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Maryland game thoughts

Postby JasonB » Sat Sep 17, 2022 11:17 pm

I basically live tweeted the game, but here are my overall thoughts:

- First I just want to say, I thought we gave a really good showing as a team away at a Big ten school. Maryland isn't going to win the Big 10, but I do think their offense is going to score a ton of points and they are middle of the pack (better than most of the West schools). The 4th and 9 was the turning point, but I think SMU wins if they didn't get messed over on the back to back incomplete and TM fumble horrible calls. That said, the power running game was there all night long for Maryland and they did a terrible job of not just running it down our throats. You can't go on the road against a big 10 team and turn the ball over 3 times and fail to score 3 times inside the ten. But we also have to recognize that the Maryland penalties helped us out a ton.
- TM was way too amped up and putting too much behind every pass all night long. He missed a lot of throws, and if Rice wasn't amazing, the game would have been a big challenge. Preston isn't at the same level as TM, and TM deserves to start. But he choked in the game. He should have hit Rice on the out at the goalline, then the 4th down to Rice was terrible, and then the last 4th down pass to Rice on the slant was just not good. He also stopped looking at the entire field and just waited for Rice to get open, staring him down at times. He will have a lot of tape to learn from.
- The number of deep shots in this game is still amazing compared to last year's offense.
- TE position really underperformed outside of the TD from Maryland. The slip on the INT and then a bunch of drops. We didn't see RJ after the TD, and I'm not sure why. He is a big time difference maker on the field. I'd love to hear if he was hurt. He looked ready to go in on that last drive.
- At WR, Losing Kerley sucks, and that didn't look good. Dixon wasn't playing at the end, not sure what happened there. Never saw Knox, and TM rarely looked for 10 or 13 when they were out there. Nice to see Bailey show up, but we need a second receiver to show up, because the team only scored 7 after halftime and teams are going to find ways to eliminate Rice.
- OL was inconsistent and I will reply back tomorrow with the stats. I thought the matchup would be difficult. Condon did okay, but then let some pressures in and gave up at least one sack. I think HIckman struggled a bit. Running game was very inconsistent, and the lack of a push hurt us in the redzone. I was surprised we weren't able to run the ball a little better in short yardage, specifically behind Bryant and Thomas. IN the first half, I thought the type of run was a mistake, because we would kind of flow outside against the 3 man front, and it would allow time for the safeties to come in and fill the space. Later in the first half and early second, we ran more directly at the tackles and it was more effective.
- DT we got lucky in the first half where Maryland only attacked DT for one drive. 40, 96, and 92 are players (92 didn't play), but 91 and 98 have really struggled this season and it has been quite a bit disappointing. We actually started Brown (39), which surprised me, but he struggled as well. Those guys have size, but haven't held up strength wise this year. It should be a strength of depth, but to this point this year, the depth has underperformed and it is something that need to change if we are going to win conference.
- DE I suspect the ratings are going to be okay again, but we just aren't able to generate pressures from the group. Really surprised with how little time Jones got today, and I wonder if he is hurt. I think the Maryland OL has improved a lot this year, and we are going to find out they are pretty good. But we couldn't pressure them much at all. A stud edge is a gap that we have that is preventing the defense from really turning a corner.
- LB we just got worn out as the game went on. Their physicality in the goal line situations wasn't very good - nobody was blowing up a blocker, and I think 12 is going to singled out in the tape sessions. We shortened the rotation here more than we needed to in this game, and it really cost us in the end.
- CB - I don't think we were horrible at corner. We blew coverages twice, one cost us for the TD, and the other was dropped, but I'm not sure if that was the corner or the Safety. Given how much field the safety had to cover, I suspect it was the corner. I'm interested to see the stats, but they had to work a LOT because of the lack of pressure, and I think they held up okay.
- S - Losing Massey was a killer. The whole plan was to go with double FS, to get Massey, Roberts, and Crossley on the field at the same time. HIs injury absolutely killed us. First drive afterwards was the blown coverage TD pass. We kept trying to play with 22 and 13 and it killed us. Eventually we switched and got NWO back in there at strong safety and that helped a bit, but I was surprised to see us not go back to the 2 + 20 rotation at strong safety after the injury. Honestly, I would rather see our frosh Moses out there instead of 13 or 18, and get him up to speed before conference.
- K - Rogers just hooked the long field goal, but was perfect otherwise. Overkicked that one a little. Really surprised to see Hall not get the ball into the endzone more, I think there must have been some wind? He messed up kicking the ball down the middle a few times, which cost us last season. Hopefully they get him a bit more focused. The kickoff coverage was disappointing, but I think part of it was on him.

