Week 12 Thoughts, Observations

Posted in 2017, Uncategorized on November 26, 2017 by myfullerlife

These were the best of times, these were the worst of times.  Let’s go all the way back in time to Nov. 22, 2017.  First, it was a birthday of a great American (me), we were 8-3, and things were looking up with the Webs up next, the Webs are due to get blasted into oblivion by the NCAA, and recruiting at an all-time high.  What could possibly happen to derail such bliss?  Oh my.  We will cover the game first, then some other stuff of moderate interest. A 28-31 loss to Mississippi, let’s analyze….

Offense

As much as I tried to replay things or come up with some ways that it could have gone differently, when you lose your heart and soul on a play like that, it is just plain hard to overcome that.  I thought Thompson played valiantly given the situation and he will grow from this.  On the long interception, that was simply a terrible play call by our ex-coach.  Quick throws over the middle or in the flat should have been the order.  As the game wore on, he settled in but we were lacking in help from our receiver corps.  The fumble by Thomas was really a deflater and we simply did not get separation like we needed at times.  We did get some good catches from Todd and Couch late but it was too late.  Our running game was OK but UM was just loading the box and daring us to throw.  Even such, we gained a lot of yard rushing despite that.  They used their quickness to slant and blitz and really gave our OL fits.  Kylin Hill is going to be a star, he has more a big-play potential than Williams but they are a great 1-2 punch. We turned the ball over 5 times.  Exactly what Bama did when they got beat by this bunch a couple of years ago.  No matter how we got in this spot, we didn’t play well enough to win.

OK, as for the hit and other stuff.  In real-time, I didn’t really know if I felt like it was deliberate or not.  When I see #9 running to the sidelines celebrating after the play, I began to wonder.  After seeing a bunch of videos of other plays, particularly when Thompson was running, there’s no question there was some intent with forearms to the ankle and lower leg area.  Those are not normal tackles.  On the first series, there was a clear targeting by headbutt by #9 but our stellar SEC crew just ignored it.  That should have been an omen for later, they knew they could just cross the line and nothing would be done. More on them later. Grade: C-

Defense

UM is better than us at 1 position, WR.  And we still didn’t guard them worth a darn and got burned too many times to win a game like this.  Give them credit, they took their shots and hit enough to score enough points.  I thought our front played pretty good, got some sacks but on some plays didn’t generate any pressure.  We contained their running game for the most part but we let them get just enough to keep us honest.  If you look at the stats, we out-gained them but they didn’t turn the ball over as much as we did, and they had explosive plays.  Our DB play was simply poor.  Our LBs tackled pretty well, Thompson in particular has really played well down the stretch.  We had a chance for a pick 6 and dropped it (Peters) and also Cleveland had a chance for a pick near their 20 yard line, and it was dropped. Bottom line, they made some 1-1 plays and that was the difference in the game.  Grade: F

Special Teams

Pretty good night for this group.  Cooke punted well and we pinned them a couple of times.  All we did on punt returns was fair catch, so no advantage there.  We did block the punt but we gave it right back with that dumb deep pass call the very next play, so we did not cash that in.  We made our FGs and PATs, so pretty solid night.  Grade: B

Team

We got beat by our rival at home, that’s unacceptable.  Especially with what we had versus what they had.  Even with the early injury, we ended up scoring enough to win the game.  Our defense just could not make enough plays to win the game.

Obviously, there was a lot of build-up with the off the field stuff.  UM had a chip on their shoulder coming into the game and it showed.  Let’s see, intentionally trying to hurt players, hiking up to pee after a TD, coming way over the line in pre-game to start some stuff, classy stuff.  Their coach could care less. I looked over on their sidelines a few times and nearly half the team was dancing and gyrating towards our fans over there, paying no attention to the game.  The inmates were truly running the asylum, and that’s probably insulting to asylums all over this country.  But hey, it was their last stand, they will get theirs probably this week.  2-3 more years of bowl bans would seem light to me.  That all being said, our guys woofed way too much before and during this game, and quite frankly didn’t back it up.  We just got beat.  And this was all stuff on Nov. 23. Grade : F

