Well, Clone fans, we knew it was going to be a long year. We saw the reaffirmation of that last night, falling to FCS foe Northern Iowa, 24-13.
I wonder if I'd be more shook up if I had much bigger expecations for this year, but when you expect three wins, it's harder to get disappointed.
The offense was still having problems last night. JJ Bass had a much tougher time showing off, getting just 43 yards on 15 carries. He wasn't battering around the UNI line and into the secondary like he was against Kent State. Alexander Robinson did have 45 yards on 8 carries, which I think solidifies his hold on the backup running back spot, or at least one of the runningback spots. Bret Meyer also ran the ball fairly well, especially early in the game, which was a pleasant change.
The offensive line looked to be getting tired as the game went on, and center Brandon Johnson had snap problems again. The pass blocking was much like it was last week, with (probably) enough time for Meyer to step up, but still no great performance. The run blocking wasn't outstanding by any stretch either.
Bret Meyer may look like he had a decent game from the stat sheet, completing 27-of-43, but his first of two picks automatically switched momentum to UNI. One can't really appreciate the frustration of watching him play til you see him lock down on one reciever. I have no idea why our number three reciever, Marquis Hamilton, is our first option over Todd Blythe and RJ Sumrall.
Blythe could be seen yelling at both the coaching staff and at Meyer during the game. I wonder if that's what happens when an all-Big 12 caliber WR gets two catches in a game against a I-AA school.
Austen Arnaud looke decent, going 2-of-4, but hitting all four guys he threw to in stride. He'll get more snaps against Iowa.
The defensive line was completely outclassed again, getting thrown around by the UNI offensive line. The linebackers played decently. The cornerbacks looked much like the defensive line - not being able to make a hit. Safety James Smith led the team with 12 tackles and looks to be settling in with his starting role.
The kicking game left another four points on the board. Any good will towards Bret Culbertson is evaporating. Mike Brandtner is still a good punter, which is good, because we'll need him.
Zac Sandvig fumbled another punt and was replaced by Drenard Williams, who will likely get the nod there against Iowa.
It was an ugly, ugly game that show us just how bad we are.