1. Travis

    I’m definitely being colored by offseason optimism, but it seems to me that Rhule finally has the athleticism on D to make things work. The emergence of RJ Sneed as the go-to chainmover this camp has been huge to somewhat replace Hurd (he started as a true freshman for a few games and then had a nasty leg break).

    I still can’t buy that an Alex Delton led TCU can do much more than win 3 or 4 conference games at best.

    Tech has upside but the prognostication is very difficult because you have to project so much. You know much more than I do in that respect.

    • ianaboyd

      The defensive projection for Tech is pretty easy, they had some players last year and ran some similar stuff up front. It’s mostly a question of whether they can better teach zone-matching concepts to the back end and successfully execute smart gameplans. I think the prognosis on that side is pretty good, especially since they added some transfer CBs.

      On offense they have a lot of tools and were good last year with the same QB and OL, essentially. So now the question is whether they have a few new pieces out wide and whether the OL and then this new TE can successfully add an effective run game dimension against even stouter B12 fronts. This is much more questionable and we’ll have to wait and see. If things go really well here though and the D plays smart in the new schemes you’re looking at a team that can win a lot of conference games.

      Of course they have to travel to Austin and Norman so that’s a complicating factor.

  2. System Poster

    Your book sounds awesome, and I’m really excited to read it.

    I watched some of last year’s Utah State vs. Michigan State game to get a feel for what they might be doing this year (tried to watch the UNT game but couldn’t find a stream of the full game). I think the biggest change for us Tech fans is going to be that Yost doesn’t fiddle with his personnel groupings during drives. While Kingsbury might go from 11 to 10 to five wide in the course of a single series, Yost sticks with 11 personnel pretty constantly. Also noticed that the majority of the time their tight end was lined up out wide and he only really lined up in line in short yardage situations. That might have been a result of playing Michigan State and not wanting to go toe to toe with them in the trenches. It will be interesting to see how much blocking Thompson does. He’s apparently added 20 pounds of lean muscle, so that’s encouraging at least.

    On defense, I was a little worried. Patterson seems to have adopted some of the Todd Graham zero coverage blitzes that I saw a lot of when we played ASU in 2016 (and that Mahomes usually managed to burn). Doing crazy things like lining up all three linebackers in the 7-9 gaps on the line on one side of the offensive formation. Not sure how that kind of thing is going to fly in the Big 12 but I guess we’ll see if our corners can hold up.

    • ianaboyd

      In general Tech needs the CBs to come through for things to go well this season. Patterson will definitely bring some aggressive blitzes, I think. Their reasoning is that you have to bring real pressure now and again so that the offense can’t call plays as though there’s no chance of that happening. It also sets up simulated blitzes where you show the big pressure to get them to check into a call and then you bring a different blitz to a different area that the audible left vulnerable. The new blitz usually only brings 4-5.

      Yost used the TE inline or in the box a ton last year, flexing him out the majority of the time in that game was a function of facing the Spartan front. MSU generally has one of the toughest run-stopping fronts in the country so there’s little point in forcing the action or trying to punish them if they play a five-man box. They want you to try to run the ball and they aren’t giving you a 5-man box unless you REALLY earn it. Thompson figures to be pretty good in that flex role, it’s the blocking we’ll have to see about. Adding the mass is a good sign, but learning to block a DE takes time I bet.

      Probably they’ll flex him out a ton and try to force opponents into smaller personnel packages before bringing him back in.

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