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Decision Making

HuskerSuperGenius

Red Shirt
5 Year Member
All the talk about the hopes for the 2022 season are focused on the roster changes, in large part because like me, its fun to postulate about improved and new players.

But to me the last four years and the frustrations about lack of winning, especially close games, comes down to decision making.

Let me give you two examples from 2021:
1. Opener with Illinois, game is very close, less than 40 seconds to play till half time, DONU at roughly its own 45 yard line. HCSF sends AM back to pass, with his less than stellar O-line to protect him and......strip, sack scoop and score for Illinois that completely changed the feel of the game as DONU played from behind the rest of the way.
WHY? Your QB is 2nd in the nation in TO's at that point, your O-line is porous, the likelihood of scoring points is slime, so the correct play is to run the ball get to half time and make your changes to win in the second half.

2. Purdue game: We out gain Purdue, Yant 6-60, Rahmir 12-52 but we can't over come AM's 4 INT's :(. Purdue was 77th in the nation in rush defense last year, so why can't we realize that, when our QB is having a bad day, maybe, just maybe its the day to run the ball and take advantage of the opponents weakness???

So, with HCSF moving to a more "oversight, CEO" role, supposedly delegating more of the nitty gritty game day roles to his staff, especially the new OC and his DC, will they be allowed to make these decisions on their own.

Because if there are not changes in the decision patterns of the last 4 years, then better players will not be able to express their talents in such a way as to lead to wins.

Has there been statements as to what the OC can do on game day? Because a more stable offense makes the DC's job a lot easier as he can do lots more things to try and win than if the offense has four straight 3 and outs.
 

DuckTownHusker

Blackshirt Sith Lord
10 Year Member
There have been two domains of bad decision making with the Huskers: the decisions made in playcalling and the decisions made by the quarterback on the field.

Great teams can suffer a poor decision from ONE of those areas every now and then. You get a bum play, but the QB makes a smart move. Or you get a solid play and the QB can make a less-than-optimal choice about who he distributes the ball to.

Our problem is that Frost (or Lubick, etc) were calling bum plays and Martinez was tossing up bricks. Usually in crunch time.

How many times did we see a 3rd-and-Long where Frost called a RB Trap or a low-percentage 5 WR streak where we essentially turned it into a Hail Mary instead of a higher percentage, 12-yard slant pass to a TE? And then Martinez would pre-select his throw to Stanley Morgan, who was double covered. Or some equally boneheaded decision.

If Whipple can make some basic, common sense play calls, I think we'll see Thompson have a much higher chance to execute. There are times when you want to get deceptive and sneaky, but most of the time when it's 3rd and 1, you need to give the ball to the FB and just smash the defense in the face. Frost is a classic overthinker in that regard. You don't always have to be Super Scheme Man. Just make the common sense, high percentage play.
 

NorthwoodHusker

All American
2 Year Member
All the talk about the hopes for the 2022 season are focused on the roster changes, in large part because like me, its fun to postulate about improved and new players.

But to me the last four years and the frustrations about lack of winning, especially close games, comes down to decision making.

Let me give you two examples from 2021:
1. Opener with Illinois, game is very close, less than 40 seconds to play till half time, DONU at roughly its own 45 yard line. HCSF sends AM back to pass, with his less than stellar O-line to protect him and......strip, sack scoop and score for Illinois that completely changed the feel of the game as DONU played from behind the rest of the way.
WHY? Your QB is 2nd in the nation in TO's at that point, your O-line is porous, the likelihood of scoring points is slime, so the correct play is to run the ball get to half time and make your changes to win in the second half.

2. Purdue game: We out gain Purdue, Yant 6-60, Rahmir 12-52 but we can't over come AM's 4 INT's :(. Purdue was 77th in the nation in rush defense last year, so why can't we realize that, when our QB is having a bad day, maybe, just maybe its the day to run the ball and take advantage of the opponents weakness???

So, with HCSF moving to a more "oversight, CEO" role, supposedly delegating more of the nitty gritty game day roles to his staff, especially the new OC and his DC, will they be allowed to make these decisions on their own.

Because if there are not changes in the decision patterns of the last 4 years, then better players will not be able to express their talents in such a way as to lead to wins.

Has there been statements as to what the OC can do on game day? Because a more stable offense makes the DC's job a lot easier as he can do lots more things to try and win than if the offense has four straight 3 and outs.
Being overtly aggressive only works if mistake free
Being so aggressive and winning are a combined thing, as it doesnt matter when its hurting you.
This alone makes you somewhat predictable which can then be used against you.
Lining up and saying we are running right through the A gap is predictable when you're telling a Miami team where the balls going, but isnt being overly aggressive when its working.
Consistency at QB needs to improve, and play calling and coaching changes this, then add in QB abilities.

