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I'm a man who loves sports, bacon, and a good steak.

Monday, April 2, 2012

CIT, basketball season, and spring football

Well its been a little less than a week since USU Men's basketball team has stopped playing.  The CIT was a nice consolation prize for an otherwise uninspiring season.  The team played some of its best basketball and it really seemed like they were clicking.  I missed a the Oakland game where Stew Morrill team put up 105 points in regulation, in the post season, and against a good D1 team.  The crazy thing about that game is that wasn't even the highest shooting percentage they had that season.  That belonged to a game against Fresno State.  Anyway I championship however was not meant to be: the Aggies choked away a six point lead with five minutes to go and all the momentum.  Which continues a trend this year of Aggie Sport's not being able to consistently finish games.  I remember thinking during the game against Mercer that Chaz Spicer isn't going to walk through that door in a uniform again and make the game winning shot.  Pane still got a good look and I thought the shot had a chance but it just wasn't meant to be.   

The Season
Terms you could use to talk about this season include inconsistency, heart breakers, roller coaster, disappointing, and fun.  Now I know most people won't agree with the last one.  This season still was a lot of fun especially considering we lost five games in the Spectrum this year.  I'm a junior and had only seen us lose once before at home in the seasons I've been here.  Our youth showed at the beginning of the year especially with losses to such teams as Pacific and Texas A&M Corpus Cristi.  The saddest thing was at those point in times a fan base that was so used to winning was grumbling about how only one post season victory in Stew Morrill's tenure at Utah State had caused a lack of good recruits and were complaining about the losses we had suffered.  I used the word disappointing in my description of the season because of how disappointing the fans were this year.  The Spectrum was never filled the second half of the season.  We looked like a school of fair weather fans to me.  The magic was gone (I know the blunder by the school really killed it http://www.usufans.com/Forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=16881 ).  Now there are plenty of excuses out there but the haunting thing about this year was the empty seats I saw in big games. We had three almost season changing road wins: Wichita State, Miss St., and Nevada but came up short each time.  

Why was this season still fun for me tho?  I still got to see us beat BYU, Keysian Reed can dunk, Medlin can have some ridiculous games, and my ears hurt a lot in the CIT championship game.

Spring Football

I have been only able to attend one practice so far this year but I noticed a few things:
  • Jeff Manning while fresh off the mission has a great arm and will solidify us in the QB position.  You can tell hes fresh off the mission and his footwork in the pocket didn't look great but his throwing motion was good
  • Chuckie Keeton looked good but I never noticed the wind up in this throwing motion.  I love him but that kind of scares me.  It just projects the ball so much
  • Kennedy looked good and looks like he will be able to play like he did last year.
  • The special teams looked alright.  It was their first real practice so its understandable that they weren't great.  There was one really bad field goal and some punts looked terrible and some looked absolutely beautiful.
  • Also I love Chuck Jacobs, I think were going to to see him get a lot more receptions this year.
  • The running backs looked great in what appeared to be a variation of the Oklahoma drill.
Overall it was a nice practice to watch and I'm excited to catch another one soon and focus on some other things at the practice. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Senior Night

It was really part of a great night overall for me but senior night was crazy.  I have seen Utah State come back before in some amazing games.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCWeStX6J1g  That one would have to be my personal favorite, but this game was something else entirely.  The spectrum was doing good but in the first half we quietly went down by 15. If I remember correctly USU was shooting something like 28% at that point in time and that is just ugly.

Then we went on an 8-0 to end the half and if it wasn't for a missed lay up at the end it would have been 10-0.  There was something different about this run, Idaho simply didn't have an answer.  I was wondering as the second half started if we could continue this run.  Not only continue but if we would only catch up and then make it go down to the wire.  What happened was amazing and more than I expected.

Things I liked: we seemed to have focused on the boards a lot more, especially Danny Berger,  the crowd was really into it,  the players were having fun out there, we didn't just settle, and Preston Medlin's shooting was amazing.

Also can anyone tell me how many times Medlin has been fouled shooting 3's?

Monday, February 13, 2012

marketing survey and some Linsanity


found this thanks to Kristi Dosh @SportsBizMiss, I only started following her on twitter a week ago and she is really good.

Also concerning Linsanity, I think Mike D'antoni's system might have created this.  His point guards just put up better numbers.  Its the old system quarterback argument from college football.  It also reminds me of Jimmermania of last year.  Its definitely better then the Tebow craze because Jeremy Lin puts of up good numbers.

What I am looking forward to this week

Well I may not be able to write in the blog this week much because of a paper and two tests.  Its going to be a real B this week.

Lets start with USU basketball: there are two games lined up this week Montana Tech and UC Santa Barbara.

