Take this win for what it is worth, a win. Did our offense play lights out? No. Did the ball bounce our way every time? Not even close. Were there mistakes made? Absolutely. What happened last night was that this team, which has a lot of expectations on it, went into a highly ranked team’s stadium and faced off against that good team along with nature (wind), internal factors (subpar officiating and a loud stadium), and all with a brand new quarterback running an offense that needed to score to win, did just enough to do just that. It is a win against a ranked team, and I am happy with that. We have a week to get better and prepare for Midwestern State.
Jake Viquez, the game ball is yours my friend. He picked a great night to have the best kicking night of his career. He was money on field goals, and the one miss at the end of the game had much more to do with the elements and the bad snap (which was probably affected by the elements). There were times where you asked, “Is Jake ready to kick this far with this much pressure?” No problem, brother. He scored all 12 of our points tonight. He also stepped in to punt when first game jitters got the best of our first two punters. That saved the game for us, and his final punt needed to be good, and it was. Nobody did his job better on the field tonight than Jake Viquez.
The Defense-If Bobby Fox decided to watch the game from the great beyond tonight, he had to smile. This group played the best defense I have EVER seen a Texas A&M-Commerce team play. I mean EVER. Even when the offense was not moving the ball, they were steady. They had 2-3 possessions that they had their backs to the wall and they came up with stops. Pueblo never moved the ball on them with any kind of consistency and the defense just kept coming after them, even after good positive plays. They were a secondary reason this game was won, but tonight, I think they earned The Blue Gang moniker.
The lone bright spots on the offense were the protection that the offensive line provided the Lion backfield and the three headed attack of EJ Thompson, Carandale Hale, and Antonio Leal’ie’ie. These guys make some big runs that kept the chains moving and the clock running just enough to play keep away. Some of those runs should have led to touchdown drives, but they cannot it all. Again, the offensive line did a great job opening holes and were extremely physical coming off the ball.
Finally, the coaching staff did an excellent job adjusting. Offense was not humming, so they went to more running plays and short passing. The defense was prone to the run at the beginning, they made adjustments to that very quickly. Punters and Quarterbacks had to be replaced, and they had the replacements up and ready, even though they came in at the end of the game. No big deal. Next man up. Bailiff also managed this game about as well as any coach can, and his assistants were on top of their game. It starts from the top down, and the top did their job, and the Lions are 1-0 because of it.