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Now that I've had time to recover from the fiasco on Saturday, I'm fired up about getting the playoffs started. I've also thought a little about the regular season and Ochs performance. Am i the only one who's a little let down by our passing game this year??? I can't remember a year in which we have hardly made any attempts to throw the ball downfield. I realize our running game with Green has been spectacular. Wouldn't that lend itself to more play action and deep passes?? I would think the running game that we have now would have been nothing short of a wet dream for any of our teams over the past 15 years. Is it Ochs??? Is it our play calling??? Is it our receivers that aren't getting open??? With as much publicity as Ochs was given, you would think that we wouldn't be so anemic at passing the ball. For god sakes, the kid started at Colorado as a freshman!!!! I'm not trying to be negative here, just trying to understand and get some thoughts. Looking forward to the playoffs. Let's get it going Griz!!!!!!
boise-griz said:
Am i the only one who's a little let down by our passing game this year??? I can't remember a year in which we have hardly made any attempts to throw the ball downfield. I realize our running game with Green has been spectacular. Wouldn't that lend itself to more play action and deep passes?? I would think the running game that we have now would have been nothing short of a wet dream for any of our teams over the past 15 years. Is it Ochs??? Is it our play calling??? Is it our receivers that aren't getting open???

Saturday was not a good game for several Griz, including some of our Receivers, Tight Ends, QB's and Offensive Linemen. We ran the ball effectively but never developed a good passing rhythm. Too many instances when the pocket was collapsing, bad footing and tight cornerback coverage eliminated primary receivers, and Ochs throwing off his back foot to secondary receivers.

I thought our defense played pretty well, except for that 3rd quarter timeperiod. If we had received that fumble call, that would have stymied a Bobcat drive.

I noticed that the WIU Head Coach worked for Hayden Fry at Iowa, and collegiate/NFL great running back Ronnie Harmon is on the WIU staff. At least, I think its the same guy.

Go Griz!
I maintain that Ochs is a stud......the WRs have a hard time with physical play........and the play calling is that of a Southland team. Conservative, run first cuz it's safe, field postion is more important than scoring, lets let our D win it for us, Bull Pucky!

I don't like it. The Southland style doesn't win a whole lot of national titles.....infact, only one since 1-aa playoffs have been around. Plus it just ain't as entertaining..... Yeah..yeah...winning is more entertaining than passing the rock around......but why not have both?

The above is the expressed written Opinion of the author......who doesn't care if you agree or not. A fact is a fact.
In general terms it usually goes that as a team and/or player goes through the year they get better.

In this case we're talking about a player good enough to start at Colorado as a freshman...
yet instead of noticing improvement from him we've seen reduced output.

I suppose one might think he's washed up and all that yet, if we look at the downward spiral of production or lack there-of from the other two quarterbacks and the wrs then one might look elsewhere.

I, like my cajun friend, contend Ochs is a great QB and will be in circumstances that allow and promote it.

*disclaimer: I love running the ball two and think a team can both run and pass well. so this isn't a comment that says running is to blame.
Just an observation. I was perusing the NCAA I-AA Player Reports "Total Receiving Yards", when it dawned on me that UM was the only team from
the BSC that didn't have a player ranked. If someone had said something like this at the beginning of the season I'd of thought them mentally challenged. Just an observation.
Lets not forget that Johnny Montana went 1-19 in the 1st half against that same defense last year. I'll take Ochs over any QB in Grizzly history except DD. The Cats played great pass D, and our receivers just weren't getting open. I thought our passing game looked pretty good in the fourth quarter, however.
I don't think we have the type of receivers that can get open in bad weather with bad footing. In these conditions, one bump at the line kills their pattern and the DB's can hang all over them.

Additionally, I don't seem to recall "motion" as being part of our offense. Motion is often used to help receivers get a "free" release at the line of scrimmage.

The other thing that helps break up tight coverage is throwing to a back coming out of the backfield (not a screen). I don't remeber us doing that all year.

My opinion here, but Ochs has no one to throw the ball too half the time! With the receivers we have, maybe it's the play calling that needs to be "tweeked".....

