By William Cruz III
Game 3 for Coach Eric Dooley
Last week Coach Eric Dooley had an impressive win over North Carolina Central. His Offensive Coordinator called an excellent game performed precisely by QB Jalen Morten. With just over 600 yards produced, Dawonya Tucker carrying 224 of those with a fairly even favoring the run game. They were able to produce 32 first downs and were perfect in all 6 red zone visits.
Passing statue of Sam Houston
Being from Houston and going to school in Iowa, I drove north and south past Huntsville on I-45 several times a year. In between Huntsville had a very unique way of showing you that you had arrived. There on the East side of the highway nestled in between several tall pine trees stood a 66 foot tall stone figurine of Sam Houston himself. Seeing this statue had a lot of significance to me, on my way North I had reached the point of no return I was officially on my way to college and would only turn back if completely necessary. Heading south I knew I was getting within a couple hours of being home.
Back to football
This Saturday, the Panthers will pass that statue of Sam Houston twice on their way to and from the Elliot T. Bower Stadium to meet the Bearkats football team for their Third time in school history. Coach KC Keeler is leading his team into his 5th season with home opener with a home win streak of 20 on the line. Coach Keeler had the pleasure of replacing a record setting QB. He has commented that either of the three QBs on his roster could take the starting job and produce at satisfactory levels. He has yet to announce a starter but I think he might go with Jr Transfer Mike Dare. He produced a ton of offense while at his Junior college and most of Coach’s commentary on the three QBs was about him so.. What I do know is that with a great team Coach Keeler can be quite successful. He is returning most of his O-line and has the momentum of opening your 2018 season at home. It is unlikely he will allow his team to take a home loss to PVAMU, but Coach doesn’t have anything in the bag yet.
Coach Dooley and the PVAMU needs to maintain focus and run a very disciplined game that they can persevere through that initial 1st half and keep chipping away capitalizing on any mistakes SHSU might make. PVAMU has some offensive weapons that have 2 games this season under their belt and know their way to the endzone. Defensively they have been effective, but they spent more time on the field than off last week. There is some uncertainty of the mesh of SHSU’s QB situation making it possible that on any given saturday an underdog can walk off the field victorious.
QB Jalen Morten has been setting the tone for this offense. When he is productive, the Panthers are successful. He started and finished a game last week but PVAMU needs him all four quarters this week. He will have an opportunity at the beginning of the game to take advantage of the bearkats finding their groove with their new QB. Whether he is handing the rock, throwing the rock or running the rock; he can’t let go of that will to win and play mistake free football, especially late in the game to pull it off. They were only 3 of 14 converting 3rd downs last week, they cannot have that this week. Every touch is vital to their win.
Gameday : Week 0 Prairie View A&M @ Rice
I remember waking up on Saturdays, it was as if there was an eerie silence about everywhere you walked. You would see your teammates, and no matter how close you were, a head nod was all that you could do. It was as if there were no noise at all, you could walk and hear the wind blowing through the trees, engines running on the cars passing by. But at the same time there was a death metal concert going on in your head, gunfire, a shit ton of bass, the anticipation building over the war you were about to stroll right into. As a college athlete there was nothing that could replace that feeling. Today, we are blessed to see the beginning of another football season! Blessed to get to watch as fans of the greatest game ever played in America on August 25th 2018! This 2018-19 College football season is officially underway, and even though this isn’t a Top 25 matchup, there will be helmets crashing, hot dogs consumed, beer… tons of beer, cheerleaders, top performing marching bands, coaches yelling, fans cheering, mascots mean mugging another, but most importantly today.. there will be a team that goes home a Loser, and that goes home a Winner!
I think as much as this game is about the players, and what they do on the field, I’m going to put today’s matchup on the coaches. I think the players are somewhat irrelevant, as much as they are everything. Today’s Coach that gets to put their first career “W” on their resume as Head Coach will be determined by that coach. As far as the Owls go, I feel that will be their biggest weakness. In press conferences this week HC Mike Bloomgren has mentioned that they have not named a starting QB yet, that he plans on beating the odds of playing both QBs in this game. I think this strategy is horrible, and screams dissention within the ranks not on the field between QBs, but in the office between a HC and an Offensive Coordinator. While Bloomgren was a very successful OC, leading Stanford to several winning seasons, his current OC Jerry Mack was very successful HC at North Carolina Central University. It hasn’t been said but I am willing to bet they both have chosen their starting QB, but they have not both chosen the same QB.
There is a reason why planning on going with both QBs never works out. In college football there is crucial element called momentum. And the problem with playing both QBs is that you never know when one is beginning to find his momentum, and the other is not. You take one out without knowing if the next drive he was going to complete the pass your cold-armed quarterback coming off the bench couldn’t quite make. I think it is a mistake to go into week one without naming a starting QB.
With that being said...
I am willing to go out on a limb and say, PVA&M has a chance to upset Rice today. They seem to have the opposite problem. They have a starting QB, they have an OC in Ted White that can put points on the board. If they can put enough on early, I think HC Bloomgren will go home with an L today and hopefully learn an important lesson…Be Humble and let your OC coordinate the offense.
College Football Today's Texas Contributor William Cruz III
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