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Let's look at the O-Line


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44 minutes ago, El Paso Eagle said:

@MeanGreenTexan Thank you. How much do you think it hurts that the O-Line coach has his focus elsewhere and is not able to focus on the position players as much?

I mentioned that before too...  I dunno, possibly.   Despite returning all of last year's starters except for Gray, who transferred to South Alabama, the OL has somehow regressed (at least, from what we've seen so far).  I'm kinda shocked.  I was not expecting that to happen.

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2 hours ago, MeanGreenTexan said:

I felt like this deserved it's own thread.

I believe @UNT86 broke down UAB's defensive scheme well, and during yesterday's coach/player pressers, Littrell & Ruder both confirmed what UNT86 was saying about their 5-man (sometimes 4) front.  
UAB played an ultra-conservative, base cover 2 defense, only rushing 3 or 4 on most plays with only 5 men in the box.  This means NT should be able to run the ball effectively until UAB adjusts to the gains we're making in the run game & bring more hats into the box, which would open up the pass game some.     5 OL VS 3 DL & 2 LBs (so 1:1) should favor the big uglies almost every time.   4 WRs/TEs VS 6 DBs does NOT favor the passing game.
I would expect the Offensive Line to be able to capitalize on this.   We have some nice players on the OL, and Coach Bloesch showed last season he could get them coached up to be an effective unit.   I don't know if NT put a lot of blocking scheme on tape for UAB to realize they could keep the run game in check with just their base D, but that's exactly what happened.   So I wanted to look back specifically at the run game.

Here's a 3-man front with 2 LBs, which was pretty much their base all night.

I mean, Gabe Blair is gonna be a fantastic guard for us in the future, but here, he released from helping seal the Nose Tackle, and looked completely lost as to who he was supposed to block next, while his man (the Mike) plugged the hole and tackled Torrey for the loss.  This was happening constantly, not just with Blair but all over the interior.  These guys have to get off their original block and find the LB they're responsible for!   WE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO RUN THE BALL AGAINST THAT FRONT.   If you keep watching the next play, Blair gets firmly planted.  I understand growing pains, but man, we're trying to win games.  If he's not ready, find someone who is.

I know this was pass pro, but Great Googly Moogly, What the heck was our all-conference RT doing here?  The entire OL moved at the snap, and he's taking a nap!

Now, in the 3rd quarter with the game firmly in hand for UAB 😥, we see their 2nd-stringers (same base defense), and get 3 straight run plays.  The first, looked to be a play off left Tackle.  Brown seals it very well... so well, he prevents Blair from getting upfield to block the Mike.  Pirtle comes over to pick up the OLB, but by the time he's there, both the OLB & Mike are there to meet him.  I'm no mathematician, but 1 TE is gonna have a hard time blocking 2 LBs.  Torrey goes nowhere.
Then, a perfectly executed play where Brammer pulls & destroys a DB for a nice gain!  Yeah!!
...Immediately followed by what looked like was supposed to be a run into the right B Gap.  Carroll does a nice job sealing the guard, but Brammer can't get on the End, who crashes that gap (not necessarily Brammer's fault there, just a nice play by the End).  Brown is pulling from the left side, looking to truck whatever LB is coming in that gap, but the play is already f'ed.  Ragsdale adjusts into whatever daylight he can find inside, but if he bounced outside with Brown blocking the LB out there, he might have picked up 4-5 yds:

I didn't want to watch much more.  It's just demoralizing.

I'm not sure how much of this was preparation by UAB (probably A LOT), and how much was just poor execution by our OL, but man, the OL has to do better.

Podcast Reaction GIF by LeVar Burton

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