I am not sure what to write to be honest. That was a hard game to watch. I will try and be as fair and rational as possible but I am a bit deflated after watching us struggle mightily versus an FCS school outside of a nice third quarter. It is going to take more than one quarter to beat every other team on the schedule outside of maybe Kansas.
- Mahomes was solid outside of the interception and almost interception early in the game. I think we have our man and can put any quarterback talk to rest for the time being. It feels good to say that because we have other stuff to focus on and specifically.....
- The defense HAS to improve. They played well at times and turned the Bearkats over four times but got gashed for over 600 yards. SHS average 6.9 yards/rush. Those stats can't be acceptable to anyone in the locker room.
- For all the talk of penalties in the offseason, they had ten penalties in the stat book. That doesn't include a handful of penalties that were declined. Ugly!
- The offense looked good overall. I still stand by the fact that we need to rush the ball more often. We will see if that changes as the weeks go by, but I am not holding my breath Kingsbury will change his offensive philosophy.
- Hopefully a few of the guys (Robertson and Bethel specifically) who sat out can make a difference on defense. They probably cannot turn the entire thing around, but we need all the help we can get.
- This team is still sloppy. Beyond the penalties, there were plenty drops, more missed tackles than I can count and bad plays at the wrong time. Kingsbury can preach from the podium about the discipline, but actions speak louder than words and I am not seeing it.
- I like the receivers and how well they compliment each other. I look forward to adding Cantrell to mix. Lauderdale over the top is deadly.
- I thought the most consistent and best part of the day were the special teams. They were very solid all day. Kick return for a touchdown, 46.2 punt average with a 60-yarder in the mix and no turnovers or major gaffs. We should hope for that every game.
- I hope Awe and Johnson aren't out for an extended period of time. They were two of our better players on defense.
- All that said, survive and advance which is what we did. I know it is hard to not start looking ahead and how the schedule plays out, but I saw plenty of teams struggle this first weekend. Penn State lost to Temple. Kansas lose to an FCS school. The list goes on. We can improve.
We better be ready for a heavy dose of rushing from UTEP next week. They have a better running back in Aaron Jones and he ate us up last year.