The GoDaddy Bowl movie would have been so much better.
In the movie, the two fluke touchdowns and all the missed tackles would have been forgotten after halftime and the Red Wolves would have showed their claws and won the 2015 GoDaddy Bowl game on a gutsy 55-yard fumble recovery touchdown from Qushaun Lee. Because while the Toledo Rockets would have been bigger and meaner than the Arkansas State Red Wolves, they would have gotten tired just like them-take it away, Ivory from Friday Night Lights.
But of course, this is real life and real life sucks. In real life, Toledo may "bleed just like we do" and "sweat just like we do," sure, but in real life Toledo was simply bigger and stronger. (And better.) In real life, Kareem Hunt looks like Barry Sanders.
Kareem Hunt had 271 yards on 32 carries. He also ties a NCAA Bowl record with 5 TD's. Last player to have 5 was Barry Sanders.— RocketNation (@RocketNation_) January 5, 2015
As always, let's overreact. It may hurt to do so today, and some things might be said that will sting, but we'll all be happy I did it when it's the nadir of the off-season and I'm comparing A-State players to poutine.
Could it be anything but the A-State run defense? Sure, A-State might have won had it been better on third down, or ran the ball better, or even had better fumble luck, but the fact remains that the defense allowed a touchdown-worth of rushing touchdowns and 365 yards on 53 carries to Kareem Hunt and Damion Jones-Moore.
Granted, Hunt had been excellent all season long, but head coach Blake Anderson couldn't let Hunt's "little homie" finish his team, Tupac in Hit ‘Em Up-style. I could explain that something else was the problem, but I don't want to insult your intelligence.
If this 2014 season was a corrida de toros, the Red Wolves would be the toreros who could never kill the bull.
I Cried Wolf
It's mean to do so after a season where the rushing attack was often the engine that made the howl go, but A-State couldn't run the ball against Toledo. Michael Gordon, Johnston White and co. were up against an excellent run defense led by Allen Covington and Trent Voss, but A-State needed more.
Because this forced Fredi Knighten to try to win the game by himself and, though he didn't, he acquitted himself very well (much to my surprise). J.D. McKissic and Tres Houston helped, but it was mostly Knigthen, who tied an A-State and GoDaddy Bowl record with five touchdown passes. The future is bright in Jonesboro.
Howl of the Night
In all honesty, Knighten should get the nod here, because the quarterback might have played his best game of the season and with no running game to speak of.
But, why not Mr. Fainting Goat? If Knighten managed a career-high 403 yards, it's in part because Booker Mays hauled in five catches for a career-high 138 yards and an A-State Bowl record three touchdowns. The year started with everyone laughing at him, but he has the last laugh this week.
For the first time in a while, there's no upheaval of the coaching staff in Jonesboro. Yes, incredibly, the Red Wolves have found a leader who, as of this writing at least, is set to return for the 2015 season. It's an odd feeling that perhaps signifies a new day and a new howl-because, yes, it's the lineup that will change.
A salute to our favorite sr.class ever @RedWolvesFBall. Five coaches, 5 season, 3 league titles and a 35-16 record. You are the foundation!— AStateNation (@AStateNation) November 29, 2014
A herd of 14 moves on, but that only means that a new generation of pupils is ready to emerge out of the 19's immensely large shadows, show their claws and leave their footprint all over the A-State program. And for once, the man leading them will be the same. You know, as of right now.
Which Poutine on the Menu?
Coach Anderson, this week I ask why stop at poutine? As long as it's greasy and fattening, the boys deserve to eat it. That roast duck poutine pizza I once had? Sure. The crab dip-pretzel monster? Make it a double. What about the Roux-Ga-Roux? Sure, eat that much seafood and tell your grandchildren just for the name of the meal.
Now, I know what you are thinking and you are right. Indeed, the food will not help the boys tackle. But it will help in the sense that it'll act as a future deterrent-the next time they will want to not tackle in the open field, they'll remember how terrible they felt at this moment.
And Coach, if they need pointers on how to live with the misery, just send them our way. We at Underdog Dynasty know how to cope with failure and humiliation-take it away, Mr. Managing Editor!