PonyFans.comBoard IndexAround the HilltopFootballRecruitingBasketballOther Sports

Thoughts on the bowl and the season... and next year

This is the forum for talk about SMU Football

Moderators: PonyPride, SmooPower

Thoughts on the bowl and the season... and next year

Postby JasonB » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:26 am

Lets get this out of the way - the bowl game sucked. Really frustrated. Several people, including myself and people associated with the program pointed out how similar it was to Frisco. Everyone was disappointed.

Something was off watching them get off the bus. Seemed tense to me, but I've been assured that is how they always are. SB was a little off in warmups. Rice dropped 3 passes that I saw in warmups. But the team intensity was there pre-game, especially from Scott. The team was there to try and win, not just screwing around on the beach. They had their game faces on. Maybe a little too much, but they were into it.

FAU did a wonderful job preparing for this game. One of the reasons that bowl results are such a crap shoot is that you get an extended amount of time to prepare for the game. Especially when you play in a road game. Anyone who was there noticed how spongy and thick the grass was at the tailgate... I've heard from several people that the field was the same way. Heavily watered and thick to take away all the speed advantages. They made this game all about the the line of scrimmage, and FAU dominated both sides.

Offensively, this game was evidence of how much things changed with the loss of Roberson. FAU manned up our WR, playing close at the line, jammed the box, with one safety. They dared us to beat them deep. And we couldn't do it. We lost confidence in Rice early with his drops, Sanders doesn't fight for a deep ball, and SB overthrew the others - the timing was just off all day. Maybe the wind, maybe the slow field, but it was just off. Galliard and Sanders got a lot of PT as seniors, and rightly so, but they are just guys and arent going to attract much attention. 23 from FAU was a good corner and manned up Proche, and nobody else turned it up. Rice's performance probably shouldn't be too surprising - true frosh are going to struggle in big games. I'm looking forward to seeing him grow from this experience, and that last catch and run was important for him moving forward.

So it came down to our line beating their line. And we lost that battle At one point in the third quarter, we had 30 carries for 50 yards. They loaded up the box, but our o-line didn't win, either. Probably too much rotation at RB (Free and Bentley got more PT than X), but still the o-line didnt win. Our oline has three solid, slightly above average players on the left and center, but slightly below average on the right. And no go-to awesome lineman to focus on and attract the focus of the other team.

Defensively, we have a deep, solid defensive line. But we have to blitz to create pressure, and players can get open against our safeties and LBs over the middle when the QB has time. That story played out time and time again during this game. We don't have an all-star DL who requires a double team. We didn't get close to the QB pressure wise. They absolutely dominated our DL. Again, that field doesn't help when you are a speed team instead of a strength and size team. But it pointed out the weakness. Our corners were fine for the most part and not the problem.

The game completely changed on the pick by SB. Bad throw and going down by two scores put a lot of pressure on the offense going into the second half, and we couldn't deliver.

I also want to say that I do appreciate the amount of effort Dykes put into the game plan to say thanks to the seniors. Lots of PT for Galliard and Sanders at WR. First play was Proche to Jones. Trick play TD on Free to Becker. Playing the walkon seniors at the end.

Now, let's look back on this season. Look, we managed to beat some decent teams. We lost on the road to three 10 win teams. What does that mean? We are a good team. We have some holes that we need to address to take the next step, and with an appropriate amount of planning time, teams take advantage of those holes. We aren't great, and we aren't top 25 good. Yet.

So, what do we need for next season to take the next step and win conference and stick around the top 25?

- We need a second deep threat WR. Roberson is really important to take the top off the defenses. You could actually argue that he was a bigger loss than if we lost Proche instead. We need two players who can take the top off the defense. Between Gray, Thad, and Wiggins, we should have that guy. But someone from that group needs to stand out for the offense to get back to what it was at the beginning of the season and provide an effectiveness that will last through the season. Rice, Granson, and James will provide other options. But we need two deep threats in case of injury. High confidence this happens between Gray, Thad, and Wiggins.

- We need Brooks, Shelmire, or Jordan to step up and win the RG job outright with a dominant spring+fall. We need that position to transition from below average to above average to have a consistent running game. This is a big unknown and Spring will tell a lot. We also need Ike to win the RT spot or someone to take a huge leap forward. Again, we "got by" with Morris or Bryant this season, but we need someone to perform above average. Might see a GT at RT? Regardless, the right side of the line needs to transition from below average to above average for the team to take the next step. With the number of possibilities and levels of recruits at those positions, I have high confidence that this will happen as well.

