So many heartbreaks, so little time.
This year really is shaping up to be Y2K all over again. That year featured erratic performances by a sophomore QB before he got hurt, and of course, 3 OT losses which could have swung a 4-7 season into 7-4 fairly easily (in fact, that was the Vilaskuhl at kicker season, and in 2 of those 3 OT losses, he missed field goals that would have won the game! I went back and looked it up. So truly, 6-5 was quite possible and should have happened). That team had young players EVERYWHERE, defense, offense, etc, and they grew up together and we saw what followed.
This year? Now 3 of 4 losses in which the Cougs had double-digit leads, 2 of those in the 4th quarter, yet couldn’t close the deal.
Is hope lost entirely? No, I wouldn’t say so. It’s STILL not totally over. ASU was absolutely crushed by Stanford (who led 45-7 in the 3rd quarter!?!?) and they appear to be a sinking ship, even benching Keller in the 3rd quarter. Oregon lost the 2nd best QB in the Pac to a broken ankle and they even lost their scary-quick backup QB to an injury, so who knows where they’ll be in a few weeks. Regardless of which QB it is, I’ll tell you, without Clemens, that Oregon team will be entirely different. Just ask UW how good he really is. Then, of course, there is the AC, which who the hell knows there. It’s looking a hell of a lot more possible to find 3 more wins than it did, say, even last week!?!?
As Michael said last night, we will score points on ANYONE, including USC next week. Cal was the #1 D in the Pac-10, and even though they had some d-lineman beat up, to put up 600 yards of total offense on the road?? I don’t care who that is against, that’s hard to do against air in practice. Simply amazing.
The absolute biggest thing to me? In the hindsight of the pain of blowing the games earlier this year, and as lousy as things were looking going into the locker-room at the half, the way they fought back was unbelievable. Who’d a thunk it?!? They totally rallied and that shows me a lot. Maybe in years past, even last year, we would have laid down with a 28-10 deficit on the road, but they fought back big-time. For that, I”m proud and optimistic. As I told Michael last night, I have given up, but they sure as hell wouldn’t.
All that said, we very well could be 5-5 going into the Apple Cup, and then all bets are off. Then again, the pessimist in me says no matter how big the lead, how can we ever feel comfortable again with this group!?!? They can’t possibly blow more games this year…..can they??!?