No, the cart is not before the horse, the sky is not falling, we're all still alive and breathing, but it happened again. It's first down, the play comes in from the sideline, the give is to the running back. 2nd down, ditto. Result? 3rd down-and long. It's 3rd and 8, and the defense knows a pass play is coming.
Long, time consuming offensive drives cover a number of yards, and few points follow. The score is very close at the end of the game. Here it is, the most important 3rd down of the game, the formation? A blatant (if not predictable) run call. 4th and ball-game, and a tight formation with just one receiver wide. It will be a run. Result: loss of yardage. It's not 2007, 2008, or even 2009 yet an eery resemblance yields his name proceeding from the lips of aghast onlookers...
The talent is there at the receiver position. It is there at the running back position. The ability is there at quarterback. The play calling? The play calling is not putting young men in a position to succeed. We struggled with the offensive play calling of one ... you know his name. Yet, now the Sanford experiment seems to be producing a similar product. It seems taking any early shots down field are a last resort, yet in two games, they have opened up the offensive production once dink and dunk pass plays, that don't put receivers in a position to add yards after the catch, mixed in with short runs fail to produce results. Ironically, going down by two scores there is no sense of urgency from the sidelines as the play clock winds down before the ball is hiked, yet the hurry-up offense seems to be where the cardinal offense finds its comfort zone. The inside off tackle run and naked boot are guaranteed in multiple on each possession.
When Victor Anderson was racking up yards as a freshman, many of those came where he could use his ability to allude defenders in the open field (remember that Jeff Brohm inspired flick out from Cantwell?). Stein can run the naked boot only so many times before the defense is there out of habit. The receivers, such as Devonte Parker, have down field ability, yet 4 and 5 yard crossing patterns seem to be the bread and butter of the offensive philosophy, that is until there are problems moving the chains.
This is not meant to be a rant, rather an observation. I'm simply curious to see how other fans are reacting to the offensive production (no pun intended) and play calling. Ultimately, I found myself pondering the thought of failing to win another game this season due to the inability to score points. I'm not sure that there is a defense on the schedule that will be worse than Murray or FIU. Teddy looked sharp, and sees downfield well. I found myself wanting him back in after the first 3 and out because the field seemed so much more spread out. Stein made a number of plays late, but only after the play calling was modified due to the score. What say you?
Regardless, GO CARDS!