30 Sep “Weekly Musings – Washington Edition
This week’s musings are a little shorter than normal but that has more to do with my work busy-ness than my disgust over the USC game on Saturday. I actually do feel that many of the players fought through what could have been a much worse result in the score, and that USC lost by simply refusing to take advantage of opportunities more than anything else. But there is a lot to say and I will try to flush it out. There isn’t a lot to say this week around the country as the match-ups of actually good football teams vs. other good football teams remains few and far between.
– One thing I can confidently say five games into the season: Our punter is the most ridiculously over-hyped player I can recall in my life.
– Here is what I texted to some football buddies/brother about ten minutes BEFORE Fink’s touchdown on the read-option keeper:
“The key to [poor offense so far] is Washington doesn’t believe Fink will keep the ball on those read-options at all – and they’re just blowing up the running backs. There is no reason not to let Fink run on those and make the defense play honest.”
Ten minutes later … TD Fink …
– The idea that what Fink did after that touchdown is “unsportsmanlike conduct” is a complete mockery of the English language
– Isaac Taylor-Stuart’s blowing up Washington’s screen play on 2nd down near the end of the first half was a beautiful defensive play that kept Washington to a field goal instead of what could’ve been a devastating touchdown … Those moments this season when our offense leaves the other team in a position to blow open the game, and our defense comes up with a huge stop, a turnover, or holding to a field goal, have been the key season moments thus far.
– And the flag on the sideline for the injured player celebrating with his teammate three feet into the field during a dead ball is, of course, too stupid to warrant a thoughtful comment.
– Let’s simplify what happened Saturday: The third string Quarterback made enough brutal mistakes to allow us to lose. The team could not run (which is just mystifying considering the way Washington set their defense), and the field never got stretched because we threw down field one time (a touchdown play that really came about when a Washington safety simply froze). Now, I am not picking on Fink. The third down play-calling was questionable; the lack of a running game keeps him from finding a cohesive rhythm; and he was playing in his second ever game. But the two pertinent picks were really the game, and they were the result of just brutal decisions by the Quarterback.
– I like all three of our starting running backs, yet I will reiterate what I screamed from the rooftop in the days of CJ Gable, Stefan Johnson, Chauncey Washington, etc. (I am missing another one in there) … Three running back rotations Do. Not. Work. Football is a game of momentum, flow, and rhythm, and you deny a back the ability to find that trifecta with constant in and out rotation. It has to change or we will continue to lack the running game we need to win.
I don’t really believe anyone reading this doesn’t know what is going to happen to Coach Helton after the season, so I don’t feel any need to make a case for keeping him or not keeping him, or letting off steam like a child by saying he is the devil, or whatever. If he goes 10-2 he will keep his job, but I am sad to say, if he goes 10-2, then I will be selected People magazine’s sexiest man alive. I will be rooting for USC every single game, especially in the most important game of the year (which is always the next one). Beat the Irish – and I’ll see you all in South Bend!
Around the country …
– I wouldn’t read too much into Clemson’s close win over North Carolina. First of all, a win is a win. Second of all, North Carolina is under-rated. Third of all, a win is a win. I will be surprised if Clemson has a loss this year, and even if they do, I will be shocked if they are not in the college playoff.
– A Oklahoma-Alabama championship game could be a lot of fun with the old Alabama QB (Hurts) sub-plot in there, especially after he wins the Heisman …
Back at you next week with all “around the country” action has USC enjoys their Bye. Fight on, and Beat the Irish!