Posted: 6:47 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013
By Collin Sherwin
Love you, interwebs
My friend Kevin sent this to me around 3am this morning. If you know who made it originally, tell us so we can properly attribute it.
My first instinct is to not blame coaching for something like this. As a blog, we figured on giving Coach Taggart a full pass for 2013 because we knew the cupboard was left rather barren by Skip Holtz. But when you suffer the worst loss a BCS team ever has to an FCS team, some questions must get asked. Let's discuss:
* "Matt understands we're not going to go in game by game, him worrying about his position being taken," Taggart said on the American Athletic Conference coaches teleconference. "We're going to get behind Matt and support him. He also knows we need production from that position. He has to do something, too, like the rest of our guys. We expect him to do something."
"He's gotten a lot better than where he was in spring ball. When he came to training camp, he was night and day better than he was then," Taggart said. "Even from the leadership part of it, you see him starting to be a little more vocal. It seems like he's really focused. He doesn't get rattled. He's made a lot of plays for us, throwing the ball and also running around. I think whenever you have a guy who can get you at least two first downs with his feet and can throw the football, you have a really good chance to have some success on offense. He was able to do that and do it consistently, to get us into the right plays."
The first question we'd be asking the USF version of Jay Carney: "Is that statement no longer operative?"
We get you want to support your starting quarterback and give him every opportunity to succeed. And we were very much on board with the move. But we're not at practice every day. We were trusting the judgement of our new coaching staff in their assessments of his play. How could they have possibly gotten this more wrong?
Last night Matt Floyd looked exactly like the Matt Floyd we saw last season. He's clearly not anywhere near even replacement level at quarterback. What in the sam hell did you think you saw that would make you believe he was the guy to lead your offense? And what does that say about your ability to assess and prepare talent?
It would be one thing to say "we're going with Matt for now, but there are other options on the table down the road if needed." But to basically move all-in on Floyd and then not even have him get out of the third quarter against an FCS team... I mean that's a reason for us to be legitimately concerned, right? There's clearly a lack of talent on this roster, but how you handle it is on the coaching. It seems now like an unwise path was plotted here.
Also, thanks again to Skip Holtz for pulling that redshirt off Bobby Eveld for all of eight passes last year during the Miami game when we were 3-6 and clearly not going to a bowl game. Not that having Eveld next year would be helpful in this rebuilding project or anything.
"In that first game, if we come out and become a sit-back-and-think defense, I've slighted our guys," he said. "I want our guys, from the first snap to the very last snap, to go out and fly around. If they make mistakes, they're making it at a thousand miles an hour. Not standing there going 'Should I do this or that?' We have to master a couple of things. We'll go into a game shorthanded as far as what we have available -- we know how to play it and we can play it against anything, that's better to me than having 92 different things but you're not really sure about any one of them."
"As soon as the second read is done, that guy's either on his back with the ball in his hand, or the ball's up in the air for grabs," he said. "Punishing the quarterback is going to be big for us."
As Gary pointed out here, there wasn't a lot of flying around anywhere happening. And The Green Plague of Aaron Lynch's boasting looked more like The Mild Sinus Infection, failing to record a sack while conceding 424 yards over 67 total plays to an FCS team. USF did force two interceptions, but what stood out was the lack of push in the middle. The Cowboys were running in between the tackles against the vaunted front seven everyone thought would be the strength of the Bulls. Lynch, Giddens, Watson, Sager; the guys we thought would be difference makers just weren't in any meaningful way.
"Sit-back-and-think" is a helluva lot better than "getting-whupped-every-damn-play." Let's also lay some blame at the DB's for failing to tackle and cover too. In case you had already started drinking or searching for your Klonopin, the 78-yard touchdown pass by Cody Stroud to Nic Jacobs that made the score 50-21 Cowboys was some Hall of Fame level of quit by the defense. It was nothing short of utterly pathetic.
Jamie made some points about Bresnahan returning to college in January, and his skepticism seems prescient as of now. But remember this is still just one game. Granted it's absolutely the lowest moment in team history... but still, our record is only 0-1. There's still eleven opportunities to #DoSomething.
The old cliche about football teams making the most improvement between week one and week two is actually true. At this point, let's just hope to see improvement from week to week. But it's clear this rebuilding job isn't just some new paint and drywall: it looks like we're breaking out a bulldozer and ripping up the entire foundation too.