The offense that took the field Saturday night was better in every conceivable metric than anything that had been displayed over the previous three games. One stat illustrates the point above all others. Against Oklahoma UC rolled up 461 yards of total offense, that's 68 more yards than UC gained against Indiana State, one of the worst teams in Division 1AA. This is the offense that everyone thought we would be getting to start the year, it took a while, but it has arrived.
- The biggest area of improvement came up front on the offensive line. Swapping Alex Hoffman and C.J. Cobb payed big, big dividends. Hoffman looked pretty damn good out there on the edge against OU's defensive ends and Cobb, back to his more natural guard position was able to put his strength to use. The interior of the offensive line completely dominated the Oklahoma DT rotation was limited to 6 tackles and 4 TFL's.
- I know that Coach Jones has said that he wants this offense to have a passing identity, but that is not the smart play at this point. Right now he has a very physical, and athletic offensive line that isn't really built to pass set 40 to 50 times a game. They are much better suited to execute in the run game and on the play action pass. The starting offensive line right now is basically one OT, Sam Griffen, and four guards. Randy Martinez, Jason Kelce, Griffin and Hoffman are all natural guards, Kelce and Hoffman can play other positions, and play them well, but they are best suited at guard. With that kind of offensive line, UC should become a running team, not run first, but the play calling should more like it was Saturday, 38 passes, 32 runs.
- Isiah Pead is a stud. He couldn't get going against Fresno State because the Line was a mess, but when the O-Line can execute like it did Saturday night he should be beastly. He was pretty much unassailable running the inside and outside zone plays Saturday night. Pead was the best back on the roster last season, but if he had a knock it was that his eyes hadn't caught up to his feet. That isn't the case anymore. More of that Isiah if you please.
- Mike Bajakian has finally come to the realization that if he wants to maximize the effectiveness of Zach Collaros he can't put him in the pocket exclusively and expect him to make plays. Zach is at his best on roll outs, bootlegs and play action passes. That should be the bread and butter of the passing game from this point forward.
- Not to harp on the point, but Collaros's mistakes all came on plays when he was asked to make plays from the pocket. His fumble was off a sack in the pocket. When a defensive end has time to be re routed by the tackle past the pocket, then double back down on the QB to make a play that is the QB's fault. The ball needs to come out long before that. His red zone INT was also from the pocket. Binns was on a double move, a stop and go on the far sideline, the corner didn't bite at all on Binns move, and to complicate things, he had safety help over the top. Collaros locked onto Binns and was determined to make that throw. He made the throw, it was exhaustively covered, and was picked cleanly. Zach has a tendency to stare down targets when sitting in the pocket, he doesn't come off his initial read quickly, if at all in those situations. As a results he forces balls into tight spots instead of taking what he is given by the defense. When they roll the pocket and get him on the move he is much more likely to make the smart play.
- There has to be a way to get Armon Binns more involved in the game. The slot receiver is always going to get the bulk of balls in this offense, but Binns involvement in the offense to this point is basically, go routes, 10 yard stops and double moves. Thats not quite enough for my liking.
- D.J. Woods played a hell of a game. Yes he made some crucial mistakes, but UC wasn't in the game without him. Have no doubts about that. Blaming this loss on him is so far off the mark that it's funny. Right now he is the primary play maker in the passing game. A point that has been made on several of the message boards is that the Great Mardy Gilyard had similar issues with ball security in 2006. Mardy grew out of that, so will DJ.
- One personnel grouping that I hadn't seen prior to Saturday was the shotgun two back set with John Goebel and Pead on either side of the QB. It is a good grouping that allows the offense to sneak in Goebel as essentially a lead blocker for Pead on the zone looks, he can also serve as a dive back in a tripple option, something WVU did a ton of with Owen Schmidt back in the day, on top of all of that Goebel is a great pass catcher and can sneak out of the backfield pretty easily in this look. Something he did on my play of the game.
- Total Yards - 461
- Passing - 301 yards, 23 of 38, 3 TD's 1 INT
- Rushing - 156 yards on 32 carries
Play of the Game
One of the more absurd 4 yard passing TD's you will ever see.
Gameball - Isaiah Pead
The quality of the viedo is bad, but the point stands.