Saturday, October 21, 2006

Post-ECU thoughts

Wah! Wah! Wah! SMU sucks! Bennett sucks! Our pass defense sucks! Fire Bennett!


Johnny Fontane: Oh, Godfather, I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do.
Don Corleone: [shouts] You can act like a man!
[he slaps Johnny]
Don Corleone: What's the matter with you. Is this how you turned out? A Hollywood finocchio that cries like a woman.
[Don Corleone imitates him sobbing]
Don Corleone: What can I do?
[camera pans to Tom who is laughing]
Don Corleone: What can I do? What is that nonsense. Ridiculous.

C'mon people! Did you think this was going to be easy? I don't know what you were expecting, but newsflash: SMU lost on the road in where it was the underdog.

A reminder: I predicted SMU would lose this game two months ago. I am now 7-1 on the year and I am not even predicting these games week by week. And I predicted eight wins!!!

I am sorry, what is SMU's record again? 4-4. That is right. Last time SMU was 4-4 was November 1, 1997; SMU went 6-5 that year.

Look at the schedule. There are four games left. The next three are at home. SMU has won its last five home games. I expect SMU to be favored (though I don't care if SMU is or isn't). SMU has 10 days to prepare for UAB and get healthy (please get healthy Chase, Henderson, Martin and Muse). Then, SMU has 11 days to prepare for Houston.

Did SMU play any of these four teams last year? Yes. Did SMU beat them? Yes, it beat three of them. The one loss was by seven points.

SMU is going to beat UAB. SMU will beat UAB by double digits. Here's another: SMU will hold UAB to fewer than 225 passing yards. And then, SMU can clinch bowl eligibility at homecoming.

Back to the game. Here are the Post-game notes and the recap.

Willis played well. 22-33, 224 yds, 3 tds, no picks. Rush defense played well. Emmanuel Sanders played well; Kennedy played well. Blake Warren played well, but had his TD on a punt return called back. And that is it.

I know Bennett wants to run the ball. SMU needs to be able to run the ball. That means DeMyron Martin needs to be healthy, because nobody else is getting it done.

Sigh. We might as well talk about the quote that is in the DMN recap:
"They surprised us, I'm not going to lie to you," SMU coach Phil Bennett said. "They threw more than they ever have. We sort of loaded up for the run."

Bennett, from time to time, says things that are both perplexing and infuriating. Maybe he is covering for his players or maybe he is serious, but this quote rivals all others. First, remember that SMU has a dominant rushing defense, currently 14th; it is wishful thinking to believe ECU was going to play right into the strength of teh SMU defense. Second, as good as the SMU defense is against the run, it is equally bad against the pass, currently 116th. Third, make no mistake, ECU is a passing team. These are ECU's number of passing attempts in its seven games: 35, 38, 27, 47, 30, 28, 41 (SMU); Pinkney is tied for 13th in total pass attempts. So, no, they didn't pass more than they ever have.

Even the FW Star Telegram thought it was odd (and they mention SMU, like, never):

SMU coach Phil Bennett had an odd postgame assessment of his team's 38-21 loss at East Carolina. He said the Mustangs allowed 402 yards passing because they loaded up to stop the run. The Pirates entered the game 77th in I-A in rushing but 32nd in passing.

No comments: