Saturday, October 21, 2006

Playing the blame game

It wasn’t tough to find a Mustang who was willing to take part of the blame Saturday after the Cal Poly football team’s collapse against South Dakota State.
“That was my fault,” Cal Poly quarterback Matt Brennan said of his overthrow of wide receiver Tredale Tolver in the final minute of the 29-28 loss, a pass that was picked off by Tyler Koch to seal the game.
“We broke down on the sideline, didn’t communicate very well and that’s my fault,” Cal Poly head coach Rich Ellerson said of the same play.
But most of the heat fell on the Mustangs’ once bullet-proof pass defense, which allowed three costly touchdown passes in the fourth quarter.
“There were mistakes obviously,” Cal Poly senior linebacker Kyle Shotwell said. “Where to place blame? I’ll start with me.”
Like Shotwell, everyone on the defense seemed willing to take blame for the defensive struggles, but when asked exactly what went wrong defensively over the final 15 minutes, nobody really had an answer.
At least an answer they wanted to share publicly.
“I don’t really want to talk about it,” Shotwell said. “So many thoughts and emotions are going through my mind right now … It’s really not clear until we see it on film, so I’d rather not comment on that. That’s just going to cause a controversy that I don’t want to do. We’re going to sleep on this a little bit and see how we can fix it tomorrow.”

Check out this story for an in-depth look at what collectively led to Cal Poly’s 22-point collapse:


Ron said...

“We broke down on the sideline, didn’t communicate very well and that’s my fault,” Cal Poly head coach Rich Ellerson said of the same play."

I disagree. I was sitting directly behind the Mustang bench, and when the score was 28-6 (28 to freaking 6!) with tons of time left in the game, I was watching the players on the sideline and they were nothing but smiles, and chatting with one another, and completely unfocused on the game.

I almost got out of my seat to yell at Ellerson to refocus his team, and tell his players that there are 60-minutes in a football game.

Oh, they broke down on the sideline and stopped communicating, alright, but that was long before the pick that ended the game.

Anonymous said...

The strenght of the Mustang defense has never been their defensive backfield. It's been in the front line and linebacking corps. Without a decent pass rush, (I heard Restelli was out with a shoulder injury), the Mustangs were ripe for the picking.

A better subject: "Which San Diego State team are we playing?"

The Aztecs that beat Air Force last week, the same Air Force team that only at Tennessee 30-31 in the opener, or the Aztecs that lost at San Jose State 10-31?