Monday, October 13, 2008
Well, I wasn't going to do a recap due to what will certainly become known as McCoy-gate to our faithful readers (why feed pansy's ego and give him an ally? seriously?), but due to Henson's big game performance, I figured I needed to come here and give some credit. However, my protest will be to be far more critical, scattered and self indulging... which, due to the defensive battle that ensued, is probably acceptable. The good news? We're bowl eligible for the 10th time in the past 11 years. The bad? Just about everything else. This was just one of those games that was hard to watch. As soon as we would force a turnover or get a good return and have good field position, the offense would sputter. It was one of those games where you want to let yourself be fully immersed, but due to mistakes and Marcus Jackson, you just are not able to. I understand that a win is a win, that we were likely looking forward to Thursday, and improving our defense's confidence by showing them that they can win these grind it out games surely helps, but our offense is going to have to give us a lot of help down the road if we want to keep the wins rolling in.
Defense - A. Anyway, for those of you who were able to watch the game, how bout those defenses? I was supposed to attend, but after seeing the weather, and the end result, I'm very much glad that I did not. After the first drive with Gartrell "I don't wear my jersey pulled down over my stomach because I'm thug like that" Johnson pretty much had his way with our defense, I got a little uncomfortable. The Rams pounded out 49 yards on the ground en route to a TD, which is twice our PER GAME average. So what did the defense come out and do? Only hold the Rams to -35 net yards rushing the rest of the way, finishing with 11 net. Seriously, how good is our run defense? Pass coverage is suspect, but we held a guy that averages something like 170 yards per game, and gave him a head start with 24 yards on the opening drive. What did he finish with? 30. Did the Rams even sniff the end zone after that first drive? Definitely did not. Overall, the Rams totalled 199 yards on offense (188 of those coming through the air), fumbled twice and lost one, and had two HUGE HUUUUUGE drops when their receivers were hit direclty in the hands with the ball. Seriously, we should've lost 21-13. No doubt in my mind. Our offense was putrid at best (Schultz, you'll get yours later), and our secondary still shows huge weaknesses on getting beat deep. Two perfect throws were dropped, one in the end zone when the receiver had at least 3 steps. Even with their QBs throwing absolute duck floaters, our secondary was so far out of position that they couldn't recover in time to break up either of these sure TD passes. Surprisingly, CSU pulled their starting QB in favor of the backup after one of these drops, which gives 3 QBs our defense has eaten on the year, although this one not by injury. However, when your floaters are so... floaty? that Henson was actually able to come from his LB spot and get to the receiver at the same time both DBs did, maybe it's the mountain air, or maybe it's time for a change. This isn't a knock on Henson by any means (obviously you know how we all feel about him), but a "what the hell happened to that coverage?" comment. We are going to get absolutely SLAUGHTERED on Thursday if this does not improve. Obviously with our short passing attack these DBs don't go up against a deep ball threat too often in practice, but they need to have someone lobbing passes over their heads every single day in practice this week to prepare. Without turnovers in the secondary, our chances of winning Thursday are going to be extremely thin. This isn't to say that things were ALL bad. Hodge and TJ both looked good, with Hodge recording six tackles and 3 breakups, and TJ also getting six stops with one sack and 2 passes defensed. Priest even had a couple of breakups, but I don't think anyone would disagree with me that this group has room for improvement.
Fortunately for our DBs, our front seven once again proved that they're worth every bit of their #1 ranking and our defense finished the day with 6 sacks overall. Henson came up with a huge pick (to which Jackson gave it right back on the very next play), and as a result I think WWHD and I had simultaneous aneursyms on my couch. The Jameson and ML could have also played a role. Seriously, very happy for Longview's finest on that play. Henson also tied for the team lead in tackles with 6, along with Stephen Hodge and Tejay. However, I'm not going to let this overshadow what Daryl Washington did... that kid is an absolute STUD. I don't know how we keep churning out the outstanding linebacking talent that we do, but this kid is going to have a huge impact on this group for the rest of the this year and the rest of his career as a Frog. Four tackles, but two were for a loss, one was a sack, and he also recovered a fumble and had an INT. Seriously, awesome. Has definitely moved up my favorite player rankings. Jerry Hughes also looked like an absolute animal and, except for a couple of bonehead penalties, had a great game, finishing with 4 tackles, two of those sacks. James Vess, Cody Moore and Matt Panfil were also in on quite a few plays and played a huge role on shutting down CSUs ground game. Harvey Unga is going to have a very rough go at it this Thursday which means BYU is going to have to rely on the pass a lot (as they do anyway) but hopefully this group can put sufficient pressure on Max "I'm 35 years old and still playing college football" Hall and force some poor throws. Unfortunately, this plays right into their hands (see what I did there?) and they have receivers that, unlike Ray Finkle, don't buckle under the pressure.
