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  1. #181
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Rougemont Nebulae
    I would have put it to Calhoun this way: Son, the play is designed to accomplish one thing, to get the coverage on the intended receiver to bite on the fake run. If the coverage doesn't bite, or if anything else happens to impede the development of the play, tuck it, run and the make the best of it that you can. You don't improvise and reverse field, you don't check through your "reads". Just run.

    Keep it simple and limit Calhoun's decision to one of those two options. I don't know what instructions Calhoun received from Cut, but that play, combined with Brice forcing the ball down the middle of the field into double coverage on First and 10, early in the 3rd Quarter when the Duke offense was beginning to gather momentum, suggests to me that Cut is not communicating effectively with his players in real time, or at least there are lapses. Both plays seemed to arise out of a desperate attempt to salvage the play when there was absolutely no need to be desperate. Presence of mind has to emanate from the Coach.

    That stated I am adamantly opposed to the notion that Cut be fired. Cut needs to right the ship and put up some wins but it's not time to scuttle it.
    "You will stop hearing the term 'Big Brother' because we will do it to ourselves." --Neil Postman

  2. #182
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    As far as "Duke not being ready" this season, that's a tough sell. We played a game before BC did, and that didn't go well; we played TWO games before UVA played a game, and they embarrassed us. It just seems to me that for a sport where you only have about a dozen games a year, we hear the "we just weren't ready" excuse way way way too often, e.g. the Wake and Syracuse debacles of recent years. Staff's job is to get players ready, and when we're paying $2.7 million/year for a coach, that shouldn't be too much to expect.

    Nonetheless, the fact that Cut's contract goes thru 2022 (I believe) indicates to me little will change before then...still wish Cut would find a graceful way to exit, have a statue built, leave on a suitably high note.

  3. #183
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    The Calhoun-pass-trick play only makes sense if you trust Calhoun to be able to make the correct decision instantly. He was a prep quarterback, although I don't think anyone in a Power-5 conference recruited him as such.

    But for that play to work it has to work right away, while the defense is fooled, if they are indeed fooled at all. But he bobbled the "lateral" from Brice and at that point the play had little chance of success. If Calhoun had realized that he could have thrown it away and Duke would have had 2nd-and-10, still well within field-goal range. But learning when to accept when a play has been blown up beyond saving is a difficult skill for a full-time quarterback and it's apparent that Duke had not adequately prepared him for that scenario.

    But UVA took over at their six and marched 94 yards for the go-ahead TD, even converting a 2nd-and-19. So some of the onus is on the D.

    The thing that concerns me about this team going back to mid-season of last year is a seeming lack of emotional resilience. It seems like they just don't have the ability to absorb a big blow and fight back. I'm not suggesting they're quitting or anything like that. But they just seem tentative, lacking confidence when things start going wrong and it's hard to see any success this year or into the future until and unless they get this fixed.
    Unfortunately, the defense was not fooled at all as evidenced by the defensive reaction on the play itself and Bronco's comment afterwards that they recognized the formation and told the D to look out for a trick play. Yet again, Duke telegraphed a "trick" play.

    Great point on the resilience. Duke has been very much in every game for the first 3 quarters - trailing ND 17-13 going into the 4th, trailing BC 10-6 with 3 minutes left in 3Q and leading UVA 20-17 early in 4Q. Then something goes wrong and the defense starts getting gashed. It almost seems like Duke's players are thinking "here we go again" and the defense seems to lose some of their will to compete.

  4. #184
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by DukeDTD View Post
    Unfortunately, the defense was not fooled at all as evidenced by the defensive reaction on the play itself and Bronco's comment afterwards that they recognized the formation and told the D to look out for a trick play. Yet again, Duke telegraphed a "trick" play.

    Great point on the resilience. Duke has been very much in every game for the first 3 quarters - trailing ND 17-13 going into the 4th, trailing BC 10-6 with 3 minutes left in 3Q and leading UVA 20-17 early in 4Q. Then something goes wrong and the defense starts getting gashed. It almost seems like Duke's players are thinking "here we go again" and the defense seems to lose some of their will to compete.
    As for the late collapse in those games, the turnovers has caused the defense to be the field way too long. With little depth on the defensive line, I'm pretty sure if the offense held up their part of the bargain, the defense would be looking much better in the 4th quarter.

