It is mighty tempting to wish Mike Canales would stay. Listening to his post-game interview, he certainly sounded like a guy that wanted to be here. That means a lot, though apparently not enough for AD Rick Villarreal. Sounding hoarse, from screaming out instructions to his team in tightly contested game on chilly Saturday afternoon, Canales professed his love for North Texas, his love for, and belief in, ‘the kids.’ These last five games have not been obviously impressive. You have to compare them to the poor play under Dodge to appreciate the changes that were made. Isn’t that what we want? A coach that can coach? A guy that puts us in a position to win, promotes the program and gets the guys to buy in? Yes to all of those. Canales sure looks like he could build/rebuild a program.
McCarney has already done so. There is no doubt Chuck Neinas had a mandate to find a coach that had a successful resume in leading a program. How was RV going to sell another (kind of) unproven coach to the donors?
It sucks. For Canales and for those who were rooting for him. He had five games to prove himself, he did admirably and won over more than his fair share of supporters. If circumstances were different we might be discussing how he was going to continue his nice little run into next year. As it is, we will be discussing how Dan McCarney is going to carry on the good things Canales has put in place.
Non-conference games are an oddity so late in the season. Even more odd was seeing a BCS school lining up. All that oddity might have had something to do with that weird game.
Then again, probably not. K-State was only favored by 14.5, in a 6-5 season in which their defense was porous. Sure, they started out 5-1, but one of those was against an FCS squad and the teams they played weren’t all that great. A big win against Texas probably will be the most memorable thing about this transition season.
Canales thought that UNT would be able to run on them. He was right. Oh was he right. Lance Dunbar was beasting ’em in the first half, racking up 182 yards and three scores on 10 carries. The problem is that we could only run. After halftime, the next five or so runs by LD were little or no gains. This was due to a) some halftime adjustments/ass chewing by KSU coaching b) KSU defense jumping on the run. This was a perfect time to play-action and throw deep. Sure, Riles doesn’t have a Vick-like arm to chuck it 67 yards in the air. He does have enough on those passes to get it over the safeties if they sneak up. I’ll leave it at that considering it isn’t Mike Canales’ job to correct that anymore.
It was the inability to do anything other than block for Lance and get sacked that sullied a decent performance by the defense. NT came up with two huge stops in their own territory right before the half that were quickly wasted. Wasted because we couldn’t get a first down. They nearly had a third stop on the TD pass by Coffman before the half that he snuck in the back of the end-zone on fourth down.
It showed in the beginning of the second half. After enough looks at how UNT was defending and UNT being on the field so much in such a short time, it was not surprising to see K-State do well in the third quarter.
Not counting the kickoff return, they had three scoring drives in the second half. All of those were in said third quarter. Given some support on offense — a couple three minute drives and a field goal or two — I have to think that this eight point loss could very well have been an eight point win.
Also, Danny Mac? Let’s get Lance some support next season, huh?
Riley Dodge’s thumbs-up and eagle claw to the crowd almost made The Woman cry. “It was so sad! He’s like Tiny Tim! Like the run of our litter.” She was totally not being mean when she said this.
There was a nice little family of obnoxious Wildcat fans behind me in section A. I don’t mind heckling. Really I don’t. In fact, I spend the first quarter loudly ‘explaining’ how K-State came to be 6-5 and Bill Snyder the head coach again. The sucky thing is that it is kind of hard to say anything when they are up 17. Even then, if it didn’t feel like a road game they could have been drowned out a little. My point is this: GO TO THE FUCKIN GAMES! Tickets are cheap. I paid $35 for these seats. That is it. The K-State guy next to me said Big XII(ten) games are $70-$80. Don’t go for fun, or family, or to support the team, go because dammit I don’t want to be the only one at them.