Month: October 2008

Thoughts from the Tech Game

I have to admit that I had a good feeling going into the Tech game. I knew Tech was beatable because their defense is still not that great and Joe Kines knows how to scheme against them. I put the chances at about 20% but I got a serious high on Saturday morning. There’s a little Italian joint caddy corner from our house. Best Italian place in Fort Worth. It’s not big at all but they put tables and chairs on the sidewalk for folks to eat and it’s BYOB so folks bring bottles of wine and pop them open out on the sidewalk. Shealynn collects corks so we often look for corks when walking the hounds. On Saturday morning as I was walking the hounds the first cork I saw was sitting in the middle of the sidewalk with a #12 staring me right in the face. I saw it as a sign and even took it to the game for good luck. At the end of the day, I was just some idiot sitting in the stands with a cork in my pocket for no apparent reason. Oh well.

I was highly disappointed by the results but I was greatly encouraged by the effort. So much so that I was ready to whip Mike Leach’s ass in the last minute. I know Leach is Leach but that was a prick move and I was pissed because our kids put up such a great effort to have Tech basically poop on it for no good reason. Leach did explain after the game that the reason he went for the score was to get Shannon Woods a touchdown. Harrell made the decision to keep the ball which makes me hate that prick even more. I’m just disappointed no one on the Aggie defense leveled him in the endzone. Not a cheap or dirty hit but just a good clean shot that put him on the ground. I think that bothers me the most is that no one on the defense stepped and popped the kid when Harrell was prancing in their endzone at home. Lay him out. I apologize to anyone that was in my section when I was hollering at Leach. There where no kids around but I told Mike Leach and the rest of the Tech team what I thought of them. I was pissed to say the least. I was ready to just deck a Tech fan for looking at me wrong after the game. I hate those aholes.

Onto my thoughts:

Mike Sherman:

  • I know I’ve been critical of the man up until now but I don’t think there was anything else he could have done that game. His plan was as good as it could get in my mind. He had his team emotionally ready and most importantly they believed it. He knew his team’s strength and weaknesses and Tech’s strengths and weaknesses and planned perfectly. His plan was to keep it close and hope that home field pulled him out in the end. Not a thing wrong with that.
  • He also deserves credit for adjusting to his personnel on offense. The offense you see is not the offense Sherm wants to be running. Ideally he’d want to be under center with a fullback, tailback, and tight end all disguising run and pass. He knows he doesn’t have the players to do that so he’s giving his offense the best chance to win. He’s not putting square pegs in round holes and he’s making the adjustment as a staff instead of to his players. Kudos to him. Especially at the goal line.
  • I also agree with both of his questionable decisions on the day. His team believed they could beat Tech and not getting it on 4th and 1 from the 1 would have been devastating to the team. He doesn’t have the offensive line to guarantee a 4th and 1 conversion. Not by drive blocking, not by play action, and not by rolling out. He did realize later on in the game that Mike Goodson is his best short yardage option mainly because it forces the defense to respect the edge. Without him, the defense is going to crash from the edge not worrying about losing containment. That decision didn’t cost us the game as we went into half time up by 3. I don’t think you can question any decision prior to that.
  • I also agree with the punt on 4th and 15 with almost 6 minutes left. The difference in the game came when Tech learned JJ loves to be blitzed and that you can get pressure with a 4 man front against our offensive line. JJ had been sacked 3 times in the second half and the play before that was the amazing JJ running for his life and getting the penalty because his line was downfield. Had JJ run there and gained 5-7 yards I bet Sherm goes for it. We had 18 plays and 32 yards in the second half. We weren’t converting that 4th and 15. Our defense had done decently so there was a chance for muffed punt return or even our defense holding. We weren’t getting that conversion. You don’t make it and the game is over with 5+ minutes. At that point in a game you need a prayer for success. If you punt, you give yourself a chance for more prayers. It wasn’t the time and place for one prayer. It wasn’t going to be answered even with my lucky cork. I’ll post a separate entry on this a little later so I don’t bog this down. I’m sure many of you will disagree but Sherm just had zero faith in his offensive line and so did I.

Special Teams:

  • Randy Bullock looked good but that was a bright spot outside of a streaking Arkeith Brown.
  • The worst part was the kickoffs after scoring on both sides early in the game. One involved Crabtree getting a strong return and then when our appointed 12th Man makes a great play, it gets brought back because someone was off sides. The only defense I can say is that I believe it was Bullock’s first kick off duty in a game so their timing could have been off a bit.
  • The other issues involved the return where we had a hold to bring it back half the distance to the goal line. Just have to get that cleaned up. We can’t have that stuff against Tech.
  • A great job by the kicking defense. They blocked two extra points and even returned one for a two point conversion. Arkeith looked great cruising that ball down the sideline. That’s the kind of stuff that can turn a game around but unfortunately our offense just couldn’t respond. Most importantly that play wound up being the difference between covering the spread and just having a push. Sure, with this team a push is some kind of victory but we COVERED the spread against Tech. Thank you and your fleet feet, Arkeith Brown.
  • I worry about Cyrus Gray returning kicks. He just doesn’t have that explosiveness you want in a kick returner and his fumble didn’t help. I do think it’s pretty amazing that Bradley Stephens never gets the ball. Don’t know if people are kicking off to Cyrus on purpose or if that’s just how it’s working out.
  • I also worry about Jordan Pugh on punts as you know. In a surprise move, Leach actually punted the ball once and Pugh didn’t look real comfortable pulling in the ball on a fair catch. I know I’m being critical but a muffed punt is going to manifest itself at a really bad time this season.
  • Nice work, Randy Bullock.

Offense:

