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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Game Day, Part "Amen!"

OK, I wanted to just copy, paste, and link to Tom Shatel's Tuesday column regarding the USC game and the aftermath. However, the Omaha World-Herald is inexplicitly doing the "subscribe for premium content!" deal. I mean, the New York Times can't even get this to work! And the World-Herald thinks it's going to work for them? I've got to tell you, the leadership there is just wonderful, isn't it?

ANYWAYS...on to the column:


"...It's not time to write off Kevin Cosgrove yet. But feel free to go find a nice pen.

The good news, or bad, for Cosgrove is that there are nine regular-season games left. Beginning with Missouri on Oct. 6, there are four or five straight games (if you want to throw Kansas in as a bonus test *Ed. Note: Yes, you absolutely throw Kansas in as a "test." I am scared to death of that game.) in which he could look really good or really bad.

Now, let's admit: Cosgrove has had his moments. Cosgrove's defense kept NU in the game against Oklahoma and Auburn in big games late last season. He could still rally the troops, and his own cause.

But does anyone honestly expect that?

To get the Blackshirts up off the canvas after USC's knockout on Saturday night, Cosgrove would have to motivate the Blackshirts. That's not exactly his strength.

The Blackshirts don't show the fire or passion you need on defense. They don't fly to the ball. They don't tackle. As someone who has great experience in being tackled, I can tell you, tackling is not about technique. Tackling is about wanting to. It's really the essence of football. If you are arm-tackling, like half the Blackshirts, you don't really want to hit someone.

Charlie McBride and Bo Pelini--there, I said it--were masters of getting players to fly to the ball and tackle.

Now, there is also this little issue of adjusting and having players lined up right. Cosgrove will tell you that he's experienced and knows what he's doing with X's and O's. But he also said of Saturday night: "It really was nothing that needed to be adjusted."

GA Hill: OK, to go FJM real quick: that quote should lead to a public flogging in the town square. "IT REALLY WAS NOTHING THAT NEEDED TO BE ADJUSTED." Let that sink in for a minute. OK, now tell me this: what's your blood pressure at? Mine is at "really high, even for a guy that doesn't work out and drinks too much beer." Back to the column...

Huh? When holes are that wide, and USC is running through them (with that "ghost" in motion, coaxing the linebacker to follow), then something needs adjusted.

It may, in fact, be the defensive coordinator. Some of us expected USC to win that game. What we didn't expect were such craters in the defense, not at this stage of the game. In his fourth year, Cosgrove looks like a solid D-coordinator, but not a difference-maker who is going to help get this program to the top. See how this season goes. But, the way it's already going (missed tackles in back-to-back weeks), Bill Callahan is going to have to make a tough decision about his good friend."

So there you have it. A column I never thought I would ever read in the World-Herald, especially since they are a huge corporate sponsor now. (By the way, should a newspaper sponsor a entity that it covers all the time? I guess this column shows that they will cover it the way it should be--and it is just sports we're talking about--but isn't there some sort of journalistic standard they're flipping off here? Journalistic integrity! Business acumen! We're the World-Herald!)

Another note, brought up to me yesterday by Toffer, on the subject of Castille not playing Saturday: why the hell didn't he play Saturday? Aren't they in a perfect situation to pull of a poor-man's Reggie Bush and LenDale White here? If you have Castille lining up at fullback every play, and Lucky--a man who has needed a lead blocker more than anyone who has played football, ever--lining up at I-back, well...isn't that just the smart thing to do? Doesn't that pose a dual-threat from the backfield everytime? Did it just work too well against Nevada to not try it again?

I have already written this, but I'll do it again: why the single-back dive everytime? That is, why the single-back dive everytime we play teams who can stop that play in their sleep? It's as though this staff's biggest coaching enemy is themselves, because they officially have a track record of out-coaching themselves. It worked to the tune of 5 or 6 YPC against Nevada. Why not do it until a team completely shuts it down? I am sure that if we would have ran that way, USC would have stopped it here and there, but it would have attributed to far more positive running plays.

Alright, that's the last post I'm doing on that debacle. Coming tomorrow (or maybe Friday): a preview of Ball State. Because, as Lou Holtz would say: "Somebody's got to pay for last week, and it's gonna be Ball State!"

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Wow. I can't believe he said that he didn't think there was anything that needed to be adjusted. I knew he was thinking that, but I didn't think he would actually say it out loud. If I was the AD I would have fired him before he could have even finished that idiotic statement. What a fucking jerk off. What does require a defensive adjustment in the eyes of Coz? USC could have gotton 20+ yards almost everytime on a simple dive play and Coz doesn't realize he should have tried to make some changes to combat this. He must go.
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