Sunday, September 7, 2008

Observations - CMU

I was in Athens yesterday...great time as always. Great weather (though a little hotter than I thought it was going to be), great food (thanks, Holt!), great seats (thanks, Brent!). And to top it off, a fantastic performance by the Dawgs.

  • The offense. Just like last week, it looked like the offense was able to do anything they wanted all day. First team, second team, running game, passing game, it didn't seem to matter. We all knew going in that CMU's defense is atrocious, but we can all remember games like this in the past where we have inexplicably struggled against defenses that couldn't seem to stop anybody else. I am not really prone to hyperbole, but I honestly don't think any team will be able to shut this offense down. Not saying we are going to put up 45-50 points every week, but you are going to have to score to beat this team. I could list every facet of the offense in the "good" this week...Stafford was efficient and mostly accurate, Knowshon was unbelievable, MoMass continues to be a playmaker, AJ looks like a veteran, Michael Moore could turn into a weapon, 9-12 on third down, perfect in the red zone, a 99-yard touchdown drive....this was about as perfect a game as our offense can play.
  • The offensive line. Wanted to give them special mention. Great to see Boling back...did you see the block he made on the little pass to MoMass in the flat near the goal line? The guy he was blocking just vanished. The running backs had plenty of big holes, several opportunities to get into the second level before anybody laid a hand on them. I don't remember a sack, unless one happened late that I'm not remembering. Once again, under the leadership of Searles, what appeared to be a worry early on could very well turn into a strength by the end of the season.
  • The defense. My opinion on the defense changed completely after watching the tape of the game. When I was watching it live, I was very frustrated by that stretch between the 2nd and 3rd quarters when we couldn't seem to get them off the field. However, after watching it again, I really think it was more of a case of the opposing offense really executing very well. We actually were getting pressure on Le-FEVER, but he was doing a good job of buying time with his feet and throwing the ball away before we could get to him (including a couple that absolutely should have been grounding but weren't called). In the beginning of the game, before it got out of hand, the Chippewoo's offense had NOTHING going on. Also, the defense continued their big play ability with Dobbs' interception and TD, which was just a joy to watch and really electrified the crowd, until we turned right around and gave up a TD right after that. Maybe the defense was just tired from running down the field blocking...yeah, that's it.
  • Knowshon's Superman act. Enjoy this guy, folks...I don't see him sticking around much longer. The play where he jumped over the d-back yesterday is going to be one we see for years. As impressive as he is on TV, you really get a better appreciation for what he brings when you see him live...just non-stop energy, even on plays where he is not carrying the ball, and that energy is infectious. I know it's been said before, but he really is like a David Pollack on offense.
THE BAD: Not much.
  • Kickoff coverage. I have a bad feeling that this is going to cost us sometime this year. According to Richt last week, there were a couple of times where we called for Walsh to kick the ball deep, and he just didn't get it deep enough. Looks like that happened a couple of times again yesterday, plus he put one out of bounds. It's one thing against the GSU's and CMU's of the world, but when we get into the meat of our schedule we can't keep giving the opponents the ball on the 40-yard line, or worse...letting somebody break one and take it back, which maybe the first two opponents don't have the players to do.
  • Dave Rowe. Hey, did you know that on 3rd down the offense really doesn't want to give the ball up, and the defense really wants to get off the field? Thanks, Dave. And also, stop comparing Knowshon to Herschel after every carry. Herschel is the greatest college football player of all time...let Knowshon be Knowshon.
See, told you there wasn't much of the points didn't even have anything to do with the Dawgs' performance!

Still some penalty issues, but we were a little better than last week, and there were less procedural type penalties.

Overall, I thought that this team re-established themselves as one of the best of the elite...certainly had a better day than both Ohio State and the Gators. More on them tomorrow, probably.


No comments: