Obli's Outback Observations

Obliviax

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Aug 21, 2001
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really, the game went as you would expect from a defensive perspective. With 3 DL, 2 LB and an all-american safety out (not to meeting the DC) we got mauled once Ark figured that out. Really, I sat there thinking "what took them so long?" Once done, it was just a matter of how many points Ark wanted to score.

Defense

  • I was encouraged enough in the first half to think "just maybe..." but that all went away in the 3rd Q.
  • The interior was just getting mauled by Ark's huge OL and some very nifty ball movement by their QB, whom I was REALLY impressed with. Kid is going to be a monster and Ark's program looks strong moving forward.
  • One kid averaged 16.8 YPC on three carries. Top four rushers had YPC of 5.5, 7.7 6.1 and 16.8 YPC!
  • I also was impressed with Ark's O. When converted a short-yardage first down, they got into a hurry up to play against PSU's jumbo package since we couldn't sub out. Smart
  • I was impressed with PSU's defensive backfield and we played a lot of young guys back there.
  • There were flashes of good play at DE but not much at DT or LB. Lots of development needed.
  • Curtis Jacobs, Keaton Ellis and Ji'Ayir Brown all played well. Brown had two INTs.
  • We gave up 451 total yards, 361 on the ground.

Offense
  • SC is maddeningly inconsistent. One minute he is gliding around in the pocket making great plays. The next he isn't stepping into his throws and throwing really high
  • Did he get hurt or did CJF just pull him?
  • Anyone who didn't see K beat Iowa is dreaming if they feel Levis had a weak or poor game. He played really well to be honest.
  • I wonder if SC is getting psyched out and bailing out on his throws due to the poor pass blocking.
  • Speaking of poor pass blocking, we need a running game. Duh! Ark was open to blitzing, which they did almost every play, since we couldn't run the ball at all.
  • And the TE's were horrific at blocking the screens. I had to stop looking after a while. Horrible. I believe we had two completions to TEs for a total of -1 yard.
  • So SC's INT and the horribly overthrown ball to a wide open TE was all she wrote. We weren't going to win on D so we had to win with O and it just wasn't there.
  • SC was 14/32 for 195 yards, one TD and two INTs. SC was our leading rusher with 47 yards. He looked much better running the ball than anytime this year.
  • Parker Washington is going to fill for Dotson, with no problems.
Special Teams
  • Johnny Dixon had a nice Punt return. Who? Johnny Freakin Dixon that's who!
  • Stout had a bad game. 39.4 yard average for an all B1G punter. He also missed a throw on a fake punt
  • FAKE PUNT?! Yep. Why did we wait until the defense settled to snap the ball? Isn't that the plan when coming out with a weird formation (catch them off guard)?
  • FG game needs work. Really. We were 1 for 2. The made one was a chip shot. The other was missed really bad.
Comments
  • Hard to blame the staff with so much disruption but is CJF too loyal? Not only with SC but also the OL which seemed to have young kids perform better than the upper classmen did this season.
  • SC isn't and will never be the answer to a top-notch college team. But more importantly, the OL has to get fixed. Can't blame the QB too much when there is no RB all season and teams simply play the pass.
  • Are we too dependent upon "chunk plays"? If I am playing PSU, I tell the CBs to not let you guy behind you and everyone else plays underneath. We didn't have a short passing game at all. And quick passes is a way to combat a pass rush.
  • TE's were horrible all day. Perhaps this is the most disappointing aspect of the team all year. I expected much, much better from the TEs pass-catching and blocking.
  • One of the worst missed calls of all time (bar stool pointed it out). Ark entire backfield started early on a critical play where they got a first down that led to a TD deep in PSU's territory

Lots of work to be done. I don't expect us to do any better next year. The O has been horrible, just horrible. We wasted one of the best defenses we've ever had. Onto 2023 I guess.
 

Texas Lion

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Aug 10, 2018
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Who are we still waiting to hear from as far as NFL or Portal?
O
Walker?
George?
Cam Sullivan?
1 of the TE?
Any of the RB?

By the way, the RB rotation needs to stop. Pick you starter and his backups and go!

D
Hawkins?
Any of the DB's?
 
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bvillebaron

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Feb 4, 2004
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really, the game went as you would expect from a defensive perspective. With 3 DL, 2 LB and an all-american safety out (not to meeting the DC) we got mauled once Ark figured that out. Really, I sat there thinking "what took them so long?" Once done, it was just a matter of how many points Ark wanted to score.

Defense

  • I was encouraged enough in the first half to think "just maybe..." but that all went away in the 3rd Q.
  • The interior was just getting mauled by Ark's huge OL and some very nifty ball movement by their QB, whom I was REALLY impressed with. Kid is going to be a monster and Ark's program looks strong moving forward.
  • One kid averaged 16.8 YPC on three carries. Top four rushers had YPC of 5.5, 7.7 6.1 and 16.8 YPC!
  • I also was impressed with Ark's O. When converted a short-yardage first down, they got into a hurry up to play against PSU's jumbo package since we couldn't sub out. Smart
  • I was impressed with PSU's defensive backfield and we played a lot of young guys back there.
  • There were flashes of good play at DE but not much at DT or LB. Lots of development needed.
  • Curtis Jacobs, Keaton Ellis and Ji'Ayir Brown all played well. Brown had two INTs.
  • We gave up 451 total yards, 361 on the ground.

