Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Best Offense for Fresno State?

In my first post today I asked what kind of offense everyone prefers. I aksed if you as Bulldog fans enjoy this clock eating offense that allows us to score between 20-24 points a game or do you prefer the quick strike offense that had been in place during the Sweeney era where we scored 35-40 points a game? I have always been a proponent of a quick strike offense because I feel like that type of offense is always putting pressure on the defense of the other team. At the same time how often is a team going to win a college football game when scoring 20-24 points a game? Part of the problem with the clock eating offense is if you play a team such as Hawaii who comes at you fast and furious your defense is now looking to force turnovers to stay in the game. When you run a quick strike offense you don't necessarily have to force any turnovers on defense because your team is scoring 35 points without any turnovers. This has been shown with respect to Fresno State this season. We do not have an interception up to this point and have had very few fumble recoveries. With the type of offense we have we are lucky to score 28 points in a game such as we did against Nevada.

Now let's take a look at the alternative to Fresno State's offense, the type of offense I would have wanted to run to start the season. This is the type of offensive coordinator I believe we should have hired instead of a conservative type of guy such as Steve Hagen. I know I am going to get crap for this idea but I truly believe it would work with the skilled players we have on this team. First and foremost this team has the ability to run the option/ spread offense easily. Just bare with me for a minute and listen to what I am proposing before you think this is the most ridiculous idea you have ever heard.

Spread Formation W/the Option - At the beginning of the year we had the ability to line up on every single play with Fernandez and West on the left side and Williams and Fairman on the right. We would have Norton at QB (or Brandstater, they both can run) with Wright or Miller at RB. Now many of you would say this would kill Wright's numbers but I say look at the numbers Hawaii's RB puts up. He is slightly bigger than Wright and runs in the offense I am trying to prove would work at state. Three of our receivers at the beginning of the season were as good as you could hope to have. I know Fairman went down but now you just substitute Pascoe in on one side or another depending on if you want to run trips or not. With the spread option formation the defense has to guess if you are going to throw, option left or right, or run the ball. Linebackers tend to blitz because you only have your five lineman and maybe a TE in on the line, but once they do your speedy receivers now have the middle of the field wide open to roam in. An offense like this could really put the scoring back on the map here in Fresno. I know that many of you prefer the Pro Style and I think that is a good offense to run if you do it like many of the SEC teams run it, but right now we are not executing that offense. I know we won't change the way we run offense, but these are just ideas to talk about from time to time. If the Dogs went to an offense like this they would score 35-40 a game base solely on the fact college corners just aren't good enough to run across the field step for step with a receiver (well aside maybe three or four select corners, McCauley included).

In the end I know this is a pipe dream but after explaining it I hope some of you understand where I am coming from. I played QB in Japan for the island football team for three seasons and we ran the Pro Set the first season. We finished 2-8 and I was contastanly under pressure. The next season we had a new coach who installed the option/spread formation and we went 8-2 because teams were lost on every play. I am not saying the league I played in was nearly as difficult as college football is, but it does work. Just watch the teams that run it with the right talent in place. Hawaii runs this offense amazingly and if we don't beat them Saturday they will not lose another game this season. I am wondering if anoyne else out there who has seen the Dogs play this year has an offensive idea that might help (aside the obvious get a QB who can make the throws and such). If so I would really like to hear it as I am as offensive minded as one guy could possibly be.


bulldog1 said...

Sorry but your analysis seems a bit flawed. A quick check of the last six years results does not support your 20-24 pts argument.

From 2000 - 2006 the Dogs averaged well above 24 pts a year and failed to score over 24 points only 20 times in 73 games. Here is the rundown.

Year Times <24 W/L <24
2000 6 3-3
2001 1 1-0 (Colorado)
2002 6 3-3 (WI, OK, OS)
2003 6 5-1 (Tennessee)
2004 0
2005 1 0-1 (Tulsa)

The facts are that the system may not be flashy but has been productive. To claim otherwise is just erroneous.

You can keep blabbering on about the system all you like but the reality is that you simply prefer the spread offense for its fan appeal. That's OK but be honest about it. And don't falsify the facts to support the position.

nsc said...

My liking of the spread offense has nothing to do with fan appeal. I could care less if other fans like it, or maybe you missed the part where I stated that I would like to hear other people's ideas on what offenses they prefer. Is it me or do some people get on here and read this and only read what the want to read?

By the way when I made the comment about 20-24 points a game I was talking about THIS SEASON. I am not putting the system down, and I even mention i can see why people would like the Pro Style, so don't come on here claiming that I am flawed with what i said. Let's see in 2006 we have scored: 28, 24, 20, 23, and 12 which averages out to: lo and behold 21 points per game. Where in my argument did I mention it has been this way point wise for the past five years?

Anyhow I am not going to put you down and make you sound bad for generalizing my argument to fit your way of perceiving me. I like the spread offense because it works with the right talent around it. Most teams that score 40 points use one version or another of it and if they dont it's because they are an SEC or Big 10 school and have the best recruits in the land. So for me it has nothing to do with fan appeal but instead it has to do with success over the years.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen anyone mention this, but we're in the "bottom ten"...


formerdog said...

re: the ESPN Bottom 10 article

How EMBARRASSING! FSU has officially hit a ALL-TIME LOW!

I am so tired of beating this dead horse. When will it end?

I only pray that Pat Hill has read some of this this past week and changes.

After much thought I feel that the FSU problems are really attributed to the horrible offensive play calling this year. Ultimately, Pat Hill is responsible for how the offensive coord. calls the plays, and I'm not saying that Brandstater isn't accountable for how pitiful his throws have been (he couldn't hit water if he was standing on the beach), but the play calling is SO PREDICTABLE that it puts the QB in a bad 3rd and long situation most drives.

Versus Utah St., I paused my Tivo and counted 9 in the box literally every play. You would assume that when the QB sees 9 in the box he would check off to a pass, but NO... run, run run - TO PREDICTABLE, and easy to stop. No wonder we are always in impossible 3rd down and longs.

Brandstater is bad, but he needs more passing attempts on 1st and 2nd down so he isn't i 3rd and long.

So with the argument about starting Norton - Let's say he starts against Hawaii - He will be in the same BAD situation as Brandstater because of too many rushing attempts.

Q: Can Norton do better in the same situation if he starts? We will NEVER know beacuse gold old Pat Hill REFUSES to change.

Is it just me or isn't the obvious choice to fix the offensive play calling the easiest and quickest fix Pat Hill can do to save this team and his reputation?

formerdog said...

I did the math from the play-by-play against Utah State and FSU had a total of 25 1st down offensive plays and 19 2nd down offensive plays. Here's the breakdown:

FSU rushed 16 of 25 times on 1st DOWN (64%) and passed 9 times (36%)

FSU rushed 13 of 19 times on 2nd DOWN (68%) and
passed 6 times (31%)

This is too PREDICTABLE for our offensive scheme. Especially when Utah St. loaded nine defenders in the box basically every play! I know you want to establish the running game, but rushing 64% of the time on first down and 68% on second down? C'mon.
No wonder were setting the QB up for third and long.

This offensive game plan BLOWS!!! If it doesn't change, those big ass defenders fromn LSU are gonna make us look silly!

Start the passing attack early!