Rewatch = Perspective

hawkeyebob62

HR MVP
Jul 27, 2006
1,293
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NCHawkeye24: Your observations concerning the offensive line are correct, BUT you fail to see the obvious implication of these observations.

It is that #7, as a consequence of poor pocket presence and a laughable lack of quickness, exacerbates this offensive line‘s deficiencies. And, unfortunately, there is no fixing his lack of pocket presence and quickness.

With this offensive line, #7 is a horrible fit. Iowa needs to move on from #7 and attempt to find a QB on the roster with qualities that mesh better with this offensive line. Someone who can, at least on occasion, escape a bad situation and then make a play.
I read posts like this and am left almost speechless. It's akin to, "Our DL is bad, so change the LB/DB/etc."
 

Packer54

HR All-American
Mar 30, 2014
3,049
2,615
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We ran a screen Saturday. Spencer missed by 5 yards.
THAT is the one that is a head scratcher. The play is designed to get pressure on the QB but he threw it like he was scared the defensive player was coming after him hard. That had a BIG gain if not TD written all over it. It was also telling to me we did not try it again the rest of the game.
 

kcgolfer

HR Legend
Sep 23, 2003
17,955
6,678
113
I refuse to believe that one of the young guys is not a better qb. We never get to see them play. I've watched enough Iowa FB to know Kirk's stubburn ass tendencies. Once he chooses you it's almost impossible to lose your job as qb.
If Petras is the best we have then our QB recruiting sucks. BTW, I think it does. Along with the QB coaching.
 

pistachio1999

HR All-American
Nov 29, 2021
3,450
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Wasn't there a dude not long ago, maybe on Twitter, that used to break down the film of the games and some of the best and worst of the game?
 
May 26, 2006
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Denver, CO
This is big boy football. No matter how good your OL is, there are going to be plays where you're rushed, where you have rushers getting within a few yards of you in the pocket. If you can't deal with that and still execute with quick thought processing and accurate throws, you don't belong at this level. Some people are implying that if he doesn't have 5 seconds of zero pressure every time he drops back, then it's not his fault that he sucks, it's the fault of the OL.
Five seconds? Show me ONE play he had five seconds.
 
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The Deplorable Sleeping Dog

HR Heisman
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May 9, 2018
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You don't have significant body of evidence. Padilla took #1 snaps and prep for maybe 4 weeks of his career. He got to play in 3.5 games so far vs Petras' 21 appearances.
Alex played 13 quarters with the starters, more than three full games. He certainly would have taken all the practice snaps with the starters before the Gophers, the Illini and the Bug Eaters. He played about two more full games with reserves, or reserves mixed with starters.

Alex's completed only 41.8% of attempts in his three starts. That is not cherry picking a single good or bad game. Alex remained under .500 for the entire season. That is a very inaccurate quarterback, would you not agree? Upon further reflection I think the KJ TD was a shorter difference, but still involved KJ catching an overthrown ball, breaking a tackle and then taking it in for more like 30-40 yards. Boilermaker Charlie got behind the D and Alex found and hit him. That's it, both TDs. One a terrible throw and a great play by the receiver. But that's it. Both TDs in one game and out of 112 attempts. That is one TD per 56 attempts. To put that in perspective, Petras' unacceptably bad play was twice as good-1 TD per 28.8 attempts.

Alex never showed his mobility was productive. His longest run was 6 yards and Petras, the least agile QB I can ever remember suiting up for Iowa, had longer runs than that-with a long of 9.

I'd say we saw what Alex could do all last season. He had one OK game, coming off the bench to beat the worst team in the Division (or was that Nebraska?). He had a kind of OK game, against the Gophers-certainly tossed two TDs but the rest of his play was terrible. The rest of the play was disastrously bad.

It's time to leave those two guys in the rearview mirror. Most of the offensive starters arrived in the last couple of classes. Let's get the QB recruited for that group throwing them the ball.​
 
Last edited:
Mar 19, 2018
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Alex played 13 quarters with the starters, more than three full games. He certainly would have taken all the practice snaps with the starters before the Gophers, the Illini and the Bug Eaters. He played about two more full games with reserves, or reserves mixed with starters.

