, it was good enough for most fans. Greg Davis called the "G Lead" ten times out of 25 or so running plays. Fans also saw the play-action pass on numerous occasions.
  • The run blocking of Matt Trissel -- Trissel's blocking was superb, and the "G Lead" was much better when he was the "Lead". If I had been grading the fullbacks, he would have been the best by a wide margin.
  • Roy Williams' hands -- I'm sure we all noticed this. He also looks to be a step quicker.

The Bad

  • The idea that Jason Glynn can reach block a shaded nose by himself -- This strategy never worked in the game, and it was hard to knock down Jason's grade on these plays (I did). Although Kennedy was a much stronger and tougher nose to block than any UT will face until the twelfth game, it is an idea that should probably be scrapped. For the record, many of Glynn's "miscues" were actually blown assignments by Derrick Dockery.
  • Chris Simms not hitting the outlet receiver -- on at least two occasions, Simms could have avoided the sack by hitting a wide-open outlet receiver. If Simms isn't going to throw to them, the coaches should just keep them in to block. In the hierarchy of things, I suppose a missed outlet receiver is better than a forced pass.
  • Alfio Randall-Veasey's game -- I think Alfio will be the first to admit he had a bad game. Things he could improve on are not giving up so much space to the rusher on a pass play and getting his hands into a punch position quicker on those plays.
  • Beau Baker's first two series -- Beau graded out at 56% on his first two series. The silver lining is that he graded out at 88% the rest of the way.
  • David Thomas' first game -- I can almost guarantee that Thomas will not say his favorite game was his first. Kudos to the young gentleman for being in a position to play. After watching him last month in the THSCA All-Star game, I could see how much quicker the college game was for David. I have no doubt things will start to slow down with game experience.

The Ugly

  • Will Matthews blocking on the "G Lead" -- Matthews' blocking on this play was poor, to say the least. Matt Trissel attacked the LB higher and drove him out of the hole. Matthews was content to hit the LB low, giving him a chance to reach over and arm tackle, or, at best, causing a pile in the seam on a successful block.
  • Derrick Dockery's run blocking -- Dockery grade out at 61% on running plays. Much of the blame that was put on Glynn's shoulders was more a problem of Dockery not getting a good combo block. This allowed the backside LB to come over the top of the block and make a play. Dockery made Chris Hurd look really good. He did a much poorer job than Holloway of pulling on the "G Lead" play, and he seemed lethargic on running plays. Don't get the idea that he is a liability. He graded out at 93% on passing plays.
  • The offensive line rotation pattern -- Hindsight is 20/20, but I think we might see a different substitution pattern for North Carolina. The guards would rotate from Holloway/Dockery to Baker/Dockery to Holloway/Baker. The inconsistencies in Baker's game don't warrant two consecutive series. I think it would solidify the offensive line much more if it went Holloway/Dockery to Baker/Dockery to Holloway/Dockery to Holloway/Baker.

Mark Kissinger has coached high school football in Texas and Tennessee, coaching OL, TE, WR, DT, DE, and serving as both an offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator. In high school, he was coached by the legendary G.A. Moore. Mark recently retired from coaching and received his M.B.A. from Rice University. His 'Technical Analysis' column will appear each week on InsideTexas.com.


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