AFTERMATH

All apologies to loyal Birddog readers today. Monday is when I’m supposed to post my OMG awesome game breakdown, but it’s going to be a little late this week. I usually prepare it on Sunday, but a small bit of family drama kept that from happening yesterday. No worries, though; after a diligent neighborhood sign-posting campaign, we did in fact find the owner of the big black German Shepherd that wandered into our backyard on Saturday afternoon. With this being a quasi-bye week, there shouldn’t be a problem with the weekly routine if I slide a day or two.

Maybe it’s for the best, anyway. It isn’t like any of you are interested in breaking down the game right now. No, the topic on everyone’s mind is quarterbacks, and it’d probably be a waste of time to address anything else. You guys wouldn’t pay any attention to it. So let’s look at some things that have been said so far:

“I would have to say its now time to give the kid the start. He not only brought the crowd to its feet but also gave the D some newfound spirit and life and led what may have been the most impressive comeback in many years.”

“I don’t have as much fear of mistakes when he is in… I know ones gut is not always correct, but I have to say that I now have a ‘Good, Dobbs is in.’ reaction when I see him play.”

“In college ball, where each player has a four year window and lineups change year to year, how much time do you spend trying to coach out potential before you go in another direction? Jarod is not a long term investment. 1 more year and he is done, gone. How fair is it to the rest of the program. He should be dominating by now. It’s not as if he is surounded by untalented players. He should be making better decisions. Fakes and Playaction should be more sharp. And under no circumstances should a defensive player crawl on hands and knees right in front of his eyes for five feet and record a sack without the option quarterback on the number 1 rushing offense in the country take one step to avoid the sack. It would not hurt at this point to give Ricky the ball and show us what he can do in a real game as the Navy QB.”

“Who looks more confident?
Who looks and runs stronger?
Whos pitches looked better?
Who looked in control?”

“I still don’t understand why Ricky can’t start and show us what he can do. …It comes down to who you think is the better QB. To me, it seems that Ricky has better instincts and is more “crisp.” Even though Jarod has been doing well, I would not second guess a Dobbs start if only to assess what we have. If he doesn’t do well against a defense with fresh legs and Jarod comes in in the second quarter and tears it up, I would consider the issue resolved and Jarod should get all the starts. It just seems that you are totally sold that Jarod is the better QB and 100% against giving Dobbs a start.”

Don’t bother sifting through the haiku thread. You won’t find those comments. Those things were said last year; swap out Jarod and Ricky with Kaipo and Jarod:

https://thebirddog.wordpress.com/2007/09/20/game-week-duke/

https://thebirddog.wordpress.com/2007/09/24/navy-outlasts-duke/

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

It sure does. And that’s just what was written here back in the infancy of this blog. It was the same elsewhere, and it had been that way since Kaipo took over for Brian Hampton the year before. “He gives the team a spark! He comes from a good high school program! He just knows how to win! He’s a better passer than Kaipo! What more do we need to see? If only Jarod would just get his chance.” Etcetera, etcetera. All the same platitudes you see now. People saw what happened when Jarod came in late in games, ran a package of plays specifically designed for him, and led the team on improbable comebacks. What happened in practice didn’t matter; Jarod was making it happen at game time. If you didn’t see it, then you were just being too loyal!

My point here is not that Jarod Bryant should be starting at quarterback instead of Ricky Dobbs. Indeed, the offense under Bryant this year has struggled far more than it ever did under Kaipo in ’06 and ’07, although people apparently thought that the offense was a real bucket of suck at the time. Hell, I was Jarod Bryant’s biggest critic then, just as I was earlier this year. Jarod struggled against Notre Dame too, especially in the counter option (which I’m sure the A-backs will tell you). There’s no doubt that Ricky has tools we’re all excited to see (don’t quote that out of context please), and if he starts, then great. I don’t have a problem with that, and frankly I had to bite my tongue to keep from calling for it after the Air Force game.

My problem isn’t with the idea that Ricky is a better option right now. My problem is with the arguments that people are using to support this conclusion. Maybe Ricky is the better choice than Jarod, maybe not. But some people are seeing what they want to see, which only serves to pile unreasonable expectations on Ricky. 

