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Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
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cyberdawg Offline
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Post: #1
Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
How did an established program so accustomed to winning crash and burn so suddenly?

It's almost equivalent to either OSU or Michigan not finishing in upper half of BT two successive years.

I cannot remember two successive losing seasons in the past 15 @ Tole_o.

Is UT expected to be much improved in 2008?

Can/will both UT and NIU go Back to the Future?
(This post was last modified: 10-26-2007 10:32 PM by cyberdawg.)
10-26-2007 10:26 PM
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RobertN Offline
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Post: #2
RE: why have rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
cyberdawg Wrote:How did an established program accustomed to winning crash and burn so suddenly?

I cannot remember two successive losing seaons in the past 15.
They need new batteries? 03-shhhh
10-26-2007 10:30 PM
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MaddDawgz02 Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
As an outsider, I really believe the Rockets need new leadership, Amstutz has to go.
10-26-2007 10:41 PM
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cyberdawg Offline
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RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
its always the coach.
10-26-2007 10:45 PM
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MaddDawgz02 Offline
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RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
cyberdawg Wrote:its always the coach.

haha noooo, different situations call for different remedies. I just think the leadership at Toledo is missing. As an outsider it seems like the inmates are running the show at Toledo.
10-26-2007 10:47 PM
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epasnoopy Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
They've had injury issues the last two years. Plus, i don't think that big public scandal in the offseason helped them much.
10-26-2007 10:53 PM
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MaddDawgz02 Offline
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RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
epasnoopy Wrote:They've had injury issues the last two years. Plus, i don't think that big public scandal in the offseason helped them much.

Nice schedule there snoopy, it is too bad that BSU game will just be a possible spoiler game for NIU. Having football and home opening night bball back to back like that will be sweet!!
(This post was last modified: 10-26-2007 10:56 PM by MaddDawgz02.)
10-26-2007 10:56 PM
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NIURedBlack Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
MaddDawgz02 Wrote:
epasnoopy Wrote:They've had injury issues the last two years. Plus, i don't think that big public scandal in the offseason helped them much.

Nice schedule there snoopy, it is too bad that BSU game will just be a possible spoiler game for NIU. Having football and home opening night bball back to back like that will be sweet!!

I hope they do some sort of promo to encourage those at the football game to come see the ballers. $1 night or something like that.
10-27-2007 07:52 AM
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Flying Corn Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
I'd be interested to see some Rocket fans weigh in on this, but my guess is the fall-out from the scandals of the past few years have undermined Amstutz's authority and his players faith in the program.
10-27-2007 08:45 AM
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HuskieFever1 Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
I don't think the Rocket fans even have the energy to come on this board and post a reply. Just like when a work colleague asked me who Northern was playing this weekend. The autoresponse was 'NIU is playing Toledo'. No other thought or emotion put forth in the singular statement. I couldn't comment on who would win the game. I assume that NIU will lose the game and it's another 03-puke football game.

He noticed the lack of enthusiasm and said that NIU was going through a down year. I agreed and didn't even comment afterwards because I have no clue as to if this is a rebuilding season or another long dumpster dive into the bowels of loserville. Zero emotion on this one, just sound, pragmatic judgement. NIU football sucks, they should've won the majority of their games, it is a big letdown to the entire NIU nation.
(This post was last modified: 10-27-2007 10:56 AM by HuskieFever1.)
10-27-2007 09:39 AM
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rocketfootball Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
There are a lot of things that have happened and people will bring them all up.

Ineligible players, injuries, lack of discipline, too many penalties, and offensive play calling.


However, UT has had issues with certain ineligible players since I can remember. Guys like RB Chester Taylor and TE Chris Hopkins were ineligible at one time in their careers for instance, and several guys on the defensive side of the ball. We won back in the early 2000's despite having players ineligible and lacking depth on defense.

UT has had a lack of discipline since Amstutz became the coach. He still won 2 MAC titles and 4 West Division titles (outright or shared) with a lot of penalties, including a lot of personal fouls.

Offensive play calling goes back to John Shannon becoming the OC in 2005. However, our 2005 team did well offensively and this 2007 team has got better and better as the season has gone on. IMO, the offensive playcalling has not been an issue this year. We are scoring a lot of points on offense, the defense is just giving up too many points.

That leaves injuries. Nobody seems to want to use that as an excuse. I would rather call it reality than an excuse. I think NIU fans understand what injuries can do to a season. It ruined the end of the 2003 season for you guys and it has ruined this year for you. Last year Toledo lost nearly the entire offensive line to injury, another reason why the offense wasn't good last year. Of course our starting QB got hurt at the end of the first game of the year and has never been the same.

