Time to Look Forward

To quote Keith Merritt on Wednesday, "It's never as good as it seems nor as bad as it seems."

Tuesday nights game has been described variously as a debacle, an embarssment, a fiasco, etc..

Reviewing the game, only the special teams play rose to the level needed to be competitive.

The offense sputtered about, never holding the ball for more than eight plays, and that 8 play drive was Arkansas State's final possession. Before that the offense never held the ball more than six plays. The longest drive was 39 yards.

When Adam Kennedy did have time to throw, he struggled to complete passes and make the plays.

A-State failed to reach 100 yards in rushing and in passing.

The defense struggled as well, but the interception by Rocky Hayes set up the only A-State scoring drive, a six play 39 yard drive.

The defense struggled to get off the field all night. Three times A-State left the Cajuns on the field after a third-down stop.

Over the past two seasons we saw time and again someone stand up and make the big play that swung the momentum.

The stop at WKU
Blocked punt at ULM
The pick at home against FIU that turned what had been a game FIU was leading in the second half into a rout
The interception at FIU that put A-State in the driver's seat.

With the exception three big kick returns against Idaho, the most notable J.D. Mickissic's touchdown run, A-State hasn't made the game changing plays.

The season has been frustrating so far having already exceeded last year's loss total with five games remaining.

The reality is this team isn't dramatically worse than the last two seasons. Clearly there are execution issues. Without question A-State has struggled at times to get in an offensive groove. Plays where the defense is showing a pass defense and the rules of football logic dictate a run have failed to produce positive yardage when running.

Coach Harsin is getting a short honeymoon because of the results. Against Memphis and Louisiana we saw one drive each game that looked like the offense Coach Harsin has said he wants.

Sacks, blown blocks, missed passes, and what at times looks like frustration in play selection marred the remainder of games.

A-State can reach eight regular season wins and with help can even still be in the Sun Belt title picture.

To get there, the little things matter. A-State has to play within itself. Take what yards are available until the opportunity presents itself to make the big play. Keep emotions in check and worry only about making this play.

The Red Wolves have to make a decision about what sort of team they are when the go to Mobile.