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Game Day: FIU @ Tulane

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 PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:52 am   
Golden Panther
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This quote from Coach Davis immediately after the game really bothered me:

“I'm very anxious to see exactly where the breakdowns were, where the things went wrong.”

I don’t think we should ever be in a position to have to wait until after the game to see where breakdowns are. These are things that our position coaches should be monitoring during the game. How can you ever make in-game corrections if you don’t study breakdowns and mistakes during the game?

This was part of our problem last Thursday. Our offense and defense looked exactly the same in the second half as the first. We can’t have that. We have to be able to adjust mid-game. That’s on the coaches. It’s inexcusable.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Coach Davis. I wouldn’t want any other coach coaching us. Period. He's the guy I wanted ever since the day Ron Turner was hired.

But let’s not forget Coach Davis is human and makes mistakes. He has room for improvement and growth like all of us. We saw that firsthand when he played Maurice Alexander at QB the entire Gasparilla Bowl loss to Temple after Alex McGough went down with an injury. Christian Alexander sat on the sidelines the whole time.

If we don’t learn from our mistakes, we’re destined to repeat them. We've got to be able to make in-game adjustments. I saw none of that in the Tulane loss.

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 PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:26 am   
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I will bet you if you asked the defensive coaches, they would tell you that they did TRY to make the corrections during the Tulane game by saying, "G-d-it, you were supposed to plug that f-ing, hole, you dimwad." Or various words to that effect. My point is that, being pro coaches they are used to having players who can meet the standard of what is expected in a system and it doesn't really matter to them that our kids aren't quite good enough to do what they are supposed to do in that system. This read and react system has clearly been in place at FIU since Butch came on board the proof of which being the fact that many of you have bemoaned the lack of any effort to blitz or put pressure on QBs from day one, which is one of the reasons why mobile QBs in particular have a field day against us. When we've played lesser offensive teams, we've done okay with this system. When we've played bigger, more athletic teams, we've gotten shellacked.

Butch would probably tell you, I am not going to gamble and try to cover up the lack of size and strength with speed off the corners and deception. Louisville tried it last night against Notre Dame and it worked for about a half. It was a lot of fun to watch, but they finally ran out of gas. Now, I would rather FIU gamble, at least from time to time against more powerful teams because it is fun to watch and we are likely to lose against them anyway so what is the point of death by a thousand cuts. One reason that Louisville did it is because their new head coach came not from the pros but from Appalachian State, where they get a very large charge out of the occasional win over the high and mighty P5 school. That is what I think, anyway. And I also agree with Cancer that things are likely to go a lot better Saturday night because we are back in our league but I am sure sad we stunk it up so bad in the Big Easy.


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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:46 pm   
Cougar

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:01 pm
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Location: Cooper City, Fl.
Hello Fellow Panther Fans,

I have finally had the opportunity to sit down, digest and reflect on the opening day debacle against Tulane. I apologize to all of you as I was convinced that we were ready to take on the challenge, so much so, that I thought the margin of victory was going to be more substantial than most experts predicted. Unfortunately, it was the other guys who won in a rout. I now realize that Tulane is pretty $$$$ good with a legit big time QB (transfer from LSU with a 6-1 record) running the operation. I underestimated how good they really are. They play Auburn this week - this should illustrate more clearly whether we just laid an egg - which happens to all teams from time to time - or if we haven't progressed from last year. I suspect the former. I have an awful lot to say but most of it has been covered adequately by either you good people or Eric Henry. So briefly, here are some takeaways from game #1.
1. The "bend but don't break" philosophy must change. We successfully challenge other teams offensively, so we must challenge them defensively as well, as many of you have suggested. I hope we finally bring some blitz packages this week.
2. Remember, the season is a marathon, not a sprint. We have lost the opener, unfortunately, all three years that Butch Davis has been the coach. Yet, we've managed to post some respectable season records. With all due respect, there is no need to jump off the edge. I think WKU is in serious trouble Saturday night.
3. As Clawing pointed out, in today's game a team MUST have a "mobile" QB. By that I mean, James Morgan must keep the ball a few times on the RPO plays even if he gains just a few yards on them. This will prevent DE's from crashing down on every run play and clogging up the running lanes for our backs. Because injury is the concern, have him slide to avoid contact!
4. Lastly, it is highly likely we will have another poor game some time during the season, as most teams do. However, Coach Davis historically has been able to "rally the troops" and learn from his mistakes. As some of you have pointed out, he's not perfect but there are few coaches, if any, I'd rather have on my sideline.
Interested in anything more you have to say, as always. FIUPhil


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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:00 pm   
Golden Panther

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I am praying the healing begins Saturday night, brother Phil.