Notes

Pitt is incredible versus Top 5 teams, but not so much against everyone else, go figure…..The UCF/USF game was the best of the weekend.  And the VT/UVA was an absolute snoozefest Friday night…..There was some game in my state that apparently is a pretty big deal, ha!  Yes, I was a little surprised that Auburn did that to them but Bama looked very mortal, and did some really dumb things to get you beat.  The playoff deal will be very interesting, I suspect there are a lot of UAT Buckeye fans this week……Saints just couldn’t pull it off but 8 in a row was a good run.  Now, they have to go win the division……The Hoop team had a couple of nice wins, against good teams that are not name teams.  We are not going to get any recognition yet because we don’t have many name teams on our schedule, I wish we had a couple of more but too late now.  I still like our team and how it is coming together……No clue on bowl destination, with a win we were probably looking at Citrus but with Bama’s loss and our loss, I bet we end up in Jacksonville or Tampa, still pretty good……I’m not even going to comment on all the other school’s coaching stuff, I don’t have the time nor energy to chase that.  But there is one to discuss…..

OK, so we find out today that Dan is indeed leaving.  Two things.  First, I always thought that if he left, it would be after next season, with what we have coming back.  Perhaps the sheer number of openings this year caused him to jump, but whatever.  Second, I really did not think he would go back to Florida under Stricklin, but I’m thinking that UF got a little desperate after their first 2 targets rejected them, will be interesting to see what the compensation package is.  Dan was making $4.5M here.  If I were Cohen, I would have been willing to go about $5M but going to $6M or more, no way.  We finished 4th in the West, and have never won the West.  Sorry, that’s what we are paying.  If you go look back and my posts around this time from several years back, it’s probably a similar sentiment.  I think Dan did a great job and really elevated our program, but he ain’t Nick Saban or Bill Billechek.  Our program is more than just one person.  As for how he left, there is no good way to do it.  At least he told the team in person this afternoon before leaving town.  I know he told people recently he was staying but what else can you do?  You have to, sort of, lie.  The other ironic thing is when Collins left State to go to Florida for the DC position, do you recall a quote about the move being a “lateral” move?  My what a tangled web we weave…

So, where do we go from here?  Hire us a coach, and quick!  I’m pretty certain that Cohen has been doing some research.  Heck, with Dan’s recent rack record, you knew he was flirting every year, so he knew it would happen at some point.  I’ve already read and seen some names.  I don’t have any insight, just opinions.  I look for the coach to be from a group of Bill Clark, Jeremy Pruitt, Neal Brown, Matt Campbell or Mike Bobo.  Or not 🙂 Looks like Tennessee is going to pass on Shiano, I’ve always liked him.  I’m not exactly sure his knowledge of the Penn State stuff but man it riled some folks up.  Anyway, I look for John to hire a young coach.  We have a really good recruiting class committed and I would love to hold it together.  This year, we have an early signing period Dec. 20, so the clock is ticking. That being said, the right coach hire is more important than losing a few recruits long-term.  I expect it to happen in the next 7-10 days.

One other comment.  Our former AD, I think he is in over his head.  I’m thinking he may have been in his former role.  Regardless, and some will say it’s business, and I get that, for you to go poach your alma mater is just not a good look.  He had the right to do it, and we have the right to react to it.  It’s not like he was ever coming back to be AD here anyway but I don’t see any recognition for him anytime soon from his alma mater….

That’s pretty exhausting.  But I am going to leave you with something a little more sobering.  A friend of mine that I have known thru church since we got to Birmingham 19 years ago died of a heart attack earlier this week, he was about my age.    So sad for his wife and 4 children.  The service and burial was Friday.  This morning, the entire family and extended family was in church to honor his legacy.  I was both stunned and amazed, amazed at their faith and strength.  I leave this with you to say this, no matter what the Egg Bowl turned out to be, whether there was bad actions by folks, who’s getting on probation, who our next coach is going to be,  hating on our old AD, none of that really matters in the grand scheme of things when we step back and assess what matters.  Y’all have a great week….

Brian (follow me on Twitter @blfdawg)

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Week 11 Thoughts, Observations

Posted in 2017 on November 19, 2017 by myfullerlife

Survive and advance, and don’t look back.  It was really a pretty dismal performance but in reality, we won an SEC game on the road, and that’s all that really matters.  A rather dramatic 28-21 victory over Arkansas, let’s analyze….