- We need Thomas, Ali, or Howerton to take a step forward and become dominant. All three are above average, sure, but we need a dominant offensive lineman to really change the game. A Beach or LeRibous stud who changes the game. There is potential with JT or Ali for that to happen, but it is required for us to be able to win in weather or bad field games. As Dykes says, we need to be able to run on 3rd and 1 when everyone knows that it is going to happen and not have to resort to the wildcat direct snap with a DT in the backfield. I have pretty high confidence this will happen, especially from JT.

- At DE, we have a good, solid two way player, Coxe, at one DE and a bunch of depth. Paul, Wiley, or a GT need to be a dominant pass rusher on the other side. Paul is our best chance for this to happen, but that would require a huge jump, which means we will rely on blitzing next season again. We have some solid young players at DT and the JUCO coming in; I'm also pretty confident another GT will be added to the mix. DT will be fine, we just need that "plus" LDE.

- We need a Nelson replacement and Moore back healthy. The player on the roster that might fit for Nelson is Jones with Denbow as a backup, but not sure if they are an answer. This is a huge defensive question mark that may need a GT. We also desperately need Moore to come back healthy. He can play well against both the run and the pass and is a huge upgrade at MLB in passing situations.

- Good lord, if we can never have a safety punt and get consistency in the kicking game.

In short, I'm pretty confident we will take another step forward on offense. And the good news is that our "floor" is an 8 win season. But I think we all want more than that at this point. Defense and special teams are going to be the big question marks that potentially prevent us from being really good. A Star player who can both cover and blitz, and a stud DE changes this defense completely when you look at the players we have coming back at corner and safety. Those two positions and a K/P will determine if we win conference next season and finish top 25.
JasonB
PonyFans.com Super Legend
 
Posts: 6310
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2001 3:01 am
Location: Allen, Tx, USA

Re: Thoughts on the bowl and the season... and next year

Postby SMU_Alum11 » Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:28 am

As always Jason, thanks for the review.

I think you hit it perfectly that without a deep threat in Roberson, our offense just falls apart. If you look at prior to Houston, we were dynamic and dangerous. It also took alot pressure off on an already mediocre defense. Ever since Houston, we have struggled.
Two things: 1) Get to NY6 2) Fire Jank…. Let's go!
SMU_Alum11
Hall of Famer
 
Posts: 2959
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:55 am

Re: Thoughts on the bowl and the season... and next year

Postby skyscraper » Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:48 pm

The season effectively ended in Houston.
The bowl game leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth after a great year that no one saw coming.
The pieces are in place for a truly special season in 2020, but the defense is going to have to make that next step for that to happen.
Image
User avatar
skyscraper
PonyFans.com Super Legend
 
Posts: 5471
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:46 pm
Location: Dallas

Re: Thoughts on the bowl and the season... and next year

Postby Oldmins » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:07 pm

JasonB wrote:Lets get this out of the way - the bowl game sucked. Really frustrated. Several people, including myself and people associated with the program pointed out how similar it was to Frisco. Everyone was disappointed.

Something was off watching them get off the bus. Seemed tense to me, but I've been assured that is how they always are. SB was a little off in warmups. Rice dropped 3 passes that I saw in warmups. But the team intensity was there pre-game, especially from Scott. The team was there to try and win, not just screwing around on the beach. They had their game faces on. Maybe a little too much, but they were into it.

FAU did a wonderful job preparing for this game. One of the reasons that bowl results are such a crap shoot is that you get an extended amount of time to prepare for the game. Especially when you play in a road game. Anyone who was there noticed how spongy and thick the grass was at the tailgate... I've heard from several people that the field was the same way. Heavily watered and thick to take away all the speed advantages. They made this game all about the the line of scrimmage, and FAU dominated both sides.

Offensively, this game was evidence of how much things changed with the loss of Roberson. FAU manned up our WR, playing close at the line, jammed the box, with one safety. They dared us to beat them deep. And we couldn't do it. We lost confidence in Rice early with his drops, Sanders doesn't fight for a deep ball, and SB overthrew the others - the timing was just off all day. Maybe the wind, maybe the slow field, but it was just off. Galliard and Sanders got a lot of PT as seniors, and rightly so, but they are just guys and arent going to attract much attention. 23 from FAU was a good corner and manned up Proche, and nobody else turned it up. Rice's performance probably shouldn't be too surprising - true frosh are going to struggle in big games. I'm looking forward to seeing him grow from this experience, and that last catch and run was important for him moving forward.

