Riders 20 – BC 35
Well I didn’t think it was possible to screw up the 1 yard plunge any worse than Steven Jyles. I evidently didn’t count on the infinite idiocy of Jarious Jackson who somehow managed to throw an interception on first and goal at the 1 thus supplanting Jyles atop the list of worst 1 yard plunge gaffs on the season. It also was a great start to the game for the Riders. The offense wasn’t able to capitalize mind you but no worries because Luc Mullinder forced a fumble on BC’s next offensive series… of course yet again the offense failed to capitalize. Slightly more concerning but along comes Sean Lucas with a beauty of an INT on the next offensive series. Mercifully Durant connected with Rob Bagg on the next play for a long TD (which must have felt pretty sweet for Bagg after being stopped on the 1 yard line twice last year). So there it was, BC had committed turnovers on their first 3 offensive series but instead of dominating the scoreboard like we should have, we were only up a measly 7-0.
And that’s how the rest of the game went for the Riders… one display of futility after another. After an inspiring performance last week, our O-line evidently decided to take this week off, because they couldn’t have blocked an amorphous blob let alone the BC defense. We were unable to run the ball at all despite being matched up against the worst run D in the league. Outside of Rob Bagg’s breakout performance our offense was essentially non-existent. And Durant, well he was responsible for the 3rd dumbest play of the game, with his insanely ill-advised pick 6 to Banks. While I realize that it was a tremendous catch by Banks and in most cases that would only be a knockdown, the fact remains that a QB should probably not throw a ball directly at an oncoming defender. Just another example of how Durant can go from looking like an all-star QB to looking like he spent too much time with Michael Bishop in an instant. This is further supported by the fact that he now leads the league in TDs yet is also 2nd only to the rapidly regressing Kerry Joseph in INTs. For me the INTs aren’t as concerning as the utter failure of our offense to move the ball in key situations… like say the 3rd quarter or even 2nd half for that matter. I have made my thoughts quite clear on what I think of Paul LaPolice’s play calling so I won’t bother rehashing that… mainly because my doctor has indicated my body can only take so much rage filled ranting in one week.
Our O of course received no support from our special teams. Not only is our return game better suited to moving the ball backwards than forwards, they are also making some very costly mistakes. Such as Gerran Walker who was responsible for the 2nd dumbest play of the night (I wanted to make him #1 but BC’s INT on 1st and goal from the 1 just can’t be topped). Now I’ve heard the stuff about the refs botching the call on that one and as infuriating as that is, the fact remains that Walker made a really dumb play. Returners must secure the ball above all else (especially since they are not advancing the ball in our case) but he tried to make some sort of failed diving catch instead of just letting it bounce and then securing it. Bad reffing or not, Walker should have been smarter than that. Eric Morris can’t get healthy soon enough because the parade of failures we’ve been auditioning in his absence is getting ridiculous (though I doubt Morris will do much better if we don’t learn how to block but that’s a rant for another day). The icing on the cake was how our special teams managed to screw up the most automatic play in football… the convert. It was at that point that I was thankful I didn’t have any fragile valuables in my living room because they would surely have been thrown in a fit of rage otherwise.
After that fantastic start our defense regressed into their old ways of getting eaten up along the ground and failing to get much pressure on the QB. And that won’t get any easier now with news that Rey Williams injured his MCL in the first quarter and will likely be out 8-10 weeks. Knowing Etcheverry he’ll probably just use this as an opportunity to insert another DB in the starting D… you can never have enough coverage you know.
While I was mad enough to punch small animals following that infuriatingly futile loss (don‘t worry animal activists… I punched some kid instead), my weekend took a turn for the better thanks to an old friend… Michael Bishop. I didn’t anything was going to be able to cheer me up... until I saw Michael Bishop knock himself out cold on his own blocker and fumble the ball. Physical comedians couldn’t come up with anything that funny if they tried. Fortunately Bishop seemed to be okay and even finished off the game in true Bishop form… by throwing a pick to the safety. Seriously, how bad must Stephan Lefors feel? It must be pretty depressing to realize that you’re not as good as a guy who knocks himself unconscious on his own player.