In Defense of Our Program

Its really upsetting to see how fickle other SU fans can be following a loss like this. SU has over achieved all season and after two bad gams the fans are already turning on them.  Its still the same team we started with.  A few gritty preformances and were epecting bowl games.  Perhaps this was the reality check we needed.  Perhaps HCDM first few has raised our expectations too high, but is that bad? In the last 4 years we never had high expectations.  Losses were more "oh well" and less "WTF?!?"  This is the team we have this season and they have been playing at a level beyond what they should be, and a pace like that is not one they can sustain.  


Its a long season folks.  Last years team lost to team they should have beat, then beat ND.  How does that happen?  With athletes, you cant give it your all every play.  You cant practice at a game level every paractice, and you cant condition yourself to do so in 8 months. There, someone had to say it.  Your body will break down.  Injuries happen.  Fatigue happens.  Mental mistakes happen.  It catches up with you.  Every game this season we have been full throttle for 4 quarters.  Never a chance to idle and put it in cruise control.  Never an easy game. 

Imagine a runner.  They are going to do the Boston Marathon.  They are not a good runner.  HCDM comes in and convinces them they can hang with the best guys. (thats what a coach is supposed to do)  They come out in a sprint and try and keep up that pace.  Before the marathon is over, they fall appart.  Thats what we saw today.  Baseball playyers cant preform at a playoff level for their season.  They have to dial it up.  If they played that way the entire season their whole squad would be on IR.  If a boxer came out and threw haymakers the entire fight, they would gas out.  Thats why there is a stamina bar in just about every video game. We should be proud of them for the way they have played. My preseason expectations have been exceeded already.

HCDM has these kids, who have been loosers the entire time they have been at SU, believing they can compete.  This is Jaun Manuel Marquez fighting Floyd Mayweather, tons of heart, but the other guy is bigger, stronger, faster and more talented.  Sometimes you get can lucky, catch them, but they have the advantage of being able to play at a comfortable pace. 

Bottomline, we are an undermanned team.  This is still the same roster made up of the worst team in SU history, minus 20 scholarship players, a senior class, and only gaining the worst recruiting class in the confrence.  You cant recondition football players in 8 months and turn them into stud all confrence talent.  Redshirting takes a year, and many of those guys are not ready to be solid contributers until their 3rd or 4th years.  We have no backups.  No one gets a break.  Remeber how Gerry fell appart after that Big East run? I saw in him the triaing room and the kid couldnt walk.  It takes a toll on your body.  Bruises take more than a week to go away and these things add up. 

We dont have that talent we need to compete and we saw that today.  I know we raised our expectations after some close games, but we have to be pathient with this team.  Give them credit for playing very good football to this point, but go down the roster and youll see maybe 3 or 4 guys who would start on another BE team.  We still have no depth at LB backing up guys who should be backups.  We dont have corners who can play 1 on 1 yet.  Our OLine still cant run block.  Our top 2 QBs had not started a single game before this season and are in a new system.  You expect bad games from guys like that.

Today we played a better team.  I was wondering while I watched, what could our staff do with that talent? It would be awesome.  Somehow we were thinking we could beat a team that many picked to beat Auburn... an damn good SEC team, and gave them one hell of a game.  This team was better than us at every postion, pissed off about last year, and looking to get a win in confrence and we came in thinking we could win.  Thats saying something about our coaching staff.

There is no more suprise factor folks. Other teams have us on film.  They have a pretty good idea what we are going to do and are scheming against it.  Thats why the screen passes are getting picked.  I love screens, they work great, but these linebackers a ball hawking them.  Licking their chops when they see Paulus in the game.

Folks, home games still dont feel like home games.  Our student section still isnt buying in.   The fans that are there have seen too much failure in the last few years to get excited.  Im afraid to say it, but we are the college equivalent of Bills fans.

At the start of this season, we knew we could be a better team and have a worse record.  USF and WVU were both games we knew were losses going into this season. Thats the nature of the schedule and a rebuilding year.  As fans there are 2 things we can do to support the team: buy tickets and be positive.  As a former student athlete I can tell you, recruits read message boards and talk to alums.  The team will improve with time and support.  Lets stay positive. The culture in our program has clearly changed.  They talent is not there, but we have a good system with good coaches.  Stay positive because with a good recruiting class or two SU will be competing in this confrence again. 

Lets ride out the rest of the year with what we have and upset some people.  UConn and Pitt looked beatable today!



Ryan '08

Mountaineers vs Orange coverage

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