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Snap Counts And Analysis With Cody McKean: Iowa

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It wasn’t the easiest game to re-watch but there were glimmers of hope and some handy information to be gathered along the way.

Count Basie Playing The Piano Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images

It was a short week but Cody got the work done. Here are the snap counts and observations from the Iowa game.

Numbers on the helmets and Iowa’s pace of play was a nice help in the snap counts. I also like that Daniel George, KeAndre Lambert-Smith, Jahan Dotson, Cam Sullivan-Brown always dress differently, though if TJ Jones could also dress differently from George that would help as well.

Offensive Snap Counts (total 76):

  • QB: Levis - 45, Clifford - 31
  • RB: Ford - 7, Lee - 41, Holmes - 28
  • WR: Dotson - 70, Washington - 66, KLS - 34, George - 26, Jones - 14, Lutz - 10, Sullivan-Brown - 6
  • TE: Strange - 56, Johnson - 16, Warren - 6
  • OL: Menet - 76, Walker - 76, Fries - 76, Wallace - 70, Miranda - 70, Thorpe - 6, Scruggs - 6

Offensive Personnel Takeaways:

  • The third WR position is a timeshare right now. Both KLS & Daniel George are about equally productive with neither really distancing themselves. It was nice to see CSB get more snaps and he may be through whatever injury had held him back.
  • Theo Johnson got TE2 snaps and Tyler Warren TE3. Zack Kuntz was unavailable but if he doesn’t hurry back there won’t be space for him at the inn. Theo Johnson looked pretty good as a receiver and had a decent showing as a blocker.
  • Keyvone Lee and Caziah Holmes had about equal drive count (7:6) but Lee was part of the three longest drives of the day. Lee was targeted 9 times in the passing game to Ford & Holmes’ 1 apiece.

Defensive Snap Counts (76 total):

  • DE: Oweh - 55, Toney - 44, Isaac - 20, Simmons - 20, Tarburton - 13
  • DT: Mustipher - 36, Shelton - 50, Beamon - 25, Hansard - 26, Culpepper - 15
  • LB: Brooks - 73, Luketa - 66, Smith - 54, Dixon - 13, Jacobs - 17
  • CB: Ellis - 57, JPJ - 50, Wilson - 45, Hardy - 5
  • S: Brisker - 46, Wade - 76, Sutherland - 30

Defensive Personnel Takeaways:

  • Brisker got hurt and looked fine when he returned but Sutherland got quite a few snaps due to that. There was no Ji’Ayir Brown today for undisclosed reason and Lamont Wade got 100% of the snaps at that safety position.
  • I’m not sure if PJ Mustipher got banged up or was in the doghouse because he started off at a normal snap pace but didn’t get a snap after drive 7. Judge Culpepper had no snaps until Mustipher left the game.
  • Charlie Katshir also didn’t make an appearance on defense. When Ellis Brooks took a break, they moved Jesse Luketa to MIKE and Lance Dixon to WILL.

Accuracy Charting:

  • Clifford: On Target - 12, Catchable - 3, Miss - 0, Uncatchable - 8, Throwaway/Batted - 1 (the second INT was not counted as a batted ball because he threw it right at the defender)
  • Levis: On Target - 13, Catchable - 1, Miss - 1, Uncatchable - 0, Throwaway/Batted - 0

Offensive Analysis:

  • Levis was very accurate on his throws but only had one pass that went over 15yds in the air. I don’t know if that was a lack of trust from OC Kirk Ciarrocca or Levis simply choosing the easy pass option each play, but there was no vertical element during his time in the game. He has the arm for it as we all know, I don’t quite get it.
  • Clifford immediately went downfield for two big plays, and then settled into the 2020 Clifford we all know. He didn’t even have any near misses today, he was either throwing close or way off.
  • Clifford’s first INT may have been picked off even if not batted at the LoS, the target was Parker Washington who was enveloped by the defender. The second was a QB not seeing or underestimating a DT’s ability.
  • If I were HC, Clifford would have been sitting on the bench following the second INT and not out there for the final drive. Not for the throw but for the lack of effort on the return. He got juked out by a DT and then didn’t even try to run him down. Big Caedan Wallace gave far better effort and Caziah Holmes nearly got there from running a route. That’s indicative of PSU’s season. The person in position to make the play isn’t giving the proper effort and fails the other 10.
  • The RB pass game was much more in play than previous weeks with 13 runs from the RBs and 12 pass targets. The QBs ran 15 times. Again, not sure what we are doing here.
  • I don’t think the OL played too poorly but they were not getting a lot of push, though in zone scheme that isn’t the emphasis as I understand it. It’s hard though for the OL to get into a run blocking groove when the most common run play is a QB draw where the OL is supposed to pass protect. No rhythm for them in the run game.
  • Mike Miranda is limited athletically and can’t cover up his mistakes like some of the other OL. When he’s beaten, there’s no recovery like on the first Levis sack. On the strip sack, Caedan Wallace was soundly beaten by a safety’s wide speed blitz and must not have given the panic signal to Levis who was not aware of the pressure coming on his back.

Defensive Analysis:

  • PSU got dominated right up the middle. I thought the DEs, CBs, and SAM LB played pretty well but those positions right up the middle got dominated.
  • Iowa’s interior OL moved PSU’s DTs wherever they wanted with minimal disruption and was able to leave them to get to the second level. It was the worst showing from DTs I’ve seen this season. Even the plays where the RB got to the edge, it was due to a DT being removed from the play and not covering the lane while the DE sealed the edge. Once the RB was past the LoS, beating the box LBs was a breeze and it was open field.
  • I still don’t understand removing the SAM LB from the nickel formation and having the box LBs cover the middle of the field. Brooks and Luketa can’t keep up with TEs, much less slot WRs or RBs.
  • Jaquan Brisker lined up as a LB a few times and played the run as one with Brandon Smith covering the slot on the opposite side. He dropped a sure-fire INT and made a few coverage mistakes but he was around the ball in the run game. Seemed to almost have a better feel for the hole to hit than the box LBs who were sorely disappointing vs Iowa. Jonathan Sutherland lined up as a LB a few times too but they were primarily edge runs with him and he was able to use his downhill ability in space and not knifing through OL scrum.