Well Last nights loss to BYU was just… well, heartbreaking. Mike Leach’s comeback to College Football was not what anyone expected. High expectations, a heavily storied coaching staff and a still young team said to be oozing with talent, just set the stage for major disappointment. Disappointment is exactly what we got too!
I’m not going to spend much time recapping the game because there isn’t much to recap. It’s a new offense and with no pressure, sure Jeff Tuel can make his reads and quick decisions but last night, in one of the toughest places to play in the country, playing a team coming off a 10 win season, it just didn’t work out. Now I will say, I have more hope for our young defense than I first did coming in to this one. Yeah they were lost at times out there, they blew coverage and they missed some tackles. The thing I’m hopeful about is the speed they showed and how they can play reckless and quickly fly to the ball. Our freshman got some good experience last night and we learned a lot about our team.
So what now going forward? Well now we have two choices. We could panic and say “well now how do we piece together six wins to get to a bowl?” or we can take a deep sigh of relief, the pressure is off, we will slip under the radar for a few weeks and now we can focus week to week. The talent is there, you can see it. The problem was we haven’t had a chance for success on our team, nobody that played last night has played in a big setting on the road, most not even at home. So what do we do? Well this week, we focus on Eastern Washington, we need to focus on winning that game and running what we run effectively. We need to get Jeff Tuel taking more chances, having some trust in his receivers and making decisions quicker. We need to get Marquess more in the play to play mindset and to avoid getting frustrated when he’s not getting as many touches, we need to settle down on defense and make the play we can make right then, rather than taking these wild dives and out of position charges. Each week we need to deal with the opponent we face, one step at a time and our game will build into what we expected this year.
Mike Leach is a teacher. He will have these kids ready, don’t worry about that. As a fan base, the Cougar faithful have to stay strong in support of this system, this coach and definitely of these kids. Jeff Tuel will get some success and rhythm next week, Marquess will break free and start making his big plays, Gabe Marks will adjust to college ball and grow into an impact possession receiver over the next few weeks and our defense will learn position and discipline. Everything I saw last night can be fixed, but when Mike Leach says he doesn’t know what he has yet, he’s being honest. Now they have film, now they have lots to work with. Look for these Cougs to bounce back, shake it off and make the adjustments they need. Next week is crucial that we have success on offense and come up with a couple turnovers on defense. Now we go to work, lets lock in on Eastern Washington and how to win that game folks. We’re going to be fine, it hurts now but it had to happen to move forward. Mike Leach WILL change the course of this program but it’s going to happen one game at a time. Looking forward to next week already, Go Cougs!