It’s hard, but try to separate yourself from the emotion of such a crazy game and look at what actually happened. Saying “if Ricky starts, we win the game” is, frankly, crap. Dobbs came in at the end of the third quarter against Notre Dame’s first-teamers and promptly started going three & out just like Jarod did. Once Notre Dame put in their backups, then Ricky was able to put a drive together. But even that wasn’t really a drive; it was a 4-yard run, a pass to Tyree, a 15 yard penalty, and a pitch to Shun. That’s it. And all against a second string defense playing prevent. That, plus the pass to Tyree on the next posession, does not erase what happened when Dobbs was facing the same conditions Jarod did. Just like we aren’t able to go an entire game against a competent defense running the special packages called for Jarod last year, the Mids aren’t going to win by throwing for 300 yards and running nothing but quarterback keepers with Ricky in there. You may not want to hear it, but practice matters. 

This isn’t meant to take anything away from Ricky. Actually, this is more of a preemptive defense. I say this in the hopes that there are some of you who aren’t already too far gone to be objective, and who might be able to reevaluate a few things. People are treating Ricky like he’s the savior of the offense, which is only going to set him up for failure. Putting Ricky in won’t make the tackles more experienced. It won’t make the perimeter blocking any better. And he won’t magically understand the offense better than he does in practice. When the “change the quarterback” panacea falls through, then what? Fire the coaches? You might think that’s ridiculous, but grumbling about the coaching staff has already begun. Bad game plans! Change the play calling! Yeah, OK.

I expect Ricky to start next Tuesday. Hopefully he’s awesome. If not, then brace for the meltdown.

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55 Responses

  1. Well, I suppose if he starts and has issues, then KD can put JB in…..

    and we can all sit back and say, “Why didn’t he start JB?” “We’d have won if JB starts that game.”

    Being a fan is a wonderful thing, you can use 20 20 hindsight to perfection. Too bad coaches don’t have access to it before the game. :)

  2. I just don’t put stock into stuff like “he’s a winner with heart!” We’ve heard that stuff before.

  3. Right on! I get tired of it all, just like I did last year with Kaipo and JB. As Wags noted, there has been a “steady” process with Ricky to get him ready. Now we are here at the point where it is time to get him a shot at the reins.

    But Ricky cannot fix the loss of McGinn, the missed assignments, the penalties and the predictable play calling. To think that he will is simply unfair to him. Clearly he is a playmaker, but he is a cog in the offense, and he cannot overcome all odds.

    Well put, Mike.

    P.S. As I said I am tired – can you don a moniker (or not) and post your thought on gomids.com so all bases are covered?

  4. posted again here: from a 2 letter winner in 60’s re:1st class vs underclass. Both my coaches said every day that if you could not clearly beat a 2nd or 3rd class (NCAA ruled out plebes then) you were on the pines. Only exception was starting Army game. Did I think it was fair? no! Was it coaches subtle motivation? maybe? Did coaches care about my, fans or press feelings? no! Did Admiral interfere? only if not winning.
    So if JB and RD are “we can win with both” seems choice is clear. Give RD shot at starting. Besides we are in a bowl game already. Could be a good indicator to decide about Army game without a must win at Northern Il.

  5. Brilliance. I wish I could make this article my sig on GoMids.

  6. lol – give RD the start because who cares if we lose to Northern Illinois???? jesus, i’ve heard it all now

    BTW, Phat just whored the hell out of you guys with those quotes from last year…second verse same as the first

  7. GoalieLax,

    He didn’t say HE thought RD should start, he said he ‘expected’ RD to get the start. Those are entirely different propositions.

    I don’t think the idea of starting RD is because it doesn’t matter if we lose. It is because, if your opinion is that RD and Jacob B :) are near equal in performance (I’m pretty sure you believe that NOT to be the case), then, this late in the season, you start the younger guy. Not because he’s the ‘savior’, but because he should be getting the experience for next year as long at that doesn’t materially affect you’re chances at winning. If you think JB is demonstrably better than RD, then of course you start him. Just like if Kaipo is healthy he starts over either — not because he’s a senior and was the starter, but because he’s demonstrably better than either and gives you the best chance to win.

