Monday, September 14, 2009

Upon further review....

Some leftover thoughts from the weekend....

- Another game, another season-ending injury. Rod Battle tore his ACL and is out for the year. I hate it for him...he's a senior and just never seemed to be healthy the entire time he was here.

As far as the impact on the team goes, we may still be in pretty good shape. Luckily, Justin Houston returns from his two game suspension, looking to build on reportedly dominating performances in spring and fall camp. And Cornelius Washington, the redshirt freshman that I have been predicting big things for since spring camp, got his first extended playing time on Saturday and responded with 1.5 sacks from the D-End position.

All that being said...we are rapidly approaching the point in both the DE and offensive tackle positions where we can not withstand any more major injuries...fingers crossed, everybody!

- OK...I'm seeing several blog posts and hearing a lot of conversation trying to take some of the heat off of the defense after Saturday night's performance. The general opinion of these pieces is that A) the defense was on the field for a ridiculously long time; B) At least Willie brought the heat, which we have been begging for him to's just that Garcia escaped the pressure very well; C) Hey, the scheme worked...we made him make short throws under pressure and took away all big plays; and, D) the red zone defense saved the game.

Well, allow me to retort:

A) It's true that the defense was on the field entirely too long, in large part due to offensive and special teams miscues in the first half...but some of the blame for that goes to the defense itself. The defense didn't force a single 3-and-out all night. Make a play somewhere along the way and maybe you get some more rest.

B) This point is true. This was the most aggressive I've seen us play on defense in quite some time.

C) OK, fine...but when he completely lit us up the entire first half, shouldn't we have adjusted at some point to at least take away the tight end? Obviously, the TE was his security blanket...if you take that away and make him move his eyes somewhere else, maybe he gets a little rattled?

I don't like this argument, anyway...what's the difference between 10 7-yard passes or one 70-yarder, other than that it makes your defense work harder?

D) This point is true, as well...when the field was shortened, our secondary was playing closer to the line of scrimmage, which took away those short passes, and we pretty consistently stopped the run all night.

Bottom line...we let Steven Freaking Garcia throw for 300 yards, and the defense gave up 25 points to a team who only scored one touchdown against NC State (I'm not counting the pick-6, the safety, or the field goal after the Smith fumble)...sorry, that can't be classifed as a good performance, no matter what the extenuating circumstances.

And if we perform the same way against Arkansas, Bobby Petrino will design 75 different pass plays to the tight end over the middle.

- What a great start by the defense, which I was seriously worried about coming into this season. They played like they were PISSED, which is a great sign...the linebackers were playmaking machines, especially Mike Peterson. He made more plays in one game than Keith Brooking has made in the last five seasons, and the hit he made that caused the fumble was BRUTAL. It's at the 1:29 mark of this highlight clip....

- John Abraham. He deserves his own bullet point. This guy is completely unblockable one-on-one, and he absolutely DESTROYED Pro Bowler Jake Long on this play (which I have watched about a dozen times, by the way)..

- Matt Ryan was not sharp, looked a lot like the season opener. Some of those passes he missed will be touchdowns once they get the timing down a little better.

- Tony Gonzalez...believe the hype.

- The Dolphins obviously decided to take Turner away and make Matt Ryan beat them...even on an off day, Ryan managed to do that. This offense is going to be nightmares for opposing defenses.

If only Clemson could have completed the comeback against the gnats Thursday night, it would have been a perfect football weekend. Next chance starts on Thursday night (of course) my house, at least for one night, it will be all about THAT U!!!


MikeInValdosta said...


They were on the field an incredibly long time.

I think they did have at least one 3 and out.

I believe Rennie had TE responsibility most of the night on that 10 yard curl.

It is much more difficult to complete 10 7 yard passes in a series than to hit one 70 yarder in skeleton drills.

All that said, I agree with you. We have to get pressure on the quarterback, no matter how mobile he is.

Right now, LSU's QB scares the hell out of me.

Scott said...

Checked the drive chart again...not a single three and out. Only time they didn't get at least one first down was on the Boykin interception.

I refuse to believe Rennie is to blame for any blown coverages. :-)

I know what you're saying on the short play vs. long play thing...but once the opponent shows the consistent ability to HIT those short plays, don't you have to try to do something to take that away?

I can't even think about LSU yet...but you're right. If we can't corral Steven Garcia, then Jefferson may have a career night.

Xon said...

I hate to break up Dawg talk for the NFL, but wow that Abraham play was awesome. And the announcer was priceless...poor Jake Long.

Xon said...

Oh, they had a 3 and out, or at least they would have if not for the fake punt. And I don't think the blame for that goes on Willie.

Yes, the D has some control over how long they are on the field, but eventually the fact that you have been on the field for a long time has an effect, too.

Bottom line, South Carolina ran a ton of plays and averaged about 5 yards per play. That would put their offense somewhere in the 80s last year. (sorry, no link: check For Georgia to give up 5 yards per play puts their D somewhere in the 40s. Not stellar, but not terrible.

Also it isn't just the difficulty of executing several plays in a row that makes it better to give up 7 dunks instead of one big one. It is also that one big one takes much less time off the clock. Which means you now have more game left for the other team to get more chances to hit another long one.

And, honestly, if we got burned on deep ones, people would be screaming for Willie's head over that, too. "Was he not watching the Okie State game? Does he not know that Evans always gets burned? For crying out loud, cover the deep stuff and make them dink and dunk!"

Sometimes the other team just plays well. They are athletes trying to make plays, too. Garcia played well. He DID avoid our pass rush, which means we actually had a pass rush. Hopefully with Houston it will get even better still. Maybe we can get John Abraham to suit up in a disguise or something...

MikeInValdosta said...

I am afraid if we had of taken away the short pass, they would have burned us deep because we could get Garcia sacked.

If we are gonna play this type of D, we need serious depth. I don't think we have it.