1. I attended this game with my good buddy, author, gas-mileage master and BBQ connoisseur T. Kyle King and we pretty much predicted everything that transpired, including the crappy targeting penalty against Corey Moore. Like every so-called "cupcake" that generally finds their way onto our schedule, do yourself a favor and just expect an inspired effort from the other team every time. It's a big deal for them and only becomes a big deal for us when our coaching staff chews some ass at halftime. Anyone who gets too bent-out-of-shape over how the Dawgs generally began the day doesn't truly understand history or psychology. We slept-walked through the first half, rolled 'em up in the second half. That's fine by me, but still there were, as always, some head-scratching moments. Anyway, a few criticisms...
1a. I said it once, and I'll say it again regarding targeting: The Georgia Bulldogs are the national Beta Test Team for Targeting Experimentation (BTTTE). Anyone think this is over? Not until the season ends and the rules committee changes things. We are so screwed...
2. Second-and-8 or longer is so predictable. We are going to run someone between the tackles. I hate it. The toss-sweep is dead. Long live the toss sweep.
3. I really like Quayvon Hicks, but have wondered why he has been generally missing in action. I think his receiving skills, particularly in traffic, needs some work. I have no doubt he'll get the hang of this, and when he does it will just add to his awesome potential. But since South Carolina, it's pretty much been untapped potential and quite a few dropped passes. Just an observation, really. Not trying to be harsh, but it is what I see, and what I see is work to be done.
4. It's been discussed already, both here and there, but Todd Gurley is far from 100%. He can still stop and cut about as quickly as any big back I've seen in some time, but the high-ankle sprain he suffered against LSU was just damned unfortunate. Last week, conditioning seemed to be the issue. I think he just was still hurting on Saturday. He'll gut it out, but he's banged up. You can never have enough depth at running back. Ever.
5. Brendan Douglas ran hard when he got his opportunities. So did J.J. Green. The Jekyll and Hyde psychology of our offensive line once again decided to Hyde. Maddening.
6. Special Teams will hack up a fur ball at least once a game. It's like a horror movie. You know it's coming...you just don't know when. That is what makes it so horrific. The fake punt was Keystone Cop football...
7. ...are any of our readers filthy rich? If you are, could you privately fund a really good special teams coach for us? No one has to know. We'll just keep it on the Q/T..the slide...the down-low. Thanks. Enough of the negativity.
8. Congratulations, Aaron Murray. You now hold just about every worthwhile record any SEC QB could hold. You have been fun to watch, and represent our University with class. It would've been nice if any one of networks had done something to acknowledge this. ESPN and CBS pretty much glossed over it. That's a shame, but I guess it comes with the 3-loss territory. Might I suggest you light Auburn up like a big fat Churchill and break their hearts with about 4 or 5 touchdowns. What could have been had your entire offense stayed healthy this season? Life, like football, ain't fair.
9. The defense didn't allow diddly-poo to Appalachian State in the second half. It took a quarter to wake up, a quarter to adjust, but generally played well and is improving. I don't care who the competition is, keeping the other guy out of your end zone is always a good thing.
10. That was a fine catch, Reggie Davis. The light is coming on before our eyes. Jonathan Rumph has a build very similar to A.J. Green. Not quite the same (who is?), but he sure passes the eye test and got some impressive YAC on his way to 98 receiving yards in the second half. Please stay healthy. For the rest of your life. Rantavious WOOTen had 104 yards in receptions. Nice job.
11. Marshall Morgan: Cha-Ching! Most improved player in 2013, no?
12. Auburn next. I hate Auburn. You hate Auburn. They're having a fine season and are dreaming a little bit. Who can blame them? They have, about as quietly as anyone can do in this Conference, surpassed all expectations. Will they looking ahead to Bama? Probably not, because they still have a bye week after Saturday. Vineyarddawg has already put 'em On Notice, so there ain't a whole lot more than I can add. But this is a big game and it didn't take the CBS Brass very long to pick us as their marquee 3:30 P.M. matchup.
13. What worries me the most about next Saturday? Not our QB, our banged up running back, our depleted tight-end corps, our improving situation at wide receiver or enigmatic offensive line. No, it's not the youth on defense who seem to only figure out what they're exactly supposed to do after the bands play. It isn't playing in Jordan-Hare for the second season in a row. It's #6 from this list. Auburn can burn you in the return game. I hope we don't punt. As for kickoffs: If we aren't trying to put it through the back of the end zone (are we capable of this?) every damn time we kick (and we will score points), we'd better be pooch kicking it to an up-back. I don't want no part of Auburn's return game. There. I'm sure our special teams coach will take my advice. Oh, wait...
14. I really, really, really want to beat Auburn. Nick Marshall will try to beat us with his legs first. He didn't throw too well against Tennessee, but didn't have to. I think he's gonna have to drop back in the pocket against us. Can we be disciplined and keep contain? He has a propensity to throw a pick or two. Make him do it. Get in his head. Our run defense is pretty stout. This game has shootout written all over it. I think it will be wild.
15. Florida's last non-bowl season was 1979. Larry Ochab was their quarterback. At one time, he was the youngest member of a troup of high-wire walkers that weren't very successful. That's why you never, ever heard of "The Flying Ochab's." They didn't win a game that season. I will argue that the future at the end of the 1979 season was brighter than it is at this very moment in Gainesville. In 1980, the Gators rebounded quite well and nearly beat us in Jacksonville until we managed to convert a little 3rd down pass. You might of heard of it. The worst thing that can happen to a program is irrelevancy. This is their reality at the moment. Oh, they'll be back. But as Kyle and I were discussing on Saturday things are vastly different than they were 20 years ago. Football is cyclical. So are rivalries. No one stays on top for ever, not even Alabama. That's the beauty of it.
Our day is coming. I didn't think it was going to happen this season even if we didn't suffer the type of attrition that ultimately befell our squad. One year, there will be a synchronicity between offense, defense, and special teams. Maybe even in all aspect of coaching, too. I believe this. If I didn't, I guess I wouldn't care so much. Neither would you.