  8. What I can’t understand is why didn’t we go for the first down after the ball slipped through White’s hands late in the game, it was 3rd down and we had 2 plays to get the 1st down…we threw it long twice and we had plenty of time…seemed like the last 48 secs were mismanaged…I don’t care who was a QB.

  9. Anyone heard anything on Kaipo?

  10. Goalielax was lol-ing at tman saying that NIU wasn’t “must win.”

  11. As I have said before, I am new to the site in 2008, and I definitely did not have the same thoughts nor did I know of one sane person who thought Bryant should start over Kaipo in 2007. Kaipo was very effective and efficient in last year’s Duke game…he just ran out of gas. The only reason Duke was ahead was because Navy was only playing 6 guys on defense.

    The response to last year’s Duke game was purely emotional. My memory might be failing me, but I believe that JB only had two big plays: a touchdown catch (on a trick play no less) and a long scamper setting up the winning field goal. Kaipo probably had 10 big plays and I know we didn’t punt when he was in there.

  12. So everything was “purely emotional” last year, but anchored in reason now? I doubt it.

  13. Where was the screen pass Navy? Or at least the quasi screen to Kettani during that last drive. Obvious ND was sellling out on the corners and ended up getting the sack. They were ripe for a screen pass. JB played well; although I noticed more than once a pitch to the outside vice QB keeping it would have generated some good gains. Navy offense didn’t block well – a lot of look-out blocks all game long. hats off to navy’s D although would have adjusted with an add’l down lineman after ND’s first series in the 3rd quarter.
    Would have been fun to pull a miracle finish on the Irish…

  14. The QB situation is a no-brainer-start Dobbs now.
    The 2nd most glaring issue is that we are losing game’s like ND mostly on the play of the offensive line. Which brings the 3rd, and maybe most important, issue-enthusiasm and emotion. The offense played with none of that Saturday until Dobbs came in. The main reason-he gives you an added dimension called the forward pass that other teams will need to respect. With that weapon we can open up the running lanes and get away having 8 people in the box stuffing almost every run.

  15. *sigh*

  16. Once again Navy showed a lot of heart and determination out there. I wish I could say the Irish matched that for the full game, but I can’t. They definitely escaped Baltimore with a victory.

    It was truly a classic game by two of the classiest programs in FBS.

    Dobbs is going to be an excellent QB for years to come for the Middies!

    Go Navy Beat Army

  17. In each of the last two seasons, the incumbent was clearly the better, more talented quarterback who gave the team the best chance to win. That’s not the case this year. Had Bryant been playing well this season, and dobbs had one good game in relief (like last year), then perhaps I’d agree that the call for Dobbs is purely emotional. But quarterback futility has pretty much been the theme with Bryant at the helm.
    I’m not sure that anyone can actually give a good reason why Bryant should still be the starter. What has he done to keep his position? Instead most are arguing why Dobbs shouldn’t be the starter…Niamot and Jasper included.

  18. Again, I’m fine with that. I was critical of Jarod Bryant long before anyone else was. I just want to keep people realistic.

    And last year, Kaipo had a bad game at Rutgers, which is what kicked the “start Jarod” into gear.

  19. I like how Dobbs runs and he does have a nice arm, but like Mike said, he wasn’t doing Jack “S” against the ND first team. ND was crushing us at the point of attack. The only thing the forward pass would have done against the ND first team would have been to get our QB killed.

    Lack of blocking (not just O-line) was our downfall last Saturday.

  20. 73 – I don’t think the coaches care about next year. At this point, they are having enough problems dealing with what is right in front of them.

    I too was skeptical of JB taking over last year, but many were ready to anoint him. Ricky clearly has some skills, but he makes his share of mistakes too, and I for one am glad they have brought him along steadily. Right now, however, it looks like we need his arm and his power given the other challenges we have. I just hope the coaches school the heck out of him on making the read and pitching the ball to the slots (I hate saying that, but that is what I think).

  21. RAM,

    If the option is properly blocked having 8, 9, or 20 men ‘in the box’ won’t prevent the play from working (well maybe 20 would). Our problem had been blocking all season, not JB or RD’s play.

  22. Pipe,

    I just remember back to my HS days when coaches were very frank with the seniors, “If you’re not demonstrably better than the Junior or Sophomore that is playing your position, they’re going to play, not you.”

