FanPost

MSUFR: Offense vs. Illinois

[Autobump. -KJ]

 Finally!

Time Qtr Down/Distance/LOS Offensive Formation Defensive Formation Play Result
15:00 1 Kickoff     Derek Dimke kickoff for 68 yards returned by Glenn Winston, tackled by Nate Bussey for 38 yards to the MchSt 40, tackled by Nate Bussey.
Winston gets good blocks from Jimmerson, Gantt, and Pendy, and bursts through the hole. He is finally tripped up after a good return.
14:53 1 1st and 10 at MSU 40 I-formation 2-TE 4-3 Keith Nichol pass incomplete to N/A.
Play action-fake and rollout. This is a great play to start the game off with. All the LBs and both safeties bite on the PA. Nichol throws on the run but throws it too high for Linthicum (IN) who was wide open behind everybody. This one was going for a long gainer as there was no one within 10 yards.
14:47 1 2nd and 10 at MSU 40 I-formation 4-3 Glenn Winston rush over right end for 2 yards to the MchSt 42, tackled by Russell Ellington.
Illinois has an LB where the slot should be spying on the TE leakout to the flat. As a result there are only 2 LBs in the box. Power off tackle (the "Down G" as mgoblog calls it). The hole is there, good block by Young (+1) to seal the DE and Cironi (+1), but instead of cutting behind Cironi into the second level, Winston cuts between Cironi and Young and is converged on by the LB that has fought off Gantt's block.
14:08 1 3rd and 8 at MSU 42 Shotgun 4-3 Keith Nichol sideline pass complete to Mark Dell for 23 yards to the Illin 35, tackled by Garrett Edwards out-of-bounds for a 1ST down.
Again Illinois has an LB over the slot, but this time he blitzes. Good protection and good blitz pickup by Caper. Nichol throws it to Dell on the hitch (CA) and Dell turns upfield and picks up 5 more.
13:39 1 1st and 10 at ILL 35 Ace 2-TE 4-3 Larry Caper Rush up the middle for 4 yards to the Illin 31, tackled by Ian Thomas and Clay Nurse.
Veer right; but the blocking isn't particularly good and Caper just squeezes through the opening.
12:59 1 2nd and 6 at ILL 31 Ace 4-3 under ILLINOIS penalty 15 yard pass interference on Tavon Wilson accepted, no play.
Illinois is blitzing an LB off the edge but he loops back to the middle of the field following the RB (Winston). Protection starts to break down, Nichol rolls to the outside, then wings it downfield in the direction of B.J. Cunningham on the comeback just short of the goal line. The DB grabs at Cunningham and the ref is right there to throw the flag. The replay doesn't show it clearly but the official had thrown his hat off, not sure why Cunningham didn't get an "illegal touching" penalty if he was the one that was OOB back upfield. I suppose he was pushed out by the DB before the ball got there, but that should have been illegal contact, not pass interference.
12:51 1 1st and 10 at ILL 16 Power I 4-3 Larry Caper rush left for 9 yards to the Illin 7, tackled by Russell Ellington.
This is a new set for MSU, it's what Eric Lacy (Detroit News) is referring to when he says "single wing" (but this formation isn't unbalanced on the offensive line like the single wing). Hawken is down as a lead blocker, Caper to the right and slightly behind him standing up, and Winston in the back standing up. There is a TE on the right side. Illinois is all unbalanced to the right side. At the snap, the line trap blocks, Winston goes straight ahead and takes the fake, and Caper runs to the left. Hawken gets to the second level and blocks an LB; Moss pulls out and leads, cutting down 2 defenders (+2) and Caper gets down to the 7. Neat play, wonder what else they can run from that formation.
12:14 1 2nd and 1 at ILL 7 I-formation 2-TE 4-3 Glenn Winston rush up the middle for 5 yards to the Illin 2, tackled by Doug Pilcher and Donsay Hardeman for a 1ST down.
Illinois is still not stacking the box, instead splitting out an LB to spy on the RB. Power dive, the line just pushes straight ahead and Winston bowling balls through down to the 2.
11:42 1 1st and Goal at ILL 2 I-formation 3-TE 4-3 Glenn Winston rush over right end for 2 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.
Linthicum (+1) gets a good seal block on a CB. MLB is blitzing and is clear through to the backfield; Hawken (+2) is leading to the right but pivots to the left and spins the blitzer out of the way. Winston cuts between Hawken and Linthicum and rolls into the end zone. Great play by Hawken.
