from Colonel Mustard
To me the two worst turnovers were Davis on the punt and Horne in the second quarter; they were momentum changers. But special-team blunders hurt all night, including the fake field goal that Downing said they anticipated.
On offense, we will start with the positives. Horne had the hot hand and was picking his way though the defense. We should have kept him in the game. Kriewald is your fullback. The ISO is a staple of ours since 1969 and worked again because of the lead blocking. Lord had a solid game until his 4th-quarter meltdown. He didn't lose the game, but he cost us a chance to come back and win it. LeFlore now gives us 3 good receivers, and as long as we stuck to it, the power running game worked. But it is hard to overcome 8 illegal-procedure penalties; there is no excuse for that. After LeFlore's TD, Barney went back to the same play 5 more times. That many mistakes is poor concentration and poor coaching. But on the whole the offense scored enough to win most of our games.
The defense was on its heels all night because of the turnovers. This game unmasked our weakness in the front 4's pass rush. We didn't create pressure and let the only guy who could beat us, do it. Crashing in on the bootlegs all night and never adjusting. I am shocked that Bo didn't attack the pocket. We were also plagued by poor positioning and poor tackling on numerous occasions The defense was the most disappointing because they had been so much improved. I figured that we were past all this.
This was '02 all over again -- mistakes and falling apart with the game on the line. Some of this has to be attributed to leadership on the team. It seems that we still lack mental toughness. As I said last year, you must also look at the coaching with the number of mistakes this late in the season. I am still squarely behind this staff and believe that they will figure it out. I still believe that the team is headed in the right direction, although this is a setback. I think that the staff is greatly improved, though the jury is still out on Barney.
What is next? We have 2 home games to bounce back, and then we must win 3 of the last 4 to win the north. We must beat K-State to get there. I had hoped to be done writing columns like this but clearly I am not. We need to enjoy every win for the rest of the year because they won't be easy to come by. We need to get back on track -- Frank is running out of streaks to break.
Keep the faith. GBR.
-- The Colonel