2019 season - preseason

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Re: 2019 season - preseason

Postby lawdog on Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:43 pm

WocoSix wrote:Cmon law, there is no back and forth between Ruckus and myself. Hopefully he knows I respect his opinions and contributions to this site. As the old saying goes there are to sides to every story and the truth lies somewhere in the middle! :lol:
And I agree this Freshman class has some raw talent. I can see at least 8-9 players contributing this year and avoiding the redshirt barring injury


Woco,the reason I am enjoying it is that you both make your points so well and it is apparent you respect each other’s opinions.
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Re: 2019 season - preseason

Postby Ruckus28 on Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:21 pm

Great interviews of JC, Miles and Andre. Well spoken and articulate.
JC comments on scrimmage.
https://sportstalksc.com/index.php/2018 ... ege-audio/
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Re: 2019 season - preseason

Postby youngterrier on Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:55 pm

We're aiming to throw the ball 21 times a game. Interesting.

Point of reference: Here's how much we've thrown per game for the last few years

2017: 12
2016: <9
2015: <10
2014: 10.3
2013: 12.4
2012: <7
2011: 9
(and that's as far back I can go with the stats)

One microtrend I saw when looking up the above is that we seem to throw the ball more on teams we can beat (NAIA teams, etc).

This offense is going to be brand new.
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Re: 2019 season - preseason

Postby Ruckus28 on Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:28 pm

Goodness, I sure hope it’s not brand new. We won a number games and championships running our offense. Why completely change if it works?
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Re: 2019 season - preseason

Postby Terrier NH Dude on Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:44 pm

More TD news via GoUpstate:

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20180814/ ... e-strength

Excited that our "Mainer" is doing great things.
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Re: 2019 season - preseason

Postby youngterrier on Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:14 pm

Ruckus28 wrote:Goodness, I sure hope it’s not brand new. We won a number games and championships running our offense. Why completely change if it works?


It would be one thing if this style of play was the only possible way to win football games, but it's obviously not the case.

I understand "if it ain't broken don't fix it" but at the same time...

Football strategy, like all strategy, is a game of trade offs. If you run the option, you trade an effective pass game (the ability to make 10 yards or so at a high probability) for the ability to get 2-4 yards or so consistently and the ability to play ball control.

You could argue that whichever system is "better" is subjective, but we actually have loads of data that suggests a pure option offense can't win a national title on this level because it hasn't happened in about 20 years. On top of that, the majority of teams that win national titles (FBS&FCS) have a balanced run and pass game (usually a pro style offense), whereas teams that rely heavily on one (air raid or option) don't get as far, and often get blown out when playing a balanced offense that emphasizes ball control (Bama, NDSU, etc).

I know that Georgia Southern was successful back in the day, but I think you could argue they had an athleticism edge over their competition. The same could be said of the old Nebraska offenses that were amazing 30 years ago. Another way I like to think about it is that flexbone offenses used to be the spread offenses of the pre-2000 era, and the reason why they've supplanted TO schemes in terms of commonality is because they can pass more effectively and perhaps even use angles better than TO teams. In essence, spread offenses trade off more ball control for the ability to make intermediate passes. To me, that's a worthy trade off. I like seeing my team hold the ball for a 6-8 minute drive and demoralize a defense, But I don't like holding my breath on 3rd and 6 knowing full well that we will likely punt.

Having said that, there's evidence that this style of play is good for teams that can't compete with the level of recruits they get (Georgia Tech, Military Academies). Paul Johnson has the best win % of any coach in GT history, while the former GSU coach (forgot his name) has taken Army back to respectable when for years they ran a bad pro style offense.

So the way I like to look at this is that Conklin and company are running an experiment, and it's an experiment worth running. Whenever I hear people feign the loss of a pure TO offense I hear "I don't think we can compete with other Socon/FCS teams in recruiting the same level of player." I disagree with that assessment because it attributes a falsified inverse correlation with athletic talent and academic ability. There are loads of teams at the FCS and FBS level that run counter to that hypothesis (Stanford, Duke, San Diego, Richmond, Furman) and don't run an option attack.