Offense - C-. Schultz - G (that's lower than an F). Offensively...... sorry, I just threw up in my mouth. Yuck. Schlueter and Jackson just seemed like they could not get on the same page, with Jackson fumbling five, count em, FIVE snaps. Some were the result of Schlueter dragging the ball on the ground, and he also managed two false starts, but most were on account of Jackson just not getting a good grip. Obviously the weather played a major factor in this, but it was just sooo painful to watch. Oh, and do I even need to mention this third and 1 SPIKE!!!!!!! before halftime?? The commentators were so spellbound by it they hardly mentioned it. Seriously, before this game I had very little reason not to like MJ. Heck, he looked great last week! But, for some reason I just never have let myself fully trust the guy. I am always just waiting for him to make some sort of mistake (IE Romo), and unfortunately on Saturday he didn't do much to change my mind. For every time he scrambles on 4th and 1 to avoid getting sacked and hits Reagan for a first down (seriously, most important play we've made offensively this year so far), there's an INT. For every time he hits Jimmy Young on a tight hook to the sideline on third and long, there's a fumbled snap or a sack. I kept looking to the sideline for Red, and they even taunted me by warming him up a couple of times, but I guess the coaching staff decided they'd risk my cardiac arrest for the duration of the game. Jackson pushed us down the field to score just enough points to win, but had Red been in, I feel like the game would've been in little doubt.
But, since Mike Schultz is a man and he's 40, and I'm not supposed to criticize players, I will gladly relay some blame to the OC. Seriously, what the (insert long stream of filthy words here that you would use to describe your worst enemy, then multiply them by a billionty) is wrong with this guy!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Total carries for Aaron Brown, who scored our first TD mind you - 7. Total carries for Skunk - 8. WHAT????????? Why do they refuse to play AB??? He must have reeeeally messed up and pissed this staff off, but even if he beat up Schultz' mother, he doesnt' deserve what they've done to him. Obviously you've got JT to punch the ball into the end zone and Christian, admittedly, hasn't been terrible or anything, but who is going to tell me that he's better suited to run our backfield than Brown? In the words of Gob Bluth, COME ON!!!!!!! Seriously, this almost made the win sour for me and a lot of other fans. We're just lucky he has the athletes to run his fail system or this guy would've been out the door years ago.
Other than those two blips, it was still a pretty terrible performance, but, like I said, we won. 151 yards on the ground, mostly with Jackson's bloated 17 attempts. Turner and Brown had our 2 TDs, despite our coaching staff's best effort to put the game in the hands of a white running back, and despite our center-QBs best efforts to give the game to CSU. 166 yards passing, including a couple of big ones to Walter Bryant, with no TDs and 1 INT. Jimmy Young will get one eventually, I swear. Also, what is up with the PENALTIES on this team???? 11 for 115 yards. You read that correctly. We almost had as many yards in penalties as CSU did total. I'm not sure what is wrong with us. I think this might actually put us first in another category: most yards penalized per game. Congrats!
