Omniclectic Insights - Buffs fail against Cal, Look to survive the Ducks

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Omniclectic Insights - Buffs fail against Cal, Look to survive the Ducks
By TrevMon • Issue #11 • View online
The Buffs 26-3 loss to Cal resulted in the first staff causality. Mitch Rodrigues, the Buffs Offensive line coach, was relieved from duty. This loss was depressing, the Buffs lapsed into their old form, rather than taking the next step after last weeks performance. Cal dominated in every statistical category, save the punting game. The Buffs defense stepped up in the second half, allowing only 3 points. You can find detailed note below on the Cal-CU post-mortem, and data points on the upcoming match-up with the mighty Oregon Ducks, or listen to the podcast.

CU-Cal Post Mortem
CU reflections
  • Did not see the multiple running scheme carry over into this game plan, e.g. play action, RPO, QB designed runs, jet/fly sweeps
  • Familiar Charybdis and Scylla of (1) poor pass protection (PBLK 39 rating for the 4 Tackles who saw action) combined with (2) slow time to throw from the QB (3.35) resulted in 6 sacks and 15 pressures, 12 tackles for loss
  • Entire offense produced another 1/1000 instance of epically bad performance for the second time this season with 104 yds total production, and 21 (CU) to 38 (Cal) time of possession.
  • Buff’s ground attack produced sparse 35 yds rushing, due to poor run blocking (RBLK: 64), and defenses stacking the box.
  • QB production was a paltry 9/16 for 69 yrds, and the worst pass rating of the season (PASS 38). Unable to receivers (RB Broussard led with 30 yds receiving), nor able to throw down field, average depth of target only 6.5 yds
  • Buff special teams shined, punting 7 punts, 48 yd avg; and a 67 yd kick return by Brenden Rice set up the Buffs only score
  • Only 2 penalties for Buffs
  • Notable individual performances, Offensively, Kary Kutch and Colby Purcell, Defensively Gonzales (84), gave up 2 yrd, 3 break-ups, Blackmon (69) tied for game high with 10 tackles, Lewis (74), seven stops, and Mustafa Johnson (sack, 2 TFLs); Landman tied for team high with 10 tackles, over 400 for career
  • Poor Tackling (Lang; Perry, Wells, Sami)
Cal
  • Bill Musgrave, Grand Junction Native, former Bronco staff called a good game, used tight-ends and RBs particularly well in passing attack; used trap blocks to open up running lanes; RPO executed well
  • QB Chase Garbers mastered the offense for 438 yds, (90 PASS rating), behind a strong performance by Cal Offensive Line PBLK (72) RBLK (69)
  • Chase sprayed passes around to 11 different players had catches
  • Front 7 was tenacious; pressuring QB (7 sacks, 11 hurries) stopping the run (25 stops)
  • Elijah Hicks (S) was all over the field, recorded interception and 91 pff rating.
Matchup: Buffs vs Ducks
Oregon is favored by 24 points. Oregon has elite talent and they overmatch the Buffs in most every category with the exception of special teams. Their defense is top ten in turnover margin. They have a savvy OC (Morgan) and able to control the line of scrimmage. Oregon plays down (Cal, AZ) or up (OSU, UCLA) to their opponent, does not effectively exploit their elite talent edge. Buffs will be without Nate Landman, not a trivial challenge.
By the Numbers
  • FBS Power Ranking (OR: 16| CU: 101)
  • Rank Points per Drive (OR 28 | CU 129)
  • Rank Def Points allow per Drive ( OR: 56 | CU 45)
  • Rank Yards Per Play Offense (OR:15 | CU: 103)
  • Rank Yards Per Play Defense (OR: 7 |CU: 66)
  • Rank Yards Per Pass Offense (OR: 12 | CU: 104)
  • Rank Yards Per Pass Defense (OR: 10 | CU: 70)
  • Rank Yards Per Rush Offense (OR:8 | CU 83)
  • Rank Ensemble (OR: 6 | CU: 105)
Playmakers:
  • Elite edge rusher Kavon Thibodaux is making a run at the Heisman
  • QB Andrew Brown is a fifth year senior who is a running threat.
  • Travis Dye is a productive running back and also (Verdell injured)
Tendencies/Weaknesses:
  • Joe Morgan’s offense is centered on RPO triple option, puts stress on OLB, Safeties and Nickle
  • Offensive Line rotates on regular basis
  • QB Andrew Brown is erratic, equally capable of bust and boom plays
  • LB room is banged up and underperforming
Note, the various metrics are sourced from CFB Edge, Pro Football Focus, The Power Rank, ESPN FPI. Regarding PFF grades >85 =NFL caliber; 85-79 =very good; 78-68 above average; 60 = average, 60-50 = below avg, <50 poor
What Can the Buffs do?
  • Show progress, and make it a respectable game in front of a national audience
  • Contain RPO game
  • Use more designed QB runs in the game plan
  • Force more turnovers than OR (Brown is capable of throwing 4 pics, on other side OR is turnover generating machine)
  • Could this be the week we some trick plays where former QB Lynch moves into wildcat/RPO, and Lewis moves out wide?
Closing Thoughts
  • In 2020 season Buffs had above average performance ratings at QB (69) and Pass blocking (68)
  • In 2021, performance in these two areas has dropped considerably QB (60) and Pass Blocking (41)
  • Low performance and resilience in these rooms due to transfers, injury and de-commits probably from coaching changes.
  • Only 3/9 Tackles on roster harvested from 5 recruiting cycles: 2021 class: no Tackles; 2020 class: J. Wray (medical retire), G. Lichtenhan (on roster); 2019 class: Senn (transfer), Pohahau (transfer); Wiley (on roster); 2018 class: Fillip (on roster) 2017 class, J. Moretti (medical), G Polly (transfer), Paige (done)
  • Last season, QB room was salty but inexperienced: Both Noyer (5th yr SR) and Lytle (4th yr, JR) had been around
  • Insult then injury, QB room hit hard by transfer (Noyer, all Pac-12) and injury (Shrout), leaving the Buffs with youngest and thinnest QB depth chart in FBS (Lewis, FR; Carter, Fr).
  • Food for thought: how would the Buffs results change if we had different rooms or different coaches with the same rooms?
  • For the coaching question, we will get some signal from current OL coaching reconfiguration
#GoBuffs, let’s shock the world and make it a game on Saturday!
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TrevMon
By TrevMon

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