Not since Logan Thomas took the reigns of the offense have eyes been more intently focused on the group. Gone are the reliable weapons of Danny Coale and Jarret Boykin. Gone is the blinding speed of David Wilson. Gone is the veteran-laden offensive line who helped set all sort of offensive records. And now also gone are playmakers Marcus Davis and Corey Fuller.
This is a brand new offense with a brand new identity and a brand new set of coaches. The excuses will stop. The tired and over-used cliche of being "One block away..." from winning the game will end. This Saturday, in front of what should be a large crowd at Lane Stadium, fans will get a glimpse into the mentality the coaches are instilling this spring: Toughness. Focused on the smallest detail. Execution at the highest level possible. Excuses will not save a player from being called out. The new coaches won't allow it. Dropped passes are sure to have a player sent to the sideline to do the required 10 push-ups.
The seniors who decided to return to play one more time in the maroon/orange uniform have already set the tone. Logan Thomas has been seen celebrating every touchdown by charging down the field and chest-bumping players. Scot Loeffler once admonished Laurence Gibson for not celebrating a touchdown pass in the second scrimmage. James Gayle has already made it his mission to make every quarterback's life miserable and the defense is feeding off that. Even though he is injured, Antone Exum is seen shouting encouragement from the sideline, and getting involved in every facet possible.
Therefore, it is time for the offense to begin to impose their will. They have only been practicing for a short time, but it is time to step up. It is time to push back the defense on their first steps, every time. It is time for the tight ends, whatever they are called to do, wheteher it be catching passes or leading the run blocking, to step up. It is time for receivers to hang onto every football being thrown to them. It is time for the running backs to hit the hole and hit it hard, with authority, and with the purpose of getting the chains moving.
The offense has a challenge in front of them. As long as Bud Foster and his assistants are breathing fire, the defense will not stop dominating, but it is time for the offense to punch back. It is time for the offense to have a chip on their shoulders. It is time for the offense to have some serious swag that would make Exum proud.
The eyes of the fan base are upon you offense, and it's your chance to win the spring game over the defense. Grab it and do not let it go.