Coach V’s Grades: Texas-KSU

Kris Boyd (Justin Wells/IT)

Kris Boyd (Justin Wells/IT)

We started the game with three off-sides penalties in the first five plays and set our tone to coast on until time to catch the plane. Poona Ford (95) played very well. Chris Nelson (97) is our best defensive player and he played well again. DeShon Elliott (4) had a good game in a brief appearance. Edwin Freeman (35) had two big plays but his linebacking lacks energy. Malcolm Roach (32) found the ball better than anyone but he has physical problems when aligned on the space island which is where we apparently want him numerous times. Kris Boyd (2) played much better than his final stats—beat on a great catch where he had terrific coverage and a tough interference penalty marred a pretty good effort on his part. That’s all , folks.

I wish I understood our LB assignments. They spend every down bouncing up and back from the LOS apparently bluffing a wild ass charge which quickly turns into a passive drifting toward the flow until they can latch on to a blocking lineman where they can surrender with minimal contact. That’s assuming we actually go the correct way on flow. We must spend our entire drill practice time perfecting the bluff and back technique because it’s every down important. I wonder if we spent say 1/2 of that time on taking on and defeating blocks we might actually resemble real LB’s because right now we are total frauds and that’s being kind.

I decided to chart the number of times our LB’s were totally blocked (swallowed) by opposing linemen. 37 times in one game between the four and that doesn’t count partial blocks. We had seven missed assignments. We must have thought the QB draw was against the rules. We must have thought we were playing Tech because we covered 15-25 yards deep many times—everybody knows K-State throws deep curls and stuff so we were getting a head start on them tricky devils.

It’s really a sad state of affairs when you are aligned in a pass happy conference and you have a whole group of DB’s that can’t cover anything but grass but make up for it by not being able to tackle anything moving. Our DB’s also have the ability to lock up with blockers and stay latched until the threat of the ball has long gone past. The secret is to make it look convincing and we are masters in that respect. TCU, Baylor, and West Virginia probably won’t throw against us until after the opening kickoff so we have time to fix it.

Here are the grades:
90—Omenihu—C
two immediate offsides penalties on first two plays. lost LOS on sweep. good tackle QB. too far upfield on zone. caught inside on sweep.

44—Hager—C-
offsides penalty to give 1st down. MA on QB on GL. good sack. lost LOS. MT. tipped pass. Roughing passer penalty. caught inside on sweep.

32—Roach—B+
good edge stunt tackle. good hustle tackle. good tackle QB. blocked on screen in space. hustle tackle on QB. MT in space after long run.

91—Cottrell—C+
late hit passer penalty. good hustle tackle 25 yards downfield. caught inside on pass rush.

93—Boyette—B+
GT zone. hustle tackle in pursuit. pass rush below par.

95—Ford—A-
GT zone. good pursuit tackle power. G tfl zone. great hustle tackle on QB. good tackle pursuit. won LOS.

97—Nelson—A-
GT zone. GT pursuit. good pursuit tackle on screen. GT iso. good hustle tackle. big play tfl. won LOS.

98—Christmas—B
no stats but gave rotation snaps briefly.

46—Jefferson—D
12 totally blocked’s. GT QB on GL. MT on blitz. MT. MT on td run. GT on pass. MT. GOFT. terrible effort on QB draw that scored. needs to be replaced in the starting lineup.

45—Wheeler—D-
14 totally blocked’s. MT. MA on GL wide scrape. GT qB. MT. MA on zone. terrible effort on QB draw that scored td. MA flow —5 times. needs to be benched period.

35—Freeman—C+
4 totally blocked’s. interception and run plus play. fumble recovery. MT draw. over-run zone. good plug tackle zone. MT.

30—Cole—C
7 totally blocked’s. bad angle 3 times. good sack. MT.

23—McCulloch—C
Missed sack froze. MT. screen assist.

14—Haines—C
MT. MT power. blocked bad on edge stunt. MT. GOFT. GOFT.

31—Hall—C+
poor angle. GT zone. beat deep but got pbu on underthrow. MT.

11—Locke—B
good spill on edge stunt. late on screen.

4—Elliott—A-
big hit tackle zone. big hit tackle on curl. kickoff tackle. needs more snaps period.

24—Bonney—D
MT td. poor edge stunt. MT power. MT curl. pass interference penalty. beat td GL. MT. blocked screen. needs to be replaced.

2—Boyd—B
beat deep to a great catch. pass interference penalty. GOFT. GOFT. only CB that will fight thru a screen/hitch block. one of our best four for sure.

25—Davis—B
kickoff tackle. GT screen. blocked screen.

1—Evans—B
hustle tackle. played very sparingly.

Still waiting on the “I’ll fix the defense—it’s what I do” promise.

