DAWGS WIN DESPITE OMINOUS FORECAST OF MARK MAY (this will be a recurring them in 2007 - as always)
I was in Athens Friday through Sunday and had one of the most fun football weekends in memory,thanks to Andrew Rothschild, Parker Swift, Tom Lacy and others.
Here is my first impression of the first half...
We popped OSU in the mouth hard several times early on and they kept coming and went into half time only trailing 21-14. We had played mistake-free football with the exception of one dropped pass and were tenacious on defense. But the OSU offense kept coming and their playmakers, Bowman, Reid, Savage and Pettigrew responded in the first half. Watching the video above reinforces this point. Going into the half, it was clear that we had to play another great half to win this game.
In this video, you can see the second half highlights.
Our defense stepped up big time in the second half and the pressure generated by our speedy ends kept Reid out of synch the rest of the game. We had 5 sacks from 6 different players (Howard, Battle, Lomax, Ellerbe, Allen and Atkins.) Kelin Johnson made two nice plays - one to separate Bowman from the ball on a potential first down grab and an interception with a long return. It would be hard to find fault with anything done by our defense in the second half. Credit to Coach Willie Martinez and the players for shutting out the reputedly potent OSU offense in the second half.
Offensively, we scored 2 touchdowns to put the game out of reach and could have scored more in the fourth quarter if OSU had not diagnosed or half back dive after the 10th consecutive time we ran the play. Consequently, the score did not get gaudy, but it was all Dawgs in the second half and the romp was on. Moreno, Bailey, Moore, Henderson and Figgins all made plays. Stafford was efficient and surgical in his passing. The o-line was effective and showed lots of promise. I was most impressed with the downfield blocking by our receivers - notably MoMass and Tony Wilson.
Altogether, the effort level in all phases of the game was superb. The execution was sharp for an opener and the players were having fun. I hope they can keep those three factors amped up all season.