My grand pappy used to tell me that teams take on the persona and character of their coach. Then he'd tell me about Vince Lombardi and make me watch Tom Landry and Don Shula-coached teams. Well, grand pappy was right and that ain't a good thing for my Wildcats. It would be great if they picked up the fire and passion of their coach, if they used game film and planning to be better prepared like Mike & Mark did in their playing days, and if they BELIEVED they could win like Sonny was telling the offense every time they crawled off the field last night. But, alas, these players have taken on the undisciplined, arrogant, bone-headed persona of their head coach instead.
Football may have its complexities, but the fundamentals are really rather simple. They must be since your average fan consumes mass quantities of adult sody pop, from Anheuser Busch, Coors and Miller, before and during the games. Attack, attack, attack both on Offense and Defense ‘til ya got a real BIG lead, then ya protect it. Don't do anything stupid to surrender the lead. When you ain't playing your best, but ya got a small lead goin' into half, take it and run! Figure it out in the locker room. Don't call T.O. with 30 seconds to go thinking your gonna get the ball back and score. Don't call T.O. on 4th & 1 and come out to kick a Field Goal. If you're gonna man up and go for it, just do it (Nike, the check is in the mail). Timeouts here only help the D and do nuthin' if you're gonna chicken out and kick (by the way fans hate that too). And what's with getting a sideline warning before opening kickoff, and unsportsmanlike conduct during a timeout – on the sideline (i.e. head coach)?
Players play like the coaches act. If a receiver drops every pass thrown to him in a half and makes at least 2 other boneheaded plays, said receiver should never, ever under any circumstances see the field of play as a receiver again. I don't care if they have a good second half, guys need to make plays from the very start and some of the drops I saw in the first half were inexcusable. Great defensive ends do not get stupid roughing calls and they never jump offsides on 3rd and long (certainly not twice in 1 series); and they always play hard, from first snap to final gun. By the way, quarterbacks need to throw the ball out of bounds when scrambling in the end zone. There is always a receiver "in the vicinity" downfield and by the sidelines (2 last night). 100 yards in penalties is just not acceptable, ever, but certainly not at home and against an opponent that a good PAC-10 team should steam roll.
Back to the coaches. Why is Gronk getting 2-3 touches a game? He is averaging 15+ yards a catch and over 10 per attempt. I was gonna ask where is Grigsby too, but since he never saw the field he may be one of the four who shall remain nameless by coach Stoops who have been indefinitely suspended. Where is the fire? Where is the passion? Why doesn't this team look like they want to win? My guess is the players don't believe the coaches want to win or believe they can. Why else would they choose to defer after winning the toss 3 weeks in a row?
New Mexico coulda' and shoulda' been a win. Stupid penalties in key situations gave up at least 14 points. Panic play gave up 2 more. The refs missing Hall's clean strip on the first play may have contributed to the defense not showing up the rest of the series and cost 7 more. Five dropped passes (2 in the end zone) by one receiver alone cost at least 14 points. Our first fumble loss in 467 carries easily could have been 7 points. The score could just as easily have been AZ 48 NM 6, but for these few mistakes.
This team, these players, can still have a very good season. There is hope, ya'll. When playing aggressively this defense does have the ability to stop and even back up the opposing offense. The spread offense, when opened up and playing to win puts up points in bunches. We have seen it in the 2nd half for 2 straight weeks. We need to see it for 4 quarters, every game. The players need to play with passion and focus. The coaches need to find a way to instill belief (and not shoot the players in the foot with stupid, bone-headed calls and antics on the sideline). Oh yeah, and a running game would be nice.
One side note before Bubba gets back to his Anheuser Busch and the NFL. I think it's a good thing that Goodell is cracking down on conduct unbecoming, etc. But someone please explain to me how an assistant coach gets suspended and loses 1/3 of his salary for using HGH to battle a documented disease, and Belichick only gets slapped on the wrist for CHEATING. That's like 20 years for jaywalking and going to traffic court for kidnapping and armed robbery.