You know the line punting is winning? We punted only once in the first quarter, and we weren't winning. Maybe there is something to that! Of course, if you turn the ball over several times, you won't win either.
I don't have the final score in this post because I started rewriting frantically with about 8 minutes left to go in the game.
Let's see, what went wrong in this game. There's so much we could go with.
1. The Kevin Prince Pick Parade.
Kevin Prince was annointed the starter, just as I had expected. He threw seven passes, and technically, he was 6-7... except three of those passes were to Texas defenders. His QB rating was negative. That's like getting a F-. And Texas capitalized on those picks, scoring each time.
2. Flag Flying Day.
Every important play, we saw a flag fly.
- Texas is in third and long? Offsides, now it's third and five. Oh look, they convert.
- Sheldon Price grabs some facemask, gets a flag thrown.
- Jonathan Franklin has a nice run in the 2nd quarter, and there is holding.
- Josh Smith has a spectacular run on a kickoff, but we get dinged with holding. That run back was to the 10! We get dragged all the way back to Texas territory.
- Illegal substitution - probably the DUMBEST flag of the day, in that this was thrown AFTER we called timeout, and we still couldn't substitute. WHY?!
3. Inability to capitalize.
- Texas just converted another fourth down as I was writing this on 4th and 2.
- Texas is called for a vicious helmet to helmet hit on Andrew Abbott (who I hope is ok after a few days of rest.) It's 3rd and 18. We should have sacked Case McCoy (who looks a LOT like his brother, it's really creepy) at least six times, and they wind up converting on third down. In case you missed it, it should be the top play on SportsCenter tonight.
Hey there was one good thing in the first half - Jeff Locke hit a 51 yard field goal. Maybe we don't need Tyler Gonazles after all.
More angst, after the jump.
Sheldon Price did not have a good game, to put it mildy, as a ball is thrown his way that he should have picked off winds up being tipped towards a Texas receiver. They score. Of course.
If you want some good things:
1. Jeff Locke has got a LEG. All his PATs and FGs were spectacular - nice and high. I was worried with that kick to end the first half, if it was low and blocked, and Texas running it all the way back for a TD.
2. Remember all those names we heard were spectacular during spring and summer practice? Some of them got to play in a real football game today! Shaquelle Evans has supplanted "Fair Catch" Embree to run back punts, Jordan James got to catch a real football, and even ran on the field a bit. Dietrich Riley forced a fumble and hopefully forced his way permanently into the starting lineup.
3. DERRICK COLEMAN. He scored both of our TDs today by plowing into the end zone. The second TD was spectacular, as it was a third, or possibly fourth effort to get in the end zone.
4. The Rose Bowl was fuller than last week. However, it looked orange tinted.
5. Josh Smith looks good on kickoffs. Texas even learned their lesson and stopped kicking to him. How about that, an adjustment during a football game. I thought we were only allowed to adjust during halftime at basketball games.
Last year, Texas made all the mistakes as we ran all over them. This year, we kinda ran how we wanted, although that stopped once we fell further behind, and we made all the mistakes.
After every game, we will grade the team based on the Eye Test:
1) Is our defense prepared for each and every team we play?
2) Do we call offensive plays to catch our opponents off guard?
3) Do our players look like they know what they should be doing at all times?
4) Do our players play for 60 G-D minutes every game?
5) Do our players execute?
6) Do we have leaders on the field?
EYE TEST TIME! YAY!
1. Ah hell no. After collaborating with my football consultant (aka Mr. Freesia) the defense looks worse than last year.
2. No, we fell too far behind to even consider anything weird. In the first half, we did see a REVERSE (omg, a REVERSE) so there was one bit of originality, but that all went to the wayside once we fell further and further behind.
3. No. The penalties say otherwise.
4. You know, I know the players tried. But they were being out-executed all afternoon long. And it wears on you by the time you get to the fourth quarter.
5. If your name is Derrick Coleman, Josh Smith, or Jeff Locke, yes.
6. No. Brehaut played better than Prince (there really is nowhere to go but up in that regard), but he still isn't a leader. I do not see a leader on offense. I want it to be Derrick Coleman or Joe Fauria. On Defense, I think Westgate tries to be a leader, but it's becoming demoralizing. I want that leader to be Dietrich Riley.
We played ourselves out of that game. Buckle up, this season is going to be long, interesting, and verbose on the part of the frontpagers here at BN.