This one is obvious–or at least it should be–give the ball to Curtis Brown. Just do it. Don’t think about how many points you could score if you’d just throw it on every down. Don’t think about how Todd Watkins might be able to change his label from hugely overrated to just mildly overrated by having a career game (I’m not even sure Todd is the best WR on the team, I think by the time Michael Reed graduates you will have forgotten there ever was a player named Todd Watkins who every once in a great while caught the deep ball if it were thrown just right). Don’t think about how John Beck throws a nice deep ball. Please, in the name of the football running-god, just give the ball to CB.
If there were any doubts in anyone’s mind, cast ’em out, Curtis is the best player on the offense–heck, he might be the best player on the team. If we want to win this game he needs to get thirty to thirty-five touches–at least twenty-five of those should be run plays. And please, don’t run the ball out of the shotgun every time (by the way, has anyone watched Reno play this year? they have a sort of hybrid shotgun that allows the RB to line up behind the QB at a depth similar to the I-formation, thoughts?). We have two fullback-type RBs in Fahu Tahi and Manase Tonga, have John Beck line up under center and let them lead block, running the ball like everyone else in college football. And then, play-action-pass. In case anyone forgot, we have a really good offensive line and they have proven that they can run block. They need to do a lot of that today.
Cal has got the type of offense that could get in a groove and control the game. It wont matter that we can score in under 27 seconds. Cal will get the ball and they will run and they will run and they will run some more and then you will look up at the screen and see that there are only 2:30 left in the game and you are down 24-3. Want to help our defense with its porous secondary? Run the ball. It’s really not that complicated. Give the ball to CB twenty-five times and Tahi ten to fifteen times. If we run the ball forty times I guarantee a win.
Today is a chance for John Beck to prove he’s not just a stat-book hero. There is no direct correlation between Beck throwing for piles of yards and TDs and a win. There is, however, a direct correlation between rush yards and attempts and wins. My favorite win of the year–the win against Colorado St.–is a perfect example of the good things that happen when you run the ball.