Greetings, Lion fans, and I wish there were better news to report, but there just isn’t. There aren’t many highlights in a 30-3 loss in which there seemed to be absolutely no effort by anyone on the Lions sideline this evening, but there are a couple of highlights.
Mitchell McGarry-The redshirt freshman was brilliant in an otherwise darkened sky tonight, averaging 42.4 yards on 5 punts, with a long of 61 yards. He continually changed field position in the Lions favor, to no avail.
Jake Viquez-Yes, we know Viquez missed one field goal, and had another blocked. Yet, he still came back out with 3:36 left and drilled a 29 yarder to avoid the shutout. That shows heart.
POST GAME THOUGHTS- This was as pathetic and as heartless a performance as we have ever seen from a Lion football team, and it should not have happened. They had everything to play for.(Note: West Texas A&M defeated Midwestern State 15-12 tonight, meaning if the Lions had won out, they would be co-champions of the LSC, and most certainly would’ve received a playoff bid)yet tonight, they looked like a beaten and defeated team.
Why is this? Everything we have heard from the coaching staff…the unforced errors, the undisciplined play, the lack of focus. Everything that we’ve been told was being addressed……has not. What we saw tonight was a team that looked completely uninspired and unprepared. The same problems resurfaced. once again.
Pre snap penalties, and a total failure by the offensive line to pick up or adjust to the pressure packages brought by the Ram defense. Trying to establish the running game when the Rams had 7-9 defenders within 10 yards, and often closer, to the line of scrimmage. The almost total lack of attacking the entire field. The complete absence of the tight end in the passing game. Tight ends for the Lions have caught a grand total of 4 passes for 17 yards.. That’s not a misprint, 4 catches for 17 yards. There seems to be no logic or reasoning as to what the Lions are trying to attack offensively, and as a result, offensive series are often three and out, and the defense is overextended again.
So, where do we go from here? I honestly do not know. The playoff streak that began in 2014 has now come to an end. The only thing left to play for is to end the season, and the last home game with a win, and await a possible bowl bid. For a team that started the season with expectations of a national championship run, to say this season is a disappointment is the understatement of the millennium.
Where does the fault lie? Defensively and on speical teams, the Lions have been superb. Until tonight, the defense was ranked #2 in the entire country. Special teams, while not eye popping, were very good, and won the opening game against CSU-Pueblo.
In the opinion of Brian and I here at The Wire, the responsibility for the 6-4 record and the failure to achieve the post season lie with the offensive staff and Head Coach David Bailiff. Going into the 2021 season, it was anticipated that there would be some kinks to be worked out due to the absence of Miklo Smalls. After Smalls’ return, though, the problems continued, and instead multiplied as the season went along. Lion quarterbacks have thrown multiple pick sixes, which have directly cost them games against Midwestern and Saginaw Valley. The continuing to try to establish the running game when defenses are putting up to 9 players within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. The pre snap and holding penalties, and the lack of discipline resulting in multiple personal foul and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. It all adds up to a extremely frustrating season in which all of Lion Nation was expecting not only a playoff berth, but a serious run at a national championship.