Monday, September 22, 2008

Time for "Little Moxie"?

I know people are excited about Marshall Lobbestael. It's hard not to be, given the start of the 2008 season and the flat-out inept offensive performances we've witnessed thus far. I'm right there with you. Efficient, effective, smart, he was the whole deal on Saturday. A 48-9 victory, and the team really seemed in synch with Marshall. Wulff likes him too:
Asked what Lobbestael's strengths are, Wulff said, "We're still finding that out. He got so few reps in the spring; Gary and Kevin got most of them, and the same thing in the fall. But you can tell he's got a little moxie."
Hmm. I know everyone is looking for a nickname for this kid (Lobster?). The red hair more or less fits with the Lobster. But how about "Little Moxie"? You know, because he shows a little moxie? It's a stretch, I know. Whatever. I just hope the kid can keep playing like this.

BUT, alas, there's the question. CAN he continue to play like this? After all, this was an off-the-bench moment against a mid-range Big Sky team. No offense to Portland State, but they aren't exactly the Oregon Ducks secondary is it? If Little Moxie gets the call on Saturday, he can expect coverage to be a lot tighter, the pass rush to be a lot more fierce, and it's doubtful he'll have a running game in his back pocket that was able to get 5.5 yards per carry whenever it wanted to. No, this Saturday will be a much different deal. And oh yeah, Oregon is PISSED after kicking one vs. the Boise State Donkeys. Really pissed.

The sad part of this story is that it appears the career of Gary Rogers is over. I guess he could potentially apply for a medical redshirt and try to get another year of eligibility, but that seems like a stretch at this point. He's out of the hospital now, but has to recover from a break of the seventh bone from the base of the skull.

The best news is that Rogers was able to move his limbs, and left the hospital under his own power. It could have been much, much worse than it turned out to be. But unfortunately, we can now file Rogers in the Mike Pattinson category. You know, good guy and a QB who hung around and hung around, then finally got his shot, only to have it cut short in his last season due to injury.

We will always wonder what could have been with big Gary. Who knows what he could have done with experience, a good offensive line, an NFL running back in Jerome Harrison and some NFL-type WR's like Jason Hill and Michael Bumpus around him. That famous drive vs. Auburn might have been brief, but anyone who watched it will always at least understand the kind of upside he had, and why so many people wanted to see this thing work out for him. Good luck to Gary, and get healthy!

Moving on, it's not exactly a lock that Marshall will get the ball this Saturday. Kevin Lopina's shoulder is bruised, so he's not exactly fit to start right now. But Wulff said they will monitor him all week, and leading on that if he's healthy, he will start.

Lopina's health is a big concern. Anyone who watched him early in that game on Saturday can see that his arm strength is a problem right now. He sure had more zip on the ball vs. Baylor than he did on Saturday, so maybe that sore throwing wrist is bothering him more than they are letting on? But wow, some of his throws were just terrible, some dying quails fluttering in the breeze. I had some flashbacks to.....never mind.

Lopina also really needs to clean up the turnovers. On both of his INT's on Saturday, they weren't just poor throws, but bad decisions to boot. The first on a roll-out on third down, where he threw it deep into an area where three defenders were waiting. It had absolutely no chance. The second one was basically a jump-ball to Gibson, thrown up for grabs, and fluttered away and right to the defensive back. Yes, it was only his second-ever start, and growing pains for him are expected, even if he is a junior. But that's now five INT's in roughly two games of playing time. We know how bad turnovers are, but for a team that is so thin and lacking experience in so many areas, the last thing we can afford is giving the ball away so much. And while we did get three turnovers of our own on defense, we STILL lost the turnover battle on Saturday, giving it away four times to Portland State. That just cannot continue.

Finally, major hat-tip to Michael Bumpus!

Bump hauled in his first NFL TD yesterday, making a diving grab of a Matt Hasselbeck pass in the end zone to get the Hawks their first score yesterday, on the way to a 37-13 rout of the winless Lambs. Bump only had two catches, and he muffed a punt that was recovered by St Louis, but still, great to see him score a TD. Who knows what the future holds, as both Bobby Engram and Deion Branch are expected to return - hopefully - after the bye week, so he may be headed back to the practice squad. But still, as an undrafted free agent to be playing in the WR rotation by the third week of the season, and contributing? GREAT JOB BUMP!

That's about it. Enjoy your Monday, a Monday after a WIN, and GO COUGS!


HatefulCoug said...

I think Lobster is definitely the way to go. You get to do the sweet claw hands every time he makes a completion.

Sedihawk said...

You are right Hateful one. The claw hands is a good idea when you think about it. It makes too much sense. Oh well! :)

Don't be a stranger Hateful.

Brinkhater said...

I like "Rock Lobster," personally. Or maybe that's just the song that they can play at martin every time we get the ball.

But is anyone else troubled by the lack of endorsement of our new guy following that performance?

After all, I thought that Wulff's message around the Rogers controversy was that games mattered more than practice. Does anyone think that anything that Lopina has done in a GAME is even close to what the Lobster did on Saturday?

Anyhow, you know that both guys will play significant minutes the rest of the year. Hell, IF the line doesn't shape up, we'll see JT Levy in there by the third quarter Saturday.

Lucas said...

What about Mox. It's short for Moxie, and is the nickname of the high school quarterback in Varsity Blues who takes over when the al lworld QB goes down?

Mox is a fox!

AtlantaCoug said...

Glad Rogers is OK. I don't think I have ever seen a QB get a spine injury on a hit like that. Normally, those are the kind of hits that give concussions or broken chin straps. Rogers is the 1st winner if the "Mike Pattinson" award. (QB who waits for years in the shadows to get his shot at glory only to get injured and disappear into the night).

CougX said...

He's from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island (I was stationed there eith years) which has a large population of ancestors Netherlands ('Dutch Mafia' as it was known), witness the large windmill at the park near downtown. So 'The Dutchman' gets my vote.

Otherwise this quaterback episode follows a historical Coug pattern where the heir apparent is injured and a young star gets his chance usually never to be relenquished.

Sedihawk said...

Good call on Mox Lucas. Very good. We'll see what sticks. Hopefully he'll be worthy of a nickname.

Nuss said...

I'm with Brinkhater -- it has to be Rock Lobster.

Complete with this.

Grady said...

Nope. Just "lobster". But I agree with playing "Rock Lobster" as he takes the field.

Anonymous said...

Jerome Harrison scored his first TD too.