Well, first off, I am sure most of you who have been faithful readers of the blog have wondered what has been going on or if PLN went offline again. Lets just say the NCAA and I had some differences regarding material free use and free speech. Either way, I did not want my blog to affect my school that I love so dearly, so this is the first post since my post about Devin and Aubree’s tragic death in the Summer. Maybe one day I will go into detail, but onto last night.
As most know, I hail from the Tyler area. I left DFW Friday evening and spent the night with my parents, who live about 30 minutes north of Tyler, so the drive to Nac is not a bad one, its just over 100 miles. My Mom is an SFA graduate school alum and my Dad and I of course are TAMUC Lions. My Mom was unable to make the trip, so it was a Father/Son deal last night which was great. Homer Bryce was a great Stadium to watch a game and it was worth the trip despite what I am about to tear into. So here are 10 agonizing, blood pressure raising, screaming at the walls thoughts regarding last night.
1. Tyrik Rollison was AWFUL last night. TY was bad. He was worse than bad. Its one thing when a QB has no time to throw and makes mistakes due to that, but that was not the case last night. He made bone headed decision after bone headed decision. Did the thought of rolling out of the pocket and just getting rid of the stupid ball ever enter that head of his? He refused to run, overshot REC’s, underthrew his screens and short routes, He completed about 55 percent of his passes. After the first half of Football, it was apparent that he was not going to get the job done last night. I fully expected Deric Davis to start the second half, and when he did not, I just shook my head, which leads me to thought number 2…
2. Coaching Decisions were………???????????
First off, I hate to do this. I love Colby Carthel and his staff. This group of coaches are some of the best to ever grace the Lion Football sidelines. That said, last night the decisions were…..STUPID. The fake field goal was stupid when Chase Thrasher had already hit a 41 yarder (I believe). Refusing to pull Rollison when could not hit the broad side of a Hunt county barn was stupid, playing a soft zone Cover 2 was stupid when REC’s for SFA were getting wide open, not bringing pressure or blitzing was stupid, not jamming the Receivers was stupid, and not playing Deric Davis was stupid. I cannot think of another way to put it. Now, do I know why the decisions were made? No, I do not, but just as a fan, this was an overall stupid game plan.
3. Deric Davis
Double D was our best player last night. He scored two TD’s, running for one, and throwing for another. He should have been given the second half to see what he could do. Unlike Rollison, he completed his passes, did not get sacked, and showed he can and will run to get yards. He accounted for 14 of our 17 points. If Rollison plays the way he did last night next Saturday, Deric must get a shot. It would, to borrow a phrase, stupid not to.
Now, lets get one thing straight, the game was not decided was by the officials. I have no doubt we would have still lost because we cannot play a Division I school the way we did last night and expect to win. That said, the officials were awful. The worst call was when Ricky Collins took a rare pinpoint pass from TY, juked his defender and blew by everyone on the sideline and scored, or so we thought. The refs said he stepped out at the 30. He did not, he did not step out at all and they did not even bother to review it. That took 6 points off the board as we turned the ball over on downs deep in SFA territory. SFA linemen and REC’s held, chopped, clipped, and hit out of bounds all night long and not one time was it called. These refs were awful. Period, the end. We had enough to deal with last night, the last thing we needed were officials who greatly affected the effort last night.
5. Do not blame the defense-
Years ago, Jim Mora had his infamous “playoffs?!” rant. If you have ever seen the entire clip, his first words were the following…..”Well, I will start off by saying this, do NOT blame that game on the defense, OK? I don’t care who you play, when you turn the ball over 5 times, 3 of them to set up scores, you ain’t gonna beat ANYONE on ANY level.” Mora was right. Our defense forced 4 turnovers, 2 INT’s and forced 2 fumbles. We also dropped SFA for losses many times. It was the scheme that was dumb. We rushed 3-4 and dropped 7-8 in a soft zone and what happened is what would happen to any team put into that position. I have no idea what went on in these coaches minds. It was a poor game plan all around. Bad tackling did not help things either.
You scored 98 points against a Division 3. Quit reading your press clippings and start scoring again, and quick. Put in a new QB if your starter isn’t playing worth a plug nickel. Go vertical and quit playing scared. Overshot receivers, turned the ball over at critical times, could not finish drives, and the play calling was awful.
Aside from poor tackling, our defense did not play poorly. We forced 3-4 turnovers and stopped SFA’s run game. Again, Had we blitzed more, it would have been a better performance, but we allowed over 600 yard of offense, still have to tackle and cover better.
Special Teams- A
Chase Thrasher was great last night. Smashed 41 yard FG, kicked off VERY WELL, and punted pretty well. Did not allow any big returns, and forced a missed chip shot field goal from SFA. Good kick coverage, and we had some pretty good run backs complements of Vernon Johnson and Ron Fields. This was a good consistent group.
Nacogdoches is 3 hours plus from Commerce and the DFW metroplex. A lot of people made the trip expecting our team to put our best foot forward and send a message. It did not happen. The gameplan was total opposite of what this group put forth last Thursday night. I know it sounds like I am putting a lot on the coaches, and I am, but what happens we your offense, built mainly around a solid QB, cannot do anything because he is in the way? You bench him. What do you do when your defensive scheme is being eaten up? You change schemes? What do you do when your offensive play calls are doing nothing? You change and adapt. Finally, what do you do when you have an offense that is capable of scoring 100 points and they have 3 points at the half? You go back to doing what you were doing that almost go you to 100. Former US President Harry Truman had a sign on his desk in the oval office that read “The Buck Stops Here.” Meaning that however the marbles drop, the man making the decisions take the heat for it and are held accountable. I know that HC Carthel and his staff and going to be meeting this week to ensure what happened last night does not happen again the rest of the year.
Offensive MVP-Deric Davis-Accounted for 14 of the 17 points we scored.
Defensive MVP-Charles Woods-16 Tackles, one interception, and one caused fumble.
Special Teams MVP-Chase Thrasher-Nailed a 41 yard FG, good kickoffs, and delivered good punts despite constant pressure.