The straight scoop
from Colonel Mustard
Sept. 4, 2000
Well I made it to my 38th home opener and saw a great offense and a defense
that needs work. Our team was playing San Jose State and knew it. We didn't
just go thru the motions, but there was little emotion.
The offense scored when it wanted to. Crouch was even quicker than last year.
Several times a play succeeded because the ball was in the hands of our best
athlete. He was not crisp throwing, he was lobbing the ball. But that will
come. Our line looked to be everything that we hoped. They blew huge holes
in the Spartans. All of this must be tempered by the fact that we were
playing a bad defense. We didn't show anything new, which is good. But we
did use the offset I a lot, a formation that I don't care for. A neat
play that we ran was when our giant wingback, Hasselbroek, came in motion
and led into the hole like the pros do with the H-back. Frank called a good
game. When the Spartans widened their LBs outside the tackles he ran inside
them. Lord is a big, tall, good-looking QB. His build reminds you of Grant.
I hope that isn't a bad sign. He runs well but he throws mechanically. I
would have liked to see more of the young I-backs. Buckhalter and
Alexander are both solid guys, but ol' Dan gets tripped by anyone who hits
him below the knees, and Buckhalter still lacks the burst. Having said all that,
our offense looked unstoppable.
On defense our corners did a good job in coverage and are the best part of
the D. We missed a ton of tackles. But defense is all about effort and we
played a workmanlike game. This could easily change with this week's
emotional game. Our line seemed vulnerable but they are playing with
injuries. This is an area that must improve. Our LBs and safeties were
struggling to get lined up correctly. A lot of arm-waving on the field.
The D will get better and is truly a work in progress. The Spartans would
have scored more if not for their own errors. They had a good scheme and
All in all this game was about what we expected. NOW it is time to talk
about ND. Your humble correspondent will be there and will file a story right
after the game. So check the site. This is an experence of a lifetime for
me. I only wish that my father was alive to join me -- he would have loved this.
ND played OK against a fair to middlin' A&M. This is a game that we should
win easily. They want to fire their coach and we have a much better team.
But this game makes me nervous. Maybe i think that the Gipper will beat us
or something. This is a great chance to play big game on maybe the biggest
stage in college sports. I am so excited to go I can't stand it.