My thoughts on Tulsa Game

Happy we won

Postives

  • Ed Oliver makes tackles ten yards downfield. I don’t know how he does it. Also saved the secondary a couple times with batted passes when receivers are wide open.
  • Greg Ward makes this offense go. When the play breaks down or someone screws up, he is there to scramble and make something out of nothing.
  • Run defense was solid all night. Stopped them at the 1 yard line for the win.
  • Receivers, except for #14, made plays, got open underneath to move the chains, and made people miss.
  • Pass blocking - gave Ward time, picked up blitz pretty well.

Negatives

  • #24 is bad at coverage and tackling
  • #13 couldn’t get lined up on multiple occasions
  • Depth - this team is in dire need of quality backups. CTH and staff are working on it for the future.
  • Pass rush just wasn’t their without sending extra guys.
  • #14… A track runner trying to play receiver
  • Offensive play calling - Some questionable play calling in critical downs. We need to delete QB Power, QB draw, and QB sweep from the playbook. Stay with the zone read so the defense can’t key on Greg.
  • Open field tackling was lacking at times
  • Kicker and Punter

Pretty fair assessment. I think our offense looks straight out of a spread run HS playbook. Not impressed at all right now with it.

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In fairness to Applewhite, personnel wise UH is lacking in two areas.

  • Good road grating interior lineman. Imagine how much easier it would on the offense if they could get 4 yards consistently on the inside zone.
  • A deep threat that can catch the football. We missed out on 7 points , even though we had a perfect pass, perfect play call, and perfect blocking.

Some of it is the players and some of it is the coaching,

Disagree on one point… the deep ball was not on the WR. Ward just missed two deep balls for easy TDs tonight. I’d say his accuracy was off tonight.

I agree that he badly missed on the deep ball to Dunbar.

But the one to Johnson should have been caught.

The sad part about is we have seen GWJr throw post routes too far inside MULTIPLE times throughout his career. Either help him fix whatever it is he is doing wrong, or don’t call the play.

My thought about the offense is that Greg Ward is going to get hurt before the end of the season because of the way Applewhite repeatedly calls for quarterback keepers up the middle and sweeps to the side. I’m happy were still putting points on the board but our offense looks very predictable right now. It’s the Greg Ward show. There were numerous times when the defenders were playing 10 yards off the ball and Ward could have thrown a quick pass to the sideline for an easy 5 to 10 yards but instead tucked the ball and ran up the middle for no gain. It seems like Applewhite is trying to force plays up the middle that haven’t worked all year. I realize we don’t have the personnel right now due to injuries but it seems like we’re running the same plays over and over with very little pre-snap motion or misdirection, which is allowing the defense to key on Ward.

Herman said after the game that “we’re gonna ride him till the wheels fall off” in regards to Ward. That means we’ll continue to see him run between the tackles. Is it too liberal of me to worry about his safety? I mean he’s what, 185 soaking wet? Dude his getting crushed out there. But Herman is old school. Believes in hard physical practices and tough players, one of which is Ward, so we’ll continue to see him getting pummeled until “…the wheels fall off.”

But to defend Herman/Applewhite, some of those run plays are RPO’s. If the box is loaded, throw a quick screen. If it’s not, run it. Sometimes he just makes the wrong read, but very little though.

With what we’ve seen from our OL this year (Lamar game notwithstanding), I don’t think it can ever be justified calling 3 consecutive running plays with this team. The only time Ward needs to be running, IMO, is on RPOs and scrambles. That’s when he is the most dangerous. QB designed runs just have not worked at all this year. He’s taking a beating for 1 and 2 yard gains.

Last night’s offensive play calling was so frustrating for me. At one point, Ward was 16-20 for 156 yards, but Applewhite insisted on trying to establish an inside running game. It just isn’t there this year. Ward’s arm is the best offensive weapon we have right now, so we need to quit forcing things that aren’t there. It also seems like we have completely abandoned the back shoulder throws on the outside that have been so effective all year long.

Also, I know there are lots of injuries, but it’s hard for me to imagine that Fontana is our best option at guard right now. He’s either letting his guy demolish Ward or getting called for holding on nearly every play. We have to have a better option than that behind him, even if it means someone losing a red shirt.

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Is it possible that Ward audibles to call his own number? I dunno. I’m just mad at the secondary.

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Two kick-offs out of bounds is too much in the same season, let alone in the same game…

24 isn’t a bad tackler, he is actually a very good tackler for a cover CB. He saved what would have been a TD, which set up for the goal line stand to win the game.

I’m not speaking about the OP, but in general, the constant criticism of him is getting old.

The one thing that I have had enough seeing is the short down situations, running up to the line, not getting set, and trying to rush a play to catch the opponent “off-guard.” It fails 9 times out of 10. This O-line is better when it has time to get set and pick their blocks. I saw it way too much last night, and it ended up in a loss more often than not.

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Greg throws a floating deep ball, so his receivers can adjust to the ball midflight. Most of his deep throws give them a chance for a completion. They need to adjust quicker, so they can be in position to catch the ball.

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