While playing golf with my Herdfans buddies on Saturday, I fielded the question of why I haven't been blogging lately. Well part of it was forgetting my password, etc., but the bigger issue is trying to put together a quality product in a reasonable time. Well, as explained in No. 9 below, I don't always have the time to put my blog first. I do enjoy doing it, and I need to get over trying to make each one a "Land of Misfit Toys" quality product. That being said, here are the Ten Things I Think I Know After UofL:
1. Still Unsure About How I Feel About UofL Game: on the one hand, I was impressed with the improvements that Heater and his unit made after the Akron loss; we should be proud that we played UofL closer than FSU did. On the other hand, we didn't play to win the game. Recognizing that Chase was out for the game, our offensive plan was to eat up clock, really??? It worked, and I am sure some guys that had money down on the game were happy, but it wasn't going to win the game.
2. Wunderwaffe: I really need to quit hoping that we have a Wonder Weapon that is being held back to spring on opponents. I was hoping that the Akron result was just the result of us holding back players and schemes. Based on what I saw on Saturday, we didn't change our defensive scheme that much, we just executed it much better. As far as a Wunderwaffe, I am not sure that Richardson qualifies as one, but I sure was excited to see him get an interception. While we did change our offensive scheme, it was more Versagen than Wunderwaffe. I didn't agree with all the instant criticism of Doc the last two weeks, but I am on board with questioning what Legg is thinking.
3. "D D D D D D....": they deserved every chant that they go on Saturday. Sure UofL put up some points, but our DL and LBs played incredible games. Going into the game, I thought Durant was our only hope. I guess that is what happens when a guy gets an incredible hit on a QB in the first game. As the game went on, I realized that Hancock was on the field for a reason. Durant got out there and made plays too, but after Saturday, I will no longer overlook 37; in fact, he's the first number I will be looking for (which is what we have to do since Doc won't budge on giving us names on the back of the jerseys...ugggghhhh). One number I have down is 17; if Doc is still doing the drill where they have to scoop up a ball when they enter the field for practice, Mr. Tyler can skip that drill. In sum, we forced Petrino to send back in Jackson in the fourth quarter. I was also impressed with Bee and Big Money's play. While I can't really brag on anyone in the secondary other than Gant (who could have had a better day with a little less swagger IMO), the secondary played much better than it did against Akron. I am hoping that we see some young players mature quickly. Anyway, the D had a good day against UofL.
4. Morrell: For a Freshman QB being thrown into the fire against the No. 3 team in the nation, I thought he did a good job. No he didn't make an argument that Chase should be "Birdsonged," but he showed composure and had two TD passes. I don't disagree with Landon that Doc should have had a more experience QB ready, but Morrell did a good job under the circumstances. The best part is that he got valuable experience for the next time he is called upon.
5. Yurachek: I'm still not sure why Legg wasn't able to find a way to get the ball to Yurachek more on Saturday. Moreover, as my buddy Danny keeps saying, Yurachek has been open all year but we aren't throwing to him. If Snyder was still here, I am sure he would "get that fixed." In the land of Legg, good luck Ryan. Seriously, Yurachek is our best skill player. We need to utilize his talents more.
6. I Need To Act Like a Middle Schooler: the last two weeks, I can't say that I have been the best behaved fan in the stands. I have yelled obsessively at both officiating crews for the Akron and UofL games. After watching the Akron game on my DVR, I think I was a little hard on the MAC crew. If I could take back two or three hundred of my "Oklahoma State" chants, I would do it. I don't know that I would take anything back from booing the ACC Officials. Especially on the second call on Gant. That being said, I am proud of the fact that I have not called out any player by name. That wasn't the case for many fans during the Akron game. I have a middle schooler who sits in front of me at the Joan. He screams with us on third down, and cheers on the players. He doesn't yell obsessively at officials (like the jerk sitting behind him) or criticize players. I know both of his parents, and they raised him right. I am going to do my best to follow his example for the rest of the year. (This strategy would have really come in handy last Saturday when I chanted "Looserville...Looserville..." and kept doing the "L" on my forehead on 4th downs...since my Dad is both a MU and UofL graduate...sorry Dad...oops)
7. Herdfans.com Tailgate: I travel around to see friends in several lots. No offense to my own tailgate or to anyone else, but none of us come close to the passion and talent of Big Green Arms and Big City's tailgate. This year the Chefs are running two large smokers. The amount of food and the quality of the food is unreal. I think that the Tailgate of the Game award should be given to those guys at least once this year. If you haven't been to it yet, they are on the grass lot at 20th Street and 2nd Avenue. Just look for the flags in the picture in the collage above. Once you get there, don't be surprised if you hear "hey, make sure you try the ....." Great guys cooking incredible food. Stop by and check them out.
8. Car Flags with Sheldon: a couple years ago, I posted pictures of my car flags as they progressively deteriorated on a trip down from Michigan. Several posters thought that was funny, so I have continued to post pictures of my car flags as I drive down for each game. It has sort of evolved into a Flat Stanley twitter experiment. While driving back up the AA Highway on Sunday it hit me that I have become Sheldon Cooper. Bazinga.
9. Most Common Question I am Fielding: So do you live in Michigan, Colorado, or Indiana? As many of you know, I relocated to Colorado last year for a job. I took the job because it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It ended up not being a dream job. I also found it difficult to be so far away from Huntington. Towards the end the football season, I began searching for a job closer to Huntington, which is why my blogging stopped abruptly. While my wife likes to refer to our time in Colorado as an extended vacation, the best part of my experience in Colorado was getting to spend time with Marshall Fanatic. He is one passionate HERDfan; I'm going to miss watching games with him down in the LoDo. In March, I relocated to Indy and spent the spring and summer enjoying Reds games with my parents and friends. One of the coolest things to happen to me this year at the Joan was when a high school friend told me she thought it was great that I got to move closer to home. Anyway, I am with a great company now, doing a job that I love, and I am living the closest that I have to Huntington since 2002.
10. UofL Fans and Team: Until the FSU game, I really never took them as a threat to beat us. While I may be delusional, if Chase played, I think we would have had a shot. I enjoyed talking with Cards fans before the game, and thought the crowd was incredible. The Cards fans showed up with their Foghorn Leghorn looking mascot. They showed up with a great team, that may have taken the Herd for granted. While I don't like losing, I would rather play a high profile team that we have a positive history with than beating up on an FCS team or a lower level FBS team. As @egobearz tweeted "shake it off" HERD. Let's Beat Pitt this week....Go Herd!!!
Thundering in MD