The FIU Aftermath

9/25/2010 12:00:00 AM The most important thing is a victory. The kids worked their butts off, played hurt, and earned a victory over a decent team. I want to take nothing away from them. I, for one, am proud of how hard they play and have played this year. I just think they can be better and it's up to the coaching staff to put them in better positions to succeed. I think the staff, for the most part, has failed. We are a better team than what we are showing. FIU may be a decent team, and they may have given Rutgers and Texas A&M a run for their money, but if we are going to be even a good program, we need to win these games handily and not be tied late in the 3rd quarter at home. In case anyone missed it, I will reprint my halftime thoughts: I love Fridge for all he has done, but the game has apparently passed him by. Franklin may recruit well, but that just makes him Ron Zook. The number one pet peeve is horrible time management. I cannot accept any coach not being smart when it comes to using timeouts late in halves and games. We had them backed up with 1:27 left on a 3rd and long and we wasted 8 seconds before calling time. Okay, so they got the first down there, but then with another 3rd and forever, we wait 16 more seconds before calling timeout... instead of there being 6 seconds left when they punt, we would have had 30 and had a chance to do something. These coaches play scared, they play not to lose, and they give the team NO confidence. That brings me to the offense. Sure, we moved the ball eventually, but that's mainly because FIU is not good. They are 9-29 in the past 4 years... There is no excuse for them even being in this game. The first few drives were an embarrassment. Torrey Smith's first catch of the game is a first down. They immediately take him out. The dude ran a 10 yard comeback.. he could not have been tired. Next play was a horribly disguised toss play where there was no way we were passing the ball. Loss of 7. Then of course the awesome 2nd and 17 run play. No reason to try a screen against an overly aggressive defense. Why do that??? On the 2nd drive, 9 in the box... Torrey Smith isolated on the left side with one corner... they of course run into the line. It's not that difficult. I am in no way a coach or expert, but I've watched A LOT of football. This is not winning football. This is losing football. This is scared football. I know there are injuries and inexperience, but playing conservative is not a winning formula in college football. Even though I was frustrated at the time, I truly believe what I wrote. This team could be so much more than it is. We are entering an ACC season that is up for grabs. Why not Maryland??? We have the fastest and most talented athletes that we may have ever had in my lifetime. I know we are inexperienced in the most important position on the field (QB), but that does not mean we should baby the kids. Let them make plays. Stop with the bubble screen every other play. Stop with the 'west coast offense run on 2nd and long'. I was SHOCKED that we did not try one screen pass against FIU. They were ripe to be exposed on a play like that. The offense scored 35 points. That's good, but hardly great against this opponent. The defense has issues and if the FIU quarterback was even average, we would have been in a great deal of trouble. We are lucky he stunk. We are lucky to get away with the worst middle of the field pass defense in the history of the game!! I just think a mentality change is in order. I applaud Don Brown's scheme for the most part as it's much better than the bend-but-don't-break of Cosh, but our guys are lacking fundamentals like tackling. Lastly, I will say that this game proved to me that we have what it takes to win 9 games this year. I believe that, but the kids have to be given the opportunity to do so. Playing conservative will not get it done. These kids do not need protecting. Let them do what they do. Let them make plays. We have 4 superstars on offense. Let them make plays. Play to win and we can still have a special season. Play not to lose and we will sweat out each and every game left on the schedule and my family will lock me away for screaming at the TV play after play.
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