  • Mike Goodson was one chop block away from taking it to the house on a sweep. Other than that he wasn’t too productive since we had no offensive line. Five more games. I should probably quit typing that as it’s just sad. I still don’t think we’re using him enough.
  • JJ looked great in the first half but Tech actually discovered his weakness. He doesn’t have an offensive line so he really wants you to blitz. He knows if six guys are coming at him then that means he’s got man coverage all over the field. At that point, he’s going to find someone and hit them. In the second half Tech realized that they could get enough pressure with a four man rush and poor JJ couldn’t find open guys coupled with a pass rush. I just worry other teams are going to start doing the same. I did love it when he stared down the Tech defensive lineman. Kid is fearless but I don’t think he can stare down too many other defensive lineman. Texas is going to rip our heads off with their four man rush that’s destroyed OU and now Mizzou. Just getting us ready for the inevitable. In addition to suffering from a porous offensive line, JJ didn’t get the benefit of his receivers as they dropped some sure passes. I believe the stat was five drops with each of them being for a first down had they been completed. For the most part, JJ was putting the ball on the mark when he had time. I love this kid. I won’t even mention the pass to Fuller that got called back. I don’t blame the game on that one play as the defense got the ball back and we wound up scoring to go up at halftime. It just really hurt his stats.
  • Sherm did the right thing with his offensive line. He had guys that were banged up and they needed rest. Unfortunately, it just meant he had a bunch of inexperienced guys playing in the position. He had to do it and the guys did a pretty solid job until they were just beat in the second half. I’m not going to bag on any of them but to be fair it was their lack of stopping the four man Tech rush that ultimately lead to us being on the wrong side of the scoreboard. I don’t blame the loss on them as they did all they could. It’s just the reality of why we lost. Let’s hope they just keep getting better. If you want to blame the loss on anyone, blame it on that money stealing joke of a coach that came before Sherman that didn’t feel offensive line was an important position to recruit to.
  • I personally think what Sherm is going to have to do from now on is leave Jorvorskie in as the lone back. We’re obviously not going under center anytime soon and we need the Train in there to help protect his back side. Plus, because he can catch the ball he can handle that new little shovel pass we incorporated on Saturday. The reason it stopped being effective was because Tech started twisting their DTs which spread our offensive line instead of giving them the ability to create a lane. Jorvorskie is the perfect guy for this situation because of his hands and feet. He can catch the ball in space and has the feet and balance to get 3-4 yards after the catch even with defensive linemen bearing down on him. He can also chip the DE and then release so that JJ can hit him in the flat. Seriously, this needs to happen as teams are just going to stop blitzing us and slow us down with a four man front. He can also motion in Goodson with Lane in the backfield and run a semi-traditional two back set just for a different look. I still think Goodson is most dangerous on sweeps but I just don’t think Sherman trusts his line. I’m not talking about a toss as I’m talking about a sweep where you have a tackle pulling. This is actually Shumard’s greatest strength so use it more.
  • Not sure there’s anything else to write about. Lots of positive with two obvious negatives in spotty offensive line play and dropped passes. I don’t think most people realized that we had 18 plays and 37 yards in the second half. We lost 27 yards on sacks in the second half. We had 16 plays and 25 yards if you don’t count that last drive after Tech’s cheap TD. JJ just looks more stylish so you don’t realize the lack of stats. Once again, we’re still waiting for 2 halves of football from the offense. We haven’t seen it all year.

Defense:

  • I know most of you want to skewer the defense but Joe Kines did what he could and did it admirably in my mind for about 55 minutes. He came back from that KSU debacle and pitched to contact like he should be doing. He did everything he could to win that game and just got little offensive support. He didn’t give up any big plays and actually held Tech for the most part. That’s all you can ask for. The only negative I can put on Joe Kines was that his blitzes weren’t called at the right time. He called a couple that we flat out got burned on. It’s not really a big knock because blitzes are so risky but you still have to call them to keep the offense honest.
  • I don’t know how anyone can pound on this defense that got three turnovers against Tech. Two of them were about as big as you can get to boost the offense. The second one came after Fuller’s TD was called back. Harrell lays out a bad pass and we wound up covering the fumble. Harrell was out of synch for much of the game on vertical passes and you have the defense to thank for that. I would have to go back and look at the film but I bet his total passing yards reflect only about 25% of his actual doing. The other 75% came from runs after catches by his receivers which is more a credit to the system he plays in and Tech’s receivers. He didn’t look good at all when he had to pass beyond 15 yards in the air. Credit the defense for that.
  • The third turnover was in a serious do or die situation after Cyrus Gray fumbled the kick return. Tech was ready to throw the dagger and the defense made a great play knocking the ball out of Crabtree’s hand and Bennett picking it off. HUGE play. Tech scores there and we get our butts handed to us and no one is questioning any of Sherm’s decisions and just call it a butt whipping.
  • The first turnover was all on the defense too. The two DTs actually made that happen. Lucas Patterson and Kellen Heard were lined up just outside the center on both sides. Patterson stunted to his left taking the center with him and Heard jumped the gap that Patterson created. Heard had Harrell in a flat out run backwards. Heard had his hands up and Harrell wound up overthrowing his guy in Hunter’s hands. All defense.
  • As a unit this defense did some great things. The linemen did a really nice job of keeping their heads and hands up. It didn’t wind up being that effective but Harrell was much slower to throw the ball because hands kept popping up in his throwing lanes. The lineman also did a nice job of pulling off and looking for the underneath stuff when they knew they were getting to Harrell. Our old defense would have kept pressuring for no apparent reason and never even attempting to trail the play.
  • I was surprised to see Tech tighten up their splits. I had read that Joe Kines wanted to run some faster guys on the defensive line and attack those splits. Tech never really let that happen which hurt our use of Von Miller to shoot those things.
  • The safeties did a nice job of playing the receiver and not the ball. There were some serious sticks out there so nice job of the safeties to pound on the receiver. You have to do that against Tech. Crabtree actually spent about 5 minutes out of the game in the 4th quarter because he got popped once.
  • Not much on the linebackers because we really ran a 4-1-6 for the most part which is why you saw Harrell hold on to the ball for so long with no pressure. That’s fine as it slowed them down. Harrell was not completely ready for what he saw. Had our offense showed up in the second half then the defense looks MUCH better statistically.
  • I love what I’m seeing out of Hunter and Frederick. A lot of those kids credit goes to their high school coach. Coach Joseph at Katy is a great defensive coach and these two kids show it. It’s nice to know we have two guys sitting back there that can contribute for a while. They both appear to be hard workers that understand the game and most importantly know how to win as they won a state championship last season at Katy. That can’t be understated since very few folks on this team really know how to win. Feel good about these two.
  • Don’t look at the stats when you look at this defense from that game. They played their hearts out and did everything they could to win. They should be proud outside of not knocking Harrell on his ass and getting in a little scrum to show some fight at the end of the game.

I’m sure Sherman is flat out depressed after this game. For about 45 minutes of football his team really stood a chance against Tech. He had his team believing and it was working for the most part. Unfortunately, his offensive line just couldn’t hold. I don’t want to call those guys out but their lack or protection is ultimately what did A&M in. They did an admirable job in the first half but just weren’t ready for Tech’s adjustments in the second half. Sherman had no choice but to play those guys though. I’m sure it was devastating for Sherm to call for that punt because he knew his pride and joy couldn’t hold. Like I said earlier, put this entire loss on Fran due to his lack of offensive line recruiting. That bird has come home to roost and to me that will always be his biggest sin.