Special Teams - B-. My other new favorite player along with Washington? Anson Kelton. Seriously, the kid is great, and he got a lot of practice this week. Of his 8 punts, 5 were inside the 20 and two were inside the 3. You might want to credit the coverage, but most of his punts had great kickbacks or very, very slow bounces and died when they landed. Great, great game. Other than that? Evans got up a poor kick on the first PAT that hit a lineman (I'm assuming poor footing was to blame) and I blame him for making the rest of the game miserable for me. The difference between 13-7 and 14-7 is like the difference between almost hooking up with a supermodel and hooking up with, marrying, and being supported by a super model with ample 3-way opportunities with her friends. There's just no comparison for the level of security it provides. Had we even been able to convert a field goal on one of our drives it would've made all the difference. Alas, though, it wasn't to be and I had to watch the game on pins and needles. We also had a 19 yard kick off return and a 12.5 yard return average on punts. Combs also had a 62.3 yard kickoff average with one TB.
Overall. Tough one to watch, but we got the win. Special thanks to the defense. Little thanks to the offense.
Frogs - 27th AP poll - 24th Coaches/USA Today poll
Game Ball. Very hard to say under the circumstances, but I'm going to split it with D Wash (not Derek, obviously) and Henson. Great performances by both and seriously has to make Bumpas consider going to a 4-3 with those two and Phillips in the mix. Thank you guys for giving me one consistency in a game filled with the opposite.
Other Games of Interest.
Minnesota 27, Illinois 20. Thank you, helper bees! Special apologies to Vikingfrog for doubting the Gophers.
#20 Michigan State 37, Northwestern 20. Again, helper bees. As mentioned this game helped us either way, but this helps us more directly.
#3 Penn State 48, Wisconsin 7. Bees. Told you six wasn't anywhere near enough points.
Arkansas 25, Auburn 22. Well, I guess I'm supposed to pimp the Hogs now.
#5 Florida 51, #13 LSU 21. I just had to put this up because it still blows my mind everytime I see it.
#1 Texas 45, #4 Oklahoma 35. Oh wait, you mean we already went over this? Special congratulations to Colt McCoy for getting on steroids and not being Chris Simms. Yeah! Texas FIGHT!! Workin on the railroad song!! (I hope you sense the overlying sarcasm).
#14 Utah 40, Wyoming 7. Game was nowhere NEAR as close as the 33 points dictates. These guys are better than BYU. Mark it.
Air Force 35, SDSU 10. This one started out close, but SDSU showed their true colors.
#9 BYU 21, UNM 3. Close call for the Cougars, perhaps overlooking this game for Thursday? We all are going to bitch that they keep winning yet drop in the polls, but games like this are why.
Next Week. Well, you guys may have heard that we have a pretty big one coming up this week. Brigham Young Magic Undewears. 7PM. Vs. Thursday night lights. Hope most of you guys can make it. Thursday night games are tough to make for out of towners I understand, but this is one where we HAVE to put fans in the stands. It's probably too much to ask for TCU to give back to our football program which has given so much to their admissions office and cancel classes, but if you are still in school and have a Thursday night class, SKIP IT, DUMMY! And if for some reason you can't, mix a stiff drank beforehand and take it into your class then make the second half. That's how I always approached these situations.
In the post game on field interview, the interviewer made some comment like, "well coach, got a big game coming up this week?" and GP actually smirked/half smiled and goes, "Oh yeah, we've been looking forward to this one for a long time." With BYU showing signs of weakness in their past couple of games, and the Frogs hungry for that MWC conference and BCS at large bid, I think he gets the team ready. It's gonna be a shootout, but the defense will win it and we'll reverse the Thursday curse.
Frogs 27, BYU 24.
Be there. Be rowdy. Be religiously intolerant. Go Frogs.
Junior linebacker making a name for himself at TCU ~Star Telegram
It was not a thing of beauty, but Frogs return with a win ~Star Telegram
TCU relies on stingy defense for another win ~Associated Press
TCU spoils CSU's Homecoming, 13-7 ~CSTV
CSU just misses opportunity to upset TCU ~The Coloradoan
Fairchild pulls Farris again for backup QB ~The Coloradoan
Rams fall 13-7 to Horned Frogs ~The Coloradoan
BYU football: Thursday's game ~Salt Lake Tribune
What we learned from the Independents and non-BCS ~ESPN
Longhorns make historic leap to peak of AP's Top 25 ~ESPN
How 'bout them Longhorns?