I don't want to seem too negative, because I think most teams in our league would get absolutely killed playing at Maryland. We put up over 500 yards of offense on the road against a Big 10 team, and we only gave up 430 against a really, really good offensive team. It seems pretty clear now that every team in the league has flaws this season, and as long as we get some WR back, we are going to be able to outscore a lot of teams, and there isn't a single team in the league that we don't have the ability to beat. But to really compete for a championship, We need a little more on the defensive side: we need a DE to step up and become a threat off the edge, we need the depth at DT to step up, and Massey needs to get healthy. If we can get that, I think we become the clear favorite. If not, we are going to have a lot of 50-50 games on the schedule that will prevent us from reaching the championship game.

This is going to be very unpopular, but I'm an advocate of sitting anyone who needs to heal up against TCU. I really want to win a conference championship, and that takes priority in my mind over the TCU game. Let's play the younger DE and see if someone can step up, and let's get Massey and our WR room healthy. And I want to see Moses backing up Roberts at FS.
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Re: Maryland game thoughts

Postby Doesntmatter » Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:11 am

I agree with everything you said here with one exception. It's unfortunate we didn't win and I think last year's (Sonny's team) would not even showed up for this Maryland team. The exception is the TCU game. I believe it is very important to avoid going to UCF on a two game losing streak. I don't think this program has developed the mental toughness to overcome two disappointing losses (at least yet). I'd play anyone that can go and hopefully they will want to show that this Maryland loss is behind them and show we are good enough to beat anyone on our conference schedule. How we react to TCU will show a lot about the culture the new coaching staff is creating. I also think TM will be calmer at home and will learn from the Maryland experience.
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Re: Maryland game thoughts

Postby SoCal_Pony » Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:34 am

good analysis Jason.

I agree it would be nice to accomplish something this school hasn't in decades....a football championship
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Re: Maryland game thoughts

Postby EastStang » Sun Sep 18, 2022 7:46 am

I’m not sure why Maryland wasn’t in more plays either. RR was getting double coverage which would mean a linebacker on the tight end. Tanner over threw all night. Missed wide open Maryland in the end zone. He was clearly looking for Rice. Run defense is our Achilles heel.UNT, Lamar and now MD have run the ball with impunity. MD was very undisciplined. TM fumbled looked close on stadium replay. Beat the Frogs.
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Re: Maryland game thoughts

Postby PonyTime » Sun Sep 18, 2022 8:22 am

I think that there are some recruiting optics as well as conference affiliation optics that are far too important to not put everything (and everyone) on the field this next weekend.

I could be wrong, but a W over TCU may mean more to recruiting and to conference expansion than a conference title. Also - I am pretty sure that the winner of the American this year may end up being a 1-2 loss team and there will be forgiveness for dropping one or perhaps even two games as the teams are so level this year and will be beating each other up.

But let's go out there and beat TCU and then win the conference just to be sure!
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Re: Maryland game thoughts

Postby peruna81 » Sun Sep 18, 2022 9:22 am

First, I am not a betting man in any way shape or form...,
But if I was a betting man on SMU football, I would read and study JasonB prognostications. He was spot on.

Maryland ran the ball straight at our depleted D-Line. It eventually took a toll. I thought the defense was overall solid, especially since they were short-fielded a couple of times.

Tanner played poorly, at least for him. In spite of that, we were in it in the last minute.

Rice was phenomenal. WRs played BIG. O-Line couldn't get a push beyond a yard or two, and Siggers and TJ ran with heart.

Effort was there. Lahlee coached to win. Refs missed key calls, but that wasn't the reason we lost. We turned the ball over in the red zone.

