Looking like a pretty nice windy fall day here in Terre Haute, Ind., where USD will play Indiana State at 1 p.m. central time. The game is on ESPN3.
For the Coyotes to have a shot today against the Shakir Bell-led Sycamores they’re going to have play a cleaner game than the team they’re playing. Sounds like pretty basic stuff, but not really.
Somehow the 2012 season has became an internal struggle with the kinds of things most teams get past after a few games, if indeed they have to deal with them at all. USD could have played the cleanest of clean games, with no turnovers, no penalties and no sacks and they still would have likely lost by a comfortable margin last week, but the other four games against FCS teams – Montana, Illinois State, Missouri State, Western Illinois – were all marked by decisive mistakes that meant the difference between possibly winning and definitely losing.
More than anything else, the goal of the team over the last month should be to become a team that does not beat itself. I think that’s actually more important than winning and losing at this point. Somehow the coaching staff needs to conspire with the players to become a team where when the opposing coach is talking about what impresses him about his upcoming opponent he says “Well, you know they’re not going to beat themselves.”
That’s the only way a squad that is a little overmatched physically and significantly overmatched in experience is going to be able to build some momentum. It wouldn’t be the sort of momentum that would necessarily enable the program to win the rest of its games, but it would inspire confidence all around — the coaches could become more confident in the players and the players would become more confident in each other.