The straight scoop
from Colonel Mustard
Oct. 7, 2002
That was an interesting week that didn't turn out the way I expected it to. This game really proves nothing, but it sure can't hurt our confidence -- although you don't want to see the starters in the almost to the finish against a 1-AA team. We will discuss both sides of the ball, but one general comment is that I wish that we would have played more reserves after it was established that we weren't going to lose. The final score didn't matter for rating points. So I felt we missed an opportunity and risked injury with guys like Groce and Bland playing at the end of a 24-point win. That is the least of our problems, but it doesn't appear we will get many opportunities to play the young guys later in the year.
On defense we still struggle to generate a pass rush, and Kelsay's injury didn't help. They had a clever offensive system and ran some sets I hadn't seen before. Bland was all over the field and Johnson is a big improvement over Adams. Bullocks wasn't on the field for a great period of time, so we will see about him. Washington was beaten on a couple of double moves but he is learning and will get better. Overall the defense looked about the same as it has been this year. We did an ok job against an inferior opponent. Hollowell and Sievers are too good to not play more. I believe that the evolution of getting the best players on the field is not over. We held a well-coached team with some playmakers to 350 yards and 14 points -- that was OK but no breakthrough.
It tells how far we have fallen, that we gain confidence by hanging 38 on a 1-AA team with our first team playing virtually the whole game. We gained a ton of yards and got a great deal of quality work in on our play-action passes. The TE re-appeared. We now have a nice combination of receivers with Thomas the emergence of Pilkington, LeFlore, Bowling , Herian and Ringenberg. This area has become a strength. We still have a lot of trouble with the power running game. Horne is quick, fast, decisive and is fun to watch. However, I don't know what he adds to the mix that Ross didn't provide. Either way right now we need everyone who might contribute. Working on the play-action was a good part of the play-calling. We ran the illegal formation for two plays, and one was a big gainer and we never went back to it. I was frustrated at the end of the third quarter. We were 1st and goal at the 2. They didn't cover Garrison and 2 sneaks and we are in. But we run off-tackle and then wide. And on third and 5, Lord throws a flat fade route to Thomas out of bounds. We settle for 3. It didn't matter Saturday, but it will in the future. Lord is a great athlete playing QB. He has running skills and throws a nice ball. My problems with him are that we doesn't take care of the ball and has no field vision. He constantly misses open people and throws into coverage. He easily could have had 2 or 3 more picked off. On our first drive of each half, Lord missed a receiver who was alone. On the first occasion he ran, and on the 2nd he threw into coverage. He must at least stop throwing to covered receivers, even if he misses open ones.
We will discuss the QB situation later in the week, but I am not sure we will ever know the whole story. Mizzou this week should be a great game. We need Kelsay healthy. Do you suppose that Gage will be flanked to the right all day?
Saturday's game proved nothing good or bad, but this week should tell
us a lot.