It doesn’t take any kind of expertise, prior football playing or coaching experience, or really even watched football before. If you tuned it, hell, or even just saw the highlight of the punt return, you could tell.
This football team is a disaster.
They can’t move the ball on offense, play calling is all over the map, the defense is hanging by a thread, and the special teams. Yeah you saw the special teams. You can’t point at a single team this thing has done in the first three games and go, yeah, that’s something this team does well. That’s what we can build on.
Now coming into this year expectations were not high. It was a new coach with a new system after a year of abject failure. “Maybe we can pull an upset in the SEC,” or “A bowl game would be a success” were thrown around a lot and seemed like pretty reasonable expectations. Well those can be thrown out the window now, especially the bowl hopes.
Before we dive into how bad things have been in these first few weeks I’m going to make clear two things I do not care about.
- I do not care that Morris is watching his son play football on Friday nights. Coaches are out watching high school football all across the country, and it’s not like it’s taking a huge chunk out of his day. He’s not worried about if he can get pre-boarding on Southwest and making sure his carry on is the right size with the acceptable sized liquids. No he’s flying on his own (and probably game planning on the damn plane) to get a couple of hours watching his son play football. It’s ridiculous this is even a story line.
- “But Bielema left this team in such bad shape” Yes last year’s team was bad. This team wasn’t get the doors blown off by a CUSA team bad. And coaches all across the country are dealing with bad situations in their first year. That’s why they’re there in their first years! More often than not it’s because the last coach put them in a bad situation! Morris inherited a way worse situation at SMU, you’d think he would know how to deal with it better, or at least have a better idea of what worked and what didn’t. Also the “well he would’ve lost this game too,” makes no damn sense as an argument. He’s not here. He’s already failed. Morris is here and that’s what I’m concerned about.
Now that those two are out of the way. Here’s what I do care about. First, the absolute mismanagement of the quarterback situation. It was clear after interception two that Cole Kelley didn’t have it. Morris sent him back out there for interception number three. It was even more clear he didn’t have it and had halftime as a nice easy break for a change.
He sent him back out for interception number four.
That has nothing to do with watching his son play. It has nothing to do with Bielema. That’s poor in-game management.
Second, NOT REALIZING THE PUNT RETURNER DIDN’T CALL A DANG FAIR CATCH.
That has nothing to do with watching his son play. It has nothing to do with Bielema. That’s poor coaching.
Third, TJ Hammonds got three touches. (Two receptions and one carry.)
We’re really doing this again? Really?
Chase Hayden had five carries for 21 yards. Devwah Whaley had nine for 21 yards. Rakeem Boyd didn’t even get a carry. Maleek Maleek Williams had the only successful line (5 carries for 74 yards) because he broke a 68 yard touchdown in the final minute of a blow out. There’s no sense of distributing touches, even when one of them is hot. Whaley had an excellent game against CSU, and the play calling went away from him late. Boyd had a solid showing last week, but this week? Nothing.
There are legitimate issues with this team that are outside of his control. Yes this roster is devoid of SEC talent, but there are a lot of issues that Morris does control. And so far none of those issues have showed any signs of progress. I’d love to see things slowly get better through out the season. I’d love for him to prove me wrong and pull out some positive results in this season. Show some progress towards a brighter future. After all, it is a rebuilding year. But there’s a lot of building that needs to be done, and so far Morris hasn’t done any of it.