Shane Buechele (Justin Wells/IT)

Shane Buechele (Justin Wells/IT)

We had several individuals play extremely well this week despite a noticeable drop off in snap numbers due to time of possession. It would be a shame to ignore those efforts because of an lackluster performance as a team. D Foreman (33) continues to be our best player. Vahe (77) had a brilliant game. Williams (55) had a strong game minus two pass blocking efforts. McMillon (64) had a terrific game at center and his one low snap wasn’t gosh awful by any means. Perkins (76) was super despite three slow pulls on the counter which isn’t his strong suit. Duvernay (2) had another big play td. Joe (5), Oliver (6), Johnson (9), and Warrick (11) all had plus efforts.

I just think the system is misleading in it’s presentation. I have trouble finding the wide open aspect of our attack. We threw 11 hitch completions. We threw 4 screen completions. In fairness, we also bounced and floated a few along with the snags. We hit a 80 yard screen and go for six and missed on three deep balls—one drop and two interference flags in the final quarter.

We don’t throw in the middle of the field period. We don’t throw intermediate routes other than an occasional quick out. Where exactly do we take advantage of our speed and athletic talent if we don’t give our guys the chance to compete for the ball downfield. Serving them up on slow delivering hitches and unblocked screens is our answer to the defensive alignments. I’m missing something here.

I would go into clock management and sense of urgency play calling but I don’t have the time to whittle away on a breathe I will want back sometime later in life. We are what we are. That’s the name of that tune. Here are the grades:

7—Shane—B-
too many throws that aren’t receiver friendly on hitches and screens. big time deep throws to 2 and 3. happy feet in pocket. bad read on keep. good scramble. we need better audibles from either Shane or Gilbert.

18—Swoopes—A-
did his job and did it well. good td run.

33—Foreman—A-
warrior. best player played up to his grade. one bounce outside didn’t work but that was after 5 straight carries.

2—Duvernay—A-
big play td. it’s a puzzle why he doesn’t get at least one wheel/fly a quarter in our wide open attack. right now it seems like a higher percentage success rate than our screen game.

3—Foreman—B
caught one hitch. dropped a deep ball late was very catchable.

5—Joe—A-
good block on hitch. caught one screen.

6—Oliver—A-
good cut block screen. caught one hitch with good run after catch.

8—Leonard—B+
caught one hitch. caught one out. dropped one slant on 4th down. td catch on deep cross.

9—Johnson—A-
caught 4 hitches. good run after one catch. good block screen.

11—Warrick—A-
caught two hitches.

13—Heard—B
caught one hitch. one false start penalty.

42—Bluiett—B
good block 18 wheeler. didn’t play usual amount of snaps.

55—Williams—A-
GB zone. BRB. GB zone. GB ctr. great block td run. pass blocking very average for his standards.

58—Hodges—C+
pull too slow on counter. BPB. BPB. tried to tough out bad ankle but was obviously handicapped.

64—McMillon—A-
GB zone. pancake zone. pancake MLB on zone. BRB. GB zone. great block zone. GB counter. damn I like me some Jake—hope we offer his brother cause it’s winner’s genes.

75—Nickelson—D
GB zone. BRB. BPB sack. BRB. BPB. pull too slow twice. very non aggressive.

77—Vahe—A-
good pull block. GB zone. GB zone. GB zone. GB zone. GB counter. BPB. GB zone. Super game.

76—Perkins—B
GB zone. pancake zone. GPB. BRB. GB zone. pull too slow three times. BPB. GB zone.

My grading system is based on total points earned against number of plays played. The points are awarded individually on each and every separate play. There are five different possible grades for each play. Players may earn a plus three (3) for a five star type play—-plus two (2) for above average execution—-plus one (1) for doing their job successfully—-zero (0) for getting beat but knowing and attempting their assignment—-and minus 3 (-3) for a missed assignment.

Each player has a total number of points and a total number of his own individual plays. You divide the total number of plays into the total number of points which gives you scale. The grading scale is as follows:

Any player averaging one point per play (1.0) grades out a B which is winning football. If a player plays 60 plays with 60 total points he would earn a passing grade—each point he goes over the total number of plays raises his grade accordingly. The system is built around rewarding any player that doesn’t beat himself or his team with mental mistakes.

The system also punishes any player that knows what to do but loses too many individual battles. If a player plays 60 plays but loses 10 of those with zero special plays (60 plays—50 points) he falls below the 1.0 needed for a passing grade of B.

I use the plus/minus (A-, B+, etc,) when the numbers indicate a partial add or subtract from the grade. This system was used by my first coaching staff and I kinda carried it with me for thirty years—it’s not perfect but it gives the position coach a measuring stick for his individual players.

The only way to earn the highest grade of A is to play a perfect game. I’ve had exactly zero up to right now so great games still can be better so A- is a very popular second best. This system and my grades will always be subjective filled with agree and disagree opinions. It’s entirely fair for disagreement (without it we might not have horse races) but it’s important to remember that each play only counts once instead of allowing a big mistake to have major influence on an individual’s final grade.

Shortcuts to reduce typing overload.

BRB—beat on a run block.
BPB—beat on a pass block.
GL—goal line.
SY—short yardage.
MT—missed tackle.
MA—missed assignment.
GFT—good fill tackle.
GOFT—good open field tackle.
PBU—pass break up.
tfl—tackle for loss.
5 star—play that most can’t make.