The 5 Wide Morning After Thoughts-Incarnate Word

  1. Here is the long and the short of it. We ran into a better team yesterday. A very good team. Quick, fast, and experienced. They were physical on both sides of the ball and also on special teams. Their offense was as good as advertised, their defense was super physical and very quick, and their special teams were effective. UIW is a very good team, and this is the same team that made a run at the FCS national championship. That said, be proud of the effort the Lions gave. They fought HARD, and until the start of the fourth quarter, they were very much in this game. Mistakes were made, sure. However I am also proud of how this team not only fought, but they fought with honor. No cheap shots, no fighting dirty, no acting like a bunch of punks before and after the game. We were on the wrong side of the scoreboard, but on the right side of the fight. They represented our program and University with class and fought with honor. This might sound like sour grapes, but I take it personally whenever a grown man comes from the stands and acts like he is giving his team props only to mouth off about how we looked like “pee-wee football players” right in front of our players and our parents. Or the intentional targeting, or the dirty as a toilet bowl after the play activity. This comes from and is allowed by the UIW coaching staff, and just like I have said before, whether it is the way you play or act in any team sport, you are either coaching it, or allowing it to happen. Next year, this game is circled in blood, and WE WILL REMEMBER THIS GAME. Incarnate Word, you have gained a rival, and just ask the former LSC schools, you DO NOT want us as a rival.
  2. Offense-Overall, The offense moved the ball well in between the 20’s, but just made too many mistakes and did not execute when it mattered the most. Long drives ended up being stalled or the ball turned over. Yes, we are young and not nearly as experienced as UIW, but the offense was actually pretty good when they were chewing clock and making routine plays. Eric Rodriguez was hit and hurried a lot and his offensive line is a young group. The past two games the offensive line has struggled, but again, young group that has overall been a surprise. The wideouts made some big plays, but today, it was the rushing attack that kept us in this game for the first two quarters.
  3. Defense-As good as this defense is, they were dominated yesterday and much of that had to do with how big and physical UIW is. Post game notes show this played a huge role and UIW’s offensive line was very good, and their skill guys really showed up to play. The defense played hard, but just was not a 4 quarter match for this team. This is the worst I have seen the defense play in a long time, but this is also the best offensive team I have EVER seen us go against, and again, we are young. That is going to happen. However, the fact we caused two major turnovers against an offense that good shows you how our defense is still a legit unit in every sense of the word.
  4. Special Teams-Coverage unit played very well on kickoffs, and Mitchell McGarry did very well placed into service. They pressured him multiple times and he got off 2-3 punts I thought were going to get blocked, but he did very well against a fast and athletic coverage team. Punt coverage could have been better, but as not horrible. The wind was a factor again, but not nearly like it was last week against Houston Christian. There were no major mistakes on this end and that gets this group a solid grade.
  5. Going Forward-You cannot replay this game. It is in the books. We have to play the next play, and next week, we welcome Northwestern State to The Hawk. The Lions can still be Southland Conference Co-Champions with a win next week and a win against Nicholls down in Thibideaux, which are two games the Lions should win and are heavily favored in. 8-3 is still the goal at this point, but I will say this, you have to play the next play, and the next play is Northwestern State. A big win against them wipes away all the bitter taste in the mouth that this loss leaves. Finally, to the fan base. I was embarrassed at how few fans were there. This was a HUGE game and we needed every advantage we could get, but we let the clouds and a few small very brief rain drops scare away a crowd that should have been there. The student section was MIA. The fanbase wanted a Division I school, but seems like they do not want Division I responsibilities. Now, for those who could not make it, I get it. Not everyone can make these games. I did not make the 2017 game against Harding because I had to work all day, so I understand things happen or plans are made bigger than football. However, when there were no students (or barely any) and the crowd was sparse, it gives away home field advantage. Fans……be better for this team. They have given you plenty to feel good about this year and even more to feel good about going forward. If we want Division I quality teams and facilities, we need Division I quality fans and givers. On Saturday nights and afternoons in Northeast Texas, all roads now lead to Commerce.

Roar Back Here.....

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