......Yes I know, VictorG is off on his play calling tangent again.....................It's been a while so I'm afraid you'll have to bear with me!!!!!......There, I'm done!
Why is it that everyone has forgotten so quickly that Ochs had surgery on his ankle just a couple months ago!!!! And I'll add, for anyone who has never had the pleasure of going through a surgery, it affects your whole body no matter what is being operated on. There is no way he is 100% right now and we probably wont see how good he really is until next season.

That said I agree that the play calling is maybe too conservative. We are starting to become too one dimensional on offense, which is helping our opposing team's defensive coordinator sleep during the week!

One thing the offense HAS to find a way to do is stay on the field! Our defense cannot play the entire game for us. We saw it last game, once the offense started going three and out, our defense barely had time to take a breath before being sent back to do it again...IMHO that's what hurt us in the third quarter.
slick_willy said:
I thought our passing game looked pretty good in the fourth quarter, however.

Oh...you mean when we actually were throwing it.

That is what I mean......why not start the game the way we ended it, and then end it the way we started it? It seems backwards to me.

When we are a pass first team....the O goes better. And I mean both passing and running games go better.

We should not just pass on third and long. We should not just pass when we are behind in the fouth quarter. Defenses will get after the QB if they know you have to pass.

If we threw one deep ball on the first possesion, whether it is caught or not, it would but the D back on their heels for the rest of the game....or at least most of the game. They would have to think....ok, don't get beat deep.....which would make the FS, SS and LBs take just that split second to decide run or pass.

Right now, I think they will always take a step forward toward the run at the snap of the ball. And imagine how awesome the running game would be if we could get the FS, SS and LBs to hesitate for just a split second to decided if it might be a pass.

We do have an awfully strong running game.....but I just think our WHOLE offense would be better if it were more balanced. Plus I think that we have enough talent to throw 75% of the downs and be successful. (not as successful as we would be with a balanced attack....but successful none the less.)

Just a thought.
"Southland" style was working okay...running...but throwing a pass, across the middle in terrible conditions when 3rd and 18 for an INT...is NOT what they would do..they would have taken their lumps on the drive..punted and played teh field position game and MAYBE WON!!! That play call/throw was a poor idea...anyway you look at it
I have no problems this year with the players, coaches, play calling ect.

I'm getting sick of my buddy telling me about every 1st down run. "running on 1st down again." I've must have heard it 300 times this year. He has even gone so far to figure the %.

I agree with Geaux, maybe we need to mix it up a little.

And if anyone wants to come down to 131 row 7 seat 8 and tell my buddy to shut up it would be appreciated.
The players and staff did a hell of a job getting the Griz into the third season, but one loss and were history.

Now is the time for the marquee quaterback, running backs and o-line to get it done. The receivers have got to be playoff caliber players and catch the ball. NO EXCUSES!!!

I know stat's are scewed, but it's all we have for comparison. It appears WIU defense is suspect against the pass and better than average against the run. So lets pass and pass and pass and pass until thier defense is spread out and tired. Then hit them with Justin and Lex.

We all know Coach Read was in Grizville. I hope he spent large quantities of time with staff, quaterbacks and receivers giving them his wealth of knowledge on the passing game.

No question that the Griz "D" will keep us in all four games, but the "O" and special teams have got to win all four. These offenses we will be facing over next four weeks have averaged between 30 and 40 points a game. On defense, we must cut that average at least in half. On offense, we must average at least 40 points a game.

Go Griz - good luck and God speeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Some Articles I found on Ochs.....

Q: I've looked at both web sites, and why wasn't Craig Ochs listed among the Big 12 or NCAA leaders? (Robert Miller, Boulder)

A: Good question, especially since the answer will probably muddy things further. To be listed in the NCAA statistics, a player must have participated in 75 percent of his team's games. So the magic number is thus nine; eight out of 11 is under that 75% figure; nine of 11 obviously better it and nine of 12 hit it on the nose. Then there is the requirement of at least 15 pass attempts per game; so players can qualify if they have at least 135 attempts in nine games, or 165 in an 11-game season. Craig, even though he had 245 attempts, played in only eight games and couldn't qualify. Based solely on attempts (but not knowing if others were in his situation), he would have ranked 46th in the NCAA (the fifth freshman) and fifth in the Big 12 in efficiency.