All chances of bowling went out the window on Saturday. At this point, Sherman DESPERATELY needs to get to 4-8 with two wins over ISU, CU, and Baylor. If there’s only two wins in there I’d prefer CU and Baylor. I don’t think the ISU win is nearly as important as people make it out to be. Sherman appears to have these guys playing week to week so I don’t know that an ISU loss makes us spiral out of control. It would be a nice win but in my mind there’s no difference between 2-10 or 3-9 if that extra win is over ISU. I do think we beat ISU so it’s kind of a moot point.

If Sherm were to come back and go 5-7 and keeps OU and tu within 14 points then that’s all you can ask for. After Saturday’s game I do believe it’s entirely possible and if he’s a good coach he’ll get it done. There’s lots to build from this game and he needs to take it into the ISU game and then into the CU game. 4-5 would be damn nice going into OU.

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So What Does All of This Coaching Research Mean?

Since I want A&M to win a National Championship, I think it’s important to note what great coaches have done.   I’m not so concerned with what other coaches have done in their first year as I want A&M to be great and not just good.  Some other coaches I should probably research include Tommy Tubberville and Mark Richt.  Maybe I’ll do them later today.

Out of everyone I researched, here are the consistent things I kept seeing:

  • Bob Stoops and Phil Fulmer are the exceptions as all had Head Coaching experience elsewhere.  Tressel had lower division experience and we all know about Pete Carroll only having pro experience and it being suspect at best.  Meyer had experience in a non-BCS conference.
  • Won their first game.  There is not one exception to any of these coaches winning their first game.  Some were close but most of them stomped whoever they played at home.  They were playing lesser talent most of the time but they all won that crucial first game.
  • There are a few exceptions but for the most part all of their first year losses were under 7 points and most of them were on the road.  It’s very consistent.  Bob Stoops and Nick Saban actually did the worst with 3 losses by more than 7 points in their first season.  Stoops was in his first year as a head coach and Saban lost to SEC teams on the road with two of them ranked teams.  They both beat all of their conference foes at home though.
  • Only Bobby Bowden didn’t go to a bowl game in their first year but he took over a pretty bad FSU program.  Not on the BCS list, but Butch Davis is the only other coach not to go to a bowl game in the list of coaches I looked at and it can be said he took over a pretty bad UNC team that was previously 3-9.
  • Only Les Miles took over a program that was pretty successful the previous season.  It makes sense as most coaches don’t get fired with a winning record.  Sherm took over a team that was 7-6.

So what does all of this mean to Sherman?  Only time will tell but he’s missing one bullet point up there which is winning their first game.  In addition he’s been blown out by Miami, OSU, and KSU.

His toughest games are yet to come and it’s hard to see us going bowling right now which won’t work in his favor as he’s not young enough to be Bobby Bowden and isn’t Butch Davis in my mind.  He also has tough home match-ups against Tech and OU so it’s not looking good for having that solid home record the great ones had at home.  We could easily be 2-5 or maybe even 1-6 at home.  That’s not good folks no matter the state of the program.

I still think Sherm deserves three years but he HAS to get a bowl win next season and then has to have us in the Top 25 at the end of the 2010 season.  If he doesn’t do any of those then I think it’s time to cut bait and move on.  Yes, after three seasons it’ll be time to move on.

I hope like hell he becomes the exception to the norm but he’s not looking good after six games when you compare him to the great ones.

A Look at The First Year of Coaches that have Won a BCS Championship

NOTE – Prev. Season is the record for the program they took over and not their previous record as coach elsewhere.  I was trying to get a feel for the state of the program they took over record wise.

Bob Stoops (Oklahoma)

Prev. Season – 5-6

1st year – 7-5 (Bowl Loss)

Conf: 5-3

Wins – Baylor, A&M, Mizzou, Iowa St., and Ok. St.

OU stomped all five of these people by at least 21 points. Closest game was Iowa St. by a margin of 31-10.

Lowest and highest points respectively were 31 points offensively and 10 points defensively.

Losses – Texas, Colorado, and Tech

Lost by 10 to Texas, 14 in Boulder, and 10 in Lubbock. Like to see a little closer but not bad considering they’re all road losses.

Non-Conf: 2-2 (Bowl Loss)

Wins – Indiana State and Louisville

Opened up the Stoops Era with a 49-0 shellacking of Indiana State in Norman. Beat Louisville 42-21.

Losses – Notre Dame and Ole Miss

Lost by 4 in South Bend and by 2 in their Shreveport bowl game.

Overall Thought – This was an 11 game season so 7-4 is not bad at all with all road losses to decent programs at the time in ND, Texas, CU, and Tech. Tough bowl loss but Stoops rectified it the next year and hasn’t really looked back.

Mack Brown (Texas):

Prev. Season – 4-7

1st year – 9-3 (Bowl Win)

Conf: 6-2

Wins – Baylor, A&M, Oklahoma, Iowa St., Ok. St., and Nebraska

Beat 7th ranked Nebraska in Lincoln and 6th ranked A&M in Austin. Destroyed ISU at home and Oklahoma in Dallas. Beat Baylor by 10 and OSU by 3 both in Austin.

Losses – Kansas St. and Texas Tech

Lost by 41 at KSU which was their near national championship team and then by 7 in Lubbock.

Non-Conf: 3-1 (Bowl Win)

Wins – New Mexico St., Rice, and Mississippi St.

Opened up the Brown era with a 66-36 shellacking of New Mex. St. Destroyed Rice 59-21 and then beat Miss. St. 38-11 in the Cotton Bowl.

Losses – UCLA

Texas lost 31-49 in Los Angeles. Considering the previous season was the famous Route 66 in Austin that’s not a bad showing at all in your second game and first on the road.

Overall Thought – This was an 11 game season so 8-3 is very damn strong with losses to KSU, Tech, and UCLA on the road. Not bad at all. They beat a solid Miss. St. in the Cotton Bowl to get to 9 wins and Mack Brown has not looked back.

Nick Saban (LSU):

Prev. Season – 3-8

1st year – 8-4 (Bowl Win)

Conf: 5-3

Wins – Tennessee, Kentucky, Miss. St., Alabama, Ole Miss

Pushed 11th ranked Tennessee to OT to win by 7 at home and then duplicated the same thing by doing the same to 13th ranked Miss. St. at home. Blanked Kentucky by 34, squeaked by Bama at home by 2, and beat Ole Miss at home by 11.

Losses – Auburn, Florida, and Arkansas

Lost by 17 to 24th ranked Auburn on the road. Embarrassed by 32 to 11th ranked Florida at The Swamp. Lost by 11 to Arkansas in Little Rock.

Non-Conf: 3-1 (Bowl Win)

Wins – Western Carolina, UH, and Georgia Tech

Opened up the Saban/LSU era with a 58-0 shellacking of Western Carolina. Beat UH in Baton Rogue 28-13 and beat 15th ranked Georgia Tech 28-14 for a bowl victory.

