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Is Wayne State For Real?

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  • Is Wayne State For Real?

    In the same way that Michigan State's measuring stick game was against OSU last week, this week will be telling as to what Wayne can do with the rest of GLIAC play. Ultimately, are we going to see the Warriors that got demolished by ranked Slippery Rock and now-ranked Truman State, or will we see something like the win against then-ranked SVSU (I do not expect a Quincy or NMU style beatdown)? My heart says there's a chance we win this, but my head says that the Warriors have some flaws that can be heavily exploited by good teams. In most of the previous matchups against Ferris, Wayne simply could not score and could not contain the Bulldogs. On the other hand, last year was incredibly close and Wayne will definitely have a home field advantage on homecoming.

  • #2
    Wayne State has definitely improved since the start of the season, especially on defense. However there is a talent gap between Wayne and Ferris State that can't be overlooked. It doesn't mean Ferris is a lock to win the game. Anything can happen in a homecoming game and I would love to see the Warriors upset the Bulldogs but the odds favor Ferris State especially if they can shut down or limit Wayne's running game.

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    • #3
      I just don't understand how Wayne can seemingly never find a capable QB. I've been following the GLIAC for over 15 years now, and in that time, Wayne hasn't had what I would call even an average QB. Do QB's not want to go there because of the run-focused offense? Is Winters just not good at evaluating QB's?

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      • #4
        I can't recall seeing a QB over the past 6 years who I would trust to go out and win a game if the run game couldn't take hold. While I think Kupp is the best option right now, to get anywhere against more talented teams, he's gonna have to cut down mistakes. No more first pass or triple coverage INTs. I do like that he has taken on punting duties as that opens up the playbook if we need to make a reach. I'm not sure if it's an evaluation problem, as the quarterbacks brought in seem to be from successful programs, but maybe their development hasn't hit early enough to make clear impact.

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        • #5
          I think Wayne’s improvement is for real. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think that Winters could right the ship but I was definitely wrong, so color me impressed. I think they have a real shot to finish fourth in the league which in my estimation would be Winters best coaching job since the run to the finals. On the QB front I think that it’s definitely two fold. Recruiting has been part of the issue but I do think that they have recruited well in what I would consider GLIAC talent level QBs (It’s going to be hard to beat GV (and somewhat Ferris but they usually recruit a unique style) on the QBs that are boarderline D1 talents). The other part of the picture is QB development. This in my humble opinion is where Wayne has mostly fallen short at the position. Kupp for example was committed to GVSU before the CMU offer. And while maybe CMU reached a little it’s hard to say that Kupp doesn’t or didn’t have boarderline D1 talent. You would think that with good development he would be towards or in the top tier of GLIAC QBs. Zuzula is another example in my opinion, the word out of HS was that if he were a couple inches taller he would have maybe had a shot at a GV or even D1 offer. DJ is the exact type of QB that Wayne needs to take and properly develop (And not play as a true frosh). There are plenty of QBs with potential GLIAC talent out there that with the proper development can complete at high enough level to win games. Long winded but that is my two cents for what it is worth.

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          • #6
            Good observation on QB development or lack thereof . Zezula is a shining example. The kid did an admirable job as a true freshman being thrust into the starting QB job in the first quarter of the first game of the season and playing well for a true freshman for the rest of the season. Based on his freshman season I thought he would develop into a quality D2 level QB but it didn't turn out that way. Instead his career went down hill and he ended up leaving the program in the middle of his senior year.

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            • #7
              I guess the answer to the original question is no, Wayne State is not for real. This game (still in 2nd Q) is shaping up like the Slippery Rock game. Ferris State is man for man way, way better than Wayne State.

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              • #8
                Agree. And the thing is, because we’ve been “better” before, I want more than 4th in the GLIAC. I know Ferris is #2 for a reason, but that the fact we can’t do ANYTHING in this game shows how Wayne has fallen in 7 years.

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                • #9
                  Nope.

