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Everything posted by catbob

  1. Good games guys, sorry for the delayed response. Biggest thing to me in this game was coaching, and of course special teams. Albany will take a ton away from this game and wouldn't be surprised to see Albany in the playoffs again next year with a guy like Undercuffler at the helm. Was impressed with how Albany contained our run game, but like I've been saying to anyone who will listen in the last 2-3 weeks, Tucker Rovig isn't a guy you want winning games for you but the man can throw a football and he stepped up and delivered his best game of the year, which is a huge sign for us as we continue in the playoffs. Good luck next season! Thanks for the conversation here, it was fun talking some football.
  2. Yea those stats are pretty respectable. Obviously you guys watch the games and have a better gauge on it, but that as at least middle of the road, probably top 1/3. But the best rushing team you've played is Albany who is 23rd in the country at 201 YPG, but you impressively held them to 100 even. Next best W&M at #30/186 YPG and they ran for 184, so right at the average. Then of course the head scratcher at Delaware, who only runs 156 YPG but ran for 225 on Albany. All in all it looks like on paper Albay has a pretty good rush defense. But in the last 4 games the Cats have rushed the ball for 1,293 yards on 196 carries, good for 6.6 YPC and 323 yards per game. Southern Utah did hold us to 176 yards on just 4.29 YPC, but that was a game that was 42-0 at half so we played extremely conservative in the 2nd half. That was also a game where we tried to establish the pass and threw for 182 yards in the first half. Rovig's steady improvement into a game manager has really helped soften the box and he can make enough throws to keep a defense honest, which is all we need and ask of him.
  3. It's kind of funny how inverse the stats are - Albany has only given up 15 rushing TDs but MSU has rushed for 39 touchdowns. MSU has only given up 15 passing TDs and Albany has 39 passing TDs.
  4. I noticed Albany gets a ton of TFLs, and forced fumbles. The DL isn't all that big so I'm guessing they are extremely active and attempt to jump gaps with twists, stunts, etc.. Is that an accurate assessment? You almost need to treat MSU like a triple option team. You need to be extremely gap sound. If an DL or LB twists or stunts into the wrong gap I mean you're talking a huge gain for MSU. Honestly that is the #1 reason we've beat our rival Montana 4 years in a row, is because they do a ton of post-snap movement and we exploit that to the max. We've beaten them 4 years in a row. I mean we've only throw the ball for a combined 395 yards in 4 games, not a single TD or interception thrown (isn't that a crazy stat?). But we've rushed for something like 330 yards a game over that span. MSU is a bad matchup for UM who runs a very aggressive defense and thrives on post-snap movement and letting their two stud LB clean up the mess, because we have the personnel, scheme and coaching staff (in game adjustments) who can take advantage. It'll be an interesting matchup, to see if Albany can create those TFLs or if MSU can exploit Albany's scheme.
  5. MSU certainly has some weaknesses. On defense they just aren't glaring. Our biggest weakness when you look at it statistically is certainly pass yardage given up, but MSU has played the #1, #6, #17, #15, #23 and #26 rated passing offenses in the country in terms of yards per game, in addition to Texas Tech. But of course 3 of those were losses - Texas Tech, #26 UND and #15 Sac State. But defense wasn't the problem at UND, as we only gave up 16 points and 7 of those were a blocked punt TD (the other TD was a trick play). But If we're looking at yards per game, Albany would be 8th in the Big Sky (but first in TD passes). This to me means Albany takes huge advantage of turnovers forced and must start with pretty good field position. As statistically good as our rushing defense looks, it has been vulnerable at times as well when we are too focused on stopping the pass. And we will give up some yardage through the air if we can't get to Undercuffler, teams have had some success throwing against us in terms of yards but like I said points are another matter entirely, we're giving up just 21.5 PPG and that includes 45 to Texas Tech. Our tackling has been suspect at times throughout the year but again that has really cleaned up since the Sac State loss, a lot more gang tackling now. Offensively obviously the weakness is throwing the ball, but Tucker Rovig has improved game by game. He went through a rough patch midway through the season (only like his 4th-7th career starts) but his last two games have been the best of his career IMO. Against UCD he was 17/25 for 217 yards, and against UM he was 7/11 in the first half for 102 yards, and only attempted 2 passes in the 2nd half (both incomplete). MSU will throw the ball early simply to show you that we can and that you better not sell out completely to the run. If the run game is getting shut down don't look for MSU to all of the sudden become a pass happy team - we ran our way back from a 31-14 3rd quarter deficit against NAU and won 49-31, at one point running the ball 22 straight times, even with a 3 score deficit. The OL has given up some big sacks so there is another potential weakness - we thrive on 3rd and short, if we are forced into 3rd and long we are not good and our 3rd down % reflects that. The other potential weakness is that sometimes our offensive playcalling gets... boxed in as Choate called it when things don't go well. We abandon some of the stuff that is working, but honestly it was a huge emphasis after the UND game and it really hasn't been an issue since then, playcalling has been much better and creative, but certainly could rear it's ugly head again. Special teams are solid all the way around, kicker is a bit inconsistent but can boot it from 50+. Coverage is very solid and we have one of the best FCS punters in the country.