7 plays, 60 yards, touchdown. 7-0 MSU.
10:08 1 1st and 10 at MSU 19 I formation 4-3 Glenn Winston rush over left tackle for 5 yards to the MchSt 24, tackled by Doug Pilcher.
Illinois in the 4-3 with the LBs outside the tackles and the MLB cheating over to the strong side. So MSU just runs to the left side. Cironi (+1) lets the DE run right past him and doubles the DT. Winston shoots past the DE (who is picked up by Hawken) and runs up the back side of Cironi for 5. Good play to take advantage of Illinois' over-aggressive (undisciplined) DEs.
9:33 1 2nd and 5 at MSU 24 I-formation 2-TE 4-3 under Larry Caper rush over right end for 8 yards to the MchSt 32, tackled by Tavon Wilson for a 1ST down.
Illinois has the LBs outside the TEs and rolled up on the LOS. Gantt (-1) whiffs on the oncoming LB but Hawken (+1) doesn't. Caper makes a nice cut up inside the overpursuing DB. Young (+1) had a good seal on the slanting DE as well.
9:04 1 1st and 10 at MSU 32 Ace TE twins 4-3 Keith Nichol sideline pass complete to Brian Linthicum for 25 yards to the Illin 43, tackled by Garrett Edwards out-of-bounds for a 1ST down.
Two TEs are on the short side, one as an H-back. Play action rollout and throw to Linthicum (CA) who just went straight downfield on the corner route.
8:30 1 1st and 10 at ILL 43 Ace 2-TE 4-3 over MICHIGAN ST penalty 10 yard holding on Brian Linthicum accepted, no play.
Linthicum is man up on a DE. He handles him well, turns him around. Then Linthicum just goes to the ground as Winston runs behind him; he has his arm around the DE's waist. The DE falls down and Linthicum is flagged for holding.
8:21 1 1st and 20 at MSU 47 Ace TE twins 4-3 stack Keith Nichol middle pass incomplete to Charlie Gantt.
Great protection by the line gives Nichol time to throw. His throw is high and too far in front of Gantt (IN) on the TE cross.
8:00 1 2nd and 20 at MSU 47 Shotgun trips 4-3 Keith Nichol rush over right tackle for 17 yards to the Illin 36, tackled by Garrett Edwards out-of-bounds.
MSU spreads the field out wide and runs Nichol on the keeper. He breaks a couple of tackles and turns a 7 yard gain into 17. I am sure this call was painfully obvious to most MSU fans but obviously not to Illinois.
7:24 1 3rd and 3 at ILL 36 Shotgun 4-3 Keith Nichol middle pass incomplete to Mark Dell, broken up by Ashante Williams.
Illinois linebackers are confused presnap on who has coverage on the motion receiver. Nichol has plenty of time to throw, but throws it at Dell who is sitting down in the center of the field at the sticks. Dell was covered pretty tightly, but I think he could have caught this (DR). Caper was wide open on the wheel, FWIW.
7:19 1 4th and 3 at ILL 36 Shotgun 4-3 Keith Nichol sideline pass complete to Blair White for 7 yards to the Illin 29, tackled by Ashante Williams for a 1ST down.
Love the call on 4th down; too far for a field goal and no need to punt when you've been moving the ball with relative ease. Illinois brings the blitz; it is picked up well and Nichol throws high to White on the out route. White makes a jumping catch (TC) for the first down.
6:48 1 1st and 10 at ILL 29 Ace 4-3 Glenn Winston rush over left end for 1 yard to the Illin 28, tackled by Sirod Williams.
Stretch left. Nitchman (-1) can't handle the slanting DT and Winston is caught in the backfield and pulled down by his face mask. No call.
6:09 1 2nd and 9 at ILL 28 I-formation 4-3 over Glenn Winston rush left for 7 yards to the Illin 21, tackled by Garrett Edwards.
Another zone stretch. Hawken (+1) gets a good block on an LB and Nitchman (+1) walls off the DT. The MSU O-line gets the D-line to slant too hard to the left. Somebody falls on the back of a DT's legs; Winston shoots through the resulting hole for a good gain.
5:15 1 3rd and 2 at ILL 21 I-formation 2-TE 4-3 under Glenn Winston rush up the middle for 1 yard to the Illin 20, tackled by Corey Liuget and Doug Pilcher.
Power dive. Illinois' D-line slants to the center to clog the holes and Winston slams into the pile for a short gain.
4:26 1 4th and 1 at ILL 20 Ace 2-TE 4-3 Keith Nichol rush up the middle for 3 yards to the Illin 17, tackled by Ian Thomas for a 1ST down.
