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|09-16-2013, 01:01 PM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Acock's Wrap Up: Vandy
I don't think I've EVER seen a game where we have simultaneously demolished someone and almost found a way to lose to them. What a weird game. It was certainly a tale of two halves, as we dominated Vandy in the first half and naval gazed for the second half. Thankfully we got a little clarity at the end and prevented any serious drama. Please remember as you look at my grades that they're cumulative. Thank you.
This might have been Connor's best game. He made throws that a good portion of our fanbase didn't think he could make, and I also saw him make throws that in the past he would have held onto for ball security. It paid off to the tune of 284 yards and 3 TDs. It would be an A+ if not for Dylan's long stare-down interception and Connor's missing a crucial slant on 3rd down. Vandy's defense is not that bad, and these guys shredded it. Glad to see Dylan getting some playing time, I hope we keep that up.
Mike Davis is establishing himself as one of the premiere backs in the country. Wilds makes for a great change of pace back and doesn't really sacrifice much in terms of a drop off when Davis needs a break. Lost in the discussion of how great Davis is doing is how well both of them are catching passes out of the backfield. They caught 8 passes between them and are becoming a major part of our offense.
Ellington showed OUT. That last TD catch he made still stupefies me, I have no idea how he did that. You can also see Shaq growing in confidence from week to week, and Nick Jones is establishing himself as a starter. We had 7 TE or WR make at least one catch Saturday, which tells me we're starting to use the depth we've built up. It's nice to see the TEs get more involved, and Busta seems to be working his way back from injury nicely. Mason Zandi... I saw you.
This unit is firing on all cylinders right now. They are establishing great zones for the backs and giving the QBs tremendous amount of time to throw the ball. Stadnick responded to the fire Elliot lit under his ass as well, he's been a great stand-in for Cody.
For the most part these guys got great pressure on the QB and stuffed the run...at least for the first half. In the second half they were put in tough spots and got a little tired, but it's still great to see these guys have a better game. Sutton finally got on track and had the game I knew he was capable of. All isn't entirely well, however, as Vandy had their way with them when they went to the wildcat. I knew it was technique related but I couldn't put my finger on it until I listened to Langston Moore's analysis. It's about their hands. I went back and re-watched the game and he's right, our DL, especially the interior linemen are not using their hands to defeat blocks and slide laterally. They let OL engage them and get moved to one side or the other. If they're playing a gap, they can't shed and move over to seal off where the run eventually goes. This is something we did extremely well last year and aren't doing well at all this year.
Great first half, terrible second half. These guys are still learning, but it's frustrating to watch two LBs play the same gap on a run blitz. Spurs did a much better job in coverage this week. One thing we just can't fix, however is size. Multiple times I'd see our Spur come up in run support and get trucked backwards. We need some beef for those short yardage situations.
Much, much better week. They held Matthews to 106 (yes, that's actually doing something) and the rest of Vandy's receivers to 41 yards. More importantly, they didn't let people behind them and didn't give up the big play.
Look, it's obvious that special teams is not a focus of this team. It doesn't matter who the special teams coach is, if it's not a focus of the head coach it will never get the attention that it deserves. I love Shon Carson, and I hate that he never got a real chance to succeed due to injury, but he's a liability right now in the return game.
Punting is a disaster, kickoffs are a disaster...thankfully we haven't had to rely on a FG.
If this isn't fixed special teams will cost us another game this year.
Much better than last week, we had a solid game plan for how to attack Vandy's defense, and we shut down their offense for at least a half...BUT then came the mistakes.
We're still not communicating well on defense, and apparently Clowney's better in pass coverage.
Look, this is a young team, especially in the very crucial area of LB. We have an insanely talented team that's prone to making bone headed mistakes at precisely the wrong time. This team is also really, really good. If we can mature and fix our communication problems, we can run the table. If not, I could see us dropping two or three more before it's all over. Kudos to the fans for being loud against Vandy, even if you did have to be reminded a few times that it was 3rd down.
Some of you guys need to back off the ledge. We're 2-1 with a close loss coming at Georgia. The good news is that the team is improving, and I have every reason to believe that we'll be better at the end of the year than we are right now. Vandy has played us tough in recent years and was a nail-biter last year.
Well this year we destroyed them. Don't let the score fool you, look at the stats, we outgained them 579 to 268. This, however, does lead to the one thing that concerns me right now. This team lacks a killer instinct. We scored our final points with 10 min to go in the third quarter. The way we were playing we should have scored a minimum of 49 points on Vandy. The same goes for UNC. We have got to put people away when we have the opportunity and quit playing it safe or eventually it will come back to bite us.
Next we get a week off to prepare for a very dangerous UCF team. I would feel a lot better about the remainder of our schedule if we can come out and dominate them from the opening bell.
Always remember... stay Feisty.
Last edited by Acockolypse Now; 09-17-2013 at 10:07 AM.