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Time For Some New Blood

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2 minutes ago, nodak651 said:

This.  Studsrud was way worse his senior year after they made him stop running.  And these are the same coaches that thought a current wide receiver was better than Zimmerman.  Feel bad for that guy.

I think it plays into Kett's lack of mobility in the pocket as well.  He's so busy trying to think of what he's supposed to do he just doesn't do anything.  Our coaches seem to strip inherent ability from the QB position.

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1 hour ago, nodak651 said:

This.  Studsrud was way worse his senior year after they made him stop running.  And these are the same coaches that thought a current wide receiver was better than Zimmerman.  Feel bad for that guy.

What is it that the players see in Zimmerman (electing him a captain) that the coaches can't or won't?

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5 minutes ago, zonadub said:

What is it that the players see in Zimmerman (electing him a captain) that the coaches can't or won't?

Rudolph is perhaps the worst at QB evaluation and development I have seen on any level.  Bubba seems to be fine with this.  Once you are in his doghouse, good luck.  And this staff always doubles down on being stubborn instead of re-evaluation.  Why so many think that if we get a new special teams coordinator all will be well is beyond me.  (And Bubba doesn't have the perspective or the stones to do it himself - he'll have to be told).  Our coaches have shown us important game after important game what they are all about.

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6 minutes ago, Irish said:

Rudolph is perhaps the worst at QB evaluation and development I have seen on any level.  Bubba seems to be fine with this.  Once you are in his doghouse, good luck.  And this staff always doubles down on being stubborn instead of re-evaluation.  Why so many think that if we get a new special teams coordinator all will be well is beyond me.  (And Bubba doesn't have the perspective or the stones to do it himself - he'll have to be told).  Our coaches have shown us important game after important game what they are all about.

Spot on. 

The QB coaching and development is my #1 concern, even over special teams. 

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5 hours ago, UND-FB-FAN said:

“ ... if you satisfy coaching and culture requirements, the wins will come and with the help of a committed athletic department, the wins and a few shiny facilities will aid in your recruiting, preserving your success.” 

This is a tremendous quote. Everyone read this and let it sink in. As for UND football, there are a few critical areas of this ongoing - coaching issues, culture (too “nice guy”) to finish games, and HPC phase II. 

I agree with a lot of stuff you write. I agree with you that this program should set the highest standards for winning. I agree that this coaching staff is falling short after 5 years in charge, but this "Bubba is too nice to finish games" is total BS.

I'm not convinced Bubba is the right guy for this job but it's not because he is "too nice". He is trying to win every game and so are all the coaches. They might not know the best way to do it, but it not from lack of effort or because they are "too nice"....

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4 minutes ago, Tangolou said:

I agree with a lot of stuff you write. I agree with you that this program should set the highest standards for winning. I agree that this coaching staff is falling short after 5 years in charge, but this "Bubba is too nice to finish games" is total BS.

I'm not convinced Bubba is the right guy for this job but it's not because he is "too nice". He is trying to win every game and so are all the coaches. They might not know the best way to do it, but it not from lack of effort or because they are "too nice"....

“Too nice” is just a way to say the on-field philosophy needs to be more aggressive. The lack of deep shots when up or the decision to not go for it on 4th and short have occurred repeatedly this season and before. 

Perhaps you misinterpreted what I meant and I could’ve been more clear, but if you really feel that UND will beat top teams with their current level of aggression (or lack thereof), then I guess we do disagree on that component of “culture”. 

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3 minutes ago, UND-FB-FAN said:

“Too nice” is just a way to say the on-field philosophy needs to be more aggressive. The lack of deep shots when up or the decision to not go for it on 4th and short have occurred repeatedly this season and before. 

Perhaps you misinterpreted what I meant and I could’ve been more clear, but if you really feel that UND will beat top teams with their current level of aggression (or lack thereof), then I guess we do disagree on that component of “culture”. 

That's fair, but I actually think they have gone for it too many time this year. I think its because they don't trust the special teams not because they are fearless.

I thought this year would say a lot about Bubba and his staff. In my opinion, there are more problems here than just coaching. I don't think we have had a very good QB since Hansen, but maybe that's because Rudy can't coach them? 

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14 minutes ago, UNDBIZ said:

Re:  Bubba being too nice.  I still think about Montana going for 2 against us in 2013 in the 4th quarter to take a 55-17 lead. 

