By now everyone who is anyone knows how the game went on Saturday. Then like clockwork, just like after every other lose, people start chirping. Everyone wants to have their opinions heard.
“We can’t expect our offense to score every possession.”
“Why can’t our offense move the ball consistently?”
“Why can’t our defense stop the run? Or for that matter, the pass?”
“How long of a leash are we going to give our coaching staff?”
“How can you call 45 points a good defensive outing?”
Then there are people like me who ask question like:
“How many opportunities does our defense have to give our offense before they can capitalize?”
“Yes, we did give up 45 points, but our defense completely kept us in the game. What else do you want?”
Do these questions sound contradictory? You bet your bottom dollar that they do.
It’s time to revise our expectations. I’ll admit, at the beginning of the season I predicted a 9-3 or 10-2 season. My mentality was that our offense could outscore our defensive inefficiencies. Obviously, that was an unrealistic expectation.
However, fast forward to this past Saturday. Our defense nearly made up for our offensive inefficiencies. Not only was our defense responsible for a 100 yard fumble return, but that was only one of their two forced turnovers throughout the game. They also forced numerous punts, and last but not least on a 3rd and short and a 4th and short, we stonewalled Swoopes TWICE! Yes we did give up 45 points, but there is no reason why we shouldn’t have won that game.
Here is where the contradictions bug me. Tech fans are always saying “If we have the number one offense in the country we should be able to score at will.” Well clearly that didn’t happen. Then people hop right back into the “Fire Gibbs” wagon and complain about how much our defense sucks, and that’s what really bothers me. I am not sure what more you can ask for from our defense, at least as of right now. They stepped up huge when they needed to, and they gave Pat Mahomes and our “high flying” offense as many opportunities as they could.
If we are under the impression that our offense is going to score every possession then we are wrong, and I’ll admit, that was me. On the other hand, if we expect our defense to hold people under 30, we are wrong as well. We are holding our team to a double standard. We set our expectation way too high, and then when they aren’t met we call for people’s jobs, that just doesn’t seem right.
I personally don’t want to see Gibbs or Kliff fired, because turning around a program, whether it’s defense or offense (or both) takes time. You can’t just snap your fingers and expect things to get better, and whether you can see if or not, things are getting better. We are just a few steps short of where we want to be.
So, I’m asking y’all to hang in there. I know this season didn’t go quite as expected, but I’m seeing some good things developing. Our defense is playing with a lot of heart, and I’m excited to see what Mahomes has in store for next year (assuming he’s still here).
Saturday was another one of those games that I didn’t leave upset that we lost, I was proud of our team for fighting back into it, we just happened to come up a little short. Regardless of how many points we give up, how little we score, or who our coach may or may not be, I’m still proud of my team, and I’m proud to be a Red Raider.