Offense

We ended up scoring 28 points but man was it a struggle against a pretty bad defense.  We had a turnover for a TD on offense, not really sure why Gibson started ahead of Williams but I’m sure they wanted to ration carries with 3 games in 12 days, but you just can’t get the ball poked out like that, especially in your own end zone.  Fitzgerald was his normal self, some great throws and some really poor throws.  He had another sit-down route in the flat that should have been a pick-6 (see UMass), we need to scrap that play.  But when it was crunch time, the big throw to Todd was a great touch throw and the throw to Thomas was really nice.  His running is consistent as always, so no new news there!  We got a little cute in my judgment and didn’t run it enough, but hey, what do I know, I’m just a goofball fan.  The receivers had some really nice moments and some goofs, the TEs did not have a good day between holding penalties and Thomas dropped a tough throw on a 4th down in the end zone and he simply has to make that catch.  We were not in sync from the beginning but I would have been surprised had we really been crisp after the previous week.  Grade: B-

Defense

Arkansas scored 21 points but one was a a defensive turnover, one was after the muffed punt deal, and the other was a legit drive, that oh by the way included a bizarre fumble forward of like 35 yards and should have been easily recovered, but wasn’t.  Overall, the defense played well.  We stopped their running game pretty well, the only thing that we really allowed were a few bootleg scrambles by the QB but we tackled pretty well.  We only created 1 turnover but didn’t cash it in unfortunately.  Our secondary was alright but we allowed too many completions near the sticks.  Dantzler is going to be a good player but he wasn’t quite up to the challenge on this day, plus he made a dumb penalty on special teams late in the game.  Abrams couldn’t fall on the ball but he can sure lay the lumber, dang.  One thing we did well was rush the passer.  Sweatt was really over-matching his guy all game long.  Simmons was his normal beast self, he is incredible.  Errol Thompson is going to be really good, he filled in nicely for Harris.  Willie Gay just makes plays, he is special. Bottom line, this unit played pretty darn well.  Grade: B+

Special Teams

We were due to have a bad game and this would qualify.  It began with the muffed punt but in Dantlzer’s defense, that was just bad luck.  We missed a FG, and then we were not great in returns.  The one bright spot was the on the bad punt snap they had, we smothered that poor punter and that was a big play.  We move on but in need to clean some stuff up.  Grade: C-

Team

Look, there was no way we would be jacked up to play on the road at 11:00 a.m. against a pretty bad team.  But we created enough energy to get the job done.  This game eerily reminded me of the 1997 game up there that we just flat-out blew that year.  For this week, I believe that the energy will be self-evident.  Grade: B

Notes

I would say that it was raining fairly hard in Neyland Stadium Sat night, just wow……Kentucky was who we thought they were, just an average at best team…..The TAM/UM game was interesting.  I don’t believe that either one are that great but Texas A&M is more talented.  Now, I’m not sure what Sumlin was thinking kicking the ball on the 2-inch line, to go up by 7 but giving UM alot of time left.  It worked out for them but I think that was the wrong call…….Is there a rather big game in my state this weekend?  I haven’t heard, just curious…..Hoop teams are heating up, it was good that Ado got to play this weekend.  He could be the difference maker on defense as he gets experience…..Not sure how the Saints came back like that today, I was driving and didn’t watch but just wow…..Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving Week.  I’m very much looking forward to Thursday night in Vegas, hope to see you there!

Brian (follow me on Twitter @blfdawg)

Week 10 Thoughts, Observations

Posted in 2017, Uncategorized on November 12, 2017 by myfullerlife

So, there’s that.  If you looked at this game as a neutral observer, it was one helluva game.  Even if you looked at it from either perspective, it was a great game.  No turnovers, very few penalties, momentum swings galore, it was really a great college football game.  As we delve into it, there is so much to disect within the frames of the game.  A 24-31 loss to Alabama, let’s analyze….