Alex's completed only 41.8% of attempts in his three starts. That is not cherry picking a single good or bad game. Alex remained under .500. That is a very inaccurate quarterback, would you not agree. Upon further reflection I think the KJ TD was a shorter difference, but still involved KJ catching an overthrown ball, breaking a tackle and then taking it in for more like 30-40 yards. Boilermaker Charlie got behind the D and Alex found and hit him. That's it, both TDs. One a terrible throw and a great play by the receiver. But that's it. Both TDs in one game and out of 112 attempts. That is one TD per 56 attempts. To put that in perspective, Petras' unacceptably bad play was twice as good-1 TD per 28.8 attempts.

Alex never showed his mobility was productive. His longest run was 6 yards and Petras, the least agile QB I can ever remember suiting up for Iowa, had longer runs than that-with a long of 9.

I'd say we saw what Alex could do all last season. He had one OK game, coming off the bench to beat the worst team in the Division (or was that Nebraska?). He had a kind of OK game, against the Gophers-certainly tossed two TDs but the rest of his play was terrible. The rest of the play was disastrously bad.

It's time to leave those two guys in the rearview mirror. Most of the offensive starters arrived in the last couple of classes. Let's get the QB recruited for that group throwing them the ball.​
Based on what we've seen, Alex isn't the best long-term option, but it's highly unlikely we would see anyone except Spencer and/or Alex on Saturday. Hopefully, though, Joey gets to make his debut, even if only a cameo, against Nevada.
 

IllQChawk

HR All-American
May 29, 2001
4,169
2,746
113
What is another, "were Iowa season" exactly? Lately its 9 wins and a top 25 ranking. Look I get everybodys frustration, but some of this is absurd. You'd think we hadn't had a winning season in 20 years or something. "Were Iowa season"? What does that even mean........
If you need to again to be reminded what "were Iowa is", dvd the Iowa game against the power house program of the Kentucky Wildcats against the Spencer Petras's Iowa Hawkeyes on ESPNU tomorrow afternoon the 7th Sept. at 3pm. I'm sure it was a great accomplishment that Iowa and Kirk led Iowa to another bowl game that was totally meaningless and Iowa played like they didn't care to be there either, just like the BIG championship game against Michigan. You do remember that game, don't you? I'm sure that Kirk and his assistant coaches got a wonderful monetary reward for getting boat raced in that game....
 
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kceasthawk

HR Legend
Nov 5, 2016
12,362
14,174
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If you need to again to be reminded what "were Iowa is", dvd the Iowa game against the power house program of the Kentucky Wildcats against the Spencer Petras's Iowa Hawkeyes on ESPNU tomorrow afternoon the 7th Sept. at 3pm. I'm sure it was a great accomplishment that Iowa and Kirk led Iowa to another bowl game that was totally meaningless and Iowa played like they didn't care to be there either, just like the BIG championship game against Michigan. You do remember that game, don't you? I'm sure that Kirk and his assistant coaches got a wonderful monetary reward for getting boat raced in that game....
You sound bitter. Did you write their bonus checks? You have to admit though it's always funny the people who get hung up about our play in "a totally meaningless bowl game". I mean if its really meaningless then why do people complain about what happened in the game? It doesn't matter right? It's "just a totally meaningless game". I know, I know, we all want our cake and eat it too right? So as for the conference championship game, at least we were IN the game. Thats "where Iowa is", or was last year. Or is it your claim that the other 6 teams in the west don't care if they're in the game?
 

goodbyebobby

HR Legend
Mar 27, 2002
10,186
3,588
113
I think the 2004 team were averaging 3ypc with Jermelle Lewis as the healthy scholarship RB...that guy had been a 5ypc or better RB in year's prior. IT was not a good run blocking OL unit.....they got blown out at AZ and then soundly beat by Michigan ...Ironically, BF was on that OL.

After Jermelle went down, I think the walkon RB Brownlee averaged 2.2 ypc. KOK went to a pass first offense after Michigan loss and Tate bought time/made teams pay for blitzing....that wasn't a great offense, middle of the pack maybe, but they put up a lot more points than what BF has been doing last couple years. In my opinion, Tate made that team go along with Clint Solomon and give KOK credit for adapting the offense...if they had Petras, that would have been a 3-4 win team, not B1G champion and beating a tough LSU team in bowl game (thanks in part to KF bumbling the time management and Tate telling everyone to go deep on last play).

This year's offense is not very talented. Still, a QB with mobilty would get more than what Petras is providing.
That was a solid offense, when healthy, run by a fantastic quarterback.

