No improvement on 3rd down

Discussion in 'On The Field' started by Nic, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. Nic

    Nic 25+ Posts

    Last year, I thought that Gilbert's biggest downfall was his inability to convert third downs. That's critical for a qb and it's what separates the winners from the rest. As they say, qbs earn their money on 3rd down..... No sports writers seem to be pointing out that Gilbert was again completely ineffective and at his worst on 3rd down. 0 for 6 passing, two sacks, 1 long run, and 1 qb sneak.

    We can beat the Rice's of the world on 1st and 2nd down, but not quality teams. A qb MUST convert 3rd downs to win in football. I saw no improvement from Gilbert here. How is anyone optimistic with him after watching that?Am I missing something?
  2. georgecostanza

    georgecostanza NBHorn7’s Protégé

    Maybe it wasn't JUST GILBERT'S fault. Maybe he had some craptastic blocking. Maybe his friggin' receivers weren't open. It's not like Gilbert says to himself "Okay, it's third down. Time for me to suck."

    Football is a team sport. One player will not win or lose you a ball game.
  3. Nic

    Nic 25+ Posts

    I agree to some extent, but the buck stops with qb on 3rd downs in my opinion. Different receivers from last season, different OC, different lineman, same results..... Don't coddle the kid and make excuses. He doesn't get it done on 3rd down when it counts. The facts are there. I don't know if it's the pressure, his lack of composure, not having "it", but he doesn't get it done. Period..... I haven't seen anything to make me think that's going to change.
  4. djack

    djack 100+ Posts

    It's a valid point on third down, but anything short of a national championship and you jackasses will consider him a failure. And really it was red zone offense that hurt. We moved the ball down fairly well all season. We can beat teams on 1st and 2nd and will have to do so.

    Irby dropped one that would have converted. Yeah, yeah he threw it too hard. Also didn't we convert the 4th there? Perhaps you should lump those downs together. I was thinking the ball off Davis's should pads from 30 yards away was a 3rd down too but maybe not. I guess he threw that too hard also.

    To be able to find little to nothing positive about GG's performance shows that.

    His first deep throw to Davis was after almost immediate pressure. Davis was open but not by a lot. Effectively, the long one to Davis from inside the 5 ended the game. Not that it was really in doubt.

    The flip to Fozzy was ill advised, but the execution of it was really the problem. The guy hitting GG seemed to be the only Rice guy around and no one else was getting it unless Fozzy dropped it - twice.

    His presence in the pocket is often very good, but he gets no credit for it. When pressure is often QBs will be inconsistent. When they get pressure often and often immediately, it is potentially very ugly.

    Perhaps he stays too long on his first read. All QBs do it though. In 2009 Colt looked on Shipley a lot. A lot. But probably because he didn't trust anyone else. In Camp Gruden on whatever the hell it was called Colt missed out on a TD because I believe he locked in on Shipley. It should have been an easy throw and catch. In RGIII's Heisman performance versus TCU early on, he locked on and never let go. It was complete. It happens more than many ever want to believe. Interestingly enough, I seem to recall the 4th and 2 play versus UCLA that it was said the 1 yard pass was his 4th read. That was the play in my opinion that set the season on its course.

    All QBs will miss open WRs so to say people saw guys running open is not suprising. I have seen every QB at Texas over the last 20 years miss open guys. And no one here or anywhere can put a number on that so don't even come out and say who is best and who is worst.

    It was a solid first game for him. Give him some credit.
  5. omnipresent

    omnipresent 1,000+ Posts

    GG was an incredible high school QB - that much I'll give him. He was among kids he'd grown up with, his comfort/acceptance levels were at an all-time high. At this level, in this environment, he's barely salvageable. It's got to be a PERFECT O LINE, PERFECT WR'S, etc for him to ” shine”. I got the wrath from lots of folk here last year. GG is a nice kid, I'm sure. Unfortunately, when he's punched in the mouth, he cries rather than fight. We need a fighter
  6. Statalyzer

    Statalyzer 10,000+ Posts

  7. OrangeOsoFu

    OrangeOsoFu 100+ Posts

    In many ways Gilbert looked very much improved to me. Sack avoidance. Ball protection. No fumbled snaps or bad hand offs. A great hard count to draw a five yard penalty when we needed backed up deep in our own territory. Several deep balls that were right on target. A few scramle dump passes to open receivers. I think he has the chance to shine in this new offense. I also think that HarsinWhite will give Ash more reps and if they see a reason to make a change (based on a lot more experience and informaiton than anyone on this board) they will do it.

    That said, Gilbert has a lot of areas to get better at and I know the coaches will be working on that this week to get ready for BYU.
  8. djack

    djack 100+ Posts


    I saw one or two. I was also distracted much of the time. How do you argue if two guys were open on the same play? Would you like the QB to not throw to the first open guy? I do know when you get immediate pressure all bets are off. There is no timing. Even if the QB keeps his eyes downfield, any progressions are out of whack.