Offense

At halftime, we were right at 100 yards rushing.  I can remember some 2-3 game stretches against them where we didn’t have 100 combined. I thought the OL played about as well as they can versus that front.  We played physical and powerful.  I didn’t see the broadcast but I imagine they showed some replays of some good blocks.  I saw one replay in particular where Stewart Reese pulled and just destroyed their LB.  That’s why we could run successfully.  No, we didn’t dominate as I saw some pundits proclaim, but I would rather call it even, and that’s a big improvement.  Our receivers came up with some big plays but I feel like we left a couple out there also.  D. Thomas had a big catch and run, and our TEs had some big plays, but J. Thomas had a huge drop also.  I think he also got away with an OPI early in the game.  Next year, I think we will be able to stretch the field with what we have coming in and red-shirting.  RB was really good, Williams was his usual solid self and Hill had a couple of glimpses. They also caught several balls out of the backfield, which was a little wrinkle. As for our QB, I think he played a really nice game.  He didn’t make very throw (see first play of the game, ouch) but he was more on than off.  He was his usual tough self in running the ball.  Look we scored 24 points versus that defense, that was a darn good night.  As for our playcalling, I thought the game plan and calls were really good.  It was good balance but we knew we had to run the ball to have a chance.  As for the two 4th down decisions, if it were anyone else, we probably go for both.  I think we were playing the percentages at the time.  On the one int he first quarter, I think it was the right call since we sure didn’t want to give up field position and not knowing how we would respond if they turned it into quick points.  On the second one, a much closer call to me.  If the punt gets downed inside the 5 like the first one, it looks much better.  However, that notwithstanding, I think if you look at the situation with that amount of time, where you have a chance to win the game and you control it, I would have totally supported going for it.  Both were tough calls.  Overall, a real nice night for the offense, we just came up a little short.  Grade: B

Defense

This was a classic feast or famine night.  If I didn’t know any better, I could have sworn that JLD with his belly and all was over there sans a headset calling blitz after blitz.  What I could see is that we were not getting near the pressure we wanted by rushing only 4, thus we started bringing more and more throughout the game.  The problem with Hurts is he escaped many times and we had nobody there to contain.  Newsflash, we did not guard #3 very well!  He is a really good player and we were not up to the task.  On the play in the second quarter when he broke free, he clearly stepped out and came back in, the ref even threw the hat.  He was not forced out and should have been illegal touching, but hey, this is UAT, the poor ref’s hat must have just blown off, that had to be the explanation.  I thought we played pretty good up front but their OL is really good, so it was a brawl out there.  We missed some tackles but we played with a lot of effort.  I believe we got hosed on the pass interference call, he didn’t turn around but didn’t touch him, our SEC Crew “assumed” he either did or was going to. Wash, rinse, repeat. On the infamous 3rd and 15, there was zero disguise to it and we had not covered the cross pattern very well all night, yet we called it anyway.  JLD had the same rep and would not mix things up very much.  Grantham mixes it up some but at that point during a timeout, we have to think that thru better.  Hindsight is 50/50 as Pat Dye use to say.  Overall, we played a pretty good game but we could not make the big plays when we needed them.  Grade: C-

Special Teams

We held our own and then some in this area.  We made our only FG and all 3 PATs.  Cooke punted very well except for the one he airmailed (see above) and we covered and returned well.  And they missed a critical FG.  Good night for this group.  Grade: A-

Team

The coaching staff did a good job of preparing our kids and we played as hard as we could for 60 minutes, and it looked like it was going to be longer.  At the end of the day, against this team, you almost have to do everything perfectly, and give them credit, you don’t win all these NCs without making crucial plays when you have to.  We’ve just got to learn to finish a game like that.  Heck, that’s really the only close game that we have had all year.  I saw a few swipes at Mullen for some of the decisions but the reason the game was where it was is because of our good game planning, and he gets that creidt.  I thought we played about as good as we could play, we just came up a little bit short, no shame in that.  What it is not is a moral victory, we’ve got to figure out to win those.  Now, we’ve got to go win 2 more.  Look, it’s going to be tough to get cranking this week to go play an 11:00 game in Arkansas but we simply cannot have a letdown.  9-3 is in front of us and I saw one bowl project of Orlando and Ohio State.  That would be quite interesting!  Grade: B-