    GoDuke!

  5. #185
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    As for the late collapse in those games, the turnovers has caused the defense to be the field way too long. With little depth on the defensive line, I'm pretty sure if the offense held up their part of the bargain, the defense would be looking much better in the 4th quarter.

    GoDuke!
    Agree. I don't blame the defense -- playing defense in most sports takes more energy and effort than playing offense. Therefore, defenses need for the offenses to stay on the field and score some points. Our offense became non-productive -- the most polite characterization -- and the defense suffered as a result.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  6. #186
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Agree. I don't blame the defense -- playing defense in most sports takes more energy and effort than playing offense. Therefore, defenses need for the offenses to stay on the field and score some points. Our offense became non-productive -- the most polite characterization -- and the defense suffered as a result.
    james harden begs to differ. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eKEhKfsIjo
    While it would be more appropriate for our friends in raleigh, it's not unfitting that the UNC fight song is the same tune as "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay"

  7. #187
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    I predict that we break out the black uniforms in an effort to energize the team to break our losing streak. By the way, we are 10.5 point dogs against the Hokies.
    "This is the best of all possible worlds."
    Dr. Pangloss - Candide

  8. #188
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by chrishoke View Post
    I predict that we break out the black uniforms in an effort to energize the team to break our losing streak. By the way, we are 10.5 point dogs against the Hokies.
    Is 10.5 also the over/under on the number of COVID infections we pick up from the Hokies?
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  9. #189
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Is 10.5 also the over/under on the number of COVID infections we pick up from the Hokies?
    I think it's the over/under n Duke turnovers.
    "This is the best of all possible worlds."
    Dr. Pangloss - Candide

  10. #190

    Coach Cut's diagnosis and prescription

    Many of you likely read Jim's report of Coach Cut's view of what has gone wrong and what needs to be done to fix things.

    https://www.dukebasketballreport.com...-virginia-tech

    With sincere, due respect and appropriate humility, Cut's analysis was not encouraging. Essentially, it was "we must do almost everything better". It doesn't address the fundamental problems of resilience [noted by Jim]. It doesn't address the woeful offense, hobbled by poor play calling and execution. It doesn't address the many fundamental miscues, i.e., we are not talking about "finishing" here, we are talking about fundamentals.

    What I see is a coach [whom I admire] who does not know how to fix what's wrong. As said in a prior post, I hope that he will continue to soul search and ask trusted friends and advisors.

    Addendum: Forgive me, but I am watching MNF [Chiefs v Ravens] and am drooling over the Offensive play calling. I know that we can't replicate pro level O complexity, but what are our potential sources of competitive advantage? We are not going to be bigger, stronger, more skilled, better conditioned and more motivated than most of our opponents. We can be smarter and more imaginative. What we need on O is a young, super talented, wunderkind O genius, such as Brad Stevens in b-ball. I am sure that they are out there. I am thinking about next year of course. Too late to change management staff at this point.
    “I love it. Coach, when we came here, we had a three-hour meeting about the core values. If you really represent the core values, it means diving on the floor, sacrificing your body for your teammates, no matter how much you’re up by or how much you’re down by, always playing hard.” -- Zion

  11. #191
    Cut was the head coach, if he didn't like the play calling from his OC he would have fixed it. He didn't, so I was not expecting much change this year and so have not been surprised.

    Cut was a very successful OC at TN, but it has not translated to offensive success at Duke. Even with DJ who was very popular we didn't have much success in the W-L column, particularly in conference play.

    Ironically enough I do think he has been a good head coach at Duke. If we just had a good OC I think we'd see a lot more success. One of Cut's strength and weaknesses is his loyalty to his staff. It is my hope that in the near future he will be more willing to replace "himself" as OC than he was to replace Roper.

    This is a tactic I've seen used and I think in his way of looking at things may offer him a path.

  12. #192
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by hustleplays View Post
    Many of you likely read Jim's report of Coach Cut's view of what has gone wrong and what needs to be done to fix things.

    https://www.dukebasketballreport.com...-virginia-tech

    With sincere, due respect and appropriate humility, Cut's analysis was not encouraging. Essentially, it was "we must do almost everything better". It doesn't address the fundamental problems of resilience [noted by Jim]. It doesn't address the woeful offense, hobbled by poor play calling and execution. It doesn't address the many fundamental miscues, i.e., we are not talking about "finishing" here, we are talking about fundamentals.

