Sunday, October 26, 2008

Texas Tech React

It's a little abridged, because all you really need to do is look at the box score. If you actually sat through any or all of it, then you definitely know what happened. Not much of anything I say will be all that original or unique.

The outcome was: stunning. Obviously I was plenty prepared for a loss, but anything even resembling what occurred yesterday was a complete shock to me. It sounds like hyperbole and maybe it is, but I honestly think it was the worst loss in Kansas history because of the expectations that came along with it (remember, they were actually favored).

Offensive MVP was: Jake Sharp. It seems like more than a coincidence to me that this offense has hummed along when he has gotten carries and stalled when we forget he’s on the roster. Yesterday was no different.

Defensive MVP was: idle. I’m not entirely sure the defense showed up yesterday.

Offensive LVP was: Todd Reesing. He looked as great as ever in the first quarter and did next to nothing the rest of the way. It was by no means entirely his fault, but three picks in four passes is what it is and it was gut wrenching to watch.

Defensive LVP was: Mark Mangino. Quite obviously the personnel is not there for a spread stopping defense. But why he has decided that switching guys out of position for the first time in the same week that they’re about to play the best passing team in the country is beyond me. Nicks and scratches aside, the only real change in either the offensive or defensive starting lineups last year was Thornton for Resby. Now he’s changing them every week. Players can’t get better that way. And they certainly can’t play on a Saturday in that way if they’re looking over their shoulder every time they make a mistake. I’m sure Clint will take the brunt of this publicly, but in house they know Mangino has been the problem.

The running game was: the only bright spot. It’s pretty obvious that this running game has developed very well and can be a perfect complement to the passing attack and possibly even carry the load at times. But for some reason Mangino and Warinner keep forgetting this at pretty crucial points in the game. After watching Tech’s first three drives, it was pretty apparent that they weren’t going to be stopped. Knowing that, wouldn’t it make sense to try and burn some clock, keep their offense off the field and let the defense rest/analyze as much as possible? Instead, we came out and went: pass (I), pass (I), sack, punt. Then, pass (C), run (first down), pass (C), sack (fumble).

The pass rush was: worse than ever. Though this was expected, it’s no less disappointing that it was so non-existent. Given that there was no pressure and we’ve rotated in Arist and Springer anyway, why not line up Rivera as a d-end and just let him speed rush through the wide splits or around the gigantic tackles? Given that they were trying Daymond Patterson at corner, it seems like just about any idea was in play. I think mine sounds a little more realistic anyway.

KSU fear factor is: 5 out of 10. Base line of 5. And I’m just going to leave it right there, either out of stupidity, stubbornness, both, or even something else entirely. I guess it should be higher than this considering that J-Free threw for nearly 500 yards yesterday and it’s not entirely evident that Kansas is capable of causing an incompletion.

Going into next week I feel: confused. I never expected any sort of dream season repeat, but I certainly thought this team was capable of playing with any team in country. And then they sort of proved me right a week ago when they went down, fought through some mistakes and played Oklahoma pretty tough in Norman. Then yesterday happened. They had a chance to take a huge step on a national stage. Instead, they shit the bed. And now, they’re 8 games in and they’re not even bowl eligible. And despite all that, they still control their own destiny as far as the league is concerned. The next two remain more than winnable and while the last two seem much less so, the games still have to be played and anything can happen. Rock Chalk!

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