I very rarely, if ever, trash a player on the internet or in conversation. I think because these kids are working hard and trying the best they can they deserve respect for their efforts. So I’ll say, respectfully, that Tino Sunseri must be taught a lesson. It has to be clear, unmistakable and administered with no hesitation. If you cause your team to lose a football game you should expect to be replaced. If you are any kind of team player and sportsman you’ll also realize exactly why it’s happening.
We had three turnovers today; each one was avoidable and directly caused by Sunseri. It’s not enough to have one good play a quarter; it’s not enough to have a great completion percentage and it’s not enough, obviously, to lead your team to a big lead. Not when you also lead your team to five three and outs… three in the second half alone. Along with his turnovers, his inability to keep the offense on the field and extend time consuming drives killed us.
I won’t say the defense played well, they sure didn’t. But you could see they were gassed by having to return to the field so soon after Iowa’s long drives in the third and fourth quarters. They played damn well in the first half when they had a chance to get their butts on the bench for a while and then get their feet back under them when playing. I’ll say this without hesitation, a major reason they played so poorly is, again, the direct result of poor play by the QB.
Enough is enough. What should have been a solid win for us imploded before our eyes and our hearts. Iowa’s passing defense was there for the taking and we really didn’t capitalize on it when it was necessary to do so. Sunseri again looked hesitant, held the ball way too long and either shortarmed wide open receivers or, because he couldn’t decide just how to blow the deep pass, either overthrew or under threw his deep receivers.
He remained telegraphing his throws yet again and on both interceptions the defensive backs had ample time to position themselves, order a beer and drink half of it before grabbing the football. Forget about the infuriating habit of throwing a two yard pass when you need five yards for a 1st down, to do differently is just too much to ask of him it seems.
I advocated starting Sunseri this weekend to see how he responded against better competition. Well, we all saw it. His stats may mitigate criticism from some fans but one has to be purposely refusing to see the nose in front of one’s face to feel Sunseri pulled his weight in any way. Yes, he completed 70 percent of his passes; yes, he rolled up 255 in passing yardage but where were the successes when it matter the most?… Nowhere, that’s where.
So what do you do when dead weight drags you down? You cut it loose and replace it with something that reverses the downward momentum. In this case that is Trey Anderson. There is most probably no way that he plays with any worse results than Sunseri has shown to this point. Hold back on the ‘inexperienced true freshman’ argument please. Sunseri’s experience hasn’t helped him one bit this season. Buckle up and make the change. It truly can’t get any worse than it is right now.
But this raises another and more damaging fear. That is Todd Graham’s unwillingness to take risks with this football team. When Iowa was storming back in the second half Graham still played it close to the vest – even when every college football fan knew that we would have to outscore them in the final minutes of play to win the game. Relying on our defense at that point was a lost cause. I understand those are hard calls to make, I honestly do, but it appeared that being aggressive in play was the ultimate in false advertising this season.
Coach, we’ve heard you say “One, Two Three, Go!’ a lot these last few weeks. How about taking a critical look at the results of our QB play over the last three games and say “One, two three, Go!” to the current starter.