  6. MSU averages 304 pounds on the OL and the shortest non-center (center is 6'1 285) is Taylor Tuiasosopo who is only 6'4 316. Mitch Brott is 6'6 300 and likely will get drafted. The unit as a whole has had their ups and downs but have played really well since the UND loss. Pass protection would be their weakest point but we run the ball nearly 65% of the time. Our WRs are very good blockers as well, but are very capable receivers when called upon. At RB you'll see plenty of Isaiah Ifanse who was all-conference last year as a true freshman and the former Gatorade player of the year in WA state. He's 5'10 202 but is bow-legged and runs extremely hard, but has enough speed to break one now and again. He's been hurt most of the year but is seemingly finally healthy so he's fresh right now, but only 73 carries through 8 games but has 518 yards and 4 TDs to show for it. Then you'll see Logan Jones, a 6th year senior who runs extremely hard for his size as well but has much more speed and quickness than Ifanse, at 5'7 196. Leads the team with 788 yards and 7 TDs on just 116 carries despite being limited all year due to a rib injury. The next two are where things get a little tricky. Travis Jonsen is a 6'4 210 former Oregon commit (QB) with legit NFL speed and athleticism. He is our wildcat QB with 451 yards on 68 carries and 6 TDs, he is our 2nd leading receiver with 40 catches for 471 yards, and he is our best punt return gunner as he's able to blow by his blockers and get downfield so quickly that he forces a lot of fair catches. He was rendered relatively ineffective against UM, just 8 yards on 4 carries, because UM keyed in so hard on our wildcat formation that they didn't seem to think we had any other run plays... but he has capable of breaking one at anytime from the wildcat QB spot. Then we've had sort of an emergence out of nowhere from WR Tyrone Marshall, who we use on fly/jet sweeps to attack the edges. He had 8 carries for 81 yards and a TD against UM, so he now has 12 carries for 163 yards and 2 TDs, good for 13.6 YPC. In summation, the Cats can attack you from a lot of different formations and sets, and our top 7 ball carriers are averaging 7.06 yards per carry. I'm not saying we can't be shut down or we're some sort of unstoppable force but we are as dynamic a team running the ball as I've ever seen, just with finding creative ways to run the ball and the the ball into the hands of our playmakers whilst not having a big threat at QB from our traditional QB Tucker Rovig, who is 6'5 217.
  7. I understand, the timeliness of penalties and/or turnovers is a pretty big deal but not sure any coach at the FCS level is going to analyze when and how they occur and affect an opponent. There isn't an army of analysts like there is at the FBS level. You'll just watch some game film and look at stats, and the stats certainly point to a team who doesn't make a ton of mistakes - Albany has a really good turnover margin, good passing efficiency, not many penalty yards against, but turning the ball over 20 times certainly is not a great stat for Albany. Just kind of funny, that might be the first time I've ever heard someone call Choate clueless after watching a press conference. He is extremely fun to listen to because he just talks football, loves talking football, and most times I feel I know more about football after listening to his pressers than I did before.
  8. Howdy Albany fans! MSU fan here. I know there are a fair amount of us hoping to register here to post, but not a single one of us has been successful (which means any Albany fans trying to register likely can't either). Certainly some fans are taking this game too lightly but many of us certainly aren't. People are still riding high after the 48-14 dismantling of our rival Montana who also happened to be the #3 team in the country at the time, but I'll be the first to tell you we could play that game 100 times and never win by that big of margin again, it was a perfect storm. There are a lot of intriguing matchups in this game. I'm very curious to see how a team who has no familiarity with how MSU's offense operates decides to defend it. It is extremely unconventional in that it has elements of literally every running scheme you can think of. At the very least defensive coordinators have to spend a ton of time creating a game plan because we essentially run multiple offenses. What MSU does on offense is basically take the first quarter or even into the 2nd to feel you out and then start adjusting to where it thinks it can take advantage, and lean our on defense to keep the game close until the offense figures it out. If MSU's gameplan works right out of the gate that's where you've seen MSU put up 3+ touchdowns in the first half and if MSU has a 2 score lead at halftime it is going to be extremely difficult for any team to come back as MSU will literally abandon the pass and run for 4 yards a carry until the defense gives up. MSU was beating UM 31-14 at half and won 48-14 and our starting QB only attempted 2 passes in the 2nd half as the Cats ran for 175 yards after halftime to preserve the win. UM had only been giving up just over 80 yards a game rushing entering the game, including playing Oregon, before we put up 382 yards on them on the ground. Defensively we do give up some yards through the air but we don't give up long touchdowns. We've only given up 15 passing touchdowns all year through 12 games including playing at Texas Tech. A lot of that starts up front with our front 7, in particular our DL who may not have eye popping stat numbers but are very effective at collapsing the pocket and making life hard on a QB - we are 2nd in the conference in pass efficiency defense, which doesn't translate well nationally because of the dynamic passing games you see in the Big Sky (and having played Texas Tech does not help). To me the Albany offense poses a serious threat with a big gunslinger QB and a talented group of wideouts, coupled with a physical running back who looks like he needs to be gang tackled. He does appear to be the least mobile QB we will have faced in a while so it'll be interesting to see if we can get to him with more regularity than we have against the typical mobile Big Sky QBs who get the ball out very quickly. FYI Albany is 27th in the nation in penalties against, so our coach might actually know what he's talking about there Eli... I wouldn't call a team who is 27th nationally a team that gets penalized a lot? If you finished that low in the CAA maybe refs just don't throw flags in the CAA - I just looked it up and Albany would be first in the Big Sky Conference by .02 yards per game over MSU (including starts from the CCSU game). That's kind of a crazy stat - a bottom 1/3 team in penalties against in the CAA would be #1 in the Big Sky. Looking forward to the game!
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