Mississippi State football fans MUST remember that this offense still has limitations
I love this system. It’s an offense that is philosophically built to cut into the talent differential that exists between teams and is centered around wearing opponents out. It takes advantage of open space, utilizes a lot of tempo, and gives teams a chance to win games against better competition. It’s also super exciting to watch and players seem to love it.
There’s a high floor with the veer-and-shoot. Ian Boyd talks about that regularly.
But there’s also a pretty hard ceiling with the way that this offense is designed. And Boyd talks about that with regularity as well.
So, yeah, even if Lebby’s system works great and Shapen is able to thrive at quarterback, there still might be some limits to what the Bulldogs can accomplish on the offensive side of things because of the way this offense functions.
Some MSU fans might get frustrated by that fact because they’re buying a notion that MSU will find immediate success with Lebby leading the Bulldogs. And although that’s a dangerous narrative for some to sell, it’s a narrative that plenty of people might be willing to buy.
It’s important for patience to be in place as the Bulldogs break in this offense.
Especially with a brand new quarterback arriving to run it.
There’s a chance that Lebby and Shapen can ensure this offense works well, but it really depends on what expectations are. How do you define what “success” looks like for this system? How are you evaluating what a successful quarterback looks like in his first year of this offense?
Nick Florence and Bryce Petty were great quarterbacks for the Baylor Bears and, in Art Briles’ system, they thrived and routinely put up absurd numbers on their opponents. But neither really had success once they left Waco.
So, you arguably don’t need a great quarterback to really make this system work. That said, because there’s a high floor, you can generally expect this offense to accomplish a lot more than what many will expect.
And still there’s still that hard ceiling that Boyd keeps talking about. And that hard ceiling will occasionally make folks with unrealistic expectations for this era and this offense have a hard time.
Can Shapen succeed? Yeah, he’s got a pretty solid shot of doing just that. But your overall definition of what success looks like will influence your perception of what happens on a week-to-week basis and on an overall season-by-season basis.