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15 Thoughts is Better Late Than Never

This feels a lot like 2021, no?

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NCAA Football: Oregon at Georgia
Two “diamonds in the rough” right there, folks.

Normally I post this piece by dinner time on a Sunday, but had some important family business to attend to late last week. So, without further ado, here is the first installment for the 2022 season and it’ll be a pleasure to cobble together one or 15 thoughts along the way.

A fanfare of trumpets, please...

1. Talkin’ Season always turns up a bunch of stinkin’ hot takes and saucy narratives that gain momentum, get reposted, retweeted and regurgitated to only be quickly demolished in a matter of hours. Case in point: ranking 20 quarterbacks ahead of a kid man (he’s 25 now and old enough to drink Pappy straight from the distillery if he wants) that are “better” than he:

Spencer Rattler’s QBR against Georgia State was 28.6. Stetquavious’ Bennett was the highest in the conference at 97.3. There ain’t a dude on this 247Sports list I would trade for The Mailman, either. Do these writers pay any attention to the “little” things, like system knowledge, offensive coordinator, complimentary talent and skill? Hell, I’m not even a writer (although I blog from time to time) and I know better than they. So do you, and you and you.

2. Let the Stetson for Heisman Hype blossom. Promote it. Embrace it. The kid will be in NYC at the end of the year. That’s a promise.

3. There should be at least 1 holding penalty per game called on anyone trying to block Jalen Carter. There were zero flags called against Oregon the entire afternoon, partly because of the nature of generally dink ‘n dunk passing game Oregon had to employ, but mostly because, for some reason, Mercedes-Benz Stadium causes some sort of temporary eyesight condition that only affects the men in stripes. Now, “nitpicking” a 46 point victory over penalties might seem a bit piddling, but facts are facts. What’s the over/under on holding flags actually called this season against anyone trying to block #88? I say 6. That might be too low.

4. I watched our defensive line all afternoon and came away impressed. There were times when Oregon moved the ball between the 20’s 40’s, but so did Auburn last year and the year before that. They say the most improvement is made after week 1, and with the Samford Bulldogs up next who run a similar style of offense that Oregon did, this bodes well looking down the road when we travel to South Carolina. Oh, dear. Did I mention they have the 8th best QB in America? Shudders...

5. How much offense did we really reveal on Saturday? Todd Monken dialed up plays to exploit their perimeter with efficiency. The fact that we ran the ball for only 132 (Kendall Milton led the way with 50 yards) matters not. This offense, with Stetson now firmly in control and supremely confident, will score as long as they execute. As the young defense gains experience, I’m thinking this V-12 engine will be humming with a few minor tweaks here ‘n there.

6. I saw a Tweet last night that essentially indicated our yards after contact amounted to over 300. Some of that undoubted is poor Oregon tackling. Much of that is talent, S&C and desire.

Perimeter plays only work if guys on the perimeter block. Mission accomplished.

7. Everyone knows about our unfair tight end room. It’s rapidly becoming mythical. But our wide receiver room is very, very good as well. What I saw was crisp route running, excellent execution on downfield blocking assignments and a nearly telepathic connection between themselves and their QB. I know Georgia has “missed” on a few recruits at the position recently - much due to negative recruiting - but as this season unfolds and guys get more opportunities. Oh, and those “missed” recruits? I have a feeling some of these guys might reconsider sooner than later.

8. Kenny McIntosh is a wide receiver-tight end hybrid who just happens to be listed as a running back who can probably make an excellent soufflé. He might be (this is going out on a pretty thick limb) a bigger and slightly better James Cook. And this is in no way disrespecting James Cook. Like many running backs before him, #6 has played and contributed greatly for the first 3 years on the squad. Now is his time. He’s got all the tools. I cannot wait to how Todd Monken schemes for his unique skill set.

8B. Kendall Milton is no slouch, either.

8C. Daijun Edwards? Yes, please!

Relentless effort. That’s our coach.

9. Yes, we actually do have a punter.

10. When you keep hearing things in camp about how a new face is “flashing,” you tend to pay attention but until you actually see it you really can’t believe it. Sure, you become enamored with anything positive that is written and/or blogged these days. But the proof is in the pudding playing. Malaki Starks is one of those dudes. Here’s your proof:

Eight tackles, 5 solo and a pick-turesque INT. Not bad for a freshman. Or a sophomore, or junior, senior, semi-pro, pro...

11. Georgia’s defense talled 56 tackles. Forty two were solo and 3 tackles for loss. None were more beautiful than Chris Smith’s heat-seeking missile come up from your safety spot and drill the Oregon scat back for a 4 yard loss...

12. ...and for the 2nd consecutive season opener, Chris Smith had an interception that carried great weight.

13. Kirby played 24 defenders during the course of the ballgame. All but 2 registered a tackle. As the defense begins to coalesce, any and all playing time is a welcome thing. The luxury of a blowout victory has many benefits. Expect more of the same next week.

14. Kearis Jackson had a single punt return for 36 nifty yards. He’s going to break one this year. Brett Thorson, from Melbourne, Australia, had only one punt opportunity and made it count, with a 53 yard boomer to pin the Ducks back late in the game. Otherwise, Jack Podlesny was perfect on all 7 extra point attempts and only had a single kickoff return of his many.

15. It is all about the Jimmy and Joe’s, but when you have them and the other guy doesn’t, this is what happens. When you add an elite coaching staff, the players on your roster - from the 5-Star guys to the walk-on QB who is now in the Heisman discussion - can work magic. For any Oregon fan reading this, keep your chin up. What you ran into was a process that has been 7+years in the making. You have a guy prowling your sideline who was a major part of this and who has the blueprint to make it happen for you as well. I don’t think Oregon is a bad team and there’s a lot of bashing making the rounds on the interwebs. Ignore it. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither was Athens.


  • I didn’t think LSU would lose to Florida State last night and what was a hot-mess of a ballgame turned out to have one of the most entertaining endings I have seen since Kelee Ringo crossed the goal line last January 10.
  • This guy really is in the wrong conference.
  • Tech and Clemson tonight. Does CFB have a mercy rule? Might need one.
  • Hey, Florida...

As Always, GO DAWGS!