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The straight scoop from
Colonel Mustard

Oct. 11, 2004

I hope that is rock-bottom. Out-coached, out-athleted, out-schemed — there was no good news from this game. I would never dreamed it could be this bad. We were smashed by a fair team. Played incredibly passive defense and ignored a running game that was working. Changed QBs late to a kid who hadn't played and, as I feared and expressed in earlier columns, perhaps damaged Joe's confidence. This was a very poorly coached game — there is other way to say it. Bill has a terrific challenge in front of him. This is the kind of defeat that can ruin a season. We were way overmatched by a team that had no business overmatching our team.

In fairness, I think Bill's plan unraveled when Adams was injured. He needed a QB who knew how to run this offense. There is no defending the lack of execution that leads us to score 3 points in 20 minutes of first-half possession time. Joe is going to complete 50% of his throws with a 10% interception rate. With a half season in the books, this is a statistical fact. If Bill leaves the game in his hands, this is what we can expect. There is no one else, as Saturday showed, so we sink or swim with Joe. Bill obviously is going to keep throwing, so fasten your seat belts.

The defense is a huge disappointment. As I said before the season, I thought that Cosgrove was a curious hire. His Wisconsin defense that was middle of the Big 10 is now a top 5 group nationally. With eight starters returning, our defense looks passive and unmotivated. Our players were given a very poor game plan and therefore put in a very bad spot. Clearly we need better athletes, particularly up front. But to let ol' Sonny stand back there for 7 seconds is not a recipe for success.

As I have said before, we need to give Bill a chance and let him bring in his own players to run his system. But his lack of flexibility on offense to mold his system to the players' strengths, poor special-teams execution, and a dreadful defensive game plan does not embolden one with confidence. Sorry this so short, but this is all too depressing to discuss any further.

Keep the faith (no matter how hard it is). GBR.
-- The Colonel



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