The way it should be
Let me start off by saying congratulations to all the seniors, it has been a brutal year in terms of success on the football field and it was obvious that they dug deep to make sure they walked out of Memorial Stadium winners. This game certainly doesn’t make up for the entire year but it did show that there is definitely enough talent down there to win. Joe Ganz, the kid can play! How could somebody be so off on a players talent is beyond me. I wonder what other hidden gems are sitting on the sideline. The energy and execution were at a season high, I hadn’t seen them play with this much fire all year long. If you can play at that level once you can play at that level all the time. It’s exciting for me because once there is a new coach, somebody who demands a maximum and physical effort in practice, the performance you saw on Saturday will be the norm. Anyway, this entry should be about how hard our kids played not about what could have been.
Where else can I start but with Joe Ganz? What an unbelievable day for the junior from Chicago. Back in the beginning of the year when our struggles first started I called Coach McBride and talked to him about what he was seeing on the field. The first thing he said was “they need to put that Ganz kid in, he’s a tough son of a bitch and he’ll give you everything he’s got”. Oh, if that would have happened. It obviously wasn’t just Joe Ganz out there Saturday, the O-Line did a great job protecting him, the receivers ran nice routes and didn’t drop many balls and the biggest thing was No turnovers. I would have liked it if we were able to get a couple but at least we didn’t give up any. There was good balance in our running game with Lucky and Castille and a lot of their credit goes to the Fat Guys up front. They not only made their blocks on the line of scrimmage but they were also able to get to the next level and get blocks on Kansas State’s linebackers. When you have a defense like K-State’s 3-4, where they are a little light in the pants, you have to force them to try and defend between the tackles where an offense can counter the speed they have. Purify had another big game and he keeps getting better and better.
Defensively, it begins and ends with your front four. If they play well usually the rest of the defense will follow. With a guy like Josh Freeman running the offense, pressuring him was going to be the key to our success. Without the threat of the read-option we were able to pin our ears back and really get off on the ball. I liked putting Octavien at end on some passing downs, he’s a guy who can really use his speed to rush the QB. We mixed up our blitz package pretty well and even when we weren’t blitzing it looked like the D-Lineman were still given a chance to get up the field and pressure Freeman. The secondary did a nice job mixing their coverage’s and were able to stick on their guys long enough to allow the pass rush to be effective. K-State got some yards through the air but that’s what they do best, I didn’t expect us to completely shut them down. Overall it was a much better defensive effort and to rebound from having 76 points scored on you from the week before, my hat goes off.
I hope that the kids are able to build off of this and really get some confidence. They did a lot of things really well and played for the first time like a team. Take this momentum and carry it on to the practice field and continue to get better.
If you want to hear about what I think about running up the score or bolting to the locker room immediately after the game you have to tune in to my radio show at 3pm today ESPN1480 TO LISTEN LIVE CLICK HERE. If you miss the show, check back in a few days and I’ll discuss it in another entry. Let me know what you guys think about what happened. JP