Mailbag Oct.24: Would More Shotgun, Rollouts Work For Whitmer?

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Q: Hi DC, Great work covering the Huskies.  With the fact that our O-line is having difficulty run blocking and pass protecting, what would you think of possibly putting Whitmer into shotgun more.  I notice against Syracuse the deep drops he has to take under center give him very little time to react against the rush.  Putting him in shotgun more often could at least give him time to react and possibly open up the running game with a few draw plays.  Also a few more rollouts would probably be beneficial as opposing Defenses are just teeing off on us.  Thoughts? Tom, NYC

A: Sure. I mean they have to look at both of those things and probably a few others including the short passing game, which I think really would help this team move the ball down the field. There’s no reason these guys can’t have the same success Western Michigan and Rutgers dragging guys across the middle and then picking your spots to unload on the defense. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t see why that can’t work but more to your point Whitmer could have been hurt pretty bad against Syracuse and on one hit I thought he did get hurt pretty bad but something has to be done to take advantage of what he can do.


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14 thoughts on “Mailbag Oct.24: Would More Shotgun, Rollouts Work For Whitmer?

  1. michael k

    I don’t get why some people are getting on Whitmer. The guy has gotten better at passing and has cut down a lot on interceptions. He’s proven he’s tough, and can throw the long ball with accuracy. But, come on…the poor guy was left to the wolves by his offensive line against the Orange and you want to hold that against him? He needs protection in order to make plays. I agree with DC, let Whitmer throw some passes underneath and try and pick up some yards that way.

    Tony from NYC, in my opinion, the shotgun and rollouts must be used sparingly to be effective. Nothing the Huskies did against Syracuse fooled them, so they certainly need to mix up plays and decoy much better.

    1. Jay

      First play on offense was a screen play and it was seriously blown up by the defense. Never tried it again.


    Any idea to improve the impotent offense should be considered. In reality would need more athletic players at all offensive positions: QB who has the speed and arm strength to make a play outside of the pocket; Offensive lineman who can block and “move” with the play; RB’s who can block, catch passes and make opponents miss in the open field; WRs who have speed, ability to get seperation from DBs and achieve YAC. Don’t see those characteristics in this current bunch.

  3. Artie A...

    Shotgun yes, use it to blow apart our O game plan. If used on coaches rubber bullets only…….

  4. JD

    Hi Dez,

    I think I am starting to recover from the Blowout on Friday.

    Don Brown’s Defense seems to have been figured out, but worse off this defense just doesn’t create any Turnovers.

    We’re not going to win many games when we loose the TO battle consistently.

    Do you think UCONN has a chance at a Bowl Game realistically?

    1. dconner Post author

      Hey JD

      It was a tough one to recover from. You may be ahead of most.

      I think the creating turnovers point is spot on. The momentum from turnovers can carry you a long way – which we’ve seen UConn opponents do to them.

      I’m not so sure teams have figured out the defense. It may seem that way to some. I’m not sure about it, really. I do know one thing: Run support from the secondary is one thing but I don’t think you want your safeties making 10 tackles a game. A lot of that game Friday night was played behind the front seven and that’s not good.

      It would be easy for me to say no today but I think we have to wait and see what happens against South Florida. If the team plays like it did against Syracuse and Temple then you’ll know the answer.

      Hang in there JD

    2. Anonymous

      JD, here is some information from the SU game that needs to be considered. DB’s defense isn’t getting figured out. They are getting worn down by there own offense and bad field position. Did you know the average starting field position for SU was the SU 47 yard line during the first quarter & SU 35 for the game? Might have something to do with SU kicking 4 field goals & getting 16 additional points on the scoreboard. That 9 of 12 UConn drives were 4 plays or less (4 plays or less!)& two of the other drives ended in turnovers? And SU doesn’t lack talent on offense. 450+ yards and 27 first downs against USC (and I do believe USC has some talent). I think you may be seeing some of the residual effects of the defense being on the field way too much.

      1. JD

        Hold on a second, UCONN Football for the last 8 seasons hasn’t had a better than average Offense. Year after year the UCONN defense has outplayed the other side of the ball. Sure the offenses were better but never great. And I am well aware of the UCONN Offense’s struggles but the Defense just doesn’t look creative.
        The points aren’t what scare me but the yardage and 3rd down conversions are just plain bad. Our TFL’s and Sacks are becoming a non-factor and blatantly the D-Line was getting pushed all over the field from the beginning of the game.

        Then there is the blitzing which seems to be exposing itself way too early.

  5. TAD

    Most of Syracuses blizing came from the left side of Uconn line. Do you think in Syracuse’s preparation they pick up a Uconn weakness? Roll outs, screen passes, draw plays and reverses would all help. What we should be trying to do is attack that part of the field left unguarded by the blizing linebacker, cornerback or safety. In order to do that there has to be a lot of game preparation which includes, studing of film, redesigning plays and then working with the offense to perfect those plays. Its not an easy task but that is what big time college football is all about. Unfortunately, it appears that our coaches are not up to that task. Another problem seems to be that Whitmer may not have the option to check off to a different play depending whether or not the other team is going to bliz. With the offensive system being only in its second year and a quarterback only in his first year it may be asking a lot to expect the offense to be able to change plays at the line of scrimmage. Nevertheless, there still should be ways to deal with the blizes so that Whitmer doesn’t end up on his back every other play.

    1. dconner Post author

      Recognizing the blitz in this scheme has been a huge problem and now the line has one less guy with experience to recognize them in Adam Masters who is out for the season with the ankle injury. So unless they do something to accomodate what they have up front I think we could be looking at problems like we saw when he went out at SU. UConn cant come out and play like that again. So they’ve got to do something, put the O line in position to do well is Job.1

  6. Mike

    All great ideas, but too late. What I saw Friday night sealed the deal for me. That team was not prepared to play, and that is inexcusable. Why were they not ready? Either this coaching staff is not competent or they are here to collect a pay check. No more money in any form from this fan unless something/someone changes.I was a “give them three years ” fan. I was wrong. Make the move now.

  7. RST

    There have been a million ideas about what might work better. Personally I think we are beyond that. I came back from an overseas trip Friday night, grabbed a bite, and then hit the sack. Could not resist turning on the radio for a moment though. The score was 3-13 and the Huskies were on their own ten. They then proceeded to march 90 yards in four plays doing all the stuff that people have been screaming for on this board. I turned it off confident they had figured it out. Wrong. My hands are now in the air in utter futility and I am waiting for the inevitable at the end of the season. Someone will definitely be leaving, we just don’t know who yet.

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