AMs running was the main alternative to counter our lack of consistency, which also becomes predictable at the cost of a healthy AM.

Agree, take what they give us and combine that with a few aggressive shots
 

HuskerSuperGenius

Red Shirt
5 Year Member
There have been two domains of bad decision making with the Huskers: the decisions made in playcalling and the decisions made by the quarterback on the field.

Great teams can suffer a poor decision from ONE of those areas every now and then. You get a bum play, but the QB makes a smart move. Or you get a solid play and the QB can make a less-than-optimal choice about who he distributes the ball to.

Our problem is that Frost (or Lubick, etc) were calling bum plays and Martinez was tossing up bricks. Usually in crunch time.

How many times did we see a 3rd-and-Long where Frost called a RB Trap or a low-percentage 5 WR streak where we essentially turned it into a Hail Mary instead of a higher percentage, 12-yard slant pass to a TE? And then Martinez would pre-select his throw to Stanley Morgan, who was double covered. Or some equally boneheaded decision.

If Whipple can make some basic, common sense play calls, I think we'll see Thompson have a much higher chance to execute. There are times when you want to get deceptive and sneaky, but most of the time when it's 3rd and 1, you need to give the ball to the FB and just smash the defense in the face. Frost is a classic overthinker in that regard. You don't always have to be Super Scheme Man. Just make the common sense, high percentage play.
This is HCSF and his QB at UCF.

I believe that much of the "scheme" was in fact the brilliance of the QB who could make even broken plays into 65 yard TD passes.

HCSF hoped that AM was going to be that same player, and at times he was, its just he had a equal or greater number of untimely turnovers (Illinois scoop and score).
 

Mr.Bennett

Recruit
2 Year Member
All the talk about the hopes for the 2022 season are focused on the roster changes, in large part because like me, its fun to postulate about improved and new players.

But to me the last four years and the frustrations about lack of winning, especially close games, comes down to decision making.

Let me give you two examples from 2021:
1. Opener with Illinois, game is very close, less than 40 seconds to play till half time, DONU at roughly its own 45 yard line. HCSF sends AM back to pass, with his less than stellar O-line to protect him and......strip, sack scoop and score for Illinois that completely changed the feel of the game as DONU played from behind the rest of the way.
WHY? Your QB is 2nd in the nation in TO's at that point, your O-line is porous, the likelihood of scoring points is slime, so the correct play is to run the ball get to half time and make your changes to win in the second half.
I may be on a limb here - but I agreed with putting the ball in the air against Ill. We had really controlled the game and moved the ball well up to that point, two of our prior three drives went for 60 yards. It was also the first game of the year... we were all super optimistic about the line and although Culp missed a PAT earlier, he was still a returning all conference kicker. It was reasonable to expect points if we could get to the 30 yard line. Had we ran into the line 3 times when we only needed 25-30 yards we all would have lost our minds
 

Cisco

Recruit
5 Year Member
I may be on a limb here - but I agreed with putting the ball in the air against Ill. We had really controlled the game and moved the ball well up to that point, two of our prior three drives went for 60 yards. It was also the first game of the year... we were all super optimistic about the line and although Culp missed a PAT earlier, he was still a returning all conference kicker. It was reasonable to expect points if we could get to the 30 yard line. Had we ran into the line 3 times when we only needed 25-30 yards we all would have lost our minds
Yes, hindsight is 20/20. Given where we had the ball, being aggressive at that point against Illinois was the logical choice. What happened was a failure of execution, not decision making in that instance.
 
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HuskerSuperGenius

Red Shirt
5 Year Member
I may be on a limb here - but I agreed with putting the ball in the air against Ill. We had really controlled the game and moved the ball well up to that point, two of our prior three drives went for 60 yards. It was also the first game of the year... we were all super optimistic about the line and although Culp missed a PAT earlier, he was still a returning all conference kicker. It was reasonable to expect points if we could get to the 30 yard line. Had we ran into the line 3 times when we only needed 25-30 yards we all would have lost our minds
With 40 seconds to go till halftime........

Risk/reward says: No, not with AM (Mr. Turnover) as your QB. Now if you had Turner Gill, that is a different story.
 

AzHusker

Big Red Fanatic
15 Year Member
This is HCSF and his QB at UCF.

I believe that much of the "scheme" was in fact the brilliance of the QB who could make even broken plays into 65 yard TD passes.

HCSF hoped that AM was going to be that same player, and at times he was, its just he had a equal or greater number of untimely turnovers (Illinois scoop and score).
This all day. Frostie thought with enough reps, AM = Milton. Didn't happen.

As a runner, AM had size, speed and moves - so advantage AM.

