The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Submitted by Electron Erectshon on October 20th, 2008 at 1:57 AM

Since I’m locked in a protracted game of scrabble thought I’d bore you with my thoughts in between turns.  Any post I make this year should be prefaced with the fact that Brian Kelly was my first choice and Les my second.  My formerly jaded POV should be considered with that in mind (btw I support RR but also don't think it's wrong to have some doubts).  With that out of the way…

GOOD:

- We’re exciting again.  Not to be confused with train wreck exciting either.  The last time I remember being so excited about watching UM football was the Drew Henson days.  When Lloyd was coach I would often say I’d trade a win or two for a new coach that brought excitement to the Big House.  Well it’s here and I can honestly say that my POV hasn’t changed.  Even Kasparov would be hard-pressed to predict our play-calling this year.

- Quotes like these following the PSU game:

"I'm not discouraged," defensive end Brandon Graham said.  "I'm going to keep fighting."

"I had fun out there," linebacker John Thompson said.

"We'll get it done," lineman David Moosman said.

- RR is looking more and more like our mascot.  He’s deceptively witty, belligerent and ferocious just like a Wolverine.  This bodes well for us.  All great coaches bear a resemblance to their school mascot.  Every single one of them.  Take for example Coach K – a very successful little blue devil.  John Chaney, the wise old Temple Owl was no slouch in his day either.  Just to name a few.  This development might even outweigh the Addidas curse as far as irrelevant superstitions go.

- Looks like our meeting with Sparty is coinciding nicely with their annual death spiral.

BAD:

- Brandon Minor finally getting carries and teasing us with what might have been.

- Nick Sheridan getting snaps again and teasing us with what might have been.

- Sam McGuffie fumbling on the kick off return.  Fumblitis on this scale is mental and probably has little to do with mechanics.  What has our ball carriers freaked out?  Let’s hope it’s not the image of RR looking like he’s going to explode if they make a mistake. RR’s scowl is here to stay, let’s hope the fumbles are not.

- Terrelle Pryor coming of age. 

UGLY:

- The Lions and today's comeback bid.  I mean, if you’re gonna end up 0-16 might as well do it in grand fashion right?  Relative nail biters like this just won’t do.

- N. Illinois beating Toledo 38-7.  So I guess N. Illinois must be feeling as good as Wofford and Georgia Southern did last year when they upended Appy State following the original photo opp at the Big House.  Since a wiki entry does not exist for the Toledo debacle (like this one:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Appalachian_State_vs._Michigan_football_game) can we assume the Appy St loss was more monumental?

- This quote:

 "It was obviously not a very good game today," Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said. "Inability to tackle, turnovers, and we lost a very good opportunity to make an impact on this country."

Thank heaven we don’t have a coach who would say something like this.  Les might have said something like this.  If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.

Comments

Brewers Yost

October 20th, 2008 at 10:24 AM ^

I was a Brian Kelly fan too.

However, I disagree with you on the fumbling. Some of the previous fumbles were mechanics related. Ex: Trent (not carrying it high and tight) and Mathews (wrong hand). McGuffie just got rocked on the kickoff, it wasn't mechanics related or mental. You just have to give the PSU player credit for putting his "hat on the ball."

MI Expat NY

October 20th, 2008 at 11:39 AM ^

If I remember correctly, McGuffie was relatively in the middle of the field when he got hit hard.  Far different from mathews who was angling to the left sideline when he got hit.  In the middle of the field on a kick return you should be more worried about securing it tightly as you're not sure which way the hit is going to come from.  When you're angling towards a sideline, you HAVE to put the ball in the outside arm.  McGuffie's fumble was merely the result of a perfect hit.  Lets also not forget, he did somehow manage to get it back.

Magnus

October 20th, 2008 at 1:19 PM ^

McGuffie cut to his left specifically to avoid the guy who ended up hitting him.  He wasn't worried about where the hit was going to come from, because he was looking right at the guy.

Look, I'm not knocking McGuffie.  He's been solid, and I think he will be great.  And I'm obviously a fan of Minor's ability.  So let's put those things out there.  But a fumble is a fumble is a fumble, and that was clearly a fumble.  At this point in the season, he should take as much blame for his fumble as Cissoko, Shaw, Minor, etc. should take for their fumble(s).  It was a bad play on his part to get it knocked out, and it was a good play to get back on it.  But he's not immune to criticism.

KRK

October 20th, 2008 at 3:24 PM ^

He's not immune to the criticism but the circumstances are different.  He got rocked on that kickoff and I don't think he saw that hit coming.  Matthews had time to switch the ball over where as McGuffie didn't.  Plus, he has fumbled the least and is a freshman.   Matthews is more experienced and should have known better.

Chrisgocomment

October 20th, 2008 at 10:29 AM ^

Why is Brandon Minor getting carries a bad thing? He still has a year of eligibility you know. I really thought he turned a corner in the first half, and I couldn't be happier for him. Here's hoping that he builds on that first half performance and keeps a grip on that ball that Mike Hart could be proud of.

Also, not a bad diary, good job, but your user name is kind of creepy.

Electron Erectshon

October 20th, 2008 at 10:41 AM ^

Minor getting carries is not a bad thing.  Rather, it just made me wonder "what if" we would have played him more at the start of the year.  I think we could have erased at least one of those L's (maybe Toledo) if our offense was moving better.

Electron Erectshon was my first attempt at embracing the RR hire.  You know, like the thought of little electrons dominating our opponents for years to come give me an erection (not literally b/c I favor females,  electron-sized or otherwise).  Perhaps I'll add "Dysfunction" to the end if the experiment isn't working by Year 3. 

Chrisgocomment

October 20th, 2008 at 10:58 AM ^

Well, I think his lack of carries comes down to 2 things:

  1. He's been injured a lot this year, specifically he was injured right at the beginning of the year which lead Rodriguez to start McGuffie.  Once McGuffie had that great ND game Rodriguez stuck with him.  Also, McGuffie was nice enough to hold onto the ball, which is good.
  2. Minor just fumbles like a mo-fo.  Until Saturday he fumbled like 20% of his carries.  That's absurd, and no one, I don't care how talented, should get more carries with that kind of ball handling (lol, ball handling).  He must have had a great week of practice and it showed in the game.  Good for him.

PattyMax64

October 20th, 2008 at 2:39 PM ^

I really think that number one had an effect on number two.  He must have had some injury that made him more likely to fumble.  Maybe a hand injury or a wrist or forearm.  It does seem a little more than a coincidence that, the first game he is completely healthy, he has a fantastic game and holds onto the ball better than he has any other game.

Anonymous Coward (not verified)

October 20th, 2008 at 2:44 PM ^

Well, with all these fumbles, at least our team is getting good practice recovering them (or at least attempting to). ;)

mgobleu

October 20th, 2008 at 6:20 PM ^

I can buy that RR may in some ways resemble a wolverine, Les Miles a tiger, Urban Meyer a gator (read: disgusting, scaly, evil swamp dweller that would probably bite you as soon as look at you), But is JoePa really like a Nittany Lion? The sweatervest a buckeye? (whatever the hell a buckeye is...) Joe Tiller a boilermaker? Wait, you said great coaches. Anyway, just sayin'.

STW P. Brabbs

October 22nd, 2008 at 12:28 PM ^

Wait, you've seen the somewhat disheveled, decrepit looking Penn State mascot, right?

 I'll add Pete Carroll to the list: I could totally see him as a greeter at Caesar's Palace just like that douchebag that runs around their sidelines.  Plus, he probably sees as much trim as any Trojan has a right to.