Kirk has done well bringing back former players. Lol
 

hawkeyebob62

HR MVP
Jul 27, 2006
1,293
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Alex played 13 quarters with the starters, more than three full games. He certainly would have taken all the practice snaps with the starters before the Gophers, the Illini and the Bug Eaters. He played about two more full games with reserves, or reserves mixed with starters.

Alex's completed only 41.8% of attempts in his three starts. That is not cherry picking a single good or bad game. Alex remained under .500. That is a very inaccurate quarterback, would you not agree. Upon further reflection I think the KJ TD was a shorter difference, but still involved KJ catching an overthrown ball, breaking a tackle and then taking it in for more like 30-40 yards. Boilermaker Charlie got behind the D and Alex found and hit him. That's it, both TDs. One a terrible throw and a great play by the receiver. But that's it. Both TDs in one game and out of 112 attempts. That is one TD per 56 attempts. To put that in perspective, Petras' unacceptably bad play was twice as good-1 TD per 28.8 attempts.

Alex never showed his mobility was productive. His longest run was 6 yards and Petras, the least agile QB I can ever remember suiting up for Iowa, had longer runs than that-with a long of 9.

I'd say we saw what Alex could do all last season. He had one OK game, coming off the bench to beat the worst team in the Division (or was that Nebraska?). He had a kind of OK game, against the Gophers-certainly tossed two TDs but the rest of his play was terrible. The rest of the play was disastrously bad.

It's time to leave those two guys in the rearview mirror. Most of the offensive starters arrived in the last couple of classes. Let's get the QB recruited for that group throwing them the ball.​
Not a bad assessment, and makes sense vis-a-vis playing guys from the same recruiting class together in light of current failures.
 

notlongago

HR Heisman
Jul 28, 2012
5,121
2,494
113
Why can’t some of you believe that Spencer may be our best QB? This gives KF et al no relief from responsibility for this mess.
Because we've seen hes not. If you're a statue, thats fine, but it requires a decent line and surgical accuracy.
If you're inaccurate, that can be mitigated, but there needs to be other threats - preferably mobility from the QB. SP has shown to be both a statue as well as woefully inaccurate. At least put someone back that who's either/or, not both.
 

DodgerHawki

HR Heisman
Nov 19, 2002
9,971
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Alex played 13 quarters with the starters, more than three full games. He certainly would have taken all the practice snaps with the starters before the Gophers, the Illini and the Bug Eaters. He played about two more full games with reserves, or reserves mixed with starters.

Alex's completed only 41.8% of attempts in his three starts. That is not cherry picking a single good or bad game. Alex remained under .500. That is a very inaccurate quarterback, would you not agree. Upon further reflection I think the KJ TD was a shorter difference, but still involved KJ catching an overthrown ball, breaking a tackle and then taking it in for more like 30-40 yards. Boilermaker Charlie got behind the D and Alex found and hit him. That's it, both TDs. One a terrible throw and a great play by the receiver. But that's it. Both TDs in one game and out of 112 attempts. That is one TD per 56 attempts. To put that in perspective, Petras' unacceptably bad play was twice as good-1 TD per 28.8 attempts.

Alex never showed his mobility was productive. His longest run was 6 yards and Petras, the least agile QB I can ever remember suiting up for Iowa, had longer runs than that-with a long of 9.

I'd say we saw what Alex could do all last season. He had one OK game, coming off the bench to beat the worst team in the Division (or was that Nebraska?). He had a kind of OK game, against the Gophers-certainly tossed two TDs but the rest of his play was terrible. The rest of the play was disastrously bad.

It's time to leave those two guys in the rearview mirror. Most of the offensive starters arrived in the last couple of classes. Let's get the QB recruited for that group throwing them the ball.​
This is probably the best long term answer.
 
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ICWestfan

HR Legend
May 26, 2005
12,010
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All I know is that the entire offense was bad. How do I know?

The-principle-of-circular-argument.png
 

DrVenkman

HR Legend
Sep 1, 2005
10,791
10,578
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Yes Iowa has a young o-line - DejOng was pretty poor and Logan Jones is not ready for B1G football at the center spot - that said- i am not sure it matters.

