26 October 2009
I'm not spending a lot of time on this post this week because Big Head covered most everything that needed to be covered yesterday and honestly, I don't think there's a whole lot to say.
-I'm not panicking, but there are some disturbing trends developing that make me really uncomfortable about the rest of the season. We'll start with the secondary, which was nothing short of disgraceful Saturday night. Carl Gettis's struggles have been well documented but when was the last time you saw Kenji Jackson make a nice play? Have you noticed him once this year? Or Robert Steeples? And from what I've been reading most of the problems were with communicating on assignments but there were multiple plays where you could see members of the secondary jogging. Just sayin'.
-While the secondary was atrocious, the D-line and linebackers actually looked OK at least at times. As Big Head mentioned, Will Ebner was straight up destroying guys. And not sure if you noticed Aldon Smith's final numbers but he finished with 11 tackles and two sacks. Nearly had a third. And there's not much more praise we can give Sean Weatherspoon but he might have earned more respect from me than he has in any other game. The dude absolutely brings it every down regardless of the score.
-Offensively the problems really begin and end with Blaine Gabbert's ankle. If I had to guess I'd say he's going at about 60 percent. The major problem with continuing to play him while he's injured may not actually be that he's not having time to heal. As Bryan Burwell pointed out in his column, Blaine might be picking up bad habits by altering his throwing motion to confiscate for his bum foot. The foot is eventually going to get better. But messing up his mechanics could haunt Mizzou and Gabbert for years to come. Something to consider when deciding whether or not to give Jimmy Costello the start in Boulder.
-I think the Tigers' rushing attack made some positive strides. If you take away Gabbert's -27 yards then Mizzou ended up with over 100 yards on the ground. And I'm still not ready to bench D-Wash but Kendial Lawrence definitely needs to be getting some more touches. He's the guy that really seemed to spark all of the running backs.
-Danario Alexander: BEAST. His final numbers (six receptions for 74 yards) weren't all that impressive but he was one of the few Tigers that came to play.
-Great crowd for the game but it wasn't the kind of crowd that carries a team to victory. Over 71,000 fans packed into Faurot much like they did for Nebraska in '07 but this felt completely different. No buzz in the air whatsoever. And that's actually not a knock on the fans at all. There was no reason to think the Tigers were going to pull off the upset and you could tell they were in for a beatdown after the opening kickoff. You have to be given something to get excited about and there was nothing there on Saturday.
-I am going to vent about some of the fans for just a moment. When things go bad you naturally get a group that wants to throw the towel in on everything. Fire the coaching staff, bench Gabbert, cut D-Wash, forfeit the rest of the games, yada yada. But you're also getting a contingent of fans that want to act like there's absolutely nothing to be concerned about and that's not the case. Me and a buddy of mine were doing our fair share of bitching about the team from our seats in the student section (reasonable fans tend to do that when there team shows little to no heart on the field) and a guy in front of us turned and said something along the lines of "Try to keep the negativity down. It makes the games a lot less fun." He then asked my buddy if he'd like to coach the team. Just a stupid thing to say to a couple of diehards who follow this team more closely than 99 percent of the people in the stadium.
-Technically, the Tigers still have a shot at the Big 12 North. And honestly, after looking over the schedules I'm not sure it's that farfetched that they might still win it. But I'm kind of sick of hearing the players talk about their chances. You know what? Right now I don't give a shit about the B12 North. All I care about is winning one fucking game. Talk about Colorado.
-I'm not gonna name the player but I know at least one underperforming Tiger was out with his crew at Bengals after the game on Saturday. I'm not gonna rip a guy too much for going out after a loss because I expect these guys to have lives other than football. But do you think Chase Coffman was going out after the Okie State game last year? Just sayin'.
-Again, this is not the end of the world because we all expected Mizzou to lose to Texas. The problem I have isn't with the loss itself. The problem I have is with the fact that the Tigers were beat before they even put their jockstraps on. I'll be the first to acknowledge that it's extremely difficult to beat teams like Texas and OU. They are elite football programs. But it shouldn't be this hard. K-State upset Texas twice with Ron Prince as their coach. Colorado beat an OU team that put a clown suit on the Tigers in the Big 12 title game in '07. These teams do get beat sometimes. And no, the Tigers don't have the talent to consistently do that but they at least have enough ability to make the games much more competitive than what we saw Saturday night. That was the kind of effort you got out of a lot of the Tiger teams from the early '90s and early '00s. Disgraceful.
-That's all I got on this one. Really frustrating. Really disheartening. But it's still not time to panic. My biggest concern is still Gabbert's health. If he starts healing and playing like he's capable of (which I'm skeptical of) then I think the Tigers likely finish 4-1. That gives them eight wins and maybe an outside chance at the North. Otherwise they need to give the ball to the Cannon and hope that rushing attack finally gets going.
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