Drake Bulldogs Scouting Report

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BWahlberg
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Drake Bulldogs

The Griz are 1-0 after a hot start and cool finish that did just enough to hang on for the win, meanwhile Drake is coming to town after their game last week was stopped and cancelled due to storms shortly after it started.

Drake last year was a decent team within their conference, they finished with a 7-4 record, 6-2 of which was in conference. That placed them 2nd overall behind San Diego who was the conference’s auto-bid.

Drake is expected to compete again for the Pioneer. They’re picked 3rd in the conference by media and coaches. Their press release states they return 23 starters… (going to assume we’re including some special teams starters).

Looking at their depth chart Drake will start 3 juniors and 8 seniors on defense and 7 seniors, 3 juniors, and 1 sophomore on offense. In many aspects this is a veteran team with a lot of playing experience.

Without anything really to scout on Drake this year, here’s a few sample games from last season:

7-77 loss vs South Dakota: This was Drake’s opening game and played on their home field, ouch. South Dakota wound up getting into the playoffs last year despite losing their last 3 games and then went on to beat Nicholls in the first round before losing to SHSU. USD was up 56-7 at the half, this game was a total beatdown. USD had almost 600 yards of fairly even split offense while Drake finished with -7 rushing yards.

10-51 loss vs South Dakota State: SDSU went up 34-0 and kept cruising from there. SDSU didn’t really have that much in yards, just 377 total. Looks like Drake gave up a kick return TD plus was pretty bad on punt coverage setting up some short fields.

38-13 win vs Valparaiso: The only common opponent on their schedule. Last year the Griz in their opener beat Valpo 45-23. In that game Valpo ran for 150 and passed for almost 340 yards. Against Drake, Valpo didn’t have that kind of success. It was close at the half with Drake holding a 17-13 lead, but they pulled away in the 2nd half and kept Valpo from scoring again. Valpo ran for 110 and passed for 185, while Drake put up almost 450 passing yards on them (Montana had 400 passing last year on Valpo). Valpo also tossed 3 picks.

15-45 loss vs San Diego: In the game that turned out to decide the conference championship San Diego put it to Drake, rushing for 122 and passing for 330 yards with 38:00 of TOP and converted a stunning 11 of 15 3rd down attempts. This San Diego team would go on to beat NAU in the first round of the playoffs 41-10.

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General Stats (using UM’s first game vs Drake’s last year)

Passing yards per game Montana (273 for UM vs 260 for DU)
Rushing yards per game Drake (75 rush ypg for UM vs 118 rush ypg for DU)
Total offense Drake (348 for the Griz vs 378 for DU)
Passing yards allowed per game Montana (164 ypg allowed vs 200 ypg allowed)
Rushing yards allowed per game Montana (104 ypg allowed vs 136 ypg allowed)
Total defense Montana (268 ypg allowed vs 336 ypg allowed)

For what it’s worth I suppose, UM has 4 while Drake has 2.

Offense points scored DU (26 vs 26.8)
Defense points allowed Montana (23 vs 25.4)
Turnover margin Montana – UM is +1 while DU was +/- 0
Fieldgoal % Montana – 100% for Montana / 75% for DU
Punt Returns Montana (12.3 YPR vs 6.1 YPR)
Kick Returns Montana (18.5 for UM vs 17.6 for DU)
T.O.P. DU (30:04 for DU vs 29:13 for UM)
Red Zone defense (touchdowns) Drake (UM 100% / DU 74% )
Red Zone offense (touchdowns) Drake (56% DU / 50% UM)
3rd down offense PUSH (both converts 41% of the time)
3rd down defense Montana (UM 33% / DU 43%)

Again, not the greatest comparison of numbers as we’re comparing one Montana game to a prior full season of work. However Montana adds 6 while Drake adds 4 and there’s 1 push. That puts the teams at 10 for Montana, 6 for Drake, 1 push.

