Collage 3
The Dawg-gone Blog
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There's a lot to write about, so let's just get right to it OK?

What the Stats Say:

That we won. Honestly, there's no more interesting stat than that one. 42 -- 30. That's all you need to know right now.

The Pros:

1) Knowshon Moreno -- Seriously, this kid is electric. Watching him create gets our team jacked up to a level that I haven't seen since Pollack was creating havoc in opposing teams' backfields. He just might be the most impressive offensive player we've had since the Garrison Hearst days and I'll take his heart and enthusiasm any day of the week.

2) The entire O-line -- These boys stood up all game and hit people in the mouth for fun. They created holes, kept the sacks to an absolute minimum against a decent defense (1 for 10 yards), and gave Stafford enough time to step into his throws and complete some beautiful passes. Stacy Searels needs a raise. Like right now. Also, props to Trinton Sturdivant who showed some particularly good moves during his 1st quarter endzone dance.

3) The entire WR corps -- These guys had very few (if any) dropped passes that were blatantly catchable and, most importantly to me, blocked extremely well on the outside to set up the running game. Mo Mass deserves special praise for his run-blocking efforts as well as turning on the jets and making a beautiful catch in stride for the longest score since 2003 (thanks for the stat, Ally!).

4) The entire LB corps -- Aside from some whiffs trying to tackle Percy Harvin (more on this later), they played quite the solid game. Dannell Ellerbe is playing lights out and Rennie Curran had his best game to date. Curran is shaping up to be the ballhawk that we're hearing so much about and his future looks very bright. Here's a decent stat: Our three starting LBs were Ellerbe, Washington, and Curran. Those guys were also three of the top four leading tacklers for this game. Huge difference from previous contests.

5) The entire D-line -- We got production out of every one of the guys up front. Their job was to create chaos and did they ever. Going into this game, Florida only had five sacks on the WHOLE YEAR. On Saturday, we recorded six. That is "chaos" in every sense of the word. This young group, who is very undersized in certain areas, played bigger than themselves this past weekend.

Why yes, Mr. Tebow. My favorite 3 Doors Down song is indeed "Kryptonite."

6) The entire Coaching Staff -- From Mark Richt's endzone call, to smiling and having fun on the sidelines, he was the catalyst that started the whole thing rolling. It rolled right downhill, though as Willie Martinez took pages out of LSU's and Auburn's playbooks and brought some of the most complex and beautiful blitz packages I've ever seen. We've already touched on the job Stacy Searels has done. Not much more to say other than this was the best coaching effort I've seen out of this group to date.

7) The heart, will, determination, and rage of this team -- We had fun, got pissed off, hit people in the mouth, kicked them when they were down, didn't give up every time Florida scored, didn't give up when we briefly surrendered the lead, and knew that even if we lost, it wasn't going to be because we didn't try. I enjoyed this win even more than I did the 2004 LSU victory in the game I deem as "The Perfect Game." There's no doubt I will enjoy this past Saturday for the next 364 days.

The Cons:

1) The Refs -- Man, what a horribly called game. The bogus illegal procedure call to negate Sean Bailey's 40 yard reception was bullshit and killed a drive that could've put this game away earlier. Also you had Matthew Stafford's "well, it wasn't offsides, but the hit was dirty" personal foul which was only caused because the refs wouldn't blow the whistle to indicate the play was over. In defense of the Florida player (yes, I just said that), Stafford was clearly down, but you're not supposed to stop until you hear the whistle. Had Stafford gotten hurt, it'd be on the refs' heads, not the kid that hit him. Then, you could go on and on about the unsportsmanlike conduct and facemask penalties that were excessive to an ungodly degree. All in all it's like they were literally punishing us for running onto their field after that first score. I hope we never get this crew again. Period. They were atrocious.

2) Tackling -- We whiffed a few times due to over pursuit, but we did have a much better effort in this area than games past, which is a bright spot I guess. Still, the tackling we saw on Saturday is not going to cut it against Troy, Kentucky, and Auburn which are teams capable of being just as offensively electric as Florida. We need to learn to stay at home more and not get caught so flat-footed.

3) The Secondary -- Not a solid effort from these guys. If I had to single a couple of guys out, Prince Miller and Reshad Jones did not have good days defending the pass, even though Reshad proved to be excellent in stopping their running game by being the second leading tackler of the contest. The guys that were open were so blatantly even-I-could-make-that-throw open that we never had a chance to make a play on the ball.

4) Tim Tebow excuses -- I really like Verne Lundquist. I think he's hilarious and his "boom goes the dynamite" reference was classic, even though I think I'm the only one that caught it. However, if I had to hear Uncle Verne talk one more time about Tebow's shoulder, I was going to go inside the stadium and jack his shit up. Look, to all you Florida fans that say he was hurt and couldn't play 100%, shut your mouth. If he was so damn hurt, he would've been benched. If you're playing, you're playing regardless of your percentage. I'm tired of the excuses. You lost, so take a page from us and realize that it happens, and move on. There's always next year. To steal the quote from Doug, "Yeah, I know Tim Tebow was banged up. But Tim Tebow doesn't play defense."

5) The hype around this win -- You heard it here first; the emotion you saw on Saturday is a thing of the past and will not be recreated against Troy. You just can't do it two weeks in a row. Hopefully our players will not read the paper, talk to their mom, listen to their girlfriends, or anything like that for an entire week. If they do, then Troy could be a very dangerous trap game for a team that just found out how good they really can be. I'm already very nervous about Homecoming.


It was an outstanding effort from a team that everyone considered a lost cause going into this game. PWD, Doug, and myself felt that a loss was more probable, but we wouldn't be surprised if a win happened either.

The best news is that we gave a RB the ball 33 times and he proved up to the task. One of the big question marks every year is whether or not we have a feature back that is ready to tote the rock consistently and we now have an answer to that riddle. Going along with that, he also just might be the emotional spark we need to elevate us to the next level.

My dad and I spoke after the game and we both agreed that a win like this could get this team and program believing that anything is possible. I'm not sure we've cured the Florida jinx, but with all the young talent on this team we will have players around for the next 3-4 years who will know what it's like to beat Florida. They can keep the new guys coming in loose and have this go back to being a rivalry for Florida and just a game for us instead of the other way around. Experience like that is invaluable to a club with National Title expectations for the next two years. It damn sure would've been nice to have a player on that 2002 squad who knew what it was like to beat Florida, right?

Extra Points:

"Thhon, don't do thithh! Win with clathh!"

Well, that's all I got for right now. Should be a busy week scouting Troy and seeing how our players respond to the hype that will inevitably surround them. Let's hope we can cash in on this momentum and carry it to the next game, and the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that. If we can, then we MIGHT just be in Atlanta in December. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, OK?

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Blogger Chris said...
Well written. And, to the Gator fans saying that T-Bone was hurt: Welcome to the last three years for Georgia. The last time we had a healthy starting QB for this game was the last time we won.

Oh, and can we get a bye week every year?