Notes

What a phenomenal day for football in the South.  The weather, the matchup, the tailgating, everything was set up for a great day.  And it delivered.  The atmosphere was incredible and it was a fun day, save the final result…..We even had some guests from Iowa who showed up, I think they had a blast…..Some quite interesting results.  I was not surprised that Auburn won, perhaps the margin was larger than I would have thought.  Iron Bowl might be a decent game….Dang The U may just be back, I keep counting them out, go figure. I think ND will boycott that stadium in the future…..How does Ohio State get beat by 31, then win by 45? ……Missouri put the final nail in the coffin of ol Butch, I feel really bad for him, until I saw where he will get about $200K/mo for the next 40 months, that’s pretty good work if you can get it……Rocky Top, y’all just look elsewhere, ya here…..Speaking of a dumpster fire, Florida is an absolute joke.  The ol Blazers, they of the first year playing in 3 years, are gonna go down there and probably take them down, just wow…..Although UPig got beat once again, we can’t let them get any hope this Saturday, I’m a little nervous…..Folks, I know we are all disappointed in the outcome but this is why we love the game and our Dawgs.  These games are what we look forward to all spring and summer, and why we enjoy the whole day leading up to the game.  I mean, getting to see family and friends and hang out in Starkvegas, that’s what it is all about, I wouldn’t trade that for nearly anything.  Enjoy these games for everything, not just the outcome.  Enough philosophy :).  Have a great week and let’s hope for victory at UPig!

Brian (follow me on Twitter @blfdawg)

 

Week 9 Thoughts, Observations

Posted in 2017, Uncategorized on November 5, 2017 by myfullerlife

Weird, strange, odd, goofy, crazy, pick your adjective, it was a little bit of all of that.  On a gloomy and dead kind of day, the play was sort of like that also.  I’d be lying if the images of Maine and Troy and La Tech or South Alabama didn’t enter my mind around the halftime but to our credit it didn’t happen.  A 34-23 win over UMass, let’s analyze…

Offense

This was a pretty ho-hum day.  I thought UMass seemed like they were undersized and tried their best to disrupt things by slanting and blitzing with their smaller, quicker guys.  And it worked on many plays.  When I looked down on the field, on many plays they had 8 or 9 in the box area, no wonder it was difficult to run very much.  Our best plays happened when we spread things out and they were forced to cover the outside.  The OL didn’t have their best game, I’m just assuming they are waiting to have their best game this Saturday :).  Our QB had a decent day, his running is always good and his passing was hit or miss.  When you throw a pick 6, it is not a good day.  He looked like he threw that ball too far inside and it was enough to get housed.  Our receivers did not have a good day, of course we played without our Top 3 guys, maybe that had something to do with it.  To our guys credit, we came out and drove the ball on the opening drive of the second half like we meant it. On the trick play, I like that type of call, I just didn’t like the timing.  We were 2nd and 1, and had just gotten the ball from our own end and seemed like we were getting the game under control.  And we were very fortunate the guy didn’t return it for a TD.  I tell you one thing though, Reggie Todd threw the ball a long way, and it was a tight spiral!  This was a lackluster performance but it happens.  Grade:  C

Defense

We allowed on defense 16 points but it sure seemed like more than that.  But we also came close to putting some dudes in the hospital also, that was some major-league hitting.  All were good legal hits except the targeting call on Abrams, that was the correct call and he could have gone lower.  That really stinks not having him for the first half next week.  We allowed a few big runs but we also had a bunch of tack for losses.  Our DL played really well and got after their QB.  #94 is an adequate player in case you haven’t noticed.  We allowed some runs and our LBs didn’t fill the hole well at times.  As for our secondary, this continued theme of busts is  troubling.  We are going to have teams keep trying to hit deep balls and if UMass can figure it out and be successful, I suspect the last 3 on our schedule will also.  Let’s bring our big boy pants for this weekend.  Grade: C+

Special Teams

Well, we made our 2 FG attempts, that’s a good thing.  Cooke still hasn’t punted the way we need, he needs to break his slump this week.  Coverage units were good.  I was wondering why Todd was on the KR unit until I saw him take off like a gazelle on that one return, man he got moving with those big strides.  Of course, the play of the day was the punt return by Thomas, it was a great return and great blocking.  It was good for him to atone for a couple of big drops he had at WR earlier.  Good day for this group, we need a big effort this Saturday.  Grade: A

Team

Look, nobody wanted to be there at 11:00 a.m., I get it, I didn’t want to wake up at the crack of dawn either to drive over but I did.  But the other team was there on time, so you have to play it out.  And the atmosphere sucked due to many fans having better alternatives apparently on this Saturday.  The coaches probably had to exert more effort in this game than they were expecting but in the end it may have gotten their attention and thus a blessing in disguise.  We shall see Saturday.  Grade: B-

