Sunday, November 4, 2007

Coaching ups and downs

The game at Oregon proved yet again how good this coaching staff is. After giving up 21 points on the Ducks' first three drives, ASU surrendered just 14 points the rest of the game. Meanwhile, I think most fans would agree that the problems on offense were mostly due to execution, not coaching.

However, two incidents cause concern. First, the clock (mis)management at the end of the first half. We should have been able to take two shots to the end zone before attempting a field goal. Second, why didn't we go for two after getting to within 13 points (35-22)? This is one of those "no brainer" decisions -- a two-point conversion would have given us the chance to tie with a field goal and TD, while failing to convert wouldn't have made any difference (12 and 13 points both require two TDs).

I don't want to make a big deal out of this -- I'm still thankful that DE is our coach -- but I hope both issues are addressed in this week's press conferences.


Anonymous said...

I agree with the two issues you raise. Additionally, I am wondering why rudy isn't rolling out more often. He's so mobile and throws well on the run. He would have the option of running in the open field if nothing's open. I think we're too predictable and defenses are teeing off on us. We need to occasionally roll out, screen, slant, shovel, draw, safety valve to RB or TE. More misdirection might help also. We aren't keeping the Defense honest enough in their persuit. It makes their jobs easier when they know where Rudy will be. We haven't made them pay for blitzing yet. I cringe when I see Rudy run but he's getting mugged in the pocket as it is. I don't remember ever seeing ASU get sacked 9 times in one game. It's time to fix this by scheming around our pass blocking weaknesses and utilize Rudy's mobility. I am surprised this hasn't been done yet.

Anonymous said...

Erickson & staff were totally out-coached. You’re right on both items you criticized, but there were other big mistakes.

The failure to go for two was absolutely inconceivable and unforgivable. It’s not like they didn’t have plenty of time to think ahead. There is no possible excuse—none—to kick a PAT there.

Poor clock management obviously.

The three straight runs between the tackle inside the 5 yard line. After the first two, it was pretty obvious a third time would not be the charm. Oregon has been stout in that situation all year. Did they watch any film at all?

And then on a 4th and 2? or so…after the aforementioned stoning in short yardage, what’s the call? Similar play, same result.

After the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th sacks…did you see any adjustments? Any that worked?

And as for holding Oregon to only 14 points the rest of the way…they had unforced drops on two probable TDs, and played without Dixon nearly the entire 4th quarter. He could have played if they needed more points but they played it safe. No credit to the ASU coaching staff there.