SP misses throws that a QB of his age and experience should make in his sleep- the missed screen should NEVER be at that speed and that far off target- you practice that play everytime from mid-school on to expect a d-lineman coming at you quickly. The short out pass to the left to LaP with SP rolling that direction- was 4 + feet behind him. Almost impossible. Then- the pass late in the game to Wick on the deep in-route. That should be almost automatic and SP missed low and way away. Again the degrees to which he is missing is completely unfixable. IMO There were others of course. the pass that was intercepted SP had two other terrific open options and he was just locked onto LaP. The other ball that should he tried to force to Lachey that was knocked down- well,- it should have been picked.
 

Aethelstan

Rookie
Feb 5, 2003
44
60
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I don't disagree with you. I think a more mobile quarterback would atleast keep the defenses honest. I was hoping when Padilla played that he would use his legs more, but he didn't show that very much. And at this point, that is all we know.

Personally, the thing I see that is the biggest misfit on this team with respect to philosophy is the zone blocking scheme. First of all, by all accounts it takes much more cohesion with all 5 linemen to execute properly, thus, plugging in new guys either by graduation or injury is much more of a problem than a gap blocking scheme. Also, the zone blocking scheme is much more suited to creating explosive running plays at the cost of no-gain or negative plays because it takes so much more to get right than a more traditional blocking scheme. But, that high risk/high reward running scheme seems to fly in the face of the desired ball control offense. If you truly want to limit possessions, keep your defense fresh and execute a play-action offense, running for 5 yards on first down over and over again is much more effective than getting stuffed at the line 9 times and then on the 10th busting off a 40 yard gain. I think we utilize the wrong blocking scheme, recruit the wrong running backs, and can't seem to coach it very well either. I have said it before, it always seemed like everything Reese Morgan touched turned to gold, and when he stopped coaching the o-line it has done nothing but go downhill since.

My point in my original post was not to make excuses for Petras. It was to temper some people that thought that Petras was the only problem with the offense. I just wanted to point out that it is far deeper than just him.
How many times does it have to be said? Every pro and college team in America zone blocks, and so do most high schools. Iowa also used the gap scheme in the game where linemen double team to the inside and pull the backside guard. That didn’t work either. It is not the scheme, it is the players. Example: on one inside zone play vs. a five man defensive line the center and tackles were covered and the guards were uncovered. The playside guard and tackle double team combo blocked the DT to the playside backer. They did a great job and got it done. The center and backside guard were supposed to double team combo the NG to the backside backer, but the center came off the double team way too early and blocked the playside backer instead, which allowed penetration by the NG and left the backside backer unblocked. In addition, the backside tackle took a shitty angle, allowing the backside DT to penetrate. The same thing happened with different guys screwing up all game long. They looked like they had not been coached. I coached zone blocking at the high school level for years and I promise you that my guys were always better prepared than what I saw on the recorded replay. Block the right guy with the proper technique and you always have a chance. In this game, we had no chance.
 

pistachio1999

HR All-American
Nov 29, 2021
3,450
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How many times does it have to be said? Every pro and college team in America zone blocks, and so do most high schools. Iowa also used the gap scheme in the game where linemen double team to the inside and pull the backside guard. That didn’t work either. It is not the scheme, it is the players. Example: on one inside zone play vs. a five man defensive line the center and tackles were covered and the guards were uncovered. The playside guard and tackle double team combo blocked the DT to the playside backer. They did a great job and got it done. The center and backside guard were supposed to double team combo the NG to the backside backer, but the center came off the double team way too early and blocked the playside backer instead, which allowed penetration by the NG and left the backside backer unblocked. In addition, the backside tackle took a shitty angle, allowing the backside DT to penetrate. The same thing happened with different guys screwing up all game long. They looked like they had not been coached. I coached zone blocking at the high school level for years and I promise you that my guys were always better prepared than what I saw on the recorded replay. Block the right guy with the proper technique and you always have a chance. In this game, we had no chance.
Great explanation.
 

pistachio1999

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Nov 29, 2021
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He was lucky to have 2 seconds most of the time with 4 guys rushing. Yeah, he had a bad game and missed some throws he definitely should not but the OL was very, very bad.
The timing on that screen pass was even all f'ed up. Seems like they let the defender release too quickly and Petras turned to throw and the dude was right in his face already.
 

