Monday, September 1, 2008

Thoughts on UT-UCLA

And now you know why players hate kickers.

Well, it was entertaining, huh? Not a lot of offense early on, but some big plays on special teams and defense and then the offenses kind of coming alive late, culminating in some tremendous back and forth at the end. It kind of reminded me of a heavyweight fight, where not much happens until the last round, and then both guys get desperate and start throwing haymakers. I started writing this post and had to revise it about four times....

Maybe it was the urnge uniforms, but I was having flashbacks to the Hobnail Boot game when UCLA came flying back down the field after the UT touchdown to take the lead late in the 4th.

I HATE the pooch kick....UCLA pooched it after their last TD in regulation, and UT ended up with the ball at the 42. I know Jones is dangerous, but aren't the odds better that you will at least be able to shut down a kick return before it gets to the 42 yard line? Not to mention the fact that it would have taken up more time...and UT kicked the tying field goal with what, :05 left on the clock? Ugh.

Early returns on the Clawfense...color me unimpressed. The UT offense looked really out of synch all night, even having problems lining up correctly several times. Not sure if it was being unfamiliar with the scheme or what, but even the vaunted UT offensive line did not perform up to their usual standards, with not a lot of holes being opened up in the running game (until the end) and Crompton under pressure all night.

Speaking of which, one thing that I believe bodes well for the Dawgs is how uncomfortable Crompton seems to be under pressure. When given time, he looks very impressive, but any time he was under pressure he couldn't keep his feet under him and his accuracy plummeted. I think the Dawgs ought to be able to pressure the QB at least as well as the Bruins D with the personnel we have on defense.

On the flip side, it was interesting to watch a QB grow up right in front of our eyes. Kevin Craft looked like an entirely different QB in the 4th quarter than he did in the first. It was like one of those bad movies...the QB who couldn't hit the side of a barn in the first quarter all of a sudden becomes John Elway at the end of the movie. Nice coaching job there by Neuheisel and Chow, I think...whatever they showed him and talked to him about at the half certainly seemed to click.

So, to recap the weekend...I'm now a little more worried about Alabama than I was, but South Carolina and Tennessee did not impress me at all.

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