I missed the game this week because of a bad cough. While I don't like missing any games, I really hate that I missed Herd Piper; he and I go back to posting on the Vine, and I always look forward to talking to him at Homecoming. Hopefully next year Tom. While my thoughts may have been clouded by shots of Delsym, here are the Ten Things I Think I Know After FAU:
1. Hats Off to the Herd: while I am sincere that the Herd needed a win and got it, I can't help but point out that we did two really "interesting" things to almost lose the game. First I can understand the emotions that Davis (who had a good game) must have been feeling when he rushed into the endzone for the game lead. Yet I thought everyone knew that taking your helmet off after scoring a TD would be a 15 yard penalty. I also thought that it was common knowledge that 15 + 35 was 50. Maybe next time we will act like we have won before and keep our composure to avoid the 15 yard penalty, OR kick the ball in bounds and avoid the 35. Wasn't Curraj our kickoff specialist? Weird game...weird season.
2. FAU Deserves Some Respect: while a lot of fans were writing off the Owls, I just kept thinking about what their OL and RBs did the last time they were in the Joan. I am one of the worst to disrespect the former Sunbelt teams. Part of that comes from where I think our team should be at right not. In reality, we played them pretty even. I thought that Driskel had a pretty solid day, while he didn't have big numbers, he sure seemed to make some good throws when it counted. The Owls' OL pushed around the Herd for the first half, and it is hard to disrespect a line that resulted in two 100+ yard rushers. The Owls may be 1-6 now, but they have some respect from me.
3. Heater: the good news is that Heater has demonstrated he can make adjustments with his unit at the half. The bad news is that he doesn't seem to be able to get them ready to start the game. The first drive of the game was embarrassing. The rest of the first half wasn't that much better. Then came the second half and it looked like a different defensive unit. We gave up some big plays in the second half, but we also had some great plays.
4. Bee: while I may not know what the Herd is going to look like any given Saturday, I do know that Bee is going to bring it. Most weeks I keep an eye on Gary to see what play he is going to make. Lately, it seems that I keep getting distracted by Mr. Bee. Best part about it is that we have Mr. Bee for 2 more years.
5. Knight: kudos to Knight for the nice TD reception and the 2 point conversion.
6. Jackson: it has been a long time since I was that excited to see a kid get an INT. Unfortunately, he has taken on quite a bit of criticism from fans. I'm not really sure why. He's an 18 year old kid who has been put on the field because he is the best that we have. Most 18 year old CBs are backups at best. He's getting better as the season progresses. Looks like he is working hard, and it is paying off.
7. Synonyms Needed: I had to question whether I took too much Delsym when I saw 6 passes go to Byrd. I also started to feel pretty stupid pretty quickly. I always tweet "Byrd is the Word" after he makes a good play. In most games where Legg only includes him in 1 or 2 plays, that works. Hopefully, Legg keeps calling plays that allow Byrd to make some more plays. Unfortunately, there are only a couple other phrases in the song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Gc4QTqslN4 "Don't You Know About the Byrd"...."Everybody's talking about the Byrd"..."Everybody's HERD about the Byrd..."
8. Looking at Chase Differently: I'm not saying everyone should do this, but I looking at Chase as a victim of hype. When I got this year's jersey at Glenn's (also available at Hometown and the University Bookstore), I wondered why I was getting a Sophomore's jersey. Usually it is the best senior that year. If it was going to be anyone other than a Senior, I would have expected Yurachek, but we don't even throw to him so why hype him up. I'm not sure who decides which player is going to be on the jersey, but I wish they wouldn't have chosen a Sophomore. But then again, I'm guilty of buying into the hype (e.g. Chase is the next great QB...WE ARE...reloading...WE ARE...the Strongest Ever). Now I am trying to compare Chase to other Sophomore QBs in our conference (e.g. Driskel, whom Chase outplayed). On Saturday, I was rooting for Chase not just to win the game, but also to play well enough to get some people off his back. I'm not on the Chase bandwagon; I'm just looking at a kid who deserves some slack. As I noted last week, Chase maybe our future, and he may not be. That will be decided in the Spring. Right now he is our QB, and he won on Saturday. I'm pretty sure that Chase doesn't want anyone pitying him, and that is not what I am trying to say. I am rooting for him to be successful at a more realistic level than what was set by the hype. He had a good game on Saturday, I hope he has a great one against the 49ers.
9. Conference USA: while I wish we were in a position to get into the AAC, we are stinking up the field this year. So I am glad the Big XII isn't expanding. Plus, I am enjoying the conference. I spent all day Saturday watching C-USA games and looking up their scores. I still think it is an Island of Misfit Toys, but we seem to fit in this year.
10. Jam the Joan: while many of us were disappointed to see the 49ers on the schedule, at this point in the season it looks to be an excitingly competitive game. Well at least it will be competitive. So let's Jam the Joan. No matter how many show up, we all know they will at least claim there were 22,839 in attendance. I hope to see crowded tailgating around the stadium. After a week off, I can't wait to see what Big City and Big Green Arms have to serve. Go Herd!!!!
Thundering in MD