Key to next week: FINISH.
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Re: Maryland game thoughts

Postby JasonB » Sun Sep 18, 2022 11:24 am

Additional notes:

- Tanner had 5 throwaways and 4 dropped passes. Take that out of the passing stats and it looks a lot better. Hurried 14 times, sacked 3 times. Certainly under duress, but he really put too much into his passes. Interesting note is that his NFL Passer Rating in a clean pocket was 90.3 and not blitzed was 83.2. When blitzed he was 53.9 and under pressure 39.6. He speeds everything up when he is under pressure, it is something he needs to get better at. I also think those numbers are interesting for those screaming about wanting to run the ball when they were only rushing 3. Numbers wise, he was really effective against that look. Also, officially 5/8 on passes over 20 yards, but that doesn't count the PIs Rice drew. Tanner was 18/28 between the numbers (with both picks), and then 9/15 outside right (Rice), and 2/6 to the left. Need to spread the field more.
- TE snaps: Redding 60, Haskin 21, RJ 21. That needs to change.
- WR Snaps: Rice 90, Goffney 3, Kerley 25, Dixon 19, Upshaw 79, Knox 1, Bailey 79, Daniels 6. Bailey and Rice I expect their counts to be high. But while Upshaw is a solid play, he isn't a difference maker like Kerley and Dixon can be. Interested to see if Dixon got hurt as well, I haven't seen a report.
- RB snaps: Siggers 54, McDaniel 15, Gardner 22, Lavine 2, Wheaton 8. Pretty much expected until Wheaton is fully healthy.
- On the OL, Hickman and Bryant actually graded out really well. I was expecting Bryant, but thought Hickman had struggled, but he was only credited with allowing 1 hurry. Hickman, Bryant, Bissinger, Osborne , and JT all graded out extremely well in pass blocking. Condon was the weakpoint again, allowing 2 sacks, another hit, and 4 hurries for a total of 7 pressures. This was the matchup I had concerns about coming in, and it proved out. Interesting note that TM was hurried 23 times, but the OL was only credited with 10 of those. This means there are a lot of plays where either the RB isn't picking a guy up, or we are letting a guy run free off the blitz. So even though they are grading well, there are some coordination issues. Run blocking, Hickman, Condon, and Bissinger did the best job, while Bryant, Osborne, and Thomas struggled a bit. Concerning to see those last three struggle against better competition, because I think they have more potential in the running game than the others, and are certainly way more explosive off the line than the others.
- Brown and Newman graded out poorly, as expected at DT. I'm a little surprised that Chatman and Levelston graded out low, but both were charged with missed tackles, and both vacated their run gaps to try to pressure the QB. Chatman was credited with 4 pressures and 2 sacks, which is amazing from a DT. I'm still surprised we didn't use 98 more because he graded out better than Brown or Newman, and looks better to my eye as well. Overall our DT run defense ratings pretty much looked as you would expect after seing Maryland run the ball straight up the middle. Chatman and Levelston weren't even able to make enough tackles in run defense when they were in there together, so it wasn't just the secondary players.
- DE Snaps: Wiley 57, Paul 47, Smith 8, Aho 12. Not sure why Jones didn't play, but we missed him. Aho was injured and didn't play the run well. Wiley was good against the run but didn't get much out of the pass rush, and Paul graded poorly on the pass rush as well. We absolutely need to get more out of our edge pass rush for the defense to take the next step.
- At LB, Slade was all over the place and rated really high, but Phillips struggled with some missed tackles and didn't have a great game. Reid graded out poorly, especially in the running game, which I expected. Need more physicality out of that group. The lack of physicality by this group and lack of depth shown at DT needs to get fixed before Navy for sure.
- CB Snaps: Hall 22, Davis 22, Armani 39, Crossley 54, Westfall 39. Really excited about how many snaps Hall and Davis played and how well they graded out. Corners graded out okay, which wasn't a surprise. Crossley was actually the worst, giving up 4/4 for 39 yards and a 107 rating. Most of their completions came against LB, DE, and S.
- S snaps: Roberson 22, NWO 23, Roberts 57, Adimora 1, Massey 20. Really surprised Roberson was used over Adimora. Roberson actually graded out extremely high on PFF, even though he gave up 2/2 for 65 and a TD with a perfect NFL rating. Not sure how that happens, because he was caught out of position on the one long pass and then got lucky on the drop.
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Re: Maryland game thoughts

Postby SoCal_Pony » Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:06 pm

JasonB wrote:Additional notes:

Interesting note is that his NFL Passer Rating in a clean pocket was 90.3 and not blitzed was 83.2. When blitzed he was 53.9 and under pressure 39.6. He speeds everything up when he is under pressure, it is something he needs to get better at.