Losses – UAB

Lost at home to UAB 10-13.

Overall Thought – This was an 11 game season so 8-4 is very damn strong with losses to solid SEC teams on the road and one stinker to UAB at home. Not bad at all. They beat a solid Georgia Tech. in their bowl game to cap the season. When you look at Saban’s first year at Bama it’s not far off.

Pete Carroll (USC):

Prev. Season – 5-7

1st year – 6-6 (Bowl Loss)

Conf: 5-3

Wins – Arizona, Arizona St., Oregon St., Cal, and UCLA

After losing their first three conference games, USC went on a tear winning their final five conference games including a pounding of Cal 55-14 in Berkley.

Losses – Oregon, Stanford, and Washington

All of the conference losses were within 5 points. They lost to Stanford at home by 5 points then on the road in Eugene by 2 and Seattle by 3.

Non-Conf: 1-3 (Bowl Loss)

Wins – San Jose St.

Opened up the Carroll Era with a 21-10 victory of San Jose St. at home.

Losses – Kansas St., Notre Dame, and Utah

Lost to KSU and Utah by 4 and lost in South Bend by 11.

Overall Thought – The overall record is not all that great but he got his team to a bowl game even though they lost. Not surprising, he won his first game and all of the losses were within 7 except a trip to South Bend where he lost by 11 back when Notre Dame was pretty decent. Pete would never look back as USC went 11-2 the next season tieing for first in the Pac-10 and getting an Orange Bowl win. He would go on to win or share the Pac-10 crown in the next 5 seasons.

Phil Fullmer:

Prev. Season – Special Case replacing Johnny Majors due to illness with 4 games left. Fulmer went 4-0 during that stretch. Not sure Tennessee’s compiled record as their website didn’t go back that far.

1st year – 10-2 (Bowl Loss)

Conf: 7-1

No data due to fact I couldn’t find archives of the game results. I’d say 7-1 is not bad.

Non-Conf: 3-1 (Bowl Loss)

No data other than winning three non-conference games and losing the Citrus Bowl. They still finished 12th in the AP poll.

Overall Thought – Phil Fulmer is the exception and not the rule these days having spent 16 seasons as the UT head coach. He’s had one losing season in that time and a National Championship to his name. I think he “retires” next season but he’s had a helluva run and started it off with a damn fine first season.

Bobby Bowden:

Prev. Season – FSU was real crappy when he took over as they only won four games in their previous three seasons.

1st year – 5-6 (No Bowl)

Conf: ????

I think I have to go to the Tallahassee Public Library to find this stuff.

Non-Conf: ????

Overall Thought – Bobby’s first season was his worst as he’d never have another losing season. He went 10-2 in his next season with a Tangerine Bowl win.

Jim Tressel (OSU):

Prev. Season – 8-4

1st year – 7-5 (Bowl Loss)

Conf: 5-3

Wins – Indiana, Northwestern, Minnesota, Purdue, and Michigan

No standout wins but all are solid including that win over Michigan which was what John Cooper could never do and why he got fired even though he went 8-3 the season before.

Losses – Wisconsin, Penn St., and Illinois

Lost to Wisc. and Illinois at home. Wisc. was a three point loss and Penn St. was a 2 point loss. Illinois beat them at home 22-34. I think that was the year Ron Meyer had Illinois playing their best football in 20 years or something like that.

Non-Conf: 2-2 (Bowl Loss)

Wins – Akron and San Diego St.

They opened up the Sweater Era with a 28-14 victory over Akron at home.

Losses – UCLA and South Carolina

Lost to UCLA in L.A. by 7 points and South Carolina in their bowl game by 3 points.

Overall Thought – The overall record is not all that great but he got his team to a bowl game even though they lost. Not surprising, he won his first game and all of the losses were within 7 except a loss at home to Illinois. Tressel would spend the next year winning the national championship and has played in 5 BCS games in his 7 seasons. Say what you want about getting clowned by SEC schools but he’s getting his team there.

Urban Meyer (Florida):

Prev. Season – 7-5

1st year – 9-3 (Bowl Win)

Conf: 5-3

Wins – Tennessee, Kentucky, Miss. State, UGA, and Vandy

All solid wins in the SEC. None really stand out as UGA, Vandy, and Tennessee were all pretty close. UK and Miss. St. were thumpings.

Losses – Alabama, LSU, and South Carolina

All losses on the road and within 7 points except a blowout loss to Alabama which was Bama’s best year when they went to the Cotton Bowl and beat Tech.

Non-Conf: 4-0 (Bowl Win)

Wins – Wyoming, Louisiana Tech, Florida State, and Iowa

Meyer opened up his UF career with a win at home over Wyoming in pretty convincing fashion at 32-14. Thumped La. Tech and FSU at home. Beat Iowa 31-24 in their bowl game.

Losses – None

Overall Thought – We all know about Urban Meyer so no need for lots of comments as he won a national championship in his second season. He inherited a very talented program from Ron Zook and kept it going. He was 10-2 in his first season at Utah followed by 12-0 the next season. He was 8-3 and 9-3 in two seasons at Bowling Green. I think the guy is a real prick but he’s no doubt a helluva head coach. He’s the Bob Stoops of the SEC.

Les Miles (LSU):

Prev. Season –9-3

1st year – 11-2 (Bowl Win)

Conf: 7-2 (Including SEC Championship Loss)

Wins – Miss. St., Vandy, Florida, Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, Arkansas

All great wins in the SEC.  Florida, Bama, and Auburn all ranked #16 or higher.  Signature win was probably over #5 Bama in Tuscaloosa.  They 16-13 in overtime.  Florida was by 4 and Auburn was by 3 in overtime.  Arkansas did play them close losing by 2 in Baton Rogue so Les appears to have problems with Arkansas.

Losses – Tennessee and Georgia

Second game of the year at home to 10th ranked Tennessee.  They lost 27-30 in overtime.  Welcome to the SEC, Les.  Not embarrassing at all.  Lost 34-14 in the SEC Championship Game to UGA.

Non-Conf: 4-0 (Bowl Win)

Wins – Arizona State, North Texas, Applachin St., and Miami.

Went on the road to open up his career in Tempe and beat 15th ranked ASU 35-31.  Dogged North Texas and App. State at home.  Destroyed 9th ranked Miami in the Peach Bowl by a score of 40-3.

Losses – None

Overall Thought – Les is a special case in so many ways.  He was handed the keys to a powerful program from Nick Saban and was simply asked not to screw it up.  Credit the man as he’s won at least 11 games and not lost more than 2 games in any season with no bowl losses.  At Oklahoma State, he was 4-7 in his first season as a head coach anywhere and then 8-5 the next season with a bowl win.