  23. If the seniors Kaipo or Jarod are better then why haven’t they been able to get the job done??? No, it doesn’t matter who but who’s the better person for the job! And I agree that the coaching staff needs a shake-up. The are so predictable never any change in the plays. Coach, mix-it-up use all players for each individual ability. The Notre Dame game the defense did not get the job done. Dobbs may not have the experience but you really don’t get to see what he has. Personally, I don’t think he can do any worse than either of the seniors. All this talking about who will make mistakes, they all will! But when you see the same slow movement every game it’s a little annoying. So, you shouldn’t doubt Dobbs abilities until you see them. You’ve had the chance to observe Kaipo an Jarod’s abilities. Give Dobbs a fair chance then have your opinions. Because Dobbs is always put in when someone is hurt or the score is almost beyond repair. So, you haven’t given Dobbs a fair shot. And if he makes errors it will be any different then all the errors the other two QB has made. Dobbs is Mr. Excitement!

  24. To Goalielax:
    With more clarity I would have tried to say that while all games are to win, NIU does not affect bowl appearance. With strong possibility that Kaipo out for Army, why not try Dobbs as starter (all things being equal vis-a-vis QB) to see how he handles situation so that same question about who should start Army has more data to evaluate?Again if we all believe JB=RD then starting either at NIU should not affect that game’s outcome and should not be a big problem for all. However,if JB starts and gets most of reps, no new info about RD. If RD starts and gets most of reps, we see if JB=RD or if RDJB (a sample of one I know). My position is that RD has the intangibles therefore the nod for me. I was analyzing down side for next 3 games not only NIU game.

  25. Happy the pooch problem got squared away. That’s a lot of dog to have show up in your back yard.

    I am looking forward to your game breakdown as to why the offense malfunctioned for basically the second game in a row. Will be curious to see if there were common causes or something was different this time.

  26. last post did not print better than or worse than. should read:
    If RD starts and gets most of reps, we see if JB=RD or if RD better than JB or RD worse than JB(I know a sample of one)

  27. It’s more difficult to block 9 men in the box than it is to block 6 men in the box (just throwing a number out there). Let’s face it, when teams see Bryant they’re not worried about the pass…they crowd the line of scrimmage, which makes it more difficult for the o-line to block. It’s no coincidence that this very team has had a measure of success with Kaipo running the offense. They fear more than the vanilla offense that the staff calls.

  28. How important is the N. Illinois game? IF the ACC only has 8 bowl eligable teams, and IF EagleBank has to select from the MAC and IF Bowling Green wins out and gets a BCS game, the MAC will have to send teams to three other bowls (the GMAC, the International, and the Motor City). That means EagleBank will get the 5th best team in the MAC which is currently N. ILL. Now there is a rematch NOBODY wants to see. While your are cheering for VA to win one more game or for Clemson to win two more games, you might want to cheer for Kent State against N.ILL tomorrow night as well as for Navy (no matter who starts at QB) on 11/25.
    This is driving me crazy. It was much easier when we didn’t have to think about things like bowl games. Please excuse me while I go get a life.

  29. How much more fun would this thread be if Kaipo and JB were 2/C? I’m just saying…

    Seriously, though, this season has a lot more things to address than the performance of the QB. But right now, Dobbs can win the next three games if he gets the start. I’m not saying we will win solely BECAUSE of Dobbs or that we WILL win all three, but 12 quarters of him being “The Man” is setting us up for success next year, too. It’s literally a win-win (we hope).

    Pardon me for looking ahead, but the offensive weapon cupboard isn’t as full as what it is now…and we’re still struggling (O-Line argument notwithstanding).

  30. I’m REALLY looking forward to the brilliant Birddog video-enhanced analysis of Ricky from the Notre Dame game.
    I would suggest that on game-day, Ricky makes the right call less than 50% of the time (either in terms of audible, or distributing the ball).
    We’ve been lucky (in my opinion) because when he’s made the bad call, it hasn’t been devastating… yet.
    (and am I crazy in saying that when he audibled to the option on the last series, had he pitched to Shun, Shun would have picked up the first down with many more yards and been able to get out of bounds?)
    I’ll be interested to see if more game time helps his decision making… or if we’re in for two plus years of a brilliant, maddening ride.

