It was all working out perfectly. My last Homecoming game and the Mustangs had a 22-point lead going into the fourth quarter. The crowd was having a good time, everything was almost perfect, until head coach Rich Ellerson decided to throw out his offensive playbook and ruin it all.
Regardless of the fact that the last two drives for South Dakota State were kept alive by questionable penalties, and overlooking the convenient actuality that the South Dakota State wide receiver dropped the football on the touchdown which proved to be the go ahead score after a two-point conversion, it is still beyond my obviously limited football comprehension to understand how you can lose a 22-point, fourth quarter lead at home on Homeocming night?! Coach Ellerson’s abject and stubborn refusal to pursue anything resembling offense after entering the fourth quarter was an absolute slap in the face to every fan of Mustang football. That caused the loss, nothing else.
I know in the coming week I’ll see and hear a cadre of apologists rushing to the coach’s defense and talking about how it’s important to “not rub it in” when you have a lead, to “play with respect for the opposing team.” I’m all about sportsmanship and being a stand-up guy and all of that, but hopefully this will finally prove the very real need for a killer instinct. I think it’s time for a coaching change. In 23 years of following sports, I’ve never felt more strongly so.
Pat Goulding II