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The Wynnedbag: Golden Knights Week Part Two

Chick-fil-A Kickoff - Louisville v Ole Miss Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

I got enough submissions to do a two-part mailbag. Let’s get to issues on offense today.

The receivers have shown some real promise with the ball in their hands, in my opinion. They don’t have a Tutu Atwell type of guy that can just flat out run away from a defense from the snap but I think Jordan Watkins and AHB can both create a big play after the catch and Josh Johsnon and Justin Marshall have shown enough ability to get you 15+ yards on a catch.

I also think that they’re just not helping the passing offense with all of these throws down the field and longer developing routes. Satterfield said that they looked to essentially work levels against Ole Miss by running guys in front of the Linebackers so that they could get guys behind them. Why not just throw to the guys in front of the Linebackers?

Teams have been trying to take away the big play since the Miami game last season and UofL just hasn’t done enough to just take what is given to them and get quick passes out to the Receivers to get enough yards to keep the offense on schedule or to get a first down. Satterfield said he likes to run on second and long to try to get “half of it back”. Why not use a quick pass to try to accomplish that?

Tempo and misdirection. It’s really not much of a difference outside of the lack of creativity. I don’t mind Satterfield not using tempo from the standpoint that it’s not what he normally does. I don’t like the idea of killing a coach for not doing something that they just don’t do. However, the lack of misdirection and just about anything to make the defense think has been very odd to me as they at least had it as an element of their offense in 2019.

It seems like they are using much more boot action in the offense now as a form of misdirection and it hasn’t really worked much, in my opinion. It’s too slow and we’ve seen Malik Cunningham end up running a lot when they boot. Especially when they boot to the left. It also doesn’t hurt that these teams have good Offensive Line play while UofL is struggling there.

I don’t know that I would have ever imagined seeing this group be so flat off the ball. They just don’t fire off like you would expect which is all Dwayne Ledford talked about and what I would imagine Jack Bicknell stresses as well. One thing you can’t be with this scheme is slow or not quick because if you get beat to your spot, the play is going to get blown up. A good thing to look for on Friday will be Kalia Davis (#22) against the interior line for Louisville. He is super quick off the ball and is relentless. Louisville has to be able to keep him from blowing things up.

Caleb Chandler talked about issues with technique but I really think they could solid as a group if they just weren’t getting blown off the ball and being beaten to the spot. That’s just effort to me.

In pass protection I think they need to give them help. Below is an example of the blocking scheme they’ve run since back at App State. I’m not sure I’ve seen it all that much this season. You can see how the entire defensive front starts to move sideways as opposed to just flying up the field. They’re much easier to block and you get a double team with the H-Back and Running Back on the backside. This is the bread and butter of the passing game and we just haven’t seen it like we typically do.

I do think we’ll see it against the Golden Knights with the amount of man they run.

I don’t want this to come off as me being a jerk but I know it might so I already warned J Lykins ahead of time. Louisville averaged nearly identical numbers on offense in yards per play and total offense per game. They averaged almost the same amount of first downs per game. They were about the same when it comes to sacks and tackles for loss but they improved a bit. They were also nearly even on third downs while converting two fewer fourth downs. Louisville was even better in the red zone last season.

Lousiville even led the country in 60+ and 70+ yard plays last season which they didn’t do in 2019, though they nearly did. The difference? You guessed it. Turnovers. And it wasn’t specifically the amount as much as it was the timing. They turned the ball over too often in 2019 but gained more turnovers which helped but they just didn’t have nearly as many back-breaking turnovers as they did last season. This is why I get frustrated when people complain about the offensive scheme. It’s worked and it has actually been exciting.

The issues this year, however, are very real and really frustrating. Ole Miss took away the big passing plays which we saw teams do last year as well. The running plays aren’t there, though. This isn’t about opening up the offense, it’s about adapting the offense to what defenses are doing.

Satterfield has said that they need to take what the defense is giving them but I genuinely wonder if he can do that. They took it to teams at App State and dictated a lot of what they wanted to do on offense. I also wonder how much of the creativity and misdirection came from his Offensive Coordinators. They just don’t seem to do a lot of the things we saw in 2019 or the things I saw when I watched two years of App State games when he was hired.

Coaches calling the plays is obviously what seems to be important but having a different set of eyes and different experience to help game plan is important. Lane Kiffin is known for his great offense but he hired one of the best possible coordinators out there to run his offense. Bobby Petrino even changed his offense when Chris Klenakis became his OC. The pistol aspects are straight from Kenakis’ time at Nevada. The offense is just too vanilla this year and I can’t help but wonder if it’s due to Satterfield going at it alone.