Archive for the ‘Blog Poll Top 25’ Category

Wulff Radio Show Recap, Week Three

September 10, 2008

Before we get started on the radio show, take a look at our votes in the weekly Blog Poll Top 25, sponsored by the top NCAA blog around, Michigan’s own MGOBlog. Agree/disagree? Cal might be ranked a little low…..

Rank Team Delta
1 Southern Cal 25
2 Georgia 24
3 Florida 23
4 Oklahoma 22
5 Ohio State 21
6 Missouri 20
7 LSU 19
8 Auburn 18
9 Wisconsin 17
10 Texas 16
11 Kansas 15
12 Arizona State 14
13 Brigham Young 13
14 Oregon 12
15 Alabama 11
16 Texas Tech 10
17 Penn State 9
18 Wake Forest 8
19 South Florida 7
20 Utah 6
21 California 5
22 East Carolina 4
23 West Virginia 3
24 Clemson 2
25 Fresno State 1

Dropped Out:

We’ll be voting the rest of the season, so the delta and dropped out portions will make more sense going forward.

Now, on to the radio show. I will condense things even more than before, and try to hit just the key talking points.

  • The show opened with Wulff saying they had a very good practice today. Then they talked about the poor weather they will likely see in Waco for the next TEN MINUTES. Looking likely they’ll get a lot of wind and rain.
  • A caller asked Wulff about the JC transfers on the defensive line, and why we haven’t seen them play yet at such a thin position. Wulff said that Josh Luopo didn’t get his JC degree until it was too late, so he will enroll in January. With Jessy Sanchez and Bernard Wolfgramm, they have decided to redshirt both players. It hurts the d-line situation right now, but Wulff pointed out that they have three seniors at d-tackle right now who will all be gone next year, so they have to think about the future as well as the present.
  • Wulff then went into their philosophy on JC’s. He said they will approach things differently with their JC players, and instead of throwing them into the fire right away, they do want to redshirt them to give them a year to acclimate to the program, hit the weight room, all those things. He said in his past, they had too many times with JC’s where the players would take half a year or even sometimes a full year to really adjust, and then pfft, you’ve lost one full season of eligibility waiting for them to get ready. Then you only have them for one senior season, and that’s it. Instead, they will do all they can to redshirt JC’s and only play them unless there isn’t any other choice.
  • Wulff did touch again on Wolfgramm, and he really likes what he’s seen. He’s very tempted to play him now, but they think he could be a really special player, and a year in the weight room could be a huge help for him next year.
  • Wulff was asked, flat-out, ok, so we hear about how thin we are. Where DO we have any depth? Wulff mentioned running back……and that was about it.
  • A caller asked Wulff about the lack of confidence right now. He said that goes hand-in-hand with lack of experience, and he touched quite a bit on the offense. He said that the QB had accuracy issues early on (he didn’t mention Rogers by name). But he said they also had more issues with the WR’s, out of position, running the wrong routes, you name it.
  • Wulff did touch on one thing. He said this offensive situation reminds him of EWU in 2006. Back then, EWU had youth all over the place on offense, and it was a struggle on offense the entire season. But then the next year in ’07, they led the nation in total offense. So while there is a learning curve with the offense, have some faith that it will work.
  • They still aren’t even using half the playbook, so there are a lot of things they would like to run that they just can’t right now. Wulff also said that they spent a lot of time in practices just going over the very basic fundamentals, things that they had to start from basically ground zero with many of the players in terms of their basic stance, etc. It was that lacking in fundamentals, and there is still a lot of teaching going on. He said there are also some mental fundamentals they are lacking right now, just some real football basics, and that is a tough challenge as well. You don’t have a good enough feel for what their “base” is for football knowledge, so it’s still a feeling-out process.
  • Wulff also addressed the no-huddle, and that right now it isn’t really effective. Part of the problem is that the offense hasn’t really meshed, so, they are taking too long to get to the line of scrimmage and get the correct play called. Plus there are protections that the QB needs to be aware of, reading the defensive formation, etc. There’s a lot that happens between plays that is on the QB’s shoulders, and the no-huddle works best when the QB has it all figured out.
  • Talked briefly about the Cal game. He said in going back and watching the tape, we literally gave away five touchdowns in that game! The two INT’s that were returned inside the 15 yard line, the two long runs where two guys were completely out of position and blew their assignments, and then the blocked field goal returned for a TD. You can’t do that against anyone, but especially a quality, bowl-winning team like Cal. They will bury you.
  • On the topic of depth on both offensive and defensive lines, Wulff said that they will eventually get there, but it could take a few seasons. Wulff does believe that the O-line will come quicker, based on their youth now plus some good young recruits. But the D-line could take longer, based on their lack of tackles. He does believe the D-line could be decent next year with Kooyman and Mattingly at ends and Wolfgramm and Turpin at tackle next year, but they will still have some holes.
  • Wulff went out of his way to talk about the difference between Cal and WSU up front. He said watching the teams next to each other on the field, Cal’s lines were considerably bigger and stronger than our lines. You could see it, and how Cal controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Wulff truly believes in getting in the weight room and that freshman and sophomores need time to put on strength and size to compete against juniors and seniors like Cal had out there.
  • Wulff talked about how they will approach Baylor on defense. They want to 1) stop the run. Felt they did a good job of that vs. Okie State until very late in the game, and they were overwhelmed vs. Cal. 2) Continue to tackle well. He said this is one area he is thrilled with the coaches and how they have coached up the kids to tackle well. That will be a staple of the program going forward, and he believes once they get a little stronger it will really pay off. 3) Baylor runs a different style of offense compared to Cal, and we might match up better with them. He talked about the talented Robert Griffin at QB, but that he’s young and they will be ready for him. He also said that they really, really need some production on offense to help the defense out! WE NEED TO STEP UP ON OFFENSE!
  • Someone asked what they did with the Cal video. Wulff said they actually made the coaches and players watch it, because they need every second they can get with the kids and video of their performances. He also said that they will save this video, and use it in the future. They will never forget what happened and will use it as motivation.
  • Someone asked about the schedule. Would you rather open up against bowl-winning teams from last year, then play a Baylor and Portland State? Or would you rather open up against a Baylor and Portland State, then get the “bigger” named teams? Wulff said they would rather get the Baylor and Portland State games first, just to get some of their in-game experiences out of the way. He pointed out that Okie State and Cal were both bowl-winning teams from last year, and they returned experience UP FRONT, on both lines, so that was a big difference in what we saw early on.
  • Finally, the question of the day – who will start at QB? Wulff said you’ll find out once the game starts. He said there are a few reasons here. First, they need some production, period, out of the offense. Next, they really want to split the reps in practice with the first-teamers between Lopina and Rogers. They want the reps to be equal between the two this week to see what happens. Then, Wulff was very “coy” about the QB situation, when he said “it doesn’t really matter a whole lot who takes the first snap of the game” and that “don’t be surprised if both QB’s play”. But Wulff also said that they really want to see what Lopina can do with the first-teamers in game situations. Practice is practice, but games are something else entirely, and sometimes you have no way of knowing what a kid can do until the bright lights come on.
  • Wulff also reminded people that Lopina just took his first college snaps EVER last week on the D-1 level, so, he might be a junior but he’s very inexperienced. Same with Loebbestael, he just took his first snaps as a redshirt frosh. But they want them both to at least get some game action so they have some sort of base to build on.

That’s about it. The tone, overall, wasn’t as negative as you might have thought it would be coming off a 66-3 humiliation. But Wulff is hanging tough, which is what you need right now.

Enjor your Wednesday, and GO COUGS!