Thoughts From the KSU Game

I’m not going to come up with any cute nicknames for this game because it pretty much sucked for the most part. Sure our offense put up passing like we’ve never seen before but much of it was either too little, too late or not converted into real points when we needed them most. Don’t fool yourself in that this is not a very good K-State team. We’ll get to the specifics of the game here in a bit, but there was NO reason for A&M to lose this game. In fact, I’d put about 70% of this game on the coaches and the other 30% on the players.

I will say that I think it’s apparent that Mike Sherman is committed to getting his youngsters some OJT. At this point in the season if there’s any meaningful experience to be had then he’s going to burn the shirt. Considering the heat he might be feeling from the fans, I say good for him. We need wins as soon as possible and if playing someone 6 games this season means 1-2 wins next season then we really have no choice. If he can’t recruit to replace these guys in year 5 then it’s just going to show in years 3-5 and it won’t really matter.

I just hope he does it at QB. Like I said all along it’s nothing personal against McGee and has everything to do with JJ making plays out of nothing and simply being our future. If JJ goes down at any point then I’d actually be okay with Tommy Dorman’s shirt being burned. I don’t think Tannehill should ever go back under center and should work WR exclusively from now on. Right now we’re playing for years 2 and 3 in the Sherm Era as they’re going to be the most crucial. If he’s not Top 25 by the middle of Year 3 then years 4 and 5 won’t matter because he won’t be getting it done on the field and all likelihood in recruiting. There is no reason for him to not be in the Top 25 come year 3. A great coach would have his team there.

On to the game analysis

Coaching:

  • We’re going to start with coaching this game because that’s what cost us the game. We’re sitting at 2-4 and have been all but blown out in all but one of them. I posted something on rcwouldhavegonefor2.wordpress.com looking at the coaches in their second year and in the current AP Top 25. The three coaches are Nick Saban, Butch Davis, and Mike Dantonio at Mich. St.. All three coaches blew out their first opponent at home and with the exception of Butch Davis losing to two pretty good teams on the road never got beat by more than 7 points last season. Check out the blog or ask me for a copy of the post and I’ll shoot it to you. It’s a small sample set but I think it’s pretty telling the consistency in the first year of those coaches. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, great coaches don’t get blown out. We’re now at blowout #3 coupled with losing to a lesser opponent at home to open up the Sherman Era. Based on this small sample size, things ain’t looking good.
  • The part about this game that got me more than anything was we lined up incorrectly 2 times on key plays, had a WR jump offsides, and had to call a timeout after a K-State timeout because we didn’t know what the hell was going on. That’s all on coaching right there. Blame the players all you want but lining up incorrectly and receivers jumping offsides are all on the coaching staff. Linemen should never lineup incorrectly and receivers should never move until the ball is snapped. They should never focus on anything else but the ball and its movement. Not sound, not offensive motion, and definitely not defensive motion.
  • We all love Jorvorskie, but the stubbornness to run him again in the EXACT SAME FORMATION AND PLAY on 4th and 2 after not getting credit for any yards was idiotic at best. Jorvorskie is a hell of a short yardage back only when the defense has to respect the pass. When the defense doesn’t have to respect the pass they’ll load up and stop the Train. The Train can displace linebackers all day long but he can’t run through a brick wall of defensive and offensive linemen. He’s not a violent runner and what makes him work best is his ability to adjust to a developing seam and then just load up and punish whoever might be coming through that seam to stop him. I hope Sherman learned his lesson as it was a pretty valuable one. We probably still lose that game, but it would have given us a puncher’s chance if we get in from 3rd and goal on the 2. I’m sorry, but I think great coaches get that score. At least Sherm admitted to it after the game.
  • Special teams is still having issues which I’ll get to in a bit but that’s all on coaching so I want to at least put that here.
  • This was just a poorly prepared team on Saturday. Based on practice reports I sometimes wonder if Sherm and his staff are worried too much about teaching technique and not worried about the mental and non-technical physical aspect of the game. They play more aggressive than Fran but they’re still making mental errors and definitely not whipping anyone’s ass.

Special Teams:

  • Probably the key moment of the game was the blocked punt and return for a TD. Most folks know this but that was the perfect time to go for a blocked punt by KSU. You see it all the time when a team is backed up and the punt return team goes for a jailbreak. We should have known this was coming and been ready for it. You run max protect in that situation and don’t worry about coverage until the ball is gone. We were on our 15 yard line. I hope we weren’t running max protect because if we were there’s even more to worry about.
  • Outside of that, the special teams units just seem unsure of themselves. No one is real assertive and just appear to be going through the motions. Maybe they need to put Billy Pickard in charge.
  • One of our onside kicks was one of the goofiest things I’ve ever seen when everyone knows it’s coming. We had the team equally split on the hashes and then had had our kicker squib it 10 yards straight ahead where KState had a guy ready for it. It made no sense. That’s the kind you run where you’re trying to sneak it on someone and there’s no one there. I’m personally a fan of lining up 10 people opposite of the kicker and hoping for a scrum and you wind up with the ball. It would be interesting to see the most successful onside kicks.
  • Von Miller made a hell of tackle on a kickoff or punt. I forgot which one it was now, but he basically had the pedal to metal and came behind the returner and tripped him up for a short gain. Hell of a play by him.
  • Mike Goodson retuned one punt and looked decent doing it. You can’t really see this on TV but Goodson is without a doubt the most explosive player on the field at all times. He just chews up yardage faster than anyone and at the same time can adjust his direction. It’s unreal. At this point, I don’t want to see anyone back there but Mike. In case you’re wondering, the kid is gone after this year. Just like Martellus and DeAndre Jordan, he’s not coming back. The reason he didn’t play in the 1st quarter was because he wasn’t going to class. Supposedly he has an athletic department person verify he attends class. If that’s true then you’ve got a junior skipping class knowing he’s going to get busted. Mind’s on draft and not next year. It hurts for me to type this, but enjoy the last 6 games of Mike Goodson in maroon and white. We let a legit Heisman Trophy contender waste away. Thanks Fran and Sherm. Both of you talked about utilizing him but you never really did. Nice work.

