Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.
Get the umbrellas out because it’s raining opinions.
n Who is to blame for Marshall University losing three of its last four games?
One star player believes the Thundering Herd will find the answer in the same place a girl named Alice once found her destiny.
In the looking glass.
“The only person that has beaten us is ourselves,” said Armani Levias, senior tight end. “I feel like we’re the most talented team in the conference. But if we get in our own way ... basically, we’re killing ourselves.
“It’s all on us. This is a very talented team, but when we get in our own way we’re going to lose every time.”
So, how frustrating is it to know that most of the problems have been self-inflicted?
“It’s real bad,” said Levias, who scored MU’s only touchdown during a 24-13 loss to Middle Tennessee on a 75-yard reception. “If we would just focus a little bit more and lock in, we’d be on Cloud Nine right now. We’ve just got to look back, stay humble and come to work.”
The Herd also has to score some points. It is averaging a measly 10.1 points versus Football Bowl Subdivision competition in 2019.
“This offense,” said Levias, “I expect us to score every time we get the ball. And we have to score in the red zone. It’s a must. Until we do that, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.”
It sounds like the problem is more mental than physical.
“Definitely,” said Levias. “It’s always more mental. The physical part ... we’re going to be the most physical team when we step on the field. It’s just mental. It will always be the mental part.”
And the mental mistakes are killers.
“Everytime,” said Levias.
n So, is it time for Marshall to press the panic button?
“Oh, no,” said sophomore quarterback Isaiah Green quickly. “I don’t think anybody should be panicking. It looks bad from the outside looking in because you don’t really know what’s going on or what’s supposed to be happening.
“But from our point of view, we are still very close to being a great team. And speaking from the offensive side, I think we took a lot more steps forward (versus Middle Tennessee) than a lot of people think. We just have to find a way to put it in the end zone. When we can do that consistently, it’s going to be scary.”
What’s even more frightening is this isn’t a new problem. The Herd also had trouble scoring in the red zone during the latter part of the 2018 season.
“Yeah, it’s the same thing for me,” said Green, who also was the starting quarterback in 2018. “I remember the same thing from last year and having the same talk. We just couldn’t put it in the end zone. We’ve got to find a way to be effective in the red zone.”
Like Levias says, it’s not the big things it’s the little things.
“He’s completely right,” said Green. “And it’s frustrating because we feel like we’re right there. We’re just that far away from us being an explosive offense.
“Once we start connecting and punching the football in, it’s going to make it easier for our defense. Then, I feel like we’ll all come together and we’ll be a great team.”
But when will that happen?
It needs to be sooner than later.