I attended the game, sat in the nosebleeds. Stayed for the whole thing, as I did in 2003. I thought that this year was just as bad, and my mood is at least as bad as it was then.
Coaches got whupped on Saturday, regardless of the other problems. Some examples:
Harsin: seemed clear to me that (particularly with Ash in the game) many players were confused about where to go. Witness Ash and RB bumping on one of the sacks. That would be forgivable as a freshman mistake, except for all the time we plainly spend on multiple formations and trick plays. The key to that stuff is to use a few combinations (keep it simple for the players) to elicit a lot of info/punish several different defensive tendencies. I like the trick plays but this was too cute too soon by half.
Diaz: was someone else calling the plays for you last year at Miss St? Where was the double-A gap blitz? Where was the blitzing in general? Way too late in the game when it did come.
Brown: we needed some spark today. I thought that the players played hard but needed some energy from you. Think of Richt with the intentional celebration penalty.
I have rarely seen a UT player take a more unjustified beating in the press than Quandre DIggs, who had to cover one of the best recievers in the country for 8 seconds per play with atrocious safety help (in fact, occasionally being picked by his own man).
The DL needs to be reworked -- sub in Reggie Wilson for Jeffcoat at a minimum (did either DE make any plays?). I think that we're stuck with the DBs as is (and Diggs and Byndom are actually pretty good), but we've got to get more pressure regardless of getting burned occasionally. I would think about going 3-4 as well (frankly I don't think anyone in the Big XII runs well enough to punish even a 3-3-5), to get Edmund on the field and open up our options. Ed note: I'd like to clarify that I meant we should use 3 DL in more situations, not all the time. I assume that we have 3-4 and 3-3-5 packages, but I believe that's standard these days.
Where was Jordan Hicks? I literally did not see him on the field and he recorded no tackles. WTH?
Offense: Obviously, our OL is a disaster. Not much more to say about that. I don't know the backup personnel well enough to suggest a sub, but I think simplifying/learning the offense will help a lot. I cannot believe that Mike Davis is still playing holding the ball as loosely as he does (this is a long-standing problem, folks, one that OU undoubtedly scouted).
I've been pretty negative, and I feel pretty negative. After the 2003 RRS, I thought it was simple -- Vince was our future and GD was not. 2004 and 2005 looked bright. But this year is different -- I don't see many important personnel changes for either side for next year. I've got KSU down as a loss this year now as well.
But I'll try to point out some positives:
- Fozzy senior leadership (I realize he's gone but setting a good example always helps)
- Shipley (duh)
- Malcolm Brown (he's not Adrian Peterson but Bill Snyder could win 9 games with him and our defense -- we could still go that route this year and have a chance at 8 wins)
- kick coverage (unbelievable -- we break 1 and almost another and they're never really close)
- DJ Monroe
Sorry to be a downer guys...I'm normally the optimist. Hook 'em!