QB keeper straight ahead. Illinois only had 2 LBs up close to the LOS and an LB and CB back stacked on the TEs. They chose to concede the first down and prevent the TD in the event MSU leaked the TEs out into the flats. This is an advantage of using the TEs so well as receivers.
4:00 1 1st and 10 at ILL 17 Ace 2-TE 4-3 over Keith Nichol middle pass incomplete to Charlie Gantt, hurried by Antonio James, broken up by Garrett Edwards.
PA fake and rollout. Unfortunately D.J. Young (-1) can't handle the speedrushing DE and Nichol rolls right into him. Nichol escapes and rather than throwing it away, tries to wedge it into Gantt. The safety jumps the route and almost picks it off. (DE)
3:51 1 2nd and 10 at ILL 17 I-formation 2-TE 4-3 Larry Caper rush over right end for 17 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.
Zone stretch. Caper gets great blocks by Gantt (+1) to seal the DE, Hawken (+1) to level a cornerback, and Moss (+1), who pulls out and contains the LB. Caper shoots through the hole untouched and outruns the two safeties into the end zone.
13 plays, 81 yards, touchdown. 14-0 MSU.
14:14 2 1st and 10 at MSU 6 I-formation 2-TE 4-3 under Larry Caper rush over right guard for 4 yards to the MchSt 10, tackled by Russell Ellington and Sirod Williams.
Straight ahead dive. Good push by Nitchman and Moss. Illinois is trying to contain the outside runs, and is leaving themselves weak at the inside runs.
13:37 2 2nd and 6 at MSU 10 I-formation 2-TE 4-3 Glenn Winston rush left for 8 yards to the MchSt 18, tackled by Evan Frierson and Ian Thomas for a 1ST down.
Caper lined up as a slot receiver. Bubble screen fake and toss pitch to Winston. He gets a good block from Nitchman (+1) and some blocks downfield.
13:09 2 1st and 10 at MSU 18 I-formation 4-3 Keith Nichol slant pass incomplete to Blair White, broken up by Evan Frierson.
Stop route to White. The throw is a little high and White bobbles it. While he is trying to get it under control the defender hits him and it is knocked away. This is initially called a fumble but overturned on review (phew). I am calling this DR rather than DE because it was catchable and had White not bobbled it, he would have tucked it away securely before the defender got there.
13:00 2 2nd and 10 at MSU 18 Ace 2-TE 4-3 Larry Caper rush up the middle for 1 yard to the MchSt 19, tackled by Ian Thomas and Doug Pilcher.
Caper smashes straight ahead into the pile. The old "wad o' bodies" play.
12:20 2 3rd and 9 at MSU 19 Shotgun 4-3 Keith Nichol sideline pass complete to Blair White for 11 yards to the MchSt 30, tackled by Dere Hicks for a 1ST down.
Illinois in a deep shell, an OLB lined up on the slot receiver, one guy in deep centerfield. At the snap the MLBs blitz, the DE and DT on the left side twist. Nichol has lots of time to throw and hits White on the comeback route. White is covered pretty well. He has to jump and then keep the DB from wrestling the ball away. (TC)
11:47 2 1st and 10 at MSU 30 I-formation 2-TE 4-3 over Keith Nichol sideline pass complete to Garrett Celek for 14 yards to the MchSt 44, tackled by Tavon Wilson for a 1ST down.
PA zone stretch fake / TE waggle. Celek sells it well, putting a seal block on a slanting DE before pivoting and heading out to the sideline. No one is there and Celek just rumbles for an extra ten yards. (CA)
11:16 2 1st and 10 at MSU 44 Shotgun 2-TE 4-3 Larry Caper rush right for 8 yards to the Illin 48, tackled by Walter Aikens and Tavon Wilson.
Shotgun setup with Winston in the backfield and Caper as a slotback. Caper motions in next to Nichol. Nichol hands it to him (a la the veer option) and takes off in the opposite direction. An LB shoots in but has a bad angle and is also met by a pulling Moss (+1). Winston gets a good block on the CB and Caper has some room; he keeps churning and picks up a good gain. This is a new play we haven't seen before.
10:35 2 2nd and 2 at ILL 48 I-formation 2-TE 4-3 over Glenn Winston rush left for 23 yards to the Illin 48, tackled by Walter Aikens, MICHIGAN ST penalty 15 yard personal foul on N/A accepted for a 1ST down.
