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    Reasons for "optimism"

    Let me first state that "optimism" is a relative term. It is obvious baring a miracle that this team will not make a bowl, and there is a good chance it will be Rhoads's worst team at ISU. It's a rebuilding year. So what do I mean? By optimism, I mean that the team will be competitive in most games and can win 4-5 of them as opposed to going 0-12 and getting blown out every week. As a fan, IMO the worst thing is having a repeat of 2003 or 2008 where you just know early in the season that the team doesn't really have a chance to win and will probably get crushed every game. It just makes the whole experience as a fan a waste of time, but luckily, I do not think that will happen this year.

    The reason for this is that for all the hate the offense is deservedly getting, I think the loss is on the defense. UNI easily scored on its first 3 possessions, essentially spotting UNI 21 points, and it wasn't because of some massive talent deficiency. It was because David Johnson had 124 yards on 6 carries (check the play-by-play. Yes, it was that bad.) due to the fact that the D couldn't even execute basic assignments like knowing which gap to cover. I see the defenses early miscues not as a lack of talent, but due to inexperienced mental mistakes which are correctable. And in fact, you saw this being corrected after the third TD in Wally substituting in Luke Knott and UNI gaining 228 yards and 7 points with 2 turnovers on its final 7 drives after gaining 229 yards and 21 points on its first 3 drives. Wally has consistently shown the ability to get an adequate performance out of the defense, and I think after the early game jitters wore off, the latter part of the game more closely resembles what you will see out of the defense instead of the early part.

    While the offense was not good, I think part of its ineptitude can be placed on the injury to Tom Farniok, one of the few leaders and experienced players on offense, going down, and the inexperienced linemen not being fully prepared on how to replace him. He is the center, and centers can be difficult to replace if your other linemen are young. Farniok is coming back, and I think I saw enough out of Sam Richardson and the rest of the offense to believe that it will not be totally inept.

    Lastly, losing to FCS teams happens, and it's not an automatic season killer. Michigan lost to App State in 2007 and rallied to win the Capital One Bowl. Virginia Tech lost to James Madison in 2010 and rallied to go undefeated in the ACC and go to the Orange Bowl. ISU really should've lost to UNI in 2011 and eventually beat OK State. Also in 2011, Kansas State barely sqeaked by Eastern Kentucy in the last 2 minutes and played in the Cotton Bowl. This year a record 8 FBS teams lost to FCS teams in week one including Kansas State losing to North Dakota State and a ranked Oregon State team losing to Eastern Washington for a final record of 8-22 for FCS vs FBS. Also note that West Virginia barely beat William & Mary.

    While of course the loss is bad, it does not automatically mean the team will go 0-12 and get blown out every game. I'm as disappointed as anyone, but I still have some hope that the season can be salvaged and that when we look back at the season, we will see some signs of optimism for the future.

    Or maybe not. Guess who we open the 2014 season with? North Dakota State.



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    Re: Reasons for "optimism"

    Good write up. Team will play much better throughout the season then what we saw last night. Who knows, this may be a major wake up call for the team and staff and prove to be a good thing.



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    Re: Reasons for "optimism"

    I think a lot of our issues were a lack of experience. That said, it should pay off eventually..A couple positives are we have 17 players at linebacker and lose one to graduation (George). On top of that we've got redshirt freshmen like Kane Seeley, Darius White, Luke Knott and Alton Meeks for a few more years..We have 17 offensive lineman and lose two (Lichtenberg and Tuftee) so most of the offensive line will be returning and have atleast a year of playing time under their belts. Eventhough we are likely going to get pounded on this year, quality experience is key with a young team.



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    Re: Reasons for "optimism"

    Thanks for the write up. I agree with you in regards to the defense as being the unit that lost the game. One thing many people wanted to see in this game was to keep the defense off the field. ISU won the time of possession in this game, therefore, giving the defense ample time to rest.

    I thought the Offense played OK. The second half offensive line was poor, which allowed for all around poor offensive performance. But the offense did move the ball when the offensive line was blocking, which is something we have not seen in the past. It also seemd that the number of 3 and outs we extermely minimal on the offensive side of the ball. Play calling needs to improve as well.

    Overall, I have more confidence in the execution of the offense than the defense right now. I think the offense can get some of their concerns worked out over the next couple of games, I just worry that the defense will be an all season learning experiance.

    More longer term, I feel good about this team going in to next year having a lot of young talent.



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    Re: Reasons for "optimism"

    The D wasn't actually so terrible after the first three bedwetting sessions. The problem is, if the more experienced O can't put up more than 20 points on UNI, who are we going to be able to actually BEAT? We lost that game, giving up 28 points shouldn't have been a problem.



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    Re: Reasons for "optimism"

    I think a reason for optimism is that Sam R did well. And that despite pressure. C/ATT YDS AVG
    Sam R. 22/32 242 7.6

    He'll improve a lot with experience.

