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Published: Wednesday, 12/3/2008

The End Zone: Poor finish is poor way to say thanks


Some of the University of Toledo s younger football players might think that because their coach stepped down, they get a pass for this season. Some of the Rockets efforts against Bowling Green in their 38-10 loss last week certainly indicated as much.

To end the year with such a demoralizing loss at home was a poor way for the players to say thanks to coach Tom Amstutz for giving them scholarships. Twelve returning starters for the Rockets will be seniors next year, and they and others need to have some accountability.

Before the season, I joked around with a few players about Sports Illustrated predicting the Rockets to go 2-10. The laughter quieted weeks ago, and UT narrowly avoided that mark.

Perhaps a 3-9 finish happened because of poor coaching, a tougher schedule and tougher division, or some combination. But it didn t happen because UT doesn t have talented players. Any team that hangs 54 points on Fresno State or wins in the Big House has to have a decent amount of playmakers.

Quarterback Aaron Opelt didn t have his best game against the Falcons, but I credit him for saying beforehand that he knows the players need better focus this offseason. If Opelt and the other seniors-to-be want to have something to show for their careers besides a 1-5 Glass Bowl record in 2008, they have to start working now.

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