  31. I think I recognize one of those year-old posts as my own. Yeah, I was wrong. A couple more games with Kaipo getting better each one convinced me of that.

    Anyhow. Just because people were wrong last year does not make them wrong this year. It’s good to remind people that they could be wrong again and provide a little context, but it can’t be the basis of a counterarguement. You need 2 points to draw a trendline.

    Different people, situations, coaches, and skills. My untrained eye senses Jarod is afraid of the turnover so he doesn’t pitch it as often as he should. He doesn’t move piles like RD and he doesn’t throw well. I want to see what RD can do from the beginning – not when he has to throw every down to claw us back from a deficit; not when IJ calls 19 QB draws in a row. I want to see him get a game. Use his passing to soften the defense a little and give the O-Line a fighting chance to block and run the TO with Dobbs.

  32. I think we should put Ketani in a two point next to Dobbs in the shotgun and throw 50 times.

    We could run the ol fumble-rooskie just to keep ’em honest!

  33. I have lots of questions about Navy’s team, and I’m looking for comments from “football” people.

    Someone else hit on the difference between playing against 1st versus 2nd stringers, but how much of RD’s success has been due to the other team easing up, thinking they had the game won?

    What was different about the one good drive JB lead versus all his other ones? Was it better decision-making on his part, better blocking by the line, better play calling, or some of each? (My guess is some of each.)

    Why have so many kicks and punts been blocked? Are our kicker and punter too slow getting the kick off, is it a poor blocking scheme, missed assignments, or what?

  34. Over 15 years I’ve come to expect punts and kicks to be blocked. This is the most obvious statement, but especially when we play teams with better athletes.

  35. I think RD should start (me the big JB supporter last year and early this year) because we already have the Bolw game and he is our QB next year and anything he does will be a plus for next year.
    I am not blinded by those 3 minutes where he looked “all world”.
    We know the situation of the game and what he came into and what he did and what he looked like and he deserves to start this next game-period.

  36. Rob, I wasn’t pointing those old posts out to say that starting Ricky would be wrong. I pointed them out to show that things like “he gives the team a spark!” and whatnot don’t mean much in the long run when compared to Xs & Os. Which is why practice does matter more than things like “excitement,” contrary to popular opinion.

  37. I’m one of the guilty party from last year in regards to JB. Not so much that I thought he should start over Kaipo, just, that he was to good running the midline stuff that I thought he should have gotten a few series a game to change the pace.

    I didn’t watch ANY of the ND game. Not by choice, was travelling. I can only say that IF the coaches believe that JB gave us our best chance, then, I’m fine with that.

    I think a lot of people just think that a coach can become a brilliant playcaller over night. It isn’t that easy. IJ and KN know this offense better than anyone except PJ. However, calling the game is a different beast. The pressure can’t be simulated in practice.

    If we can go 7-5/8-4 with our 1st string QB out most of the year, and brand new coaches running the show, that means our program is on solid ground.

  38. Practice performance matters. But game performance matters more. The toughest thing for coaches in deciding if a change is warranted is trying to compare JBs performance in the first three qtrs vs Dobbs performance in the last quarter, especially factoring in playing against the second team.

    That being said, they have a whole season of watching JB and the offense struggle, and some evidence that it is different with Dobbs out there. Additionally, I am concerned after watching the visibly demonstrative slotbacks after JB did not pitch the ball a few times…….it just did not look like there is any chemistry there, and clear open dissent. And after 10 games into a season, that is a big problem. Maybe I am reading too much into it, but it just did not look good. Almost like our guys were fighting a little amongst themselves. Worrisome.

  39. appreciate the insight as always Mike. It was curious as to how we moved the ball easily on that one drive in the 1st half and basically got shut down otherwise. I don’t have a problem with Dobbs starting but people need to get off the koolade. He had 6 drives. 4 were unsuccessful. On one he basically had one good pass play and a successful option pitch for a TD and on the other he threw one 40 yard pitch and it still took us 2 plays to score from the 1. We were just getting manhandled by their defense as they were stuffing the run without having their DB’s overplay. When that happens the playaction isn’t there and we are in trouble.

