UStateAgs.com time from time pulls a great post off of the message board and immortalizes it on the main page. This year in review summary comes from TrueAggie on 11/30/02.
Well, now we've been put out of our misery for another season. The big questions seem to be, what do we have to do to get better. We solved the conference issue, so that excuse won't work anymore. What has USU got to do to win again?
Here's my take on the issue:
1. First of all, Mick has got to find some better defensive players than the ones we have. Size more than anything else. We've got to have more defensive linemen with the motor of John Chick, but with about 40 more pounds. Poor old John does a helluva job for us, weighing in at 235. Boy, think what he's going to be like when he grows up. Same for Jake Stewart. Add Nate Putnam to those two and we have some good defensive ends. We need better play out of our interior linemen, as well. Jorge Tapia has started for two and a half years and he just needs to be more of a force. Ronald Tupea has started for two years--same story. We need to recruit more size and speed here, as well. Too many shrimps on our line.
2. Replace the defensive coaches. I would say the D-coordinator and secondary coaches should be automatic to find new jobs. To say our defense has been poor would be oversimplification. We've got to find somebody who can build a defense and teach skills to the players that can actually stop somebody. If it were up to me, the only defensive coach I would keep is MacMahon. Dump the rest, send `em back to Division 1AA, get `em outta here! I have never seen a defensive scheme so poor. It can't stop the run or the pass. Usually one is biased toward one or the other. This one can't stop anything. The only reason New Mexico and New Mexico State didn't beat us is because they though they need to start passing! Had they stayed on the ground, they would have run us right out of the stadium!
3. The rumor all year has been Mick has got a couple of "shut-down" type corners sitting on the bench, ready to come in and kick butt this coming year. It has better not be a rumor. We had the worst secondary that last three years that I have ever seen in my 35-plus years of watching Aggie football. If we can't stop anybody, we'll never compete in the Sun Belt, or any other conference.
4. Why does this team look like crap offensively, and then, all of a sudden in the fourth quarter, suddenly spring to life and score points faster than they can add `em up? My recommendation to Smokin Bob Cole is that if your play selection works so well the last 11 minutes of the game,the same ones might work pretty good for all 60!
5. More size on the O-line. Our guys played okay this year, but when you stacked them up against the offensive lines we played against, our linemen looked like little kids out there. I think we played in the Big West for so long that we forgot what big linemen looked like. So the pressure is on Hoover to find or build us some studs for next year. We cannot afford to get our behinds kicked at the point of attack.
6. Quarterback is going to be a difficult spot next year. I've already heard many season ticket holders say that if Travis Cox is the best we have, they are not going to buy season tickets next year. And since only about 3,000 bought season tickets this year, that's scarry. Crivello had better be good as advertised, is all I have to say.
There are many other areas of weakness I could focus on but I'm tired of writing. We all know what the problems are. This coming season is make or break for Mick. No doubt about it. He's got to produce a winning record this year. Nothing less than 6-5 will do. Personally, as happy as I would be to see it happen, I'm just not very confident that it will.
For his sake, and ours, I hope it does.