Welp, it's Wednesday after a loss. Again. The last time I checked in I was full of hope, positivity, and certainty of change; almost like how I'm sure Kris Kardashian felt after her daughter realized her mistake and vowed to improve upon herself and her personal life after marrying Kris Humphries.
Enter: The Kanye West of the PAC-12, Arizona State.
Full of narcissim, highly shrouded insecurities, and the apparent ability to lay it down when it counts. What I saw on Saturday could only be described as ‘Blood On The Leaves.' (Because we're a tree, you know.)
So how do we wrap up a weekend as truly disheartening as this past one?
The Good: Cal lost and UCLA is looking more beatable than ever.
The Bad: We are now more beatable than ever.
The Ugly: The Stanford Offense.
I'm skipping a few lines here because explicit words are the first to come to mind when discussing what I saw from the offense on Saturday, so we'll just leave those blank in the merits of sincere and professional journalism.
The first thing that comes to mind is how this offensive line is getting beat when it is touted as one of the most brutal, physical, farmboy-style collection of guards and tackles in the country. There was no line movement on runs, no lanes for backs to run through, no pockets lasting more than a Hogan 2 step drop, and certainly no time for reads to be made.
Arizona State held the Cardinal to a paltry 76 yards rushing on the night, much of it coming on Yards After Contact from spirited runs by Wright and Sanders. What the stats fail to convey is how close they were to having zero. It remains unclear whether there is an inability to get receivers open, decision making on the part of Hogan, or a lack of offensive principles to abide by, but Coach Shaw could really use a jolt to wake them up. The only good part of not getting to the red zone is that there were none of the typical red-zone shenanigans.
Offensive philosophies are a cornerstone to successful college offense in the country. Baylor throws, Bama runs, and the Cardinal try to imitate both occasionally as of late. I think this is the moral of the story: When the going gets tough, throw in another tight end, expect the worst and hope for the best. It worked in the past and I'm not sure why it would stop working now.
The road doesn't get any easier now. There are exactly 5 games left with 3 in the AP Top 25. If the Cardinal wants to make a stand and salvage what is left of the season, change needs to happen on the scoring side of the ball.
UCLA is beatable, Oregon is mortal, and Utah is a home game.
Let's Keep Calm and Pound the Rock.