  40. “40 yard pass”

  41. Mike,
    Thanks for succinctly putting this whole QB issue in perspective. This staff hasn’t been bashful about putting underclassmen on the field ahead of players with more experience when it appears that they will do a better job. That’s why I’ve not weighed in on the QB issue. The coaches see the players all week and I don’t.(plus that’s what they get paid for) Were 6-4 with a make shift o-line and our #2 and #3 QB, 2nd in the nation in rushing offense and have won 3 (almost 4) games because we haven’t quit under adverse conditions. We’re sailors(or Marines) and have a god given right to b*&^h but we need to get real.

  42. Birddog wrote:
    All apologies to loyal Birddog readers today. Monday is when I’m supposed to post my OMG awesome game breakdown, but it’s going to be a little late this week
    Jimbear:
    We will never forgive you! Anyway I don’t think us Dobbs fans think he is the sole answer to shaky edge blocking and inconsistent line play. It simply he seems to be the better QB. JB isn’t making many plays and RD has moved the team. I don’t understand all the angst by some apologists (for the coaches /JB)over the fact that some fans think the better QB (RD) deserves his earned shot. Dobbs will make mistakes and wrong reads but so does JB. However Dobbs moves the pile and makes plays. While neither of these QBs can touch the ability to run the spread option like Kaipo; at least RD offers the ability to keep the D honest (like Kaipo did)and make a play downfield with his arm. JB can’t throw downfield at all.

  43. If you don’t understand after all that, then this blog is basically useless.

  44. i’m tempted to start a blog where i only post links to this blog so there can be a secondary thread of comments where the r-tards can’t muck it all up for everyone else

  45. I feel the frustration too, but Mike and RAM get it and they are right.

    The offense has simply not executed its blocks, the result:
    When Kaipo was in, he “isn’t quick” enough through the holes . . .
    When Jarod is in he can’t seem to keep the momentum going. . .
    Jarod “runs too much”? . . . The QB is supposed to run a lot in the triple O, and it is especially visible when the blocks are not working.

    The ND defensive line dominated (completely!) until they put in their second tier.
    Navy lost the game in the first three quarters, not in the 4th. . . but it is more correctly put that Notre Dame WON the game in the first 3 quarters.

    We were lucky that Navy was even within three scores in the 4th.
    The Navy D was pretty close to being heroic through most of the game!
    You can bet the ND offense is glad they only face Navy once a year.

    Coach Niumatalolo knows quarterbacks and the offensive line. it must be very frustrating as he attempts to mature this offense. The 2008 offense just isn’t as crisp as we have seen the last couple of years and it’s not on the back of the QB as far as I can tell.

    Notre Dame exemplified this is spades. They dominated in size, speed AND execution. Dobbs was also COMPLETELY ineffective against their first team.
    Anyone that dumps on Jarod for the weak performance in the first 3 quarters, was not watching the same game I saw. The Navy blocking collapsed all over the place!

    Perhaps the N. Illinois and Army defenses will be more like the ND second string?
    Perhaps we can offer to N. Illinois and to Army, that we will play our 3rd string QB if they will play their 2nd string defense!
    We shouldn’t count on it . . . rather we must hope we execute better on the line.

    We still have two important goals for 2008:
    1. Beat Army
    2. Lead the nation in rushing.

    #1 is important.
    We want to win the CIC Trophy outright, and we should, but it won’t be a walk in the park.

    #2 may seem out of reach, but it isn’t.
    Nevada plays an undefeated Boise State team next week so their numbers should settle a bit. If Navy can get a couple of good running games to finish the season, then we have a shot at it. . . . but we need to EXECUTE!

    If we accomplish those two final goals, and win these final regular season games, then this has been a remarkable season by any measure:
    We played the most difficult schedule that Navy has seen in a long time.
    We had a new (rookie) head coach.
    We ended up playing our 2nd and 3rd string QBs due to injuries for nearly the entire season.

    I’m glad to see Dobb’s do well. I’m excited to see that he is tough and has good speed. His arm is a bonus. . . I’ve already made a friendly bet on the Ohio State game for next September! I’m glad Dobbs is getting reps.

