In case you haven't heard (listen on the podcast around 10:00
), Mark Stoops' radio show last night was kicked off by a caller questioning some of Neal Brown's scheming Saturday in Baton Rouge. The caller wanted to know why the passing was so "East/West" and why they relied too much on "trickery" in the run game.
Mark Stoops did not shy away from the question, somewhat agreeing with the fan. Brown didn't take the question as kindly as Stoops. I wouldn't use the word 'defensive' in his explanation, but they both make logical sense.
On throwing it North/South rather than East/West...
“We should put him on staff, shouldn’t we? I don’t know. If you look at our stats, I think we’re pretty good as far as explosive plays. You know? That’s probably what I would say. I think we’ve been pretty good throwing the ball down the field. The other night, there were some times we called shot plays or downfield throws and really we just kind of got beat in some one-on-one situations. I probably should have called some more. I think the East/West passing game that we had, that’s what’s been really effective against LSU. If you go back, you look at the Mississippi State game, they threw a lot of balls in the flats. OK? You look at Florida. When they had success, they threw a lot of balls in the flats. What we were trying to do is we were trying to get Stanley out there in one-on-one, and Stanley has got to do a better job of trusting his speed. OK? Then what we’ve got to do – we had some things where we were going to use Stanley as a decoy and then try to hit ‘em behind them. And I should have got to them.”
In fact, the offense has 27 explosive plays of over 30 yards
, about four a game. Not too shabby. I attempted to find last years number of explosive plays in the air, but I'd venture to say there couldn't have been many more than 27 for the entire season.
On the trickery in the run game...
"I think that was the first time we haven’t been successful in the Wildcat all year in the short-yardage. What happened? We were just late off the ball. It wasn’t necessarily – the Hunter kid again, he made a really good play on that, but we were late off the ball. If we were on time getting off the ball, I think we’ve got a decent play and we’ll be successful. It’s not going to be a big play, but we’ll get the yard and a half we need. But I was not pleased with how we ran the ball last week. I think we’ve done a pretty good job, you know. With the exception of the Florida game, the rest of the season I think we’ve ran the ball effectively. Ran the ball really well against South Carolina. Last week, we just got beat. We got beat at the point of contact a lot of times.”
There is a method to the madness. Sometimes things don't work the way they're supposed to. That's not just football, that's life.