Flip side, UND vs SUU in 2016.  UND winning 45-23 in the 4th decides to kneel on it and turn it over on downs in SUU territory rather than run up score.  SUU gets ball back and attempts to push down the field in hurry-up.  They cheap shot O'Brien on that final drive, effectively ending his career.

great post...especially about the o'brien hit...maybe the most fired up i've ever seen bubba.

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16 minutes ago, Tangolou said:

That's fair, but I actually think they have gone for it too many time this year. I think its because they don't trust the special teams not because they are fearless.

I thought this year would say a lot about Bubba and his staff. In my opinion, there are more problems here than just coaching. I don't think we have had a very good QB since Hansen, but maybe that's because Rudy can't coach them? 

As I mentioned earlier, UND’s QB coaching and development is the #1 issue in my opinion. UND can run the ball and stop the run, but the passing game is horrible. UND’s QBs are consistently put in bad positions.

As for 4th down, I get what you’re saying, but the team overall has to be more aggressive. The defense is aggressive, no doubt, but the offense often lacks that killer instinct. It appears the Montana game was an aberration.

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1 hour ago, zonadub said:

What is it that the players see in Zimmerman (electing him a captain) that the coaches can't or won't?

Being a leader off the field doesn't mean you're a starter on the field. Adam Stiner is also a captain and he's a back-up as well.

 

59 minutes ago, Irish said:

Rudolph is perhaps the worst at QB evaluation and development I have seen on any level.  Bubba seems to be fine with this.  Once you are in his doghouse, good luck.  And this staff always doubles down on being stubborn instead of re-evaluation.  Why so many think that if we get a new special teams coordinator all will be well is beyond me.  (And Bubba doesn't have the perspective or the stones to do it himself - he'll have to be told).  Our coaches have shown us important game after important game what they are all about.

Talk to anyone who watched camp and practice and the choice on who QB1 should have been and continue to be is obvious and it isn't really that close despite some recent struggles. The fact that Rudy claimed it was an "open competition" as long as he did was more of surprise than who was actually chosen but I'm hoping it was done to prevent complacency.

Some of the issues at QB have been UND missing it's top receivers and replacing them with guys who haven't had much for reps at all and the line not playing as well as they were the first half of the year, which has meant that TE's and RB's have had to stay in and block more. Players are starting to get wore down from more reps than they are used to and also playing dinged up. Not an excuse, just a reality and need to find a way to work through it.

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9 minutes ago, jdub27 said:

Some of the issues at QB have been UND missing it's top receivers and replacing them with guys who haven't had much for reps at all and the line not as well as they were the first half of the year, which has meant that TE's and RB's have had to stay in and block more. Players are starting to get wore down from more reps than they are used to and also playing dinged up. Not an excuse, just a reality and need to find a way to work through it.

TE and RB passing game has always been poor (to darn right embarrassing) under Rudolph, even when all the players are healthy and playing. Passing game has always been poor with Rudolph actually. And the run heavy ball control offense currently implemented doesn’t effectively close out games like it should (see 2018 Idaho game).

I don't buy this continual infatuation with injuries as the cause for poor play and poor losses. It is a factor, but it can’t be continually emphasized as the cause for the lack of major success. Coach up and develop some quality backups. The track record for backups in this program could be better. 

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Just now, UND-FB-FAN said:

TE and RB passing game has always been poor (to darn right embarrassing) under Rudolph, even when all the players are healthy and playing. 

I don't buy this continual infatuation with injuries as the cause for poor play and poor losses. It is a factor, but it can’t be continually emphasized as the cause for the lack of major success. Coach up and develop some quality backups. The track record for backups in this program could be better. 

I agree that UND should utilize their TE's and RB's more than they do, but for comparison, NDSU has completed 20 passes to their TE's and 25 to their RB's. UND has completed 16 and 19 respectively, but that doesn't include McKinney's 7 receptions, some of which have came out of the backfield where I'd compare his usage to Ty Brooks from NDSU.

