In the Mind of the Mike

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Andrew Motuapuaka
Andrew Motuapuaka sails into the end zone with his 18-yard interception return.

I’ll make one comment on Beamer’s legacy, and I’ll leave it at that: when regional FCS schools are so desperate to climb to the bowl level that they are hiring coaches who’ve matriculated under the likes of Butch Davis and Urban Meyer, and who start their new jobs off by bullying administrators and trying to set up BS classes for their players, in Beamer’s final season he lets his starting Backer miss Wednesday practice because of a class conflict.

Moving on to X and O stuff, I want to highlight the much better performance from Andrew Motuapuaka this weekend. I’m in the minority of people who think Motu could be a solid Mike in Foster’s scheme with a little more seasoning. I see a lot of mistakes that are mental, including the play where he got trucked last week, and the game-winning two-pointer. The first was sabotaged by hesitation, and the second by a combination of over-pursuit and confusing the assignments behind him.

Playing middle linebacker in the modern college game is major challenge. Unlike in the pro-style days, when Mikes knew that they would often have an escort of unblocked colleagues on run plays, and that there was no need to worry about today’s spread-option and run-pass-option plays, today’s Mike finds himself saddled with a complex series of reads and front calls, advanced passing schemes, constantly moving hurry-up offenses, an understanding of how to attack and manipulate blocks, knowledge of the mechanics behind new option plays, having to deal with tackling players in offenses

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