Conservative game plan, sloppy special teams pose concern for Bearkats

Sam Houston, we have a quarterback.and not much else.

This was the only possible impression one could ascertain after watching the 17-13 victory against Division II opponent Angelo State at Bowers Stadium on Thursday night.

After leading 17-7 at the half, the Bearkats were shutout in the second half, deciding to make a game that should have been a laugher into a nail-biter.

There were many reasons the game took this turn, but none had to do with new starting quarterback Rhett Bomar, a transfer from Oklahoma. Despite an interception on the Bearkats’ third offensive play of the game, he was nearly perfect the rest of the half.

Bomar threw the ball precise, firm, and without hesitation, while commanding the huddle with complete confidence that showed the leadership of a person who knew they would be successful on every play.

Bomar, who started as a freshman for the Sooners, was famously thrown out of the program for receiving improper benefits from a booster.

Anyone in the student body who believes that he should be punished further for this infraction should understand that he is the only saving grace for this struggling football team. There is no circumstance where any Division I-AA team should command great effort to defeat any Division II foe, unless they have some serious issues that plague their performance.

First of all, the special teams of Sam Houston made me want to regurgitate with their wretched play. In the first half, the Bearkats’ kicker could not get the ball past the 15-yard line on the kickoff.

Everyone must be aware that the NCAA did decide to move the point of the kick back five yards to the 30-yard line, but I still had a couple of buddies up in the stands who were convinced they could at least get the ball inside the ten.

One positive was the made 30-yard field goal from Taylor Wilkins.

That’s just the kicking game. The return game was surprisingly worse.

The worst example of this incompetence came toward the end of the first half when the Bearkats fumbled a punt, which was returned for the Rams lone touchdown of the game.

The second half saw Catron Houston try and return a kickoff that would have gone out of bounds. Instead he bobbled the ball and it went out of bounds, causing a loss of 12 yards.

These are not the types of mistakes that are tolerated in seven-year-old pee wee football, let alone for a team that is supposed to be ranked 18th in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Tackling is also an aspect of the Bearkats game that needs massive improvement before taking on other, better opponents. The defense was unable to wrap up Angelo State’s Daniel Thomas before he trampled into the secondary on numerous occasions.

Time can also be spent questioning some of the decisions made by the coaching staff. The first half ended with the Bearkats attempting to run the ball twice to take time off the clock before passing the ball on the third play of the drive, leaving time for only one more play near midfield.

The coaches should have gone for the throat at this point in the game, especially considering the fact that Bomar, who was visibly upset by the play calls, was on an absolute roll with his passing. A score there would have effectively sealed the Rams fate, or at least it would have made their team so devoid of confidence that any type of comeback would have seemed impossible.

The trend of running the ball became more pervasive in the entire second half, which made absolutely no sense with how well the Bearkats attacked with the passing game in the previous 30 minutes.

It seemed like the coaching staff was taking every opportunity it could to minimize the impact Bomar had on the game in order to declare the fact that the game was won by the team, not an individual.

Their sentiments are understood, especially by those who have participated in team sports, but there is a reason Tom Brady has gotten most of the credit for the Patriots’ three Super Bowl rings.

The fact that the Bearkats won the game is incidental because they will have to play much better if they want to have any hope of advancing to the Division I-AA playoffs.

By the way, if anybody on the football team, other than Bomar, is reading this, I do respect all of you as people, and I hope you have a prosperous and fulfilling life ahead of you.

I know this would be unorthodox, but can Bomar play on special teams?

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