Sunday, September 18, 2011

The New Reality? Coastal Carolina Recap

Since Rev did not go to the game, he asked me to guest blog. I cannot match his literary skills, but agreed to come in as a second teamer. I spent most of Rev's life teaching him everything he knows, and I have nothing left to teach. He is much more eloquent than I will ever be. And I am not as good as I once was, but hopefully, I am as good once as I ever was.

One thing was clear about the Chanticleers. They were outmatched at every position. From the beginning of the game, there was never a question of who was the best team. The only question was how high the score would go for the Dawgs. Everything worked for the home team. The offense moved the ball at will and the defense was overwhelming. Just like they were against Louisiana-Lafayette last year! That begs the ultimate question. Is this our new reality? What did this game mean?

First and foremost we came out with no apparent injuries. Rev says someone tweeted that Isaiah CroWELL forgot to wear his rib protector and got dinged again. (really, Isaiah, wear the rib protector!) I actually wondered during the first half why we did not see more of him. But otherwise, we appear to have dodged any further significant injuries.

Secondly, we came ready to play. Nobody took CC for granted and the play was intense. We really stood up and knocked down some of their players. We executed well on offense and the defense had good reads and attacked their offense every play. I really felt good about the team's mental preparation and execution.

We can also rest well that we have depth at quarterback. Hutson Mason looked comfortable. He has a good command of the offense, as well as a great touch on the ball. He delivers the ball to the receivers in a way that allows them to do something with it after the catch. That was really good to see. Michael Bennett and Malcolm Mitchell looked very good. With more receivers stepping up, Tavarres King flourished as well.

It is hard to say anything negative about a 59-0 win. How many times in college ball do you get a shutout? We did what we were supposed to do to an overmatched opponent, and looked good doing it. Alas, I can't resist a little critique.

I did not think Aaron Murray played his best game. He appeared a little slow to deliver the ball at times and overthrew receivers at other times. He did not anticipate the receivers coming open, delivering the ball only after they were already in position and the defender was closing the space. I don't think he would have had as many completions against a good SEC defense. When he was flushed out of the pocket, the throw was off his back foot and sailed high. All of this is correctable and hopefully the timing improves next week.

The offense was pretty straightforward. Bobo's normal offense. No extras. Maybe this is good, but I was hoping to see the short passing game developed even more. Isaiah CroWELL is money in the open field. He catches the ball well and has great vision. Dumping it off to him worked well last week, but we didn't see it much this week. Maybe Bobo is keeping his cards close. Personally, I would like to have seen us working on developing that part of the offense.

So, the question is still out there. Is this a new reality for the Dawgs? Time will tell. Next week should definitely be winnable. Hopefully the Dawgs continue to improve and the coaches scheme well. Only stringing together some SEC wins, beating teams like Florida, Auburn, and Tennesse will change old realities into new.

No comments: