Brock’s Bruising Struggles
A Struggling Jensen May Doom Bison if Adjustments Aren’t Made
Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 16:11
It is very tough winning a football game when your offense puts points on the board for the other team. The NDSU football team has beaten these odds two out of three times, the last of which came this past weekend at Missouri State.
Right now, the once high-powered Bison offense is struggling. Well, our quarterback Brock Jensen is struggling. After a rock solid 2011 campaign and a great start to the season, Jensen is having huge issues. I’m going to explain his struggles with this one stat: in the last four games, Jensen has given opponents 28 points while the Bison defense has only allowed 23 points.
After going the first five games without throwing a pick, Jensen has had two three-interception games, with three of those going for scores. Jensen also fumbled after being sacked and the ball was scooped up and scored, although that is mostly to blame on the missed blocking assignment.
So what do all these turnovers mean? Well first of all, I can tell you that they have BisoNation pretty nervous. Jensen has developed himself into one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the FCS. He could once drop back and fans knew he would complete the pass three out of four times. Now, these same fans are holding their breath. This shouldn’t be with a quarterback that has a national championship ring on his finger.
With all these turnovers, the Bison have found themselves in physical battles. Thank goodness, and the offense probably agrees, that we have the best defense in the FCS to pull out a win for the team. Any win in the Missouri Valley is a good win, no matter how it is won. Despite this, many Bison fans are still scratching their heads and trying to figure out what’s going on with Jensen instead of celebrating.
Many theories have surfaces. Some are pretty humorous to be honest. Let’s take a look at Jensen’s struggles. There are certainly many factors. It starts, obviously, with him. He simply needs to get his confidence back and adjust to the defense. Offensive coordinator Brett Vigen should aid that adjustment. To start the season, NDSU was incredible with their third down success rate. That is because Vigen and Jensen loved to go to the out route, and it worked.
Well, teams have picked up on that. They are jumping these out routes, taking away Jensen’s comfort and forcing him to throw down the middle. Two of his picks against Missouri State were down the middle and were overthrown badly.
And it’s not like Jensen was being pressured. The offensive line gave Jensen enough time to stare down the defense, look into the crowd and read all the glittered signs held up by females, zone back onto the field and make a good decision and a good pass.
Another factor to look at is our recievers. While NDSU’s receiving corps is talented, they do not have any tremendous speed and ridiculous athleticism. So the question is, how well are they getting open? And are their routes becoming predictable. Vigen did say in the postgame interview that Missouri State dropped eight guys into coverage. That’s tough, but adjustments to that still need to be made.
Joe wrote a column at the beginning of the year on how this is the year Jensen goes from good to great. He was on pace to do that, but these struggles have some fans second-guessing their confidence in him. Do I still think he is an elite quarterback? Yes. Do I think he will turn around his performance against SDSU? Yes. Do I think if he has one of these performances in the playoffs, they will lose that game? You better believe it.
Simply put, opponents are figuring out Brock Jensen. Right now, he and his offensive coordinator haven’t adjusted. Jensen’s struggles have already cost them one game. These performances of his cannot continue, and he obviously knows that.
Maybe they are saving some stuff for the playoffs-- who knows. But if the Bison want to host all their playoff games, they need to win out these last couple games. They will need the Jensen of old to do this.