Saturday was a reality check

Posted: September 1, 2013 in Football

After watching the game Saturday, we saw how far this team has to go to get back to a winning record and a bowl game.

We all can still feel the pain after Saturday night.  One of the worst defeats in program history came in our own stadium to an FCS school.  We all thought after the nightmare of 3-9 last season with Skip trolling the sidelines it would all be over.  We thought we would see instant changes in the first game of the year.  We thought we would see solid quarterback play, a better defense, and a team that battled till the end.  What we saw though was a team that looked like they picked up right where they left off last season and the rest of the year could be full of more pain. 

Now it is early, its just the first game of the year.  But if you were sitting in that stadium like I was last night, you will be able to truly understand where this team is.

Starting with the offense, they have a new system that looks like it can work, but it doesn’t appear we have the players to run it properly.  Shaw was great, the tight ends will be fine, but we don’t have a quarterback or offensive line at this moment that can do it.  Floyd was named the starter, but there were doubts and they became reality yesterday.  Floyd looked off, just missing his throws either high or out of the reach of a receiver.  When McNeese loaded up the box, Floyd really struggled to read the defense and work through his progressions.  It looked like when the speed of the game amped up for Floyd he couldn’t keep up pace and make adjustments in the pocket and the offense hit a brick wall.  The offensive line was solid in the run game, but they didn’t give Floyd a clean pocket all night to throw from.  They have to get better on the assignments if Floyd is going to sit back there and take his time trying to read the defense.

Bobby Eveld came into the game late and looked solid in relief.  Many thought Eveld would have the job because he could run the offense and not make many mistakes, but they went Floyd instead.  Now Coach Taggart will have to figure out who will get the start at Michigan State.  If I had to guess, it would be Eveld at this stage, but it will be a guessing game until Taggart makes that decision.

The defense was awful last night.  No sacks, just a little bit of pressure and one interception from a young secondary.  We had talked about how the front 7 was the strength of the USF defense, but they didn’t do it last night.  They couldn’t get to Stroud in the backfield and the running backs were able to run all over the field on us, making it painful to watch (just like last season).  The secondary is very young and needs time, but they were out of sync last night and most of the time they were not in the right formation (IMO) when it came to pass plays.  Coach Bresnahan will have to really get to work with them.

So where do we sit now?  Coach Taggart said he know show far we are from where they need to be and I couldn’t agree more, we have a long way to go.  This team is a long way from being a good team.

As fans, we fall in love with our players but we need to face the facts that the talent level out there is not as high as we would want and Coach Taggart is starting from the bottom with this group.  Skip left the cupboard bare with a few players that are big time stars (Davis, Price, etc.) but the rest is thin and inexperienced.

Coach Taggart and his staff have so much work to do.  We saw how far they truly are and now with the Michigan State game coming up, the learning will continue and could be just as painful as Saturday was.  We, as fans, have to ride out the process and have faith in Taggart and his staff that they can teach this team through all the pain and through the hard times.  We will stay on the bus, but it hit a speed bump last night.

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