Just some random thoughts...even though this may end up being the full recap, since our oldest managed to delete my recording. I think it's about time she started paying rent...
- South Carolina may be better than I thought.
- Not having A.J. had more of an impact than I thought it would. Not just the plays he might have made...we were outnumbered at the point of attack all day in our running game. Ellis Johnson was not scared of getting beat on the edge (getting Culliver back certainly helped), and there was just not enough room to run.
- When our O-line was able to create some holes, I thought Washaun was a little tentative...needs to hit those holes quickly. Maybe some first-game rust?
- We struggled to open holes in the running game, but the pass protection was outstanding.
- I thought Aaron Murray was EXTREMELY impressive. Very poised, not rattled at all. Good decision making, accurate throws. We have a quarterback.
- Red zone execution KILLED us. On our first trip, Orson dropped what might have been a touchdown, and then his bobble on third down kept him from picking up a first, and we had to settle for three.
Then, in the 4th, we drive to the three....and then Israel Troupe makes an absolutely INEXCUSABLE mistake with the false start. There is never any reason for a WR to get a false start penalty. So 2nd and 3 becomes 2nd and 8, and then....Washaun fumbles. And that was basically the game.
In three trips in the red zone, we got SIX points. Even one touchdown out of those trips, and may be a different game.
Side note...through two games, Carolina opponents have been in the red zone seven times and only have 12 points to show for it.
- Defensive scheme was not the issue...we had guys in the backfield all day at the point of attack, and just failed to make the tackle. Very disappointing.
We did have five sacks, and caused a big turnover, and appeared to be in the right place almost all the time. If we could have just made tackles when we got there, again...it may have been a different game.
- Marcus Lattimore is the truth. Maybe not as good as we made him look today, but he is going to be a great one.
- I really don't have a problem with Mike Bobo in general...I question individual play calls at times, but that's going to be the case with every offensive coordinator.
One thing I do have a problem with, however...EVERY TIME we face 2nd and long, we run the ball. EVERY TIME. I understand the thinking behind doing it, but you have to change it up sometimes, because I think opponents have locked into it now.
- Since I may not get a chance to do a full recap, I'll give the grades:
- Some good things, especially out of Murray, but lack of execution when it counted in the red zone and 5 three and outs just won't cut it.
- Again, some positives when it comes to getting pressure and being in the right place, but just piss-poor tackling.
Special Teams: B-
- Walsh was perfect, kickoff coverage was great except for the first kickoff. Drew just didn't seem himself today, though, and Branden made a couple of VERY questionable decisions on punt return.
In June, I said we would probably lose this game. As always, by the time we kicked off, I had talked myself into a dominant Dawgs performance.
We certainly didn't lose the WAY I thought we would...I figured Aaron would be rattled, their defense would make a couple of big plays off his mistakes, and our new defense would be confused by Spurrier on some big pass plays. Instead, Aaron looked great, but we couldn't establish a run game, and USCe managed to control the clock by running through our tacklers at the point of contact and staying on the field all day.
Next week now becomes a must-win. I think we match up better with Arkansas than we do with this South Carolina team...let's see if we prove it on the field.
Lots of work on tackling this week in practice, ya think?