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      • #150547
        4 2

        Ute Fan

        I find the local message board about-face on the O-Line quite entertaining. It seems like just a week ago a few brave posters were being castigated and downvoted into oblivion for questioning the O-Line and suggesting that what has been a weak position group for years would again be a weak position group.

        Now I see it is popular to mention our ‘Elite’ O-Line (toungue in cheek, obviously).

        It has been clear that our O-Line play has not been great (yes, that includes tight-ends when blocking). Due to personnel, play calling, or whatever; the Utah O-Line has been underwhelming.  BYU’s O-Line looked fantastic in comparison.

        I am not the type to call for someone’s job; hopefully they can figure something out. Brewer is not going to look like a great QB if he never has time to throw the ball. 

      • #150553
        13 1

        Ute Fan

        The Offensive line sucking ballsack is no surprise. Despite being “10 deep” this year, when two of those ten get hurt suddenly we have less than 5 competent offensive linemen (competent meaning they are good enough to not get trucked by Weber State defenders).

        Last year I said I would trade our offensive line coach for BYU’s in a heartbeat, and I got mocked mercilessly. Their offensive line coach turned BYU, a team who’s recruits come from a small pool that resides within our own team’s much larger recruiting pool, into a team with a very very good offensive line after being a dumpster fire for years.

        Our offensive linemen, and tight ends (who when it comes to blocking schemes get coached by the offensive line coach I’m sure), aren’t just getting overpowered. They are MISSING ASSIGNMENTS! They aren’t blocking guys that need to be blocked. They are letting guys through UNTOUCHED on crucial downs. This has been a problem in both of the first two games. It is ABUNDANTLY CLEAR that they aren’t being coached up properly. Even the worst offensive lineman in college football, if coached up properly would be able to at least get in front of the guy they should be blocking, and get a hand on him. 

      • #150566

        Ghost of the HEB
        Ute Fan

        I got all sorts of downvoted couple weeks ago for saying Harding needs to get the Guy Holliday treatment if the OL is a weakness again. Here we are after two games vs vaunted D-lines of Weber State and BYU-Provo where we can’t convert 3rd downs and we’ve been stuffed on 4th down runs near the goal line in both games.

      • #150574

        Ute Fan

        Our OL is not great, however, you can see much more if you go back and look play by play. Next, when one thing goes wrong or is unaddressed, other aspects follow as problems because the flow of operations breaks down.

        Of note to me, Weber and the Y both used LBs very aggressively to create run blitz and pass rush. Weber, in particular, had several very well designed schemes to free up LBs. Both teams often moved into 5 man fronts. These things will eat up an OL if remedies are not applied. On the other hand, if you mostly rush 4 and sprinkle in some 3 man rushes like Utah did, you can allow the opposing OL to look like giants. Next, this does not need to continue all game, the initial disruptions cause ripples that continue in plays when LBs drop instead of rush. It is the first plays when chaos is created that can be very important.

        Utah has plays and remedies for run blitz and stacked box. I say very few of them. It was almost like we were arrogant enough to feel we were going to exercise our game plan, not react to what the defense was doing. I can’t remember the last time I so often saw us line up and looked at the defense and thought we need to check into something specific to what the defense just did followed by no change.

        When stunting and blitzing starts to get to the OL, the last and dumbest thing to do is yell at them and tell them to try harder. I have seen it before and it is a downward spiral. The best thing I have seen in this situation is when coaches get them together with the idea our old plan is out, when they do this or line up like this, we check to this. It becomes cat and mouse because the defense will fake blitz, however, the OL will feel much more like they have a plan rather than play after play watch chaos happen around them.

        A review of the game will note OL missing blocks or getting beat in spots. Realize when the play is going right often the LT chips and helps inside thinking the play stays ahead of the end. Sometimes I saw that and assumed he was doing what he was asked, not confused about who to block. Ford was also trying to paddle in deep water on several plays. But as I looked at it all, I feel the chaos of the run blitz that was not addressed even on plays it was not used was the root cause of the problems in the OL and the lack of rhythm.

        Next, if you accept that we were not running the best plays to attack the defense at the time, you should realize Harding can not call his OL together and improve the situation himself. All those remedies lay with the OC. Possibly he needs to check in with the HC to leave the game plan if they are not on the same page related to reacting to defensive sets. So in my humble and armature opinion, I am not yet ready to say ‘bad OL, bad Harding’.

        I watched the Az. vs Y game. Clearly, I noted that the secondary was the weak point of the Y defense. Az. noted the same, attacked it, and almost won the game with a huge talent gap vs Utah. Az gave me a much better fee they could win the game than Utah did. I don’t feel the Utah game plan looked to make the Y’s weakness our target on offense. Next, I had flashbacks, back to 2008. I remembered that at one time we all felt Ludwig was too predictable. I had some of these very current thoughts back then. Then, as I recall, more of the game was turned over to Brian Johnson. The result was awesome. Johnson on the field sees and feels the defense and knew when the situation suited the game plan and when something much different was needed.

        So my theory, as a nobody, would suggest relax the worry about the OL and Harding and instead go back to 2008 and try what worked so well then. Give Brewer the keys to change the play, let he check into something different which was needed many times. Get the play to him early, line up then keep or make a call. Get accustomed to doing so with noise. We have been here before with a very similar problem, why not try what was a home run back then. Maybe Brewer can be like Johnson, I don’t know, but we should try. And if not Brewer, then Rising. But now the c**ktail is known for how to kill Utah. We can bitch about the OL while others repeat the c**ktail or we can roll out something that cancels out the c**ktail. This would bring the team together as well. Brian, I believe, still loves Utah so feel free to confirm the strategy with him.

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