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August 31, 2008

The Day After

Overall, I feel pretty good about things. I agree with much of the positives and negatives from Quinton's posts yesterday. Although, I mostly agree with Jeff Schultz who said,
"When a team starts low and climbs, it avoids some of the pitfalls of expectations. Start the season No. 1, and it’s a little different. People look for flaws. Here’s a thought: When a team leads 38-0 in the third quarter, it’s not worth the analysis yet."
So I doubt I'm going to add much to this that Quinton and all the media folks have said already.

Most of my pre-season concerns looked less of an issue. Tailbacks depth isn't likely an issue, the kicker smoked the hell out of a 52 yard field goal, the wide receivers caught pretty much everything, Stafford looked poised and sharp (mostly), and the offensive line pass blocked pretty well when the better players were there. Like Quinton said, the run blocking still needs work and bigger plays were there for the taking in the passing game if we had execute them.

And like Q, I still have concerns. Pre-season everyone said, 'Yeah...but can they stay healthy." Losing Owens for what looks like the season, is a big loss. The good news for Owens is that he's eligible for the medical redshirt. The other good news is that Kade Weston should be healed up by the South Carolina game.

I think the coaching staff can work through the absurd number of penalties. The defensive lapses in the second half I attribute mostly to far too many players missing far too much practice time due to injuries, and GSU being a weak opponent. And honestly...the GSU offensive and defensive lines were so weak that who knows what to make of the UGA counterparts' performances.

But, I don't care that GSU put up 21 points in garbage time. I don't really care that we didn't dominate them from start to finish. That's not atypical for us or many top teams. For all the buzz about Southern Cal looking dominating against UVA, I would what. It happens. Consider:
  • When USC went undefeated and won for the national title in 2004, they beat a 4 win Stanford team by 3 points and a 6 win UCLA team by 5 points.
  • When Texas won the title in 2005, they were down 28-9 to Oklahoma State before waking up.
  • When Ohio State won the title in 2002, they only beat 7 loss Cincy by 4 points, beat 6 loss Purdue by 1 play and rarely looked dominating against anyone
All that matters is winning and improving from week to week.

Iron Chef Turducken nailed the overall situation. "The season doesn't start until Sept 13th in Columbia. This is all just warm-up." For a warm-up, it went about like I expected.



Anonymous said...

The only things that bothered me about Stafford's performance were the two times that he threw bombs on 3rd and short(4 or 5 yards in each case) plays. Make the high percentage throw and keep the chains moving.

Hunker Down said...


I agree. This felt like an NFL pre-season game. We got to see many players and combinations of players so there was some discontinuity that made it seem sloppy at times. However, there is explosiveness on the offensive side of the ball and it will be seen in some big games coming up. Fortunately, the o-line has a few more weeks to get in synch and improve sufficiently for our skill guys to fulfill their potential.

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