The first game will be fun hopefully the backboard won't break this year as it did last year when we played a cupcake team like Montana Western in a similar cupcake match up.  I would like to see some more fundamentally sound basketball then we had against NMSU.  We had didn't play well down the stretch there and didn't get shots off until late into the college shot clock.  With 35 seconds we shouldn't be taking our shots with 3 left.

The second game is the bracket buster and will be the first time it will not be televised or on the internet for us.  Kinda sad but that is the current state of the program.  Also if I remember correctly a random fact about UCSB is that Jim Rome is a alumni I think.......  Anyway it should be a good game and we should be glad its in the spectrum.  Even if 3 teams have come into the spectrum and won, it's still a hated place to go.  This will also be game where we need to prove we are not a fair weather fan base.  With the current state of the team I don't know if we will win or lose but I want to show up for them.

Speaking of the team I'm tired of reading forums about how are team sucks and how we don't have the talent now.  This team has the talent and needs time to develop and learn.  Besides the loss at NMSU we have been in games in the last 5 minutes.  Its just showing the same problems the football team had.  Except the football team had the miracle 5 Adam Kennedy games.

Alright onto the Jazz, the just started their only back to back to back games stretch with a very nice win.  I don't think it was there best win of the season but it was solid and it was good to see the Jazz win.  Gordon Hayward is starting to become again what he was at the end of last season.  From what I have been reading its been a confidence issue.  I wonder how long it will take him before we won't see these slumps.  There is also a glaring need to replace Devin Harris.  Now I remember early on I was showing a lot of love to him because of the player he used to be.  However he doesn't seem like that same player.  He doesn't really fit into the team very well and he gets often outplayed by Earl Watson.  Not only offensively is he struggling but he is supposed to be a good defender but its just not there.

The problem is we can't draft anyway and in order to find a good point guard we might have to give up more than Devin Harris.  Unless someone believes that in their system he can be the player he used to be.

Anyway random facts that I have learned through reading ESPN.  We can expect an increase in football attendance next year because of their winning ways and more then we saw this year when they were winning. Even if they have a mediocre year statistics have shown that attendance should be better.  Its going to work the other way too for basketball, next year will be bad for attendance.  I'm especially worried about the student section.  This years batch of freshmen aren't going to have the same experience of coming to games and I believe it will have an adverse effect or next year when the new batch of freshmen come.  One of the reason I stay here is because of that basketball team.

Also I wanted to voice my opinion on an event that happened shortly after the football season ended.  Gary Andersen announced that Chuckie Keeton would be the starter going into spring ball.  I'm a fan of the move for several reasons.  Hopefully it will create a spirit of competition between the two quarterbacks.  I believe in what GA says about not wanting to kick a guy out of the starting line up because he got injured.  To be honest as well I like Chuckie Keeton better than Adam Kennedy.  I know Adam Kennedy dominates in the win loss record but I like Chuckie as a decision maker better.  He just doesn't make a lot of risky throws and his two interceptions were both just great moves by defenders.  I will admit that I remember a couple passes that defenders dropped.  He has better speed and hes going to grow into being a better passer.

The real question though of who should start comes down into what is going to work better with how the two fit into Matt Wells offense.  He wanted to focus more on the vertical passing game which makes sense considering the recruiting of Alex Wheat.  Looking at it from that stand point I think the starter will end up being Adam Kennedy because of a better arm.  Hopefully the decision is made based on who fits better and who plays better as an individual.  I don't think the wins by Adam Kennedy should factor into the decision but solely on who makes the offense run better.  We all have to remember that even Tim Tebow had 6 wins in a row and that was definitely his defense who kept the teams in the game.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This weekend and weekend before

Last weekend had one of the most amazing USU football games I have ever watched.  Its too bad for most people that it was at Hawaii and went until 1:30 AM mountain time.  I almost cried when Chuckie went down, I was seriously scared.  Then when we started scoring in the 2nd half I could just feel the comeback coming.  Everything was there for it.  Really everything just went our way in that 2nd half.  The fake punt, both of of Adam Kennedy's touchdown passes, the pass inference call, and Michael Smith someone getting reversing the field twice to get a first down (it was called back on a penalty but if you know the play you know we got lucky). It was just ridiculous.

Alright well I decided to camp out the two nights before the BYU game.  Oh the reward I received for it.  My ears started hurting immediately, it was just so effing loud.  You could tell the student section was ready to explode.  There was some amazing signs (mostly directed towards Davies), a lot of people with painted bodies, and one guy dressed as the pope (my favorite).

