I am toying with starting a new Monday look-back for football where I ask a question, serious or otherwise, to the fanbase on Twitter and see what I get for responses. After failing to seize Saturday's win over the Buckeyes I wanted to see what you all thought of the playcalling.
No three-game losing streak is fun. A three game losing streak with two virtual no-shows at home and a collapse on the road are even more painful. As fans, we're looking for someone to blame. Personally, I always err on the side of the players unless there is something egregious like Dwayne Beckford getting arrested multiple time. the players are busting their ass while going to school and there is rarely a question of their effort, especially this last week. Like many, I feel like many of our troubles lie with Gary Nord.
It was his offense that chose to lie in the missionary position and settle for a punt back instead of seizing Saturday's game by getting a first down and ending the contest without giving the other team the ball back. Sorry, but that game is over with one first down, and the three plays called had zero chance of earning one.
Nord did not start out as a bad guy. His offense in 2009 was fun and had only the problem of turnovers to contend with as Ralph Bolden was electric and Joey Elliott had an excellent season. Lately, his playcalling has digressed into what I am now calling, the Nordfense.
The Nordfense is simple, and I asked the fans to speak about it today on Twitter. it is when a play call make little to no sense, but is defended by Gary Nord because of his expertise. My prime example is Akeem Hunt. Here is a player that is clearly a danger to score if he gets the ball in space. He has scored via the run, the pass, and kick return so far, yet his offensive touches are limited. In the Nordfense, he is given five carries per game off of a shotgun draw straight into the middle of the line, which negates his speed and elusiveness. he is better used with a lead blocker and out on the edge where he can make guys miss and accelerate away.
Well, you readers did not disappoint. I am not the only one frustrated with Gary Nord's offense, as seen with these tweets:
@hammerandrails #NordFense :an offensive series MUST contain the following: a draw, rollout, and inside bubble screen #AnOffenseGoingNOWhere— Mikes and Steve (@PUSportsNight) October 22, 2012
@hammerandrails #Nordfense Never throwing the ball downfield to Gabe Holmes and on 3rd and short dont dare give it to 250 lb. B. Cottom— Josh Braziel (@J_Brazz) October 22, 2012
@hammerandrails #nordfense 1st half = open playbook;2nd half = run, run, pass short of first down, punt— Joshua Winrotte (@coachrotte) October 22, 2012
@hammerandrails Anything beyond the 1st down marker is lava. #nordfense— Ben DeVoe (@interroben) October 22, 2012
@hammerandrails #Nordfense in OT, when you know you have 4 downs, throw 4 straight passes and never try and move the sticks.— Ian Heuer (@ian_heuer) October 22, 2012
@hammerandrails #Nordfense throwing it one time over 10 yards for a TD on first play of the game then never doing it again.— Ian Heuer (@ian_heuer) October 22, 2012
@hammerandrails #Nordfense bubble screen when there is no safety in the middle of the field and no LB can stay with Holmes on a go route.— Ian Heuer (@ian_heuer) October 22, 2012
@hammerandrails #Nordfense Henry & Terbush YPC: 1.7. Bolden, Shavers, Hunt & Cottom YPC: 3.65. Terbush had 8 Rushes more than all but Bolden— Ian Heuer (@ian_heuer) October 22, 2012
@hammerandrails #Nordfense screen or 2 yard slant on 3rd and long— Shawn R (@SRuem) October 22, 2012
@hammerandrails Long TD pass on first play of game then kill the clock to protect our lead. #Nordfense— Jeremy Ashcraft (@MrSpooky) October 22, 2012
@hammerandrails running a jailbreak screen on every third and long. #Nordfense— Jeremy Ashcraft (@MrSpooky) October 22, 2012
@hammerandrails you mean #Nordfense? the Canadian technique of losing football games?— Nolan Hall (@nolan_hall13) October 22, 2012
@hammerandrails #NordFense when taking a shot downfield involves 4 receivers running 6 yard curl routes— R Wheeler (@rwheeler21) October 22, 2012
@hammerandrails no passes beyond the line of scrimmage #Nordfense— Patrick Getts (@pgetts) October 22, 2012
.@hammerandrails #Nordfense we need one first down to clinch this game. 3 runs up the gut!— Chris Garren (@ChrisGarren) October 22, 2012
Finally, the best description yet:
@hammerandrails #Nordfense in a nutshell: Where talent and opportunity never seem to meet.— Ian Heuer (@ian_heuer) October 22, 2012
You see, there is no question this team is talented. Antavian Edison, Gary Bush, and O.J. Ross are speed guys that almost always have to make a catch at a dead stop. Akeem Hunt is almost exclusively run directly into the line. Even Brandon Cottom has broken the longest run of the season as possibly the slowest offensive player. Something is not right with this equation with the number of three-and-outs we have, and it is not the players.
So, I present, the Nordfense. Have fun in the comments.