Air War: Kansas (spoiler: it's not pretty)



There’s trouble, right here in river city. Trouble with a capital T, that rhymes with P, and that stands for Passing. What a mess. If you want to see the Bears out of sync, look no further than your DVR and the air attack against mighty Kansas. After starting 3 of 4 on the first drive, Russell would complete only 6 more passes in his one half of play. We must get better, or the second half of the season (you know, the one where the teams are all dangerous) will not be pretty.

Post Raid Analysis:

Basics: Russell had a rough outing that had to be frustrating. His reaction to the 4 yard TD toss to Zamora just before half (which I read as, "Yes, finally") spoke to what I see as his worst outing of the season (SMU is a close second).

  • Russell was 9 of 22 for 144 yards
  • That’s a 41 percent completion percentage.
  • His 125.9 QBR was down from a season average 152.1.

INC. About those 13 incompletions. When I watched the game live, and then again on DVR, I couldn’t find a single drive where the passing game looked in rhythm.* Take out the 23 yard catch by Hawthorne on a scramble-induced blown coverage and the 52 yards after-the-catch by Cannon and the first team managed only 69 yards in the air. Worse yet, it appeared that the receivers weren’t getting separation from the vaunted Kansas DBs. I hope they prove me wrong, but the Bears don’t look ready for primetime.

*I’m still traumatized by that repeatedly misspelling that word in 4th grade music class.

  • 4 were thrown into perfect coverage (give Kansas some props here, our receivers rarely were wide open)
  • 2 were on the receivers. One dropped and Platt turned the wrong way on a corner route
  • 2 bad throws
  • 2 overthrown deep balls
  • 1 shovel past near-disaster
  • 1 tip
  • 1 quarterback hurry
  • And Russell was chased from the pocket 5 times.

Velocity. Does anyone else think that Russell often prefers velocity over placement/touch? We know he has a cannon for an arm, but I sometimes miss Nick Florence’s looping throws downfield that allowed open receivers to adjust to the ball. I get it; closely-covered slants require the hard throw, as do those long outs, but they don’t help receivers running free.

Points, counter-Points. On the one hand, the offense scored 42 points. On the other, 7 of those were a gift and 7 more were scored by the second team. On the other hand, we missed 3 field goals and had another second team touchdown called back on a penalty (Strickland is going to be good). On the other hand, had an evil doppelganger replaced Grobe on the sidelines, the first team could likely have scored another 35 or so in the second half

Mark’s Influence on KB. Mark comments on Twitter that the Baylor offense doesn’t throw to the middle of the field. KB, says, "Watch this" and calls 9 throws to the center of the field. We complete only 3, and Mark (I think) gives KB a raised eyebrow in response.

The Chart.


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