    Early on, we certainly had too much immediate pressure too often.

    I also know that people believe receivers when in fact 1) they are not and 2) there is no way in hell the QB can get the ball to them at that time.
  9. horn4jc

    horn4jc 1,000+ Posts

    I have had my doubts about GG and still not sure if he's turned a corner.

    But, as for the OP, it seems like a little nit picking at this point. Yes, it's crucial to convert 3rd downs and QB's must make plays. But this was Rice and also the first game under a new offensive system. Also, he did a much better job of avoiding sacks.

    Like someone else said, one was dropped and GG did make a play with that long run. The long run shows he'll make a play when needed. He managed the game well and didn't throw any int's. Also, he led a couple of 90+ yard scoring drives.

    OP, I know you're stating your opinion and you have a point. But slowly step away from the ledge and enjoy the new offense. Those 3rd down conversions will come. Also, we have an OC who will change things up on the fly if the game plan isn't working.
  10. Third Coast

    Third Coast 10,000+ Posts

    If nobody was open and Rice was still getting a consistent pass rush, Texas has significant problems other than Gilbert throwing to the wrong receiver.
  11. I35

    I35 5,000+ Posts

    Rice had a few mix ups in their secondary and I'm not sure how some of you didn't see any. The worst one was Shipley not being pick up by anyone and ran a post free. GG threw a low pass that was incomplete to the outside. Our WR ran good routes but when your QB locks in on the WR it gives the defensive back an advantage. It's much harder to be open as a WR when LB'ers or other DB's float to where the QB is looking. They know he locks in and they cheat to where he's looking.

    For the guy that said we won't be happy unless he wins a MNC. NO, we won't be happy until he's either replaced or he quits throwing low, behind the receiver, throw the nose of the ball down, and not locking in on the receiver. You are in the minority here, most feel GG just doesn't have it or ever will. There are just a few of you that thinks all of a sudden he will change all of the things I just mentioned that's wrong with his game. Even if he improves a lot, he still may not end up being the best QB on our roster. I was in his corner from the start. I even excused his play last season all the way up to his 5 INT game vs Kansas St. I was ready for a change. It never happened and the season was over. I decided that I'm going to have an open mind going into the spring game and he did aweful against our backups with the first string. I was pulling for someone to step up and when the coaching staff named him the starter last week I said I'm backing the coaches decision. He has done nothing to improve and some act like he not throwing an INT against Rice is a major improvement. Has he lowered your expectations that low?
  12. yourlordarileus

    yourlordarileus 250+ Posts

    George I think I found a new sig.

  13. omnipresent

    omnipresent 1,000+ Posts

    I35 got it right, top to bottom. We need a show of hands who attended the game, because if you didn't see GG locking onto receivers while totally missing open receivers, well...I'd like to invite you over for some $5k ante poker. To compound matters, he hesitates so much, it gives an otherwise craapy defense a chance to get to an open receiver
  14. Statalyzer

    Statalyzer 10,000+ Posts

    Some people's definition of open receiver seems to vary a lot depending on if it's the guy Gilbert threw to or a guy Gilbert didn't throw to.
  15. I35

    I35 5,000+ Posts

    Statalyzer, what's your definition of being open? Would Shipley running free on a post route due to a mix up in the Rice secondary but considered open?
  16. borna_horn

    borna_horn 1,000+ Posts

    Very early in the game, we were in 3rd and long. I felt no confidence in us getting the first down. It felt like a flashback to last year.
  17. djack

    djack 100+ Posts

    My expectations were to beat OU in 2007. My expectations were to win the championship in September of 2005. My expectations are to give each and every team a run for their money this season.

    It is the over the top criticism of one player and only one player that I take issue with. No kidding he has worked to do. Gideon is actually a fairly close second but others get passes from trashing.

    We have another quote here talking about Gilbert avoiding sacks better than he did last year. We gave up 18 sacks with 445 official attempts last year. In 2005, we had 14 out of 336. In 2009, we gave 31 sacks and had 540 official attempts. In 2006, it was 19 and 371. Stats can lie, but these tell enough to support the statement that he held his own in the pocket. His mobility inside and outside the pocket is way underrated.

    GG in no way shape or form took an inordinate amount of sacks. No way in hell was the Oline better in 2010 than 2005 yet our sack per attempt is similar.

    I don't give a flip if 99% of the world's population chimes in on a certain topic when facts and an honest, accurate assessment tell me otherwise.

    In 2004 a certain Longhorn QB completed a stellar 59% of his passes and had a 12/11 TD/Int ratio. Interestingly enough, we beat a certain team from Houston 35-13 in the 3rd game that year. The statline for this particular QB in this particular game was 11-18 for 161 yards, 3 TDs, 2 picks with a long rush of 22 yards. It seems as though this was this guys third year in the program too.

