Eastbaycat99


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    • #86874

      Eastbaycat99
      Ute Fan
      @eastbaycat99

      And a of the Cats belong on the same field with all the All conference Utes, I guess. Take care. Injuries and conditions had a lot to do with both halves.

    • #86868

      Eastbaycat99
      Ute Fan
      @eastbaycat99

      I did say I would come back in one way or the other!

    • #86541
      1

      Eastbaycat99
      Ute Fan
      @eastbaycat99

      Based on multiple reports, I think a more accurate headline would be “Packers to request an interview”, which is a little different.  Since he has connections to Packer management, it is possible, but a non-denial could also mean he is using the Packer  interest to negotiate for something like an increase in his assistants’ salary budget.

      Fitz is his own man, and may interview, but I would not consider it a certainty until it happens.   It is possible that next week a Chicago Trib headline says, “Fitz turns down Packer interview, declares NU his Dream Job.” If you are the parent of a high school sophomore with great football skills and academic chops, I think that headline might make you think of Evanston as a destination rather than Pali Alto.

    • #87390
      2

      Eastbaycat99
      Ute Fan
      @eastbaycat99

      In reply to the comments that the no-call of PI and/or facemask on 1st and goal was the game changer, it should be noted that a PI call was made in the end zone 2 plays later, resulting in the exact same opportunity (1st and goal at the 2) the Utes would have had if the call was made on first down. The Utes did not capitalize.

      In reality, as odd as it is, Utah had two extra chances to score a touchdown because the call was not made on first down, an incomplete pass on second and a questionable but just PI on an incomplete pass on third, and did not score on either.

      I do think this sequence was a turning point, but it was because the NU defense tightened its rush lanes and released its linebackers from defending interior runs to attack the edges and cover the zones underneath since the Utah Oline was not creating any room for their running backs to cause any damage at all.

    • #86866
      1

      Eastbaycat99
      Ute Fan
      @eastbaycat99

      Thought I would wait till the game was over. Thanks for the hospitality. Guess it wasn’t a Ute blowout after all.
      Good luck next year!

    • #86566
      3

      Eastbaycat99
      Ute Fan
      @eastbaycat99

      Bill Connelly is a smart guy, but for a number of reasons I think his numbers are a bit off relative to the Cats. A football season presents a much smaller data set than baseball or even Basketball for advanced stats. Beyond the relatively small sample size, the Cats played pretty much like 3 different teams over the course of the year on offense.

      The first part of the year, Thorson was limited both with respect to number of plays and having any mobility. During this time, the O-line was also short handed due to injury. This resulted in some pretty ugly numbers.
      Starting in game 4, the Cats lost a really good running back,had no backup, and had to throw the ball almost every down with a QB still only on about 70% of his wheels. By mid season, Thorson was able to move pretty well, but the Cats played 4 games out of 5 in really bad weather conditions, which meant very few and very limited throws. Finally, the last several games the leading receiver sat out with an ankle problem. All of this isn’t making excuses for the team; it just means that measuring the offense game (3 games essentially without a running back, 3 games with a one-legged or walk-on QB and 4 games in a gale or deep freeze) doesn’t accurately measure the team.

      On the other side of the ball, the defensive front 7 played very well with very few exceptions. When a pass rush was needed, they were able to provide it (look for highlights of the Michigan State game). When the weather was cold and they needed to stop one of the biggest o-lines and best backs (Wisconsin) they were able to also do that. The linebackers have been exceptional. One (Nate Hall) is out tomorrow; his position will be filled by a safety moving up.
      The back end of the defense was very good when it was at full strength and really pretty bad at times when it was hit by serial injuries. Against OSU, the 4 and 5 corners played most of the game, and it was pretty brutal. The depth chart was tested at various points of the year. For tomorrow, the 1 and 2 corners, Hartage and Williams, are listed. If they really are good to go, the pass defense is much better than the S&P numbers. If not, Utah will break a fair number of big plays. The Cats defense has moved well laterally, where to my observation, Utah’s run game has thrived. This will be a very good match up, and should be fun to watch.

      On offense, In good weather, Thorson, as the cliche goes, can make all the throws, and he really can punish a defense if they lose containment. Unfortunately for NU, the O-line has been only ok even at its best in protecting him, and as a result, they have had him roll out a lot (usually to his right) and try to get rid of the ball quickly. This has led to some pretty erratic judgements and throws. The receiving corps has developed as the year has gone on. Before the season, Jalen Brown, a transfer from Oregon was slated to be a deep threat. He did not play a snap due to injury. A few younger players have stepped in and developed as the year went along, and the leading receivers (Nagel and Skowronek) are good possession guys. To me, a big key will be how Utah defends slants across the middle. If they leave a soft spot, the Cats can move the ball reliably all day. I expect them not to, which would mean more throws to the flats and sideline, with Skowronek a key receiver.
      The strength of the Cats offense the second half of the season was the inside running game using Isaiah Bowser, who did not play the first half. Utah has an excellent interior defense, and my expectation is that the Cats will have limited success there. Having said this, the blocking scheme the Cats use is a little unconventional, and Bowser has been able to move the ball against some strong run defenses.

      All things being equal, I think Utah deserves to be a light favorite. Injuries could have a huge effect on both teams, with (to me) the status is Huntley and Hartage the biggest question marks.

    • #86563
      2

      Eastbaycat99
      Ute Fan
      @eastbaycat99

      LOL. Nice to see such passion. I’ll check back after the game and see how good your observations were, one way or the other.
      I will say as an NU fan, I am pretty used to hearing fans of the opposing team minimize the talent the Cats bring to the field, and sometimes they are right. I’ll look forward th checking back Tuesday morning.

    • #86561
      1

      Eastbaycat99
      Ute Fan
      @eastbaycat99

      As a log on the rumor fire, there are 3 recent NU grads on the Packers’ active roster (2 starters and one backup) and another on the practice squad who was active for half their games this year, implying he would have some connection with the current set of players.

      As a side note, since a poster on a previous thread observed that NU doesn’t recruit players with size and speed, I can only paraphrase Mark Twain and assume they grew a lot and (since one I a DB and one an RB) got faster after graduating!

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