Then this year we have had injuries everywhere. Our top two QB's have been hurt. WR Nick Moore broke his hand, had surgery to put a pin in it, and missed a couple of games because of that. I still don't know how he played last week and actually caught 6 passes, including one for a TD. We had a OL go down for the season before it even started, and a couple of other injuries on the offensive line. The defense has been hit with injuries badly. At one point we had 6 starters out on defense. We are so badly injured in the secondary that at one time we had a true freshman walk-on starting at one CB position with a wide receiver backing him up. Now another true freshman walk-on is backing him up at CB. Here are some of the injuries on defense:

SR DE Sean Williamson - out for season and applying for medical hardship
SO DE Douglas Westbrook - out for season and applying for medical hardship
SR CB Nigel Morris - out for season and most likely career ending injury in season opener
SR FS Tyrrell Herbert - out for season and applying for medical hardship
SO CB Desmond Marrow - hurt in the preseason and applying for medical hardship
R-FR CB Greg Harris - broken jaw and missed several games but came back last week
SO CB Walter Atkins - missed a couple of games earlier in the year with an injury, now playing again and the only player at CB with experience from last year
SO LB Archie Donald - starter last year that has missed nearly the entire season with injury this year
SR DE Bernard Faithful - missed two games with injury
JR LB Keith Forestal - missed two games with injury


Our defense wasn't great to begin with, and defenitely not deep. Having those injuries are just gonna kill a defense that isn't great and doesn't have depth. That's the way UT's defense has been since back in 2001, not great and not much depth.
10-27-2007 09:53 AM
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HuskieFever1 Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
RF,

That is a very good post! A couple of questions to follow up on your assessment. Why do you think the Rockets are experiencing a lack of discipline and too many penalties? Could it be due to the injuries and lack of experience on junior lines or to missed cues on the play calling?

We seem to struggle with the same issues. I think it's due to coach miscommunication as well as the usual 'player dumb mistake'.

Have a beer for me at the game tonight. Let's see if we can catch up at a future game.

HF
(This post was last modified: 10-27-2007 11:06 AM by HuskieFever1.)
10-27-2007 11:05 AM
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rocketfootball Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
HuskieFever1 Wrote:RF,

That is a very good post! A couple of questions to follow up on your assessment. Why do you think the Rockets are experiencing a lack of discipline and too many penalties? Could it be due to the injuries and lack of experience on junior lines or to missed cues on the play calling?

We seem to struggle with the same issues. I think it's due to coach miscommunication as well as the usual 'player dumb mistake'.

Have a beer for me at the game tonight. Let's see if we can catch up at a future game.

HF

IMO, the lack of discipline comes from both youth and the coaching style that Amstutz has. He is a "player's" coach and that usually means kids can get away with more things. Add that to the fact that Amstutz likes to take chances, especially on defense, and be aggressive.......and you get more penalties and personal fouls because of aggressiveness. Then losing will cause some frustration, and add that to aggressive chance-takers and you get even more penalties.

Ironically, Toledo is not the most penalized team in the MAC and some of the most penalized teams in the country are teams that are winning 75-80% of their games.


Unfortunately I won't be at the game tonight. I moved to Virginia just before the season started and haven't made many games this year.
10-27-2007 11:12 AM
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MaddDawgz02 Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
rocketfootball Wrote:
HuskieFever1 Wrote:RF,

That is a very good post! A couple of questions to follow up on your assessment. Why do you think the Rockets are experiencing a lack of discipline and too many penalties? Could it be due to the injuries and lack of experience on junior lines or to missed cues on the play calling?

We seem to struggle with the same issues. I think it's due to coach miscommunication as well as the usual 'player dumb mistake'.

Have a beer for me at the game tonight. Let's see if we can catch up at a future game.

HF

IMO, the lack of discipline comes from both youth and the coaching style that Amstutz has. He is a "player's" coach and that usually means kids can get away with more things. Add that to the fact that Amstutz likes to take chances, especially on defense, and be aggressive.......and you get more penalties and personal fouls because of aggressiveness. Then losing will cause some frustration, and add that to aggressive chance-takers and you get even more penalties.

Ironically, Toledo is not the most penalized team in the MAC and some of the most penalized teams in the country are teams that are winning 75-80% of their games.


Unfortunately I won't be at the game tonight. I moved to Virginia just before the season started and haven't made many games this year.

I use to live in South Dakota (and lived there in 2003 during NIU's dream season), I know how much it hurts on gameday to not be there! Especially when your team is doing good. Thank god for satellite television, I had to sign a mountain of papers when the installed the dish on my apartment roof that if it did any damage I would have to pay the landlord a boatload of money. I think they hadnt heard of satellite TV until I got there :) In short, I feel your pain RF!
10-27-2007 11:18 AM
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houstonhuskie Offline
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RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
I think that the Toledo offensive style is terribly reliant on quality skill players and on field leadership. Two years ago I debated with the Toledo faithful that I forsaw a down year because Grad...s leadership was going to be hard to replace....at the time they were convinced that they could reload with Coch... I think the coaching staff was convinced that his intelligence would equate to leadership. IT did not and they struggled. Now they are in a myre of qb trials still not finding the immediate answer (although once they got past Opelt in the depth chart,,,,the latest freshman-de-jour looks that he eventually might be the guy.) Toledo has a lot of talent hidden behind a team that is not being led very well and has a BIG PROBLEM at the skill position. (IS ANY OF THIS SOUNDINF FAMILIAR .....I hope our answer comes with Blalock although i think our o is reliant on a decent qb and an excelling o-line)

When their qb gets a year under them and the players themselves can attack the discipline issues that I think are stemming from little on field leadership....they will be the team to beat again soon

and with that....they are the team to beat today....go huskies!
10-27-2007 12:09 PM
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rocketfootball Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
houstonhuskie Wrote:I think that the Toledo offensive style is terribly reliant on quality skill players and on field leadership. Two years ago I debated with the Toledo faithful that I forsaw a down year because Grad...s leadership was going to be hard to replace....at the time they were convinced that they could reload with Coch... I think the coaching staff was convinced that his intelligence would equate to leadership. IT did not and they struggled.

