"We had about a half dozen plays for Greg today but never had the opportunity to get him in there."
That is Dave Wannstedt referring to not using Greg Cross more. He also did say that it was because we started between our own 20-30 for many drives in the game. The thing that gets me is that Greg had a nice run on his first play and then we didn't see him for another 2 quarters. Also, when Wannstedt says half dozen, that is deceptive wording. It's like saying 12 inches instead of 1 foot. Basically we had 6 plays ready to use for Greg Cross. He was able to get in for 2 of them, but the invisible man held him out of the remaining 4 plays.
Some people are saying the play calling remained too conservative after the first quarter. That really isn't the case, the play calling remained the same but Iowa adjusted to it while we did not. The key to putting your foot on the gas and taking the life out of your opponent is to remain creative and try new things to keep the defense guessing. In our offense we stick with what works. That is what gives our fans the perception that we are too vanilla. We also try to stick with plays Wanstedt thinks we need to run like LSH or Shady up the middle when we have seen all season long it will not work.
I do give credit to Cav for calling more shotgun this week. I think that could be huge for success throughout the year. Even some version of a shotgun spread will give the backs more room to run and could take away the "vanilla" tag that we've associated with the offense.
The one thing we did with Cross that I really liked was having Stull in the backfield with him. While it is technically not the Wildcat when you have 2 qb's back there, it is still tricky enough to give your offense room to operate. It can go to Stull for a pass, he could hand off to Cross, the play could go to Cross who can take off, or drop back and pass it too. There are many things to worry about with them both in the backfield and I think we need to do that more often.
I also think that if we are going to run the standard Wildcat with Cross and Shady in the backfield, we need to get Stull off the field. Stull won't ever been a receiver on that play and he certainly won't be able to throw a block. It is basically just taking a chance to blow Bostick's redshirt by having an injury to Stull.
Cross needs to be in for at least 10 plays against Syracuse. Any type of close win there and the coaches will have some how found a way to get back on the hot seat despite getting a win. We can't hide anything for USF. While we should be 3-0 we are now 2-1. It only takes 6 wins to get to a bowl game and we are 33% of the way there. Just like used 33% of our designed plays for Cross, we need to step up and get qualified for a bowl as fast as possible.
Please don't take what I'm saying as be aggressive and throw 90% of the time. I'm saying be aggressive, but be smart and creative with it. We need to play to our strengths by utilizing Cross and Dickerson more. We need to spread the field to allow Shady and LSH the running room they have not had all season. Lastly, we need to get a lead on our opponents and try to build it up as much as we can instead of trying to kill as much clock as possible.
Hopefully the invisible man doesn't like going on the road so that Wannstedt can do what he wants to without any interference from the invisible man.