The Opposing Quarterbacks Club
By John Kreinbihl
September 5, 2013
Buckeyes Hoping to Open a Can of WhupAz-tec on SDSU
With most of America caught up in the excitement of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ achievement of reaching 81 wins and thus securing their first non-losing season since 1992, much of the news in college football had to take a back seat to this “once-in-a-lifetime” story. The Buccos Buzz was evident everywhere and the Opposing Quarterbacks Club was no exception. I’d been alerted of this week’s meeting and I knew all I needed to bribe the doorman was an Extra Large Zoltan T-Shirt to celebrate this season and a baseball signed by Adam Hyzdu, Ian Snell and Tike Redmond representing the “bad-old-days” and gaining access to hide the microphones would be as easy as scoring from third on a ground rule double.
Here is the transcript from the meeting:
Moderator: Hello, Joe Licata and welcome back to the Opposing Quarterbacks Club. I have to admit, I was quite surprised by your efforts last Saturday, but in the end, the Buckeyes came out with a victory and therefore you are the first quarterback to officially join the Club this season. If you’ll stand up, I’d like to present you with your OQbC jacket.
Licata: Really? This is like a formal ceremony? I would think having to come back here is bad enough but getting an ugly jacket to wear every week is over-the-top horrible.
Moderator: We know losing isn’t easy so we do what we can to make it even more painful. It’s the motto of our club, “exclusa opes omnes”.
Licata: What does that mean?
Moderator: All hope is gone.
Moderator: Joe, take solace in the fact you won’t be alone here. Many others will join you. This is not a journey you’ll take by yourself. There will be others you can lean on, others you can share your experience with, and ultimately, others you can make fun of. In fact you’ll get to share the magic of this place with another quarterback a little later, but first I want to get your thoughts on the game last week. As I stated, you and the Bulls played better than we expected and after falling behind early, you guys made the game quite interesting.
Licata: We knew we could move the ball and we felt if we went up-tempo and tried to spread them out we could get them on their heels. We came out quick and moved the chains early but really made us feel good was how we responded in the second and third quarters.
Moderator: Good point. The first and fourth quarters you didn’t score but you got 20 points in between. Your scoring summary was 0-13-7-0 and I’m sure OSU fans could relate to that.
Licata: In what way?
Moderator: Round on the ends and not high enough in the middle. I have to ask you about your first drive. As you stated, you guys came out and hit some quick routes, and picked up a couple of first downs by mixing in Oliver with short gains but then faced with fourth and two, you called time out. What was your discussion during the timeout? Did Coach Quinn say, “hey, let’s fool them with the old delay of game penalty so we can set up 4th and 7”?
Licata: No, that was on me. I didn’t get the ball off in time.
Moderator: Then you added the false start to back up another five yards and top the whole sequence off with a shanked punt—or a shunt as we call it—for 19 yards. Four plays later, you’re down 7-0.
Licata: We did sort of lose any momentum we had early with those mistakes.
Moderator: And when you got the ball back, you immediately went away from the quick passes that worked in your first series. What happened there? Did your offensive coordinator go all Joe Paterno on you and have to run to the bathroom leaving you to decide what plays to call and all you could come up with was have Oliver fall down three times?
Licata: The goal was to show a balanced offense and force Ohio State to make defensive adjustments.
Moderator: Which they did and five plays later it’s 14-0.
Licata: Realistically, we were a play or two from making things very uncomfortable for the Buckeyes. From what I saw on film, the hands to the face penalty was very questionable. If that call isn’t made then we get the ball at the two-yard line in a 10-point game. A TD there would have cut it to just three. Then in the fourth quarter, we had first and goal inside the five and couldn’t get it in. That’s a HUGE 14-point swing. I think the call on Khalil Mack was iffy at best and flat-out wrong at the worst. Those are the kind of calls that are tough to overcome.
Moderator: Here, Joe. Have a glass of wine.
<Takes a sip, and immediately spits it out and starts gagging>
Licata: What the hell is that? It’s awful!!!!
Moderator: The specialty of the house—sour grape sauvignon.
Licata: You actually make wine using sour grapes?
Moderator: Yep, plus we have goat herders crush the grapes with their dirty boots.
Licata: That’s disgusting.
Moderator: It’s an acquired taste and as you hear from other QB’s about the “what ifs” and the shoulda-coulda-wouldas in their games, you’ll become a true “whine connoisseur”.
Licata: So going on about the fumble on 4th down at the one would fall on deaf ears here, huh?
Moderator: We call that premature snapulation. And you’re not the first to deal with it.
Licata: And I probably won’t be the last.
Moderator: No, you won’t and it’s possible our guest today may suffer from the same malady. Today’s guest is Adam Dingwell, a 6’4” 210 lb Junior quarterback from San Diego State University. Adam will lead his Aztecs into Ohio Stadium to take on the Buckeyes Saturday afternoon. Adam, say hello to Joe Licata and welcome to the Opposing Quarterbacks Club.
Dingwell: Hey, how’s everybody doing?
Moderator: Adam, as I review your season to date you can’t be feeling all that good about your chances on Saturday. You opened at home last week by losing to Eastern Illinois, a FCS school, 40-19 and when you look inside the numbers, it gets even worse. You went 27-63 for 318 yards with no—as in zero—TD’s and 4 interceptions. In his postgame press conference your head coach Rocky Long, summed up your performance this way, “I don’t think Adam played very well”.