Totally disagree. There were circumstances that caused the outcome. Cochran was 39 of 49 for 367 yards and 3 TD passes, plus 1 rushing TD at Iowa State in the season opener. He got injured in double overtime of the game, but stayed in. The injury obviously affected his mobility and throwing as he couldn't plant properly with his leg. Then in the 3rd game he injured the knee worse and didn't come back until the last couple of games when the doctors said he couldn't do any more damage to the knee. So after the ISU game you can throw out his stats, as he was injured. He had off-season surgery and just hasn't been the same QB this year in practices or the little bit he has played in games. Without that injury I really believe he was going to be a very good and accurate passer.
10-27-2007 12:38 PM
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HuskieFever1 Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
rocketfootball Wrote:
HuskieFever1 Wrote:RF,

That is a very good post! A couple of questions to follow up on your assessment. Why do you think the Rockets are experiencing a lack of discipline and too many penalties? Could it be due to the injuries and lack of experience on junior lines or to missed cues on the play calling?

We seem to struggle with the same issues. I think it's due to coach miscommunication as well as the usual 'player dumb mistake'.

Have a beer for me at the game tonight. Let's see if we can catch up at a future game.

HF

IMO, the lack of discipline comes from both youth and the coaching style that Amstutz has. He is a "player's" coach and that usually means kids can get away with more things. Add that to the fact that Amstutz likes to take chances, especially on defense, and be aggressive.......and you get more penalties and personal fouls because of aggressiveness. Then losing will cause some frustration, and add that to aggressive chance-takers and you get even more penalties.

Ironically, Toledo is not the most penalized team in the MAC and some of the most penalized teams in the country are teams that are winning 75-80% of their games.


Unfortunately I won't be at the game tonight. I moved to Virginia just before the season started and haven't made many games this year.

Very interesting. Therefore the lack of discipline is a result of coaching tactics. I admire Tom's style in being more aggressive. I think that style can promote passion when you need it. But it can also carry a team away and cross the boundaries, both on and off the field.
10-27-2007 12:46 PM
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Boca Rocket Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
rocketfootball Wrote:
houstonhuskie Wrote:I think that the Toledo offensive style is terribly reliant on quality skill players and on field leadership. Two years ago I debated with the Toledo faithful that I forsaw a down year because Grad...s leadership was going to be hard to replace....at the time they were convinced that they could reload with Coch... I think the coaching staff was convinced that his intelligence would equate to leadership. IT did not and they struggled.

Totally disagree. There were circumstances that caused the outcome. Cochran was 39 of 49 for 367 yards and 3 TD passes, plus 1 rushing TD at Iowa State in the season opener. He got injured in double overtime of the game, but stayed in. The injury obviously affected his mobility and throwing as he couldn't plant properly with his leg. Then in the 3rd game he injured the knee worse and didn't come back until the last couple of games when the doctors said he couldn't do any more damage to the knee. So after the ISU game you can throw out his stats, as he was injured. He had off-season surgery and just hasn't been the same QB this year in practices or the little bit he has played in games. Without that injury I really believe he was going to be a very good and accurate passer.

You're right on the money.04-bow

The Rocket Defense has been the problem for a while now. Bruce G was able to keep them off the field.In 2006 the Rockets were 9 points away from being 8-4 even with all the other problem(injuries,etc.).The Defense's inability to stop teams in the 4th Quarter has been a major issue.If the Rockets had a decent Defense, they'd be 6-2 right now.
The problem is with the front 7 play-talent and poor play.
(This post was last modified: 10-27-2007 12:56 PM by Boca Rocket.)
10-27-2007 12:46 PM
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houstonhuskie Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
sorry rf...i dont get to see many toledo games here so I was unaware of the injury

whatever the cause, i think toledo has been hurt with inexperience and youthful (if not questionable) leadership at the qb position...leadership that they relied on during Gradkowski's years.

I am just conjectuing on why the uncharacteristic lack of discipline has been prevalent recently on the field for Toledo and since I like and respect fat tom, student leadership comes to mind...

Toledo really has too much talent to be playing this poorly for this long (a season and a half is too long for this group)
10-27-2007 01:05 PM
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rocketfootball Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Why have Rockets fizzled out past two seasons?
houstonhuskie Wrote:I am just conjectuing on why the uncharacteristic lack of discipline has been prevalent recently on the field for Toledo and since I like and respect fat tom, student leadership comes to mind...

The lack of discipline has been happening since 2002. It's just more to the forefront now that we are not winning.
10-27-2007 01:14 PM
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