So it came down to our line beating their line. And we lost that battle At one point in the third quarter, we had 30 carries for 50 yards. They loaded up the box, but our o-line didn't win, either. Probably too much rotation at RB (Free and Bentley got more PT than X), but still the o-line didnt win. Our oline has three solid, slightly above average players on the left and center, but slightly below average on the right. And no go-to awesome lineman to focus on and attract the focus of the other team.

Defensively, we have a deep, solid defensive line. But we have to blitz to create pressure, and players can get open against our safeties and LBs over the middle when the QB has time. That story played out time and time again during this game. We don't have an all-star DL who requires a double team. We didn't get close to the QB pressure wise. They absolutely dominated our DL. Again, that field doesn't help when you are a speed team instead of a strength and size team. But it pointed out the weakness. Our corners were fine for the most part and not the problem.

The game completely changed on the pick by SB. Bad throw and going down by two scores put a lot of pressure on the offense going into the second half, and we couldn't deliver.

I also want to say that I do appreciate the amount of effort Dykes put into the game plan to say thanks to the seniors. Lots of PT for Galliard and Sanders at WR. First play was Proche to Jones. Trick play TD on Free to Becker. Playing the walkon seniors at the end.

Now, let's look back on this season. Look, we managed to beat some decent teams. We lost on the road to three 10 win teams. What does that mean? We are a good team. We have some holes that we need to address to take the next step, and with an appropriate amount of planning time, teams take advantage of those holes. We aren't great, and we aren't top 25 good. Yet.

So, what do we need for next season to take the next step and win conference and stick around the top 25?

- We need a second deep threat WR. Roberson is really important to take the top off the defenses. You could actually argue that he was a bigger loss than if we lost Proche instead. We need two players who can take the top off the defense. Between Gray, Thad, and Wiggins, we should have that guy. But someone from that group needs to stand out for the offense to get back to what it was at the beginning of the season and provide an effectiveness that will last through the season. Rice, Granson, and James will provide other options. But we need two deep threats in case of injury. High confidence this happens between Gray, Thad, and Wiggins.

- We need Brooks, Shelmire, or Jordan to step up and win the RG job outright with a dominant spring+fall. We need that position to transition from below average to above average to have a consistent running game. This is a big unknown and Spring will tell a lot. We also need Ike to win the RT spot or someone to take a huge leap forward. Again, we "got by" with Morris or Bryant this season, but we need someone to perform above average. Might see a GT at RT? Regardless, the right side of the line needs to transition from below average to above average for the team to take the next step. With the number of possibilities and levels of recruits at those positions, I have high confidence that this will happen as well.

- We need Thomas, Ali, or Howerton to take a step forward and become dominant. All three are above average, sure, but we need a dominant offensive lineman to really change the game. A Beach or LeRibous stud who changes the game. There is potential with JT or Ali for that to happen, but it is required for us to be able to win in weather or bad field games. As Dykes says, we need to be able to run on 3rd and 1 when everyone knows that it is going to happen and not have to resort to the wildcat direct snap with a DT in the backfield. I have pretty high confidence this will happen, especially from JT.

- At DE, we have a good, solid two way player, Coxe, at one DE and a bunch of depth. Paul, Wiley, or a GT need to be a dominant pass rusher on the other side. Paul is our best chance for this to happen, but that would require a huge jump, which means we will rely on blitzing next season again. We have some solid young players at DT and the JUCO coming in; I'm also pretty confident another GT will be added to the mix. DT will be fine, we just need that "plus" LDE.

- We need a Nelson replacement and Moore back healthy. The player on the roster that might fit for Nelson is Jones with Denbow as a backup, but not sure if they are an answer. This is a huge defensive question mark that may need a GT. We also desperately need Moore to come back healthy. He can play well against both the run and the pass and is a huge upgrade at MLB in passing situations.

- Good lord, if we can never have a safety punt and get consistency in the kicking game.

In short, I'm pretty confident we will take another step forward on offense. And the good news is that our "floor" is an 8 win season. But I think we all want more than that at this point. Defense and special teams are going to be the big question marks that potentially prevent us from being really good. A Star player who can both cover and blitz, and a stud DE changes this defense completely when you look at the players we have coming back at corner and safety. Those two positions and a K/P will determine if we win conference next season and finish top 25.