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 PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:56 am   
Golden Panther
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fiuphil wrote:
Hello Fellow Panther Fans,

I have finally had the opportunity to sit down, digest and reflect on the opening day debacle against Tulane. I apologize to all of you as I was convinced that we were ready to take on the challenge, so much so, that I thought the margin of victory was going to be more substantial than most experts predicted. Unfortunately, it was the other guys who won in a rout. I now realize that Tulane is pretty $$$$ good with a legit big time QB (transfer from LSU with a 6-1 record) running the operation. I underestimated how good they really are. They play Auburn this week - this should illustrate more clearly whether we just laid an egg - which happens to all teams from time to time - or if we haven't progressed from last year. I suspect the former. I have an awful lot to say but most of it has been covered adequately by either you good people or Eric Henry. So briefly, here are some takeaways from game #1.
1. The "bend but don't break" philosophy must change. We successfully challenge other teams offensively, so we must challenge them defensively as well, as many of you have suggested. I hope we finally bring some blitz packages this week.
2. Remember, the season is a marathon, not a sprint. We have lost the opener, unfortunately, all three years that Butch Davis has been the coach. Yet, we've managed to post some respectable season records. With all due respect, there is no need to jump off the edge. I think WKU is in serious trouble Saturday night.
3. As Clawing pointed out, in today's game a team MUST have a "mobile" QB. By that I mean, James Morgan must keep the ball a few times on the RPO plays even if he gains just a few yards on them. This will prevent DE's from crashing down on every run play and clogging up the running lanes for our backs. Because injury is the concern, have him slide to avoid contact!
4. Lastly, it is highly likely we will have another poor game some time during the season, as most teams do. However, Coach Davis historically has been able to "rally the troops" and learn from his mistakes. As some of you have pointed out, he's not perfect but there are few coaches, if any, I'd rather have on my sideline.
Interested in anything more you have to say, as always. FIUPhil


1. Do we have the talent to do this? I seriously doubt it from what I'm seeing. You start taking gambles and it could easily turn into 60-0. Especially against more talented teams.

I'm not saying don't do it, for the record. I think some chance-taking is needed. But I also don't want to see the pendulum swing too wildly in that direction. Bend and don't break works if your offense is clicking.

Had the offense been better against Tulane, it would have allowed the D to take more chances.

Fix the O and I think a lot of the D's weaknesses are papered over, basically. Not a permanent fix but you probably won't find that at this point with this roster. You need to recruit your way out of that.

3. Or just stop running read option plays with Morgan.

I don't see that happening, though. Read option is bread and butter for Skrotsky. Which is why I think the better option (if there is such a thing) is to have your best read option QB come in every once in a while when the offense isn't clicking and try to get it going.

This is one of those times where you hope an old dog can learn new tricks, but at this point, I think that's a limitation of Morgan's game we have to live with. He's just not a read option guy and I don't see how it's going to get better at this point. He's been here a full season-plus and the offense hasn't changed. If he's not comfortable taking the ball more often on those plays by now, what's it going to take?

I get your point on sliding, but that's not really what you want a QB to do in order for read option to work effectively. You want a bull-headed type like McGough who isn't afraid to take contact. Ideally, you want a guy who can break off big plays on his own, which McGough could do. It's not just keeping DE's honest. LB's and the secondary have to respect it, too.

SouthPaw wrote:
This quote from Coach Davis immediately after the game really bothered me:

“I'm very anxious to see exactly where the breakdowns were, where the things went wrong.”

I don’t think we should ever be in a position to have to wait until after the game to see where breakdowns are. These are things that our position coaches should be monitoring during the game. How can you ever make in-game corrections if you don’t study breakdowns and mistakes during the game?

This was part of our problem last Thursday. Our offense and defense looked exactly the same in the second half as the first. We can’t have that. We have to be able to adjust mid-game. That’s on the coaches. It’s inexcusable.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Coach Davis. I wouldn’t want any other coach coaching us. Period. He's the guy I wanted ever since the day Ron Turner was hired.

But let’s not forget Coach Davis is human and makes mistakes. He has room for improvement and growth like all of us. We saw that firsthand when he played Maurice Alexander at QB the entire Gasparilla Bowl loss to Temple after Alex McGough went down with an injury. Christian Alexander sat on the sidelines the whole time.

If we don’t learn from our mistakes, we’re destined to repeat them. We've got to be able to make in-game adjustments. I saw none of that in the Tulane loss.


Good gravy, dude. What do you think they're doing at halftime, playing tiddlywinks?

Of course they're making adjustments. The other team is also. That's how it usually works.

It's not as simple as "fix yourself" sometimes, especially if the other team is just better. Sometimes, there is no fixing that no matter what you do.