Sweep left. Winston gets great seal blocks by Nitchman (+1) and Sims (+1) and a lead block by Hawken on the LB who is shooting in for outside contain, and Winston hits the edge untouched. Sims gets a personal foul penalty for giving a D lineman a shove away from the play; he falls to the ground and draws the flag. This is a terrible call as Sims hit the guy while the play was still active, but the call was a dead ball foul.
10:03 2 1st and 10 at ILL 40 Shotgun 4-3 Larry Caper rush left for 9 yards to the Illin 40, tackled by Walter Aikens, MICHIGAN ST penalty 15 yard personal foul on D.J. Young accepted.
Shotgun give to Caper. Foreman (+1) seals the LB stepping up and Caper gets the edge. Caper is submarined near the boundary and Young hits a guy just a hair after the whistle blows. Young is flagged for the late hit but it could just as easily have been Moss, who puts his shoulder into a defender from behind. The refs are apparently trying to keep this game under control as it sure looks like it could degenerate into a blowout.
9:38 2 2nd and 16 at ILL 46 Shotgun trips 4-3 Keith Nichol pass complete to Garrett Celek for 6 yards to the Illin 40, tackled by Tavon Wilson.
Nichol throws it quickly to Celek, who ran the stop route about 5 yards out. (CA) Whistles blow for forward progress, but Celek is hit not once but twice by Illinois defenders well after the whistle; no flags. Foreman rightfully complains to the referee. Another reason I can't fault the two penalties earlier.
8:56 2 3rd and 10 at ILL 40 Shotgun trips 4-2-5? Keith Nichol sacked by Doug Pilcher for a loss of 1 yard to the Illin 41.
The twisting DEs run right past Young (-1) and Moss (-2). Nichol has to pull it down and try to run. The side of his facemask is grabbed by the tackling DE; no call. I hate to hear people say "What game are you watching, Ref?" but...yeah.
11 plays, 53 yards, punt. 14-0 MSU.
6:54 2 1st and 10 at ILL 42 Power I 4-3 over Glenn Winston rush right for 4 yards to the Illin 38, tackled by Ian Thomas and Aaron Gress.
Again the "single wing" formation. This time it's a more traditional power sweep. Illinois' linebackers play this one like it's a fake or like it's the misdirection and as a result it gets outside for a good gain. Caper (+1) gets a key block on the over backer who shot into the backfield.
6:20 2 2nd and 6 at ILL 38 Ace 2-TE 4-3 Glenn Winston rush right for 7 yards to the Illin 31 for a 1ST down.
Illinois blitzes the outside linebacker right into D.J. Young (+1) and Moss pulls outside to disrupt the corner. He whiffs, but is still effective. Good exchange blocking. Winston blasts through the hole and slips when he tries to cut preventing this from being 10 yards plus.
5:51 2 1st and 10 at ILL 31 Power I 4-3 Keith Nichol deep pass complete to Larry Caper for 30 yards to the Illin 1, tackled by Walter Aikens for a 1ST down.
Play action fake from the Power I formation. Caper basically runs a wheel route, gets behind the cornerback, and Nichol lays it in (CA). That's three different plays we've seen from this formation and all have been effective.
5:18 2 1st and Goal at ILL 1 I-formation 2-TE 4-3 Glenn Winston rush up the middle for a loss of 1 yard, fumbled, forced by Donsay Hardeman, recovered by Illin Donsay Hardeman at the Illin 2.
Winston tries the ill-advised dive into the end zone. Had he just followed his blocks on the right side (Celek and Hawken), he probably could have bulled his way in. His jump is too early and he doesn't get much height or speed. I think Winston was getting cocky here.
4 plays, 40 yards, fumble. 14-0 MSU.
3:47 2 1st and 10 at ILL 35 Ace 2-TE 4-3 Larry Caper rush over right tackle for 4 yards to the Illin 31, tackled by Travon Bellamy.
Stretch left, but Caper cuts back to the right and is brought down by the linebacker.
3:11 2 2nd and 6 at ILL 31 I-formation 2-TE 4-3 under Glenn Winston rush left for 4 yards to the Illin 27, tackled by Donsay Hardeman.
Good block by Hawken (+1) to pick up the angling linebacker and Foreman (+1) to seal the DE opening the hole for Winston.
2:23 2 3rd and 2 at ILL 27 Shotgun 4-2-5 MICHIGAN ST penalty 5 yard delay of game on Keith Nichol accepted.
[rolls eyes]
2:23 2 3rd and 7 at ILL 32 Shotgun 4-2-5 Keith Nichol screen pass complete to Larry Caper for 14 yards to the Illin 18, tackled by Russell Ellington and Corey Liuget for a 1ST down.
