Hello Followers. Hope your weekend is off to a great start.
Today, our Cougs travel down to SLC to play the talented, but nonetheless not-so-mighty Utes.
For a few pre-game thoughts and predictions, click on the old Jumpa-Vegas.
Followers, last week I told you that I thought we would win this game. And nothing has occurred since then to make me feel any different. Although Utah’s defense is certainly formidable, and although I think White is one heckuva running back…
….this is one that I think we’re going to take care of comfortably. And the reason? Well, if you look at how the Utes have performed so far this season on offense, it becomes evident pretty quickly that don't score a whole lot of points (Last week’s game against the California Quitters notwithstanding). And so, the key to LOSING to the Utes is pretty simple: Turn the ball over, let White run wild, and give up a bunch of big plays on special teams.
So, when you look at the keys to the game today, well, they are pretty darn simple:
Key #1: Protect the Ball. Utah is pretty good at moving the ball 20-30 yards per possession, which is just fine when they’re starting inside their opponents red zone. In addition, Utah has not lost when they are +2 in turnover margin, and have won only once when they were -1 or worse (Utah State). So, if you protect the ball against Utah, you win. Hear that Mr. Tuel?
Key #2: Stop the Run. Some nice talk out there about the upside of Mr. Travis Wilson who is a guy who reminds me a bit of Sean Mannion of last year—dangerous IF he is able to throw out of play action. So, if we are able to stop White early and put Utah in third and long, I think we’ll see Wilson act a lot like the freshman quarterback that he is.
Key #3 Don’t Be Special. If we wind up talking about special teams today it will be because we lost. This is not to say that Andrew Furney won’t play a role in this game, because I think he might. But it is to say that if our kicking game does its job—meaning we don’t allow big returns and avoid fumbling kick-offs and punts, then we’ll be well on our way to achieving Key #1 and winning the game.
This game will serve as THE barometer of where this team is at moving forward. ...
Will we continue to see the team that turns moral victories into persistent let-down performances? Or, are we finally ready and able to translate a strong, albeit losing, performance into a turn-the-corner/turn-some-heads type performance/stretch-run?
My guess is that Utah’s defense at home is good enough to keep our offense under 30 points, but I also think the Hair Raid turns in a performance that helps cement their status as one of the most improved defensive units in the country.
Cougs win 28-20 as Tuel throws for 450 yards and 3 touches against the conference’s 11th ranked pass efficiency defense.
Oregon State 24 ASU 21. With USC on the docket for next week, ASU could be headed straight toward another miserable mid-season slide.
AZ 51 UCLA 24. Nothing would be better than for UCLA to come into Pullman next week ranked #20 in the country and with A LOT to play for. Unfortunately, after looking at their secondary play against ASU, this looks like a game where Arizona just roles. And after today, the South champion will be all-but guaranteed to have 3 losses. NOT GOOD for Oregon’s National Championship aspirations.
Oregon 51 USC 31. I think this game is going to be a thriller up until the end of the 3rd quarter, at which point the onslaught will begin.
Stanford v. Colorado. Who cares?
We’ll be back after the game for a few quick post-game thoughts.
All for now. Go Cougs.
I believe there is something inheritly wrong with a leader, any leader, who publicly ridicules his troops, players, employees, (fill in the blank here), for any reason. The place for that is behind closed doors.
None of the players have, and they probably won't, say anything about CML publicly. My though here though is that Leach has completely lost his players with his tirade in the press and his actions sending the lines out to face reporters. I will be surprised if we actually sign some of the verbals now. I wouldn't want to play for a coach who belittles me and my teammates.
Egos abound in the coaching ranks, and CML is showing way too much of his. I agree with Walla that Moos will be shown the door sooner rather than later if he doesn't use his own ego to yank Leach back in line.
Yesterday's preformance notwithstanding, Leach owes his players a very public appology for what he said about them and what he did to them. Yes it's the players who didn't perform, but it's the coaches who need to take responsibility publicly. Any GOOD coach will do that, before he rips the team in the locker room.
On another note: On the Cougar Pre-game show, they said the PAC-12 has approved Jeff Tuel for another year of eligibility. Now it's up to the NCAA.
The Barometer says we suck and won't win another game this year--though we'll believe we'll win the Apple Cup. The Barometer also says we won't win more than four games next year. The Barometer says we'll get beat next year by a terrible Auburn team down there and all the SEC boobs will crow about how bad the PAC is and we'll feel the wrath from our PAC brethren for letting them the conference down on the national stage. The Barometer says forget about bowls until Leach's fourth year. And if he's nowhere near turning this thing around, expect Moos--that's right--Moos to be shown his walking papers and a new AD brought in to fire Leach.
I didn't believe that I would ever see a losing stretch like this again...ever. Sure, we miss a bowl for a couple years, then get back to one again, but I never thought we would be bowlless for two decades, because that's what I fear is happening.
You guys should look at CougCenter. Nusser and the boys ridicule everyone who questions Leach, his lack of adapting to his talent, his--maybe--lack of coaching ability? Anyone who suggests narrowing the gaps in the line is an idiot. I don't know if those guys were as devoted to Wulff, but their coach worship borders on cultism. Jim Jones here we come!
I forgot. They also ridicule those who question his approach to belittling his players in front of the media.
Yes, I know. This site does not need to be concerned with another site, but again, I couldn't get through to Footballblog so I had to read something. I just don't understand the Leach-love at this point. He may yet turn it around in time (though I was promised a bowl NOW), but I've lost a ton of respect for him. A ton. Knowing what I know about him now...if I could go back in time and hire a replacement for Wulff, I would certainly not choose Leach.
@WallaCoug Agree 100%. The program would be so much better off with Wulff still at the helm right now. Not going to pretend like I wasn't excited when we hired Leach, but I thought the Wulff firing was a huge mistake. Moos panicked and made a splash move that is blowing up in his face.
