We were clearly outmatched and outmanned in this game. Sometimes, there's nothing you can do but try your best, and this was one of those games. Despite what some have said, we did not give up or have "weak" attitudes. We did the best that we could, and our complete inability to run the ball also made it difficult to pass.
None of us really knew what to expect. Not really. We hoped for a competitive game where we acquitted ourselves well, but I think most of us would have been stunned to have upset them. I, personally, thought that the line of 14-17 points was about right, although I hoped that it would be closer. In the back of all of our minds was also the possibility that we would be blown out of the water (think: disaster games, like Hawaii over the years, or Texas A&M 64-10). I found this game to be less maddening than the 3-0 loss to Utah in the snow, where both teams played not to make a big mistake.
I found the game to be less stressful than a tight game where we have a chance. We were clearly outmatched and weren't going to be able to move the ball at all on offense. Our defense, although giving up a lot of rushing yards, played really well, I thought --- especially considering how long they were on the field. We played to contain (we didn't stack the box to force them to pass, in order not to give up big passing plays), and we held them to two field goals, a 4th down goal line stop, and a missed field goal deep in the red zone. So, despite surrendering 4-5 yards a carry, our defense is actually really good.
I still think Tanner Mangum is our man, but his confidence is shaken. He (and Detmer) were clearly trying to avoid sacks and interceptions, and this limited the passing game. He could have waited longer in the pocket, in hindsight, but he got rid of the ball fast. I think hearing footsteps (or anticipating hearing footsteps) affected several throws that were simply off (he uncharacteristically missed several receivers who were open). He has demonstrated in the past that he is an accurate passer --- much more so than Taysom Hill.
I'm not normally one to call for the backup, but I was hoping they would put in Hoge to simply provide a running threat at QB (to give the defense more to think about for coverage). Hill's horrible passing games drove me nuts, but I think we would have had a better chance in this game with Hill because of his running ability. Going with Hoge also wouldn't have been a sign that Mangum had been "dethroned;" it's just situational and a matter of matchup.
I'm really getting tired of trying to run up the middle with Tre Dye. He's tiny! That's a bad call even against Portland St. Squally Canada is also really small to go up the middle. That leaves us with running around the ends, and I don't think our guys are fast enough to concern many teams.