    Go beat the yellow team from Eastern Iowa Univ of Lager and Parties!



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    Re: Reasons for "optimism"

    Quote Originally Posted by atlantacyclone View Post
    The D wasn't actually so terrible after the first three bedwetting sessions. The problem is, if the more experienced O can't put up more than 20 points on UNI, who are we going to be able to actually BEAT? We lost that game, giving up 28 points shouldn't have been a problem.
    Yeah, once we put in Knott and Wally made adjustments we did a pretty good job of slowing them down. They only scored once after the half. Also remember that Watson was suspended and will be back for Iowa. As much as Richardson got picked on getting Watson back will be huge.



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    Re: Reasons for "optimism"

    I do see it as a rebuilding year, with the potential to have a really competitive year next year.

    The D did rally a bit yesterday, and the offense showed some promise.

    And despite all us fans knowing how dangerous these types of games can be, it will always be hard to get young players to take it completely serious.



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    Re: Reasons for "optimism"

    The only reasons for optimism right now is Sam Richardson (QB), Allen Lazard, and D'Vario Montgomery next season IMO.

    Rhoads needs to be on the phone all day today and the rest of the season to convince these recruits to stay on board. I really think this season is lost as far as reaching any goals. Our only goal now should be to just improve every game and keep our commits.



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    Re: Reasons for "optimism"

    I have to point out, having tracked the game online, that at one point early in the third quarter, we'd actually outgained UNI 370 yards to 302. So, it's not like that offense was really all THAT bad...




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    Re: Reasons for "optimism"

    Quote Originally Posted by clonedude View Post
    The only reasons for optimism right now is Sam Richardson (QB), Allen Lazard, and D'Vario Montgomery next season IMO.

    Rhoads needs to be on the phone all day today and the rest of the season to convince these recruits to stay on board. I really think this season is lost as far as reaching any goals. Our only goal now should be to just improve every game and keep our commits.
    Last night was bad but there's no reason to just throw in the towel on the season just yet. If we get blown out by Iowa and lose to Tulsa... then we throw in the towel.



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    Re: Reasons for "optimism"

    Quote Originally Posted by clonedude View Post
    The only reasons for optimism right now is Sam Richardson (QB), Allen Lazard, and D'Vario Montgomery next season IMO.

    Rhoads needs to be on the phone all day today and the rest of the season to convince these recruits to stay on board. I really think this season is lost as far as reaching any goals. Our only goal now should be to just improve every game and keep our commits.
    Out of curiosity, what type of stuff did you say two years ago when UNI almost beat us and we still went to a bowl game? Just wondering so I can get a gauge about how often you are right when predicting such a poor season.



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    Re: Reasons for "optimism"

    I don't get the excuse making for the offense. 20 points against the weakest team on our schedule other than Kansas (maybe). All of the what if he hadn't got hurt, what if we made the field goals, what if we converted this play or that play is just excuse making. We did not convert, we did not score. About our average over the years which is awful.



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    Re: Reasons for "optimism"

    Quote Originally Posted by SCNCY View Post
    Thanks for the write up. I agree with you in regards to the defense as being the unit that lost the game. One thing many people wanted to see in this game was to keep the defense off the field. ISU won the time of possession in this game, therefore, giving the defense ample time to rest.

    I thought the Offense played OK. The second half offensive line was poor, which allowed for all around poor offensive performance. But the offense did move the ball when the offensive line was blocking, which is something we have not seen in the past. It also seemd that the number of 3 and outs we extermely minimal on the offensive side of the ball. Play calling needs to improve as well.

    Overall, I have more confidence in the execution of the offense than the defense right now. I think the offense can get some of their concerns worked out over the next couple of games, I just worry that the defense will be an all season learning experiance.

    More longer term, I feel good about this team going in to next year having a lot of young talent.
    I still think the 20 point offense lost the game. Anytime you attempt four fieldgoals, you have bogged down a lot. We were great in turnovers and penalties and still we sputtered. Our playcalling got worse and worse as the game went on. The last minute of the game we were throwing three yard outs since we could not block. One of the fieldgoals was a gift from the defense. The two missed fieldgoals were still a long way out. We managed 110 yards in a hapless second half. We could not make a play for our reputation the second half. No TDs second half. Natta. What was our longest play from scimmage in the second half other than a punt?


    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

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    Re: Reasons for "optimism"

    Quote Originally Posted by clonedude View Post
    The only reasons for optimism right now is Sam Richardson (QB), Allen Lazard, and D'Vario Montgomery next season IMO.

    Rhoads needs to be on the phone all day today and the rest of the season to convince these recruits to stay on board. I really think this season is lost as far as reaching any goals. Our only goal now should be to just improve every game and keep our commits.
    They are the only reason for optimism? Isn't that a little like putting all your eggs in one basket. I hope your basket doesn't drop!



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