Nevada Football: O Romeo, Romeo
Wolf Pack ready to air it out
Does Nevada have the best duo in football?
Nevada will once again be under the umbrella of the Air Raid, predicated on tunnel screens, mesh concepts, and vertical clear-outs, as offensive coordinator Matt Mumme returns for his fifth season with the Wolf Pack.
Anticipatory accuracy, ball placement, and route timing will remain the keys for quarterback Carson Strong as he hopes to continue his development from his ’20 campaign, culminating in Nevada’s first ever Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, additionally, becoming the first ever underclassmen in conference history receive such accolades.
Accuracy, placement, and timing may seem a bit elementary for a quarterback coming off an Offensive Player of the Year campaign, but:
Learning to embrace the “point-guard” role with a focus of fundamental facilitating to his do-it-all “scorer” on the outside in Romeo Doubs and the placement of back shoulder lobs to red-zone, first-down “power-forward” in Cole Turner could mean the difference between good and great for Strong and the Wolf Pack offense this season.
The good. This touchdown to Doubs displayed Strong’s ability to smoothly climb up in the pocket, keep his eyes downfield, and unload a deep ball with a near textbook arching trajectory.
(This matters in the swirling winds of the Mountain West)
The great? Strong over-threw this pass by at least five yards; floating way too much air under the ball. His slide up the field was a shuffle or two too far and unnecessary causing a half-second late reaction thus nearly throwing Doubs out of the end-zone, who was wide open about ten yards into his route.
Strong’s footwork could be described as a tad bit clunky on this play as his forward momentum prevented him from setting his feet causing the ball to sail on him. Footwork is improvable, reactionary awareness is usually innate. Something to watch for this season.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 15, 2020
The good. Strong shows adequate mobility to evade the rush while having the gusto to get the ball fifty-plus yards downfield off-balance.
The arm talent is there, but consistency will surely be the point of emphasis this spring pertaining to the intrinsic confidence of sensing when and when not to let it rip.
The great? When Doubs enters the top right portion of your screen you can see he’s nearly two yards ahead of the corner as he comes out of his break on a skinny, almost chubby, post.
Strong hesitates for a moment then steps to his right before launching an ill-advised fifty-fifty jump ball, which Doubs displays next-level ball-skills, body control, and improvisation to adjust for the touchdown.
Strong’s ball-security mechanics on-the-move could be tightened up a little bit, as well. Again, ball-security issues are sometimes improvable, but pocket presence and anticipation lapses, eh, much tougher to rectify in a single offseason.
Talk about making a play for your QB, Romeo Doubs just alphaing the DB to pull in the TD from Carson Strong. pic.twitter.com/4Oa8OaToDD
— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) November 6, 2020
The difference between first-team All-Conference and All-American, Offensive Player of the Year and Heisman contender, mid-round developmental prospect and top-ten franchise quarterback, and most importantly, nine wins and a New Years Six berth are the little things, especially when you have two first-team All-Conference receivers.
Introducing Biletnikoff contender, Romeo Doubs:
Romeo Doubs Just ran right past him pic.twitter.com/1ELSQRkfhP
— Fungible Dave (@FungibleDave) November 1, 2020
The release here is something you cannot teach. It gives Doubs boundless options out of his route tree as he develops into Strong’s go-to receiver this upcoming season, and potentially on Sundays.
One could imagine Raiders GM Mike Mayock sitting in his suite watching this one not minding pairing Romeo with Ruggs III in the Sliver and Black.
THIS IS WHAT ROMEO DOUBS DOESpic.twitter.com/mcYz5FvERB
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) December 22, 2020
Doubs gobbles up fifteen plus yards in a heartbeat to get to the soft spot right in-front of the safety. After that, ball-skills and leaping ability takes over as he high points a ball over the would-be defender, even though the pass was thrown a couple yards too far off target to the inside.
As far as Strong is concerned, this ball needs to be about three yards to the inside to protect his teammate from downhill safeties.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 15, 2020
Off-coverage, press-coverage. Doesn’t matter. Turner’s running mirroring posts with Doubs here as he all too simply, smoothly glides by the corner. Doubs appears to have sub-4.4 burners in his bountiful arsenal, which may be damn near impossible for defenders this season as opposing coordinators have to decide whether or not to bracket Doubs on the boundary.
Turner one-on-one down the seam on a linebacker? Whew.
We’ve seen corners on an island against Doubs. Double whew.
Flawless toss by Strong here, as well. Climbed the pocket with finesse and even a tiny bit of swagger, set his feet, and laid a fifty-five yarder in the bread basket with ease. That’s his potential seen right here.
— Nevada Sports Net (@NevadaSportsNet) October 21, 2018
For fun, let’s watch Doubs run through nearly the entire back seven of Hawaii’s defense as a true freshman. Adding an elite run-after-the-catch ability to the sprawling list of plus technical traits Doubs brings to the table on his abundant plate could mean a major “quake-up” for any and all opposing secondary’s along the gold coast this upcoming season.
“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” – William Shakespeare, as well as every defensive coach in the Mountain West
The end zone. – Romeo
Do not be surprised to see a receiving split of something approaching the neighborhood of 80/1400/15 out of Romeo Doubs with a full slate.
Introducing Mackey contender, Cole Turner:
— Nevada Football (@NevadaFootball) November 21, 2020
Turner with swift feet, he “oakie dokes” as the corner flips his hips and turns his eyes inside, simultaneously sliding the opposite direction to the near pylon.
Efficient two yards of separation, ball in the air, concentration through the shadows, full extension high point, natural hands catch, low-key flex. Six.
It's our Turn(er) to score.
— Nevada Football (@NevadaFootball) December 6, 2020
A little off-coverage for Turner this time. Full extension to the upper outside shoulder displaying some of that unique big-man body control in tight quarters.
Strong recognizes where the ball needs to be, and puts it up, up, and away. We’ve seen a bit of wildcat out of this Nevada offense on the goal line, but until teams can defend that back shoulder fade:
Back to the well, Pack.
— 🌹🏆 (@RespectDaBeard1) December 22, 2020
Here, we have Cole Turner matched up on a linebacker down the seam. Staggered release, quickly disengaged, maintained speed-in, strong hands catch in traffic.
First down, first down, first down, repeat.
Strong displays advanced pocket awareness on a crucial down and distance. A major development in Strong’s progression if he can find consistency in this area in the future.
CARSON STRONG ➡️ COLE TURNER 11-YARD TOUCHDOWN
Nevada leads 6-0. pic.twitter.com/JHl8fHWaDE
— Pack Center (@PackCenterNV) December 22, 2020
As a former D-II college football tight-end myself, albeit for about a week or so, about a week so, week or so, this play may seem all too pedestrian, but it’s much more intricate than one would think on the surface. The athletic capability of Turner to flatten out to the edge, contorting his 240 pound body into upfield position running full speed all while concentrating on hauling in a short area cannon cannot be understated, in terms of level of difficulty.
After-the-catch, Turner’s lateral agility and ten-yard burst are on full display as he has the where with all to find the pylon and wheels to giddy up-field in a hurry with trailing defenders barreling down on him. Two broken tackles later, a hard earned red-zone touchdown for Turner; making it appear a whole lot more routine than it should be to the bare eye.
And, that right there, is the makings a professional move tight end.
Note to self: Do not try this at school.