I agree you need to develop depth, but the cluster injuries at WR have been a bit crazy, you can only play so many WR's at a time to get them experience. Tough to expect a situation where you're missing your top 4 during a game, your fifth guy has played more RB than WR, the sixth guy is coming back from a 2 year injury and your seventh guy has been dinged up more than he hasn't while he's been on campus and hasn't had a chance to get many reps. Wanzek being back helps but you're still missing numbers 2-4 and hoping for the best. Stanley making the recovery he has 

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1 hour ago, jdub27 said:

I agree that UND should utilize their TE's and RB's more than they do, but for comparison, NDSU has completed 20 passes to their TE's and 25 to their RB's. UND has completed 16 and 19 respectively, but that doesn't include McKinney's 7 receptions, some of which have came out of the backfield where I'd compare his usage to Ty Brooks from NDSU.

I agree you need to develop depth, but the cluster injuries at WR have been a bit crazy, you can only play so many WR's at a time to get them experience. Tough to expect a situation where you're missing your top 4 during a game, your fifth guy has played more RB than WR, the sixth guy is coming back from a 2 year injury and your seventh guy has been dinged up more than he hasn't while he's been on campus and hasn't had a chance to get many reps. Wanzek being back helps but you're still missing numbers 2-4 and hoping for the best. Stanley making the recovery he has 

NDSU has only thrown the ball 203 times this season (due to their dominance on the scoreboard and with the running game), whereas UND has thrown the ball 264 times. Yet, the TE, FB, and RB positions are way underutilized in UND's passing game relative to NDSU or any other pro style running offense (Wisconsin, Iowa, etc.). That is not in UND's best interest in terms of winning offensive football. 

The situation at receiver when all were healthy still left much, much to be desired. Need to do better at that position. Maag has been a pleasant surprise as only a true freshman, though. Need more big play speed in the group. 

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29 minutes ago, jdub27 said:

I agree that UND should utilize their TE's and RB's more than they do, but for comparison, NDSU has completed 20 passes to their TE's and 25 to their RB's. UND has completed 16 and 19 respectively, but that doesn't include McKinney's 7 receptions, some of which have came out of the backfield where I'd compare his usage to Ty Brooks from NDSU.

I agree you need to develop depth, but the cluster injuries at WR have been a bit crazy, you can only play so many WR's at a time to get them experience. Tough to expect a situation where you're missing your top 4 during a game, your fifth guy has played more RB than WR, the sixth guy is coming back from a 2 year injury and your seventh guy has been dinged up more than he hasn't while he's been on campus and hasn't had a chance to get many reps. Wanzek being back helps but you're still missing numbers 2-4 and hoping for the best. Stanley making the recovery he has 

So then, if injuries at WR are the big problem, then why are they not using the healthier positions of running back and tight ends in the passing game more.  Wouldn't that make sense?

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40 minutes ago, jdub27 said:

I agree that UND should utilize their TE's and RB's more than they do, but for comparison, NDSU has completed 20 passes to their TE's and 25 to their RB's. UND has completed 16 and 19 respectively, but that doesn't include McKinney's 7 receptions, some of which have came out of the backfield where I'd compare his usage to Ty Brooks from NDSU.

At least 5 of these came in the first game and 4 in the first half of that game.  So roughly 1/3rd of those came in a game we should win easily and not struggle to move the ball.  When we are struggling to move the ball against good teams, WR's are injured,  seems like trying to hit a TE would be a good thing. 

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I tend to follow the ball and don't always see what goes on down field.  My question is are the TE's staying in to block because the O-Line is having problems pass blocking, are the TE's not getting open, or are they open and the QB does see them?  Seems to simple to say need to use the TE's more.  

To me it all comes down to the WR's getting healthy so we have more than one option for the QB to throw to, seems he only trusts Noah.  Defense can focus on the ran.  If stopped for short gains on 1st and 2nd down are are in trouble needing to pass on 3rd down.

 

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35 minutes ago, Big Green said:

I tend to follow the ball and don't always see what goes on down field.  My question is are the TE's staying in to block because the O-Line is having problems pass blocking, are the TE's not getting open, or are they open and the QB does see them?  Seems to simple to say need to use the TE's more.  

To me it all comes down to the WR's getting healthy so we have more than one option for the QB to throw to, seems he only trusts Noah.  Defense can focus on the ran.  If stopped for short gains on 1st and 2nd down are are in trouble needing to pass on 3rd down.

 

In regards to  "seems too simple to say need to use the TE's more", let's explain then. 

Rudolph does not call very much play-action on early downs. That is, there are limited plays where the primary read is the TE, FB, or RB *when* the defense is expecting run (hence early downs). This is important because it stresses the defense while they are trying to play run; the same players that often have to tackle the ball carrier are asked to cover the TE, FB, or RB. 