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Players to Watch:

#15 Grant Kraemer, QB: Kraemer is a 5th year senior and their returning starting QB. He’s 6-3, 228 pounds. Last year he averaged 261 yards per game with a 61% completion. 20 TDs to 10 INTs. Not much of a runner but needs to be accounted for when he scrambles out of the pocket, he did have 2 rushing TDs last year.

#81 Stephen Doran, WR: This 6-3, 218 pound WR was the main target in their pass-heavy offense last year. He averaged about 80 yards per game, had 8 TDs on the season and averaged almost 21 yards per catch!

#22 Mitch McFarlane, WR: Another tall 6-3 WR, McFarlane missed 3 games last year and still finished with the 2nd most receptions, 2nd most yards (523), and 3rd best in receiving TDs with 3.

#1 Devin Cates, WR: Cates is the 3rd starting WR we’ll see as well. A 6-4, 243 pound receiver he had 446 yards and 2 TDs last season.

#25 Cross Robinson, RB: Drake graduated it’s top RBs last year, Robinson was listed the starter last week and I believe scored their sole TD before the game was called. He’s a big dude, 6 feet and 225 pounds. I see no stats for him last year as he redshirted but was named the team’s scout player of the year.

#99 Danny Donley, K: Yep, I’m listing a 5-4, 158 pound kicker to watch. He’s a senior and appears to be a solid kicker. Was their kickoff specialist before last year, hit 75% of his kicks and all of his PATs last year, looks like he’s a guy they can rely on to even hit 50+ yarders.

#46 Nathan Clayberg, DE: A 6-5, 282 pound D-lineman and one of their team captains. Clayberg had 44 tackles, 5 TFLs, 2.5 sacks, and 3 QB hits last year. He’s on the all-Pioneer conference team already.

#23 Sean Lynch, DB: We’ll see the 5-9, 180 all-conference player at free safety. He lead the team in tackles last season with 72 tackles. He was 2nd best on the team with 2 interceptions. Also on the all-Pioneer conference team.

#34 Kieran Sivera, LB: The 2nd leading tackler last year with 66 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 6.5 TFLs, 1 INT and 1 forced fumble. He’s 6-0, 215 pound 5th year senior.

#21 Will Warner, DB: Lining up next to Lynch at Strong Safety, Warner is a 6-3, 201 pound DB that lead the team with 3 interceptions last season, but only played in 8 games and made just 14 tackles. Kind of an odd stat line but still was an honorable mention once the season ended.


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Keys to a Grizzly victory

1. Win in the trenches & run the ball. Drake has two interior linemen that are over 280 and two D-ends that are 230 and 250 and it’s an experienced group with 2 juniors and 2 seniors listed as 5th year seniors. Add in that the LB corps for Drake includes 3 seniors. This is an experienced front 7 our O-line will face and they need to show significantly better than they did last week.

2. Maintain momentum. We saw great energy and attention to detail give way to a loss of an edge in the 2nd half last week. This should be an excellent game to continually focus on making sure in all aspects of the game the Griz keep firing.

3. Let ST flip the field. I liked what I saw in the first half of last week’s game and didn’t like what I saw in the 2nd half. I’m sure that’s been a big point of emphasis for practice this week. If the Griz with JLM and Flowers and Calhoun can flip the field, and if Williams can pin DU deep, that’ll really help.

4. Force those turnovers. Last week we saw 4 fumbles get recovered by UNI and 2 picks bounce of DB’s hands. Gotta capitalize on that this week!

5. More pressure from the D-line. With a pass-heavy attack and an experienced WR corps I’m going to guess the Grizzly defense won’t be as aggressive all the time this week in blitzes. We’re going to need those front 4 dudes to manufacture a little more pressure on their own.

6. Don’t get beat deep. Based on the size of these WRs I forsee a lot of jump balls, but hopefully the corners and safeties can keep everything in front of them and not let this passing game for Drake burn them badly.

