As of this writing, almost forty-one hours have passed since the game I will forever refer to as "The Debacle at the Dome" began, and for the sake of my own sanity, I must attempt to move on. As rain falls in Athens, our boys are hard at work in the new indoor practice facility on what we
expect hope pray to all that is holy will be a better gameplan and execution for this weekend.
I am, admittedly, not much of a writer, and this is my first attempt at blogging, but I'll fire away with my thoughts at what I think it will take for us to
beat the Cocks choke the chickens defeat the University of South Carolina eleven. I look foward to responses, but please be gentle. It sounds cliche, but the real season begins on Saturday.
We put more pressure on Kellen Moore than I originally thought while watching the game live. He moved the pocket well, and clearly was able to complete the slant without any trouble, especially after the loss of Ogletree. I expect we may well see more of defensive ends dropping into short coverage combined with an occasional blitz of a safety. Stephen Garcia has proven countless times that if he can be rattled early, he is a very pedestrian quarterback. While watching Palmer and Pollack on ESPNU today, even Jesse Palmer admitted he thinks Spurrier will become frustrated with Garcia at some point on Saturday, and we're likely to see the typical benching.
Our rush defense seems to be much improved, and that's obviously aided by the addition of two legitimate nose tackles. Contrary to what those in Columbia would have us believe, Lattimore is not completely unstoppable. He rushed for 112 yards against ECU, with Garcia adding another 56 on the ground. I simply refuse to acknowledge that the Pirates' rush defense is superior to ours. I will acknowledge that those numbers may be skewed by USC playing from behind and being forced to pass, but we can, and must, force them into the same position. It was indeed refreshing to see our DB's actually playing the football for a change. We got popped with one pass interference call against Boise, and it was a good call, but it was not the same "Let's never even look at the football" defense that has plagued our defense for years.
Our ability, yet unwillingness, to run the ball outside the tackles was evident to all of us, and it will almost certainly be evident to the coaching staff. The Dawgs have practiced quite a bit in the I-formation (though it wasn't apparent in the last game), and I fully expect that we will see it more often. I'd be shocked if the no-huddle doesn't continue, but if the execution is no better, then things could remain rather ugly offensively.
Clearly, we need the stadium to be loud. Orson Charles is already tweeting that he hopes we, the fans, don't give up on the Dawgs. Obviously, he's not talking to most readers of this blog. But we've gotta show up, early, and we've got to make some noise. The students will have a full day of drinking to pump them up, and with the game 3 1/2 hours earlier than this past Saturday, we can only hope they won't be blackout drunk. Maybe we just need to all be this guy...
(In the interest of full disclosure, I wear a visor to games.) I hope my first attempt at this meets your standards. Go Dawgs!