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Joined: 10/25/05 Posts: 2131
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Until last week, I didn't think we could compete in a shootout; we'll see

Was last week a fluke? Us playing better than we have all season and Cincinnati looking ahead? Hard to gauge. The effort, particularly on offense, was something we haven't seen all year. Ahlers with time and making (mostly) good decisions, receivers making catches in traffic and on poor throws and gaining YAC.

For me, the game last weekend was the first one this season that was what I would call fun. There have been enjoyable bits and pieces - plays, mostly, or sometimes a quarter. But mashing Gardner Webb and narrowly beating William & Mary and ODU wasn't fun. And getting trounced by State, Navy and USF certainly wasn't fun. We saw some signs of improvement with Temple and UCF, but not until Cincinnati did it feel like we were competitive and had a chance to win. Hell, we should have won.

I don't know a lot about SMU, but in the 1 or 2 games I have seen, they appear to have a lot of speed and receivers who make catches, which doesn't bode well for our DBs. They score a lot, but they've also given up a lot of points. They haven't really blown anybody out (at least not in a Navy-ECU sort of way).

Bottom line, given our inconsistency, I have no idea what to expect. Either we'll build on the success from last week and have a good, competitive game in the 30s or 40s, or we'll revert/regress to offensive inertia and a defense that can't stop anyone or anything, which will result in something in the range of 52-9.

I have to remind myself constantly that 2019 is all about building a foundation. The glimpses of improvement give us great hope, but the 50-yard TDs to a wide-open receiver give us great pause. I believe Coach Houston will make us competitive down the road, but we're going to continue to have some very painful moments in the meantime. I have to remember that while it's a miserable year 5 for us fans, it's year 1 for him and his staff, and what they inherited was a team and program in absolute disarray.

Focusing on the future prize helps make the bitter pill of 2019 a little easier to swallow. Here's hoping we see signs Saturday that the development and fundamentals are starting to take hold.

[Post edited by '82Pirate at 11/08/2019 10:42AM]

Posted: 11/08/2019 at 08:57AM


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