New NU Offense

Discussion in 'Wildcat Football Board' started by Fitzphile, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. Fitzphile

    Fitzphile Well-Known Member
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    Great article in The Athletic on how the 2000 NU offense behind Walk and Wilson changed college football and influenced Urban Meyer. Great photos of the 2000 players. Some excerpts:

    Wilson was in Ohio State’s offensive staff meeting room last Tuesday after a bye-week practice, replaying a scene from back in 2000 when he, Walker and the rest of the staff were in Northwestern’s meeting room, trying to piece together what would become their spread offense attack that year.

    “I can’t believe we’re doing this,” Walker said, before slamming the door and leaving the rest of his staff to wonder if they’d made the wrong decision.

    In Northwestern’s first scrimmage, the offense ran 48 plays and scored six touchdowns. It worked quickly because the team had smart players and, it turns out, the right personnel to run the offense. Quarterback Zak Kustok, a transfer from Notre Dame, was somewhat limited as a thrower, but smart and athletic enough to make the quarterback run element work. Running back Damien Anderson became a revelation in that offense, rushing for 2,063 yards during that 2000 season. Northwestern had good receivers, including slot Sam Simmons, and an offensive line that took to the new offense immediately.

    “We didn’t have any depth,” Wilson said, “but we had five good ones.”

    That 2000 Northwestern team went from one of the worst offenses in college football the previous season to averaging 38.6 points per game while ranking No. 8 in the country in rushing (257 yards per game), No. 51 in passing (218 yards per game) and No. 3 in total offense. It finished the season 8-4, including three wins by one possession, and earned a share of the Big Ten title.


    https://theathletic.com/1293414/201...nced-urban-meyer-ryan-day-and-so-many-others/
     
  2. NURoseBowl

    NURoseBowl Well-Known Member
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    Damn, was that team fun to watch . . .
     
  3. HappyNUyear

    HappyNUyear Well-Known Member
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    We only wish for that high octane offense again.
     
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  4. Titanium999

    Titanium999 Well-Known Member
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    I loved that offense
     
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  5. EvanstonCat

    EvanstonCat Well-Known Member
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    Someone send the article to Pat Fitzgerald.
     
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  6. corbi296

    corbi296 Well-Known Member
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    It was Pat Fitzgerald who put a fork in that style of offense. I think you’ll remember those teams did not have very good performing defenses. That’s not a coincidence. That’s just not how Fitz believes football should be played and not how he believes NU can be most successful. As long as Fitz is around, NU’s preferred style of play and recruiting focus will be one that is defense centric with a complementary ball control style offense.

    If you want something different, you’ll have to convince NU to get rid of Fitz. Good luck with that.
     
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  7. julescat

    julescat Well-Known Member
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    A couple more years like this and it will be sayonara Fitz.
     
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  8. NorthNJCatsfan

    NorthNJCatsfan Well-Known Member
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    Don’t bet on it.
     
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  9. DaCat

    DaCat Well-Known Member
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    If we don't revive our offense, the future could be painfully boring.
     
  10. corbi296

    corbi296 Well-Known Member
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    I highly doubt we’ll have a couple of more consecutive years like this and I doubt even more that they’d get rid of Fitz if they did. I know some around of here would like to see that but thankfully I don’t think there is a chance in hell of that happening.
     
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  11. corbi296

    corbi296 Well-Known Member
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    I don’t find winning a lot of games 17-13 painfully boring. Quite the opposite.
     
  12. CoralSpringsCat

    CoralSpringsCat Well-Known Member
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    I'd love to bored like last season.
     
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  13. EvanstonCat

    EvanstonCat Well-Known Member
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    I think I remember those teams had Greg Colby as our DC.

    Just like our teams now have Mick McCall as our OC.
     
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  14. HappyNUyear

    HappyNUyear Well-Known Member
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    except the O was high powered and could move the ball
     
  15. evanston09

    evanston09 Well-Known Member
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    Saying you want a ball control offense to maximize a good defense’s performance is an absolutely ludicrous goal.

