Monday, October 4, 2010

What we learned this weekend

1. Whatever our "plan to win" this week on offense was failed miserably, especially in the red zone. We were inside Alabama's 20 yard line 4 times and came away with 3 points. We aren't going to beat anyone with that type of production, much less the #1 team in their stadium.

2. As much as I like Mike Pouncey, he is not a center. He had a number of "off target" snaps, which completely blow up the play before it even gets started. If the snap on the first drive is directly to Trey Burton, he probably scores easily. Given the fact that the staff doesn't seem to hesitate to remove players from other positions for not performing their jobs properly, it makes you wonder why they are so hesitant to move Pouncey back to Right Guard, where he is an All American. The bonus of moving Pouncey to guard is that Halapio, who is not ready to compete at the position, would be able to sit and learn how to do his job properly.

For the record, I think Burton did get across the goal line, but I don't know if it was conclusive enough to overturn, especially in that stadium.

3. For all the criticism that Addazio receives for the play calling, I think the bigger issue is the performance of the offensive line since he was promoted to coordinator. Throughout the game our offensive line was manhandled when it counted. There was not one time during the game that I thought we were going to convert a third or fourth and short easily, and was just the opposite when Bama had the ball.

4. On the interception that was returned for a touchdown, it appears that Moody had given up on the play. While the throw was ill-advised, Brantley sure could have used a little more effort from Moody on the play.

5. For 2 years, I haven't understood why we send our 5'8" 180lbs running backs straight into the line on dive plays and we continued to do it this weekend. While I think that the change to the line splits in the 2008 Arkansas game was brilliant, it is time to accept the fact that the league has figured out a way to stop that play. Demps is an edge runner and the sooner we accept that fact the better we will be offensively.

6. When Mike Gillislee went down with a sprained ankle, it meant that the staff no longer had an excuse not to play Andre Debose. Debose, who didn't play in the first half, came up with a couple of big plays in the second half. I think that his play will force the staff to use him more in the upcoming games, which is a good thing b/c besides Demps our offense is lacking in the area of playmakers.

7. When can being down by 24 in the first half be a good thing? In this case, when your quarterback is a passer and he is stuck running the option. Brantley's skillset is obviously (well maybe not to everyone) more suited for an offense that throws the ball all over the field and once we were down three scores, the offense opened up a little bit. If you recall in 2008, under Mullen, the offense was also conservative prior to the Ole Miss game. After the loss the training wheels were taken off and we let our players play. It will be interesting to see if that happens after this loss as well.

8. I know you can argue that Alabama shut it down on offense but how would you have felt about our chances if someone told you before the game that Ingram would have less than 50 yards rushing, Richardson would have less than 65 yards rushing and McElroy would have less than 85 yards passing? I know my first question would have been how much did we win by?

9. That being said, did the defensive staff not look at the film from the SECCG last year? Saturday they killed us with the screen pass and the underneath routes just like last December. It was almost as if our staff said, well they know we are going to try to cover that, so let's figure out what else we have to stop.

Also, that "Heavy Package" or 5-2 look doesn't seem so confusing the second time around. 'Bama threw short and moved the ball pretty easily against that unit, from what I could see.

10. Where have all our bigger hitters gone? Jelanie Jenkins made a nice hit on the opening kickoff and Josh Evans had a nice hit on the final drive, but that was it. McElroy ran the ball three times and didn't try to slide on any of them. There is no way that would have happened in the past against our defense.

11. Will Hill has gone from future star to liability in about 15 months. The only thing consistent about his play is that he is consistently out of position whenever we need him to make a big play. As fans we might not like it when Meyer says that someone isn't playing b/c they have done what is necessary to play, but is there any doubting that he knows what he is talking about? It would not shock me to see either Elam or Evans replace Hill at the starting safety spot opposite Black.

12. Besides Lemmens our pass rush from the defensive line was non-existent. Is it time to give Ronald Powell more playing time at spot opposite Lemmens? I would say yes and move Trattou back inside.

13. Our best player Saturday night was Chas Henry. If that doesn't tell you enough about the game, nothing will.

14. The first goal of every season has to be to win our division and make it to the SECCG in December; and that goal still remains attainable. At the beginning of the year, the only game that most people thought we would lose was the one we just lost. The rest of the season sets up pretty well for us, with our only road conference game being at Vanderbilt. The two teams that have traditionally given us the most trouble when it comes to winning the East, have basically been eliminated from the discussion and we are in the first week of October. South Carolina, the team most likely to challenge us for the East title, still has to play Alabama, Arkansas and us.

15. This week you will get to see the true Gator fans, those fans who are not afraid to wear the orange and blue after such a tough game.

16. Random thoughts from the other games this weekend

a. Texas appears lost on offense. They are going through something similar to us on offense.

b. Oregon is the most exciting team in football. Chip Kelly calls out the refs during the halftime interview, wondering if they have a friendship with Harbaugh.

c. Les Miles has to be the worst time management coach in the country. Jefferson was tackled with 25 seconds left in the game and they almost don't get a play off before times expires. If I was Derek Dooley I would have been pissed too, but it was the right call. Last time I checked 13 is too many on the field.

d. If you were Steve Sarkisian would beating Lane Kiffin make up for the fact that you have share credit with him for your successes at USC?

e. Georgia players are doing everything in their power to cost Mark Richt his job.

f. The winner of this week's Miami/FSU game will ..... still be an average ACC team.


Anonymous said...

Not to pile on Pouncey, but about three plays before the bad snap to Burton he missed the last block on the Hines reverse, which would have been a touchdown if he'd even grazed Barron (no easy feat, granted, but you don't need much at that point with a third of the field empty and Hines approaching full speed).

I really hope you're right about this game being the unavoidable signal that we must diversify our offensive play-calling, and that we will see more calls that attempt to take advantage of what seem to be our strengths.

However, nothing that I have seen from Addazio/Meyer in the last 19 games leads me to believe it will.

Also, I am starting to think that Moody : 2010 :: Kestahn Moore : 2007. You don't notice him unless he's screwing up.

Anonymous said...

Ack! You are right: Moody == Moore.