Holy crap what a game. Saturday was a game that Old Carolina loses, but this team never game up and fought till the end.
If you look and this game, it could very easily be a completely different story today. Missouri's first scoring drive was aided by a dropped INT by Legree that in all honesty, a 12 year old could have caught. Then, if Mike Davis doesn't have the worst game of his career carrying the ball, Missouri wouldn't have gotten it for the 96 yard TD (they may have still scored on that drive, but the likely hood of that play being called). Then you have the 4th down throw to the endzone that Busta was TACKLED and the ball landed right beside him with no flag ... the following drive with the pass interference against us when Legree (I think) went for the pick (play on the ball) ... and then you have the Offensive pass interference against Busta where he took 5 more steps before the ball was thrown.
I know, all these are "what ifs" today, and I don't normally like to play that game, but just wanted to make a few points.
The first 3 quarters we did everything we could to give the game to Missouri, but the team still didn't give up. They kept fighting and they Won Anyway.
I've been back and forth on the toast this week. Do I go with one guy or do I split it with two? However, everytime I make the debat in my head there's one that I think stands out a little more, and that I feel we wouldn't have won without.
This weeks ...
CACK'S TOAST OF THE GAME ... AGAINST MISSOURI IS ... CONNOR SHAW
The debat was between Shaw himself, or a Shaw-Bruce combo, but when you break it down, we don't win this game without Shaw's leadership and determination. I've been torn this season by the Shaw/Thompson debat, and if the Offense is really "better" with Shaw than they are with Thompson. I still won't say that they're "better" with Shaw, but the guys react more to Shaw because he's "their leader". If you think back to the Garcia/Smelley days. There were multiple games that Smelley might start and did well but we would be losing, and once Garcia went in it just got a little spark. The guys responded different to "their leader". It was clear that Shaw was/is injured (and all the questions last week about that can be stopped), but he put the team before himself and his health. He was deteremined to go out there and bring the team back to the W, and that was exactly what he did. Amazing gutsy performance by The General.
- Bruce bounces back from a 0 catch game at Tennessee with a career day, and played a HUGE part in the game Saturday. When we needed a big catch, the ball was going to 23. The diving catch over the middle, the TD catch and getting that left foot in, and the 4th and goal from the 14.
- Take away the Overtime, and the Defense kept their Offense, that we heard SO MUCH PRAISE about, out of the endzone the entire 2nd half. I feel like a lot has been said about Shaw and the Offense coming back and getting the victory, but if it wasn't for these guys hanging in there and doing their job ... the Offense wouldn't have had a chance to do what they did. Take away that 1 play, and these guys played a tremendous game against an Offense that was supposed to torch us. When we kicked the FG to go down by 10. The Defense stepped up and forced Mizzu to 3 and out. These young guys are starting to get it, and they're getting better each week.
- The little man on campus has ice in his veins. He missed a FG last week and then missed another in the 1st half, but didn't let that affect him. He walked out there down 17-7 and put one straight through the uprights to get us within a TD. Then he comes out with a chance to take the lead in the 2nd OT on the road from 40 yards away and DRILLS IT!!!!! He might have the 45-50-50+ leg on him yet, but he's a 155lb Freshman ... the future looks good for our FG kicking.
- Davis struggled holding on to the ball in the first half and it gave Shon was extra PT. Little #7 came in and took full advantage of his opportunity and had some very nice runs.
- Had possibily the worst game of his career, but when he was given his chance to redeem himself in the 4th, he took that opportunity and made up for his errors. Missouri kept bringing heat after the QB so the HB screen was open, and 2-8 made them pay multiple times. On 3rd and 19, Mike ran harder and straighter than I've ever seen before. If there would have been a brick wall 2 yards shy of the first down ... I think Davis would have ran through it. He was determined to make up for those fumbles from earlier in the game, and he did just that.
EVERYONE RAISE YOUR GLASS ... HERE'S TO YOU CONNOR SHAW
Week 1 - Offensive Line
Week 2 - Mike Davis
Week 3 - The Receivers
Week 4 - Mike Davis
Week 5 - JT Surratt
Week 6 - Connor Shaw
Week 7 - Jadeveon Clowney
Week 8 - Connor Shaw