Sept 11 v Rice — Reaction

above: blurry final score

A heartbreaker.

Yet my heart isn’t broken. The climb back to respectability is long and hard. I see this whole thing as progress.

Where we stand on Dodge’s status is irrelevant. I’ll get into the coaching mistakes later. You have to look at the facts: in two out-of-conference games so far this season, we have played decently. I know an average of 30+ points a game is not something normally called ‘decent.’ This team isn’t normal, though. They have sucked for five years. They have been a team that allows 77 points, 59 points, shitton of points, omfg number of points and so on.

So it is improvement.

What about the mistakes dude?

Okay. We still cannot make a field goal to save our lives. As we were limping our way up the field on that final drive that could have won it, I was hoping we wouldn’t be put in a situation where we had to attempt one. Oh man. That would have sucked. Now that I think about it, I’d rather the situation we did have: Derek Thompson coming in to face a 4th and 15, than to watch a potential game-winner flutter wide right.

So, you are right, old man. What the hell should be done about the horrible special teams? I really can’t say. We can go on and on about how difficult it is to do things at UNT. I really can’t honestly defend the staff however. Judging the coaching staff by Good Coach Standards, you should not see problems with the hallowed Little Things.

The Little Things:

Ball Security
Special Teams
Penalties
Awareness
Any Good Coach will harp on these until it becomes cliche. Then harp some more. He will also instill it so deeply in his players that they’ll harp on it. Then they will believe it. Then they will take care of the ball, be solid on Special Teams, avoid stupid penalties, and have good football IQ.

At least that is the thinking.

So after five years we still make mistakes in those areas. Youth excuse? Gone. New regime excuse? Used it. Not his handpicked guys excuse? Not any more.

Cynical View:

Taking into account the above mistakes we keep making, and the fact that Rice made similar ones, the fact that we were at home in front of a big crowd, and we lost, we blew a huge chance to win.

It was very similar to that Ohio game last year.

From a get-fans-in-here point of view, this is not good because it is a loss. All those new freshmen that came in continued a five year tradition of losing at home their first game.

Brightside:

This performance is a continuation of steadily improving play from last year. The oft repeated stat that we were in most of the games we played last year is true. We are getting closer to being a decent team. The fans stayed. Also there Vito, Phillips and NTDaily were all liveblogging/livetweeting the game. I call that progress. Now all we need is a TV Deal/Better webfeed/more instant replay cameras.

Conclusion:

It is impossible for the die-hard fan to look at any game without wondering what it means for Dodge’s future. A loss is bad. A win is good. That is pretty much set in stone now. The Tune injury means that Dodge’s faults are highlighted even more. His failure to build a complete team and inability to recruit and keep a solid stable of quarterbacks leaves him relying on a young, inexperienced guy to get him his requisite seven wins.