Reply To: James Madison

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Just got back in. I actually left after 3 – which I’ve never done before. I didn’t foresee things getting better, and was dreading the drive, so I took off. Thankfully, I wasn’t there for the onsides kick. Damn that’s harsh.
Not the football guru, but will share what I saw. I’d have a hard time being too tough on coaches and scheme based on this game. You guys clearly have a better perspective on the recent history. But what I saw clearly was bigger, stronger, better athletes. Any one-on-one situation was very telling at the skill spots. If there was a lead blocker for a JMU ball-carrier, he buried the defender in front of him – no chance, every time. Particularly once a they got to the second level, as others have mentioned. I’m no judge of tackling technique, but it looked like better athletes breaking tackles, to me.
My guess is that the run-first game plan was based on our pass protection. Shaf had (or took) little time to make reads, and quickly decided to throw or run. Watching Lee in the pocket was 180-degrees different; you could see him looking around, progressing through reads, etc. I saw a former LU qb make a similar comment on twitter – one read and go.
What I couldn’t tell for sure is whether the pressure was really that tough, or if Shaf was just “feeling” the pressure. Another look at the game might tell more; was he really so rushed, or some combination of distrust of protection and happy feet?
I’m no judge of how much we’ve slipped, but I think it’s possible that JMU has also really taken a leap. I agree with somebody else’s post that they could likely compete with a fair number of FBS schools. And I too have lost my appetite for FBS games.
If anybody wants a bright spot, I’ve got one. Dom’s top-end speed is legit. I was in perfect position to watch his long run on that early short pass. He was not getting caught. Again, based on my perception of the JMU athletes, I don’t think PL guys are gonna catch him if he finds some daylight. Somebody else will have to judge his initial burst to the line – different measure.
Anybody have a grasp on the injuries? I picked up talk of Brisker getting dinged, saw Cavenas looking gimpy (but didn’t look serious, I think), and I’m guessing TP wasn’t fully recovered and had to sit back down. Barret’s looked like it could be more serious; I saw a brace/splint and crutches. Were there others?