THIS WEEK'S NUMBER... 99.3%. Colorado gained 3,982 yards on offense a year ago, or 362.0 per game. CU rushed for 1,342 yards in 2000, and every single player who rushed for each and every yard returns for 2001; the Buffs passed for 2,640 yards, with the players responsible for 2,611 of those yards on this year's roster. The end result is probably one of the highest returning player-producing numbers in college football history -- the players producing 3,953 of those 3,982 yards are back, or 99.3 percent -- and the 29 yards unaccounted for came when a senior wide receiver (Javon Green) threw a touchdown pass to a freshman quarterback (Craig Ochs).

TRIVIA QUESTIONS... CU -- Who was the last player to throw and catch a touchdown pass in the same game prior to Craig Ochs doing it in CU's 37-21 win over Oklahoma State last Saturday (Hint: it's a trick question). Godfather -- What was the name of the ship that young Vito Corleone traveled to America on in Godfather Part II, and where is the name of the ship common today?

Though only a limited amount of stats were released, starting quarterback Craig Ochs led the charge for the Buffs' offense, prompting Barnett to say the 6-foot-2, 220-pounder "looked pretty sharp and made some good throws." Ochs finished the afternoon completing 18-of-20 pass attempts for three touchdowns, tossing several big-play balls. On one of CU's first drives, the junior hooked up with John Donahoe for a 46-yard strike, which quickly led to a Derek McCoy touchdown reception several plays later.

He is a stud and was voted by his teamates as a Jr to be a team Capt.
Here is a letter his brother wrote...

OCHS-TO-OCHS: We've been asked if we could reprint the letter from Jason Ochs to the Boulder Camera about his younger brother and CU freshman quarterback Craig, after he made his first college start at Texas A&M back on Oct. 7. Great suggestion; it ran in the Camera on Oct. 8. Here it is, in its entirety:

"My heart pumped with anxiety, my leg wouldn't stop twitching. I was nervous and any moment it was time for Craig to step on that field and on the No. 1 defense in the country. What would happen? What if the coach didn't call any pass plays? What if the line didn't block? Thoughts swirled around in my head. Then there was the kickoff. I knew the time had come. I knew it was time to see what Craig was made out of.

The coach called out, I held my breath, and without hesitation, my brother jogged out on to the field as if he had done it many times before. I was relieved; he would finally get his chance. He would finally live out his dream. I felt a tremendous amount of gratitude when I watched my brother step out on to the field. He had been on that field so many times before. Like the times he played seven-0n-seven in high school, like the times we'd sneak in to watch Koy Detmer and Kordell Stewart throw around in the summer.

All those times at CU summer football camp. All those nights he had dreamed of stepping out on to the field, not as a camper, not as a high school player, but as the quarterback for the Colorado Buffaloes. The same thing he would pretend when he was a kid. 'I'm Darian Hagan,' he'd say as the two of us walked out the front door to toss the ball. He could tell you any statistic of any player. He had his favorite players and he would be upset for days after a Colorado loss. Some things never change.

My brother has watched and cheered the Buffaloes on since he was five years old. He would go with my Dad when the rest of us preferred to stay home. The way he walked in after the game gave away all the invitations of how the Buffaloes fared that day.

"The same kid who hasn't worn red since he was 10. The same kid who was offered a full-ride scholarship before his junior year by Rick Neuheisel. The same kid that couldn't eat before the 1990 Orange Bowl because he was so nervous; did I mention he was just nine? The same kid that drew offensive formations and plays in fourth grade is now standing behind center for the Colorado Buffaloes.

Not only does Colorado have their most loyal fan since 1986 holding the offensive reins, they have a young man who knows Colorado football better than himself. Who feels the same way as Eric Bieniemy did after a loss, and who was more concerned about their 0-4 record than how he played on Saturday.

