The First Four Games have Taken their Toll
I honestly could not keep track of Mark Stoops when he was talking about all of the players being “dinged up.” Luckily, it has come at the right time. No offense to EKU, but their an easy FCS win. This week gives the young guys plenty of time to practice with a TON of people not practicing: Dorian Baker (might play), Swindle (he’ll be out Saturday), Boom (I doubt it), some of the defensive line, the other half of the offensive line. It’s unending at this point.
Luckily, Nick Haynes and Cole Mosier were formidable against Mizzou and should be fine on Saturday. There’s plenty of running backs and receivers, so being without Boom or Dorian for a week shouldn’t hurt the team at all.
Towles’ Tweak Clicked Immediately
Shannon was adamant that he absolutely hates messing with a quarterback in the middle of a season. Working on technique and fundamentals is usually reserved for the offseason, but Shannon noticed a little something while they were warming up last Sunday. His throwing motion has always been a bit of a sling shot. Pat needed to get more on top of the ball.
Now it floats less, and there aren’t ducks flying around Commonwealth Stadium. “It instantly made a difference and I think mentally, it was a big deal for him,” Dawson said.
Towles Has Never Been More Comfortable
Patrick’s numbers have been all over the place. You can’t use them as a barometer for how well he’s played. The best barometer is his comfort level. Shannon had never seen Patrick more comfortable as the leader of the offense. With the improved comfort level, brought improved stats and a more explosive offense.
“Maybe the best drive of the game.”
The drive you booed, was the drive Shannon was most proud of. Yeah, he would have liked to get the wheels turning on the offense, but keeping Mizzou from scoring again was the top priority. They needed a first down. After it came easy, they needed one more good play before the gloves were taken off. When that play got stuffed, it was time to get out of the half. You may not like it, but everything worked out at the end of the game.
Shannon Dawson’s Resonating Quote
Shannon Dawson wasn’t touching the Boom topic; that’s why Stoops was there. However, he said something that I think applies to this situation perfectly.
After the offense was held to a stalemate against Florida, Shannon knew he had to keep the skill guys’ heads in the game. Here was the message he preached to them all:
“Understand and stay the course,” was the theme. “When the ball finds you, make a play, and I promise it will find you more.”
It worked well for Garrett Johnson and Dorian Baker on Saturday. For Boom, not so much. Hopefully that message was a part of Stoops’ closed door discussion.