CUHawkeye91

HR Heisman
Oct 8, 2001
5,675
733
113
THAT is the one that is a head scratcher. The play is designed to get pressure on the QB but he threw it like he was scared the defensive player was coming after him hard. That had a BIG gain if not TD written all over it. It was also telling to me we did not try it again the rest of the game.
There was some interesting commentary on that play by Mark Helfrich. Clearly Petra’s was being pressured and clearly he supposed to be pressured. MH’s comment was that maybe SP was a little lazy in the drop back, maybe he needed to get a little more depth so the pressure wasn’t an issue. I think MH is right. I don’t know of SP didn’t get enough depth, or if he played it exactly liked he was coached to play it. Bottom line is that when he turned back to throw the screen, a defender was engaging him. If SP gets more depth, as MH says he should, it’s a touchdown. This is one of those details/execution things that matter. We’ll never know why - whether it be coaching or execution - what was a very good play call didn’t work.
 
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Feb 25, 2008
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Would have helped had the RB #4 chipped the guy blitzing off his side to give Petras another second to make the throw before going out to receive the pass.
Also would've helped if Spencer didn't whince and turn like a b**** right as he threw the ball for fear of getting hit............
 

NCHawkeye24

HR All-State
Apr 19, 2021
564
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How many times does it have to be said? Every pro and college team in America zone blocks, and so do most high schools. Iowa also used the gap scheme in the game where linemen double team to the inside and pull the backside guard. That didn’t work either. It is not the scheme, it is the players. Example: on one inside zone play vs. a five man defensive line the center and tackles were covered and the guards were uncovered. The playside guard and tackle double team combo blocked the DT to the playside backer. They did a great job and got it done. The center and backside guard were supposed to double team combo the NG to the backside backer, but the center came off the double team way too early and blocked the playside backer instead, which allowed penetration by the NG and left the backside backer unblocked. In addition, the backside tackle took a shitty angle, allowing the backside DT to penetrate. The same thing happened with different guys screwing up all game long. They looked like they had not been coached. I coached zone blocking at the high school level for years and I promise you that my guys were always better prepared than what I saw on the recorded replay. Block the right guy with the proper technique and you always have a chance. In this game, we had no chance.
Thank you for that great analysis, I can tell you really know what you are talking about, definitely more so than me. To my untrained eye they certainly do not look like they know what they are supposed to be doing. My question has been with respect to the offensive line why KF wouldn't fix that himself. Or even Brian, he was a pretty good offensive line coach wasn't he? Are the last two that bad or do you think the players are not that good? My question is what do you think the root problems are and how would you fix them?

Also, as an offensive line coach, is it easier to coach a gap blocking scheme or a zone blocking scheme or does it matter?
 

Aethelstan

Rookie
Feb 5, 2003
44
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18
Thank you for that great analysis, I can tell you really know what you are talking about, definitely more so than me. To my untrained eye they certainly do not look like they know what they are supposed to be doing. My question has been with respect to the offensive line why KF wouldn't fix that himself. Or even Brian, he was a pretty good offensive line coach wasn't he? Are the last two that bad or do you think the players are not that good? My question is what do you think the root problems are and how would you fix them?

Also, as an offensive line coach, is it easier to coach a gap blocking scheme or a zone blocking scheme or does it matter?
It is not easy to tell when you are not at practice. I can’t say that the players are terrible or that they are not coached well. It is likely a combination of the two with one factor being more to blame than the other. In the end a position coach has to take ownership, although that is not for public consumption.

I do not think one scheme is any easier than the other, although most teams will emphasize one scheme more than the other. Wisconsin emphasizes gap scheme, but still runs zone. Minnesota runs outside zone very well and runs a form of gap scheme with no pullers called Duo. But zone principles are part of gap scheme also because in a gap double team, one of the players will come off the block for a backer. It all boils down to execution, and frankly, the Gophers are better at outside zone now than Iowa is.
 

citizenHawk

HR Legend
Oct 9, 2002
11,209
1,195
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Well, then let me say:

Minnesota was the only game in which he threw TDs and Interceptions. You are literally cherry picking his best, which as you say, saw another low completion rate. Have you forgotten that 1 of the two TDs was KJ catching an overthrown ball, broke a tackle and took in with YAC.

You are right, we have no actual evidence that Joe is better at this point. But we do have a significant body of evidence that Padilla is not good. I am willing to gamble with the young QB. He may be bad in different ways but it is hard to see how he could be net negative to what we saw on Saturday.
C'mon, his first and only starts were against division opponents, and it's not like Padilla ever had any significant time playing prior that wasn't "hand-off and don't fumble." You are expecting him to come out fully formed, while many good quarterbacks stumbled until they got up to speed.