But most important, and more of a weapon than his quick release, his cannon-like arm or deceptive speed, he bleeds gold and black and will without a doubt leave any and everything he's got at every game because of his 14-year old passion for the Colorado Buffaloes. My brother, Craig Ochs, will lead this team to a national championship, or die trying. Good luck, Craig

You decide if he is a pretender or not... I say not.... I can not explain what has happened or why but I do believe we have not seen Criag Ochs yet...and I feel for the team when we do.... GO GRIZ
I just wonder why there wasn't a pass thrown to "Big Willy" last Saturday. One helluva big target be it over the middle or to the sidelines. He has turned into a real weapon able to "hurdle" DB's in a single bound... so if the WR's can't get open, throw it to "Big Willy" or Hilliard out of the backfield (he is an excellent open field runner). I am wondering if our way of playing catchup doesn't need some tweeking... seems we play AOK when we are ahead.... hmmmmmm :eek:
A number of observations...

First, I was quite irritated during the game on Saturday as to the type of passing calls that were being made...
1. Passing calls rarely occured on anything but third down (unless it was late in the game) and long. This is an automatic blitz time for the defense and MSU took advantage of it.
2. Most of the patterns weren't very complex (maybe could have been due to the field conditions.) and allowed the MSU physical corner backs to take our recievers out of the mix. I agree with the sentiments that on sub standard surfaces like Saturday our receivers will struggle getting open.

However, this is my observation for our offense to be more successful. We need to mix up the combinations in which we pass. Ochs will undoubtably will become more successful if we get recievers into one on one coverage with DB's. We didn't force MSU into this position at all in the game. Essentially we told MSU we are going to run on 1st and 2nd down and 3rd if possible. This philosophy worked in the most part but we couldn't convert in the redzone.

As to Ochs, the complexity of the offense is not what it was and is conducive for throwing the ball well. The patterns are short or long. He will either have a lot of completions for a few yards or the same number of yards with fewer completions. I think honestly, recieving we have a bunch of possesion recievers. Talmage is big guy but isn't going to thrive in double coverage because he really doesn't run away from people. Oliver, Segars, and Hancock are essentially the same type of reciever. Heidelberger provides the speed neccessary but we have been reluctant to get him passes in open spaces down the field.

Thus I think why we have seen recievers catching the ball in short routes in open space iwth the hope they can bust plays. Screens and the like are intended for just that. We however based up what I have observed for much of the year been very reluctant to press teams with the deep ball because frankly we haven't been able to get recievers open frequently deep.

So I think Ochs stats are representative of the type of personell he has to throw to. This isn't the most tallented group of recievers we have ever had, it isn't the least but they are limited in what they can do to get open. I think the coaching staff's passing attack reflects those limitations. However, I think they can do more with the passing game than what they have shown the desire to do. Maybe it is a ploy, playing possum, I am not sure. But I am one of the many Griz fans who believe that with Ochs, we can throw for 300 and run for 100 in the game.
Grizfan-24 said:
So I think Ochs stats are representative of the type of personell he has to throw to. This isn't the most tallented group of recievers we have ever had, it isn't the least but they are limited in what they can do to get open.

You basically restated everything that I was trying to say.....in a more coherent way! :wink:

So my question would again be.....WHY the cracker ain't segars logging more playing time????? He is the most talented & athletic WR we have...not only at getting open, but doing something with it when he catches the short stuff.

I'll answer my own question at the risk of sounding like I have multiple personality disorder------Because Hauck is really conservative....and he wants to run the ball 75% of the time, and he needs a better "blocking" WR in that spot.

