Air War: Northwestern State


Cathartic. That’s the word for the week, I think—the complete domination of an outmatched team was good for us all. Then we played the last 25 minutes of the game in a self-induced offensive coma. I posted in one of the threads that I believe the second half is one sign of Grobe’s hand on the helm. CAB would always play the starters for the first half and one series of the second (55 points), then send in the second team (another pair of touchdowns to 69), then kill clock with the third team. Grobe chose to pull the starters earlier, perhaps to protect the first team, but I also think it’s because he hadn’t seen that sort of domination since his high school coaching days and didn’t know quite how to handle it.

What follows is a pass distribution chart that I started making last season for my own benefit, then worked out a way to share it with the ODB community. It’s certainly not professional (I may be off a yard or two and my graphics are bush league) but the charts do reveal some interesting trends in distributing the ball and, occasionally, a surprise or two.

Post Raid Analysis:

Vanilla. Our offense’s main ingredient this week--vanilla--because why complicate the recipe when you don't have to? The simplest iteration of the Baylor offense put up 48 points in the first half (leaving most of grousing about the two field goals and some difficulty hitting slant patterns in the end zone).

Pitch and Catch. The recipe for success also included making quick throws to receivers who had a 7-10 yard cushion provided by a NWST secondary that was determined not to give up the big play. We simply took what they gave us, with 14 short passes of about 4 yards, on to which our receivers tacked another 5 yards a catch (on average). I don’t know about you, but I can live with a team giving away 9 yards a catch and over six yards an attempt on the simplest of routes.


Variety is the Spice of Life. 9 receivers caught passes, and that’s in the first half plus one series. I really enjoyed getting to see new faces show us what they can do, but I’m not sure that any one stood out to me. I’d love to hear what y’all saw in our 2016 receiving corps.

Two Trick Pony. Last year I wrote that we only threw to our tight ends on some version of a seam route . . . well now we can add a nice drag route from the H-back position in a power set. I can see that threat paying dividends as other teams are forced to account for our Teutonic knights/ends rumbling into the pattern.

Dreaming. If only we threw to our running backs . . . can you imagine Hasty given repeated chances to work in space? Every year I dream about half a dozen throws to TEs and RBs, but I’ve finally decided to disappoint Shia and let my dreams be dreams.

Next Mission. SMU should give us a better test, and I really hope that their scheme gives our offense a chance to open things up downfield. It will also be interesting to compare and contrast last year’s effort against the Ponies with this year’s game. For those of you going to McLane: wear white, stay hydrated, back our Bears!

The NWSt Chart:



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