    But perhaps his finest performance was his 6-14 game against Wazzu. The best part of that was it was for 15 yards. I had a difficult time believing he had a stellar game reading the defense here or that in 14 pass attempts at least one guy was not open for more than that 15 yards.

    Yes, I know Greg Davis. But the point is that Young had flaws. If you cut him off before you let him finish his story 2005 never happens. He was careless with the ball - see 2005 Ohio State, let the ball hit the ground 3 plays in a row versus Missouri - and often didn't bring the focus until the 4th quarter - Kansas at 3-7 no less. At the end of his redshirt sophomore season, he made probably the single dumbest play I have ever seen. You know the one where he thought it was a good idea to stick the ball over the top of the pile at the goalline from the 1. 99 yards later we were down at halftime. His defense gave up no points in that second half and special teams scored 7.

    People chose to overlook his inadequacies because they liked him. They gave him the benefit of the doubt and he really had very little pressure to perform at least relatively speaking.

    I also get annoyed with the thought that fumbles apparently don't count when judging a QB. Simms got crucified for his picks but did a better than average job of not laying the ball on the ground.

    Major had 6 turnovers versus K-State in 1999, but three don't count because they were fumbles. The 2005 crew was a fumbling bunch. They laid 35 on the ground but somehow the opponent only fell on 9 of them.

    Colt threw 4 picks versus K-State.

    The overreliance on one game against a team we struggle with is not smart.

    His completion percentage, knowing we dropped a ton of balls, is manageable to get to 65%. In spite of the Tebow hate, his release was easily more long and drawn out than GG's. GG also has a bit of a Tebowesque quality. He takes a hit and often falls forward. Tipped balls are largely a factor of the short passing game and predictability. Even so, I would put the tipped ball ratio at around 3% and not a significant source of concern for me. Most QBs cut down on the picks as they gain experience. Shipley ain't dropping balls like guys did last year.

    A spring game is a useless indicator of anything. One game in the regular season is not an indicator of anything. Yes, a full regular season is an indicator.

    At the end of that season, you can probably count on one hand how people thought Greg was worth anything. Ideally, your QB would not be starting as a true Sophomore. His team was not good. All parts of that offense were not good. We practiced all spring and summer to run the ball last year. We had to scrap that offense part way through the year. That was a different offense than the one run in the National Championship game. Effectively, he ran three different offenses, at least philosophically, in his first two years here. Now, he has another one this year.

    Go look at 2010 highlight video on youtube. He shows glimpses of everything people want out of him. Again, more consistency is needed.

    He has tremendous pressure on him. It is probably significantly more than Simms had. A little support would be appropriate.
  18. omnipresent

    omnipresent 1,000+ Posts

    @ borna - I felt the same, at least initally. Thankfully, we rid ourselves of GD

    re: "open receiver" - IMO one is "open" if the defender is as far away from you as he is tall. Couple of links if you're really askingThe Link
    The Link

    maybe watching the replay will give opposing positions on this matter a chance to make their point..
  19. geezerhorn

    geezerhorn 1,000+ Posts

    I'm not a coach, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn last night, but I call a receiver without a defender within 4 or 5 yards open especially if the receiver thrown two has 2 to three of the available defenders inside a similar window. I saw this occur...from my seat in the stadium...several times Saturday night.

    I guess what bothers me most about the adamant Gilbert apologists is they are willing to accept the same type of mistakes made in abundance last year. And write them off to other team position mistakes.

    A more talented team will take advantage of these mistakes where our QB got away with them last night.

    Garrett made some very good plays at times, unfortunately sporadic good play will be successful only against the Rice caliber teams we play. A starter with 3 Springs, 3 summers, 3 pre-season camps, and a full year plus of experience should be capable of more than sporadic good play, or someone else should get at least a reasonable set of downs to determine if they can provide more.

    Mack, Bryan & Major get paid to make those decisions, not us, so I will just watch and believe they have the plan in place. I sure like what I saw regarding play-calling.
  20. wadster

    wadster 5,000+ Posts

    Speaking of 3rd down, I thought we did a much better job running the ball on 3rd and short. I don't remember a single time we didn't convert although I missed some plays due to the streaming locking up (thanks LHN).
  21. djack

    djack 100+ Posts

    In 2004, we beat a certain team from Houston 35-13 in the 3rd game that year. The statline for Vince Young in this particular game was 11-18 for 161 yards, 3 TDs, 2 picks with a long rush of 22 yards. It seems as though this was this guys third year in the program too.