No, he might not be a savior for the offense, but he just might allow for some rollout or a sidestep that helps everything while the new line gets better. The jury is still out.
 
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Mr_Galmaster

HR MVP
Aug 22, 2005
1,906
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Back Home in Iowa
When you don't have a QB that is at least somewhat mobile, you completely eliminate a possibility that on a 3rd down and 3-5 yards that your QB can get to the sticks if the play breaks down or he doesn't like the read. That is a real problem.
 

Greenway4Prez

HR Legend
Jan 10, 2005
23,775
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It is not easy to tell when you are not at practice. I can’t say that the players are terrible or that they are not coached well. It is likely a combination of the two with one factor being more to blame than the other. In the end a position coach has to take ownership, although that is not for public consumption.

I do not think one scheme is any easier than the other, although most teams will emphasize one scheme more than the other. Wisconsin emphasizes gap scheme, but still runs zone. Minnesota runs outside zone very well and runs a form of gap scheme with no pullers called Duo. But zone principles are part of gap scheme also because in a gap double team, one of the players will come off the block for a backer. It all boils down to execution, and frankly, the Gophers are better at outside zone now than Iowa is.
I’m geeking out on this stuff! Thank you for the analysis! The laughy face crew could learn a thing or two.

I’m not sure if you saw it, but Mike Tomlin was on a podcast or something, talking about how prospects are talked about during the draft process. The gist of his dialogue was that players are unfairly labeled by what they can and can’t do, because it’s up to coaches to develop those skills. When I watch our OL play, and the struggles they’re having (which are in exact correlation with the hiring of this position coach and the firing of Doyle), I can’t help but think; either the teachers aren’t teaching, or the players aren’t learning.
 

The Deplorable Sleeping Dog

HR Heisman
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May 9, 2018
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C'mon, his first and only starts were against division opponents, and it's not like Padilla ever had any significant time playing prior that wasn't "hand-off and don't fumble." You are expecting him to come out fully formed, while many good quarterbacks stumbled until they got up to speed.

No, he might not be a savior for the offense, but he just might allow for some rollout or a sidestep that helps everything while the new line gets better. The jury is still out.
That doesn't change the reality of his play, terrible. Yes, his three starts were against Big Ten opponents. It is not like he was a rookie starting, 3rd year in the program, etc... His 41% completion rate as a starter is not playable. His overall percentage of 49.1% is not playable.

The mobility wasn't any different. I don't know how to find the exact stats but coincidentally ESPN show Petras was sacked 24 times and Padilla 8. It looks like the sack ratio was about the same for both. Alex is the worst QB to start for Iowa since Scott Mullen. Indeed, if you take away just two plays he might have had the lowest seasonal QB rating in the history of college football.

Maybe Alex has improved and very significantly so. At this point I'm willing to settle for Padilla if we just see something that breathes life into this offense. But Alex should be on a very short leash too. If he comes out looking the same as last year then he needs about a half before we start the new era.
 
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ghostOfHomer777

HR Heisman
May 20, 2014
8,448
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Just because the topic relates to rewatch ... my focus was more on the D ...

Morsels I found interesting
  • DL played 9 guys ... past the 2-deeps Louie Stec was the 9th guy in
  • Van Ness was "deployed" ... he played on the interior AND at both DE spots
  • When Jacobs was in ... the LBs were being schemed as if they were nearly interchangeable parts. Benson was lined up on the LOS like a LEO on a number of downs ... with Jacobs playing the WILL. Similarly, when we went 4-2 ... Jacobs was staying on the field too.
  • As most noted ... DeJean was a starting CB for us.
  • Terry Roberts was the first extra DB in ... he acquitted himself VERY well through the game.
  • DeJean and Roberts "popped out" to me in run-support
  • Schulte was as "present" in the run-support as I would have expected ... but he as arguably better against the pass than I expected
  • On third and longs, we mostly kept our DTs in (didn't use our pass-rush package too much)
 

JerseyCityHawki

HR All-American
Oct 28, 2019
3,647
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Hackensack, New Jersey
I will first off tell you when I was watching the game live, that I was shocked and laughing sarcastically that KF kept sending Petras back out there. It really did look like Petras was THE problem. However, while it is obvious that Spencer did not have his best day and missed some throws, there is much more underneath the surface after the rewatch (and pausing, and rewinding, and slo-moing, etc.).