    But I would still rather see Jarod starting these next two games. I’ve seen him run the offense as well as anyone this year. Coach N will make the right decision at QB . . . I won’t complain about any of his QB choices. He has never been afraid to play sophomores and even freshman when they outperform upperclassmen.

    Finally, all praise to the excellent effort by the defense!
    Who would have thought last year that we would be so dependent on and grateful to our D!

  46. David wrote:The offense has simply not executed its blocks, the result:
    When Kaipo was in, he “isn’t quick” enough through the holes

    That’s not true in Kaipo’s case. His problems are physical due to his hamstring . Twice in Temple game he had creases (including his last series) were he had an alley but he wasn’t able turn on the jets and take it for 6 that we had been used to in the past. The O was efficient with Kaipo at QB even though he wasn’t at 100%. The dropoff to JB was noticable vs Duke (I think we win that one if Kaipo goes distance) and WF.

  47. What I am not seeing here, is what has been missed dearly this season. Having Reggie Campbell on the field, whether it be returning kickoffs, punts, taking the pitch on the option, or pass receiving. He is one element that made such a huge difference that it almost didn’t matter who was QB. Shun started strong, but has been almost non-existent. Finnerty scored his 1st TD vs. Notre Dame…ever. As has been pointed out, any Defense NAVY plays is not going to be surprised to see Kettani lugging the ball into the line almost every down. He finally broke free for good positive yardage when the Offense ran the miss-direction play, but we never saw it run again.
    My concern for next year isn’t going to be who is QB, rather who will be running back? We better hope that there is a Freshman that will emerge and have a sensational Sophomore year (like Campbell did as a Sophomore) or that somebody at the Prep School can be a player as a Freshman next year. Oh, and the Fullbacks that return are going to need to grow about three inches, and put on about 40 lbs. of muscle apiece in the training room during the off-season. Think Eckles, Hall, Ballard, Kettani. Ricky isn’t going to be able to do it, all by himself in ’09!

  48. Mike – like I said, I don’t know anyone that wanted JB to start last year. My faction of goatheads and I all agreed that Kaipo was better at running the offense, something we saw in his first spring game.

    When I say that the Duke responses were emotional, I believe that they are based off of two memorable plays: the throwback pass and the scamper to set up the FG. If the JB supporters looked at the tape, they would have realized they were wrong. While I think that the RD movement after the SMU game was emotional (JB probably would have been just as successful if he hadn’t gotten hurt), it probably has some merit now. I don’t know how RD grades out when running the option, but at some point the results might have to prompt a change.

  49. It wasn’t based off of two memorable plays. It was based off of Kaipo’s bad game at Rutgers followed by him leaving the Ball State and Duke games with Navy trailing and Jarod leading comebacks.

  50. One big difference between last years and this years QB controversy… the coach has actually decided to listen to the fans and put in RD (ok, not really, i’m joking that he listened to the fans, but he has decided to start RD). So, we don’t have to argue about who will start, but I guess we can still argue about who Should start.

  51. I am glad a decision has been made on starting RD. One way or the other, the team needs to get its mind right for next week. And so do we.

    On a bad, non-football related note, prayers are in order for the parents/family/friends of the plebe who died from meningitis last night. Sad day here on the Yard.

  52. We can agree to disagree. I remember Eric Kettani leading the Ball State comeback and JB fumbling it away. I will give you the Rutgers game…Kaipo looked awful.

    None of it matters now. I just want Navy to win. If RD puts in on the turf a few times at NIU and JB has to come in and save the day, I will be happy.

  53. By my count, Kaipo has played in four games so far (Duke, Rutgers, Wake Forest and Temple), so if he sits out the rest of the season and then withdraws for extensive hamstring re-hab to return to USNA next fall…does he get to havr a fifth year of eligibility ????

  54. jerzed, Mike and I were talking about that a few threads ago. It would be unfair to Kaipo to do that. He should be able to graduate with his classmates. And I doubt that his hamstring is bad enough to warrant withdrawing from school.

  55. Sorry that I missed your earlier comments…but do you think that this has been discussed among the coaches ? I would think that Coach KN would like nothing better than to take Kaipo back to Hawaii in 2009; however, I agree that a hamstring injury is not enough of a reason for withdrawing. It’ll be interesting to see if Kaipo plays in the Army game.

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