MSU guessed incorrectly what Illinois was going to do on 3rd and long. No blitz as all the backers and DBs dropped back into coverage. Blocking was OK, but Caper makes the first down on his own as he breaks a couple tackles. (CA) At least we know MSU is capable of getting yards from the screen; it'll be needed for future games.
1:51 2 1st and 10 at ILL 18 I-formation 2-TE 4-3 over Glenn Winston rush right for a loss of 4 yards to the Illin 22, tackled by Dere Hicks.
This is the play where Winston blows out his knee trying to make the cut. It was a blown play as the CB blitzed into the run and White (-1) whiffed on him. For some reason Hawken turned back to the center as well.
1:29 2 2nd and 14 at ILL 22 Offset I 2-TE 4-3 over Keith Nichol sideline pass complete to Andrew Hawken for 2 yards to the Illin 20, tackled by Tavon Wilson.
Play action fake and FB waggle. MSU overloaded to the left and waggled to the right, but the safety read and attacked quickly. (CA)
0:49 2 3rd and 12 at ILL 20 I-formation 4-3 Keith Nichol rush up the middle for 2 yards to the Illin 18, tackled by Rahkeem Smith and Clay Nurse.
Designed run? Or QB read? Or just plain happy feet? Nichol has time but doesn't stay in the pocket long, he just takes off up the middle but is converged by the LBs who are playing coverage.
7 plays, 17 yards, FG. 17-0 MSU. Halftime.
The entire second half is uneventful offensively. With a 17-point (and later, 24-point lead thanks to the defensive touchdown), MSU goes into straight clock-choke mode. Drives are: 3 and out, 6 and out, 3 and a pick, 3 and out, 6 and out, 3 and out, 3 and out, and kneeldowns. I am not going to chart every play but just going to do the QB/WR analysis.
12:04 3 2nd and 5 at ILL 48 I-formation 2-TE 4-3 over Keith Nichol sideline pass incomplete to N/A.
Pass is knocked down as the safety jumps the route. (DE)
11:59 3 3rd and 5 at ILL 48 Shotgun 3-3-5 Keith Nichol middle pass incomplete to Mark Dell.
Dell is open on the rub route. Crossing throw is low and hits Dell in the hip. Not a drop, but a bad throw as Dell is gone if Nichol puts the ball where it should be. (IN)
9:10 3 1st and 10 at ILL 48 I formation 4-3 Keith Nichol slant pass incomplete to Blair White, broken up by Dere Hicks.
Nichol's pass is low and bounces in front of White. Good thing too as he was triple covered. (IN)
8:25 3 3rd and 8 at ILL 46 Shotgun 4-2-5 Keith Nichol sideline pass incomplete to Mark Dell.
The throw is a little low, but Dell gets his hands on it and appears to be turning to run before securing the ball. (DR)
5:29 3 1st and 10 at MSU 1 I-formation 2-TE 4-3 under Keith Nichol pass complete to Andrew Hawken for 9 yards to the MchSt 10, tackled by Tavon Wilson.
Nice route and pitch and catch backed up in the end zone. Illinois was obviously expecting run. (CA)
4:18 3 1st and 10 at MSU 13 Ace 2-TE 4-3 Keith Nichol pass intercepted by Tavon Wilson at the MchSt 30, returned for no gain to the MchSt 30, tackled by Brian Linthicum.
Nichol stares down his receiver and throws it short into triple coverage. This is a terrible decision by Nichol. (BR)
2:05 3 3rd and 10 at MSU 33 Shotgun 4-2-5 Keith Nichol sideline pass complete to Blair White for 8 yards to the MchSt 41.
Nichol scrambles a bit, then throws it low to White at the sideline (TC). Throw it higher and White may be able to turn and get the first down.
14:54 4 1st and 10 at MSU 23 Shotgun   Keith Nichol deep pass incomplete to B.J. Cunningham, hurried by Russell Ellington, broken up by Donsay Hardeman.
The throw is on target, but the defender is in front of him and actually touches the ball before Cunningham. (DE)
14:06 4 3rd and 9 at MSU 24 Shotgun 4-3 Keith Nichol sideline pass complete to Blair White for 24 yards to the MchSt 48 out-of-bounds for a 1ST down.
Nichol has plenty of time to throw and lays it in nicely for White. (CA)
12:22 4 3rd and 4 at ILL 46 Ace 4-2-5 Keith Nichol pass incomplete to Blair White, broken up by Dere Hicks.
The pass is broken up, but it wasn't going for first down yardage anyway. (DE)
7:08 4 3rd and 7 at MSU 39 Shotgun 4-2-5 Keith Nichol crossing pass complete to B.J. Cunningham for 6 yards to the MchSt 45, tackled by Ashante Williams.
Nichol bobbles the snap, and throws it a little low on the crossing route, but Cunningham digs it out and gets YAC close to the first down. (CA)

