Bearcats Look Lackluster In Opener

I was sitting watching UC play their first game of the season feeling pretty confident about the Cats chances of going 1-0 to begin the season. Up 14-0 in the first half, I was thinking that this was the time when the Cats put the hammer down and really start to pull away from Fresno State and then what the heck happened?

First, Zach Collaros gives up a huge sack and it gives Fresno a short field on the punt, a few plays later on a blown assignment by Walter Stewart, the score is 14-7. After a Collaros fumble gave Fresno the ball again in great field position, a pass was caught in the corner of the end zone right before the half and the score was tied at 14.

Halftime Adjustments: Zach throw the ball away, stop taking sacks!

At this moment, the momentum had changed and I saw some things in this team that I had not seen in over three years. One, this team looked like it has no identity.

Where was the no-huddle faced paced attack?

I thought that this offense was supposed to be a faster version of the offense that Brian Kelly runs. This offense seems like it lacks confidence, and how many times did you see Fresno defenders in the backfield? Chris Carter looked like a first round draft pick who could not be stopped.

Two, where was Ben Guidugli?

More importantly where was the pass down the middle?

If I were Coach Jones, I would have used some of the game plan from last season against Fresno this season. Guidugli had a field day catching passes over the middle and I know it was open after throwing passes to the outside all game long. You have to at least challenge the defense and make them pay for pressure being brought and the Cats did not do that.

Three, if 14 points is all we can score as an offense then we are back to the Dantonio 7-5 years folks.

I am sorry to be so blunt and straight to the point but come on. This team does not go unless the offense is scoring points. It keeps the pressure on opposing teams to score while not putting too much pressure on the defense, which lets face it, is no shut down unit.

With that in mind, this dilemma needs to be fixed very quickly. Now I believe that Zach is the starting quarterback but if he can't make good decisions consistently then its time to give Anderson or Kay a shot.

Some of you may think that maybe I am being too harsh for a first game, but when expectations are high, then you have to put up or shut up, and Fresno just shut us up!

I don't like the feeling that I'm feeling now and I know that the players in the Cats locker room feel worse. So what can the Cats do in order to rectify the situation? All I can give is my opinion and I think that the Cats need to go back to what has made them great.

Stay aggressive, run the no huddle fast pace that we are all used to seeing. Start throwing the ball downfield and stop all these short passes to the sidelines. Start blocking somebody up front and give Zach some time in the pocket to make plays. Give Pead the ball more often and stop killing yourselves with bad plays and bad penalties. Then and only then will we start seeing the team we all know.

Going backwards is not an option because once you have established an identity then that needs to be who you are.

The Cats tried to be somebody that they are not on Saturday night and the result was a 14-point road loss. Changing coaches is not easy but when you are used to winning, changing back into not winning is impossible if you do the things all the time to be a winner.

If the Cats can stay focused and remain consistent, then this will be another great season of Bearcat Football but if we see anymore of what we saw tonight, then its going to be a very long season that could end up back in Birmingham in December.


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