There is a lot to get to. First I want to thank Fred Woods for mentioning me in his hall of fame acceptance speech and the all of the props I was given at the tailgating for this blog. It was something that gave me a tremendous amount of joy that I helped a fellow man and other men get their due and help the school. I also got to speak with Ray Hawkins, the son of Coach Ernest Hawkins, speak with former All-American Dudley Slice, Curtis Buckley, former Head Coach Eddie Vowell, Coach Mark Copeland, Billy Watkins, and many others. It was a privilege and I have to say that aside from that, the wonderful weather, the chance to be on the sidelines, the chance to do the halftime show with Charlie Chitwood, and meeting President Dr. Ray Keck and the new AD Tim McMurray was a great experience as well. So, first off, lets go with how the game played out, and wow was it one of the craziest ones I have ever seen.
Game Summary: From the opening kickoff, it was apparent that Kingsville has not only brought their A game, but was also a lot different than last year. What you saw from them offensively was package of power running that mixed a lot of traps and off tackle running plays mixed in with well packaged plays that kept the Lion defense guessing about what was going to happen. They reminded me of how Eastern New Mexico just ate our lunch back in 2013 with their running game and efficient passing game, and that is what happened. The Hoggies also added a lot of shifts and motions that really made you wonder what they were up to. Also, they were VERY physical on offense and their line was both tall and very strong, as were their defensive linemen, add to that a kicker that was money and also had a grenade launcher for a leg, this was a good team that we played Ladies and Gents. So here are 5 thoughts.
- Today will not be a good day to be a Lion football player. 8 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. 8. Now, here is the deal. All penalties are correctable, but this team has a problem. They are averaging 4 unsportsmanlike penalties per game, that is totally unacceptable. When you do that you give up 120 yards. Personal foul penalties are totally not necessary nor can they be justified, EVER. Just play the game. HC Carthel said in post game remarks it will be a bad day to be a Lion today. I hope these players went to Church today because it is going to take divine intervention to help them get through today.
- I was not a fan of the play calling on offense. I felt that the offense went into a clock killing mode. That is not the Lion offense that has brought the success is what you should lean on to be what you use. This is just a fan’s opinion, but why is it necessary to have to “get the running game going” when you are pass based and pass heavy offense? In a spread offense, you use the pass to set up the run, not use the run to set up the pass. People know the Lions are going to throw the ball, and I want a game that is close against a good team where I do not see a team pulling off the pedal on offense because it gets close. There are some exceptions to that rule, like end of game where you need to run clock. There is a fine line between aggressive and stupid.
- 5 straight Chennault Cup wins against a storied rival is a big deal and I really believe that this one probably means the most, because it was not a blowout like the previous 3 have been, and it was also against a good Kingsville team. Darren Wilkinson has really brought the Hoggies back to being an upper echelon LSC Team, and I do not see any other team beating the Hogs the rest of the year.
- Despite the defense giving up 36 points, I feel much of that was due to an impotent offense and them having to be on the field so long. They came up with stops at a lot of critical times, but it was the offense giving the ball right back, and the defense just having to pin their ears back all the time and was exhausted. Props to Justin Deason for adjusting his strategy and HC Carthel for doing an excellent job of keeping the defense confident despite the result.
- I will say this, finally, Kenny Kalerek is the WORST official I have ever had the duty of watching. His crew let this game almost turn into a riot because he refused to get a hold of the game and the players. I also believe that he has a bias against TAMUC and while the unsportsmanlike were totally our fault, I believe he does what he can to influence the game against the Lions and I believe that he has no business being an official in a Texas A&M-Commerce football game. I do not trust him to be a ball boy much less an official. He cost the Lions a playoff spot back in 2014 and his overall body of work when he officiates our games shows an unquestioned hostility to our coaches and players, and the conference should find another crew cheif for our games.