Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SECCG fence riding thoughts

Looking back through the season, it's hard to get a strong feeling either way.  All phases have had ups and downs throughout the season, playing lights out some games and other times looking like the lights weren’t on (both result in being in the dark but have interestingly different meanings).

Last year’s SECCG went as expected and I walked out of the Dome thinking that if one thing doesn’t change, the championship drought will continue .  That one thing is Aaron making critically bad decisions in big games.  There were some bad drops in last year’s game but 16 for 40 with 2 picks and 163 yards usually won’t result in a W.  If you have that many attempts, you're either behind or in a shootout and if it's a shootout, you better have more completions and yards then that.  By all indications, he is one of the hardest working guys on the team, has been studying football for a long time, and been lucky enough to spend time with some NFL greats during his football life but has so far proven that he struggles in big games.  Listen, he’s solely responsible for a few wins over his 3 years but he’s also played a huge role in most of the loses by not protecting the ball. 

I left the South Carolina game in disgust of both Aaron and the defense.  It’s almost impossible for a player with his talent to have 31 attempts and only 11 completions for 109 yards.  Add in another terrible game against Florida (3 picks, 50% completion, and 150 yards) and it is cause for concern.  7 interceptions  in 3 games versus Florida (2 wins).  In recent years, the Dawgs have proven they can win some shootouts if the defense doesn’t play well but securing victories without the offense playing well is a rare occurrence. I'm not trying to kill Aaron here but simply stating that the fate in Saturday's game is literally in his hands and he must prove that all his hard work and skill can show up in a huge game. 

Winning this game comes down to 2 things: 
  1.  the offense can’t GIVE UP points (that includes turnovers starting Bama inside our 40) and
  2. special teams must be close to even, looking right at you Morgan
Bottom Line…We CAN win this game if the defense plays poorly but there’s no chance if the offense does. 

BTW - dawgs getting love on The Dan Patrick Show this week.  Tony Dungy gave high praise to Aaron on Monday, Andy Staples did the same today with Jarvis, and CMR is scheduled to be on the show tomorrow (11/29).  All interviews are on the show page. 


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Stats, Stats, Stats....Stats, Stats,Stats

Curious where we rank in stats, check out the SEC page.  Looking through both the team and individual stats, the only thing that sticks out is just how mediocre we are statistically speaking. 

I think this speaks to our inconsistency in all phases.  The big spikes in each direction throughout the season create average numbers.  There's no doubt that if we ever put it all together in a complete game, we can dominate good teams and be an elite team. 

One truth that is concerning is that the offense played poorly in the 2 games against borderline great defenses generating well under 300 yards of total offense in both games.  Assuming we take care of business this weekend, we'll see the best defense in the country and the only chance we have of winning that game is for the offense to play better.  The defense has been inconsistent too this year but they've shown the capability to shut down good teams at times over recent years.  It's been a while since the offense exploded against a great defense.  I'm not saying we have to score 30 on Bama to win but Aaron can't have multiple turnovers and we have to convert some 3rd downs.

Very happy to be playing such meaningful games this late in the season but still humbled by the beating we took in Columbia.   Remember that was only 4 games ago.  3 games ago the defense gave up 200 yards of rushing and 24 points to a team ranked over a 100 nationally in all offensive categories, didn't score against Vanderbilt or Florida, lost by 42 to Arkansas, and got beat by Western Kentucky.  We're in a great position considering how we've played at times this year.  Let's hope this team is starting to get everything cooking at the right time like last year's NY Giants or the Packers from 2 years ago.