TM certainly had an off day.

But I remember prior to SB LV thinking the Chiefs would win because of their offense and specifically Patrick Mahomes. But continual pressure turned a generational QB into a Dak-like one (ie average QB who chokes under pressure).

So it happens.

I also question how well Preston would have performed. He’s our future, a very bright one at that, but he’s also not experienced as TM.
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Re: Maryland game thoughts

Postby redpony » Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:09 pm

agree- Preston Stone needs experience. IMO if he doesn't see a lot of action this year he may be gone. I think he should have played a series or two against MD and perhaps that might have given TM some time to settle down.
Of course with a porous D and poor pass D it might not have made that much difference.
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Re: Maryland game thoughts

Postby Glenn Sosbee » Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:51 pm

Is it TM or BH? Often hard to tell. Those two ugly picks were the difference in the game last night and unacceptable IMO. You cannot just carelessly turn the ball over like that in close games against good teams, it’s just that simple.
That being said, this would be the ideal week to make a change at QB and go with PS.
We need to shake things up and take Sonny and the frogs by surprise, kind of like Ron Meyer did back in the day when he started Lance Mcllhenny at Austin and we beat the horns 20-6.
Sonny will have had 2 weeks to prepare for a team and offense he is already intimately familiar with.
The time is now to go with dual-threat Preston Stone, our highest rated recruit in decades and the future of this program. I think that gives us the best chance to knock off Sonny and the frogs this Saturday on the Hilltop.
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Re: Maryland game thoughts

Postby Topper » Sun Sep 18, 2022 3:56 pm

Thanks for the excellent analysis as usual JasonB. But I really want to beat TCU this year.
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Re: Maryland game thoughts

Postby EastStang » Sun Sep 18, 2022 9:01 pm

I was thinking in short yardage put in an option package with Levine, Camar, and SOC QB. We might not face a D line as good as Maryland but it would be a nice curve ball to throw now and then.
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Re: Maryland game thoughts

Postby PNW_Stang » Mon Sep 19, 2022 8:47 am

Beating TCU is the most important thing this year IMO. Will probably be our most sold out game ever at Ford., at least as far as number of SMU fans. We can’t lose it. We need to generate new fans, and kick Sonny’s [deleted] in the process. I would rather beat TCU and lose every game. Just the way CFB is now too now that it isn’t as regional - TCU is the only game on the schedule that really means anything to some of us. UCF/ECU/Temple? Doesn’t have any emotions to it.
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Re: Maryland game thoughts

Postby JasonB » Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:23 am

Glenn Sosbee wrote:Is it TM or BH? Often hard to tell. Those two ugly picks were the difference in the game last night and unacceptable IMO. You cannot just carelessly turn the ball over like that in close games against good teams, it’s just that simple.
That being said, this would be the ideal week to make a change at QB and go with PS.
We need to shake things up and take Sonny and the frogs by surprise, kind of like Ron Meyer did back in the day when he started Lance Mcllhenny at Austin and we beat the horns 20-6.
Sonny will have had 2 weeks to prepare for a team and offense he is already intimately familiar with.
The time is now to go with dual-threat Preston Stone, our highest rated recruit in decades and the future of this program. I think that gives us the best chance to knock off Sonny and the frogs this Saturday on the Hilltop.


The second pick was the TE falling down, that isn't on TM. The first one he airmailed and threw it too hot.
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Re: Maryland game thoughts

Postby EastStang » Mon Sep 19, 2022 12:16 pm

I was at the game and didn't have instant replay but on the play where the tight end fell down, it was hot and high. I am not sure that the tight end would have been able to catch it. Also missing a wide open Maryland in the endzone was on TM as well. When you lose by one touchdown with so many opportunities to win, it is frustrating, but does show that we can stand toe to toe with a Big Ten team (albeit a lower tier one). I would say that Maryland will not face an offense that high powered until they play Ohio State later in the year. Unfortunately for them, they will face a ton of better defenses than us the rest of the year.
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