Welp…we’re a national powerhouse. I suppose we all have to deal with it. There’s no getting away from it. We’re now 25 point favorites over a 6-2 team. And 25 sounds about right because that’s about what we beat everyone by.
Interesting scene and feel in Jacksonville. The Gator fans knew what was coming, and their side was only about 75% full at kickoff. The first 7-8 minutes of the game were so fast and furious it was almost unbelievable. Most of us were in shock. We’d never really experienced that. But we had gotten up 20-0 in 2013. The most impressive thing to me is Kirby’s ability to keep the hammer down in these games. I don’t know if that’s scheme or mentality. I just know we’re better at it than ever before.
As for Jake, after it was 21-0, I was thinking, “Why throw the ball?” The only way that thing was going to end up tight was for us to make some stupid mistakes, as it him getting sacked and fumbling or throwing picks. The narrative is that we will need to throw the ball. But, I think I’ve seen that we can. We did against MSU. We did against Mizzou. There’s no need to if we don’t need to. We’re not trying to prove a point. We’re trying to win games and keep leads safe. Up 21, the clock was our friend. Now, what will we do in a game where we don’t jump up? Well, we went score for score vs. Mizzou until we finally started stopping them. Will Auburn make us throw it? Maybe. Statistically, Miss. St.’s D is much better than Auburn’s in basically every category. In Total D, they’re 6 & Auburn is 13. We’re 3rd. Now, that MSU D couldn’t really slow down us or Auburn. But, the point is that this is far and away the best D Auburn has faced, but maybe not us. MSU’s is statistically better and ND is a better rushing Defense by 8 spots. And ND has played UGA, Mich. St, USC, and NCSU…4 pretty good teams.
South Carolina is 107th in total offense and we’re #3 in total defense. They shouldn’t score much. They just shouldn’t. I’m succumbing to the numbers. We’re just waaaaay better. I’ve got to own and embrace it. You do, too.
· So happy for our 5 big seniors. They deserved this and all played well.
· Trenton Thompson makes a huuuuuge difference on the DL.
· No one is talking about how we’re surviving (well, that’s a bad word…we’re thriving) on D without Natrez. One more game.
· I don’t know what was going on w/ the delay of game penalties. The refs were screwing up the clock there. The first time, I find it hard to believe we got 25 full seconds. We barely had any time. Maybe we were slow. But BOTH times, the game clock was moving after the penalty. Uh…I don’t think that’s the way this works, elsewise the way to run out the clock is to keep getting penalties. The game clock does not start back after the penalty.
· Nick Chubb still hasn’t seen the field in the 4th qtr since South Bend. Seriously, I expect our skill guys to be very fresh down the stretch.
· JR Reed continues to climb up my favorites list.
· I do wonder what will happen to us in a close game. It’s going to come at some point.
2 things: No one could have predicted this, especially with Eason getting hurt vs. App. This wasn’t the plan, per se, but it sure has worked out. Jake seems to be the leader this team needs. Maybe it will bite us as ‘too conservative’ at some point, or maybe he’ll be Buck Belue. But, But BUT!!!! This wasn’t THAT complicated, was it. I love Mark Richt. I really do. I wanted him to stay as our coach. But, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why he couldn’t figure out what any fan that knows a little football knew about this program 3 years ago. We didn’t need to fix THAT much, but we HAD to fix it if we were going to compete:
Ø Lock down the in-state talent. Check.
Ø Develop a competent offensive line. Check.
Ø Structure you’re team around these fantastic backs. Check.
Ø Play nasty defense with more press man coverage. Check. (We were getting there with Pruitt)
Ø Improve special teams. Huuuuge Check.
Ø Discipline. Stop jumping off-sides and getting stupid penalties. Stop yapping at the other team during warm-ups. Check.
Ø Keep your foot on the gas and blow teams out. Check.
It surely is a lot of improvement, but it wasn’t like it was that difficult to diagnose. Maybe it was difficult to do. Maybe the last 2 are the culture changes that had to happen with a new staff. I love what Kirby has done, and he’s got a chance to be around for a long time and we’re going to watch some good football. Our captains, Sony, Ro, and Wynn looked like robots coming out onto the field. There’s no drama or chatter. We’re about that business. Talk with your helmets.
And, yes, we CAN beat Alabama. But beat South Carolina first. Sanford is going to be fun.