    The goal is to have the best football team. Who gives a damn about how you get there. The offense scoring points so frequently that the defense doesn’t get much rest is a GOOD thing.
     
  16. FeralFelidae

    FeralFelidae Well-Known Member
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    NÜ Offense
     
  17. corbi296

    corbi296 Well-Known Member
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    Exactly and Fitz thinks that this formula, a dominant defense with a ball control offense, is the one that gives NU the best chance to win consistently and big.
     
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  18. julescat

    julescat Well-Known Member
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    Gonna get Fitz fired in two years.
     
  19. Fitzphile

    Fitzphile Well-Known Member
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    Seriously doubt that.
     
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  20. corbi296

    corbi296 Well-Known Member
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    Ditto.
     
  21. corbi296

    corbi296 Well-Known Member
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    The evidence certainly seems to support him. The last 4 seasons were a period of unparalleled success for the program and they did it using Fitz’s formula.
     
  22. wildcatpn

    wildcatpn Well-Known Member
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    They don’t have a ball control offense. They have a 3 and out offense. If he really wants a ball control offense then get rid of the spread and turn into Wisconsin with a pro style smash mouth offense. And before you say they can’t possibly do that with this oline then he should’ve thought of that years ago when he was recruiting linemen that don’t fit a ball control offense.
     
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  23. corbi296

    corbi296 Well-Known Member
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    No doubt the offense is terrible right now but it is a ball control offense. It’s an offense geared to keep the clock running, an offense geared towards minimizing the risk of turnovers particularly on your own side of the field and an offense that realizes that there a lot worse outcomes for an offense than a punt. It’s not sexy but until they learn to execute better, it’s the offense we got.
     
  24. wildcatpn

    wildcatpn Well-Known Member
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    If they want ball control and to keep the clock running then huddle. Stop the no huddle and turn into a power running, play action passing team. With the wider splits by the oline in the spread, you open yourself up for more penetration into the backfield which leaves you vulnerable to more tackles for loss and big hits in the backfield that can cause turnovers. Also causes more space for dlinemen to work and get to the QB. If they want to truly be ball control then recruit an oline that can maul people and dedicate yourself to the run with play action.
     
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  25. corbi296

    corbi296 Well-Known Member
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    Huddling? Come on. What’s the point in huddling when you control the tempo just as much at the line of scrimmage while also being able to read a defense before you snap the ball.

    I believe they intend to keep the spread offense because it is not incompatible with a ball control philosophy. As far as OL recruiting is concerned, you are preaching to the choir. That’s exactly what Fitz and Anderson want to do and you can see with the 2020 commitments that they are off to a very good start. I believe they’ll get the OL where they want it to be but it will take another year or two.
     
  26. evanston09

    evanston09 Well-Known Member
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    I think you (knowingly) missed the point.
    The point is that a “ball control offense” is a moronic concept to desire for your offense to be.

    if you rely on analytics, as Fitz says he does, a ball control offense is an admission you believe you are bad. If you believe you are truly good, you want more possessions as more possessions lower the impact of variance in the results and leads to outcomes that more truly reflect ability. It’s the same reason underdogs consistently slow down basketball games.

    To desire fewer possessions is to amplify the effect of variance. A pick six is a much bigger deal in a game where each team has 4 possessions than in one where they have 10.

    So, to desire fewer possessions either says you are worse (fine if you are) or that you simply do not get how to help your team win.

    TLDR: A ball control offense should only be used if you think you actually don’t have a good defense.
     
  27. Gladeskat

    Gladeskat Well-Known Member
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    Doesn't Alabama run a ball control offense?

    Where does available talent fit into your offensive modeling? NU is consistently in the bottom half of the Big Ten in overall talent.
     
