THE REALITY is that yesterday's loss might be a backbreaker for the goal of achieving six wins and making a bowl appearance. Can you count four more wins from our remaining eight games? Idaho, GT, NC State, @ Miami, @ Maryland, Duke, @ FSU, VT. Idaho and Duke, I'll grant you. Maybe steal one more from someone else. But right now, I think 5-7 is the ceiling for this team.
THE REALITY is that while a sack-strip against Indiana might have saved the season, horrendous coverage on a [nearly unbelievably ballsy] fake punt might have doomed the season.
THE REALITY is that we are currently no better than an average Conference USA team. Difficult to read, but it's the truth.
THE REALITY is that we're recruiting better than just about any C-USA team in the history of that conference. So there's the silver lining.
THE REALITY is that this is year two of a four- or five-year rebuilding process. Al Groh left us with a roster full of scorched redshirts, devoid of quarterbacks, dangerously thin at safety, missing important o-line and d-line depth, and light on explosive athletes and playmakers. It takes time - a long time - to crawl out of that crater Groh blasted us into.
THE REALITY is that our freshmen and new players seeing the field for the first time are not ready to buoy this team and win games.
THE REALITY is that Mike London is still a relatively inexperienced head coach. He will make mistakes on game day, and we saw plenty of those yesterday. The important thing is that he grows into this role over time.
THE REALITY is that Mike Rocco is still our starting quarterback. The decision to go with David Watford at the end of the game was made more with Rocco's health in mind (he got beat up pretty bad on a few big hits) than because of the three INTs or because Watford was ready. Straight from London's lips in the post-game presser.
THE REALITY is that David Watford IS NOT ready. He made some plays yesterday, for sure. The two-point conversion was incredible. But he made way, way, way too many bad reads, bad decisions, and mistakes. He's not ready.
THE REALITY is that maybe none of it matters. Greyson Lambert enrolls in January. I have a hard time believing he'll be anything but squarely in the mix in the QB battle from day one.
THE REALITY is that our student fans continue to suck. It wasn't cold, it wasn't raining, it wasn't a noon kickoff, the team was 2-1 entering the game with plenty of hope for a win... and the student section was half full and quiet as a mouse. Something has to be done about this. I don't know what, but something. Give away free tickets to the game in the GA student section to area high schools, Boy Scout troops, homeless shelters, prisons, something. Anything. Waiting for our students to show up and hoping for the best is not working.
THE REALITY is that Chase Minnifield is MIA.
THE REALITY is the Kris Burd had a good game, yet dropped the most important pass of the day. It just hit him in the hands and he flat out dropped it.
THE REALITY is that I will be doing a little less hand-wringing about losing so many seniors after this season if those seniors continue to fail making plays when plays need to be made.
THE REALITY is that our offensive line was highly underwhelming yesterday. USM runs a 4-2-5, and has smaller athletes on D. We should have been able to line up and blow them off the ball, and generate some real juice in the running game. Instead, we struggled to run for most of the game, and the pass pro - while not giving up a sack - yielded plenty of pressure. Our QBs were running for their lives and absorbed plenty of hits.
THE REALITY is that our special teams suck. Robert Randolph is fine, but the rest of the operation needs major improvements. The fake punt was a backbreaker, we couldn't generate a single decent return, and the kickoff out of bounds after we pulled to within 3 was an egregious mistake.
THE REALITY is that our defense continues to bite way too hard on misdirection, fails to generate turnovers, and struggles to make key tackles. I worry about Georgia Tech hanging 50+ points on us in three weeks.
THE REALITY is that I'm still pretty pissy and bitterly disappointed about that loss yesterday. That's just not a game you can lose at home.
THE REALITY is that I'm looking forward to basketball season. *sigh*