But as a playmaker, serviceable passer, leader and winner, it's MM all day long.
 

djlhuskerfan

Travel Squad
15 Year Member
That is what worries me about next year! The CEO role, game management stuff is some of what Coach Frost had seemed to lack the last 4 years. I know I am.in the minority here but the defense failed us in 5 divisional games. They didn't have great offenses so the fact they got stops here and there is skewed. I agree it is more than just the qb at those critical times. Play calling, scheme, offensive line play all went hand in hand. The situation against Illinois, I agree with a pass play in that situation but the execution at several different layers failed at same time. Like I said earlier, I worry about defense more than offense as 5 teams in our division whom we will play this year gashed our defense at crucial times. That has to be fixed. I think special teams will be improved with dedicated coach and experienced kickers.
 

Mr.Bennett

Recruit
2 Year Member
With 40 seconds to go till halftime........

Risk/reward says: No, not with AM (Mr. Turnover) as your QB. Now if you had Turner Gill, that is a different story.
AM was a 4th year starter, it was the first game of the year, he'd look good so far, and it was a short field. We weren't putting the ball in the hands of Freshman with 85 yards to go behind a banged up o-line. You may not expect points, but I'd say there was a reasonable chance of a score. Trying to do so was an absolute no brainer.
 

Oldgrappler

Recruit
Bad decisions seem to be the theme over the last decade made by lots of people including but not limited to Administration, coaches and players. Hopefully this year will be different.
 

36Blast

Coach Search Extraordinaire
5 Year Member
If Whipple can make some basic, common sense play calls, I think we'll see Thompson have a much higher chance to execute. There are times when you want to get deceptive and sneaky, but most of the time when it's 3rd and 1, you need to give the ball to the FB and just smash the defense in the face. Frost is a classic overthinker in that regard. You don't always have to be Super Scheme Man. Just make the common sense, high percentage play.
I agree. But none of this matters (i.e., Whipple calling plays, Thompson playing smarter) if our line is more porous than it was last year. And that could be the case -- especially from a pass pro standpoint. I'd be really, really fine with taking an ultra-conservative approach on offense and dedicating ourselves to the running game (not the QB scramble game, which was our running game last year). Just not sure we recruited the right type of guys on the offensive line to truly smash another (good) team in the face; nor has Whipple shown a willingness to be a smash-mouth type play caller. We will see this season! I can say one thing with certainty. There is so much uncertainty coming into this season, there is a TON of intrigue on both sides of the field.
 
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wcbsas

All Big 10
20 Year Member
All the talk about the hopes for the 2022 season are focused on the roster changes, in large part because like me, its fun to postulate about improved and new players.

But to me the last four years and the frustrations about lack of winning, especially close games, comes down to decision making.

Let me give you two examples from 2021:
1. Opener with Illinois, game is very close, less than 40 seconds to play till half time, DONU at roughly its own 45 yard line. HCSF sends AM back to pass, with his less than stellar O-line to protect him and......strip, sack scoop and score for Illinois that completely changed the feel of the game as DONU played from behind the rest of the way.
WHY? Your QB is 2nd in the nation in TO's at that point, your O-line is porous, the likelihood of scoring points is slime, so the correct play is to run the ball get to half time and make your changes to win in the second half.

2. Purdue game: We out gain Purdue, Yant 6-60, Rahmir 12-52 but we can't over come AM's 4 INT's :(. Purdue was 77th in the nation in rush defense last year, so why can't we realize that, when our QB is having a bad day, maybe, just maybe its the day to run the ball and take advantage of the opponents weakness???

So, with HCSF moving to a more "oversight, CEO" role, supposedly delegating more of the nitty gritty game day roles to his staff, especially the new OC and his DC, will they be allowed to make these decisions on their own.

Because if there are not changes in the decision patterns of the last 4 years, then better players will not be able to express their talents in such a way as to lead to wins.

Has there been statements as to what the OC can do on game day? Because a more stable offense makes the DC's job a lot easier as he can do lots more things to try and win than if the offense has four straight 3 and outs.
Illinois was a perfect example for many perspectives ... sometimes its on SF and sometimes its on the players.

1. Our All-B1G 4 year starter CTB takes a dumb ass safety fielding a punt. I'm sure the coaches have said ... "do not catch a punt inside the 10 yard line". You wouldn't expect CTB to do such a thing.

2. I would be screaming at the TV if 2AM and SF were taking a knee at the 45 yard line with 41 seconds left. A FG attempt at minimum should be in play. But (and this is on SF) you do it with conservative and safe plays ... you do it with a screen, running attempt, draw .. Its the first game of the season, I am not sure you send a message to your team that you don't trust your line and/or QB in your season opening game.

3. To me ... and I said this in a different post ... SF never played to 2AM's strengths. He wanted 2AM to run HIS offense which included more traditional passing that 2AM was not suited to do. Run things that suit 2AM's strength ... and reading coverage/decision making was not a 2AM strength ... so run roll-outs, run one-read passes, run things that didn't require 2AM to decide on the fly.
 
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