  28. Fitzphile

    Fitzphile Well-Known Member
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    No. In fact, they have transitioned to a 4 receiver scheme given that they have the best WRs in college football. They also run some hurry-up.
     
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  29. Gladeskat

    Gladeskat Well-Known Member
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    I try to avoid watching SEC football as much as I can.
     
  30. TXnumbCAT

    TXnumbCAT Well-Known Member
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    Losing games 9-7 is painfully boring.
     
  31. HappyNUyear

    HappyNUyear Well-Known Member
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    Les Miles fired his OC and brought in a new OC and went Spread. They Kansas lost 50-48 in Austin in a shootout.

    I like most like other miss the high powered offense of years gone by.
     
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  32. Hungry Jack

    Hungry Jack Well-Known Member
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    Amazing thing about that game was a blocked KU PAT that gave UT 2 points, and swung the game by 3 points. Reverse that play, and it’s 49 -45 KU when UT is down to its final few plays.
     
  33. Fitzphile

    Fitzphile Well-Known Member
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    People scoffed at Les Miles taking over at KU. I'd say he's had a pretty good year 1 at a dumpster fire of a football program.
     
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  34. cidsports

    cidsports Well-Known Member
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    It was Kirk Ferentz Year 2 at Iowa. The Northwestern win was huge late in the season. Purdue won tiebreaker.
     
  35. corbi296

    corbi296 Well-Known Member
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    What’s moronic is not understanding that there are several different ways to construct a good football team. A good football team is a team that plays fundamentally sound, complementary football in all three phases of the game. For a football team whose identity centers around a dominant defense, like NU has been under Fitz, a ball control offense that puts an emphasis on controlling time of possession, field position and minimizing turnovers very much complements that philosophy.
     
  36. corbi296

    corbi296 Well-Known Member
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    It certainly is painful but not necessarily boring.
     
  37. wildcatpn

    wildcatpn Well-Known Member
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    But but but, Kansas has way more talent on offense than we do......
     
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  38. stpaulcat

    stpaulcat Well-Known Member
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    GOD, you had me there for a moment--I thought we had a NEW offense.
     
  39. evanston09

    evanston09 Well-Known Member
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    So your belief is that rest for the defense is more beneficial for a team than trying to score the most points it possibly can?

    If so, how do you support that claim when virtually all logical and empirical evidence says otherwise?

    It is simply a fact that to win a football game, you have to score more points. If you score more points, your defense has more margin for error, and the opposing offense also has less. There is no justification for an offense having a top priority that’s not converting possessions into the most points that it possibly can.

    Also-I’m not calling you moronic. I’m sorry if you took it that way.

    Glades- I think this conversation is talent independent. Less talented teams also should try to score as many points as possible. However, I can see how you could say it’s not. As we’ve previously discussed, there is no publicly available data that suggests a substantial talent gap between the offense recruits upon arrival on campus, and the defensive recruits at the same time.

    Since 2013 we are 47-37. During that time we have had an above average FBS scoring offense one time. Our defensive recruits are not ten games over .500 better than our offensive recruits in athletic ability. Some of it is scheme, some of it is coaching, but it does show we can perform at a high level with the quality of athlete that Northwestern gets.
     
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  40. Pukecat

    Pukecat Well-Known Member
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    There’s anecdotal evidence that our defense is getting better athletes than the offense gets but your point is spot on.

    For me the question is whether or not Fitzgerald is the one reining in the offense or if it’s simply what other people think, that McCall doesn’t know how to call plays. I sure think it’s Fitzgerald, who thinks we should be a run-first, ball control offense. If he wants to do that, we should run pro sets or the option. The guy seems to hate passing downfield. I may be the last McCall apologist but I don’t think he’s the culprit.

    It’s all Fitzgerald, from the recruiting of the WR, QB, and OL, to the insistence on playing overly conservative on offense. Fitz has final say on every kid we offer. Fitz decides if we wants to be aggressive on offense. This is all his fault.
     
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