Coming up short (again)

There isn’t a lot to say about yesterday’s loss.  It’s not like it was a surprise, and it had a lot in common with several of The Citadel’s defeats this season.  It reminded me most of the Furman game, although not nearly that bad.  However, the fact remains that Wofford had three possessions in the first half (not counting its brief possession that started with less than 15 seconds remaining) and scored TDs on all of them.  Then, Wofford immediately scored on its first possession in the second half, when The Citadel blew a coverage.  There wasn’t a Bulldog within 20 yards of Andy Strickland, and he waltzed (almost literally; kid has no rhythm, though) into the endzone.

After that, The Citadel was always climbing a mountain, and it was a bit too much, especially after the defense allowed another big play early in the fourth, a 55-yard run straight up the gut by Dane Romero, one of seven plays of 20+ yards allowed by The Citadel during the game.

The Citadel wasted a fantastic game by Andre Roberts.  He was ridiculously good yesterday.  Roberts’ second TD catch in particular was remarkable, given that he caught the ball without actually seeing it (as a Wofford defender had clubbed him in the head shortly before the pigskin arrived).  That was a special play.  He finished with 14 catches (a school record) for 190 yards and three TDs, and added 20 yards rushing from the “Zebra” formation (which I kind of like, but it’s still not the most smoothly-run of operations).

Last season Roberts had a great year but was not selected to the media’s all-conference team, for reasons not immediately apparent.  My guess is he’ll make it this year, since he leads the SoCon in practically every major receiving category, plus punt returns, although you never know with the way some media members vote.  He’s arguably one of the two best players in the league (along with Armanti Edwards).

At halftime Mike Ayers was interviewed by the broadcast team of Tom Werme and Sam Wyche (each asked him one question).  There was no sideline reporter, so Ayers donned a set of headphones and talked to the two broadcasters.  I mention this because I was amazed at the length of time Ayers spent talking.  Normally coaches are in a hurry to get to the locker room (we’ve all seen these why-did-they-bother-interviews with coaches in a rush), but Ayers spoke for two minutes and eight seconds (I went back later and timed it).  Much of it was standard coachspeak (he wanted the offense to be “more consistent”, never mind that Wofford had scored every time it had the ball), although he did mention that The Citadel was alternating defensive fronts.  In fact, he named them — “they’re running a 3-3, a 50, and an eight-man.”  Ayers also said that Wofford could tell what fronts The Citadel would be using for each play because of the personnel in the game for the Bulldogs, which I thought was interesting.  Anyway, that was as long a halftime interview with a coach prior to his going to the locker room as I’ve ever seen.

Next week is homecoming for The Citadel, playing a bad UT-Chattanooga team that has already fired its coach.  The Bulldogs desperately need a win, and really should get it.  I just wonder how confident the team (particularly the defense) will be in that game.  I don’t really want to think about the game against Florida yet…

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