This week's wrap up is easy.
The offense scored 35 points and had more than 400 yards. Gunnar Jespersen was a beast.

The defense gave up 56 points (I won't count the pick six). Albany punted once in the entire game. The Danes failed to score on three possessions: the punt, an interception, and when they took a knee in the final seconds.

The special teams were fine. Jake White filled in at punter and was ok.

I'm left with two thoughts after this debacle, which is the 2nd worst CCSU football game I've ever covered (the 2007 de facto NEC title game was worse  because of the stakes). The first is in the short term. Coach Jeff McInerney, to his credit, takes blame for every loss before anyone can even ask a question. In some ways he is just trying to protect his kids, but he also doesn't want to appear to be anything but the leader of the ship. He is taking ownership of the situation as opposed to throwing people under the bus, and I commend him for it. But I've seen him walk, and I don' think he can run anymore. He can't go out there and get a stop.

Gunnar Jespersen has talked each week about being a leader, promising to fix the team's attitude early in the year and the offense's execution a couple of weeks later. He has done both, all while fighting through a broken  finger/hand. The once inept offense is no longer the problem. The sense of overconfidence or whatever caused the early-season malaise is long gone, in part because of Jespersen and in part because it's hard to be confident after five straight losses.

But here's the thing: the coach and the leader can only do so much. I've questioned McInerney a few times this year (I still wouldn't have gone for the pooch punt a few weeks back with Gunnar's bad hand), but I think he has done a good job of keeping the team's spirit intact. His senior class has helped with that. But a football team can have all the leadership in the world, it still needs to execute.

The time for talking about making things better is over. It's time to do it. It doesn't matter who's coaching what (McInerney had some comments you'll read about Monday in that regard). It's time for someone to make a play.This team has three games left to start making inroads towards next year. Even if it doesn't do that, the Blue Devils have to play those last three games anyway. 2-6 will be 2-9 if the actual play on the field doesn't change. It's time to show some pride. The offense raised its game. Now the defense has to. Or the special teams. Or the offense just has to make more plays. Somehow, somebody has to get something done to help CCSU win a game.

Leaders are wonderful. Execution is better. No more talking about fixing things. It's time to make a play on the field on a Saturday afternoon. It's clear I overrated this team before the year. I wasn't alone. But I know it's better than what it showed Saturday. This is the same team that played with JMU and UMass.

My other thought is long term: I understand McInerney trying out some different QBs, even if I wouldn't have thrown Andrew Clements into the fire in his first week at the position against the best team in the league. But with the number of people who have taken snaps continuing to climb, the reasoning behind it has become clear. McInerney doesn't know who his QB is next year. That's not a shot at him or any of the kids, one of whom could develop into the next QB. But it has to be a concern going forward. As I said during the live blog, I'm no longer certain the next QB is on this roster, if only because one hasn't been given any kind of consistent chance at the backup spot. Perhaps experimenting during a lost season is good and I'm overreacting. After all, next August is a long way off. But the pecking order doesn't seem settled, and that can't be a good thing.

1 comment:

  1. Great post!

    I agree that Coach Mac is a stand-up guy and takes the blame when it is his fault (and even when it's not). I also agree about the team's lack of execution.

    A couple of thoughts:

    1) How much of our defense is a "size" problem? To me it looks like we are almost always undersized compared to our opponents and our tackling has sucked for 2 years now. I know they are good kids, but do we have the size, speed, etc. on Defense to be a top-tier NEC and FCS program?

    2) QB issue is real now and it shouldn't have to be. I thought Jake White did fantastic filling in behind center in week 1 (vs SCSU). What has changed? He looks like he plays in the mold of a pocket-passer and is not an option QB - is that the problem?