I do not profess to being smarter than the Oklahoma State coaches (just more endowed), nor a better athlete than the men on the field (just less endowed), but there are a few things that I do not understand about some of the things Oklahoma State does, and wonder if other options could be considered. I thought I would dedicate a post to asking those questions, and half-assedly explaining my reasoning behind them. Feel free to answer any for me if you have any answers.
Question #1: Why do we never/rarely use a nickelback?
Unless I just haven't noticed, I can only think of a couple of plays that mattered this season where the Cowboys defense didn't have 3 linebackers and 4 D-linemen on the field. Yes we get creative with how these LB's and linemen are used in order to get more guys into coverage, but I have to wonder why we don't take a LB off the field and run with Victor Johnson and Johnny Thomas deep, Markelle Martin as the nickle (or whatever personnel works best), and 2 DB's on the field. Maybe because James Thomas is a smallish LB to begin with, Young likes to think of him as sort of a nickleback already?
On Saturday it was becoming apparent that the Pokes needed more secondary speed on the field to combat the Troy spread, yet play after play there we were with the 3 LB's and 4 DB/S trying to cover four and five wide sets. Just seems like it removes the possibility of manning up due to the speed mismatches so you are effectively letting the offense force you into a zone coverage (not that you can really man up against a 5-wide anyway, but you get the point). Again, I know Bill Young knows a ton more than us about how to run a defense (for now), but it doesn't mean we can't ask questions if it seems like there are alternatives.
Question #2: Why do we not run the inside out move with Blackmon every series?
That inside out move where he fakes the post then hits the fly toward the corner seems to be available at will. Neither of the teams we have seen can cover him on this route, and in both games when we needed a score to provide cushion it almost seemed like the thinking was, "Oh, now we REALLY need a score? Ok, let's run the play that works every time". I know that is a very simplistic way of looking at it, and that a lot of the preceding plays are intended specifically to set that play up, but it just seems like it could be utilized a little more.
Question #3: Why were we not running more clock with 2:00 left?
I get that the Air Raid is meant to be attacking, and that the theory is to never let your foot off the gas, but it was getting pretty effing nervous up in section 102 when Weeden was snapping the ball with 20 seconds left on the play clock. I'm fine with the playcalling, the reverses, the short passes, whatever... but please explain to me the value of not running the play-clock all the way down when you are protecting a lead late in the game.
Question #4 (for stat-keepers): Did those forward pitches we ran in the first half count toward passing or rushing stats?
I see that Blackmon and Cooper both show as having some rushing stats, so I think they counted them as running plays. But technically they were sorta forward pitches as on the end around the WR was a good 3 yards in front of Weeden when he shovel passed it forward to them. Just curious if anyone knows how those were scored.
Question #5: Where was "The Hott V"?
Did we use it at all on Saturday?