It’s halftime in the 2012 season, and like most halftimes this season, the Warriors have a lot to overcome.
Slow starts. Self-inflictd mistakes. Third-down breakdowns, on both sides. Stopping an opponent’s running game. Tackling a running quarterback. Did we mention self-inflicted mistakes?
Well, at least nobody is complaining about clock management, extra-point attempts or third-quarter blahs this year.
The thing about growing pains is there is pain.
Still, there have been bright spots, such as:
MVP — The two fumbled kickoff returns were hurtful, but Mike Edwards is having a solid season as a corner, returner and leader. His best play: soaring to break up a fourth-down pass to a seemingly wide-open New Mexico receiver.
Best Newcomer (offense) — Center Ben Clarke is going to be a star.
Best Newcomer (defense) — Benny Fonua is doing what a middle linebacker is supposed to be doing: Going forward. Hmm. What’s that phrase in Hawaiian?
Most inspirational (offense) — Too often it is forgotten that Billy Ray Stutzmann still has screws in his left hand and, if his recovery was at the original six-week window, he shouldn’t be on the field until the Colorado State game.
Most inspirational (defense) — Imagine moving a basketball team’s best perimeter player into the post. That’s what happens every time Beau Yap is used at defensive tackle against much-heftier blockers.
Most improved (offense) — John Lister was always a tough runner. Now he’s a tough runner in meaningful situations.
Most improved (defense) — What the workmanlike play Charles Clay showed on special teams has transcended to defense.
Biggest loss (offense) — Joey Iosefa can do it all — run, block, catch, throw. The only thing that can stop him is that fracture in his right foot.
Biggest loss (defense) — Moses Samia. As the old song goes: “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.”
Best sampling — Using BJ Penn’s intro music.
Worst sampling — Using a slogan associated with a specific high school.