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ODB Mailbag - Homecoming Edition: Answered

Baylor football, KU homecoming opponent, QB 1, and more questions answered.

BrentBear: What is your take on why/how TCU went from bottom of the heap to top of the conference so quickly? Particularly given they are playing their #2 QB as of game 1 this year.

Joe Goodman: They have a ton of talent. Sometimes a fresh face and voice (and a solid offense) is all you need to get the talent moving

pbpope: There’s also been a lot of talk about “letting the players play their game,” i.e. cater the schemes to the players’ abilities instead of trying to force a scheme onto the players. For a talented group like TCU, that can be pretty liberating like Joe said.

BNT: I guess I should give credit to TCWho, but

Is Sonny Dykes really that effective or is the OC? I must admit I thought Okie Lite would expose them last week.

BNT: I think he’s a solid HC and knows what he’s doing regarding the management of all phases of his program. He also come from good stock as his dad, Spike, was a legendary HC at Texas Tech. Oh, and Duggan’s isn’t exactly an unproven QB2 as he’s had tons of starts and ranks 5th in all-time TCU passing yards.

westjef: Kansas was scheduled as a homecoming creampuff. Kansas has not played like a homecoming creampuff. What is the secret to making Kansas a homecoming creampuff again?

pbpope: Execute, limit self-inflicted wounds. Kick the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs and through the uprights on extra points.

Joe Goodman: Nebraska hiring Leipold.

Jenna Patteson: Better tackling on defense and better execution on special teams.

BNT: Go scorched earth on offense, controlling the LOS while keeping their D on the field and O off it. Light up the scoreboard Baylor!

kdavis01: I feel that they aren’t letting Shapen (or Drones for that matter - when he came in) be Shapen… part of what makes him great is his dual threat capability with his legs. He has had that option open several times this year, and shown again and again that he is reluctant to take advantage. And arguably, the reason he goes out with a concussion last game is because he slides rather than push it up field further. My question - how much do we start to open open his play making ability now that we are against the ropes in our season?

Joe Goodman: I don’t expect to see any changes, the staff we have believes in their work, and I don’t think Shapen running more, or running differently changes anything. The offense has gotten better every week, as expected with a young QB, WRs, and RBs. This is a 5-1 team if we just make our extra points, so I’m not keen on saying there’s needs to be any overhaul because of record

BNT: Agree with Joe. But, I would like to see him slide less and just be smart in going down when he’s about to get tackled. Then he would be braced for impact instead of just giving up his body and open to a questionable or late hit. To specifically answer your question, I really like his game but would like Baylor to use him a little on intentional QB runs.

Your_Bailey_Bear: Some analysts said Shapen is a gunslinger. He will make some great throws, but also throw dumb interceptions. Have you changed your opinion about Shapen’s ability to protect the ball and manage games?

pbpope: They definitely have done a good job of slowly letting Shapen “off the leash” in terms of what throws they’ve asked him to make. Now that he has a half of a season under his belt, we’ve seen him take care of the football and make good decisions. I’m pleasantly surprised by how he’s performed thus far.

Joe Goodman: Agree with Peter. I still think he’s more of a gunslinger than Gerry was, but Gerry had other strengths. Shapen is more willing to try to fit things in tighter windows or throw 50/50 balls where Gerry would’ve been more conservative. And like Peter said, it’s easy to see that they are giving him more and more leash to play with every week.

BNT: Shapen is a talent and makes good decisions. The fumble last week, while costly, was a fluke. I haven’t seen him try to press things and play outside of himself. My opinion is that he is getting better each game.

PioneerSkies: Kansas is fraudulent, yes?

pbpope: With Jalen Daniels they are a legitimately good offense. Without him, they’re a decent offense and a not-great (but better than 2021!) defense.

Joe Goodman: Fraudulent? No. They are a solid team, and nit just by KU standards. Are they world beaters? No. And without Daniels they get more beatable, just don’t overlook them because they have a big key that winning football teams have that they’ve been missing for years, belief.

BNT: If you recall, I said they’d go to a bowl game before the season. I still think they will. They’re right about where I thought they would be. Now if you want to talk about fraudulent look to the state North of, not the team in Stillwater, but that other place Southwest of there.

Chilimac: Do we care where Matt Rule lands? (I do) which college team so you think he has the best odds at coaching next fall?

pbpope: I don’t care. Sorry. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him slow play this. He doesn’t have to be in a hurry to take a job.

Joe Goodman: I don’t care, I have no ill will but I’m not like actively rooting for him either. My personal opinion is that he wants to still be an NFL coach and may be hesitant to jump right back to college.


bearchitect: I love a good flyover. I don’t care if it’s a cargo plane, fighter jets, or a helicopter. They are all amazing. How do these happen? Do we make requests of the various installations? Are we limited to how many we can do a year? Does Baylor have to pay for them? Do you think we’ll have one for homecoming? Inquiring minds want to know.

pbpope: Andrew Tuegel for Flyover Czar!

Joe Goodman: This one is way outside my areas of expertise, but they are cool!

Jenna Patteson: They are definitely having a flyover for Homecoming, although I’m not sure what all goes into that behind the scenes…

BNT: Get ready to see

bufb2007: How impressed have you been with Shapen this year. Besides the BYU game this year it’s been lights out. IMO he has been our best QB since Petty or Russell.

Joe Goodman: I like him a lot. When he’s free and loose, he does well. I think his pocket presence needs to improve but that takes instinct that you get from reps, which he will continue to see.

BNT: Improving and gaining confidence each week. I’m all in on Shapen.

bufb2007: Why has our defense looked so bad this year? The secondary was expected but the LB and DL position groups have been extremely disappointing as well.

Joe Goodman: Only as strong as your weakest link. Having a weakness at corner affects what we do with our safeties which affects our linebackers which affects our DL. It’s all connected. The defense has been vanilla. Also let’s be honest with ourselves. We replaced some generational talent on defense. A drop off is expected.

Jenna Patteson: Every week that goes by I miss Pitre and Bernard (plus all the other amazing talent that’s gone). I think the biggest thing that makes the defense appear bad is the fact that it consistently takes 2+ guys to make a tackle. We’ve been spoiled with great dudes that make big plays a lot, and this year those big defensive plays aren’t happening nearly as often.

BNT: Joe and Jenna both make good points. We definitely miss leaders like Pitre and Bernard. Some others need to step up. I think our DL is playing pretty well. But, when the QB has receivers wide open and can get the ball out quickly it negates our rush. When it comes to opponents rushing the ball, it’s been frustrating. Even when our DL occupies the OL, our LB’s and DB’s haven’t made the plays allowing the RB’s to get to the second level. We must improve on our reaction and tackling.

Leave other questions or comments below. Sic KU!