- A lot of people have asked me over the past few hours “What the heck is up with the whole “fortune favors the bold” quote? I watched a back episode of Gotham and that line was used. When the game was close and we needed a score with the clock moving to give the Lions a win, we did not go conservative and predictable. The play call was bold, and it resulted in a touchdown pass which resulted in a win and a somewhat comfortable margin. That bold play call and that bold pass catch from Luis Perez to Darrion Landry won the game in one fell swoop. It was a confident call that resulted in a confident throw by a confident passer that ended up in the arms of a confident playmaker. Fortune favors the bold. Remember that.
- The running game yesterday was fantastic. Hale and EJ Thompson both played fantastic. Carandal Hale rushed for 104 yards and he was huge on the last drive but also throughout the entire game to keep the chains moving. The run blocking was pretty good for the most part, but Hale made solid run after solid run, and we really got a steal when he signed with us. Hale is no doubt a Division I back, but sometimes the chips just fall your way, and having Hale has been a great addition to the squad. He has a bright future in the Lion blue and gold.
- The passing game was good when the Lions were actually attacking. I just have to keep scratching my head to why so many conservative play calls, but I guess OC Matt Storm is just seeing something that I am not seeing or cannot see. Luis Perez was great again yesterday. Aside from his 34/47 368 yard/4 touchdown day, what impressed me the most is he had to improvise on the run so many times and still only got sacked once and did not turn the ball over. As good as he is, he knows he can get better and that is exactly what he does.
- The defensive performance was good for the most part. They did not allow ASU to get the ground game doing. 85 yards on 36 attempts is pretty good. The passing game was pretty concerning to watch as they moved the ball on the Lions most of the game, but it did not turn into points. One field goal, and touchdowns caused by explosive plays that could have gone either way was not bad. The defense played pretty well, but the third down conversions were tough to watch and need to be corrected to stifle opposing drives.
- Finally, the unsportsmanlike conduct penalties are not becoming a problem, they are a problem. It embarrasses me as an alum with two degrees and a lot of pride in the school, the community, and all Lions. I can deal with holding, block in the back, and even targeting (most of them are incidental anyway) but a personal found UC call is the most selfish, self centered, and immature call to get. Look, I get it. I played sports pretty much my entire life, and multiple ones at that. Juices and adrenaline flow and sometimes you really want to take a guy out or get one on the guy mouthing off at you, but the thing to remember is the bigger picture. You are a member of an 11 unit team and that team has big time aspirations, put your emotions aside and deal with them later. My Dad had the perfect line about this. When I was playing football in high school I mainly did punt and kickoff returns. I got blown up trying to block a guy downfield and the guy got in my grill and mouthed off, and I jumped back right at him and the refs pulled us apart. After the game, my Dad told me not to ever do that again for the reasons I stated above. I then asked what I should I do when that happened. His answer: “Keep your mouth shut, wait for the next play, and clean his clock. That will shut him up.” Indeed.
Offense-Darrion Landry and Marquis Wimberly-These two guys were HUGE yesterday and made big time plays. Wimberly had 8 catches for 113 yards and 2 TD’s while Landry had 6 catches for 105 yards and two TD’s. Big time players made big plays in a big game.
Defense-Devnta Leary-The Senior from DeSoto made life tough for ASU’s backfield with 3 solo tackles to go with 3 Quarterback hurries. He was in the backfield a lot and disrupted the timing and the rhythm of the ASU passing game.
Special Teams-Tristan Perry. The true freshman from Mineral Wells came up huge for the Lions averaging 45 yards per punt on 7 attempts. He pinned ASU back when the Lions needed a good punt. They guy was hyped coming out of high school for a reason. Welcome to the MVP circle.