Offense
  • SC is maddeningly inconsistent. One minute he is gliding around in the pocket making great plays. The next he isn't stepping into his throws and throwing really high
  • Did he get hurt or did CJF just pull him?
  • Anyone who didn't see K beat Iowa is dreaming if they feel Levis had a weak or poor game. He played really well to be honest.
  • I wonder if SC is getting psyched out and bailing out on his throws due to the poor pass blocking.
  • Speaking of poor pass blocking, we need a running game. Duh! Ark was open to blitzing, which they did almost every play, since we couldn't run the ball at all.
  • And the TE's were horrific at blocking the screens. I had to stop looking after a while. Horrible. I believe we had two completions to TEs for a total of -1 yard.
  • So SC's INT and the horribly overthrown ball to a wide open TE was all she wrote. We weren't going to win on D so we had to win with O and it just wasn't there.
  • SC was 14/32 for 195 yards, one TD and two INTs. SC was our leading rusher with 47 yards. He looked much better running the ball than anytime this year.
  • Parker Washington is going to fill for Dotson, with no problems.
Special Teams
  • Johnny Dixon had a nice Punt return. Who? Johnny Freakin Dixon that's who!
  • Stout had a bad game. 39.4 yard average for an all B1G punter. He also missed a throw on a fake punt
  • FAKE PUNT?! Yep. Why did we wait until the defense settled to snap the ball? Isn't that the plan when coming out with a weird formation (catch them off guard)?
  • FG game needs work. Really. We were 1 for 2. The made one was a chip shot. The other was missed really bad.
Comments
  • Hard to blame the staff with so much disruption but is CJF too loyal? Not only with SC but also the OL which seemed to have young kids perform better than the upper classmen did this season.
  • SC isn't and will never be the answer to a top-notch college team. But more importantly, the OL has to get fixed. Can't blame the QB too much when there is no RB all season and teams simply play the pass.
  • Are we too dependent upon "chunk plays"? If I am playing PSU, I tell the CBs to not let you guy behind you and everyone else plays underneath. We didn't have a short passing game at all. And quick passes is a way to combat a pass rush.
  • TE's were horrible all day. Perhaps this is the most disappointing aspect of the team all year. I expected much, much better from the TEs pass-catching and blocking.
  • One of the worst missed calls of all time (bar stool pointed it out). Ark entire backfield started early on a critical play where they got a first down that led to a TD deep in PSU's territory

Lots of work to be done. I don't expect us to do any better next year. The O has been horrible, just horrible. We wasted one of the best defenses we've ever had. Onto 2023 I guess.
Excellent post. I don’t think Franklin is wrong to want chunk plays; look how many OSU had in the Rose Bowl. Having said that, you are correct, you need a running game and good pass protection to be able to do that—Stroud had all day to go through his progressions and throw. Some of Clifford’s throwing off his back foot is due to the pass rush he constantly faces. Having said that, he played poorly and he should be on a short leash next year if any of the young kids are ready to play.
 

Obliviax

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Aug 21, 2001
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Excellent post. I don’t think Franklin is wrong to want chunk plays; look how many OSU had in the Rose Bowl. Having said that, you are correct, you need a running game and good pass protection to be able to do that—Stroud had all day to go through his progressions and throw. Some of Clifford’s throwing off his back foot is due to the pass rush he constantly faces. Having said that, he played poorly and he should be on a short leash next year if any of the young kids are ready to play.
Agreed. Specific to OSU, Utah was playing with a Running Back that converted to cornerback mid-season due to injuries.
 

87 Penn St8

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Feb 11, 2009
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Excellent review as always. I thought it was Washington on the punt returns just watching the game and the way he caught the punt that was over his head with ease. Whether Dixon or Parker it was refreshing to see an aggressive returner
 

cyrizzle

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Jan 10, 2010
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really, the game went as you would expect from a defensive perspective. With 3 DL, 2 LB and an all-american safety out (not to meeting the DC) we got mauled once Ark figured that out. Really, I sat there thinking "what took them so long?" Once done, it was just a matter of how many points Ark wanted to score.

Defense

  • I was encouraged enough in the first half to think "just maybe..." but that all went away in the 3rd Q.
  • The interior was just getting mauled by Ark's huge OL and some very nifty ball movement by their QB, whom I was REALLY impressed with. Kid is going to be a monster and Ark's program looks strong moving forward.
  • One kid averaged 16.8 YPC on three carries. Top four rushers had YPC of 5.5, 7.7 6.1 and 16.8 YPC!
  • I also was impressed with Ark's O. When converted a short-yardage first down, they got into a hurry up to play against PSU's jumbo package since we couldn't sub out. Smart
  • I was impressed with PSU's defensive backfield and we played a lot of young guys back there.
  • There were flashes of good play at DE but not much at DT or LB. Lots of development needed.
  • Curtis Jacobs, Keaton Ellis and Ji'Ayir Brown all played well. Brown had two INTs.
  • We gave up 451 total yards, 361 on the ground.

