Perspective Headed Into Vandy
So it's been almost a whole week. I confess, after last Saturday, I almost succumbed to the seemingly contagious Chicken Little syndrome going around this site. Threads like "is our special season done" seemed reasonable. That game disappointed me so much because I -- perhaps foolishly -- expected to win. I really thought we were better, largely because of our fantastic defense.
Our defense was not fantastic. Clowney played reasonably well, in the sense that he ate up blockers and dictated UGA to play away from him most of the game. I fully expected Sutton to step up and the linebackers to be decent. I also expected the secondary to force Murray to pull the ball down, allowing our DL to get to him. As so-so as DL and linebackers were, the secondary was atrocious. Did I mention Gurley ran all over us?
So then I pulled up the box score of our 45-42 showdown in Athens two years ago. Wow. We gave up 436 yards that day. Crowell averaged 7.4 a carry -- more than Gurley last week. We gave up 42 points -- more than last week. We scored two defensive touchdowns and scored another one when our defensive end ran 68 yards on a fake punt.
And yet no one panicked. Maybe some sophisticated football minds expressed some concern, but the vast majority of us thought our team was rock solid. And, despite that game, it turned out the optimism wasn't misplaced. That team ended up manhandling Clemson, producing our first consensus All-American in decades, and winning 11 games for the first time in school history.
But make no mistake -- that team got shredded at Sanford and needed some incredible breaks to come away with a win. And through the lens of a win, everything was great.
Point being, the outcome overly colors the impression of the game and the team. Was last week terrible? Yeah. Does it mean we can't have a great season? No. Do we need to improve? Sure. The bottom line -- give the negativity a rest, because one game really doesn't mean much.
There is no reason this season can't turn out as well as the last two. I look forward to watching our team handle Vandy tomorrow. Go Cocks!