Ladies and Gentlemen of the BBN, since I'm on West Coast Time, and actually got to watch the - ahem, game - at a decent hour, I will attempt to perform a community service and provide a few insights and commentary about what we all saw tonight, for your reading pleasure (pleasure?) tomorrow morning.
First of all, a win is a win is win. 1 - 0 sure sounds better than 0 - 1, and it will never go away. So, wipe your brow, breath a sigh of relief, and we'll talk about what this game showed us after the break.
Things that we can take away from this game.
- The defense played their butts off tonight, and Rick Minter's efforts look like they will pay off. There was a feeling that the were turnover to be made, and they made them. One of the most dangerous runners in Div 1 (as the announcers said so many times) was bottled up for much fewer yard than last year, and best of all the defense gave up no touchdowns.
- Ryan Tydlacka is our secret weapon. Boy, that guy can kick a football. And he also very good at placing them inside the 20 with little return. Also a nod for Mansour, who showed that he can nail a kickoff into the endzone more than once. Maybe this is a year when special teams will be a strength for UK...?
- I think that we see that John Clay had a point about a week ago, when he was pointing out that the O-line was banged up and needed more reps. It certainly showed tonight, their timing was just off. You can see that individually they are very talented, but they just weren't clicking. I hope that this can be corrected with a little more practice.
- Boy, Clemons looked like the real deal, didn't he? And pretty telling that he got the ball quite a bit.
- OMG, the receivers have GOT to catch the football. I almost destroyed two clickers tonight, and nearly scratched the TV. How many balls hit them, in stride, IN THEIR HANDS?!?!?!?!? ARRRGGGGGGHHHHH! Seriously, though, that cannot happen. That must be corrected, and now. If those balls (in the hands) were caught, Newton looks like a different QB, we have at least another 100 yards in offense, maybe more, since by the end of the game WKU is staying within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage and daring them to throw.
- Speaking of Newton, there's something going on in his head. It may be reps, it may be attitude, I don't know. You could watch his body language, and tell whether he was in the game or not. And there were large stretches of the game, especially 2nd and 3rd quarter, where he just wasn't in it. I take heart in the scenes late in the game where Andre Woodson was taking Morgan aside and talking to him. Just after that, Morgan broke off that large gain, and then, put one of most lovely touch passes right over his receivers shooulder that I have ever seen him make. And then he walks back over to Andre to thank him, with a look on his face like, "OK I finally listened to you and it worked." Maybe he needed to get this game out of his system. Who knows.
So, there's going to be A LOT of teaching film from this game. The coaches will most assuredly have their charges attention. And UK will have another opponent that it should handle. I look forward to seeing what improvement the team will make.
(although I think I will have to watch the next game with a large supply of Tums handy...)