The game itself well I have never seen that many charges called, some good and a lot were bad.  An example of that is one time Pane was going sideways around a guy and while hes in the air a BYU defender slides over  puts his hips into Pane and falls over.  It was a little ridiculous, WCC refs right?  It was just badm both teams had over 20 fouls.  It was a physical game but not quite sure if it was that bad.  Although BYU's got inflated at the end because of free throws, which we actually made.  I don't feel like givng a real analyst but I have to say at moments I was really scared and at other times I knew we would win.  When we had 10 fouls and they had 3, I thought the game was over.  We were playing each other tight and the free throws they were going to get would have been all the difference.  Fortunately it didn't turn out that way.  I will say there is a reason that we didn't do winning team losing team until there was 7 seconds left.  The game was close and it was worth the two nights of Logan weather.  (so glad I bought that mountain hardware sleeping bag)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

well at least we look like we can beat almost anyone

Alright I know we were the only Utah team to lose yesterday which really really sucks.  We choked hardcore, but then again that onside kick was amazing.  One of the best I had already seen.  I had the feeling that we were going to let it slip away.  I just didn't think it would take a miracle for us to do it.  I want to focus on the positives, this makes every single game in the rest of our schedule look very winnable.  I think the BYU game should be very interesting since they finally learned in their second half how to execute.  Besides that in looks like we could even win the WAC if we play like that.  Do I think we will look like that every game.  Nope.  I just hope we can play somewhere to that level.  We really were able to move the ball against the most talented and fasted defense we will see.  We did get exposed through the air I can admit, but just run on us I dare you.  I think our secondary will improve enough and plus we won't be facing any where near that fast of receivers.

Also Chuckie Keeton looked great, what an exciting qb to have.  He made great decisions and dang that kid can throw the slant.  He didn't take a lot of chances down field but I doubt that was the game plan.  He did look great in the pocket and his awareness was ridiculous.  Some sweet moves and speed.  Plus we saw he could make that deep throw and the throw on the run.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

In honor the first full day of games and my inability to sleep

I don't know how many games I will talk about.  I am going to start with the two that are on my mind the most though.  The first one being the Utah State versus Auburn game.  I heard about some espn blogs picking this as the cupcake game of the week and I strongly beg to differ.  My perspective is highly biased towards the aggies and I believe they can win.  This is how the game will have to be won.  

1.  The Aggies must stop the run.
            Last year we lost to Oklahoma by a touchdown and the main reason we were even behind was the fact that Demarco Murray ran all over us.  That what's Auburn's game plan should be.  But if in our new 3-4 defense we can limit the run game to somewhere around 150 yards we have a chance.  That number really is about the best we are going to get, then again we've all seen miracles happen.

2.  The USU quarterback must manage the game and not turn the ball over
            Whoever he may be shouldn't try to win the game, well that is if our running game is as good as its supposed to be.  I think the biggest mistake our QB's could have is try to force plays downfield.  Nickle and diming your way on a young defense is a great way to get them to make mistakes.  Nothing is more frustrating then giving up 4-12 yards everything play.  Auburn is going to be looking for TFL plays to really get their confidence up and show the world, we can't have that.  Another factor in that Oklahoma game was that we threw 3 picks.  The last one coming on what would have been the game tying drive.

If we can do those things we have a chance to win.  No guarantee of victory but we have seen team dominate other teams and still lose, its all about putting points on the score board.

USU 34-Auburn 27

I'm a homer.
The other game I want to just briefly cover is the BYU versus Ole Miss game.  I think this is a pretty evenly matched game, well kinda.  I think BYU is overrated (like usual) and Old Miss is underrated.  BYU has the momentum going from last season of beating up on okay teams at the end of last season.  Ole Miss is trying to say we don't suck, last year was a fluke.  The better team looks to be BYU but we should always remember those games where BYU has struggled against superior speed and athleticism.  My motto for it, remember Florida State.(which was during the year of national championship talk).  Oh and just to kick byu in the balls because I can, BYU's national championship is the probably the most undeserving national champion ever in college football.  Still BYU 41 - Ole Miss 31.  I think the BYU defense is not going to be what its supposed to be but Ole Miss probably does suck so they'll still win and Jake Heaps will still be the savior of BYU football.

Bonus game Baylor and TCU was awesome last night.  I was going for baylor since I remember RG3 from his freshmen year and I have to go for a fellow 400M runner.  Also TCU was getting to that point of where I was tired of hearing about them.  TCU made it close game at the end which really showed they had heart, promise to be a better team later in the season, and they their inexperience at quarterback killed them in the end.  Thats what happens when you can't trust your kicking game though.  

Anyway I'm excited for the games today and can't wait for another season of football.  #thisiswhyIdon'thavebettergrades