Could you summarize this for us?
Oldmins
Varsity
 
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:07 am

Re: Thoughts on the bowl and the season... and next year

Postby JasonB » Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:06 pm

Yes. TL;DR :).
JasonB
PonyFans.com Super Legend
 
Posts: 6310
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2001 3:01 am
Location: Allen, Tx, USA

Re: Thoughts on the bowl and the season... and next year

Postby SMU Pom Mom » Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:46 pm

What concerns me most is that one team got to control the field like that. Seems completely unfair. Bowls should be played on neutral territory, period.
User avatar
SMU Pom Mom
Varsity
 
Posts: 370
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:50 pm

Re: Thoughts on the bowl and the season... and next year

Postby mtrout » Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:35 am

I don’t think we had any speed advantage over FAU. Roberson is our only truly fast guy. The rest of our guys are 4.5 at best.

Either way if you’re fast you’re fast on turf or grass. Field excuses are mega weak.
mtrout
Heisman
 
Posts: 1629
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:36 pm

Re: Thoughts on the bowl and the season... and next year

Postby Charleston Pony » Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:31 am

mtrout wrote:I don’t think we had any speed advantage over FAU. Roberson is our only truly fast guy. The rest of our guys are 4.5 at best.

Either way if you’re fast you’re fast on turf or grass. Field excuses are mega weak.


Agree and despite the slower track, we had several opportunities for big plays but just didn't make them. Started with Proche's underthrow on the 1st trick play we ran...was wide open and kind of set the tone. Buechele struggled with his accuracy all day as well. We just got whipped.
Charleston Pony
PonyFans.com Super Legend
 
Posts: 20781
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2000 3:01 am
Location: Stonebridge Golf Club, NC

Re: Thoughts on the bowl and the season... and next year

Postby Nacho » Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:45 am

Thanks JasonB. Awesime as usual.
But you know sometimes you just get beat.
Nacho
PonyFans.com Super Legend
 
Posts: 6030
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2000 4:01 am

Re: Thoughts on the bowl and the season... and next year

Postby ponyboy » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:04 pm

SMU Pom Mom wrote:What concerns me most is that one team got to control the field like that. Seems completely unfair. Bowls should be played on neutral territory, period.


That's a really good point that I've never thought about.
ponyboy
PonyFans.com Super Legend
 
Posts: 13266
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2000 4:01 am
Location: University Park,TX US

Re: Thoughts on the bowl and the season... and next year

Postby PonySnob » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:57 pm

SMU Pom Mom wrote:What concerns me most is that one team got to control the field like that. Seems completely unfair. Bowls should be played on neutral territory, period.


Didn’t help when we played Army.
Peruna is my mascot!
User avatar
PonySnob
PonyFans.com Super Legend
 
Posts: 11510
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 4:01 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Thoughts on the bowl and the season... and next year

Postby 78pony » Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:26 pm

Well done, jasonb. Thank you!
78pony
Heisman
 
Posts: 1199
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 3:01 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Thoughts on the bowl and the season... and next year

Postby Insane_Pony_Posse » Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:51 pm

JasonB wrote:if we win conference next season and finish top 25.


I guess that will be the "take the next step" goal next year, because I can't really see us winning more regular season games next year than we did this year.
C-ya @ Milos!
User avatar
Insane_Pony_Posse
PonyFans.com Legend
 
Posts: 4358
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:36 pm
Location: Dallas, Texas

Re: Thoughts on the bowl and the season... and next year

Postby SMUstang » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:42 pm

In short, I'm pretty confident we will take another step forward on offense. And the good news is that our "floor" is an 8 win season. But I think we all want more than that at this point. Defense and special teams are going to be the big question marks that potentially prevent us from being really good. A Star player who can both cover and blitz, and a stud DE changes this defense completely when you look at the players we have coming back at corner and safety. Those two positions and a K/P will determine if we win conference next season and finish top 25.

Thanks JasonB - I think we will see improvement. I have confidence in Sonny.
SMUstang
All-American
 
Posts: 910
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2000 4:01 am
Location: Horseshoe Bay, TX, USA

Re: Thoughts on the bowl and the season... and next year

Postby peruna81 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:16 pm

special teams will be critical...at least one of our losses this past campaign was largely due to that deficiency.

9 wins regular season, 10 wins with the bowl...we win the Gumby Bowl this time.
stable-boy for the four horsemen of the apocalypse
peruna81
Hall of Famer
 
Posts: 2699
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2001 4:01 am
Location: central Texas

Next

Return to Football

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests