We said a few days ago that Friday we would have answers. They may not be answers we like, they may not be answers we wanted to hear, but they were answers all the same. Suffice to say that most of the answers this morning are far from positive, but most everyone knew there was going to be some growing pains this season. I just don’t think anyone expected those pains to be so painful so early.
The biggest concern for the offense this year was the offensive line. And while the space eaters up front certainly weren’t dominating or impressive, there is plenty of blame to go around. Let’s get that out of the way… the offensive line wasn’t dominant in any aspect, gave Kelly Page no time to throw, and opened no consistent lanes for Quale Lewis. Kelly Page had happy feet in the pocket, rolled out almost immediately, and overthrew several wide open receivers. The receivers weren’t sure handed and explosive, either, creating no separation. The defense was largely responsible for the lackluster effort as the North Texas option read left many confused and in over-pursuit. The secondary gave huge cushions to the receivers, looked lost occasionally, and aside from Sean Baker’s pick in the end zone, provided no big plays. The D line and linebackers didn’t consistently pressure Riley Dodge in the pocket, nor did they shut down the run, shed blocks, or not get pushed around. McGarvey missed a wide open field goal that would have made it a 1 possession game in the 4th, and freshman Eric Williams fumbled in the fourth, which led to a UNT field goal. Hell, even the student section left a little to be desired as the boobirds showed up at halftime.
Now… on to the good. Quale was Quale. 103 and a TD on only 15 carries. Here’s hoping that in future games, Stan realizes he has a running back capable of dominating games and will rely on him rather than a first year QB in his first start. 15 carries for Lewis was simply inexcusable.
Adding injury to insult, quite literally, TE Madaris Grant left the game in the first quarter with an ACL issue with his knee. It’s unknown whether that’s a season ender or not, but it is the turd cherry on our giant shit sundae. Also, statistically, nothing was positive for the Cards. They were dominated in conversion attempts, time of possession, total yards, you name it.
The thing to remember for these Cards is there is no way to go but up. After playing arguably their worst game that I’ve seen in several years, they only lost by 10. That isn’t the end of the world. The freshmen will grow up, Page will get better, and hopefully the entire team will use this as motivation to succeed. If they sit back and look at it as a fluke, if Stan doesn’t change his game plan, if the fans give up, then it’s going to be a long long year for this team, these fans, and these players. Let’s not let that happen. In 9 days they get New Hampshire, an FCS opponent, which should be good for confidence and swagger. God help us if we lose that one.
(1-5 Stans, 1 being happy as a Matlock marathon
5 being like Marsh ran out of Metamucil)
The opening Stan-O-Meter starts off with a record level. The good news for Coach P is that next week the Cardinals get UNH, and the almost virtual certainty that the Stan-O-Meter will drop at least a little.