Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lessons learned in MIZ-ZOU

COMO (Columbia, MO) is a great college town.  It's set up a lot like Athens where the north part of campus and the downtown area meet.  Both the campus and the downtown area remind me a lot of Athens.....just smaller.  Downtown is laid out in a grid and very easy to walk the whole thing.  The campus is also easy to walk around and has a UGA feel but the buildings are all different.  Our buildings around campus have different designs based on what section of campus they reside and when they were built.  The buildings across Mizzou are just different all over.  I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a good road trip.

Columbia and Jefferson City (where we stayed) are all Chiefs and Cardinals.  Not a lot of Rams or Royals fans around.  

***Update, I also discovered one of America's great college mascots on the trip.  The Central Missouri Mules.  That's right, the Mules.  Colors of red and white.  Solid.

It rained all day Friday and cleared up just in time for Corey Smith and his outdoor concert Friday night, which was in the immortal words of a great friend of ours, "A+".

The tailgating scene wasn't bad but needs work to get up to SEC caliber.  All the fans I ran into were very nice and just happy to be in the SEC.  I didn't hear much trash talking going at all on either side.  I can only hope our fans show the same class next year when they come to Athens. 

They only seem to have one chant - half the fans M-I-Z and the other half Z-O-U and the "waltz" thing the fans did heading into the 4th quarter was just plain bad.  The stadium is nice but feels smaller then the seating capacity says.  It only has one level and it doesn't go up very high like a big 10 stadium.  It can get loud but nowhere near a South Carolina or the Swamp or even a Tennessee (I've always thought LSU and Auburn are the 2 loudest I've ever been in).

On to the game
The biggest thing I learned from the game is that we don't have to play a perfect game to beat a decent team by 3 touchdowns.  Going in, I really thought we had to play a close to flawless game to win and I was wrong.
  • Franklin had an awful game passing the ball, he missed a lot of guys badly.  He had the 2 big pass plays for TDs but that was it. 
  • Me and the guys I were around couldn't understand why we stopped running the ball in the second half.  We were getting 3 yards a clip every time we ran the ball but we just abandoned it.  And when we did run, it was in shotgun and hardly ever in the I, which seemed to work just fine.  Aaron got on a roll in the second half and looked good but I just don't get why 3 yards rushing is viewed as a negative.  It worked this game because Aaron and WRs were clicking but we've often seem where Aaron gets cold and misses a bunch in a row.  More of an observation than a complaint.  The offense was good but not great, the defense gave them unreal field position many many times.  
  • Defense was very good.  A couple of busted plays and 20 points against that team was excellent.  They were put in a bad position a couple of times with turnovers and held nicely.  They really played a great game considering the players that were missing and the offense they played in a big road game.  Missouri is a decent team and I expect them to give Florida, Tennessee, and South Carolina all they can handle and win 2 of those games.  
  • Not sure what to say about special teams, good and bad again. 
  • Our offense still can't put anyone away but Jarvis can.  We're up 24-20, stop a fake punt and get great field position.  Chance to put it away = 3 points to keep it a TD game.  Defense holds, Gurley busts a huge run to get us to midfield and offense has another chance to put it away =  punt.  
  • The game was going very close to what I predicted until Jarvis took over and turned a tight game into a 3 TD blowout win. 
  • I would have taken a 3-2 win, so I'm very happy with the result, especially knowing that we won a tough road game and have room to get a lot better.  Very positive and happy that we got through this one.  We SHOULD only get better from here.  
And finally,
The Falcons defense looked pretty bad for a half but the team blew doors and completed an absolutely perfect weekend for me.  Chiefs fans are intense for a pro atmosphere and if anyone thinks that UGA fans are the only ones that turn on their team, you're wrong.  I got to see it first hand last year here with the Broncos and on Sunday with the Chiefs.  They went from Super Bowl bound in the first half to worst team in the league by the end of the game and ready to draft Matt Barkley. 


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