Offense:

  • Although we never got to see it, Mike Goodson = Stud. Sherman suspended him for a legitimate reason but I think his not playing in the 1st quarter cost us the game. You had a defense just asking to get gashed on the ground and we didn’t have our main offensive weapon for some 20 minutes. By then we were playing from behind and couldn’t establish the run. Mike did have some pretty good runs on sweeps where he just showed his speed and cutting/cornering ability. We did run a few options his way and they now need to be stricken from the playbook. I think this is one of the areas where Sherman needs to understand the college game. These aren’t professionals that get hit in the pocket when they screw up. I’m sure Goodson was pissed standing on the sidelines in the 1st quarter but it probably didn’t phase him at the end of the day. What Sherm, Cromwell, and Jordan need to do is incent the kid to go to class so he understands what missing a quarter means. It’s a completely different mindset. Discipline is fine, but motivation is important with key guys. Don’t baby them but give them a little extra motivation. Goodson should have been salivating all week knowing he was going to bust 100+ yards and at least two TDs against KSU. That’s why he needed to go to class.
  • Jerrod Johnson became the first Aggie QB to exceed 400 yards in a game. The kid still has a long ways to go but there are moments that take your breath away. It’s what he does. The kid is exactly what this offense needs right now. He stands tall, steps up, and can buy time with his feet while still looking to pass. He’s getting much better about realizing when to run and when to keep buying time. In all honesty, he’s the only chance of Sherm being able to keep his job long term. I hope Sherm realizes this at this point. Look at practice all you want but this kid is a gamer. When the lights and pressure are on he’s ALWAYS looking to move the ball. ALWAYS. Not many people have that inherent talent but he does. Don’t get me wrong in that he missed a few passes (mainly one to Cyrus Gray) but he also completed a couple of passes that could have never been completed by anyone else. Let’s also not forget JJ is the likely reason we have two wins and not one due to that win over UNM.
  • LOOK EVERYONE!!!!! It’s Howard Morrow. Remember him!?!?!?!? He’s not only back but he has a sleeve on his left arm. He’s very fashion forward these days. He mad a hellacious catch on a ball that JJ laid out a bit too far but Morrow extended out parallel with the ground and hauled it in. Not many people can do that but Morrow can. Morrow actually got a lot more playing time as the game progressed and looked decent although JJ never really looked his way much. Morrow did have a nice block on Tannehill’s garbage time TD so it’s good to see him using that Fran training. Let’s hope he keeps developing as Fuller, Tannehill, Morrow, and J. McCoy could be solid next season. Yes, everything is about next season at this point.
  • Jeff Fuller is a beast and JJ loves him so. JJ has complete confidence in this kid and is not afraid to lay it out there when he’s in single coverage. I don’t blame him one bit. Fuller still needs to work on securing the ball upon catching it, but this kid is going to be outstanding. He and JJ are probably going to set all kinds of passing and receiving records by the time they’re gone. I’m okay with that.
  • I’m not sure what to think on the offensive line. The starters look like a MASH unit and I think their backups are actually playing better. Schneider, Grimes, and Shumard all came out at some points during the game. Poor Grimey was feeling it in the second quarter of the game and couldn’t even stand up during that extended KSU/A&M synchronized time out in the second quarter. Kudos to all of those guys playing hurt but when you can’t stand up in the second quarter and are still playing we’ve got issues. I really think at this point you give those guys two weeks off to get healthy and get these other youngsters some OJT and see what they can do. Right now the current starters are not really helping anyone due to their injuries. I know there’s no depth there but let them heal. Kevin Matthews may not be an NFL prospect but he’s got the best technique on the line and knows how to read a defense. Let’s hope the others can learn from him.
  • Our tackles get their own bullet point because they’re pretty damn bad. They get smoked something fierce and they need to learn just run the DEs or LBs and not even try to engage them. The actual best block occurred when one of our tackles was bull rushed and fell down taking the DE with him. Hey, whatever works. That might just be further proof we need to learn to chop block better. Maybe Howard Morrow and his sleeve can run some clinics this week.
  • We burned K.J. Williams shirt this weekend so we might as well get him some real OJT. Ja. McCoy won’t ever be a true TE so it’s time to find out if K.J. has any promise. Kind of wished we could have done it earlier but I guess Sherm held out some promise he could cobble together six wins and keep some people shirted. Now it’s all best are off and it’s time for shirts to be burned.

Defense:

  • Remember how I normally gush about Joe Kines pitching to contact? Well, he was throwing meat balls this entire game. That whole defensive debacle was on him. We were so afraid of Josh Freeman’s arm that I don’t think he ever once worried about the running game. Credit to Ron Prince and his staff for seeing our weakness on film which is getting gashed between the tackles. I didn’t track it every play but almost every time we were in a 3 man front they ran the ball between the tackle. Whenever we had a four man front they threw the ball. I’m sorry Joe but you can’t beat any team in America when you’re letting them gash you for 4-5 yards a carry.
  • KSU scored their first three TD on drives of 81, 93, and 47 yards. They totaled 27 plays in those three drives for an average per play of 8.2 yards and chewed up 15:14 of the first half just on those three drives.
  • Statistically, this was just a HORRIBLE game. They averaged 4.6 yards per carry on 47 carries and Josh Freeman was 21-26 through the air averaging 9.0 yards per attempt and 11.1 yards per completion. The longest run was 15 yards and the longest pass was for 32 yards so in reality they just chewed us up and spit us out.
  • Based on the stats, no one really stood out individually. Arkeith Brown had a nice pass defense, Tony Jerod-Eddie had a nice pressure, and Lucas Patterson had a nice play where slipped the linemen to fill a gap. We did have a few decent sacks but I don’t remember it being due to individual effort as much as it was for team effort.
  • We burned Billy Chavis’ shirt for this season so we have that going for us.
  • I’m not going to go on because it was just a horrible day defensively. Not sure why the offense and defense can’t synch up but just it’s not happening.

What I want to see for the Tech game is the exact same offense we saw on Saturday with a little more Goodson from the beginning to chew up some TOP and keep the defense off the field as much as possible. Joe Ganz of Nebraska was 36 of 44 against Tech on Saturday with one crucial pick in OT so you know they can be passed on. I would run a boat load of sweeps to stretch the field and then let JJ do his thing. If we don’t score 30 on Tech then I’ll consider this game a complete failure offensively.

Defensively, Boxcar Joe has to run a 4-2-5 in my mind. With Baron Batch, Mike Leach is committed to the run now more than ever. If we continue to run our 3-3-5 then we’ll get gashed just like KSU did to us. Featherston has to either fill the gap on a running play or look to cover crossing routes if it’s a pass. He just needs to play zone defense like a center in basketball. If someone comes in your area you make them pay. Von Miller has to be moved around and looking to shoot those wide splits. He can’t really cover in space so pin his ears back and let him go. Make your corners play closer because Von is going get there in a hurry. I also bring up Alton Dixon on occasion just for a different look.

