Nick Polak's picture

Nick Polak


Fairfax, VA (via Westfield, NJ)

Member since 24 July 2016 | Blog

It's my pleasure to serve as a senior editor for Roar Lions Roar. I am greatly enjoying building up a brand new entity from scratch (with a ton of help from our friends at Eleven Warriors, of course) after having spent time writing for multiple team sites on SB Nation including Black Shoe Diaries, Tomahawk Nation, Land Grant Holy Land, Alligator Army, as well as the main college football hub. I also spent time on the professional side, writing about the Seattle Seahawks for Field Gulls on the SB Nation network.

Please don't hesitate to ever reach out to myself or anyone else on the masthead about improvements you think can be made to the site or any other comments you may have. Thanks for reading! Go State!


  • NFL TEAM: Seattle Seahawks
  • NHL TEAM: Colorado Avalanche
  • NBA TEAM: Seattle Supersonics, RIP
  • MLB TEAM: Seattle Mariners
  • SOCCER TEAM: Bayern Munich/Seattle Sounders

Recent Activity

Comment 14 Nov 2018

I think they will definitely have a quick hook with Trace should they go ahead, but not until they're up 3 touchdowns or so.

As far as next week, I have a hard time seeing them not letting Trace get as much run as he possibly can in his last game in Beaver Stadium, as long as he's healthy. Maryland has also been a little feisty at times, so I wouldn't assume they'll run away with that one to quite the same degree that they should this weekend against Rutgers.

Comment 12 Nov 2018

The only issue is that there's so much space to work with on the field in that spot that if you don't make the play in the backfield, it's almost a guaranteed big play. And when the only thing standing in the way of that big play is Jan Johnson, Cam Brown, and Nick Scott, well....

Comment 12 Nov 2018

The call itself is fine, but it's reasonable to question why they'd run something that requires good timing like this as opposed to just handing the ball to Sanders, which was working well all day.

Comment 11 Nov 2018

I think the criticism is with trying to run a play that takes precise timing with your backup quarterback in the game, instead of just keeping it simple and burning more clock.

Comment 07 Nov 2018

You're not wrong. They handle themselves well against normal 4 v. 4 pressures (unless it's Chasz Wright), but they get confused and out of position so easily against more complicated looks. Which like you said, shouldn't be an issue nearly as much as it is. I don't know if it's a matter of Limegrover's scheme or them just making us think they're better than they truly are based on early-season results or what, but it certainly seems like there are adjustments that need to be made.

Comment 06 Nov 2018

Believe me, I get what you're talking about. But you also have to consider the fact that Alabama is playing with defensive tackles who are good enough to fight through double teams. Kevin Givens and Robert Windsor are not. So while funneling the play inside is the easier play to stop in theory, with defensive tackles like ours, that's a big play waiting to happen considering you're giving off the ball to a natural runner, not a QB. Some of our biggest plays with Sanders have come because of holes opened up, and the defensive end keying on McSorley instead.

I get what you're saying, but you're discounting the ability of a running back to find easy daylight through a giant hole in the middle. That hole is taken away by the end crashing down.

Comment 05 Nov 2018

Well what you said isn't totally true. The whole point of a read option play is that the quarterback is reading the defensive end. They purposely get left unblocked, allowing the rest of the line to occupy anyone else in front of them and ideally open up a big hole, that way if the QB does give it off, the back likely has a nice opening to run through. Patterson simply made the correct read and kept the ball.

No defensive end can be expected to cover both runners on that play (unless you get to the mesh point like Sam Hubbard did last year in the OSU game and you take out both runners at once), because the play is literally designed to force the end to make a decision. So chastising Shareef for crashing down isn't really the right move here- Patterson just made smart decisions with the ball in those moments. The way that a team can effectively protect against a good read option is to have an outside linebacker on the defensive end's shoulder, allowing the end to crash knowing that the linebacker is there to protect against the quarterback keeping it. If I remember correctly on Patterson's touchdown run, Cam Brown was outside Yetur Gross-Matos. YGM crashed the back on the play, and Brown got sucked too far inside (which, absolutely no reason for him to be sucked in on a carry from that close in), and Patterson just slipped outside.

So tl;dr- if there's anyone to be upset at about that TD run (which I assume is the primary carry you're referring to here), be upset at Brown/Farmer, not YGM/Miller.