Notes

We are setting ourselves up for a pretty good finish but nothing will be easy.  We are simply not good enough to have a showing like this against UPig or Mississippi and expect to win.  I don’t think we will…….I wished we had the 2:30 slot but am certainly glad we didn’t nab the 11:00 slot, that was a possibility at one point.  The atmosphere should be quite fun Saturday evening in Vegas…..Man, there was some huge upsets this week, that’s why CFB is so much fun.  The talking heads get all worked up, then it all changes the following week……I’m not a USM fan but that bogus call on the FG attempt was horrendous, that was terrible.  Gotta love SEC Officiating…..I’ll give Mississippi some credit, that was a good win for them to get in Lexington with really nothing to play for.  And UK is simply not that good as we saw last month…..Florida, talking about a dumpster fire, that is awful…..The AU/UGA game figures to be a good game, it will be an interesting difference of schemes….I still can’t believe the end of the Cowboys/Chiefs first half, I’ve never seen anything quite like that ever……Who Dat!  We finally have a decent D, and Alvin Kamara is like great…..As for the coaches getting into it, that was bizarre.  I saw the ankle roll the guy pulled on Gerri Green, and that clown was over on the sidelines trying to fight his own crew.  That dude needs to sit next week……..The number of big hits were really high but part of this was their QB was hanging is receivers out to dry, I bet they were reaming that QB out on the sidelines…..Well, we get another shot at the Tide.  Look, they are more talented across the board but we don’t lack players, it should be a fun night.  See you Saturday evening!

Brian (follow me on Twitter @blfdawg)

 

Week 8 Thoughts, Observations

Posted in 2017, Uncategorized on October 29, 2017 by myfullerlife

This was the week that could either propel us to a really nice season or see us scrape by to get to a bowl.  It was a resounding statement for the former.  In a game that seemed like we dominated in every fashion, it was especially sweet since it was on the road against a name opponent.  A 35-14 win over Texas A&M, let’s analyze….

Offense

As we have seen over these first 8 games, our offense is not exactly the most explosive but it is methodical and powerful.  We literally wore them down and were able to get 3-5 yards on nearly every running play.  We broke a few longer runs as the night wore on but most were just enough to keep the chains moving.  Williams was Williams, and Nick Gibson earned his stripes on this night.  The OL played really well and only had a couple of penalties that I could recall.  And we have been starting zero seniors up front. They have a good pass rush but I thought we handled it pretty well.  Our receivers had a pretty good night and made some key 3rd down catches.  Fitz had his typical game.  the INT was really more pass interference and some bad luck.  He was more accurate than normal and hit some really good throws on 3rd down.  His running is consistent and really doesn’t change.  This was a pretty clean performance in a hostile environment, excellent job.  Grade: A-

Defense

So, do I grade with or without their first 2 plays burned in my mind?  I know, they messed them up but our secondary got torched on the first 2 plays, yet it didn’t work out for the opponent.  After that, it was a massacre.  We were flying around after the ball and inflicted some damage on them.  Our DL really got pressure on their QBs for either sacks, hurries, or INTs.  Sweatt and Simmons are like, really good, news flash.  It was good with Corey Thomas back out there, we are very deep across the front.  Our LBs had a really good game and were involved in several tackles for loss.  As for the secondary, absent those 2 early busts, the only bad play was their late TD pass and run, but the issues was not in doubt by that point.  We really were active and covered their guys well.  the safeties and LBs really covered that bubble screen very well.  We had 3 picks and had the one back to the house, that was sweet. We gave up less than 300 yards, and most of that was in the 4th quarter, and only 33 yards in the first half.  That’s a big, big plus!  Grade: A

Special Teams

Now this made me pop open a couple more cold ones.  Cooke had quite an unimpressive night.  Too slow and no feel on the one that got partially blocked, you think UAT will be salivating watching that tape?  Of course, it still went like almost 40 yards, go figure.  The rest of the punts were shaky also, but perhaps it was genius to punt bad so Kirk couldn’t really return anything?  We did cover the kickoffs well.  We made all 5 PATs and we really didn’t have much of a return game.  The best thing all night was our QB out there recovering the on-sides kick!  We survived this area, I will leave it at that.  Grade: C+

Team

When you go on the road in the league and defeat a ranked opponent by 3 TDs, it by definition is a great night.  We were well-prepared and played with enough energy to dominate, excellent job all around.  For this week, we need to take care of business and not play around and turn the ball over, so we can then get ready for the Tide.  Grade: A