Good coaches, by the way, also go back after games (especially after a cool-down period) to review the film and try to fix it. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, you don't see a path forward but you do when Monday comes around and you've looked at the film.

Tulane was just better. Period. I very much doubt there was any in-game adjustment to fix that.

Building A Dynasty wrote:
1) The secondary is the deepest part of the defense and it's not even close.

2) I don't think talent is the problem. We again had horrible fundamentals. I don't understand what the hell the coaches have been doing with the guys all off-season. Some of those rushing lanes were insane. And the few times we had the lane plugged, we couldn't tackle to save our lives.


Not that any part of the D is deep right now, but I can accept it being the secondary, I guess. Sage is our best player on D, though, and a great middle linebacker can do a lot of covering up for weaker players.

Also, I'm not a fan in general of a lot of our secondary guys, especially Isaiah Brown. He had a poor game against Tulane. That personal foul penalty on the QB out of bounds was beyond ridiculous, especially from a senior. I'd have yanked him after that idiocy. You can't have your leaders pulling that kind of crap.

As for fundamentals... if I read Henry's article right (the one I linked earlier), it sounds like Butch decided to go easier than he wanted on preseason drills to make sure his best guys didn't get hurt. That would explain some of the issues in the Tulane game, especially the poor tackling. I suspect that gets fixed pretty quick if that's the case.


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 PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:29 am   
Golden Panther

Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:25 am
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Bottom line, I think most of us thought we'd have better personnel on the field by this point in time. All the rest of it is just hand-wringing, when it comes right down to it. Unless Tulane was just way, way better than anybody thinks, then it just doesn't look like we have made much of a step forward this year. Let's just hope we "execute" better tonight and that the guys we have continue to learn and do well against guys that are purportedly more on their level.

And I don't care what you say, Clawing, watching that style of defense that we play is boring as hell . Just how much worse do you really think Tulane would have beaten us if we sent a corner from time to time. And how much better would you have felt if we had planted their QB a couple of times at least?


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 PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:42 am   
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And more importantly, how much of a boost might it have given those outmanned defenders if they were given the chance to nail somebody once in a while? Why do you think all these teams cook up turnover chains and whatnot these days? When your defensive scheme is the same one I played in biddy league, you're not playing to that "fire up" mindset in today's kids.


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 PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:02 pm   
Golden Panther
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Diagodog wrote:
Bottom line, I think most of us thought we'd have better personnel on the field by this point in time. All the rest of it is just hand-wringing, when it comes right down to it. Unless Tulane was just way, way better than anybody thinks, then it just doesn't look like we have made much of a step forward this year. Let's just hope we "execute" better tonight and that the guys we have continue to learn and do well against guys that are purportedly more on their level.

And I don't care what you say, Clawing, watching that style of defense that we play is boring as hell . Just how much worse do you really think Tulane would have beaten us if we sent a corner from time to time. And how much better would you have felt if we had planted their QB a couple of times at least?


I agree about the talent. That is pretty surprising. I expected something more than what we've seen for sure.

I agree that the D is boring as hell. I prefer my DC's like Geoff "Chili" Collins. I would have taken more risks for sure. But they absolutely could have beaten us worse if we were more risk-taking, even if they nail the QB a few more times. Maybe they wouldn't have, but it's risky for a reason.

Diagodog wrote:
And more importantly, how much of a boost might it have given those outmanned defenders if they were given the chance to nail somebody once in a while? Why do you think all these teams cook up turnover chains and whatnot these days? When your defensive scheme is the same one I played in biddy league, you're not playing to that "fire up" mindset in today's kids.


No argument there. But if the talent isn't good enough for any scheme other than Pee Wee, then I wouldn't try running anything more difficult. They're making a ton of mistakes now with that simple scheme.


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 PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:03 am   
Golden Panther

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Tell you what, Clawing, after watching the WKU game, I have to agree with you on the scheme issue. Maybe next year. This will have to be another season of please, just hold the fort.


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 PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:30 pm   
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On a side note, I’m going to chalk it up to being the first game home game of the season and more likely than not the funding for it is terrible but is it too much to ask the FIU TV feed to appear more professional. At times it looks like amateur hour.


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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:25 pm   
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No kidding. That TV broadcast was worse than a high school game broadcast. One of the cameras shook the entire game. And it often couldn't even follow the ball. Kenny Kelly is hot garbage. He adds zero to the game. The only thing that is worthy of listening to is AJ Ricketts. Can't we get a former FIU player in the booth? Wes Carroll was great. So was James Knapp.

_________________
FIU is the city of Miami's only state university.
FIU is Miami State University.

Official Name:
State University of Florida at Miami, or
Miami State University of Florida, or
Miami Florida State University


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