from Colonel Mustard
A terribly disappointing defeat. I have an almost overwhelming feeling of depression. I take all losses hard, but this one is as bad as Miami in '84 and Texas in '96. We will first address the game itself and then talk about being a fan.
We failed to control the line on defense for the entire game. We were getting no pass rush at all. It took three quarters to get our offense going. The play-calling wasn't great, but the problem was the line. Our passing game was awful. Crouch looked like he had no idea where the ball was going, and the receivers acted confused. The way he has passed lately, I wonder if Crouch isn't hurt. Alexander ran better than I have seen him in the fourth quarter. If he keeps running like that, let's get him the ball 30 times the last two games. I thought that the defense hung in there especially since we couldn't generate a pass rush. We needed to rattle Beasly to win and couldn't. When they pick up third and forever from their own 2, you have trouble.
Frank has a huge task to make sure that his team doesn't quit on him, as the '90 team did on Tom. This team has had something missing all year. I believe that it is a combination of heart and leadership. We don't play with any emotion and are missing our swagger. This game could have long term negative ramifications that we discussed last week. People will start to question Frank, particularly the casual fan. But Frank is our man and we must rally behind him. Sure, he needs to do better and he will. The last thing we should do is start changing coaches. It is easy to be a fan when the team is winning. This is a time when the true fan must support the team. The team needs you more now than when it is winning.
If you are not a zealot fan, then you need not read on. As fans we are constantly struck by the irrationality of it, because you can't make the team win or lose. But if you are a true fan you feel as though you are part of the team. It is this sick feeling I get after a loss that reminds me to remember to enjoy the victories. They will come again soon. I don't know what people who are not passionate about things do with their lives. But if you have passion for things, you will have disappointment. As I first read in '72 after the crushing UCLA loss, it is better to have been #1 and lost than to never have been #1 at all.
-- The Colonel