In less than 3 short days, we will return to AT&T Stadium to play against a huge rival in a game that has a lot riding on it. Who will leave Arlington with a winning record, a 1-0 start in conference play, and the Chennault Cup trophy? Lets take a look at what we can look forward to this next week and what we have to do to get back on track.
1. Offense must get back to scoring.– I got a lot of emails in the PLN mailbag asking why I was so hard on Tyrik Rollison. My answer is simple, I expect much more out of him. He is a very good QB, and in all honesty, there is no excuse for the way he played. The guy was going to be the quarterback at Auburn…….in the SEC……in the SEC West……In the NCAA Division I-FBS. He won a State Championship in Texas on the second highest level. The kid is a player, and I expect more than what I saw. Our REC’s do share some of the blame, but overall, the QB gets the glory when you win and the hammer when you lose. Right, wrong, or indifferent, that is just the way it is. He has to command his offense and realize that when the marbles drop, he has to be the saving grace of the offense, that is why having a good QB in the Air Raid Spread Offense is so important. That said, the offense needs to practice this week knowing they need to get back into the habits of scoring and scoring a lot.
2. Defense has to blitz–Having a D-Line like we do is made twice as effective when you blitz. TAMUK is a run first team and when they do pass, they run a lot of bootlegs and bootleg screens. Do not expect them to go into a 4 wide set very often and gun it downfield. Stacking the box last year was very effective and cause them to turn the ball over multiple times, at one point making the game 41-7. Making the TAMUK QB uncomfortable is the first key to this, and by pressuring and hurrying him it will do the job. TAMUK is not a good throwing team, they have only thrown the ball 41 times the entire season, completing 20 of those and averaging 115 YPG through the air, while on the ground they are averaging 160 yards per game. Stack the box and force them to beat you through the air.
3. Keep playing solid special teams- One thing I need to ask is what happened to Saul Martinez last week? Chase Thrasher did a fantastic job kicking, punting, and placing kicking, but if anyone knows what is up with Saul, that would be appreciated. Anyway, Thrasher is doing a great job so far. Our return teams are doing a pretty job in blocking and our kickoff team could use some work, but other than that, keep doing what you are doing.
4.Coaching- Fans like myself are notorious for airing out our gripes with coaching, play calling and overall results of games on blogs and fan sites. That said, I want to clear something up. Colby and the staff are the football guys. For some reason, they saw a lot of things I did not see and did not see a lot of things that I thought I saw. As a blogger, I just provide an opinion and air it. Opinions are like baseball outfielders, some are in right, and some are out in left field. I do know this, CC and his crew saw the same mistakes I did. Poor tackling, misread defense, wrong communications with the players, and I have no doubt that they will correct those things.
Lady Lion Soccer-
Lady Lions defeat Dallas Baptist 2-1 to defeat the second ranked team in less than a week. The Ladies continue to impress me and are indicating that this could be an abnormally strong squad, and given the tradition established in 19 short years, Neil Piper could be looking at a group that could make a very serious run at a National Championship.
Link per Lion Athletics-http://lionathletics.com/news/2014/9/17/WSOC_0917140832.aspx?path=wsoc
John Mark Dempsey has Alumni Association director Darryl Pearce at the Blacklands Cafe where they speak about the events surrounding celebration of the 125 years of the University’s existence, and the 50 years since the school integrated. A very good listen indeed.