I had a very tough time writing my article this week. Like many Cyclone fans, I felt like I was punched in the stomach when the extra point was blocked in the final moments of the K-State game. I wanted to start placing blame on the players and coaches to help rationalize how we were able to lose that game. I thought about writing about all of the things that went wrong that caused that game to go into the loss column instead of the win column. But after many days of reflection, I decided to take the high road and make some overall assessments of that game and the future of our season.
Moving the Game to Arrowhead
I thought I would start with the decision to move the game to Arrowhead stadium instead of keeping the game in Ames. I have heard a lot of rumblings from fans saying this was a bad move on Jamie Pollard’s part. I completely disagree with this assessment and wholeheartedly support Jamie in this decision. Ultimately, if you want to be a big time program (which all of us should want to become), we have to put ourselves in position to be on a national stage. Instead of calling out Jamie, I think we need to take a long look in the mirror and try to figure out why roughly only 20,000 Cyclone Fans showed up to the game! If we are ever going to get the big time advertising dollars to support our beloved football program, it starts with butts in the seats. We need to do a better job in 2010 of putting more Cyclone fans in the stadium. Put your hotel reservations in for next year and let’s outnumber the K-State fans 2-1! Finally, Jamie, keep on making those types of decisions and you will have at least one Cyclone fan that will be supporting you!
Big Ugly’s still Playing Great!
It is always nice to be number one in anything, so a big shout-out to the offensive line as they are number one in sacks given up. Through 5 games the offensive line has only given up one sack on our quarterbacks. They also continued to do a great job in Kansas City of opening up some rush lanes for the backs and Austen. Keep up the great work guys and your efforts will be rewarded with points on the board and Big 12 honors to go with it!
Playing with Pride
With seven games left in the 2009 season, we are going to find out what this team is made of! Now that we have cleared the hurdle that we are not going to go undefeated in the Big 12, we need to focus on getting better each week. What I am looking for from this team is a passion to win football games regardless of the outcome.
Offense – I would like the offense to play with a sense of purpose. You are going to make some mistakes; miss some blocks, etc. I want to see them rush, pass, and block with an intensity that was missing in the last game.
Defense – I want to see you flying to the ball; going for strips; and rushing the passer like your life depended upon it! You are going to miss some tackles, give up some points and yards; but keep bringing the pressure every single play and great things will happen!
Keys to Victory against Kansas
Here are my keys to victory this week for the Cyclones:
1) Win the turnover battle! We lost it last week and it cost us 14 points.
2) We need improved play from the quarterback position. Enough said!
3) Defense can’t allow big plays! Big plays against K-State led to most of their points!
4) Coaches; Blitz more! It is very apparent that rushing the four defensive linemen will not produce the pressure on the QB that we need. We need to bring another man in the rush lanes to take some pressure off of the defensive backs!
Well, that is it for this week! Up next a breakdown of the Kansas game!