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 The straight scoop
 from Colonel Mustard

 

Nov. 4, 2002

Well, that was a great game. As my dad used to say, a great game if you didn't care who won. This game should dispell any thoughts that we don't have talent on our team. we played toe-to-toe with one of the most talented teams in the country. Execution mistakes on offense and special teams and a lack of a pass rush out of too passive a scheme cost us the game. But our team showed heart and twice mounted comebacks. For the first time after a loss this year, it feels like the old days -- disappointed and discussing how a close game against a good team might have turned out differently, instead of why did we play so poorly.

I agree with Frank to go for the pass in the end zone at the end of the game. You have to try and win the game when you have the chance. If the pass had been a TD, I don't think anyone would be saying well, we won, but we really should have kicked the FG and played overtime. A field goal was no sure thing anyway. We had one blocked and another botched already and they blocked a FG to beat K-State. I disagree with Shatel -- this one is on Lord. If he can't be trusted to throw the ball away if someone is not wide open, why is he out there? That is the last thing you tell him before the play starts. Lord not only threw into double coverage, but short of the end zone.

On offense it came down to execution and Frank's continued refusal to stick to what is working. They couldn't stop the option and our power running game all night. But we messed around out of the shotgun when any option from under center in any set was working. We blow down the field in the illegal formation in 15-yard chunks and then go to the power-I and get stopped. We missed two 4th-and-1s when Diedrick dived too soon and Lord ignored a open gap and ran option on another. But overall we moved the ball very well on good defense and produced approximately 50% more offense against the two best defenses that we have played. Lord as he usually does had some very nice runs, and his pass to Herian was a thing of beauty. It wasn't good, it was perfect. All in all an encouraging performance.

Our defense was too passive against a passing team. If Mack had been smart he could have thrown for 600 yards on us. The hook and comeback routes were there all night. He decided to keep giving to Benson and that helped. Maybe Mack has a deal with Benson's agent that he has to get so many carries. Groce wasn't himself and George's coaching them not to look for the ball didn't help. Clanton made a great play in the fourth quarter -- I have been his critic, so I want to give him credit. The lack of pass rush made our zone scheme totally ineffective. And as usual we didn't adjust and Texas did. The best example of that is the bootleg pass to Williams. It was open five times and finally Bohl got our Williams to cover him. So on the next boot they dragged their tight end across and he was wide open. Again, we may not have the talent on D that we have had in the past, but they are not being given their best chance to succeed. This was a disappointing performance.

The bottom line is that in the big picture this was a positive for the program. It showed the team that when they are properly motivated and even given fair scheme they can play with anyone in the country. We lost because Lord had two turnovers to one for Simms, and we didn't execute on the field goals and had too passive a scheme on defense. But these things can all be fixed. Frank played to win and I can't fault him for that. I am more encouraged about our team after this game.

Maybe the best news we received this weekend was that Steele got fired. Byrne should have been on the phone as soon as he heard that. He won't be cheap, but we have to have him no matter what he costs. In a single stroke we would be on the road back to the top. Keep the faith -- we have a good team. GBR.


 
-- The Colonel