Yes, this offense is doing a lot of things really, really well (of which there has been plentiful prose) but those two situations are notable because they provided the first glimpse of some chinks in the armor.
Dana Holgorsen said yesterday the safety was a result of the team being “Soft. Soft and not ready to play" in the third quarter.
Alston was tackled in the end zone on a stretch play to the right side of the field, and never reached the line of scrimmage.
Game tape analysis shows it wasn’t the play call, said offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, but a lack of execution. He said pretty emphatically they’d call that play again.
“Definitely. We run that play a lot. Not just here, but in the past. If you watch the play, and we obviously we watched it over and over again. It could’ve easily been a huge gain rather than a safety. It was a fine line,” said Dawson. “I agree with Dana, on that specific play their effort was higher than our effort. Would I call the play again? Yeah I mean definitely. It’s a good play. It’s just we got to execute it better."
Then he added this for emphasis: “There are no bad plays. You got to make it work.”
And that sums up the offensive philosophy of this team in a nutshell. It’s not about what the other team is doing. It’s about how the offense executes every play.
Said Holgorsen:"They were clearly playing harder than us. Other than the four snaps of goal line, the defense started slow. We gave up two drives all the way to the goal line, and yes I’m happy with the goal-line stands, they were tremendous, but we were really soft in the first two drives," he said. "Offensively, we looked like crap on the third-and-one. We went for it and were soft. We got the ball on the goal line, and we were soft. We were soft up front. We ran soft. It was just soft. They played with more effort and played harder than us for half of the third quarter.