Offense
  • SC is maddeningly inconsistent. One minute he is gliding around in the pocket making great plays. The next he isn't stepping into his throws and throwing really high
  • Did he get hurt or did CJF just pull him?
  • Anyone who didn't see K beat Iowa is dreaming if they feel Levis had a weak or poor game. He played really well to be honest.
  • I wonder if SC is getting psyched out and bailing out on his throws due to the poor pass blocking.
  • Speaking of poor pass blocking, we need a running game. Duh! Ark was open to blitzing, which they did almost every play, since we couldn't run the ball at all.
  • And the TE's were horrific at blocking the screens. I had to stop looking after a while. Horrible. I believe we had two completions to TEs for a total of -1 yard.
  • So SC's INT and the horribly overthrown ball to a wide open TE was all she wrote. We weren't going to win on D so we had to win with O and it just wasn't there.
  • SC was 14/32 for 195 yards, one TD and two INTs. SC was our leading rusher with 47 yards. He looked much better running the ball than anytime this year.
  • Parker Washington is going to fill for Dotson, with no problems.
Special Teams
  • Johnny Dixon had a nice Punt return. Who? Johnny Freakin Dixon that's who!
  • Stout had a bad game. 39.4 yard average for an all B1G punter. He also missed a throw on a fake punt
  • FAKE PUNT?! Yep. Why did we wait until the defense settled to snap the ball? Isn't that the plan when coming out with a weird formation (catch them off guard)?
  • FG game needs work. Really. We were 1 for 2. The made one was a chip shot. The other was missed really bad.
Comments
  • Hard to blame the staff with so much disruption but is CJF too loyal? Not only with SC but also the OL which seemed to have young kids perform better than the upper classmen did this season.
  • SC isn't and will never be the answer to a top-notch college team. But more importantly, the OL has to get fixed. Can't blame the QB too much when there is no RB all season and teams simply play the pass.
  • Are we too dependent upon "chunk plays"? If I am playing PSU, I tell the CBs to not let you guy behind you and everyone else plays underneath. We didn't have a short passing game at all. And quick passes is a way to combat a pass rush.
  • TE's were horrible all day. Perhaps this is the most disappointing aspect of the team all year. I expected much, much better from the TEs pass-catching and blocking.
  • One of the worst missed calls of all time (bar stool pointed it out). Ark entire backfield started early on a critical play where they got a first down that led to a TD deep in PSU's territory

Lots of work to be done. I don't expect us to do any better next year. The O has been horrible, just horrible. We wasted one of the best defenses we've ever had. Onto 2023 I guess.
I was at the game, and Clif was simply off and missing on most of his passes all day, especially in the second half. I think he is most to blame here, not the defense. If he hits on some of these passes in the second half (many of them were misses to open receivers), then we are right in the game at the end with a chance to win. We should have been able to score at least 24 points in this game to win. While he was facing consistent pressure, that wasn’t the issue, as he was able to step up and avoid the rush on most of the plays. The issue was him simply just playing poorly and missing on many of his open passes. Extremely frustrating, and if he plays like this at all next season, you put Allar in right away. He should be on a short leash after this game because it’s a game we could have won if he played well. That was the key to the game.
 

Obliviax

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Aug 21, 2001
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I was at the game, and Clif was simply off and missing on most of his passes all day, especially in the second half. I think he is most to blame here, not the defense. If he hits on some of these passes in the second half (many of them were misses to open receivers), then we are right in the game at the end with a chance to win. We should have been able to score at least 24 points in this game to win. While he was facing consistent pressure, that wasn’t the issue, as he was able to step up and avoid the rush on most of the plays. The issue was him simply just playing poorly and missing on many of his open passes. Extremely frustrating, and if he plays like this at all next season, you put Allar in right away. He should be on a short leash after this game because it’s a game we could have won if he played well. That was the key to the game.
any idea why he left the game? the announcers were baffled (I turned it off with around 5:00 to go). I wonder if CJF wanted to play someone else or if SC got injured. There was no apparent injury in during the game.
 

walleye38

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2003
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really, the game went as you would expect from a defensive perspective. With 3 DL, 2 LB and an all-american safety out (not to meeting the DC) we got mauled once Ark figured that out. Really, I sat there thinking "what took them so long?" Once done, it was just a matter of how many points Ark wanted to score.

Defense

  • I was encouraged enough in the first half to think "just maybe..." but that all went away in the 3rd Q.
  • The interior was just getting mauled by Ark's huge OL and some very nifty ball movement by their QB, whom I was REALLY impressed with. Kid is going to be a monster and Ark's program looks strong moving forward.
  • One kid averaged 16.8 YPC on three carries. Top four rushers had YPC of 5.5, 7.7 6.1 and 16.8 YPC!
  • I also was impressed with Ark's O. When converted a short-yardage first down, they got into a hurry up to play against PSU's jumbo package since we couldn't sub out. Smart
  • I was impressed with PSU's defensive backfield and we played a lot of young guys back there.
  • There were flashes of good play at DE but not much at DT or LB. Lots of development needed.
  • Curtis Jacobs, Keaton Ellis and Ji'Ayir Brown all played well. Brown had two INTs.
  • We gave up 451 total yards, 361 on the ground.

