Before we played Iowa St. at Memorial Stadium this week, I was very confident in this team's ability to win the North. After the horrible showing by our defense and season saving job by our offense, I've lowered my expectations a little. I truly thought that our defense was better and it looked like it might not be. Is there still time for them to be better? Oh yes, lots of time and I'm not willing to concede that they are as bad as they looked Saturday. I saw too much in the non-con that I didn't see last season. But are they going to win us any games? Probably not.
Let's start with the bad. Linebacker has to be our weakest position (not surprising). So what is going to be done about it? Personally, even though he is a true freshman, I would like to see a lot more of Huldon Tharp. Even though he is undersized, the kid seems like he is just a playmaker. A nose for the ball is what has been said about him on more than a few occasions. Get him in there on a constant rotation.
Vernon Brooks name is starting to pop up around conversations. Where is the Juco All-American that we signed, hoping to give a depleted linebacking crew a boost? I tend to trust the coaches because this is their job, there has to be a reason he isn't seeing the field. But maybe it's time to throw him out there and see if he makes plays.
The secondary was exposed Saturday. Daymond Patterson looked absolutely awful. I had been impressed with him threw the non-con for the most part but Saturday he realllly looked lost. He was burned on several occasions with his head constantly turned away from the QB. Are there any DB's from our top 5 nationally ranked DB class ready to play? Probably not, but others should probably be ready to play if needed.
More Ryan Murphy. The last two games he has started to see the field a lot more and I think that is a good thing. He has been making a lot of plays and think he needs to keep seeing the field.
D-Line still isn't getting enough pressure. There isn't much of a problem with Laptad and Max has had some good games as well. But we need more of a pass rush to take pressure of of our secondary. It all starts up front, and the secondary can only cover for so long, so we need more pressure. Quinton Woods, this would be a good time to start adjusting to Div. 1 football and give us another pass rushing presence. DT's, let's start clogging up the middle more.
Offense. I'm not too worried. Sharp back will be another weapon and maybe we'll start seeing some 2 back sets which could really change the way opponents have to prepare for us.
This Colorado game didn't scare me at all in the pre-season. Now, even though Colorado has looked bad I am nervous. It has the feel of an upset type of game. Crazy things happen in Boulder (see OU 2007). In the end, I think we will win the game and go into the matchup with OU at 6-0 which would be so great. Hopefully then, we have the primetime game and Memorial will seriously be rocking. OU definitely has more talent than us but we are due to beat Coach Mangino's former team at some point.
For the rest of the way, well, I'm not sure yet. I still think that we can beat NU at home even if they are the better team than us. It's going to be a very tough road as a win in Lubbock looks very hard as well. We can still do this, but there is no doubt that a name we haven't heard much from will have to step up on defense and make some plays for us to go to Dallas.