I thought today I would try to wade through the negativity about the first game of the season, some of which has loudly come out of my mouth. There was some good stuff from the game that could show some signs of success for later in the season.
Let's start with the strong play of the defense. Yes, I realize that Eastern Michigan is an awful team with little talent on offense but they played a offense that consistently gives us problems. The spread gave the defense little or no problems with the spread with the long play of the game being 15 yards. No big plays is a very good sign for the maturation of this defense. Grambling St. put up some decent numbers on offense last week and hopefully we can hold them to similar numbers as EMU. Gus Mustakas aka Baba Booey looked absolutely fantastic last week and will be a force on the defensive line.
Special teams was played an extremely solid game. Dave Brytus won Big East Special Teams player of the week, which is extremely promising. Punting is really one of the only things that can be taken out of context with the quality of the team. The weather was nice at Heinz Field but he had a great game punting the ball. Brytus could be the MVP of our team if we continue to struggle running the ball. TJ Porter looked really good returning that one punt and hopefully he is back there all game. Lets hope we continue to only see two kickoffs a game, that means somebody is doing something good.
Offensively, the wide receivers really looked like the most talented group we have. Hopefully, whoever is playing quarterback this week spreads the ball around. Turner should be getting more balls thrown his way as the number 1 receiver. Keep it up, Nate Byham, you will save whoever comes back into the quarterback position. Also Shady showed flashes of his talent last week and hopefully he will get more carries this week.
Things aren't as bad currently as you may see in some places or hear from some fans (me at times). We are 1-0 and thats really all that matters. The team is playing nowhere near what they could do with the talent level present. Saturday, in order to maintain your sanity if we play similarly to the Eastern Michigan game look for the good performances. This is essentially another practice game, but after last week's craziness with Appalachian St. nothing is a given, so look for improvement. Every eye in Heinz Field will be on either number 12 or 19 because thats where our future, for the next couple of weeks, at least will lie.
We are a week away from the frantic criticism and worrying. Just take Saturday as another chance to see the early stages of the team's final look. This is a completely ridiculous idea but just roll with it Cat Basket.