Notes

I judge my football weekends by high school, college and Saints.  3-0 this week, as the Eagles defeated the rival Jags 29-3, the Dawgs of course, and then Saints muddled their way to their 5th straight win.  Yes it was good…..Speaking of not good, the situation that our former AD has been dealing with in Gainesville.  I really don’t know what was going on behind the scenes but man did it turn quickly.  It will certainly interesting to see which direction they go.  I’m not really seeing CDM heading there but you just never know……How does Jim McElvane get canned before Butch Jones?  UT is 3-5, just wow…..Of course, UK tried their best to give that game away but they were the better team…..Ohio State, that was fun to watch in between the UGA/UF beatdown.  Will be interesting to see them play Wisconsin, don’t count them out…..The Big 12 may end up getting left out when it is all said and done, and so might the PAC 12…..The Webs had a nice win, they were up 31-7 when I cut away, surely they held on, right?…..Another 11:00 game, and I even saw one scenario where if AU/UGA is the 2:30, that CBS may have a DH and you guessed it, 11:00 for the UAT game.  Geez, let’s hope not…..Have a great week and let’s pack out DWS, these guys deserve it, see you there!

Brian (follow me on Twitter @blfdawg)

Week 7 Thoughts, Observations

Posted in 2017, Uncategorized on October 22, 2017 by myfullerlife

Going into this game, I believe most of the maroon faithful felt like we were a better team, but……we are State fans.  On a wonderful day to play and watch football, the Dawgs methodically took care of business on both sides of the ball and ended up cruising to a Homecoming win.  A 45-7 win over UK (how were they 5-1 again?), let’s analyze…

Offense

When you can take your first possession and drive it in for a score, it tends to set the tone for the game.  While Williams didn’t have any big runs, he was methodical and kept surging forward.  He is simply a workhorse back and he is awesome in blocking also (I may have said that before :))  Fitz ran the ball very well and UK clearly didn’t want anything to do with him after a while.  On the TD run on 4th and 1, I really didn’t like the wide call but he correctly reversed field and he made them pay.  I thought the line blocked pretty well, especially still working without Rankin.  They had a couple of busts but for the most part drove their counterparts into the dirt.  We were able to control the line of scrimmage and really wore them out as the day went on.  On our passing game, this is about who we are.  A controlled passing game without much threat to get one deep.  On the deep pass to Myles, the throw was not that great but should have been caught.  A better throw, though, and it is a catch and streak into the end zone.  We had a couple of drops but made some nice catches also.  The slant to Thomas was nice, that is a tough match-up for anybody trying to cover that guy in close.  It was also unfortunate that Green tripped over the turf monster on a sure TD!  It was also nice to get Thompson some good snaps, and he can flat-out run. One last thing, I’m sorry but Gibson should not have been called for holding on pass protection.  It’s not his fault the other guy isn’t any good and just got embarrassed, dude get better.  Nice day’s work. Grade: A

Defense

This was the defense from early September, albeit versus an offense that wasn’t that great.  We stopped them on the first series and that set the tone.  On their only TD drive, they got a bogus pass interference call that helped them out on that.  I thought we held their run game pretty well, save a couple of zone reads by the QB.  The biggest thing was our secondary got challenged deep a bunch early and they were up to the challenge.  50/50 balls can really go the wrong way but not on this day.  On the front line, we didn’t get a great rush in the first half but boy did we do that in the second half.  Montez Sweatt is a really good player, I congratulated him after the game.  He and Simmons can really wreak havoc when they are in together.  The other take-away from this game was that we tackled really well, and we got some turnovers.  Great job on this day.  Grade: A

Special Teams

This was a very solid area.  We had a nice punt return by Gray.  We made our only FG attempt and made our PATs.  The biggest factor was the kickoffs and punting by Cooke, he is a real weapon.  The other thing is you should really watch JT Gray on kick coverages, he is a beast.  Great job in this area.  Grade: A

Team

When you win an SEC game by 38 points, that’s a big, big plus.  There is really no way we should have lost to them last year but we somehow did.  This was more like it, the coaches did a great job of preparing our crew this week.  Now, can we take it on the road against a pretty quality team.  I expect us to play much better than the UGA and AU efforts.  Grade: A