From a defensive back standpoint the safeties have to play the receiver and not the ball. As soon as the ball is in the air, find the receiver and go look to punish them and don’t worry about making a play on the ball unless you absolutely know you can catch it or get in front. I think you have to have Arkeith Brown playing three yards off Crabtree with an inside shade to limit him coming inside and using the sideline as your friend. Mix up man and safety help so the Tech offense is never sure what’s coming. Easier said than done but beating this Tech offense is all about confusion since it’s such a read based offense.

Joe Kines has beat this offense before and I believe he can do it again. I do believe it’s entirely possible that we could beat Tech in a 35-28 shootout like Nebraska almost did. Nebraska is not a very good team and the Belini (sic) brothers found a way to slow them down at home. I watch that game a ton in addition to how OSU shut down Mizzou this past weekend to see what was done to slow down these spread offenses.

I’m not saying we do win as I’m actually guessing that our offense sputters early and Tech gets a couple quick scores and then the route is on. I’m actually thinking of a 45-21 beat down.

A Look at the Second Year Coaches Currently in the AP Top 25

Nick Saban (Alabama):

Prev. Season – 6-6

1st year – 7-6 (Bowl Win)

Conf: 4-4

Wins – Vandy, Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Tennessee

Arkansas and Vandy on the road are solid wins. They clobbered Tennessee 41-17 at home which is a huge win. Ole Miss was in the last year of the Ed Orgeron show so nothing major there.

Losses – UGA, LSU, Miss. St., and Auburn

UGA was a three point loss in OT at home and the others are within 7 points. Not bad losses in my book. No embarrassing conference losses.

Non-Conf: 3-2 (Bowl Win)

Wins – Western Carolina and UH in regular season and Colorado in their bowl game.

Opened up the Saban Era with a blowout 52-6 win over Western Carolina and held off UH by 6 at home. Beat CU by 6 in Shreveport.

Losses – Fla. St. on the road and ULa-Monroe at home.

The ULaMo loss is pretty suspect but both losses were both at 7 points.

Overall Thought – Not a stellar record but every loss was within 7 points and beat some decent teams in Tennessee and Arkansas in conference. Due to the closeness of the losses you can definitely point to something brewing. We all know how 2008 is going so no need to comment.

Butch Davis (North Carolina):

Prev. Season – 3-9

1st year – 4-8 (No Bowl)

Conf: 3-5

Wins – Miami, Maryland, and Duke

Miami and Maryland are nice wins but they did have to take Duke to overtime.

Losses – UVA, Va. Tech, Wake Forest, NC State, and Ga. Tech

All of their losses were within 7 points with the exception of a 27 point loss on the road to Wake Forest. UVA and Ga. Tech were within 2 points.

Non-Conf: 1-3

Wins – James Madison

23 point win at home to open the Butch Davis era.

Losses – East Carolina, South Florida, and South Carolina

East Carolina and South Carolina were within 6 points and they got blown out by 27 in Tampa.

Overall Thought – Not a stellar record but only had 2 blowouts by more than 7 and both were on the road to pretty good teams in Wake Forest and South Florida. Record is not good but they were competitive in all but 2 games. In 2008 their only loss is a 3 point loss to Va. Tech with nice wins over Miami and Rutgers on the road and UConn and Notre Dame at home. They’re sitting at 5-1 and will likely go better than 8-4 and possibly 10-2.

Mike Dantonio (Mich. State):

Prev. Season – 4-8

1st year – 7-6 (Bowl Loss)

Conf: 3-5

Wins – Indiana, Purdue, and Penn St.

Blew out Indiana by 25 at home, thumped Purdue by 17 on the road, and beat Penn St. at home by 4.

Losses – Wisconsin, Northwestern, Ohio State, Iowa, and Michigan

All of their losses were within 7 points including a 24-17 loss in Columbus to Ohio State. Loss to Wisconsin by 3 in Madison. All loses were on the road except a 7 point overtime loss to Northwestern at home.

Non-Conf: 4-1 (Bowl loss)

Wins – UAB, Bowling Green, Pitt, and Notre Dame

37 point win at home to open the Mike Dantonio era. Beat Bowling Green at home by 11 and Pitt at home by 4. Went on the road to beat Notre Dame by 17. Opened up the season by going 4-0.

Losses – Boston College

Lost by 3 to ACC runner up Boston College who had a 1st round draft pick under center.

Overall Thought – Opened up 4-0 in non-conference including wins over name programs in Pitt and ND. Blew out their first opponent at home. Conference record is a bit suspect but they had some tough road games even if it is the Big 10 but they were competitive in all of them losing by less than 7. In 2008, they’re 5-1 with a loss at Cal by 7 points to open the season. We’ll find out a lot about them this week with a home game against Ohio St. and then closing out the season at Penn St. A lot of games left to play but they control their own destiny to win the Big 10 as they’ve already matched their conference win totals from last season in the first 3 conference games.

Okie State Game Thoughts

I was able to watch the OkSU game through the magic of the Interweb and surprisingly got a much better feel for what took place than listening to the soothing sounds of Dave and Dave. We’re going to call this game the watered down Sex Panther game. It’s like Shem and Co. took the Miami game and only made it work every time 30% to 40% of the time. There were definitely some positives from the game but there’s even more negatives in my mind.

I’m going to call this game a 7-14 point win by OkSU. We definitely gifted them some points but they didn’t play as good as the score suggested and we didn’t play as bad. They did beat us fair and square by 7-14 points though. No way a few breaks here and there let us win that game. We got beat plain and simple.

OkSU is a pretty formidable team but they’re definitely not on the level of OU, tu, or Missouri. They might be just slightly below Kansas and Tech as I don’t think Tech has really played anyone to test them yet. Based on what I saw I do think we can go 6-6 if we can ever get that Sex Panther up to 80% of the game.

Let’s get to the specifics of the game:

Special Teams:

  • Starting off with these guys because they were HOR-EN-DUS outside of a couple of things.
  • I’d said it before and I’m going to say it again that if Jordan Pugh really is our best punt returner then we’re hosed. I don’t know if he’s being coached to stay away from the ball but he’s definitely not willing to go into traffic and call for a fair catch. Maybe he just doesn’t know how to position himself but whatever it is it’s removing any threat of a return we might have..
  • Coverage and tackling is still really bad so I don’t know what’s going on there. I think Kirk Doll needs to channel his inner Frank Beamer and get this thing going.
  • The two great things I saw were that we got to the punter a couple of times and did it in a great manner. We tested their splits and blocking on the first punt and got fairly close. On the second punt we pulled off and then on the third punt we had a flat out jail break. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to the ball but wound up getting to the punter. Surprisingly, we didn’t maul the guy and only got a 5 yard penalty. Sadly, all they needed was 4 ½ for the first down so they did get that. I was actually really pissed listening to the radio as I thought it was just lack of discipline but when you’re going for the ball in that manner incidental contact happens sometimes so I’m okay with that. I’m just glad we took the chance considering how we were down. Honestly, if we get that it could have swung the game. They still win but it would have been much more competitive.