Licata: Maybe you should change your name from Adam Dingwell to Adam Didn’tplayverywell or Adam Didn’tthrowtheballwell. You guys got smoked by a FCS school. At home. By 21 points. I’m not big on predictions but there’s no way you’re not here every week for the rest of the year. Eastern Illinois? Seriously?
Dingwell: It was not the start of the season we hoped for. This is a team that won 9 games last year, won our conference and went to a bowl game. I think we may have been looking ahead to this week’s game.
Licata: Who do you play in week three?
Dingwell: Oregon State, but we won’t look past Ohio State this weekend.
Licata: Back to back OSU games. How are you going to stay competitive in those games when Eastern Illinois proved to be too much for you guys?
Dingwell: It was a combination of being a bit over-confident and poor decisions on my part.
Licata: Well you can add coming here to your poor decision list.
Dingwell: We were embarrassed by our performance last week and this is a tremendous opportunity to turn our season around. We know we’re up against one of the top teams in the country but a victory over Ohio State would go a long way in gaining respect for our team.
Licata: Eastern Illinois racked up over 530 yards in total offense against you guys and they had Janeane Garofalo playing quarterback.
Dingwell: It wasn’t Janeane Garofalo, it was Jimmy Garoppolo.
Licata: Same, same. Your stat line of 27 of 63 means you threw 36 incompletions and no touchdowns. Not exactly Johnny Football numbers. Heck, 27 of 63 aren’t even Beatrice Badminton numbers. Thirty-six incomplete passes and no scores are the statistics of that ten-gold-chain-hairy-chest-bad-toupee-loser-dude with horrible pick-up lines at the club on ladies night, not a quarterback who thinks he has any chance of beating the Buckeyes.
Moderator: Joe makes a good point Adam, what adjustments do you need to make to win on Saturday?
Dingwell: Well, we are an up-tempo team and we’ll need to spread the field by mixing the pass and the run.
Licata: You know the more I learn about this place I’ve come to realize the walls are full of guys who wanted to go up-tempo versus the Bucks. We tried to go up-tempo and they adjusted. What you don’t want to happen is to have OSU go up-tempo. The Buckeyes nearly up-tempoed our asses right out of the shoe last week. They ran 9 plays and converted two two-point tries and it was 16-0 in about the time it takes you to write your name.
Dingwell: We’ll be more balanced this week. In Adam Muema, we have the top rusher in the Mountain West Conference. Last year he had over 1,400 yards and 16 TD’s. I heard Coach Meyer say, he’s the best back they’ll face this year and I believe we’ll give the Bucks a heavy dose of Adam Muema.
Moderator: Didn’t he get hurt last week?
Dingwell: He twisted his ankle, but he should be ready to go this week. Additionally, our defense is on a mission. We have 9 returning starters and several are attracting the eyes of NFL scouts. They didn’t play well last week and they have a lot to prove. Redemption can be a great motivator. I fully expect them to come out and play great on Saturday. I think they’ll cause real problems for the OSU offensive line.
Licata: If you defense couldn’t contain Janeane Garofalo, what chance do they have against Braxton Miller?
Moderator: I saw where Bob Toledo, your offensive coordinator, talked about trying to simplify the offense for you this week. He also talked about how young the OSU defense is and that might be good for you.
Dingwell: Yes, Eastern Illinois really brought a lot of pressure last week and I didn’t see a lot of blitzing from the Buckeyes on film. I think their young guys are trying to get adjusted too.
Licata: You’re right in that the Bucks didn’t blitz a lot but I think that may have been because they had to cover for a couple of starters that were out. Both Roby and Barnett will be back this week and that will really impact their coverage and probably will free up others to blitz. I have to believe if you guys couldn’t block Eastern Illinois, then the OSU defensive coaches will come after you. The Buckeyes may be young up front, but regardless of age or experience, they are better than the guys playing for Eastern Illinois.
Moderator: And I think OSU feels they have something to prove too. Coach Meyer was pretty candid in his comments about his disappointment in how they played on Saturday and that they weren’t able to really punish Licata.
Licata: Gee, thanks.
Dingwell: For us, it will all come down to execution.
Licata: Are you thinking guillotine or firing squad?
Moderator: Adam, what preparations have you guys made to deal with the crowd noise at Ohio Stadium? There will be over 100,000 fans at the game and the noise can cause it to be difficult to hear your signals.
Dingwell: We haven’t done anything different to prepare for the crowd. We work all our offense on hand signals and silent counts. Trying to be heard over the crowd isn’t an issue for us.
Licata: You’ll definitely need to use hand signals. Here are a few I’d suggest you consider. First, take your right hand and hold it over your head, then extend your index finger and move your arm in a circular motion.
Dingwell: What does that signify?
Licata: It means you’ve hurt your leg and they need to send the trainer out. Here’s another one. Rotate your arms in front of your chest as if you’re calling travelling in basketball.
Dingwell: What’s that for?
Licata: We’re getting steamrolled, so please send the back-up QB in. One more. Both hands on your helmet.
Dingwell: And that means?
Licata: There goes Bradley Roby with a pick six. You’ll definitely use that one.
Dingwell: What’s the hand signal for not getting one of those jackets you’re wearing?
Licata: That would the officials indicating touchdowns for the Aztecs more often than for the Buckeyes, but that will never happen.
Moderator: Gentlemen, that is all the time we have for today. I wish both of you good luck in your games on Saturday and we’ll see you back here next week at the same time. We are officially adjourned.