Notes

What a great day to roam around campus and visit everyone.  I love the 3:00 kick slot, I hope we can get something close to that for our next 2 home games……Got to attend part of the softball games Friday night vs. East Miss CC.  Let’s just say that EMCC spends ALL their resources on football, as evidenced by 2, 20-0 wins.  I can guarantee our summer travel team could have beaten that bunch…..I didn’t get to see the hoop game but I’m pretty excited about it.  I really can’t wait to see Ado play, I think he can be the difference maker, we shall see……And I think the women’s team is going to be ok as well :)…….How can Butch even be on the job this week, it’s just pitiful…..Arkansas is just plain bad this year, we better not mess that road trip up……Terrible news for Patterson, hope he recovers well, he’s got next level potential.  I had never even heard of their back-up but what little I saw I was impressed….The LSU rushing game got it’s mojo back versus the Webs, everybody does….I read about the Southern Miss comeback, all I can say is wow….So, we are 5-2 with 5 games remaining.  Our ability to finish this out strong will determine whether we are shivering or sunbathing during bowl season…..Enjoy your week and let’s hope we bring the ol A game to College Station, it’s time we get a win out there!

Brian (follow me on Twitter @blfdawg)

Week 6 Thoughts, Observations

Posted in 2017, Uncategorized on October 15, 2017 by myfullerlife

With a “name” opponent at home who has some good history, it was pretty amazing to get a 25 point win and yet many fans are wanting a little bit more.  Last year we had no business losing 3 games, Ark, UK and BYU.  We began our redemption tour this week and get to #2 this week.  A 35-10 win over BYU, let’s analyze….

Offense

It was a good day for this crew.  Not great but good.  We rant he ball very well.  #22 is just a really good back.  No, he might not be a threat to take it 80 yards but always goes forward when he runs and pushes the pile.  He’s a very patient runner also.  The best thing I like about him is his blocking ability.  In this game, his pass protection was superb, and when it is a wild run by Fitz, he is great blocking in space also.  Our other backs aren’t bad either.  Our line really played well.  when I look at the Jumbotron in between plays, I kept seeing #73 Daryl Williams doing some really good thing, getting out on pulls and getting multiple blocks on the same play.  It’s been also good to get Eiland some reps at LT while Rankin has been out, we did not start a single senior on the OL Saturday.  As for receiver, we had some good moments but several dropped balls.  The best thing on this day was we got Couch on a deep throw, I’ve been waiting for him or Todd to break through.  As for Fitz, his running is a given, he is so strong and can get yards when he wants them.  On throwing, this was not a tape he wants to send to NFL scouts.  Several lazy throws early, some in the dirt even, were frustrating.  the deep ball throw was very good. On the first pick, that was just a terrible throw, it was high and hard.  The second one was just a poor decision.  Anyway, we got away with it versus BYU but we can’t do that in many more games we have.  Grade: B

Defense

This was a nice response to the previous two games.  We played very well up front and it helped that BYU isn’t very good.  The LBs were very active and controlled the running game well.  Our secondary was pretty good save the TD play.  The one area of concern was several missed tackles in the open field.  These weren’t Nick Chubb or Keryon Johnson out there, so that wasn’t great.  Overall, we did what we were supposed to do.  Grade: A-

Special Teams

We made our 1 FG and really punted well.  We had an almost muffed punt and then we fumbled the kickoff.  That’s not very clean and could really be an issue over the next two weeks.  Hopefully we got those out of the system.  Grade: C

Team

Bottom line, we took care of business. We scored on our opening possession and we controlled the line of scrimmage.  This was a very good result coming out of a bye week.  It appeared we got out of this without any injuries also.  Good work.  Grade: B+

Notes

I don’t like 11:00 kickoffs but I don’t hate them either, about 15 degrees cooler would have been nice, because you have the rest of the day to enjoy.  Obviously, a lot of our fans, and especially the students, had supposedly more important plans after halftime…..This week, it is at 3:00, and will be cooler, so it should be quite nice….Why haven’t they given O a contract extension and raise yet?…..Talk about running out of luck, that would be one Mr Jim McElwain, that’s not looking so hot.  Mr. Stricklin might have a dilemma on his hands…..I don’t know much but Drew Lock from Mizzou has a freakin cannon.  His deep balls for TDs were really nice, and it was against UGA……4 Top-10 teams go down, dang……The Saints game was insane.  And I was never comfortable until like 2 minutes left, that’s my history……Enjoy the week, and hope to see you for Homecoming!

Brian (follow me on Twitter @blfdawg)