7. Flip those redzone margins. The Griz gave up 3 TDs when UNI entered the red zone on 3 attempts. Not good. Meanwhile the Griz only scored 2 TDs in 4 visits to the UNI red zone and one resulted in a missed PAT. Again… not optimal. That’s a recipe for future issues, let’s not let this become the normal.

8. Give Sneed some time. Dalton Sneed seemed to really be rattled by the amount of hits he took in the first half, to which he gave way to running way too early in the 2nd half. The blocking needs to help him out more this week so he can have more time to go through progressions and not rely entirely on just running away.


--------------------------

In scouting Drake I’ve actually gained more respect for this team to come in here and put up a good fight. If the young Griz write this team off as inferior they stand a chance to get caught by an experienced/battle tested team. I don’t foresee that happening, but after digging into these guys a little more it has shaken a bit of my confidence. What I know is that the coaching staff will do all they can not to allow that, this is an experienced crew and they’ll remind our guys of how important the focus this week needs to be.

What I’d say is that if we get the 1st half Griz this will probably be a big win, if we get the 2nd half Griz… this game might be a toss-up. I’ll say for now, at home, coming off a big win, the Griz start to smooth out some of the issues we saw last week and win, but not in the most convincing fashion, 38-17.

GO GRIZ!
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Nice write up Brent. Thanks.
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Yes thank you kindly. Gathered more than I thought you were going to be able to. I'll forward this to Bobby.
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signedbewildered wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:43 pm Yes thank you kindly. Gathered more than I thought you were going to be able to. I'll forward this to Bobby.
He’ll be quite relieved
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Any mention of khaki pants and Drake's own Rob Ash ?
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I would expect this game to go a little like the Valpo game last year...we’ll win, but it won’t be all that pretty.
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AZGrizFan wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:39 pm I would expect this game to go a little like the Valpo game last year...we’ll win, but it won’t be all that pretty.
Common opponent was Valpo, 4th game of the season, beating them 38-13. Drake put up 570, (125 rushing & 445 passing), pulling away for good in the 3rd.

I think Drake is a better team than Valpo, won’t be in awe of WaGriz & a year more experienced, as BW fears. They’ll try to put the game on Sneed’s arm. The good news - defense & special teams are well ahead of where they were last season. I see more of a dogfight than I’d like, unless those lucky bounces that went the nut-punchers way last week, come Montana’s way this week.
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bgbigdog wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:50 pm
AZGrizFan wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:39 pm I would expect this game to go a little like the Valpo game last year...we’ll win, but it won’t be all that pretty.
Common opponent was Valpo, 4th game of the season, beating them 38-13. Drake put up 570, (125 rushing & 445 passing), pulling away for good in the 3rd.

I think Drake is a better team than Valpo, won’t be in awe of WaGriz & a year more experienced, as BW fears. They’ll try to put the game on Sneed’s arm. The good news - defense & special teams are well ahead of where they were last season. I see more of a dogfight than I’d like, unless those lucky bounces that went the nut-punchers way last week, come Montana’s way this week.
Yep. Agreed. I think the game will give lots of ammo for bitchers and complainers... :lol:
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AZGrizFan wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:09 pm
bgbigdog wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:50 pm
AZGrizFan wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:39 pm I would expect this game to go a little like the Valpo game last year...we’ll win, but it won’t be all that pretty.
Common opponent was Valpo, 4th game of the season, beating them 38-13. Drake put up 570, (125 rushing & 445 passing), pulling away for good in the 3rd.

