Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Final Thoughts on the UNLV Game

I could write a book on my thoughts regarding the UNLV loss, but in order to not stir up emotions that have taken four days and multiple therapy visits to quell this will be just a short segment of notes.

First things first, UNLV made some amazing plays. They didn't give up when they were down 20-3, whether or not that's from the play calling is another whole issue, but the Rebels made ESPN highlight reel plays in that fateful fourth quarter. Secondly, our coaches and the players were caught looking forward to Georgia, no doubt about it. I believe our playcalling conservativeness was a result of the coaches asking themselves how they could best prepare the team to beat Georgia and the answer was to establish the run. By establishing a run game the Devils' coaches were hoping to get Georgia to then prepare for the run more, allowing them to throw the ball more effectively against the Dawgs. Our 20-3 lead then backfired on us because we were led to believe that our gameplan would work, but as the game wore on the running backs wore down and were less and less efficient and the Rebels made some great plays in shutting down our run game. The coaches had a preconcieved notion of running the ball a lot and that led to a stagnant offense with little emotion as it lacked a dynamic aspect to the playcalling. The blocked field goal attempt was a result of the left guard missing his block due to poor technique on the play and is an unfortunate mental mistake. There is absolutely no reason we should have lost that game but that is why we watch college football and play the games. Does this mean the Devils aren't a championship caliber team, not at all. Even the vaunted Trojans lost last year to lowly Stanford at home, the only difference being that was an even larger upset and it was a conference loss for the Trojans. This loss only hurts our pride, it might be in manslaughter proportions, but with Georgia and the rest of the Pac-10 on the schedule the Devils can put the loss behind them as a fluke.

Bottom line is this: Rehashing the game and second guessing will do nothing to change the score. Arizona State needs to put this loss behind them, take the frustration and anger from the loss and turn it into desire, passion, and determination to come out and play their finest game against the Georgia Bulldogs. Can the Sun Devils salvage the season? No, because the season isn't at a point to salvage. One non-conference fluke loss where we got caught looking ahead isn't going to cost anyone their job or ruin the season. The Devils are still 1-0 in the conference, where even a second place finish should challenge for a BCS bowl. So what can you do? Come out Saturday and cheer with a chip on your shoulder. Be as loud as you can and show the SEC and the nation that UNLV got lucky coming into Sun Devil Stadium and catching the Devils off guard. The sleeping giant has awoken.

1 comment:

Darrel R. said...

I actually cried when we lost. I felt like the USC section when they lost to Stanford... That being said I really think that a loss will do us some good, especially since it came to UNLV. Hopefully we'll come out motivated and ready to play against Georgia... On another note, ASU has never been real great at stopping the spread offense when it is run well (see: Oregon), and UNLV ran it well enough to beat us. Oh well, bring on the DAWGS!