October 2010 Archives

Those winds of change may be coming very soon...

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IUP Head Coach Lou Tepper said a lot of things on the record during his press conference Tuesday. He said the basic things a coach says after losing two in a row. That wasn't the story. The story was what he said off the record, while my recorder was turned off and my pen was in my pocket that was the real story.

A fellow reporter asked Tepper about his job security and whether he was worried about it. Tepper responded by saying, "Absolutely not."

He continued to say: "I am commanded by my faith not to have any fear. I don't have any fear. If the Lord wants me here, there ain't nobody around that's getting me out, and if he doesn't want me here, it doesn't matter if I want to be here."

Tepper hinted at problems outside of football being the reason for IUP's fast fall from grace.

"There's a reason for this, not just coaching, and I'm not at liberty to say anything now," he said. "I may be in the future, but this didn't happen overnight to have the situation that we're in."

What Tepper meant by him being able to say something in the future remains to be seen.

None of what Tepper said after this press conference can be confirmed by anyone but three people and I'm one of them.

If Tepper thought things were bad Tuesday, I could only imagine how he felt after IUP's beat down at the hands of Gannon Saturday, 45-17. IUP committed five turnovers, four of which came from the arm of quarterback Bo Napoleon.

IUP's loss to Gannon was its third in a row and could very easily turn into four in a row by this time next week when the Crimson Hawks travel to PSAC West juggernaut Cal U (7-1, 4-1) who is coming off of a surprising loss to Mercyhurst Saturday, 31-21. The Vulcans will more than likely look to take out its frustrations of the loss on the fledgling Crimson Hawks.

It may not have started overnight, but IUP football is in a free-fall with no bottom in sight.

Tepper did bring up a lot of valid points as to why it has occurred, but in my opinion, he is not out of the clear.

The people that Tepper was able to recruit have not panned out for one reason or another. He has made questionable in-game decisions time after time. The way he has handled the maturation, or lack their of, has proved tumultuous thus far and could get worse. I failed to mention IUP's last game of the season at home against currently undefeated Kutztown.

Tepper has made his fair share of mistakes, but he really hasn't had the help from the administration that he has needed to make this team into a contender. To steal a saying from Bill Parcells, he has not been allowed to shop for the groceries to cook a good meal with.

Tepper's questionable decisions coupled with what he said off the record have created the perfect storm for IUP's football program to implode right before our very eyes.

It has not been pretty to watch and it will not get any prettier.


Sign of things to come?

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IUP's 21-14 loss to Clarion Saturday was its second consecutive defeat at home. The next two games for the Crimson Hawks is not going to get any easier for them.

The Hawks will travel to both Gannon and juggernaut Cal U. IUP's two-game skid could very easily turn into a four-game nightmare.

IUP isn't doing itself any favors by not handing some of the reigns over to quarterback Bo Napoleon.

Napoleon had another modest game. He completed 16 of 29 passes for 169 yards and threw two touchdowns, but the coaching clearly want the running game to win the game for the Hawks. The only problem is, everyone else knows it, too.

It's nothing wrong with using the running game to set up the pass and when you have a bruising back like Harvie Tuck, that is an ideal strategy. But the point is to do until the defese starts focusing on the run, stack nine or 10 men in the box, and beat the defense with the passing game.

Watching the game against Clarion, however, the IUP coaches forgot about the passing part.

By the time the coaches put the game into Napoleon's hands, it was too little, too late.

The Hawks were down two scores with little time left in the game

IUP was forced to switch to a no-huddle attack, which surprisingly worked. Maybe the coaching staff should take not of this.

When Napoleon is given a chance to make consecutive throws and get into a rhythm, he seems to have some success. I'm not saying that he should be throwing the ball 40 or 50 times, but the coaching staff can not continue to play scared with the passing game. It worked against a bad defense against Edinboro, but teams will eventually figure out that Tuck is the go-to guy and shut him down.

Case in point was when had to convert a fourth-and-literally inches. With Tuck and Darryl Herod in the backfield, this should have been a given, but Tuck was stopped short. One word: inexcusable.

If not, expect more of the same from IUP, losing.

By the way, the IUP defense really let the team down against Clarion in the fourth quarter. The unit had a very good outing for three quarters with the standout performer being Mike Gee with six tackles and two sacks of Indiana native Ben Fiscus.

But when IUP needed stops the most, it folded like a bad poker hand.

Three plays after the Clarion defense stuffed Tuck on fourth down, the IUP defense parted like the Red Sea and let Alfonso Hoggard run 69 yards for the final nail in IUP's coffin.

After this stretch of games, IUP's season could very easily be buried right along with it.

Adjustments Anyone?

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IUP lost on its Homecoming for the second consecutive season.

Losing on your own Homecoming is embarassing enough for IUP, but its the way the Crimson Hawks lost to PSAC West foe Mercyhurst is what I am focusing on in this edition of Hawks Vision.

IUP (4-2, 2-1 in PSAC West) lost to a good team in Mercyhurst (4-2, 2-1 in PSAC West), but the Crimson Hawks had the Lakers dead to rights on a few occasions.

IUP built on an early 10-0 lead on the strength of a 70-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage from Bo Napoleon to Mychal Skinner.

IUP's defense completely dominated the line of scrimmage and shut down Mercyhurst's running game that was the PSAC's second-best going into the game. Mercyhurst, realizing that its running game was not going to get it done against the Hawks made adjustments.

Yes I said adjustments. As simple as it seems for the Lakers to make adjustments, it seemed very difficult for IUP to do the same.

Mercyhurst simply went from using its running game as the main option to using it simply to keep IUP's defense honest. Its substitute for the running game was a short passing game.

Mercyhurst took advantage of IUP's lack of physicality in the secondary on Mercyhurst's receivers.

The Lakers simply had its receivers stop at the first down markers, turn around and make the reception. They used this strategy to gain 344 yards through the air.

How did this happen? IUP didn't make adjustments.

IUP had a 27-21 lead late in the fourth quarter and gave the ball back to the Lakers with 1:46 left in the fourth quarter - plenty of time for Mercyhurt's offense to use its short passing game to take back the lead.

By this time, everyone in the stadium knew what the Lakers were going to do and that was dink and dunk their way down the field. I believe the IUP coaching staff knew this as well, but no one could tell as the staff used the same strategy it had used the entire game and that was wait for Mercyhurst to make a mistake. Mercyhurst never made that mistake and won scored a touchdown on yet another short pass.

If IUP had lost because Mercyhurst was the better team, its not much I could harp on. But that is not the case. IUP lost because it didn't make any adjustments at any point of the game on defense. That's not the fault of the players. They're just doing what they are told.

That is the fault of the coaches. That is what they are there for. Coaches use halftime and what they have seen during the game and make the necessary adjustments, Lou Tepper and his staff seemingly failed to do so.

For IUP's sake, adjustments need to be made and fast. One more loss for the Crimson Hawks could end all hope of a possible NCAA tournament berth.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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