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What did we learn? Wisconsin edition


The Dude

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This game was similar to Purdue in that on offense we had a perfect 50/50 ratio of run/pass.

 

Martinez's game was amazing...except for the two interceptions. And those two interceptions cost of the game. He threw for a 65.7% completion percentage, which is really great for a "dual threat" guy. But again, his interceptions cost us the game.

 

As terrible as his second one was, the first one was really bad also because there was no defender underneath Martin in the flight path of the ball. So what Adrian did was he floated that pass that should have been a line drive bullet. You float it when there's a guy between you and the defender. Just another really bad pass in a game where he was otherwise throwing the ball really well.

 

The reason we even put 28 points up on their great defense was because Frost chose to throw so much. He knew (rightly) that our line isn't strong enough to win the game by calling a bunch of RB handoffs.

 

We only averaged 2.88 yards per carry on the ground.

 

Strategy and execution on offense was excellent...except for Martinez's two picks.

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15 minutes ago, Undone said:

This game was similar to Purdue in that on offense we had a perfect 50/50 ratio of run/pass.

 

Martinez's game was amazing...except for the the two interceptions. And those two interceptions cost of the game. He threw for a 65.7% completion percentage, which is really great for a "dual threat" guy. But again, his interceptions cost us the game.

 

As terrible as his second one was, the first one was really bad also because there was no defender underneath Martin in the flight path of the ball. So what Adrian did was he floated that pass that should have been a line drive bullet. You float it when there's a guy between you and the defender. Just another really bad pass in a game where he was otherwise throwing the ball really well.

 

The reason we even put 28 points up on their great defense was because Frost chose to throw so much. He knew (rightly) that our line isn't strong enough to win the game by calling a bunch of RB handoffs.

 

We only averaged 2.88 yards per carry on the ground.

 

Strategy and execution on offense was excellent...except for Martinez's two picks.

I'm curious how those interceptions cost NU the game?  Yes, they were costly, but were they the determining factor in the game?  Only one of them was turned into points (the INT in early 3rd) and the coaches and media members thought that Oliver Martin quit on that route and the INT wasn't all of Adrian's fault.  I agree that the 2nd INT was a terrible decision and throw by Adrian, but the D didn't let that turn into points.  I am not trying to be difficult because, yes, turnovers are killers for the offense. 

 

I guess my point is that if we are going to laud the offense for being aggressive and having deep pass routes to hurt Wisconsin, that aggressiveness is also going to be a little more risky in terms of turnovers.  So, would it be better to be super conservative on offense and not have the turnovers and lost 28-14, or be more aggressive on offense, have a couple more turnovers and lose 35-28.

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1 minute ago, ColoradoHusk said:

I'm curious how those interceptions cost NU the game?  Yes, they were costly, but were they the determining factor in the game?  Only one of them was turned into points (the INT in early 3rd) and the coaches and media members thought that Oliver Martin quit on that route and the INT wasn't all of Adrian's fault.

 

I agree that Martin seemed to quit on the route, but Adrian still floated a pass that should have been thrown for Martin to come back underneath - as there was no defender underneath in the line of sight of the ball. Pretty simple there.

 

And we were at roughly our 45 on that one. So it was very costly.

 

I shouldn't have failed to mention the kickoff return in that post I made. I mentioned it in another one. That play and then Frost again not just taking a FG attempt in the first half were also huge.

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As far as what I learned in this game, I'd say I learned that we're probably actually worse than we seem on offense. Here's what I mean by that.

 

Our offensive line is so weak and so inept on the right side that we can't really run the ball. Our only chance in most of these games again decent-good competition is to put our chances on Adrian's arm.

 

And that's not the strategy that you want - especially because the line can't give him good pass protection anyway.

 

We have a deceptively talented WR roster this season, we have an injured Rahmir Johnson...and then apparently Yant is in the dog house for who tf knows why.

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10 minutes ago, Undone said:

As far as what I learned in this game, I'd say I learned that we're probably actually worse than we seem on offense. Here's what I mean by that.

 

Our offensive line is so weak and so inept on the right side that we can't really run the ball. Our only chance in most of these games again decent-good competition is to put our chances on Adrian's arm.

 

And that's not the strategy that you want - especially because the line can't give him good pass protection anyway.

 

We have a deceptively talented WR roster this season, we have an injured Rahmir Johnson...and then apparently Yant is in the dog house for who tf knows why.

We put up 28 points and 452 yards on one of the top defenses in all of college football, but you draw the conclusion that we're actually worse than we seem on offense? If anything, I came away from that game thinking were actually pretty good on offense despite the bad OL and mediocre to poor RB play.

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1 minute ago, RedDenver said:

We put up 28 points and 452 yards on one of the top defenses in all of college football, but you draw the conclusion that we're actually worse than we seem on offense? If anything, I came away from that game thinking were actually pretty good on offense despite the bad OL and mediocre to poor RB play.

 

I did come to that conclusion, yeah. We put the game on Martinez's throwing ability by throwing it more than we traditionally have this season, percentage-wise (the box score stats show this).

 

He put together a pretty good game up until the interceptions.

 

2.88 yards per carry on the ground is a bad stat and again reflects where we're really at with our offensive line.

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Just now, Undone said:

2.88 yards per carry on the ground is a bad stat and again reflects where we're really at with our offensive line.

Agreed, but Wisconsin's defense is ranked #1 in the nation in yards per rush and rushing yards per game: https://www.ncaa.com/stats/football/fbs/current/team/24

 

Surprisingly, Huskers actually did a bit better than the average Wisconsin opponent.