    What I see is a coach [whom I admire] who does not know how to fix what's wrong. As said in a prior post, I hope that he will continue to soul search and ask trusted friends and advisors.

    Addendum: Forgive me, but I am watching MNF [Chiefs v Ravens] and am drooling over the Offensive play calling. I know that we can't replicate pro level O complexity, but what are our potential sources of competitive advantage? We are not going to be bigger, stronger, more skilled, better conditioned and more motivated than most of our opponents. We can be smarter and more imaginative. What we need on O is a young, super talented, wunderkind O genius, such as Brad Stevens in b-ball. I am sure that they are out there. I am thinking about next year of course. Too late to change management staff at this point.
    One charitable explanation would go along these lines. If Cut plans on opening up the offense this weekend against VT, then he certainly wouldn't tell the media. He'd let the Hokies expect a vanilla offense and be stunned by the new and shiny Duke offense.

    I have no evidence this is going to happen. But I can't rule out the possibility.

    I'm not sure anyone has mentioned this but I was a bit perplexed by how often Duke kept running on first down, rarely to their benefit. Two yards and a cloud of dust is not going to win a lot of games. Now, college coaches will tell you something along the lines of "you've got to keep hammering away and eventually you'll break a long one." And Durant and then Jackson did each have one explosive in the second half. But only one each. On the side of the equation Duke was behind the chains a lot. Second-and-eight isn't a good recipe for a struggling quarterback.

  13. #193

    Wish I didn't agree...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scorp4me View Post
    Cut was the head coach, if he didn't like the play calling from his OC he would have fixed it. He didn't, so I was not expecting much change this year and so have not been surprised.

    Cut was a very successful OC at TN, but it has not translated to offensive success at Duke. Even with DJ who was very popular we didn't have much success in the W-L column, particularly in conference play.

    Ironically enough I do think he has been a good head coach at Duke. If we just had a good OC I think we'd see a lot more success. One of Cut's strength and weaknesses is his loyalty to his staff. It is my hope that in the near future he will be more willing to replace "himself" as OC than he was to replace Roper.

    This is a tactic I've seen used and I think in his way of looking at things may offer him a path.
    Scorp4me, I agree with you -- wish I didn't -- regarding the ramifications of Cut's keeping Roper on for so long. When lowly peeps like me get frustrated at the predictability and lack of imagination, it's honestly hard to understand how a top coach would not find it absolutely unbearable -- technically, emotionally and aesthetically. So, Cut must have been somewhat satisfied with the input, even though the results were not there. And/or he is too loyal to underperforming staff.

    As Jim said, predictably running on first down [with no misdirection] is not a formula for success. Our line would have to be better, and our blocking schemes more clever. I don't know much about blocking schemes but clearly we aren't consistently better at moving D lines out of position.

    And, Jim, seeing a smartly imaginative O against VT is truly a generous hope. I'm hopeful too, including more broadly about Cut's ability and willingness to make the necessary changes. But I remind myself that hope is not a strategy and I recall Francis Bacon's view that "Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper."

    I will be thrilled if Duke comes out strong and smart against VT. Go Duke!
    “I love it. Coach, when we came here, we had a three-hour meeting about the core values. If you really represent the core values, it means diving on the floor, sacrificing your body for your teammates, no matter how much you’re up by or how much you’re down by, always playing hard.” -- Zion

  14. #194
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    One charitable explanation would go along these lines. If Cut plans on opening up the offense this weekend against VT, then he certainly wouldn't tell the media. He'd let the Hokies expect a vanilla offense and be stunned by the new and shiny Duke offense.

    I have no evidence this is going to happen. But I can't rule out the possibility.

    I'm not sure anyone has mentioned this but I was a bit perplexed by how often Duke kept running on first down, rarely to their benefit. Two yards and a cloud of dust is not going to win a lot of games. Now, college coaches will tell you something along the lines of "you've got to keep hammering away and eventually you'll break a long one." And Durant and then Jackson did each have one explosive in the second half. But only one each. On the side of the equation Duke was behind the chains a lot. Second-and-eight isn't a good recipe for a struggling quarterback.
    Hasn't Duke been a pretty traditional "run on first down" squad for most of Cut's tenure? I'm not saying we never ​pass on 1st, but we usually see runs on 1st down.

