I apologize for the tardiness on my thoughts. I had to look at the box scores and really think about what was correct and what was emotion, so I needed the adrenaline to die down a bit before I started to write. So, here we go-
- Overall-A game we should have won. Last night as a fan I was thinking about who we could blame. Was it the RMAC officials who called back 4 explosive plays and wiped 2 touchdowns off the board with picky penalty calls? Or were we really holding that badly all night that warranted 11 penalties for 97 yards while CSUP only committed a saintly 5 for 44 yards? Are we that undisciplined? Or was it the inability to stop teams with a decent passing game from converting on 3rd downs? Or are we so thin at skill positions that we now have our 3rd string QB playing slot receiver? I don’t know the answer to these questions, because all I have is questions after last night. Penalties, officiating, and undisciplined play.
- Offense-Despite what one might think, Miklo Smalls played a great game. He threw his first INT of the year, but that one was not on him. The offensive line gave Smalls absolutely no time at all. The T-Wolves kept using a corner blitz and the offense never adjusted to it. Offensive Line play is so critical in these types of games. It is won and lost in the trenches. Our line got whipped. Smalls was sacked 5 times and there was zero penetration for the running game. The Receivers made some great catches that extended drives but also made some uncharacteristic drops that ended drives. Gunnar Palacios, who is a 3rd string QB, made his debut at slot receiver and played very well. The overall story was we moved the ball well between the 20’s and tanked in the red zone. Not much more needs to be said.
- Defense-If you look at the numbers, you might think the Defense played one way or the other. They made some great plays and stuffed Pueblo’s run all night, but when the Lion defense started sitting back in zone, CSUP’s QB starting picking it apart. Different coverage schemes produced different results. However, the penalty bug bit the defense at the end of the first half as a truly inexcusable penalty gave Pueblo 3 points to end the half in a tie rather than a Lion lead. The defense has at times looked like an iron wall and then sometimes gives us big plays or scores. Same thing last night.
- Special Teams-Jake Viquez and Andrew Gomez both played very well last night and they kicked and punted the ball very well. Viquez hit a 44 yarder to start the scoring in a swirling wind, so he continues to impress. Coverage was hit and miss as Pueblo had a strong return game. You could also tell that they were ready for Dominique Ramsey as he never really got his hands on the ball in the return game, but Pueblo had a strong punting and kick coverage game, so give them that.
- Going Forward-We lost, and have to put it behind us. Our next game is a rivalry game against a team that is 1-3, but it is on the road, so don’t expect an easy win. In fact, don’t expect anything easy. This team has to take every team seriously from here on out because a second loss could very well doom you from making the playoffs. Every loss can have beneficial side effects if you decide to learn from them, and this team can and should. Every week we have to get better. We travel to Kingsville this Saturday. We return to the Hawk for a huge showdown with Midwestern, and then Tarleton waits for us in their newly renovated stadium. Bottom line is this; continue to learn this system and throw out what does not work, and purge those bad habits so you can improve as a Football team.
How the rest of the LSC Fared-
Eastern New Mexico-48, Texas A&M Kingsville-34
Angelo State-28, Midwestern State-6
Tarleton State-49, Texas-Permian Basin-7
West Texas A&M-45, Western New Mexico-21