Buying in to the success of Saturday's game is dangerous. I'm pretty sure we are not going to be able to line up and smash mouth through the remainder of our schedule. Sparty and Buckeye are too developed these days to fall victim to the classic Wisconsin we are portraying here. But I'm optimisitic that we out-conditioned a Pac-12 squad with a pedigreed, albeit new, coach. Jimmy put these boys to work over the last 9 months, no doubt. I honestly do not remember the last time we pushed and watched our opponent buckle, even in our biggest of blowouts against the patsy-est of patsys. We've been a product of scheme and speed for a while now, clinging to a few gifted athletes with an ability to un-break broken plays. Spare parts of a defunct RichRod era that seemed to run out of the little magic it had right around the time Brandon and Brady ran out of excuses.
But Saturday? Ball control, leaning on a team until they breakdown physically, vanilla traps and a classic Lloyd reverse? It's like time travel. You may now return to your regularly scheduled Michigan-style complaints of 1993-2007.
I am conditioned these days to ask for very little, and to expect even less. When the game began with a surgical strike of a drive by the Beavers and a Ruddock turnover, simultaneous mutterings of "here we go again" echoed throughout the Big House, and I had already begun to justify everything with the obligatory "it's going to take time for Him to turn this team around" again. Mantras like this are necessary for survival in a post-TheHorror world, and don't let Saturday's success skew you in to thinking we won't use that one again...we will.
But did we get better? I think so. Even if Utah was the toast of the Pac-12 and Oregon State is a pile of shit, things were different. Hits were harder. 10 helmets on the ball was common. Smith ran with purpose. Jake managed the game and looked slightly less skiddish.
In short: We should have beat Utah.
Establish the Tailgate
The craft beer tailgate went over pretty well. Noon kicks have been a little rare over the past few years, so it's tough to get a rhythm going. But we have two more noon kicks in a row to improve our pacing, and that starts with this weekend's contest against UNLV. In honor of our friends from Sin City, the tailgate theme is Vegas. Not sure what that means for food, but I'm going to deal live $1-$5 blackjack from 10-11am on site.
See you there! GO BLUE!