It's easy to look back on a Monday morning and think, "Maybe it wasn't so bad!" Let me assure you that it was every bit as bad as you once thought. I know it feels a bit like a dream, like you can't really believe it happened. More than once I've thought, "Didn't we have a bye week like the Cowboys?"
That's called a coping mechanism.
But before we can move on to the rest of the season, we have to deal with our trauma, so let's get rid of any rationalizations we might have constructed since the game ended.
#1. The Defense Only Gave Up 13 Points in Regulation
I heard our very own Super Bill Bradley utter this silver lining. Let's remember that this was an army team who should have been overpowered at every point. We let them run up and down the field against us, and the only reason this went into overtime in the first place was their FG kicker missed two 36-yard kicks. TWO! In the first quarter. Had he done his job, the game would have ended 26-17, or possibly 26-24. I guess there's a chance that we could have gotten the touchdown at the end, then kicked an onside kick, recovered it and then scored again, but based on our incompetence leading up to that point, I just can't believe it would have worked out that way.
But let's not take solace in the fact that their kicker has ridiculously bad range.
#2. Shawn Bell had Great Production
This kills me. I know I've been harsh on Bell, and I know I have said many times in many places that I didn't think he was a good QB at the BCS level. I think he'd be a good WAC QB, or even maybe in the right ConfUSA situation. But he's no BCS quarterback.
But his supporters keep bringing up his completion percentage, his "leadership", his flashes of very good play as justification for the fact that the kid just doesn't make plays. He's the anti-playmaker. He averaged 9.26 yards per completion for the game, after averaging over 12 yards per completion in the first quarter. He averaged 6.9 yards per attempt in the game, after averaging over 9 yards per attempt in the first half.
Bell needs to average over 7.5 yards per attempt. He needs to average over 10 yards per completion. That would have meant throwing for at least 19 yards more this game.
But what's 19 yards passing in this game? Well, in OT, that would have put us on the 2 yard line. Think we could have scored from there with 4 tries. Actually, I don't know, so it might be a moot point.
#3. We held Army to less than 280 yards of offense
We let Army rush for 3.7 yards per carry. Strangely that's the same yards per carry that we allowed to NSU. I don't know if the team approached these opponents in the same way, but that's a startling fact. We gave up fewer yards passing to Army, but we lost the game.
And that's the biggest stat of the evening. "1". As in the number of losses we gained that night. 1.
#4. The Offense Got More Experience
This one is true, but I wonder how much more experience do we need doing the exact same, pathetic thing? This team already knew how to lose. We can stop practicing that now. How about we practice taking that first drive and replicating it over and over again?
That's really all the silver linings I can come up with for the game. I hope it is clear that there is one thing and only one thing that is positive that we can take away from this game. Other than this one thing, this game was a complete negative. And this one thing would have happened no matter the outcome, so it's not really a reflection on the team, the coaches, the performance, etc. What's that one thing?
We can move on, because we have much taller tasks ahead of us.
I'm not doing a Top 5 this week, because I couldn't come up with 5 positive things that happened in the game. I might have been able to come up with 5 good plays, but that's too pitiful for me to waste my time on.
Anyone wish we could trade this for another 62-0 blowout by Texas?