Having just watched the replay on CSS, I have the following observations…
- In the first half, everything went right for us. Uncanny.
- Cutcliffe called a great game and Ainge delivered over and over and over. Ainge made quick throws when he had to. He took his time when he could. He stepped up in the pocket when necessary. He delivered the ball where it needed to be. His timing was outstanding. So, while our zone coverage was soft, he also would have torched man coverage if that would have been our adjustment. You know it, I know it and yellow dog knows it. They had our number. Period.
- Tennessee’s big 3 receivers and tight ends hung on to every ball after the first quarter (when they dropped 2). They held on to a few balls after getting popped pretty good. They are big and strong and we need some receivers like them.
- Our run blocking was really impressive and the running backs made some nice reads and ran with authority. Let’s see more of this, please.
- Our receivers caught the ball as well as possible, but were rarely out in space. If they keep catching the ball like this, hopefully we can start getting them open with some space to run.
- After Tony Taylor, we didn’t have any linebacker play. And none of them could cover. Brandon Miller is just a tweener. He is a freakish athlete, but is not a linebacker and is not a defensive end. Can we make him a BIG receiver?
- Tra Battle needs to be firmly admonished that hitting guys three steps out of bounds or chicken fighting at the end of every play is stupid and amateurish. If he keeps it up, he will get us a personal foul that could cost us a game.
- What happened to the Asher Allen that played in our spring game? He looked like he could be a shutdown type corner one day. He still might, but he looked extremely tentative all night.
- Martinez got schooled by Cutcliffe and a near perfect Erik Ainge and his big targets. But, the combination of their defense/our offense made Martinez’s job impossible. Tennessee came out of the gate in the second half with all guns blazing and we got put on skates and could not recover on either side of the ball. I wonder what their halftime talk was like?
- We have a disastrous QB issue on our hands. But, I trust CMR to sort it out as well as any other living coach would.
Ladies, things are never as bad as they seem nor or they ever as good as they seem. The saying, “May you live in interesting times” is apropos here. I think we will finish 10-2 or 9-3 in the regular season. Either way, with our youth, inexperience and QB carousel, it will certainly be interesting. What will not happen is a total collapse and a 6-6 or 7-5 season like we have seen several other SEC teams (UT, Auburn) experience within the last few years. So quit bitching, strap on your balls, and support these DAWGS!