Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ugly Wins Are Better Than Moral Victories

I posted a few thoughts last night immediately after the game, and thought I'd have a lot more to say this morning, but I'm not sure that I really do.  This wasn't a game that lends itself to much in the way of analysis.  The special teams breakdowns were clear for everyone to see, it's amazing to me how bad they've been at times this year.  The offense never really seemed to find a groove (nor did the Defense, for that matter, though they weren't terrible), though when you are missing your top WR and your top RB for all or part of the game, that's not a total shock.  Would a healthy Mitchell & Crowell have made that much of a difference?  I don't know, but having them certainly couldn't have hurt.

Here's the one issue I have with our coaches in this game..........unless Carlton Thomas was slowed by an injury or some other issue we're not aware of, there's no way that any gameplanning should call for Samuel getting 3 times as many carries as Thomas.  Thomas has shown himself to be the better runner this season, even between the tackles.  He has better vision, hits the hole quicker, and gets through the hole quicker.  Anytime Crowell is a no-go, Thomas and Samuel should at worst be splitting the reps pretty equally, if not shading towards Thomas getting a few more touches.  Samuel did have a few nice runs, but they were on plays where the OL opened up nice holes for him, any RB would have had big gains on those plays.

Outside of that though, I'm not going to pile on the coaches or players at this point.  As I mentioned last night, every team has at least one of these games every year against an inferior opponent where just nothing seems to go right (and it doesn't help when the refs refuse to call blatant holds all night long).  The important thing is that when you have that game, you still find a way to win.  And maybe this will end up being a good thing, letting the players know that there's still a lot of work to be done, and not to start thinking they can just show up and win.

There will be a lot of split opinions on Grantham's antics with Franklin after the game.  I'm still not sure how I feel about it, I'm reserving judgement to see if more details come out.  If Franklin really did go after one of our players (verbally), then I can understand Grantham losing it.  A coach should never have anything to say to one of the opposing players, if he has an issue then he can take it up with that player's coaching staff.  That being said, the whole thing did kinda come off like what you see at a little league baseball game when the parents and coaches get carried away.  I would imagine that after the fact, Franklin and Grantham both wished things had gone down differently.  But I've been there in the heat of the moment before, and sometimes you just let your emotions get the better of you. If I were Grantham, I'd be looking at my long term employment opportunities though........after the choke sign last year, and now this, if he consistently finds himself in these types of situations, it may give an Athletic Director pause before hiring him as a head coach one day.  In these days of political correctness, a lot of schools are doing everything possible to steer clear of controversy (see Mike Leach's continued unemployment).  Of course, if that means he stays with us as DC longer, I'm ok with that!  I love his fire, and am willing to take the good with the bad (to a point, of course).

Long story short, this game was pretty much a cluster**** from the scoreless first quarter all the way through the antics after the game.  But we won.  Last year, we would have lost.  We'll find out in two weeks if this team is ready to play to its potential or not.


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