Offense
  • SC is maddeningly inconsistent. One minute he is gliding around in the pocket making great plays. The next he isn't stepping into his throws and throwing really high
  • Did he get hurt or did CJF just pull him?
  • Anyone who didn't see K beat Iowa is dreaming if they feel Levis had a weak or poor game. He played really well to be honest.
  • I wonder if SC is getting psyched out and bailing out on his throws due to the poor pass blocking.
  • Speaking of poor pass blocking, we need a running game. Duh! Ark was open to blitzing, which they did almost every play, since we couldn't run the ball at all.
  • And the TE's were horrific at blocking the screens. I had to stop looking after a while. Horrible. I believe we had two completions to TEs for a total of -1 yard.
  • So SC's INT and the horribly overthrown ball to a wide open TE was all she wrote. We weren't going to win on D so we had to win with O and it just wasn't there.
  • SC was 14/32 for 195 yards, one TD and two INTs. SC was our leading rusher with 47 yards. He looked much better running the ball than anytime this year.
  • Parker Washington is going to fill for Dotson, with no problems.
Special Teams
  • Johnny Dixon had a nice Punt return. Who? Johnny Freakin Dixon that's who!
  • Stout had a bad game. 39.4 yard average for an all B1G punter. He also missed a throw on a fake punt
  • FAKE PUNT?! Yep. Why did we wait until the defense settled to snap the ball? Isn't that the plan when coming out with a weird formation (catch them off guard)?
  • FG game needs work. Really. We were 1 for 2. The made one was a chip shot. The other was missed really bad.
Comments
  • Hard to blame the staff with so much disruption but is CJF too loyal? Not only with SC but also the OL which seemed to have young kids perform better than the upper classmen did this season.
  • SC isn't and will never be the answer to a top-notch college team. But more importantly, the OL has to get fixed. Can't blame the QB too much when there is no RB all season and teams simply play the pass.
  • Are we too dependent upon "chunk plays"? If I am playing PSU, I tell the CBs to not let you guy behind you and everyone else plays underneath. We didn't have a short passing game at all. And quick passes is a way to combat a pass rush.
  • TE's were horrible all day. Perhaps this is the most disappointing aspect of the team all year. I expected much, much better from the TEs pass-catching and blocking.
  • One of the worst missed calls of all time (bar stool pointed it out). Ark entire backfield started early on a critical play where they got a first down that led to a TD deep in PSU's territory

Lots of work to be done. I don't expect us to do any better next year. The O has been horrible, just horrible. We wasted one of the best defenses we've ever had. Onto 2023 I guess.
You can't have an offense without an offensive line. SC didn't have much time. I will be surprised if we are much better than 8-4 next year.
 

HartfordLlion

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Sep 28, 2001
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any idea why he left the game? the announcers were baffled (I turned it off with around 5:00 to go). I wonder if CJF wanted to play someone else or if SC got injured. There was no apparent injury in during the game.

I suspect he wanted to get CV some snaps in this game. Down by 14 with offense not playing real well, it was the time to make the switch. Personally, I think he should have gone in the series before. The game was a glorified scrimmage, why not give the back up more snaps.
 

cyrizzle

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Jan 10, 2010
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any idea why he left the game? the announcers were baffled (I turned it off with around 5:00 to go). I wonder if CJF wanted to play someone else or if SC got injured. There was no apparent injury in during the game.
During the game I thought it was because of his poor play and Franklin wanting to see if Veilluex could do any better, but I later heard it was due to an undisclosed injury. I guess I still don’t really know for sure.
 

TheWizardofCamelot

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Apr 28, 2017
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"Cliff was simply off" - is that a joke?

Clifford by all accounts is a great kid, but he is not a P5-caliber QB. All he is asked to do is not be terrible, and he has trouble with accomplishing it. He's inaccurate, has terrible pocket presence, and he can't see the whole field. It's been 3 years of this, he is what he is. Just cut the dead weight and take your lumps with the young QBs next Fall.
 

KCLion

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Jun 8, 2001
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any idea why he left the game? the announcers were baffled (I turned it off with around 5:00 to go). I wonder if CJF wanted to play someone else or if SC got injured. There was no apparent injury in during the game.
CJF said medical staff pulled Clifford.
 
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BOSCO2

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Feb 27, 2002
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Excellent review as always. I thought it was Washington on the punt returns just watching the game and the way he caught the punt that was over his head with ease. Whether Dixon or Parker it was refreshing to see an aggressive returner
It was Washington.
 
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cntblvitsbutter

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Aug 31, 2003
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During the game I thought it was because of his poor play and Franklin wanting to see if Veilluex could do any better, but I later heard it was due to an undisclosed injury. I guess I still don’t really know for sure.

