Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Season Thoughts-Part 1

Tulane concluded its disappointing even for them 2009 campaign with a much more spirited effort than many expected- but still losing to SMU 26-21. The Wave finished 3-9. I had predicted something like 4-8 (a whole step better than 2008)- but instead Tulane was just a little better, and yet still pretty bad.

Before Frank Helps You Think It All Out lets the season mercifully go, today I wanted to write a little about Toledo offense approach. To get started, a link to the SMU box score is here. Tomorrow I will write about "Twelve Lessons" Toledo learned.

Bottom line, the Wave played pretty well on offense, right? Like the McNeese State game, Tulane committed to get Andre Anderson a goodly number of carries. He put up 105 yards in 27 tries- not great, but not bad. QB Ryan Griffin did what he is supposed to do: 18-26, 216 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions. The Wave managed a snappy six yards a snap- and 345 yards of offense.

Not to be obnoxious, but those are very normal, mundane numbers for a team with 29 minutes TOP allowing 26 points to the other side. Honestly, if you run this offense with decent talent (a quarterback having a good day, minimal turnovers, productive skill player at tailback), this is what you expect. Even if you got a little more out of the running game, another big passing play, Tulane would add another 40-50 yards of offense, 3-7 more points?

To me, that is a problem. Tulane’s offense played “up” in class a notch, gave Toledo a perfectly expected, productive day versus a so-so League defense- and could generate only 21 points?

That simply isn’t enough in this League. If you can’t game plan to score five TDs against good C-USA defenses, let alone poor to average ones, it is trouble.

And I can’t see, even if Tulane had played perfectly within the parameters given to them by Toledo on Saturday, how Tulane can get to that sort of number consistently? Since Bowden’s dethroning of USM circa 1998, thirty rushes is not a consistent recipe for success in this League. Tulane needs to throw more often- get more true spread out there- aim for 350 yards passsing, not 150 yards rushing.

And again, Part 2 tomorrow.

Lastly, this week's BlogPoll:
4Boise State
6Cincinnati 1
7Ohio State 1
8Oregon 2
9Brigham Young 4
10Iowa 4
11LSU 1
12Penn State 3
13Miami (Florida) 6
14Houston 2
15Oklahoma State 6
16Virginia Tech 6
17Oregon State 4
18Southern Cal 2
19Utah 2
20Pittsburgh 9
23West Virginia
24Central Michigan 1
Last week's ballot

Dropped Out: Georgia Tech (#6), Clemson (#18), Temple (#23), Navy (#24).

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