We (the fans) all know how bad the offensive game planning has been this season and some of us think that we could do a better job than the two guys being paid to do it. Hell, the game planning and play calling has been so horrendous thus far that I'd almost rather have no coordinators and just have the offense go out there and wing it.
I mean honestly what would be much different than what's already happening? Receivers run different routes than the QB expects? We already do that. Our mobile QB tries to be Superman? That's already happening. Confusion and penalties on the offensive line? Nothing new there. Three and outs and first half shut outs? Seen that too many times already.
Since the guys being paid to run the TCU offense aren't getting the job done, here I am to offer my services pro bono. I never played organized football growing up and have zero experience with play calling or game planning, but this week I attempt to tackle an offensive game plan for West Virginia, and if I do even a half ass job at it I might attempt to make it a weekly thing.
Having not watched a single down of West Virginia football this year, I did what any competent offensive coordinator would do and researched the opponent. Using the interwebs I've been able to ascertain that West Virginia's defense is improved from last year, but it's not so improved that it would strike fear in anyone's heart. The basic conclusion is that they've been competent at stopping the run and the teams that have had the most success against them spread their defense wide and isolate defenders. Oh sweet baby Jesus, this is one week that our non game planning could work, especially with Pachall under center. That however is not what I suggest we do.
No, we're going to go back to football basics and use the run to set up the pass. In the first quarter the goal is going to be to use Waymon James to bulldoze up the middle, Catalon is going to run around the edge, and we're going to throw quick slants and wide receiver screens. We're going to stop treating 3rd down as if it's an automatic passing down. If we have 3rd and 5 or less a run play will be in consideration. We'll work our way down the field small chunks at a time to ultimately set up the opportunity for big plays later in the game. Big plays will come from our playmakers shaking defenders to turn a 3 yard gain into a 15 yard gain.
As the game progresses we're going to do something crazy and continue to use the run game. If we've had any amount of success, success being defined as any sustained drive aka more than 3 first downs in the first half, I would expect the defenders to start creeping in to stop first and second down runs and to try to jump those short routes in an attempt to get the Frogs into 3rd and long. This is when we start mixing in some play action and get a little more creative. Pachall is our QB, but Boykin needs to be involved. I would use Boykin as a change of pace at QB, but any snap for him at QB would be a designed run. The thought alone of him passing should open up some running room. I'd give him snaps at WR and at RB because he is a playmaker, and to allow for the possibility of a trick play (RB/WR pass).
So overall my strategy this game is as follows. Power run formations with Jordan Moore at FB for up the gut runs with Waymon James. Single back, three wide formations to stretch out the defense on Catalon stretch runs as well as the short passing attack. Work in play action as the game progresses, utilize playmakers such as Boykin and adjust to what the defense is giving us/what's working. But most importantly make our offense more balanced, somewhere around 50/50 run/pass for this game due to the fact that WVU is a better run defense than pass defense.
Lastly, here's what I expect to see Saturday against West Virginia. 17 total carries for running backs, constant spread formation, passing plays called for Boykin QB snaps, passing plays on any 3rd and 3+ yards, more dropped passes, but an overall slightly less inefficient offense due to better QB play.
Hope anyone that read this enjoyed it. Feel free to tell me how bad of an offensive coordinator I am and how I should never pursue coaching football, not even pee-wee football. I think in the future it would be fun to get several people's opinion on what our offense should do, mash that together, and then contemplate how much better the fan game plan would have been compared to what actually happens on the field.