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                  • #10
                    Is it just me or is this question asked every year with the answer being no every time? Wayne State is in the heart of a talent rich region. There's no reason they should be as bad as they are. The only way they'll be "for real" is if they move on from Winters. Until that time, you might as well stop asking the question.

                    Like Kle said, they haven't had a QB worth anything in 8 years and even the 2011 QB was more of a successful manager of the offense as opposed to being the guy that carried the unit. You can't win in today's game without a good QB like you see at Ferris or like you saw at GVSU prior to the fall. The days of old where running backs dictated an offense's success are over.

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                    • #11
                      The athletic/football department needs to look itself in the mirror and realize it has to change something in order to ever get back to the days of 2010/2011. How many times do you have to see the same result over and over again and not take action in changing things up?

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                      • #12
                        I agree that Winters in not the answer and that Wayne is not “for real”. I would be interested in how high Wayne diehards would like to see the bar and do you think that the administration does/would see that bar at the same answer. I absolutely am not taking anything away from the Wayne teams of ‘10 and ‘11 but even those teams didn’t win a league championship (and didn’t play GVSU). The ‘11 team was extremely special no doubt and I personally would always take a NC championship appearance over a conf championship. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that would you guys like to see Wayne in the running for the conf champ and PO every year or more as a perennial top 4 team that occasionally beats GV and Ferris and has a shot at the title and/or PO every so often. I’m just trying to get a gage of the room so to speak. In my opinion I think the latter can and should be the standard and they need a coach that can get that done. The former in my opinion is going to be really tough if Ferris and GV (and Ashland to a point) remain what they are now.

                        Side note: I think Wayne needs a staff that can really recruit. Yes, as it has been mentioned before Wayne is in the heart of rich recruiting grounds but GV and Ferris have recruited Detroit very well and with their facilities and/or on field success they are though to beat (same can be said for Ashland in Ohio where Wayne recruits hard also). Therefore a staff of great recruiters (which it seems Winters and Co. are not) is a big need.

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                        • #13
                          Personally what I would like to see is a team that consistently contends for conference titles and PO spots. I can't believe any die-hard fan wouldn't feel the same way. The current philosophy seems to be let's field a team that has an occasional winning season as long as the players don't have any offf the field issues and mostly graduate. Otherwise I can't explain why Winters and his staff are still employed.
                          It seems to me that the AD-who is a bosom pal of Winters-is taking a hands-off approach to the football program, whatever happens, happens. I imagine when the AD sits down with the HC at the end of the season evaluation he says "Oh you had another losing season? Tough luck but we'll get 'em next year, right Paul?"

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                          • #14
                            It seems there is only one solution, coach em hard. When you have less talent ya got to push your guys to the point beyond where even they believe they can go. The end result is you'll win a couple you shouldn't and with a special player or two you might win it all.

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                            • #15
                              I am w/ WayneStatesman, if we aren't striving to compete for championships year in and year out, both conference and nationally, than what's the point? Approaching a season w/ the thought of "I hope we break .500 this year" is a loser's mentality. It's one thing for a program like Walsh or Lake Erie to have championship aspirations each year and call that unrealistic but once your program has proven they CAN compete on a championship level than the expectation should be to reach it again on a consistent basis. GV had to start somewhere right? And once that first successful run of GV teams happened, they rode that momentum to be consistently competitive each year. WSU showed those possibilities, going 8-3 in 2008, 6-5 in 2009 (Joique's SR year), 9-2 in 2010, and culminated w/ an NC appearance in 2011 knocking off several perennial programs during the PO run (all on the road). A four year run w/ a record of 35-14. After 2011, the programs record has been 38-44. Big difference huh?

                              So my point is, yes WSU fans ought to expect more and expect better. WSU had window to capitalize on that NC run and they did not take advantage of the peak in popularity of the program. I do agree it starts with recruiting and WSU's recruiting has faltered coincidentally with that underwhelming stretch.

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