Offensive line

This offensive line is truly offensive. It is, in my opinion by far and away the worst offensive line of the KF era. I understand that of the 5 players that started that 2 of them played in their first game and the other 3 are playing for the 2nd year. Lots of youth there, I get it. But, they were completely and dominantly out-played by an undersized (by FBS standards) defensive line and shown to be slow, weak and on top of that a rag-tag bunch that really doesn't have an idea what they are doing. And know this: SDSU, an FCS team, played us straight up the entire game!!! Don't let anyone tell you that "oh, they stacked the box against us and had 8 and 9 guys in there and we can't block everybody". They beat 5 offensive lineman with 4 defensive lineman all day long. And they did it in every way possible. The beat both tackles with speed rushes to the outside. They consistently penetrated all the gaps in the interior and were either able to get to the quarterback or disrupt or stop the play of the running back. Many, many of the plays ended with all 4 defensive linemen in the backfield while atleast 2 or 3 of the offensive linemen were either on their back, fell down or out of the play. When running either outside or inside zone, they would fail to pass their lineman off to the next guy and nobody, all game long did anything to block the backside of the play, thus negating the boot plays that are a big staple of this offense. They missed blocks repeatedly, completely whiffing, and sometimes you saw 3 offensive lineman blocking 2 defensive lineman while the guy next to him runs by completely unblocked. There was zero movement of the line of scrimmage, nobody could sustain a block nor even appear to have the desire to, and our offensive line looked completely out-matched and out-muscled. Colby was beaten badly many times on the edge in his first start at tackle, and, I don't see where a lot of people think so highly of Richman because he wasn't any good either. Nobody could pass block, nobody could run block, and thus it made it really tough sledding for Petras because he got pressure everywhere.

Blocking

Not only is the offensive line blocking atrocious, but I think this is the weakest group of tight-ends with respect to blocking that I have seen. The wide receivers could not sustain their blocks at all either. There were so many running plays where if there was just one more block it would have put Williams in a 1-on-1 with some either a lineback or defensive back. I know it is not the pretty part of playing WR, but the big running plays come from downfield blocking.

Lack of downfield threat

We either have nobody on this team that can stretch the defense deep or the staff doesn't believe in anyone that can do it. Nobody even runs the routes. The route trees are awful and if anything it looks like many of the routes do nothing but bring defenders to the ball rather than get them away from it. Again, SDSU played us straight up. They rushed 4 down lineman, played 2 high safeties and sat on all the routes in front of them with the linebackers and corners. Sound familiar? Yeah, it should because it is how we beat teams all the time. And we obliged by running routes right in front of them, all day long.

WR play

WR play in general is awful. I get that Bruce is the best we have right now, however, his routes are not crisp to begin with. I don't think people understand how critical it is to run a crisp route. He seems to round all of his routes off (LaPorta does the same thing) and when a receiver rounds their routes off the defender can just run with them, thus you don't get any separation. I didn't see anyone run a hard-curl or even attempt a jab step to either side to get the defender on his heels which could get you a couple of steps. On the bubble screen Bruce just stopped and waiting for the ball and all that did is give the defenders time to blow the play up. We know from years of watching the bubble screen that the WR has to be running toward the ball, behind his blockers in order for this play to work. These little things don't seem like much but they are huge when it comes to getting open and giving your quarterback a larger window to throw. It is especially critical on those out-routes because breaking off the route too early and/or rounding it only brings the defender into the light of sight of the quarterback. Spencer really struggled with these throws, but, in his defense it is a difficult throw to make. But he should make it, granted.

As I stated earlier in the week, I think that Iowa was going to try to run their standard stuff on offense for many reasons: they didn't need to do anything exotic to win against an over-matched team, to establish the foundations of the running game and to simplify the gameplan. When none of that worked and your quarterback is off, it was better to just get out of there because there wasn't anything fixing it at that point. So I can see why he kept Petras in the game because there was no quarterback that was going to fix any of these problems, not yesterday during the game. I think a lot can be fixed, I think some can't, and I think that there is a youth and serious talent problem that will prevent this offense from being respectable. I hope I am wrong. But hey, we are 1-0!
That was an awesome post my friend! One question- how painful was it the second time you watched it? I pray the Hawks can put a drubbing on Iowa State like the Hayden Fry days….just an all out murder of the ketchup and mustard
 
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