Got a note from a former WNUR sportscaster decrying that the 'Cats just seemed to shut down when QB Brett Basanez was intercepted Saturday.
We coaches talk about keeping a team in a game, not letting them get down, putting pressure on, and keeping it on. Its hard in our youth league, we have to take starters out when we get up 18 points, but I digress.
I understand the "dump Walker" crowd is howling - forget that we've just lost to two Nationally Ranked teams and our past opponents are all doing great - NU Head Coach Randy Walker has become the subject of some of the most virulent rhetoric I've seen since the days of Richard Nixon, apparently being blamed for everything!
Well, there's enough to talk about...
So who or what is to blame?
- NU raised the student ticket prices to $15, a sure way to keep students away from the game.
- Maybe Brett Basanez is in a dreaded sophomore slump?[ We just can't seem to get rolling - Baz to the Chicago Trib]
- Colby Clark was held out of the game for "unspecified academic reasons." Clark is supposed to be one of the defense's leaders.
- This team, like other recent NU teams, has a problem with adversity - quoting Noah Herron - "It seems with us, once one thing goes bad, we have a hard time getting off that"
- And from the Coach Randy Walker [in the Sun Times] ''I wish I had an easy answer for when it goes south like it did today, or like it's gone a couple times. If I had the answer for that, then I'd certainly employ it. But obviously, I didn't. So I'll take the blame for that, I guess.
Maybe some is on the AD's office - $15 a seat for students?
I'd like to see NU return to the day of the free tickets for students. You have to set up some kind of distribution system and put limits on admission, and maybe you have a small administration charge, but the Cats' have to have our fans in the stands at home games!
I can remember watching the Cats at some pretty bad losses, but back in 1973, we were up there in Dyche yelling, and cheering regardless of the weather or the score.-- da Coach
That attitude carried over to some of my son David's games - we had a group of fans that traveled to every Greensboro game. We stomped the stands, cheered Dee-Fense, played the fight song on Kazoos, in short did everything we could to help out the team. At one away game, they were down 21 points at the half and reeling. The G'boro Pride came back and won that away game because 120 fans took over the stadium and raised the roof.
You see, teams have to feel they're supported by the fans or they just wilt and blow away - just like Saturday.
If I took anything away from watching the game against Miami [OH], it was that the small crowd from Oxford brought their band, cheered louder than the NU Fans did, and essentially turned Ryan into their home field. All the empty Purple Seats didn't help, but I've seen more enthusiasm from guys watching football on TV than I saw from most of our folks at that game. And everyone blames the coaches...
Well read this from Waco -"The defense was fired up, the offense was fired up and the crowd was fired up," Baylor linebacker Justin Crooks said after Baylor beat Colorado Saturday [in the AP Story on CNNSI]. "That's what wins you games."And here's what has me worried - We have an away game Saturday against another struggling team, the Indiana Hoosiers. If you've been paying attention, you'll know that nobody has beaten the Hoosiers on the ground lately, its all been through the air.
The Cats came out last Saturday and stuffed 14 points against Minnesota on the ground, went to an air game, and self destructed.
After two Big 10 losses, we probably won't have a lot of fans in Bloomington, so there won't be a lot of cheering for the Wildcats.
Just like at home.
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