Franklin said it was the trainers who took him out. There's no way Franklin is taking SC out except for injury. I don't understand it but that's the way it is.
 

ram2020

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Jul 29, 2013
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Excellent post. I don’t think Franklin is wrong to want chunk plays; look how many OSU had in the Rose Bowl. Having said that, you are correct, you need a running game and good pass protection to be able to do that—Stroud had all day to go through his progressions and throw. Some of Clifford’s throwing off his back foot is due to the pass rush he constantly faces. Having said that, he played poorly and he should be on a short leash next year if any of the young kids are ready to play.
EVERYONE wants chunk plays. Chunk plays are a biproduct of really good play calling that is confusing the defense. It usually, to your point, goes hand and hand with a running game, a short passing game, a screen game, and a vertical passing game. You have to be multiple. It takes good blocking, good talent, creativity, and execution. Just laying your head down on the pillow and dreaming of "chunk" plays doesn't work or saying you want them. Our offense is a total mess at this point because we can't block, we can't run, and our QB can't complete simple passes at this point. In fact, I don't want to hear a goddamn thing from Franklin about "explosive offense" or chunk plays next year. Considering where our team is at this point, he should be happy to just play ball control. We don't have the talent, execution, or confidence to score on big plays right now, so what we end up with is a ton of 3 and outs that stress the Hell out of our defense. Seriously, walk before you run....4 yards and a cloud of dust JoePa style and a good punt game should be the goal next year. 4 yards has proven impossible with this team, how do you get 40 yards with any consistency?
 

Obliviax

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Aug 21, 2001
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EVERYONE wants chunk plays. Chunk plays are a biproduct of really good play calling that is confusing the defense. It usually, to your point, goes hand and hand with a running game, a short passing game, a screen game, and a vertical passing game. You have to be multiple. It takes good blocking, good talent, creativity, and execution. Just laying your head down on the pillow and dreaming of "chunk" plays doesn't work or saying you want them. Our offense is a total mess at this point because we can't block, we can't run, and our QB can't complete simple passes at this point. In fact, I don't want to hear a goddamn thing from Franklin about "explosive offense" or chunk plays next year. Considering where our team is at this point, he should be happy to just play ball control. We don't have the talent, execution, or confidence to score on big plays right now, so what we end up with is a ton of 3 and outs that stress the Hell out of our defense. Seriously, walk before you run....4 yards and a cloud of dust JoePa style and a good punt game should be the goal next year. 4 yards has proven impossible with this team, how do you get 40 yards with any consistency?
I tend to agree with you. Watching the game, I asked my brother "are we trying to do too many chunk plays?" We kind of abandoned the running game. And I felt we were getting "behind the sticks" with low success rate plays. And, I do understand that you need to "take the top off" of the defense, especially keeping Ark's three S defense pinned back and not creeping up to support the run. But to your point, to me chunk plays are the result of a well oiled offense and not the path to a well oiled offense.
 

ram2020

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I tend to agree with you. Watching the game, I asked my brother "are we trying to do too many chunk plays?" We kind of abandoned the running game. And I felt we were getting "behind the sticks" with low success rate plays. And, I do understand that you need to "take the top off" of the defense, especially keeping Ark's three S defense pinned back and not creeping up to support the run. But to your point, to me chunk plays are the result of a well oiled offense and not the path to a well oiled offense.

You have to challenge all levels of their defense, the run game is an integral part of that. You have to get those 3 safety's running towards the line in fear of the run game, then you can go over the top. We abandoned the run in the second half and I have no idea why. Some other poster mentioned, and opposing coaches have mentioned, to defend penn state don't give up the long pass....thats it, done. Obviously a guy like KJ or dotson can beat the right defensive philosophy enough to win games against less talented teams(Like Maryland this year), but absent of an offense that can stress a defense at multiple levels there are no meaningful chunk plays. Outside of a broken coverage on the part of ARK, we scored 3 points on offense. Whatever the philosophy, its not working. The worst part of saturday to me was that we don't even have basic blitz beaters. You knew on every 3rd down Arkansas was coming with a lot of blitzers and we just had nothing...nothing. No screens, no flares, no slants, no draws.....nothing. Just a f*cking fire drill. Im telling you, this offense needs to learn how to get 4 yard runs and 6 yard passes with relative consistency before we even talk "explosives." Watch explosive offenses.....its run for 4 yards, flare pass, quick crosser, another run play that gets 5, deep shot. ALL of those plays have the ability to turn into "explosive plays" you've seen OSU have HB screens go to the house. You wear the defense down, you confuse them, you block and execute, up tempo would be nice(arkansas did this well), then you pop one. Its not backyard football, you don't manufacture big plays against good defenses, they are an accumulation of a lot of little successful plays. Winning your one on one over and over again, all eleven guys. I used the analogy of a heavyweight fighter the other day. He doesn't go into a match against a formidable opponent saying "I'll just knock him out in the 1st round." Its jabs to the midsection, uppercuts, back to jabs, wear him out, confuse him, then the KO shot. At minimum, you need a succession of 2-3 positive plays. We NEVER have 2 or 3 positive plays in a row.
 

LMTLION

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It is obvious SC was a partial miss for the program - gutsy at times but overall only half the intangibles/winning attitude of a Trace or McGloin as comparatives from the recent past. His misses are because he cannot manage his emotions. He didn’t have ‘it’ at the age of 20, and he’s not going to have it at the age of 24.
 