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2 minutes ago, RedDenver said:

Surprisingly, Huskers actually did a bit better than the average Wisconsin opponent.

 

I can't disagree with this statement. We put up the third most points against them out of any of their opponents this year.


My point that you quoted originally is that despite doing fairly well against them in this one game, this one game shouldn't skew the impression of where our offense is really at.

 

I don't believe we're really as "close" as Frost or anybody else may claim we are offensively. I think an objective assessment of where our offense is at this season is that it's playing very poorly. We've regressed significantly in rushing yards per game; the last three years we've ranked 27th, 27th, & 28th in rushing yards per game, and this season we're sitting at 43rd.

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5 minutes ago, Undone said:

 

I can't disagree with this statement. We put up the third most points against them out of any of their opponents this year.


My point that you quoted originally is that despite doing fairly well against them in this one game, this one game shouldn't skew the impression of where our offense is really at.

 

I don't believe we're really as "close" as Frost or anybody else may claim we are offensively. I think an objective assessment of where our offense is at this season is that it's playing very poorly. We've regressed significantly in rushing yards per game; the last three years we've ranked 27th, 27th, & 28th in rushing yards per game, and this season we're sitting at 43rd.

I think the OL is bad, which makes the whole offense look bad. IMO, if we can get the OL to play even average, the offense could be deadly. Is that "close"? I think so, but fixing the OL is pretty tough, so maybe not.

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36 minutes ago, Undone said:

 

I agree that Martin seemed to quit on the route, but Adrian still floated a pass that should have been thrown for Martin to come back underneath - as there was no defender underneath in the line of sight of the ball. Pretty simple there.

 

And we were at roughly our 45 on that one. So it was very costly.

 

I shouldn't have failed to mention the kickoff return in that post I made. I mentioned it in another one. That play and then Frost again not just taking a FG attempt in the first half were also huge.

 

Frost going for the TD inside the 10 yard line was the smart move.  Yes, it failed, but after the 3 and out from the defense, that gave NU a short field and led directly to points for NU.  That's the exact reason to go for not settling for a FG deep in your opponent's territory.

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1 minute ago, ColoradoHusk said:

That's the exact reason to go for not settling for a FG deep in your opponent's territory.

 

When you have a halfway decent offensive line, I agree with what you wrote there.


But, we don't. Thus we fail in these situations more often than not.

 

Now of course we lost by 7 and not 3 or less, so this isn't a HUGE deal. 

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2 minutes ago, Undone said:

 

When you have a halfway decent offensive line, I agree with what you wrote there.


But, we don't. Thus we fail in these situations more often than not.

 

Now of course we lost by 7 and not 3 or less, so this isn't a HUGE deal. 

I would argue that having a poorer offensive line would lead me to try and get the TD when I am close to the goal line.  I would also say that driving the length of the field would be more difficult to do against Wisconsin's D, than going a short field (which NU had after the forced 3 and out).

 

I am not sure if you are into analytics, but I think that the expected value of the going for the TD on the first drive is higher than the expected value of kicking the FG.  It may be a wash that first drive, but it's higher over the next possession because of the likelihood of getting a short field when Wisconsin is deep in it's territory.  Frost made the appropriate decision, and I say that he produced more points in that 2nd quarter by going for it on 4th down that he would by kicking a near automatic FG.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, ColoradoHusk said:

I would argue that having a poorer offensive line would lead me to try and get the TD when I am close to the goal line.  I would also say that driving the length of the field would be more difficult to do against Wisconsin's D, than going a short field (which NU had after the forced 3 and out).

 

I am not sure if you are into analytics, but I think that the expected value of the going for the TD on the first drive is higher than the expected value of kicking the FG.  It may be a wash that first drive, but it's higher over the next possession because of the likelihood of getting a short field when Wisconsin is deep in it's territory.  Frost made the appropriate decision, and I say that he produced more points in that 2nd quarter by going for it on 4th down that he would by kicking a near automatic FG.

Plus no FG is automatic for us. I think the expected points for our FG attempt might be less than 1.5.

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12 minutes ago, RedDenver said:

Plus no FG is automatic for us. I think the expected points for our FG attempt might be less than 1.5.

 

I think you know how the expected points work, so I'm not really doing this to "argue with you".  Agree that our FG kicking is abysmal, but I would still put the expected points at that kick very close to 3.  If NU scores, kickoffs to Wisconsin, then NU is able to stop Wisconsin, based on average field position created, I would think that NU would probably start the next possession between their own 20-30.  Having to drive that length of the field against Wisconsin's strong D would probably have an expected point value of 1-2.  So the expected value of this situation is 3.5-5 points.

 

But, if NU is able to convert that first 4th down ~50% of the time, the expected points from that drive would be 3.5.  Also, given that Wisconsin is starting deep in it's own territory, I would argue that NU had a very good chance at starting the next possession inside it's own territory with probably another ~50% chance of scoring a TD following a short field.  So, the expected points from the 2nd possession would be 3.5 points again.  So, going for it on 4th down creates an overall expected value of ~7 points.

 

So, looking at the expected value of the 1st situation, it's probably 3.5-5 points.  The expected value of the 2nd situation is ~7 points.  I would rather have 7 points vs. the at most 5 points.  Finally, when facing a strong defense, and getting within 5 yards of the goal line, it's smarter to try to get the 7 points!  Settling for 3 points is what Wisconsin wants you to do!

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