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MAC Roundtable: Week 4

MacRoundTableAdmittedly, the MAC blogosphere has been an evolving little gem over the last several years. I guess as the MACtion on the field hit fever pitch, the MACtion on the web stepped up their game as well. What has also evolved is the MAC Roundtable. It’s not like King Arthur’s with turkey legs and wenches running around in corsets, because let’s be honest: turkey legs are a gigantic pain in the ass to eat and the service region for the MAC doesn’t lend itself well to females capable of squeezing into anything other than a giant rubbermaid trash can (Exception: the state of Indiana and BSU specifically). Have you seen some of the slumpbusters from Michigan and Ohio? Gooo. I’d rather spend an evening with a lit piece of sandpaper. But I digress.

This week’s host of the roundtable is one of the patriarchs of the MAC blogosphere (along with us, Falcon Blog, and Red and Black Attack) in LetsGoRockets, your one stop shop for all things Toledo related. You can check them out at the link above, but I know why you’re here. You want, nay NEED, our As to the MAC Roundtable Qs. Well we got what you need.

LGR: Heading into the fourth week of the season, the MAC has two more conference games on the schedule. What do you expect to change as the games start to shift to familiar foes?

OTP: I would think the more familiar you are with an opponent the less time has to be spent starting from scratch, spending massive amount of staff time in a film room, or implementing tremendously different game plans week to week. By this point in the season, most people can kind of tell what they have and more importantly what they don’t. And to be completely frank, the talent gap is much more manageable for MAC teams going forward. Even after their shower fun, Penn State was still just better than EMU once the starters gave way to the second string for spot relief. And that played its way out in the results. Going forward, the drop off in results when your second string is playing opposing MAC schools’ second string is extremely mitigated. Except for UMass. God, those guys suck.

LGR: What has been the most surprising or troubling aspect of your team’s performance through three weeks of the season?

OTP: I think we’ve had a good mix of both, with unfortunately it relating to the same topic. In game one, after Illinois State came out and punched BSU in the mouth, the coaching staff and team sacked up, made adjustments, and prospered after the second half. In-game adjustments were also prevalent in the Army victory, as BSU again used the break to administer a thumping even better than the second quarter. Those sorts of adjustments under the Lembo staff are not uncommon, but to see them so effective was surprisingly good. That is, until North Texas, where the adjustments seemed to be virtually nothing and the effort surprisingly matched. The NT game was ugly in every sense of the word, save for the first quarter. And to have such a rookie underwhelming performance in game three was troubling, surprising, and a whole bunch of other adjectives.

LGR: While football is a team game, sometimes an individual’s contribution can be paramount to the success or contribute to the failure of the team. Who has had the most impact (positively or negatively) for your team?

OTP: The BSU contribution this season in the victories has been a team effort. Obviously Keith Wenning gets the credit and the headlines, but there are so many moving parts in the Lembo system that one breakdown effects everything else. If the offense stalls, the defense suffers with no time to rest. If the defense doesn’t hold, the offense has to push and things can be forced. It’s a dangerous cycle that has only reared its head in ugly fashion once this year, in that abortion of a game in Denton, TX. Having said all that, I’d be lying if I said Keith Wenning and his performance doesn’t mean the most to the Cards. As Wenning goes, so goes the Cards.


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