Steve G

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May 29, 2001
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It is obvious SC was a partial miss for the program - gutsy at times but overall only half the intangibles/winning attitude of a Trace or McGloin as comparatives from the recent past. His misses are because he cannot manage his emotions. He didn’t have ‘it’ at the age of 20, and he’s not going to have it at the age of 24.
he has and always has had bad mechanics and feet are in wrong spot and balance off leads to him over throwing. Plus someone else mentioned his emotions can see when he hyped up way over throws. But he does not step properly into throws to manage trajectory
 

Obliviax

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It is obvious SC was a partial miss for the program - gutsy at times but overall only half the intangibles/winning attitude of a Trace or McGloin as comparatives from the recent past. His misses are because he cannot manage his emotions. He didn’t have ‘it’ at the age of 20, and he’s not going to have it at the age of 24.
I don't know if all of that is true but if so, can be a coach's worst nightmare. That kid that everyone loves that works so hard and loves his school, but just doesn't have "it". I don't know, we haven't given him the world's best protection and the TE play has been horrible. I will say that I feel like he moves well in the pocket and buys time. But he misses far too many throws and is not the world's best runner.
 

PSUcup1

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Nov 6, 2012
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he has and always has had bad mechanics and feet are in wrong spot and balance off leads to him over throwing. Plus someone else mentioned his emotions can see when he hyped up way over throws. But he does not step properly into throws to manage trajectory
He’s tough as nails and plays his heart out but …

He has zero pocket awareness… none, zilch, nada

I’ve never seen a QB routinely scramble himself from a mostly clean pocket directly into the DL pressure like he does

It is maddening
 
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KC-KS-Lion

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Oct 10, 2005
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I was at the game, and Clif was simply off and missing on most of his passes all day, especially in the second half. I think he is most to blame here, not the defense. If he hits on some of these passes in the second half (many of them were misses to open receivers), then we are right in the game at the end with a chance to win. We should have been able to score at least 24 points in this game to win. While he was facing consistent pressure, that wasn’t the issue, as he was able to step up and avoid the rush on most of the plays. The issue was him simply just playing poorly and missing on many of his open passes. Extremely frustrating, and if he plays like this at all next season, you put Allar in right away. He should be on a short leash after this game because it’s a game we could have won if he played well. That was the key to the game.
While not having the full field view, I tended to agree with the one announcer who kept asking why PSU ignored attacking the safeties in the middle of the field like they did in the first half...it looked like a receiver was coming open in the middle of the field running towards the doubly covered TE on the interception.
 
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jroman1

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Oct 30, 2005
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really, the game went as you would expect from a defensive perspective. With 3 DL, 2 LB and an all-american safety out (not to meeting the DC) we got mauled once Ark figured that out. Really, I sat there thinking "what took them so long?" Once done, it was just a matter of how many points Ark wanted to score.

Defense

  • I was encouraged enough in the first half to think "just maybe..." but that all went away in the 3rd Q.
  • The interior was just getting mauled by Ark's huge OL and some very nifty ball movement by their QB, whom I was REALLY impressed with. Kid is going to be a monster and Ark's program looks strong moving forward.
  • One kid averaged 16.8 YPC on three carries. Top four rushers had YPC of 5.5, 7.7 6.1 and 16.8 YPC!
  • I also was impressed with Ark's O. When converted a short-yardage first down, they got into a hurry up to play against PSU's jumbo package since we couldn't sub out. Smart
  • I was impressed with PSU's defensive backfield and we played a lot of young guys back there.
  • There were flashes of good play at DE but not much at DT or LB. Lots of development needed.
  • Curtis Jacobs, Keaton Ellis and Ji'Ayir Brown all played well. Brown had two INTs.
  • We gave up 451 total yards, 361 on the ground.

Offense
  • SC is maddeningly inconsistent. One minute he is gliding around in the pocket making great plays. The next he isn't stepping into his throws and throwing really high
  • Did he get hurt or did CJF just pull him?
  • Anyone who didn't see K beat Iowa is dreaming if they feel Levis had a weak or poor game. He played really well to be honest.
  • I wonder if SC is getting psyched out and bailing out on his throws due to the poor pass blocking.
  • Speaking of poor pass blocking, we need a running game. Duh! Ark was open to blitzing, which they did almost every play, since we couldn't run the ball at all.
  • And the TE's were horrific at blocking the screens. I had to stop looking after a while. Horrible. I believe we had two completions to TEs for a total of -1 yard.
  • So SC's INT and the horribly overthrown ball to a wide open TE was all she wrote. We weren't going to win on D so we had to win with O and it just wasn't there.
  • SC was 14/32 for 195 yards, one TD and two INTs. SC was our leading rusher with 47 yards. He looked much better running the ball than anytime this year.
  • Parker Washington is going to fill for Dotson, with no problems.
Special Teams
  • Johnny Dixon had a nice Punt return. Who? Johnny Freakin Dixon that's who!
  • Stout had a bad game. 39.4 yard average for an all B1G punter. He also missed a throw on a fake punt
  • FAKE PUNT?! Yep. Why did we wait until the defense settled to snap the ball? Isn't that the plan when coming out with a weird formation (catch them off guard)?
  • FG game needs work. Really. We were 1 for 2. The made one was a chip shot. The other was missed really bad.
Comments
  • Hard to blame the staff with so much disruption but is CJF too loyal? Not only with SC but also the OL which seemed to have young kids perform better than the upper classmen did this season.
  • SC isn't and will never be the answer to a top-notch college team. But more importantly, the OL has to get fixed. Can't blame the QB too much when there is no RB all season and teams simply play the pass.
  • Are we too dependent upon "chunk plays"? If I am playing PSU, I tell the CBs to not let you guy behind you and everyone else plays underneath. We didn't have a short passing game at all. And quick passes is a way to combat a pass rush.
  • TE's were horrible all day. Perhaps this is the most disappointing aspect of the team all year. I expected much, much better from the TEs pass-catching and blocking.
  • One of the worst missed calls of all time (bar stool pointed it out). Ark entire backfield started early on a critical play where they got a first down that led to a TD deep in PSU's territory