The experiment we're running is "are we more like Stanford or like Army." I think we're Stanford. I could be wrong, this could be a disaster (and I guarantee you there will be people on this board complaining about the option going away the first time we lose). If that's the case, we can go back to the option and concede our program to annually losing to MVFC teams in the quarterfinal. As far as I'm concerned, I think we're a standard deviation or two better at recruiting than the average FCS team and what offense we run won't matter to our success in the Socon. The outcomes we've seen over the last two years or so indicate that much. Basically, we have less to lose and more to gain, and it's a risk worth exploring
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Re: 2019 season - preseason

Postby Ruckus28 on Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:44 pm

Or: we could win SoCon championships and lose to MVC opponents in the quarterfinals as opposed to not getting into the playoffs at all.
Watch what you wish for. I’ll take competing for SoCon championships year in and year out v regressing and not competing at all.
I think it’s a healthy dose of self awareness to realize our recruiting limitations. To argue otherwise means Ayers and his program underperformed and limited our ability to compete at the highest level. I don’t that’s the case at all; in fact the opposite.
BTW - if we don’t have the same or better success with our grand new experimental offense, I think criticism and questioning should take place and rightly so. If you dismantle and cast aside what works, you better win. Pretty simple proposition. And the list is long with programs which had success running the option only to abandon it for new fangled “high octane” soup de hour offenses only to struggle: Army, Cid, Ga So, GaTech, Furman, Sam Houston, Boise St to name a few.
Last edited by Ruckus28 on Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2019 season - preseason

Postby lawdog on Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:49 pm

Most really successful teams are run-first, not run-only. Bama was run-first last year but in the second half of the championship game, they put in a new QB and threw the ball intelligently, which gave them the win. We need to stay run-first, and just tweak the effectiveness and creativity of our pass game to give us that little extra to win the big games. And of course, the O doesn't matter if the D is not solid.
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Re: 2019 season - preseason

Postby youngterrier on Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:11 pm

Ruckus28 wrote:Or: we could win SoCon championships and lose to MVC opponents in the quarterfinals as opposed to not getting into the playoffs at all.
Watch what you wish for. I’ll take competing for SoCon championships year in and year out v regressing and not competing at all.
I think it’s a healthy dose of self awareness to realize our recruiting limitations. To argue otherwise means Ayers and his program underperformed and limited our ability to compete at the highest level. I don’t that’s the case at all; in fact the opposite.
BTW - if we don’t have the same or better success with our grand new experimental offense, I think criticism and questioning should take place and rightly so. If you dismantle and cast aside what works, you better win. Pretty simple proposition. And the list is long with programs which had success running the option only to abandon it for new fangled “high octane” soup de hour offenses only to struggle: Army, Cid, Ga So, GaTech, Furman, Sam Houston, Boise St to name a few.


This was a popular belief between the years 2013 and 2015. And honestly, we will never know until we run this experiment. I think higher of our team and of our players than to say that the reason we won was because of an offensive scheme or that they aren't as good as the players at Chattnooga or Samford or Furman or Charleston Southern or Youngstown, etc etc etc.

I'm all for questioning tactics and strategy, but quite frankly many on this board take the position that if we're not doing exactly as I the fan want it to go, that means it's ill-formulated or without merit.

As for teams who ran the option, you obviously didn't read what I said. First of all, Furman was successful with Ingle Martin at QB with a pro system, Sam Houston never ran the option (they pass the ball), never changed their system, and never "struggled" since changing coaches. Boise State never ran the option and it was never the reason they were successful as BCS busters back in the day. Georgia Southern didn't really change their offense or abandon it when transitioning to FCS, they just hired an objectively terrible head coach, used the same system and floundered, while in the Van Gorder days that again had more to do with poor coaching than dumping the option.

The rest of your examples I already addressed, but I have to reiterate that we have more in common with the University of Richmond (2008 national title winner that doesn't run the option) than the Citadel.

I'll say it again: I think people who correlate our success with the option have little confidence in our players.
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Re: 2019 season - preseason

Postby Ruckus28 on Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:53 pm

So Ayers did in fact underperform in your opinion. Glad we have that on the table. I don’t agree but whatever.
First it would help you to understand what an option system is. Furman ran the option from 1978 under Art Baker until Sorrells took over reigns as OC after Clay Hendrix left. Ingle Martin even ran some option out of power sets. Now they are back running 2 and 3 back option with great success. An option system can be 3 back, 2 back and now under spread systems one back. Sam Houston does throw the ball out of a spread zone read 2 back option system which was brought to GaSo under their old coach which wasn’t as successful as the old 3 back system. Boise St did run option under Peterson’s 2 back zone read system. We will continue to run an option system just more 2 back zone read out of the gun v 3 back under center. So apparently our coaches don’t agree with you, YT. They believe the option at least for now gives us the best chance to win. I don’t see that as a slight at all to our players. Apparently you and others see the option as a weakness or scarlet letter of shame. I see it as viable scheme that neutralizes athleticism of a D by forcing discipline and quick reads and allows certain skill sets to thrive.
And I agree: players make plays, not coaches or schemes. But getting into a position to best utilize talent is the whole question.
Time will tell. Regardless of anyone’s opinion. The good thing about athletics is the outcome of who wins and loses is objective and concrete. It will be easy to see what is successful and not. We either win or we don’t. There is no in between.
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Re: 2019 season - preseason

Postby dude on Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:22 pm

I'd like to add one more school to the list of those that went away from the running game and were not successful: Wofford College.