  15. #195
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Quote Originally Posted by Acymetric View Post
    Hasn't Duke been a pretty traditional "run on first down" squad for most of Cut's tenure? I'm not saying we never ​pass on 1st, but we usually see runs on 1st down.
    True, but Duke traditionally was running a read option. With no threat for the QB to run now, its been a lot harder to get positive yards running straight ahead.

  16. #196
    Quote Originally Posted by rtnorthrup View Post
    True, but Duke traditionally was running a read option. With no threat for the QB to run now, its been a lot harder to get positive yards running straight ahead.
    Yea, Tom Brady would never work in our offensive scheme.🤔

  17. #197
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Running on first down is great if you're consistently picking up four, five, six yards. It's not so great when you're consistently getting stuffed at the LOS. At some point you've got to adjust. Duke never adjusted and Brice was consistently behind the chains, facing a pass rush that was teeing off, knowing they had nothing to worry about from Duke's run game.

    The ACCN showed last year's Duke-VT game late last night and against my better judgment I stayed up too late and watched too much. Roper made one great call after another, the RPO was clicking, trick plays worked, misdirection worked. Darn near everything worked. Remember people were talking about Quentin Harris as a long-shot Heisman candidate after that game.

    What happened to that offense? Where's the spark, the energy, the creativity? And it's not just the QB. Harris faded badly down the stretch last season. It's like somebody flipped the off switch. I've talked a lot about carryover from the end of the UNC game but that was eight games ago, for crying out loud. Duke just looks like a team that has lost its swagger, lost its mojo. Schemes are part of that but only part of that.

    Maybe they get a big hit of whatever they were on in the first half of last season. Because it will be October before Duke plays its next game and the clock is always ticking.

  18. #198
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by hustleplays View Post
    Many of you likely read Jim's report of Coach Cut's view of what has gone wrong and what needs to be done to fix things.

    https://www.dukebasketballreport.com...-virginia-tech



    What I see is a coach [whom I admire] who does not know how to fix what's wrong. As said in a prior post, I hope that he will continue to soul search and ask trusted friends and advisors.

    Addendum: Forgive me, but I am watching MNF [Chiefs v Ravens] and am drooling over the Offensive play calling. I know that we can't replicate pro level O complexity, but what are our potential sources of competitive advantage? We are not going to be bigger, stronger, more skilled, better conditioned and more motivated than most of our opponents. We can be smarter and more imaginative. What we need on O is a young, super talented, wunderkind O genius, such as Brad Stevens in b-ball. I am sure that they are out there. I am thinking about next year of course. Too late to change management staff at this point.
    I agree with both you and Jim regarding our offense(lack of). What we need is a younger version of The Old Ball Coach(Spurrier). Duke is not physical enough to constantly run the ball on first down. There has to be some misdirection and other tactics that keep the defense guessing. I'm not talking about jump passes by a running back or any pass from a running back for that matter. I want to see Coach Cut doing the job of the head coach and that's not calling the plays. He needs to be involved with defense, special teams and how the assistant coaches are doing their own jobs. He has to step up and critique his assistants. If they are not doing their jobs, he has to bite the bullet and make the necessary changes.

    GoDuke

  19. #199
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    I'm not sure which I dislike more, our strong tendency to run on first and second down...or our four yard passes to the tight end on third and eight. We MUST lead the country in throwing the ball short of the first down marker. Yeah, our QB is often hurried, but maybe if he threw more on first down the dynamic would be differrent. (Plus, way more often than not, we run to the left).

  20. #200
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA.
    I agree that perpetually running on first down is generally a losing strategy, and I believe there are analytics that this is true even at the pro level.

    Remember the old saying, "There are only three things that can happen on a passing play, and two of them are bad?" Poppycock. What about a run play? Let's look at the possibilities, shall we?

    1) Fumble the handoff.
    2) Get stuffed at the line of scrimmage.
    3) Fumble the ball after a gain.
    4) Get tackled in the backfield for a loss.
    5) Make a small gain (<3 yards)
    6) Make a medium gain (6-9 yards)
    7) Break one (>9 yards).

    So, by my calculation, on a first down, there are 7 things that can happen, and 5 of them are bad.
    "We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world." --M. Proust

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