 

 Metrics:

 

Protection
Player + - Total
Hawken 6 0 6
Cironi 2 0 2
Moss 4 2 2
Nitchman 3 1 2
Young 3 1 2
Linthicum 1 0 1
Foreman 1 0 1
Caper 1 0 1
Sims 1 0 1
Gantt 1 1 0

 

 

QB failure analysis
Player DR IN TA BA DE BR Total
Nichol 3 4 0 0 4 1 -3

 

 

DR: "Dropped" by receiver. A catchable pass that was flat-out dropped by the receiver. (+1)
IN: "Inaccurate." Passes that are plain uncatchable but for extraordinary intervention on the part of the wide receiver. (-1)
TA: "Throwaway." Passes which are not intended to be caught since the quarterback can find no one open. (0)
BA: "Batted." Balls which are deflected at the LOS. These are generally regarded as fluke occurences and are not held against the quarterback. (0)
DE: "Defended". Defender in coverage either deflected the ball or hit the receiver to knock the ball free for an incompletion. (0)
BR: Bad Read. (-2)

 

Receivers
Player CA TC HC DR DE Total
White 1 3 0 1 1 6
Hawken 2 0 0 0 0 2
Celek 2 0 0 0 0 2
Caper 2 0 0 0 0 2
Cunningham 1 0 0 0 1 1
Linthicum 1 0 0 0 0 1
Gantt 0 0 0 0 1 0
Dell 1 0 0 2 0 -1

 

 

CA: routine catch (+1).
TC: Tough catch (+2). Usually any jumping catch, or one that requires the WR to drag a foot right at the boundary, or one that requires the WR to take a hit and hang on.
HC: Heroic Catch (+3).
DR: Dropped. This must be a catchable pass (-1).
DE: Defended (0). Broken up by defender.

 

Discussion:

Penalties.  Can't fault MSU too much for the penalties. The two personal fouls on the 2nd quarter drive were not especially undisciplined. They were playing to the whistle; the hits simultaneous to, or continuation of, the whistle are part of the game and more often than not go unpenalized. I believe that the officials were trying to keep the game under control by calling it tightly because at that point MSU was up 2 touchdowns and moving easily toward a third, while Illinois had gone 3 and out and had also been stopped on another drive. The officials saw the potential for the game to get out of control as the score became even more lopsided. Honestly, I would rather see MSU play aggressively (but not dirty) and get flagged for a couple of penalties than to play timidly.

Play calling.  MSU seems to be adding a couple of new wrinkles every week. Last week it was the bubble screen plus bubble screen fake/toss pitch. This week it was the "single wing" look and the "veer option". In both cases, MSU appears to bring out the new plays during the early part of the game while they try to build up a comfortable lead. Then, as they go into choke-out mode, they don't unveil any other new plays. While frustrating, this makes sense, as they are saving other new looks and plays for future opponents.

Receivers.  Yes, Mark Dell was bad.  But this may be a function of the quarterback change.  Nichol is not nearly as accurate as Cousins, and I think that throws Mark Dell off because the ball isn't thrown where he likes or expects it.

This is a FanPost, written by a member of the TOC community. It does not represent the official positions of The Only Colors, Inc.--largely because we have no official positions.