Apropos, the first basketball practice of the season started at 7am this morning. Tad and the boys are back in business... #IsItNovemberYet?
Today in the bag, I'm recapping the rough afternoon in Corvallis, celebrating the volleyball upset over UCLA, and saying goodbye to Lane Kiffin.
Click below for the bag...
Rude awakening in Corvallis -
In case you were wondering, the days of lopsided Pac-12 defeats are not yet over.
Impotent offense, head-scratching penalties, and leaky special teams play were all evident throughout Colorado's 44-17 loss at Oregon St, leading many in BuffNation to hit the eject button and run from visions of train wrecks past.
Certainly, there was a lot of horror to hide from. The offense was completely out of sync. Lead by shaken QB Connor Wood, they looked lost and inept for much of the game, only coming on in the final minutes to regain some confidence and respectability. They went 2-15 on third down, only gained 106 yards before the start of the 4th quarter (2.2 yards per play), and couldn't seem to get the ball into the hands of their best play maker, Paul Richardson. Against a Beaver defense that came in as one of the worst in the nation, it was both inexcusable and concerning.
|The Beaver 'D' swarmed the Buffs.|
|Cooks is beyond dynamic. From: The Oregonian|
The rebuilding process was never going to be easy. While the Buffs are clearly better than they were last season, days like Saturday were bound to still happen. I do take comfort in a few things in spite of the defeat. Freshman running back Michael Adkins had a very strong game, notching 98 net rushing yards on only 14 carries, and the defense continues to make plays with Greg Henderson picking up a tipped interception that set up CU's only score before the 4th quarter, and Chidera Uzo-Diribe causing another sack-fumble. But, outside of those few bright spots, it was a mostly forgettable afternoon in Corvallis.
Next week doesn't look much brighter, with #2 Oregon coming to town. Hopefully, CU can get that 12th game rescheduled, because this season will quickly jump off the rails without some victorious respite.
Volleyball upset over UCLA -
In happier news, the CU women's volleyball team pulled off a Friday night shocker by beating the #11 UCLA Bruins in five sets. It's the first head-to-head win over UCLA that CU has posted in any sport since the start of the Pac-12 era.
|Victory over the Bruins!|
After the game, Lindow had this to say:
“What’s even better is that we showed some serious teamwork tonight. It was the most calm feeling I have ever had on the court. We had confidence in our eyes and no question on how to handle this game even in the fourth set. It was the greatest feeling I have ever felt while being a part of this team.” (-link)It was also the first real moment of triumph of the Liz Kritza coaching era, and couldn't come soon enough for a program that had seen far too few victories in recent years. This is the kind of win that the team can build on. It'll now be up to the team to prove that it wasn't a fluke, and continue to make headway in the difficult waters of the Pac-12.
Lane Kiffin fired by USC -
As almost a sigh of relief for the USC Trojans and their fanbase, embattled head coach Lane Kiffin was fired late Saturday evening. Shame, I was hoping he'd last until CU had their shot at embarrassing the Trojans.
Only last season, the Trojans started the year as the #1 team in nation, but Kiffin proved incapable of turning undeniable talent into wins for a ravenous fanbase. Now the reins get turned over to Ed Orgeron in the interim, with a national search to follow. The Trojans will become the latest Pac-12 school to look for a big-name, big-money head coach. The cash bonanza in the new conference continues to cost coaches their jobs.
I can't help but believe that this will end the run of inexplicable coaching offers for the former head Trojan. Despite continued faith in his limited capabilities, Coach Kiffin was never up to the jobs afforded him. He was continually thrown into the deep end of high pressure football, despite never having proved he deserved the trust. The truth is, his best successes came in the offices and board rooms of the people he tricked into giving him both responsibility and money.
I don't mean to kick the man when he's down, but, hopefully, the GMs and ADs of the nation of football have learned their lesson, and will let Kiffin exit stage left, never to be seen again.