Lots of work to be done. I don't expect us to do any better next year. The O has been horrible, just horrible. We wasted one of the best defenses we've ever had. Onto 2023 I guess.
Once again you are spot on with your after-game summary. Thank you, sir!
 

bvillebaron

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Feb 4, 2004
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You can't have an offense without an offensive line. SC didn't have much time. I will be surprised if we are much better than 8-4 next year.
Agreed. While he still missed throws he shouldn’t like the one to the TE and made a horrible decision in the end zone, he was I’m under pressure most of the game. Go look how much time Stroud and Young had to throw.
 

bvillebaron

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Feb 4, 2004
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he has and always has had bad mechanics and feet are in wrong spot and balance off leads to him over throwing. Plus someone else mentioned his emotions can see when he hyped up way over throws. But he does not step properly into throws to manage trajectory
He always seems to be too amped up at the beginning of the games for sure.
 
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bvillebaron

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Feb 4, 2004
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EVERYONE wants chunk plays. Chunk plays are a biproduct of really good play calling that is confusing the defense. It usually, to your point, goes hand and hand with a running game, a short passing game, a screen game, and a vertical passing game. You have to be multiple. It takes good blocking, good talent, creativity, and execution. Just laying your head down on the pillow and dreaming of "chunk" plays doesn't work or saying you want them. Our offense is a total mess at this point because we can't block, we can't run, and our QB can't complete simple passes at this point. In fact, I don't want to hear a goddamn thing from Franklin about "explosive offense" or chunk plays next year. Considering where our team is at this point, he should be happy to just play ball control. We don't have the talent, execution, or confidence to score on big plays right now, so what we end up with is a ton of 3 and outs that stress the Hell out of our defense. Seriously, walk before you run....4 yards and a cloud of dust JoePa style and a good punt game should be the goal next year. 4 yards has proven impossible with this team, how do you get 40 yards with any consistency?
I hear you.
 
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LMTLION

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Mar 20, 2008
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I don't know if all of that is true but if so, can be a coach's worst nightmare. That kid that everyone loves that works so hard and loves his school, but just doesn't have "it". I don't know, we haven't given him the world's best protection and the TE play has been horrible. I will say that I feel like he moves well in the pocket and buys time. But he misses far too many throws and is not the world's best runner.
I was happy that he decided to give us another year, but the bowl game performance was so disappointing. He seemed to forget the progress he made pre-injury and regress back to 2020 Clifford.... the version that gets happy feat and overly excited. That version is not suitable for a P5 program. I think he has gotten very good protection this year, probably the best we have seen since the sanctions era. He has also had the luxury over the last few years of passing to Dotson, Pat F, and Parker Washington.... all three consistently bailed him out at times. In Clifford's defense the rbs and run blocking in general has been atrocious and he has worked under 3 different OC's now, but it's not like he has been playing with Rutgers-level talent.
 

N&B4PSU

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Excellent review as always. I thought it was Washington on the punt returns just watching the game and the way he caught the punt that was over his head with ease. Whether Dixon or Parker it was refreshing to see an aggressive returner
Going into the game one of my biggest fears was not having JD handling punts. He does it effortlessly and i never worry when he drops back. Saturday would bring a new kid (or 2) and you'd wonder how that would go... thought it went incredibly well. Washington really seems to enjoy it... refreshing stuff.
 

canuckhal

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May 5, 2014
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I don't know if all of that is true but if so, can be a coach's worst nightmare. That kid that everyone loves that works so hard and loves his school, but just doesn't have "it". I don't know, we haven't given him the world's best protection and the TE play has been horrible. I will say that I feel like he moves well in the pocket and buys time. But he misses far too many throws and is not the world's best runner.
Arkansas blitzed on 41% of the snaps. As all season, Clifford was abysmal when they blitzed and faced pressure.

The running game actually seemed decent but was abandoned in the 2nd half. This is strange as both Franklin and Yurcich said they would die trying to run the ball and they weren't going to chuck it all day long. And then, what do they do? Seemed Franklin wasn't too impressed with that in the post-game presser.

