Now that I am over the emotion of losing the close game, I want to express a few thoughts:
- First off, I am so very proud of this team. It would be so easy to use the injuries as an excuse and just roll over and die. This team has shown heart, guts, and determination. And that makes this loss all that more heartbreaking. These kids deserve something to feel good about.
- Who saw this performance out of Justin Roper? On a few plays, he even looked like Mr. Dixon. He'll be the bowl starter, I'm sure. And if he plays this well, we'll have a chance.
- We should all salute Jonathan Stewart for playing hurt. He was clearly in a lot of pain, and still had a phenomenal game.
- Walter Thurmond. Enough said.
They played so well, and it sucks that it ended the way they did. But they could have rolled over at 7-0. Or at 21-7. But they fought. And they did us all proud, even in defeat. Look at who made the plays: Roper, Maehl, Thurmond, Byrd. The future is very bright.
I only have two complaints. The first is not spiking the ball before the FG attempt. The second is that we didn't line up under center and give Stewart the running start on the last play.
Its been a long and tiring season. I still hope that these guys can find something positive to end on, and hopefully, they can find a way to pull out the bowl game. Its been a frustrating season in a lot of ways, but these kids have done everything asked of them. In some ways, that makes it hurt a lot more, but every single one of us should have pride that we have a team of fighters. To outiders, this season may look a lot like last year. But they are night and day. I am immensely proud of every one of our football players tonight.
Obviously, we'll have a lot more tomorrow.