If success is a terrible teacher, the Dawgs had an immeasurably better lesson today than they did last week. Unfortunately, they had to get their butts kicked in the process. So what did we learn:
- Our defense has a ways to go to execute within the new 3-4 scheme against SEC competition.
- We could not tackle Marcus Lattimore. He has strong leg drive and good balance and runs behind his shoulder pads. He is a stud, and you cannot tackle him high - especially when you don't wrap up. The only good news about our tackling is that we are better than at least one team: Florida State. Boy did they tackle like the team from New York Life today.
- In the words of the houseplant with a microphone, Bob Davie, we got "outphysicaled" on both lines of scrimmage. The SC offensive line held their blocks just long enough for Lattimore to get going downhill for 5 yards or more on almost every carry. In contrast, after the first series, our offensive line didn't appear to anything particularly well.
- We miss AJ Green. A lot. Of course he wouldn't have helped us tackle any better, but his presence in our offense would have kept Lattimore off the field more so we would have missed less tackles at a minimum. When SC didn't have to account for AJ, they could load the box and challenge our other wideouts to beat them and we were unable to separate from the man coverage all day.
- We need to learn how to use our excellent tight ends. Granted, Orson Charles dropped what would have been a TD on the first drive. But where were these guys the rest of the game?
- Our offensive play calling is too conservative in an effort to ease Murray into the speed of the game.
We learned a few good things as well to build on...
- Aaron Murray is a pretty cool customer and he was careful with ball. The conservative play calling helped him limit mistakes but it also kept us from scoring. However, he really had nowhere to throw the ball on many plays today. Did I mention we missed AJ?
- We were only penalized 4 times for 35 yards.
I can't think of any other pluses right now except that Tech lost to Kansas - so there's that.
Here are a few other truths that may keep you from committing suicide or starting a website called "www.FireRicht.com":
- Maybe two teams will go undefeated in 2010. We won't be one of them.
- Our defense will get better. They are still learning the new scheme and they will have plenty to learn from after this game.
- Murray has the tools and with any running game at all, he will be plenty effective throwing the ball.
- AJ Green will be back someday - let's hope that the appeal gets him some relief and he can play next week against Arkansas.
- Our rushing game has nowhere to go but up.
- The last time we lost to SC, we ended the season ranked #2.
Go DAWGS. Get After That Film Study