Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Let the boys play
Over the past few seasons, and specifically the last two games, we Cougar fans have seen a lot of backups trot onto the field in the fourth quarter.
It's a luxury. We've earned the right to give our scrubs some playing time with a solid three-quarter beatdown.
I love seeing guys like Jason Beck, Brendan Gaskins, Riley Nelson and now James Lark take the field because it (usually) means we're so far ahead we literally don't care who's under center anymore.
What I don't like is how these backup QBs, RBs and WRs are on a choke-chain leash. All they get in garbage time is runs up the middle and a quick knee in the victory formation. The backup QB might get to throw a quick slant if he's lucky.
The thinking here, of course, is we're so far ahead we just want to speed up the game and not "run up the score." It's generally accepted as a classy move, and it seems to be part of an unspoken code of ethics in the coaching fraternity.
I think it's bogus. As a fan, I want to see these players play the game. I want to see them develop and get some meaningful gametime experience. When James Lark puts his hands inside his center's keester, I want him to be able to come up throwing.
It's not Bronco Mendenhall's responsibility to make sure your team doesn't get their feelings hurt. It's also not his job to make sure you get the ball back when you're down 40. The opponent has to stop us, and if they don't... well tough cookies.
Who here doesn't want to see James Lark wing some balls to B.J. Peterson? Who doesn't get excited at the prospect of David Foote breaking a big run late in the game? Who else is just craving an opportunity to see Ezekial Ansah put the opposing QB on his back?
If I were coach I'd be giving both barrels until the clock reaches double zeroes. I'd put in my backups, sure, but my gameplan won't change a bit. I'd still try to score on every single possession, and I'd never take a knee.
I may not win any sportsmanship awards, but I'd have the best dang backup QB in the country.
James Lark, I'm in your corner, buddy.