Well, with the exception of a few minor details related to process, the outcome of today’s contest went pretty much as expected. With two exceptions:
1) The Offense was MUCH better than expected.
2) The Defense was MUCH worse than expected.
Given that 1 & 2 basically cancel each other out, you have the predicted outcome: we KINDA stayed close, but then got BLOWN out in the 4th quarter.
Couple of notes from the actual game:
1) Is there ONE playmaker on defense? While the D-Line played well against the rush, the defense against the pass was beyond awful. I have NEVER seen a more passive Cougar group in my life: no pass rush, no blitz that was successful, no hard tackling, NADA.
2) This is EASILY the worst safety play that I’ve seen from a Cougar team. In addition, is Greg Trent the worst MLB the Cougars have had in ten years? He still looks as lost as he did in his first start. VERY disappointing.
3) I thought the offense, including Brink, played pretty darn well. The problem: WE SCORED ONLY 21 STINKING POINTS. That my friends is a REAL problem for the rest of the year.
4) The special teams are still awful. The ABC gang was correct, we’re gonna have a bunch of punts blocked with that spread formation, and our kickoff game with the new rules is BRUTAL.
1) WISCONSIN IS A VERY OVER-RATED FOOTBALL TEAM.
I’m telling you all, the Big 10 is a stinker of a conference. While I LOVE their offensive line, watching Tennessee and CAL shows the difference in speed. Simply put, I think the Badgers are a 4th place team in the Pac-10. THAT does not bode well for us.
2) We have the RIGHT offense and offensive scheme with the WRONG Defense.
I think all of us will be amazed by the end of the year that this group will not be able to score sufficiently to give ourselves a chance to win. That is NOT a slam against Alex Brink, by the way, but if you look from last year forward, you will notice that our vertical game is non-existent. What we do, and DID, very well was dink and dunk and run the football like a charm. The problem: That strategy helps you keep your d off the field, but it doesn’t yield the 4 play 81 yard scoring drive. THAT, my friends, was the trademark of the 42-40 shootouts. This team will not be able to score 35 very often despite being quite effective (IF we had any defense at tall).
3) Alex is MUCH BETTER yet NO BETTER than last year.
Based on what I could tell, Brink is a much more confident QB than he was last year. In fact, I really enjoyed watching his command today—including his ability to throw over the middle. And I really liked his decision making! That said, his arm strength is NO BETTER than last year, and his ability to throw the deep ball is still beyond suspect.
In the end, it really now is all about seeing how we do against Arizona and Arizona State. Win one of those games, and then maybe we have something to offer.
But judging from today, these eyes saw an 8th or 9th place team.
And that, dear Cougar Nation, is NOTHING to get excited about.
Onward to San Diego State!
(and yes, the fake punt was the chicken bleep call of all time)