11.Jan.2014 Riley Gives Play Calling Back to Langsdorf
And the results are the most balanced attack all year?
Riley will spend the offseason thinking about how he will handle play-calling next season.
The OSU coach took over calling plays from offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf a couple of years ago.
But after the Beavers’ 69-27 loss to Washington on Nov. 23, Riley switched gears, handing the play-calling back to Langsdorf.
“I thought with where we were as a team, I needed to step back,” Riley says. “As far as the whole team and what I needed to do coming off the Washington game, I thought it was a move it would be wise for me to make. The preparation for calling plays is enormous. I thought we’d be better served with Danny doing it and with me focusing on all the other things we need to do in terms of game-planning. And Danny did a great job.”
In the last two games — a 36-35 loss at Oregon and the 38-23 win over Boise State at the Hawaii Bowl — the Beavers were more balanced than they’d been all season, running the ball very effectively.
On the surface, it would seem as if Langsdorf was more willing to run than was Riley. It’s true, to a point. But Riley was between a rock and a hard place. Poor run-blocking had left the Beavers in too many second- and third-down and long situations. Plus, the passing game, led by Mannion and Cooks, was so productive, Riley knew he could count on moving the ball through the air.
I don’t like this back and forth. We know Langsdorf was horrible in this role just a few years ago. Now he has two good games, and it throws confusion into the equation. It sounds like Riley did it because he was burnt out, but he goes on to say Langsdorf did a great job, implying he might call plays next year. Is it possible to grow and change as a play caller? I really have no clue. It seems like a feel thing that you either have or you don’t. But Riley’s play calling was all over the map this year, so maybe you can lose it. In Riley’s case I think he got caught up in the team having a “passing identity“.
Also, is it possible Riley called those games, yet he’s just trying to protect Langsdorf so he doesn’t have to fire anyone this off season? Anyone see Riley holding a play sheet (or any other possible proof) during either game?