I happened to catch some of Leach's interview on 710 following the game, ripping all the players and their efforts today. Not trying to defend anyone because that was some of the most piss-poor football I have seen since 2008-09, but at some point Leach needs to shut his mouth and figure things out internally. I just don't think ripping the team through the press each week is going to fix things. If anything, people will start to tune him out. Oh boy, I am not at all optimistic about the future of the program. What a pathetic all-around performance today.
Hey, Penguins! I finally was able to get to the comments section after about 16 tries. Thanks.
Leach has no class. And I think Travis Long is now officially P.O.'d at the head man. He was made to go to the press conference along with the O-line and D-line. Caple says he answered a question, then got up and left the others at the table. I'm sure Leach will be mad about that. But tell me Cap'n Leach, what exactly did Long do wrong? Pick off a pass in deep coverage (pretty good for a converted D-end), knock down another on a nicely timed leap. Played pretty solid D all around. I'd P.O.'d with Leach's crap too. Hey coach! How about you take some of the responsibility sometime? How about not blowing off about everything you think to reporters and tear down your team in front of the world? You don't have to say nice things about them. But you also don't have to rip them a new one in the papers. Rip 'em a new one in the locker room and on the practice field. I get the feeling reading Caple's stuff that he doesn't think much of this goob either. No class Leach, no class. And no clue either.
And yes, I just admitted reading Caple! What am I supposed to do when I can't get through to the Footballblog???
The thing I like most about football is that it is brutally honest; there is no bullshit, no spin, no bias. The evidence is laid bare in the crucible of competition. And the verdict on this season is clear: we are terrible. We're the worst team in the conference, and among the worst in the country. Our talent is nowhere near our competition; our team plays dispassionately, and still, paradoxically, with a sense of entitlement. If it wasn't clear before, this game starkly paints the true picture of our situation: at this moment, we are a lower-tier Sun Belt team.
Going winless in conference is pretty much a given at this point. What kills me is that with our last chance to get to a bowl game, to have a winning season...we went down with hardly a whimper. This thing is going to take half a decade to rebuild...I think Leach is the right guy to do it, but for now... I just can't take this anymore.
wooohooo TD on last play due to dumbarse Utah player taunting.......little victories guys, little victories......it seems we are back to this :(
btw, is it really true the last 2TDs by Utah have been by their 3rd string offense?......that is what radio broadcasters are saying...............
maybe we should not deny it anymore.......we are built for div1-AA.....we beat EWU we could still be competing for a national championship right now!! ;) OK all joking aside, this is so embarrassing......when is last time we were shut out??
ok great, lets give up 49-50pts today to top it all off!!!
49-0 drubbing usually gets a coach fired..........how does Leach talk his way outta this one this next week?? can he at least get us ready for the apple cup?? - PLEASE!!!???
Agree with Cyber, Paul Wulff was crucified for this crap and frankly his team last year was better than this one. The Mike Leach hype doesn't even closely match the results. No more passes treat this guy the way you treated Wulff. We were getting better with CPW major step backwards with CML and his recruits are not any better rated than what we've seen the last few years. CML is in way over his head and he doesn't even try to change, oh wait it's all the players fault..... Been a season ticket holder since '87 and truly am disgusted at what we've become. We are worse than Oregon was in the 80's!
I am starting to seriously consider Mike Leach's system does not work in the Pac-12....regardless if he had his GUYS running it.......it worked in Big12 but in Pac12 where we run pro style offenses, does his scheming/philosophy really work and especially now in 2012????.......I am not sure anymore......give me run run pass (Notre Dame style) vs this.......at least we could keep the other team's offense off the field for a bit and maybe only get drilled 27-0?......what is up with completely no running game - it is like saying on defense you will totally committ to stopping the run however the pass, well - not gonna worry since heck if you pass, we will have 11 in the box and hopefully you will never get the pass off/ we will sack you........we don't need no stinking pass defense (i.e. running game).........anyway congrats the Utes today.....they look like the real deal.
"Don't accept mediocrity! Remove 'Coug'n it' from your vocabulary." Well guess what, YOU FIRST. Charging people $2000 a seat and $100 a season to park out in the sticks to watch this shit excuse for football is unacceptable. If our coach was anybody not named Mike Leach they'd be one-and-done. No way is this team better than Wulff's team lat year and unlike last year, this year we'll be LOSING our best Offensive player, Defensive player, and starting QB. No way is this team even competitive before 2014.
Don't hold back, it's good to let all that out. You may be optimistic though, that's only two years away.
and the game would not be complete failure without us allowing a 100yd kickoff return for a TD......did that happen to start the 2nd half?.....sorry, I am kinda glad I do not get Pac-12 network here in Reno, NV to get this game.....I think I would be very sick right now...........does Leach continue to get a free pass and if so, how long? also, are we the only ones that knew this game was a MUST win??!!! sure seems our football team and coaching staff did not.......42-0 this is embarrassing with 8mins left to go........completely piss poor laying a shit egg yet again........ok I better turn off my xm radio broadcast of this game since I am sure I am jinxing even more with my bad mojo........hopefully we can get a FG or something so we are not shut out.......so Utah is better than Oregon/Stanford it seems - hopefully they get some votes this next week ;)
Gotta say Sutra, I think you've been smokin', drinkin', sniffin' the wrong stuff! This is probably more embarassing than the loss to CU. Here's a game we probably should win and both the offense and the defense are laying eggs all over the place. What's the most frustrating about the whole thing is there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to how the Cougs play. They look like contenders one play, and then look like they don't even know what a football is the next.
I certainly hope the turd quarter isn't, but lets be honest here...right now we suck.