I think Drake is a better team than Valpo, won’t be in awe of WaGriz & a year more experienced, as BW fears. They’ll try to put the game on Sneed’s arm. The good news - defense & special teams are well ahead of where they were last season. I see more of a dogfight than I’d like, unless those lucky bounces that went the nut-punchers way last week, come Montana’s way this week.
Yep. Agreed. I think the game will give lots of ammo for bitchers and complainers... :lol:
I'm hoping the Griz are better this year, and more focused--and will play better than they did against Valpo last year.
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Proud Griz Man wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:05 pm Any mention of khaki pants and Drake's own Rob Ash ?
I'll bet the coach's office in Des Moines still has the faint scent of Chardonnay and seared tuna. :thumb:
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AZGrizFan wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:09 pm
bgbigdog wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:50 pm
AZGrizFan wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:39 pm I would expect this game to go a little like the Valpo game last year...we’ll win, but it won’t be all that pretty.
Common opponent was Valpo, 4th game of the season, beating them 38-13. Drake put up 570, (125 rushing & 445 passing), pulling away for good in the 3rd.

I think Drake is a better team than Valpo, won’t be in awe of WaGriz & a year more experienced, as BW fears. They’ll try to put the game on Sneed’s arm. The good news - defense & special teams are well ahead of where they were last season. I see more of a dogfight than I’d like, unless those lucky bounces that went the nut-punchers way last week, come Montana’s way this week.
Yep. Agreed. I think the game will give lots of ammo for bitchers and complainers... :lol:
:lol: :lol:
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Thanks BW for the report
Hard to compare last year’s Griz team performance to this year’s team.
Valpo took the top off the deep coverage, Griz Safteys let WRs past them at will. VALPO QB had a career game(good for him) his accuracy on deep balls was spot on and WRs caught all catchable balls on full sprint.
My thoughts are Drake is a better VALPO. QB very accurate and big WRs that can catch(based on completion ratio)
This aint last year’s Griz. If the Griz start off like they did to start off last week on defence fast, focused, physical and hard hitting...domination over Drake.
Griz coverage last week was good, however if UNI starting QB would have been accurate there were WRs open deep.
Keep a saftey deep hit WRs hard and keep YAC low. Easier said than done.
Griz offense should continue to improve each week. One trick play last week look forward to more. Haven’t scratched the surface on what the offense will be, the question is: Will Rosie not get cute and just stick with solid plays. There should be at least one favorable match up this week to keep going to the well with.
Could get ugly fast, I think Drake will make some plays and score 17-20 points and Griz if they stumble 35 however if they get on a roll double that. 40-50 points is realistic.
Shouldn’t be close hope Griz get lots of players playing time.
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Ursa Major wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:34 pm
Proud Griz Man wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:05 pm Any mention of khaki pants and Drake's own Rob Ash ?
I'll bet the coach's office in Des Moines still has the faint scent of Chardonnay and seared tuna. :thumb:
I think that’s a Sockeye Salmon Cesar with that Mondavi you’re referencing. :lol:
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PlayerRep wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:27 pm
AZGrizFan wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:09 pm
bgbigdog wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:50 pm
AZGrizFan wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:39 pm I would expect this game to go a little like the Valpo game last year...we’ll win, but it won’t be all that pretty.
Common opponent was Valpo, 4th game of the season, beating them 38-13. Drake put up 570, (125 rushing & 445 passing), pulling away for good in the 3rd.

I think Drake is a better team than Valpo, won’t be in awe of WaGriz & a year more experienced, as BW fears. They’ll try to put the game on Sneed’s arm. The good news - defense & special teams are well ahead of where they were last season. I see more of a dogfight than I’d like, unless those lucky bounces that went the nut-punchers way last week, come Montana’s way this week.
Yep. Agreed. I think the game will give lots of ammo for bitchers and complainers... :lol:
I'm hoping the Griz are better this year, and more focused--and will play better than they did against Valpo last year.
I'm with PR. I think the Valpo game is the epitome of what many on here were frustrated with Stitt about. I expect a Hauck team to be more prepared to take advantage of the advantages a Griz roster should have over a team like Drake or Valpo.
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grzz wrote: Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:35 am
PlayerRep wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:27 pm
AZGrizFan wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:09 pm
bgbigdog wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:50 pm

Common opponent was Valpo, 4th game of the season, beating them 38-13. Drake put up 570, (125 rushing & 445 passing), pulling away for good in the 3rd.

