We Whipped Vandy... What Does That Prove?
Honestly, I have no idea. I was pleased that we put the game away early in the 4th quarter and were able to relax for the first time all season. However, throughout the first half and the first two drives of the second half, things progressed in an eerily reminiscent fashion. When we kicked a field goal on our first drive of the second half to make the score 20-10, I feared another Vandy TD would cause this game to go down to the wire and give us more gray hair and high blood pressure. Thankfully, our depth (read... Vandy's lack of depth) wore them down and we were able to impose our will for the first time this season.
AJ Green. AJ Green's catch and run was another jaw-dropper. Let's review... Easy throw... check, Best receiver in the nation... check, Makes people miss... check, Amazing in space... check. Why didn't we try that again? Do we outsmart ourselves sometimes? I know they had safety help over the top all day, but this 65 yard TD play was thrown exactly 1 yard upfield and was all AJ being AJ after that. More please.
Running Game. We finally found some running room in the second half. I am not sure if this was anything to hang our hats on, but at least we broke through on Vandy. Caleb King had his best outing and showed true determination to get into the end zone. Ealey, Thomas and Jackson all had a few open-field runs that were exciting to see. Samuel didn't get much going but watching him and all the other tailbacks makes me wonder if he should be at fullback this spring. I want to see Samuel succeed in a big way and I am not convinced it will happen at tailback. But, he is a gifted athlete with a great attitude and he can contribute somewhere so I hope the coaches sort that out this spring.
Defense. Justin Houston and Kade Weston continue to disrupt up front and Rennie cleans up almost every play. The emergence of big Kade has been the biggest surprise on defense for me. I enjoyed seeing how Christian Robinson got after it. He plays fast and seems to be a sure tackler. Baccari Rambo made another bold, loud, and unambiguous statement that he should be on the field for the majority of defensive snaps. Willie? Are you listening? Watch the film. It is right there in front of you. Make the call!
Special Teams. Almost a complete game for our special teams units - minus the fake punt. Butler continued to kick into the stratosphere. Walsh was perfect. Rex Robinson 5 can probably help me out here, but I think Walsh may have been asked to kick it out of bounds with 7 seconds in the half. I like our chances putting Vandy on the 40 with only one play to get in the end zone. I could be wrong. Either way, we had one touch back and held them to 16 yards per return. Progress! And finally Prince Miller returned some punts and was two shoestring tackles from scoring twice.
It was great to get a comfortable win under our belt going into the off week. We haven't had a cupcake all season, but Vandy is certainly not bowl bound. All the other teams we have played will be (don't let me down ASU.) Having two weeks to prepare for Florida will help. Will it be enough?
In other news, Arkansas got jobbed. We know how you feel Hawgs!