“Wheeeee!!!” Jeremiah Toefaeono being picked up like a forklift and thrown into Jon Hays
“Bwah ha ha ha ha – is he really going to do that every play….you’re going to hurt.” Will Sutton to Jon Hays after Vyncent Jones tried to cut block him.
“Whiff” Jake Murphy trying to block pretty much anybody.
Well, that was a pretty thorough ass-kicking. Don’t really know what else to say. I guess there were two bright spots: 1) We didn’t give up a blocked and/or botched punt 2) The earth didn’t crash into the sun. Otherwise, ASU had an easier time scoring on our vaunted, highly rated defense than (insert your genetically engineered ASU coed joke here.)
Meanwhile the Ute offense could not figure out the complex ASU defensive philosophy of running towards the guy with the ball and trying to tackle him. Now, the common strategy for combating this defensive attack is to position a player between the man with the ball and the defensive player trying to tackle him and having said positioned player impede the defensive player’s progress for as long as possible. In the case of the Utes, “As long as possible” was defined as the amount of time it takes an electron to orbit the nucleus of a hydrogen atom.
Now, of course the inability of our offensive line/TE/WR to block is not to blame for the Utes’ offensive woes. Forget the fact that a 267 lb defensive tackle was pushing our 320 lb O-Lineman into theQB’s lap every play. Who cares that our RT hit a cut block on an ASU DE who didn’t even slow down before making yet another TFL. Forget that in at least 5 different plays, our “Future NFL TE” didn’t even make contact with the man he was trying to block. No, the blame is entirely due to our 25 year old, inexperienced Offensive Coordinator not dictating what our “Offensive Identity” is following his 4th game on the job. See, if he’d have simply run into the locker-room at half-time, said, “Well, we have a below average QB, an injured RB, and can’t block anyone worth a crap, but we’re a spread-option team,” we’d be 3-1 right now. So, there you go.
Now that our breakdown is done (let us never speak of it again), let me point out one thing that was plainly obvious in that game. I realize that we’ve only had 2 recruiting seasons following the PAC invitation being extended, but I’m starting to think that Kyle still isn’t recruiting like a PAC-12 school. Now that’s not to say that he isn’t recruiting good enough talent. Our talent upgrade is obvious from previous years. No, the issue is that Kyle needs to start recruiting good talent while simultaneously recruiting positionally.
In the MWC, Kyle’s recruiting philosophy was to recruit the best athletes he could find, and then plug them in to places where they are a good fit. He’d then take slow D-Linemen and put them on the O-Line. He’d take WRs who couldn’t catch or RBs who couldn’t pick up a blitz and make them DBs. He’d take smart, hearty, walk-on Rudys and make them LBs.
Kyle has underrecruited the QB, OL, and LB positions for a long time. Think about it, when was the last time a recruiting class had more than 1 actual LB in it. Now, when was the last LB corps that didn’t have at least 1 walk-on playing major reps if not starting? O-Linemen have typically either been JUCO plug-ins or converted D-Linemen. QBs have been a disaster. Not coincidentally, what position groups have the biggest issues right now?
Now, I believe that the game last week will likely be chalked up as a learning experience for Kyle and he’ll make whatever changes are necessary in recruiting, game-planning, and personnel management. I’ve seen him learn from adversity and come back stronger many times before.
My hope is that it will be a learning experience for Ute fans as well. It’s probably time to check our sense of entitlement at the door and realize that it’s going to take 3-5 more years to get in better recruits at all positions, and then let the improved talent improve into upper-classmen. At this point, I’m just going to enjoy the college football experience with no expectations other than seeing young guys improve and maybe even eventually hold something back for longer than a BYU fan on his wedding night….maybe if they started thinking about baseball……