On third and long, it is completely acceptable (and sometimes required) to keep the TE in to block and therefore focus on the receivers downfield. But if defensive pressure is the reason the TE can't be released on thrid and long, then the RBs should be used in the screen game way, way more ... and they are not being used in the screen game at all. 

Lastly, by being less predictable with play-action on early downs, UND wouldn't have to worry about their receiver injury situation so much due to less third and long situations. This whole "use the TE's more" is a short and simple way to say that UND needs to be more unpredictable with play-action on expected running downs to prevent the short gains on 1st and 2nd down that you speak of. 

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1 hour ago, tnt said:

So then, if injuries at WR are the big problem, then why are they not using the healthier positions of running back and tight ends in the passing game more.  Wouldn't that make sense?

Making sense and Rudolph are antonyms.  

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12 minutes ago, UND08 said:

I went back and did some digging today.  Factoring out the bodybag game each year, if you compare what we've done offensively in 2018 (9 games - exclude UW) to what we did in 2001 (exclude UMC - difference being we were a big fish in 2001 vs being a smaller fish this year) we average exactly 0.25 points per game this year less than we did in the year we won the 2001 D2 title (30.70 vs 30.44).  We also had Cameron Peterka in 2001, which further puts things into perspective in my mind.  Now before anyone gets after me too badly know that I share a lot of the same frustrations with our playcalling that many of you do, and I'd be fine with seeing Rudy move on.  That being said...I remember a lot of "first one to 20, grind it out" type of games in the Lennon era...and Bubba is a disciple of that style of ball...so this doesn't surprise me much. 

That said, there are three cardinal sins that are glowingly apparent in my mind to this point:

1 - Lack of a kicker - We aren't going to be an explosive offense with our philosophy (despite Jack Michaels' thoughts in the pregame video).  When you aren't explosive, you are going to have some drives stall...and not having an adequate kicker has hurt.  I believe that plays out in our redzone stats this year.  I believe poor kicking costs us 3-5 points per game.  That being said...finding a good kicker is easier said than done sometimes (I mean Alabama's kicker sucks)...and I think Leech can do it...but he needs to be pushed by someone next year...the staff needs to bring another leg in.

2 - Poor special teams in general - Glaringly obvious.  Starting field position is too good and our punt protection is amongst the worst I've ever seen at the college level.  That's unacceptable and change needs to happen yesterday.  Nothing anyone on this board doesn't already know...

3 - Utilization of John Santiago - The staff moved him to running back as a true freshman...and it worked out GREAT!  That being said...he's not a fit for what they want to do now, and there is nothing wrong with that.  He was recruited as a slot...that's where he should be playing in this offense.  To use him as they have most of the last couple years has been borderline criminal.  I (unfortunately) caught the end of last night's MNF game, and I saw Saquon Barkley run an angle route, catch the ball 5 yards downfield, make 2 guys miss 20 yards downfield and hurdle a defender to set up their winning score.  In my head I immediately saw John Santiago doing that same exact thing!  I wish I'd see more of that...but I've come to the realization that I won't...and that disappoints me.

All this said, we are 6-4, and one bad fumble by Oliviera vs Idaho State and a Special Teams debacle vs Idaho away from being 8-2.  This year seems to feel a lot like 2016, without any luck going our way.  No matter what happens...the athletic department can't afford to fire Bubba this year, unless a few of the posters on here are going to write the buyout check.  It's been a mixed bag, but I'll still take this over the Mussman days!  Hope we play well this weekend and get in...I'll be in Phoenix so I plan to make the trip up to Flagstaff.  Go UND!

Good stuff, thanks for doing the digging.

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1 hour ago, UND08 said:

I went back and did some digging today. 

Definitely not saying things can't improve or there isn't reason for frustration but I've noticed a lot of the narratives presented as fact seem to be a bit more of revisionist history rather than things that are backed up by actual stats.

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7 hours ago, UND08 said:

I went back and did some digging today.  Factoring out the bodybag game each year, if you compare what we've done offensively in 2018 (9 games - exclude UW) to what we did in 2001 (exclude UMC - difference being we were a big fish in 2001 vs being a smaller fish this year) we average exactly 0.25 points per game this year less than we did in the year we won the 2001 D2 title (30.70 vs 30.44).  