It comes down to the personality of the HEAD coach. It is becoming clear to me that Hauck would rather take chances on special teams that on Offense........WHY?.....And that is a sincere "why". He is part conservative (offense)...and part liberal (special teams). And I was thinkin I was the one with mutiple personality disorder.... :lol:

If he is willing to take chances on special teams....why not take a few on O? Hard to understand the philosophy on that one. Traditionally, offense will win you more games than special teams...... Just a thought.
Ochs is a very good QB, with great ability and pedigree, and I believe he has the potential to be known, along with DD, as the best all-around QB to play for the Griz. He obviously got off to a bad start this year with the ankle injury/surgery, and I assume he is still recovering from that. He also lost alot of important practice time and the early games--to learn the offense better, to work on timing, to work with his particular receivers and to earn the confidence of his teammates. He improved in each game, until the last 2 games (Sac St. can't be counted). His throws were off from the get-go in the EWU game, but he lead the team well nevertheless. He admitted that he had a bad game. I thought he played well against the Cats, but obviously made several bad mistakes. According to a quote in the paper, he lost his grip on the ball on two throws, and both were interceptions. The first one was a bad decision too. On the two-minute drive for the last TD, he looked terrific and his passes were on the mark All season, except for EWU, I thought his touch has been good and his short and medium passes have been very good. His longer passes, most of which were thrown earlier in the season, were mixed, with some looking very good and others looking like he was rusty or not in sync with his receivers.

I don't pretend to know the offense or the play-calling, so I will leave that to others. Within what he appears to have been given with regard to passing opportunities, I believe he is throwing well (again, except for EWU). The Griz also appear to generally take what they are given, so I assume that is guiding both the amount and type of passing. Also, the running game has become so strong that the Griz would be crazy not to utilize to a significant extent. In the Cat game, the weather/field conditions were more conducive to the running game, so that reduced the amount of passing. Note that Ochs threw 23 times, Lulay threw only 13 times.

While the Griz receivers are small, except for Talmadge and Walden, I believe they are good. They may have some problems getting off the line of scrimmage, especially against a team like the Cats with strong and good corners, who have had previous success being physical with our receivers. However, they have nice speed and good hands. Hancock catches everything. Talmadge caught everything last year. I wonder why he has dropped a few this year. I know he was not happy early in the year (about not getting enough balls thrown to him), and maybe that has affected his play. Oliver has nice hands. Segars' hands have improved and are good. JH has dropped some, but his hands are fine. All of the smaller receivers are good, if not very good runners. While Ochs has missed seeing some open receivers, for the most part, I agree with the comment that our receivers don't seem to be open enough. I would tend to blame that more on the offense, than on the receivers, but I don't know.

I too would like to see more long balls. While it takes more than one long ball to cause a secondary to take a step back, I believe the receivers have the speed to go long. Note that Ochs was mixed on his long throws, when they were throwing a few long balls. Thus, because Ochs is very good at the short and medium stuff, I can see why that is more of our bread and butter. Like many of you, I'd like to see more screens and see more swing passes to our many shifty receivers, plus Green and Hilliard both appear to catch the ball well.

Ochs is a leader and winner, and is smart and confident. He appears to know the offense well, and makes good decisions on reading the defense and changing plays. I heard that some players have said they'd prefer him to call the plays over the OC. He's a good passer. He's a good runner, with nice speed and strength. I'd like to see him scramble sooner, when he sees an opening, and not just when he's in trouble. He steps back too far sometimes, making it harder for the lineman to hold their blocks for him. He ought to throw the ball away more often, and avoid sacks or running out of bounds with a loss. Like many of you, I think the Griz live and die with Ochs' performance. By the way, I sure wouldn't trade Ochs for any other QB in the Big Sky.

I see the Griz passing more at the outset of the game this week, as WIU is supposedly better at defending the run than the pass, and has 2 very good linebackers. Also, I believe one of their starting safeties is one of the suspended players. However, adverse weather conditions could influence this.

Like all of us, I hope we see Ochs' breakout game this weekend and thru the rest of the playoffs. I still recall what he told me when I met him on the street in downtown Missoula (when he still had his boot and crutches). "I plan to win the national championship on Dec. 20 [which I believe was the original date]." I guess we'll see how good Ochs and team really are this Saturday, and what they're really made of. We know they're talented. We know they haven't quite played up to their potential. I believe we'll see a very strong and focused Griz team, peaking at the perfect time.