I’ve been following Wofford football long enough to remember when the T-Dogs went away from the running game more than three decades ago. Coach Buddy Sasser (a young Mike Ayers was on his staff) had built Wofford into a strong NAIA team in the early 1980s, largely on the strength of the Wingbone offense. After he left, successive staffs tried to “modernize” the offense. And especially in the years roughly 1985-1987, it was a fairly pass-happy affair. But it was some lousy football. Some of y’all might remembers those years better than I do – might have even played for WoCo back then.

Ayers came in in 1988, switched things back to the triple-option, and the rest is history.

Oh, I realize there’s plenty of ways to look at all this. Just because passing didn’t work so well under mid-80s regimes in the NAIA/D-2 era, we can’t know for sure that it wouldn’t work today under the new staff. But I just have this recollection of those years and a funny feeling about the whole thing….

Anyway, if Wofford can successfully throw the ball a little more, then great. That could be really valuable to the offense. But if the balance of the offense shifts to passing, I’m not optimistic.
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Re: 2019 season - preseason

Postby WocoSix on Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:32 pm

First off Wofford has 10 players selected preseason All Conference and a few that I believe were left off because of the sheer numbers we had already selected. So to say there is a talent gap and and that we have to use the TO just to compete with other teams is a false narrative. I agree with YT's assessments, no pure option team will win big time football games. Yes Ga Southern did it for years but when you have Walter Payton award winners and multiple players with NFL talent, a coach could snap directly to RB and still win games. Personally, I think Wofford will be a run first, power, and bullying type football team. But Wofford just like Mike Tyson, will have to learn to counter punch and throw jabs, or we will find ourselves on the mat looking up talking about the glory days. 20+ pass plays is a stretch this season and maybe next, but 12-15 sounds more reasonable.
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Re: 2019 season - preseason

Postby Ruckus28 on Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:04 pm

So no team will ever win “big time football games” running the TO (other than GaSo)?
FU won NC in 1988 running it; played for NC again in 2002 or so running some TO (and if Louis Ivory wasn’t hurt would have won it). Navy and AFA win their share very single season against the “big boys” running it. Heck we were clearly the second beat team in the country in 2003 running it and was the first team EVER in the history of college football located east of the Miss. to go Montana and win. Beat JSU on the road in 2011. Took YSU eventual NC runner up to OT on the road (and if we hit a PAT or FG in 20 degree weather we win). I guess those weren’t “big time” enough for you.
Sounds like some of us have ODS (Option Derangement Syndrome).
And not one person has posted we don’t have talent or that we have to run the TO because we don’t have talent. What you are arguing is we CAN’T run it because we do have talent.
Ridiculous.
Some y’all better get Conklin and Lang on the phone and warn them of our impending doom running an option system because you are about to see yet again for another season.
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Re: 2019 season - preseason

Postby fgs44 on Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:21 am

Based on the what I am hearing from Coach Conklin, and the fact that Wade Lang is still the offensive coordinator, I am expecting the same running attack as always. Coach Conklin has said he wants to increase our passing to 20 times a game. I think that relates to throwing out of shotgun with a spread option look, and quick tosses and run option look, out of which we can still run. All I am hearing is only what this board has espoused since we started--We need to open the offense up a bit--The TO will be with us till at least Wade Lang retires--
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Re: 2019 season - preseason

Postby WocoSix on Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:31 am

"Ever" may have been over the top. But if you are using examples of National Championship caliber teams and your reference points are 1988, 1990, or even 2000...you have basically made my argument for me. The last time a TO team even played for a Natty was in 2000, which is almost 2 decades ago! When I am refereeing to big games I am talking about National Championships. I want Wofford to come up in the same conversations when you talk about championship teams like NDSU, Ga Southern, App State, YSU, and James Madison's of the D1-FCS landscape. The college game has progressed and recent history shows you must be a balanced team if you want to play in the "Big time games" (National Championship).

Also I'm sure Ruckus you have heard it stated before, that the academics at Wofford and the limitation of students accepted has prevented us from getting the top tier talent to run progressive offenses or true 4-3 defenses. I argue that point because we have 10 players (Most of any SoCon team) selected with preseason accolades. There should have been more, but we understand you have to spread the wealth amongst the league. And if we have the majority of the talent in the SoCon and are amongst the top 3 conferences in FCS, what is stopping us from the "Big Time Game"? Was it our Defense...ranked top 25 or better nationally in total defense? Or was it the Offense that was 75th or worst nationally in total offense? Or was it the Coaching staff (Ayers and Lang excluded) that lacked big game experience at a high level?
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