Bumped (B) - Not everyone is sold on Chow (unlike "Bend and Break" Bullough), but Class of 66 chimes in with some good thoughts (and makes a good case for Chow) following a very tough weekend for Bruin fans everywhere. Fire away in the comment thread with your thoughts, and as always, GO BRUINS.
1. I miss Nestor. It's just not the same without him -- more an issue of tone than content. I miss his unique "voice".
2. That said, the front page guys have done an incredible job of keeping BN strong and vibrant. The "new" voices from our old voices continue to meet the high standard of fact based analysis. The posts on football and basketball have been been complete and incisive.
3. And, the comments in the game day threads have respected the standards set and enforced by Nestor. It seems that, in his honor, we are behaving better.
Now, for a bit of substance.
4. My Mantra for the Year -- has been that we are a young and inexperienced team. A few weeks ago, after we beat Oregon State, I said that we were young, but no longer "inexperienced" in the sense that we had played 10 weeks and our young 'uns were no longer dazzled by the bright lights. I expected more from them as the season wore on, and we are actually seeing sparks of development. Brehaut is clearly maturing and getting better. And, the young receivers, for the most part, are doing the same. Better routes, and a bit more reliable.
5. But, my new mantra is that, by necessity, we are playing too many players who are below 2 on our depth chart. Yesterday's Star News had a list of injured players who were not available. We had 13. ASU had 4. Of our 13, at least 9 would have been starters were they available.
Add to that that we "lost", because of disciplinary action we all applauded, 3 new players who, because of attrition, might have played.
We are playing high stakes poker with few face cards or Aces. Not easy hands to play.
6. I am a strong Norm Chow supporter -- have been all season. I do not want to go backwards and have that debate again, today. However, I cannot see how anyone can criticize his play calling, yesterday. Yet, some do -- knee jerk lumping him in with Bullough as coaches who should be fired, soon.
As Brehaut has developed, the game plan has expanded. We threw 56 passes, often on first down. We ran trick plays -- flea flicker, end around. We converted 8-19 3rd downs, one of our best efforts to date.
We won the meaningless battle of time of possession by 5 minutes.
Bottom line: we scored 34 points and gained 442 yards -- which should be more than enough to win any game in which we play defense.
This loss was not on Chow, in any way.
7. And, as I noted in the thread -- many of the limitations placed on our offensive scheme are limitations imposed by the offensive line. Yet, we correctly honor Palcic for squeezing every ounce or performance out of that line. How can we honor Palcic, whose line is a problem, and then condemn Chow who has to try to scheme around its failures?
8. The Much Criticized Run Into the Middle on 4th and Goal: Although easily defended (if you cannot make a yard in that situation you don't deserve to score) the truth is: The play was not supposed to be a run up the middle. It was supposed to be a leap over the pile in the middle, and that is why we used Franklin not Coleman.
In this mornings Star News, it's reported that CRN told Franklin, before the play, to leap over the pile. Franklin, instead, ran into it.
9. I watched the BSU v. Nevada game last night to get a better sense of what a well loaded Pistol can do. With the right talent, it is an extremely effective offense. BSU has a stout D -- and, once Nevada got rolling, the pistol was very hard to stop. What is the difference between how they run it and how we do? Surprisingly, it's not the number of plays they run out of it. It's the execution of those plays. First, their O line works on both run and pass plays. We will get there. Second, they have the perfect QB for the system -- one whose "deception" really works, and who can both throw and run. I think we are weakest on the decision making, deception ends. But, Brehaut is getting better -- on all fronts. I think our running backs either match or are better than theirs. Theirs have the benefit of better deception and a stronger O line. We will get there. And, their receivers run good routes and catch the ball -- consistently. Last night, I got a good education as to what we can be -- and I saw an incredible game.
10. There is not much to say about our D that has not been said all season. There really is no reason to repeat it here. Bullough was a bad hire -- from the Walker tree -- and the acorn does not fall far from the tree. My sense was that Bullough was hired in an attempt to keep/appease the D recruits Walker had attracted before leaving. Many of us were unhappy with the hire, BUT took the position that "If CRN wants him, we want him". He is totally CRN's responsibility and CRN must deal with him, soon.
11. Our two most talented units have underperformed all year. Before the season most of us felt that the two most talented units on this team were the receivers and D backs. Neither have performed up to expectations. Yesterday, the receivers looked a bit better -- but were still sufficiently inconsistent that I wonder if Moore should not be replaced, soon. Our D backs have not been good -- but out of fairness to them, it is hard to cover for a long time, and our lack of penetration and pressure on the QB has given every QB and receiver more than enough time to succeed.
There is absolutely no reason to keep Bullough. None whatsoever.
Yesterday was as ugly as it can get. I want to beat the trogans and they are very beatable -- if Chow keeps his foot on the throttle, Brehaut continues to grow into the role AND someone else coordinates the defense for our rivalry game.
We will score on sc. But, we cannot beat them if we play D the way we've played all season.
I, for one, will be there. I want to be there to stand and cheer as we reclaim the city.