    How did a guy that could only do this versus a crappy Rice team (3-8) ever improve enough to win a national championship? Never mind that we scored 35 points. Three teams scored 50+ on them with a high of 70 against San Jose State.
  22. borna_horn

    borna_horn 1,000+ Posts

  23. Nic

    Nic 25+ Posts

    Horn4jc, Is it really nit picky? I'm not typically that negative. I just think converting 3rd downs is pretty critical to winning football games and the stats seem to say that Gilbert was not good in that area last year. I expected that we'd see some improvements against Rice. Based on general fan and sportswriter reaction, you'd think we did. That's not what the stats say though. 0 for 6 passing on 3rd down. That's really bad, right?

    Admittedly, it's just one stat and only tells a part of the story, but I think it's critical. Overall, I thought Gilbert looked solid and made some good throws, but I think you've gotta convert the tough, drive extending 3rd downs to be a good team. Do you have faith in him to add that dimension to his game? We haven't seen it yet and we didn't see it last night against the worst team on our schedule.... The sky isn't falling, but I'm not going to pretend that I've seen improvement when it wasn't there. The play action fake pass to Davis was great, but we all know he can make that throw. He did that last year. I need to see him convert some tough 3rd downs and sustain drives.
  24. OrangeClad

    OrangeClad 250+ Posts

    Nobody knows what GG is or isn't at this point and that includes the coaches. Anybody who says he is great or terrible needs to turn on their DVD player and rewatch last year's games. He had 1 bad game last year where he consistently played poorly by his own hand. Evey other game he was running for his life practically every play from the snap. Last night was not a great outing for him (just ok maybe, but not great), but it was also pretty rough (again) by the Oline and GG was pressured alot more than any Rice team should be able. 2 sacks, flushed out several times, hurried over and over and over. Shouldn't happen.

    He may totally suck, but as of yet nobody really knows on this board or anywhere else who doesn't have a crystal ball. I thought he panicked too much last night when he did have time, but that adequate time in the pocket didn't happen too many times. No doubt he is really gun-shy and no doubt that nees to go away. But give him a shot to be even half the player he was in high school.

    And other point is, we don't have any other reliable options. We have weak armed sophomore who played about 11 plays total all of last season and a true freshman who may be very promising for the future, but he is not Superman 2. We need GG to come through for us this year. No apologies, but hoping he can.
  25. Joe2005

    Joe2005 500+ Posts

  26. Joe2005

    Joe2005 500+ Posts

  27. OrangeChipper

    OrangeChipper 1,000+ Posts

    We will never win a national title with GG as our qb. At least not the one we saw against Rice.

    The Floor of a team is how good their Oline and Dline are. We'll be no worse than 6-6 this year.

    The Ceiling of a team is how good their QB is. I doubt we'll hit 9 wins with GG.

    The biggest single difference with our game with Rice was 3rd down conversions in the first half. Whenever Rice needed it, they picked up 4 on 3rd and 3. We did not. Rice. This was Rice.

    We had the damn announcers telling us how GOOD Rice was.
    Rice. Rice.

    You HAVE to be able to keep the chains moving. This is what Colt was so damn good at.
    When we ran for 1 on first and 2 on second, Colt would find a way to get the first about 70% of the time. Either through scrambling or finding the wr. Colt had those instincts as a freshman. I just don't see them in GG.
  28. ShinerTX

    ShinerTX 1,000+ Posts

    Gilbert is not the guy. Do we have someone better. I don't know. Our first TD pass this season was a nice one from Harris. Another excellent HS QB. Just sayin.
  29. djack

    djack 100+ Posts

    Statiscally speaking Gilbert did not struggle anymore than Young did against Rice at a similar point in his career.

    Many believe that Gilbert has not and will not improve. And, yes, it is personal. It is Gilbert's fault we went 5-7. Sure others participated.

    That TD from Harris was a better than average catch. It is telling that Shipley already has such a prominent role. Do you remember any catches like that last year?

    Yes, GG has shown flashes of greatness. The first throw to Davis was such a flash. Ultimately, I don't know how good he can or will be. I guarantee you he will improve. Perhaps not as much as others, but he will improve.

    In responses, there was little to no acknowledgement statistically that Young was mediocre to poor versus Rice. I had no idea of his stats until looking it up. Someone mentioned he had shown flashes and that was the justification as to why you would overlook this performance versus Rice. An important to remember is that 2005 had not happened at this point. And I promise you and you know it, the supporting cast on the 2004 Horns was better than what we have seen to date on this current version.

    I have read multiiple comments on multiple boards stating that if he plays like he did against Rice against good teams it will end up poorly. That is a useless comment and can in no way be proven either way. Yet it focuses entirely on the negative.

    Some wanted a turnover free game from Gilbert and they got one. I don't have confidence in converting a 3rd long. I do anticipate us improving more than any other team throughout the year.
  30. ShinerTX

    ShinerTX 1,000+ Posts

    I hope Gilbert proves me wrong. I'd be more than happy to eat crow on this matter.

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