Sunday, November 2, 2008

can we still win it?

Not like that we can't.

Let's be honest about two things. One, our chances for winning the Coastal Division would not really have increased by winning this game, and they didn't decrease too dramatically by losing. We no longer control our destiny, but Miami is the only team we need some help with, and both Techs are capable of beating them.

Two, if the offense keeps on like that we might not even go to a bowl. I said before the game we should win; I still say we should have won, but not in the sense that we got screwed by events ou of our control. We simply lost. The game wasn't lost by Yannick Reyering, nor was it lost by Verica's and Peerman's crucial fumbles. They all bear some blame, yes. But if you want someone to pin this loss on, look at the press box where the offensive coordinator sits.

Last week I opined that the play-action-then-roll-out-and-toss-to-the-tight-end play (that is the technical term, yes) was a shit play and should never be called again. This week, we receive the opening kickoff and the first fucking thing that happens is that Verica fakes a handoff, rolls out, and tosses to a perfectly covered Phillips, who loses three yards. The play was called three or four more times during the course of the game and Phillips was so heavily covered Verica didn't even bother. If you look at the Miami and Maryland highlight videos from last year, you'll see this play working brilliantly to the tune of 15-25 yards. This is because Jameel Sewell was a threat to run, and the linebackers chased him, leaving Phillips wide open. Nobody is chasing Verica until the DE breaks free from his block because we don't design runs for Verica. Mikey Groh insists on calling this play and until he stops, you can basically just write off four or five plays a game as totally ineffective.

This was not Mikey's greatest sin though. I've been calling for Mikey to throw more downfield, and he did against Miami, but entirely without regard for down and distance or game situation. The defense, except for one drive at the beginning and one drive at the end, was absolutely stout. All we needed was one lousy score to make it a two-score game, and to grind up clock, which in both cases means getting first downs needs to be priority. So I'm a flying pink elephant if I can figure out why, on 3rd and 2, seven yards from the Miami red zone, Marc Verica is rolling out 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. I don't even know which number was being called there, but I know which one wasn't: 37. Mikey Groh needs to be fired today, and for explanation, the highlight of Not Cedric Peerman On Third And Two should be shown. If we were down by 14 at that point in the game and needing to score fairly quickly, all these downfield heaves would be understandable, and in fact demanded. But Mikey called plays like he had the shades drawn, the radio and TV off, and was operating off a 300-play script. When I think of this game, that play - not the missed field goals or fumbles - will be what I think of. Because, of all the mistakes, that one was the most avoidable and the least excusable. Reyering's a soccer player. Fumbles happen. Coaches should know better.

No comments: