The straight scoop
from Colonel Mustard
Jan. 23, 2006
Our team showed a lot of heart in the Michigan game. It appeared that we wanted this game a great deal more than Michigan did. That is why bowl games are so hard to predict, due to the motivation factor. We were excited to be in this bowl and Michigan was disappointed to be there. I thought our defense played an excellent game. They kept us in the game when Zac started throwing to the wings and not our guys. Our defensive line was particularly impressive. McKeon has become a star, and the remaining linebackers had a fine game in spite of injuries and lack of game experience. Our DB's were beaten a few times by their great athletes, but that is just going to happen. I believe the defense was the most important factor in our ability to win the game.
Zac was extremely courageous and is an excellent leader.H e is a streaky passer but some of that is due to poor protection. The line had problems with pass protection but an excellent job of run blocking. Our ability to run the ball against a fine defense was a pleasant surprise. Ross showed what he can do when he is healthy. The running was effective whenever we employed it. For some reason Bill got Frank disease and went away from what was working. We scored early and late in the game when we stuck with the run. Mysteriously we almost exclusively went to the pass in the 2nd and 3rd quarters and sputtered. I didn't understand the play-calling for long stretches of the game, but we made plays when we needed them.
We won the last three games, and that should provide momentum into the off-season. We beat a bad K-State team in an ugly game. Then we destroyed a Vermin team that something was clearly wrong with. Right now any win is a good win, but the bowl was the most encouraging. It says a lot to beat a team with that much talent no matter how motivated they were. The heart that we displayed in the 4th-quarter comeback speaks well of the players and the coaches.
The recruiting class is solid, providing a top 20 finish in the ratings. The class is too JUCO heavy for my liking. At some point the classes need to be very heavy on high school players and a few need-position JC's. Hiring Watson was excellent — he is extremely well thought of. He is head-coaching timber and a great recruiter. Bill's job is to take the program to the next level through a tough schedule next year.
Keep the faith. GBR.