Many of you were not very happy with the outcome of what happened against San Diego. You might even say you were "mad", which is fine. Just please don't respond like a postal worker and shoot everyone. Those guys are nuts....
I apologize to any postal workers. George Costanza said it, not me. And if you get that Seinfeld reference, you deserve a Cookie!
First off, I don't like the orange uniforms. Not because there's a parallel connection between those and Boise loosing at home, but because I think they're really ugly. I'm still hoping for all blue against Colorado, a symbol of how Boise does what it wants, like switching conferences.
So what happened last Saturday? Many people are saying different things, like "So-and-so is an idiot", or "what's his face sucks". I think those explanations are too vague, so I did some work and found out!
One thing many people noticed is that Boise stopped running in the second half. Well, that's true. Of Boise's 30 rushing attempts, only 7 were in the second half. They had 100 yards in the 1st half, including 5 yards per carry. So what happened?
On that first play of the 2nd half, Boise had 4 receivers go deep, and San Diego dropped 6 back deep. That play was intercepted, like you probably saw (and wish to forget). That basically was what Boise tried to do in the 3rd quarter, for the most part. Trying some deep passes, and San Diego was dropping defenders back.
Now, I know for a fact that you read that and thought "well that was a dumb adjustment by Boise!". Well, of course you did! You're always going to think everything the team did was stupid when they play bad, especially in a loss. But really, that idea makes sense. Boise was running so well in the first half, they just assumed San Diego would try to do something about it. That is coaching! Trying to stay one step ahead of the other team. If you were a coach, and at halftime you had already given up 100 rushing yards and 5 yards per carry, wouldn't you try to adjust for it? Boise knew San Diego would try to fix that, and every coach would agree. Boise was trying to stay one step ahead. I'm not saying Boise did the right thing, just needed to do it in a different way. I would've held back on the deep throws, only doing that on a first down play-action..
I do think they had the right idea of going deeper on passes, which should have been set up by the running game. But, San Diego didn't adjust to their game plan, and kept it where it was. They played it safe, while Boise was trying to be aggressive. And, well, obviously, Boise was wrong on that one.
I still think the offense needs to have the tight-ends running safety-valve routes. Seriously: how does Boise's tight ends only have 13 catches all year? There are 7 individual players who have caught more! You always need to have a quick dump-off pass when the pocket collapses on a pass or when coverage is good. The tight ends haven't exactly been catching like Ozzie Newsome, but the defense can't assume they're just going to drop those passes. And that opens up more throws downfield. Especially in the red zone, where tight ends are the most difficult to cover.
So where do we go from here? I got bored and looked at Boise's playcalling over the season. I took the total number of passing plays and running plays called from the first three quarters. I'm taking out 4th quarter plays, because at that point you start changing your plays due to what the game situation is, like how teams run more when winning, and pass more when loosing. And you're either passing or running more because of what? How the first three quarters played out! What I found I think is pretty interesting.
When Boise has scored less than 21 points, they passed the ball 41% of the time.
When Boise has scored more than 30 points, they passed the ball 50% of the time.
In the games with at least 25 passing attempts, Boise has averaged 39 point per game.
In the games with fewer than 25 passing attempts, it goes down to 18 points per game.
WAIT A MINUTE!!!! When Southwick is more involved, the offense does better? I thought he was supposed to be screwing up the team!!!!!
What you talkin' bout kennedy47?
For many of you, this is too much to take. But the numbers don't lie. When Joe Southwick is as involved as the running game, the team is at it's best. Many of you might hate me and will give very serious internet threats in all caps for saying that, but facts are facts! I'll admit, I found that a little surprising. I was thinking that the running game was how Boise was going to win, and Southwick only had to throw to take pressure off of the run game. But no, he's just as important.
This doesn't mean to force Southwick to throw passes. I mean that the team needs to make sure they're attacking defenses in every way. That's what Boise has always been about.
For those of you with "other" thoughts on Prince, that's fair. Boise's offense has not been as good as it has been, and that's fine that you want to blame him. But hey, Coach Petersen did say they develop both players AND coaches.
So that's what I found and learned. I still think Boise will have a good year. And as a lovely parting gift, I will bear you with this thought: Boise has lost their games by an average of 3 points, best among teams with multiple losses. Boise still has a better record than USC, and has more wins over teams with winning records. The best team USC has beaten is 5-4. Yes, I don't like USC. They're overrated. But Boise is better! And now to wright that English paper!