I think Drake is a better team than Valpo, won’t be in awe of WaGriz & a year more experienced, as BW fears. They’ll try to put the game on Sneed’s arm. The good news - defense & special teams are well ahead of where they were last season. I see more of a dogfight than I’d like, unless those lucky bounces that went the nut-punchers way last week, come Montana’s way this week.
Yep. Agreed. I think the game will give lots of ammo for bitchers and complainers... :lol:
I'm hoping the Griz are better this year, and more focused--and will play better than they did against Valpo last year.
I'm with PR. I think the Valpo game is the epitome of what many on here were frustrated with Stitt about. I expect a Hauck team to be more prepared to take advantage of the advantages a Griz roster should have over a team like Drake or Valpo.
Defensively, I would agree. I think we're miles ahead of last year already. Offensively, not so much. That's what concerns me...
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O-line is going to determine this game, and the season.

They frankly looked like shit both halves of last game. Hopefully the old adage of teams make the most progress between game 1 & 2 holds true for this young O-line.

That said, I was very impressed w/the defense, Drake doesn't have a mobile QB so front 4 should be able to get some creative pressure allowing the back 7 to play fast and loose.

Get some damn turnovers!!!
FTC

GO GRIZ
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Hawkeyebowhunter wrote: Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:49 am O-line is going to determine this game, and the season.

They frankly looked like shit both halves of last game. Hopefully the old adage of teams make the most progress between game 1 & 2 holds true for this young O-line.
Frankly - you missed the pass-blocking part of the O-line play. Far from looking like shit, they gave up one sack to an MVC team & if Dalton didn’t have happy feet, it would have been even more apparent in the passing stats.

They didn’t open any huge running lanes, but they kept @ it. Missing three guys they expected to play a lot when spring ball ended, one starter back from a serious illness and another just back from injury. The guys playing are playing their asses off.
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bgbigdog wrote: Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:16 am
Hawkeyebowhunter wrote: Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:49 am O-line is going to determine this game, and the season.

They frankly looked like shit both halves of last game. Hopefully the old adage of teams make the most progress between game 1 & 2 holds true for this young O-line.
Frankly - you missed the pass-blocking part of the O-line play. Far from looking like shit, they gave up one sack to an MVC team & if Dalton didn’t have happy feet, it would have been even more apparent in the passing stats. They didn’t open any huge running lanes, but they kept @ it. Missing three guys they expected to play a lot when spring ball ended, one starter back from a serious illness and another just back from injury. The guys playing are playing their asses off.

I watched the game, Dalton did have happy feet, however it was required as there wasn't a pocket for him to throw from for most of the game.

When your QB has the most rushing yards on the team, I'll stand by what I said. Pass blocking is one half the equation, and when we were tossing the ball he rarely had a clean pocket.

UNI does however have a STOUT d-line, should be top 3 of what we will come up against during the regular season so hopefully they are able to get a little better cohesion moving forward.

Never said nor implied that the guys on the o-line weren't playing hard or giving it their all-I did that too when I played football. Doesn't mean I was effective so not sure where you're going with that.

Either way, damn glad to see a win vs a tough team, looking for improvement across the board this week.

The days of just hoping for a W are over. Bobby is going to demand better from the team, as should we...Are they going to win 10 games this year? Who knows, but they will for damn sure give 100% effort in the games they are playing in, which is a huge improvement from the last few years.
FTC

GO GRIZ
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bgbigdog wrote: Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:15 am
Ursa Major wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:34 pm
Proud Griz Man wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:05 pm Any mention of khaki pants and Drake's own Rob Ash ?
I'll bet the coach's office in Des Moines still has the faint scent of Chardonnay and seared tuna. :thumb:
I think that’s a Sockeye Salmon Cesar with that Mondavi you’re referencing. :lol:
Ron went thru a seared tuna stage back in Iowa. Why wouldn't he, when you think of fresh tuna, you think Iowa! :thumb:
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