Double T Nation News:
Okay, I think I'm over Saturday's loss, but I needed a good 24 hours to let it go. I think we all needed a little time away from the situation.
I'm still a little confused about going for it on 4th down so often. Harrell's quote that it wouldn't have made much difference whether they punted or whether they went for it, and that seems like a worse case scenario. In other words, Harrell and Leach were assuming that LaCour was going to punt it into the endzone every time, thus giving the ball to Missouri on the 20. I couldn't help but think of this as I watched the Dallas Cowboy game yesterday, off and on, and there was a series, I think in the 2nd quarter, where Minnesota was pinned deep in their own territory, the defense held and the Vikings were forced to punt giving the offense the ball at their own 44. I'm not saying that I think that Missouri would have gone into the same type of shell, but giving your defense the chance to make a play, block a punt in Missouri's endzone, or something could have changed the game. I just would have liked to have given the defense a chance.
Am I the only one who thinks this is a viable option or am I just focusing on one detail that probably would not have mattered in the long run? I know that the idea of punting the ball is roundly rejected at Texas Tech, but sometimes, it can give your team a distinct advantage. The premise that Missouri would have gone conservative offensively is not likely, but it would have been nice to see what the defense could have done with those opportunities as they seemed able to shut down the Missouri offense for most of the 1st half.
I know, there are probably a lot more significant things to complain about, including what I thought was a sub-standard performance for the offensive line. Harrell did have time for the most part, but as I remember the game, he seemed to be under pressure quite a bit. Not to mention, they were unable to create any running lanes for Woods, although according to my notes there were only 3 rushing attempts in the 2nd half.
As mentioned in the game thread and post game thread, the play calling did seem uninspired as I think we've all seen better from Coach Leach before.
It's time to move onward and forward. I could spend plenty of time bemoaning about how this is the same story, different verse, but I can't help but believe in this group. Perhaps its the idea that I am too much of a fan to distinguish between what has continually happened and what I keep hoping to happen. There will are two more opportunities this year for this team to dispel any of those doubts: Texas and Oklahoma.
As I said yesterday, there are 2 big games in front of us. Colorado at home to get back on track and the hated Baylor Bears in Waco. Obviously, let's focus on each game at a time, but as much as the NW St. and Iowa State was a window for the defense to improve, this is a short window for the entire team to get back on track. There's nothing wrong with expecting a victory at home against an unranked Colorado team and there is certainly nothing wrong with expecting a victory against Baylor. In fact, I wonder if we asked nicely, would BearMeat cheering for a Texas Tech victory, which might get Guy Morris one step closer to being fired and then all BU alum can rejoice in the hiring of Mike Singletary as their head coach next year? We'll ask nicely next week.
Texas Tech Football:
LAJ's Don Williams is the only one with an article this morning and writes that Leach has confidence in this group:
"We've got a team with a lot of character. I'm sure we'll prepare well and bounce back. This group has been really rewarding to coach as far as their character and their willingness to step up.''
This is a significant change for Coach Leach who has known to berate his team after a bad loss (see TCU last year and OSU). There's something about this team that Leach likes, perhaps it's the idea that he's got kids who are still competing every play, even if this effort doesn't show up on the scoreboard.
Graham Harrell on yesterday's loss and the current make-up of the locker room:
I do believe that this is a tight-knit group whereas typically you can get some fighting amongst the offense and defense, but I don't get that sense this year. Here's Coach Leach on the play of the defense: