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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Powder River, Let 'Er Buck!


With a 44-0 shutout of the Wyoming Cowboys, the Cougars increased the count of unanswered points to 103.  The last two games, though decisive blowouts of the opposing teams, have still left a lot of people wondering how good the Cougars really are? Were those wins really that impressive?


They impressed me, and I'll tell you why.

Offensively:

In the case of the UCLA game, there is no doubt that their offense is struggling.  The defense on the other hand was the side of the ball for the Bruins that was going to be their strong point this season.  With all the coaching changes that took place at UCLA, the defense retained their coordinator from the old coaching staff.  The schemes are still the same.  

Despite all the injuries to the Bruins, the defense remained healthy.  Two of there D-lineman, as well as one of their corners most likely will see time in the NFL.  The Bosworth brothers were the talk of the night by the ESPN commentators covering the Tennessee game in the Rose Bowl.

The Bruins defense is good, and the Y still put up 59 points against them.  That impresses me.  

What impresses me even more is that Max Hall went untouched for the entire game.  The offensive line gave him such good protection that I am guessing he didn't even have to wash his jersey in between games.  In fact, other than a couple of hits in the opening game against UNI, Max Hall hasn't really taken any hits since.  That impresses me.

The offense wasn't nearly as impressive in the game against the Cowboys.  We've become to accustomed to the methodical, almost machine like first drive of the game for a touchdown that the Cougars normally start with.  I think 65,000 fans sat stunned when the Cougars stalled the first two times they possessed the ball.

The second quarter they got things rolling though and scored on three straight possessions, one of which came off of a 62 yard strike from Hall to Collie.  When the passing game wasn't clicking the offense made some adjustments and went to the running game.  The success from the running game eventually led to the turn around of the passing game, and from there the scores came easily. 

It wasn't the near flawless performance that we have seen at times this year, but it was still good enough to get Max out of the game by midway through the third quarter. 

When BYU was up 41-0 I told my Dad that if they score again they ought to do a on-side kick.  We decided they wouldn't though because Coach Glen would be expecting it.     

Props to the O-line and Unga for jump starting the offense and keeping Max healthy.  

Defensively:

Any time a defensive squad can hold two division 1 teams scoreless in as many weeks, that in itself is impressive.  

I think the points are a little misleading because of the weak offenses that they faced, but I will still give them props for the physical play and for forcing so many turnovers.  

In both games the Bruins and Cowboys were able to move the ball into scoring position, but because of determination and a never quit attitude by the Cougs defense, they came away with nothing. 

In the Wyoming game the defense scored 14 points off of turnovers.  Anytime that you have an offense with the scoring ability of the Y as well as a defense that can create points, that's a pretty good combination that will lead to victories. 

I think the defense is better than what some local fans might think, but like with anything else only time will tell.  

I don't think we will know any clearer after their next game when they travel to Logan to face Utah State, even if they do get another shut out. (That's a very good possibility) 

Anytime your team can outscore their opponents 103-0 in two games time, and you still find something to critique, it means you're nitpicking.  I know that.  I think the Cougs are as good as their #11 ranking and look forward to the challenges they face in the future to prove that they are deserving of the attention that they have received.  

With the Utes and the Frogs in the top 25, if the Cougs can get through those two games with wins they will definitely deserve the national recognition.  The MWC is tough this year.  The national media and BCS need to take notice.  I think they have.

It's about time. 

5 comments:

Dr. P said...

utah state this year is the definition of a patsie, they are terrible. BYU and Utah would do better not to play them until they get better.

Fat One said...

whoop, whoop, yes sir the MWC is the real deal this year. Unfortunately this may be the worst enemy of the conferenece. What if they cannibalize themselves and knock each other off? That is my worst fear, I want either the Cougs or the Utes to knock off one of those arrogant S.O.B BCS conferences (obviously I prefer the Cougs). The PAC-10 is weaker overall this year and in my mind outside of USC there is no question about it. It makes me want to kick myself in the nuts when I hear all of these PAC-10 bozos down here in AZ justifying their ineptitude. I agree with what Shane said, to shut out two consecutive opponents proves the COugs worthiness to be ranked number 11. By the way I am now happy the Mountain is around this year because now i have watched every game this year, even though their broadcasts look like highschool games. The other interesting aspect is what happens to USC this year if they go undefeated in a terrible conference. After listening to some talking heads, I guess there is a possibility that they could be left out if the SEC and BIG 12 keep up their stellar play. That would be a sham as well, so if 4 teams go undefeated there will be a giant fight over the BCS. It will be interesting how everything shakes out. I am a Cougars fan, but has anyone seen this stud Chase Daniel from Missouri? He is an absolute stud, he is by far the best player in college FB this year. Max Hall is good, but if anyone but Daniel gets a vote for heisman first place in the heisman it would be a traveshamockery.

SittinDeadRed said...

The Aggies are horrible. For some reason though the majority of Ute and Cougar fans think that we need the in state play. I would be all for it if USU could produce a better team, but as of right now I would agree that it is a waste of time to play them.

FO-

I think there is a good possibility that the Cougs, Utes and Frogs knock each other out. All three teams are evenly matched and each game should be close. Don't be surprised, despite the good play by the MWC, when we are left out of the BCS play while a piss poor ACC, Big East and even a bad Pac Ten team (if USC gets into the title game) make it in. If no MWC teams comes out of this undefeated that is what will happen. The BCS system sucks.

Strength of schedule will be used against any MWC team. It should be used against USC as well. I think they are the best team in college football, but like any other team they should be held to the same standards and have to prove it.

Fat One said...

Scratch that, USC just lost to a bad Oregon State team, the MWC just lost even more ground in the strength of schedule stat. Even though I really like upsets, that one was not good.

SittinDeadRed said...

The MWC is getting all the attention right now. If any of the teams (BYU, Utes, TCU) go undefeated they'll get into a BCS game. USC losing to OSU won't matter.