I don't know what is wrong with this offense, but there seems to be so much stuff, not sure how they will fix it. I liken the offense as having a Covid hangover and never developed an identity nor did anything really well except throw to Dotson. Blocking needs to be better from every position. T-Frank suggested that Yurcich tried a little bit of everything to find a solution, but nothing worked. For sure, Yurcich could not run the offense he wanted.
 
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JayWye

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During the game I thought it was because of his poor play and Franklin wanting to see if Veilluex could do any better, but I later heard it was due to an undisclosed injury. I guess I still don’t really know for sure.
Not to be cynical, but I'm guessing it was an undisclosed phantom injury. He looked his usual self on that last series where he threw the bonehead pass into double coverage in the Arkansas EZ.
 
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IANit

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Dec 8, 2002
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"Cliff was simply off" - is that a joke?

Clifford by all accounts is a great kid, but he is not a P5-caliber QB. All he is asked to do is not be terrible, and he has trouble with accomplishing it. He's inaccurate, has terrible pocket presence, and he can't see the whole field. It's been 3 years of this, he is what he is. Just cut the dead weight and take your lumps with the young QBs next Fall.
I don't agree that Clifford isn't a P5-caliber QB. Clifford's confidence was rocked last year and he's had 3 different OCs. He had flashes this year, but his injuries didn't help. If he improves as much from this year to next year as he did last year to this year he'll be OK. At times Clifford looks very good, so I don't think it is a matter of talent. I'd say he has a tendency to stray from his fundamentals when under pressure. That could be a lack of trust in the OL, but whatever the cause he needs to get it fixed if he wants a shot at the next level.

This game was disappointing because it felt like he regressed. Having Dotson out didn't help matters, and he got banged around a bit by an SEC DL. That, combined with the hot weather, probably took a lot out of him. I know it was hot for Arkansas too, but I think they are probably more acclimated to that kind of weather than our players are.

Hopefully, this year we get the Clifford we saw in the first half of the Iowa game. We have a front-loaded schedule with the bulk of the expected tough games in September and October. Effective QB play will be really important if we want to improve on the past two seasons.
 

kgilbert78

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I'll note that in a lot of games I've seen recently (not just ours), it sure looked like the D was across the line before the snap and/or the offense started before the snap. That PSU play was just one example of many. Mind you, they seem to get the O line flinches right. But there were a couple of plays that I thought I was watching Canadian football.
 

SR108

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Jan 13, 2004
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I'll note that in a lot of games I've seen recently (not just ours), it sure looked like the D was across the line before the snap and/or the offense started before the snap. That PSU play was just one example of many. Mind you, they seem to get the O line flinches right. But there were a couple of plays that I thought I was watching Canadian football.
Kind of what we witnessed all year following the Iowa game. Poor run defense, no identity on offense. Inability to win a close game.
 

ram2020

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Arkansas blitzed on 41% of the snaps. As all season, Clifford was abysmal when they blitzed and faced pressure.

The running game actually seemed decent but was abandoned in the 2nd half. This is strange as both Franklin and Yurcich said they would die trying to run the ball and they weren't going to chuck it all day long. And then, what do they do? Seemed Franklin wasn't too impressed with that in the post-game presser.
The fact that our offense had 0 blitz beaters was crazy to me. Throw screens, flair guys out, delayed draws, pitches, anything. Arkansas always blitzed on 3rd down and Clifford just took the snap, ran away from pressure and threw the ball out of bounce or just anywhere.
 

PSUSignore

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May 29, 2001
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FG game needs work. Really. We were 1 for 2. The made one was a chip shot. The other was missed really bad.

SC is maddeningly inconsistent. One minute he is gliding around in the pocket making great plays. The next he isn't stepping into his throws and throwing really high
I agree with these takes. Clifford drives me crazy as a fan, I can't imagine how much he stresses out the coaches. During the Auburn game he looked great, but that feels like ancient history. He's always had a problem throwing too high and while I'm no mechanics expert, to me it looks like his are poor and he throws off his back foot way too often, sometimes even from a clean pocket. Let's also not forget that the badly missed FG attempt was much longer than it should have been thanks to a boneheaded play by Clifford to lose yards on 3rd down. Then he misses a wide open receiver for a walk in touchdown too. Those are the types of errors you expect from a freshman QB, not a 25 year old 8th year senior like Clifford.
 

LioninNC

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Aug 31, 2016
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I'm convinced Clifford must have some compromising pictures of Franklin. I can't think of any other reason for why Franklin continues to give him the ball and keep him in games when he is playing so poorly. Given the depleted defense, the fact that the D only gave up 24 points is a tremendous accomplishment. You have to be able to put up 25 points to win a game against a 4 loss SEC team. This offense has been painful to watch and sadly, I think next year is going to be more of the same with Clifford coming back.
 

cntblvitsbutter

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Aug 31, 2003
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.... Hopefully, this year we get the Clifford we saw in the first half of the Iowa game. We have a front-loaded schedule with the bulk of the expected tough games in September and October. Effective QB play will be really important if we want to improve on the past two seasons.

Well, except for the interception he threw at his own 10 yard line.