Hey MG fans, USU fan here. I just wanted to offer up some thoughts as I've been reading your board before and after the game. First, it was great to see such a great turnout in NM for NT, I was not expecting that kind of attendance from either side but it was actually quite well attended. I was also impressed by your band and all your other cheer squads that added to the pageantry and atmosphere, it was really something to see them fill out the entire field for a performance.
As for the game, I wouldn't take it as hard as some around here are. Sometimes the game is about match ups, sometimes it's about performance, sometimes it's about injuries/health. In this case I think it was a little bit of all of the above. After talking to quite a few NT fans at the game, I felt like I was talking to our own fans from 8-9 years ago. There is obviously a lot of excitement and hope surrounding your program right now and everyone is looking for that big win or sign that you have taken the next step. In some ways, USU is still going through that. Yes, we spent the majority of the season ranked in the AP, coaches poll, and even the CFP rankings but we are also still looking for a MWC championship and for that elusive P5 road win. It is definitely a long process to turn programs around that have been where ours have been for decades, but I would suggest to enjoy the journey. Hopefully SL continues to build for long term success and y'all start to see the rewards of it in coming years.
To those that had the questions about USU's offensive style; yes, if you turned on tape of any single game this season - this is the same offense you would have seen. From the opening game in East Lansing against MSU, we sprinted up and down the field as fast as we could go on every possession. We did this in every game until the results of the game were in hand and then we would slow it down like how you saw in the 4th qtr of the bowl game. We rarely won time of possession in any game, in fact in one-third of our games this year our defense spent just under 45 min of the game on the field. Of course this is in large part due to our offense now having 27 scoring drives under 1 minute (leads the country). Before our last game of the year at Boise St., we were averaging 51.3 points per game. Going into the NM Bowl, we had scored over 40 points eight times, over 50 six times, over 60 four times, and over 70 one time. The 52 points in the bowl game was essentially our season average. Prior to the bowl game, Jordan Love had only played in six 4th quarters all season because scores were so lopsided, he had sat on the bench for the equivalent of nearly 3 full games. My point is I wouldn't be so harsh about SL not having his team prepared or being "out-coached". It is not like the MG allowed USU to do something that was uncharacteristic or achieve something beyond what they have done all season to many teams.
I will be interested to follow the trajectory of UNT over the next 5-10 years. The right coach can certainly help change things in a hurry but the best coaches are the ones that have the ability to change the entire culture of a program. Hopefully having SL stay will prove to be the latter for your program. I hated to see Fine go down and was looking forward to watching him in this game but I suppose it wasn't in the cards for him. All I know is that I'll be watching him and rooting for the MG in the coming years!