Since Steven is likely severely hung over from a wedding he was fortunate enough to have to attend yesterday, thereby sparing him the gore... and then temporary false hopes... of our debacle, I'll give a few thoughts to kick it off... nothing statistical or based on replays - I was at the game & haven't looked up box scores, stories, etc...
- This was one of the most bizarrely-coached games... on both sidelines... I've ever seen. TOB kicks a 51-yard field goal into a stiff breeze on a 4th & about 4... but later GOES FOR IT on 4th and 9 when we're down 14, with a chip-shot 26-yarder being an option to cut it to 10. Johnson tries to one-up him later... up 7 and facing 4th-and-2 inside the 10, HE goes for it, eschewing a chip-shot to take a 2-score lead. Of course, it worked out for Johnson, but if it hadn't, and if we'd somehow marched to tie it, the two stops inside the 10 would've been huge for us & inexplicable for him.
- To hell with depth & injuries - this team has about the same level of discipline as Amato's bunch. If you'd dropped me in the stadium yesterday and told me to pick what year it was, I'd have gone the 2000-2005 era. Who the hell jumps offsides on THREE CONSECUTIVE 4th downs where the other teams only intention is to get you to jump offsides? And it's not like we were getting better at it - we had TWO guys jump off on the last one. Ballgame.
- OK - for the positives... we owned the middle two quarters - period. Our defense did everything it needed to do - and did a truly amazing job of getting the defensive end in the backfield to blow up the triple option. Having the QB duck it out of necessity & pick up 5 yards is a win for us. Having Sweezy back helped - he's simply a monster - and yes, I'll admit that, if we had our top guys available on the DL, we're not likely to be sitting at 0-3 against 1-A competition right now.
- Glennon was good - and tough, after hurting what looked to be a knee. He was a freakin' statue - and yep, the O-line generally gave him time to throw.
- For the first time this season, we had a legit running game. Washington looked great - just needs to work on strength so he can break the first tackle in the hole. His 50-yarder was beautiful - big hole, he spotted it, and no one could keep up. Even a nice mini-stiffarm to boot.
- In the end, you can't spot a good team 21 and have a reasonable hope of coming back. We gave it a damn good shot, and I give the guys credit for not folding - they fought hard and gave us reason to hope, even when we knew better.
- While I wish we'd hired Paul Johnson, he's somewhat of an ass-munch. The last TD throw? Really? And can't you just punt the f'ing thing on your first possession? Pretty please?
- Oh - speaking of first possessions... the no-call PI on our first play was one of the most inexcusable no-calls I've ever seen. The defender knew he was beat - he intentionally tackled TJ to just give up 15 yards instead of a deep ball... and the ref somehow called it clean. This is the kind of thing people get pissed about... it changes momentum and the course of a game. You can't simply look at total penalties/yardage and get the story of how a game was called... Tech's penalties (including a PI) came late when it was out of reach... ours seemed to always be at the worst possible time, and not calling something like the PI is just not OK. Once - just once - I want to be the beneficiary of a game called so poorly that refs get reprimanded/suspended... it seems it goes the other way for us every time.
That's it for now... good thing was that I had no hopes of winning, so no disappointment/anger. It's truly the only game I've ever gone to where the outcome was decided long before kickoff. That, my friends, is a major problem. In Year 5, we should be competitive in every game, and win 3/4 of them.
Time to start releasing those "profiles of a savior", boys... 4-8 is looking pretty good at this point... 2-10 looks possible.
Thank God the FCS exists...