Offense:

  • Guess what goes here? That’s right – Michael Goodson = STUD. Remember when he outran the Miami defense? Well, he blew the damn doors off the OkSU defense. He didn’t really get a chance to establish himself outside of that as we pretty much abandoned a consistent running game but he looked good a few times. I still believe he’s the most explosive player in the Big XII and I mean that. Maclin is pretty special but Goodson is truly Reggie Bush like. In that Mizzou offense he’d be leading the Heisman talk.
  • I believe Whitney Houston said it best when she sang, “I believe that Jerrod Johnson is our future. Teach him well and let him lead the way.” He definitely had more bad moments than good but he’s the only shot we have at six wins this season. He does something we haven’t seen in a long time and that’s make teams pay for blitzing. He stands tall in the pocket and delivers the ball before getting hit. OkSU actually pulled off blitzing a lot of time which actually hurts JJ. He does much better when teams are loading up as he sees its, reads it, and knows where single coverage is. He simply delivers the ball right before contact. His throws aren’t always on the mark but the kid is fearless through the air. He’s still got a long ways to go but when he has those moments where he moves the ball you just smile because he actually got the better of the defense. Keep on keeping on, JJ. We need you out there getting some serious OJT.
  • Fuller needs to work on securing the ball but the kid is a stud. He and JJ pitching and catching are the future of this program offensively.
  • Tannehill made a few great catches. He, Fuller, and JJ are going to be pretty formidable for a couple of years.
  • The offensive line actually did a pretty decent job of blocking. They still got burned and vapor locked a few times but they were picking up blitzes and knew their assignments. They did get shuffled in the second half as it looked like Matthews and Vince Williams were running guard with Brian Thomas snapping the ball. Not sure if that was due to injuries or what. Either way, they looked decent but the OkSU defense is not that solid. Still, maybe this group can hold their own against KSU, ISU, CU, and Baylor.
  • I love Jamie McCoy but the kid still has problems blocking. I can relate to him because I played TE in high school and often went up against DEs that were 30-40 pounds more than me. My coach told me I was never going to dominate them so just engage them as long as I could. McCoy still has issues engaging people at times but he’s giving it all he has. He actually did decent a few times but there were also a few times he just missed his guy. He’s such a great receiver that you take the negative and hope he just gets better at engaging people. He’s definitely working at it but he has problems.
  • Good to see the Train worked into various packages. I don’t know if the FB experiment is over but he played tailback and did what the Train does. I’m actually hoping he gets his TD record this weekend and it energizes him for the rest of the season. He actually did decent on blitz pick up a few times as well as catching the ball out of the backfield. It’ll be interesting to see how he gets used going forward.

Defense:

  • Once again, Joe Kines pitched to contact in the first half. He knew OkSU’s reads and positioned our guys perfectly for the most part. OkSU does that crap where the coach reads the defense and then signals in the play. Kines had his defense adjusting after the call and usually had the play sniffed. Gundy adjusted in the second half and we didn’t do nearly as well. Still, for a half Joe Kines did all he could.
  • The goal line stand was a thing of beauty. BIG credit to the defense on that one.
  • We suffer big time from cut backs and the zone read. We’re so hell bent on attacking the ball that we lose contain really easily when someone cuts back. We’re also so bent for the ball that our outside guys go after the play action leaving the outside wide open for the QB most of the time on a zone read. Sure that’s what the zone read is built to do but you need to confuse the QB just a tad and we’re not doing it at all.
  • We still need help on tackling head up. We like to tackle from the side and from behind just like I like shooting dove. Doves are pretty safe coming straight at me just like offensive ball carriers against the Aggie defense. They’ll get better but they’re just lacking it right now. Me, I’m still not getting better about dove coming at me.
  • Jordan Pugh and Arkeith Brown need to be our starting corners. I’m not going to completely bash a player but someone got burned pretty bad on simple routes by Dez Bryant. Sure, you’re a little on edge covering someone like Dez but this person just whiffed a couple of times and doesn’t bring anything else from a run support standpoint. Arkeith is going to vapor lock sometimes but I think he has more raw talent than the person I won’t name from both a coverage and run support standpoint.
  • Trent Hunter can flat out stick. I don’t know how well he can cover but he’s easily the best tackler on our team and tackler we’ve probably seen in 5-6 years. He’s going to have an outstanding four year career I believe.
  • The tackles still aren’t getting a great push up front. I don’t really expect it out of Patterson because he’s so sound technique wise but the other guys aren’t disrupting much. It looks like Tony Jerod-Eddie has pretty much displaced Kellen Heard as the other starter. It’s disappointing as Heard has so much talent but he’s just not delivering consistently.
  • The defensive ends did fine except for not realizing when the QB was keeping the ball but that was mainly due to the fact the QB reads the DE and we were hell bent on crashing on the RB so the QB kept knowing the DE wouldn’t be out there.
  • Our LBs are still a major work in progress. Anthony Lewis actually saw a lot of time so I don’t know what lead to that but the kid does hold lots of promise. Von Miller is still learning to play in space. Garrick Williams looked okay but definitely nothing special. Hopefully these guys get better and have solid years next season.

I posted it already but I really think at worst Sherm has to win one of KSU or CU at home and then one of ISU or Baylor on the road. Ideally Baylor as Briles beating Sherm could really hurt recruiting wise. I think best case is that we beat KSU, ISU, CU, and Baylor. There’s not a chance in Hades we’re beating Tech, OU, or the sips. Just not going to happen. 6-6 is the best hope we have right now.

I’m excited for Saturday as I do think we can pull it off and get to six wins. Will we? I don’t know but we’re going to find out a lot on Saturday.

Good Weekend of College Football Watching

Two weeks ago I had a great weekend of college football watching that I’m looking to replicate this weekend.

That weekend my wife and I left Cold Fort Worth Beer around 8:00 a.m. and headed to the A&M/Army game.  Afterwards we busted out of Aggieland and were back in Fort Worth around 5:45.  Headed to a bar near the TCU campus to watch OU/TCU coupled with UGA/BAMA and Va. Tech/Neb.

This weekend holds even more promise as I’m headed out of Cold Fort Worth Beer around 8:00 to get to a tailgate and watch the first half of the sips and Sooners.  Then it’s off to Kyle to catch the Ags battle KSU.  Afterwards I’m busting out again to get back to CFWB by 7:00 to catch UF/LSU and OSU/Mizzou at the previously referenced TCU area bar.

There’s nothing like college football and cold beer.  Good thing it’s actually seasonal or I might be dead of liver failure already.