All this said, we are 6-4, and one bad fumble by Oliviera vs Idaho State and a Special Teams debacle vs Idaho away from being 8-2.  This year seems to feel a lot like 2016, without any luck going our way.  No matter what happens...the athletic department can't afford to fire Bubba this year, unless a few of the posters on here are going to write the buyout check.  It's been a mixed bag, but I'll still take this over the Mussman days!  Hope we play well this weekend and get in...I'll be in Phoenix so I plan to make the trip up to Flagstaff.  Go UND!

I agree that there is a lot of revisionist history as to how good we were on offense back in the day.  Case in point when I watched the UC Davis Semi Final game two years ago, think I watched it either right before or after our Richmond game.  I remember posting about it....that something like the first 5 plays were runs, 7 of first 8 were runs, and like 9 of 11 on that first drive were runs.  Most of those were runs up the middle.  Sure we did have the famous bubble WR screen that people are calling for, but the offensive play calling wasn't really anymore aggressive than it is now.   Watching that game made me give Rudy the benefit of the doubt back then even though at times I was frustrated with him.

That said, the NCC was probably more like the MVFC where as the Big Sky is wide open and not known for defense.  I think to really compare you'd have to look at overall for the regular season games, did we on average score more or less points than the opponent was on average giving up?  That would be a stat I'd like to see.  I'd bet that in 2001 we probably score at, or more than what our opponents defenses were giving up.  This year we scored 10 points on offense against Portland State, in a must win game at home and it seems like we are not scoring on average what our opponents are giving up, but I could be wrong.   I think it is good to remind people though that some of those offenses in the good old days, were maybe not quite as explosive as we remember them being.  

I also agree that if not for that fumble in against Idaho State and/or punt block against Idaho, we win those games and while we are frustrated with the offense at times we aren't calling for Rudy's head because we are possibly a top 8 seed if we ended up 9-2.  I think I've seen enough now though to believe that we won't be a deep playoff team with Rudy as the coordinator.  I'd be on board with keeping Bubba but replacing Kostich and Rudy. 

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8 hours ago, Sioux94 said:

I agree that there is a lot of revisionist history as to how good we were on offense back in the day.  Case in point when I watched the UC Davis Semi Final game two years ago, think I watched it either right before or after our Richmond game.  I remember posting about it....that something like the first 5 plays were runs, 7 of first 8 were runs, and like 9 of 11 on that first drive were runs.  Most of those were runs up the middle.  Sure we did have the famous bubble WR screen that people are calling for, but the offensive play calling wasn't really anymore aggressive than it is now.   Watching that game made me give Rudy the benefit of the doubt back then even though at times I was frustrated with him.

That said, the NCC was probably more like the MVFC where as the Big Sky is wide open and not known for defense.  I think to really compare you'd have to look at overall for the regular season games, did we on average score more or less points than the opponent was on average giving up?  That would be a stat I'd like to see.  I'd bet that in 2001 we probably score at, or more than what our opponents defenses were giving up.  This year we scored 10 points on offense against Portland State, in a must win game at home and it seems like we are not scoring on average what our opponents are giving up, but I could be wrong.   I think it is good to remind people though that some of those offenses in the good old days, were maybe not quite as explosive as we remember them being.  

I also agree that if not for that fumble in against Idaho State and/or punt block against Idaho, we win those games and while we are frustrated with the offense at times we aren't calling for Rudy's head because we are possibly a top 8 seed if we ended up 9-2.  I think I've seen enough now though to believe that we won't be a deep playoff team with Rudy as the coordinator.  I'd be on board with keeping Bubba but replacing Kostich and Rudy. 

I still would want Rudy to go. He has had what 5 years to prove to the fans and UND that he is the guy for the job and he just isn't (Wasn't even qualified to get the job). If UND was at 9-2 you could say the argument that we're two plays away from being 7-4. And him or Kostich would most likely be the guys to blame (which they pretty much are at this point). HE NEEDS TO GO...plain and simple! UND will be a bottom feeder in the MVFC if we continue to keep doing the same things we're doing.

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The real danger here is that we somehow squeak into the playoffs, get our butts handed to us, and then enough people declare this season a success because we made the playoffs and improved from 3 wins and think no changes are necessary.  Especially with the last few games, Sioux football has become almost unwatchable.  Is this what we want for a program?  Because we all know Bubba's ideas towards changes.  

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