There are a ton of people out there who are absolutely disgusted with our performance on Saturday, but I'll be honest, I'm really really REALLY pleased with this win. All in all, Vandy is a damn tough team. They have the record to reflect that. They've also played, and in 5 cases, beat, teams that are very good and very competitive.
We'll break down the game, but before I go any further, everyone needs to understand one thing and one thing only: we won.
The Stats Say:
The stats indicate that this game could have been a blowout. Think about it like this, Blair Walsh missed two field goals, resulting in 6 points not making it to the board. Take that and couple it with the points we gave Vandy on turnovers and you have a totally different ballgame.
However, you could've seen it coming from a mile away. Vandy is a ridiculously opportunistic team. They lead the SEC in turnovers taken and every game they've been in, they've been in it because of their Defense.
Nothing was different than that on Saturday. We gashed them on the run, we blocked well downfield and we executed well on some long passes. If Stafford doesn't turn the ball over twice (the second time he's done that in as many games), and we convert on those field goals, then the score is more like 30-7. At that point, I think we would have been excited about the game, right?
1) Forcing Turnovers -- Darius Dewberry and Reshad Jones both had good days in capitalizing on turnovers, even though we dropped at least another two possible interceptions in the game as well. However, it's nice to know we could finally get some interceptions in there.
2) Commitment to the Running Game -- I absolutely love the toss sweep and I'm a huge fan of Bobo using it to perfection. Knowshon had a helluva day running, racking up over 170 yards of offense, including a touchdown. Nothing wrong with that at all.
3) Shaun Chapas Continues His Dominance -- Last week Chapas busted out and showed great balance, not only with blocking, but also running the ball and catching it out of the backfield. This time around, he continued to do the same thing. I'll admit, I've been extremely worried about the departure at Southerland at the end of the season, but if Chapas continues this trend, I'll be really pleased and les worried.
4) The Little Things -- There's a ton of things that went right on Saturday. Too many to mention, honestly, but honorable mention goes to the Offensive Line, less penalties, holding Vandy to less yardage than they've put up on average this year and racking up more yardage on Vandy than they're used to.
1) Stafford's Play -- Look, I'm a HUGE fan of Stafford, but I've said repeatedly that his mechanics are shot when he gets in a rush. However, this past weekend, he was hardly in a rush at all, yet he managed to look at his receivers so long, that his passes were batted and it caused interceptions. Granted, he still did a lot of things right, but turnovers resulting in points like what happened on Saturday will NOT fly in Baton Rouge this weekend.
2) Missed Opportunities -- I touched on this earlier, but we've got hands on stone lately. It's incredibly important for us to capitalize on mistakes when the present themselves. To keep on winning, we have to force turnovers and create opportunities from them. Asher and Darius both dropped for sure interceptions on Saturday. Great coverage, but missed opportunities.
1) Lack of a Pass Rush -- This has got to change soon. We've got to get better doing this and we've got to do it quickly. It was right about this time last year when all this turned around for us, so we need to find that spark and make it happen again. Until it does, we're cruising for some losses.
2) Off-the-Field Issues -- Ugh. So Vince Vance gets arrested for driving on a license that expired on his birthday 7 days ago, you know, the day he tore his ACL. I guess while the swelling goes down, he should've gotten his ass to the DMV. I'm totally saying that tongue-in-cheek, by the way. Also, Brandon Wood gets arrested for DUI after blowing barely over the limit. Now, the reports I've heard say that B. Wood did well against all the field sobriety tests, and the cops were really excited about busting him, but that's neither here nor there. Either way, it sucks to lose B. Wood for at least one game, when we're already razor thin on the DL. S-U-C-K-S.
3) Fan Post-Game Reaction -- Ok, I get it that people are pissed at Bryan Evans, but let it go. The fade route to the back of the endzone wasn't his fault. If you're going to blame anyone, blame the Offense for putting the Defense in the position to work with such a short field. Points were going to result out of that drive any way you slice it. Plus, that fade route was one of the best throws I've seen all year. Then, we get fans not only blasting Evans for his play (which I will admit has been less than stellar), but blasting the whole team because we didn't blow Vandy out. Here's a hint, be glad we won and let's move on from there. You may not like the way Evans played, but he's a DGD and deserves the respect anyway. Trust me, no one's beating themselves up like that guy is. I guarantee that.
So there you have it. Feel free to tell me how dumb I am.
Until next time kids.
Labels: College Football, Game Recaps, UGA Football