For those that have sent me PMs and page comments, I apologize, I was out of town on vacation and the house we stayed at didn't have wifi like I had hoped.
It's been a few days, so I may forget a few details here and there, but my pick has been the same since Thursday.
The first half we were full speed ahead on Offense, and although there's a lot of negative talk about the Defense, they were shutting the Tarheels down when it mattered.
The toast for the opening week is going to be one of those rare, more than 1 person toast, but I feel like these guys deserve a little love. Over the past ... however long I can remember ... years these guys have been the focal point of concern game in and game out and year in and year out. "If they can produce, we should win" is what everyone has said. This should be fairly obvious where I'm going with this.
CACK'S TOAST OF THE GAME FOR THE 2013 SEASON OPENING AGAINST THE TARHEELS OF NORTH CAROLINA IS ... THE OFFENSIVE LINE
Now, I know, some of you are going to come in and say "well we DID have a 50 pound advantage" or "they looked ok, but weren't holding blocks as long as they should" or "they're still not mean enough." All of these may be true, but sometimes you have to praise people for the great things they did do instead of tearing them down for the one or two things they missed.
On the opening drive, they opened up some nice holes for Mike Davis to pick up a quick first down. They then gave Shaw all the time in the world to hit the bomb to Shaq. Connor was just hanging out in the pocket all by himself with not a single Dlineman anywhere close to him.
On Davis' 75 yard run, Shell picked up the outside man to create the hole to start the run. If he goes another angle or wiffs at that block, it's a 0 yard pick up instead of a 75 yard TD.
On 4th and 2, Brandon Wilds is stopped at the line of scrimmage, but the Oline bands together behind him and pushes the pull nearly 10 yards from that point to pick up the first down.
They also did the same on a play for Davis.
The holes for the running game were there, and Shaw/Thompson had time to pass all night long. We'd love for no Dlineman to ever get their hand on a QB and for every run to go 75 yards, but that doesn't happen. I thought the Oline played a GREAT game for week 1 and deserve some love for it.
- 100 yards + in the season opener, and he looked to be in mid season form. After watching the UGA/CU game, it SHOULD be 2 straight 100+ yard games for Davis. I can see this being a "Davis being Davis" post in the near future.
- Everyone's issue with Shaw over his career has been the deep ball. The pass to Shaw in itself deserves some praise, because it was ON THE MONEY!!!!!
- I'm not sure which team Carolin was, but I'm glad his jersey was garnet. Our kicking game is taking a MAJOR hit this year, but if Fry can get all 150 pounds into his kicks and just give us those 35-40 yard FGs when we need him to ... he could have a great life here.
- Ellington was a little banged up and didn't play a lot of snaps? No problem, we'll just put in the next guy and not skip a beat. If there was anything to learn from Thursday night is was that Jr has this receiving corp on the right track. Shaq ran a PERFECT route for the first TD, and we saw what he can do once it's in his hands. With all the new numbers it was hard to realize who was catching the balls, and then remember who they were, but we'll just say great game for everyone here.
Defensive Back 7
- There was a lot of concern here leading into the season, and in game one, I think they held their own. A few misses here and there, but that's going to happen. They, like the Oline, played a great first game and will hopefully use this as a building block for the season.
EVERYONE RAISE A GLASS FOR THE SEASON OPENING TOAST OF THE GAME ... THE OFFENSIVE LINE ... HERE'S TO YOU BIG FELLAS