"Are you mad Daddy?" Conner is my six year old that always seems in tune with others' emotions and feelings. Of course after six years together, she knows when Daddy is mad. So the question was almost rhetorical.
"Yes Honey. Daddy's mad." I answered anyway. After all the Dawgs had just given up another rushing TD and subsequently were ruining my afternoon. Luckily Conner pretty much left it at that, cuz I don't know how you explain to a six year old that the defensive ends need to play off the block and extend the option attack towards the sideline.
Fortunately Stafford, Moreno, Green, MoMass and Dobbs were not done playing. We've wondered if #7 had provided fans with his moment yet as a bulldog QB, like those who've taken snaps before him in red and black. Certainly, Stafford was not lacking for a moment as he left Lexington as he stumbled, side-stepped and rolled his way to the right flat and then lofted a beautiful pass to Green, who used every bit of his 6 foot 4 inch frame to gather in the toss. Jenn noticed that there were four defenders in the area of Green. I noticed at least two of them were drawn close to Knowshon at the front corner of the end zone. I was glad to see Moreno get 25 touches, including 22 carries and 3 TDs. Maybe Green makes the catch anyway if Knowshon is on the sideline, but it was clear that his presence created a little more space for Stafford to make the throw.
As beautiful as that play was, it was Demarcus Dobbs second INT of the season that saved our dog-like dairy-aires. Sure Stafford's talent is talked about in circles both local and national; Green is thought of as one of the best young receivers in the land; but it is Dobbs' play that you can vote for as the Pontiac Game Changer on ESPN's website. You'll remember Dobbs from his 78 yard PickSix against Central Michigan back in September. Once he finally crossed into the end zone that late summer afternoon you may have thought that his feat would be his most memorable as a Dawg. Turns out he had something more dramatic in mind.
Without Dobb's two cast-laden arms reaching up and corralling the Cobb screen pass into his
body as he fell to the Commonwealth bluegrass, we'd all be storming Butts-Mehre this week asking for Martinez to do the admirable thing and pull a Fulmer (ie. step-down for the good of the program). Instead we will just accost him through blogs, sports talk radio and while standing aside the water fountains this week. I guess the good news is the D made some adjustments, they just seemed a little late. I watched some defensive lowlights last night and it
is pretty clear that our D-ends are continuing to pass rush in the third quarter when the Wildcats really have no interest in passing. Battle tries to turn the corner on a tackle and Dixon uses that gap to find enough room to run into the end zone early in the fourth quarter. Kentucky 31, Dawgs 28 at that point. And why would they pass the ball at all when they had amassed a lion share of rushing yards between Cobb and Dixon? I was surprised Sunday morning when my eyes told me they had bothered to throw the ball 20 times.
Good D's stop the run first and then play the pass. I realize our coaches likely had not seen much option from KenYucky on film leading into the game. But we refused to commit extra support to stopping the run, even as they passed 200 yards on the ground. Cobb is a freshman. Force him to beat us through the air.
Do I feel better this week than last? Certainly. But the win in Lexington did nothing to assuage my fears for this defense's leadership. It will not be an easy week for Coach Martinez. Surely we can give Auburn more of a fight than Tennessee Martin. But in case you haven't noticed, the bugs from the flats have a dynamic offense when it is clicking. We get a bye week before the Tech game. We'll need all of it to figure out a way to stop Johnson's attack.
- First and foremost, Dobbs for representin' the big man in dramatic fashion.
- Ainsley for following a five goal performance last weekend with another five goal effort on Saturday in the Big Green Machine's last game of the season.
- Dave Archer for asking the question that was on all of the viewers' minds Saturday during the game, "Where is AJ Bryant?" ........uh ......he ran out of eligibility last year big guy ....?? Archer then asked the more relevant question, "Where is AJ Green?" Green promptly responded by hauling in a big catch, his first of the game.
- Adam Wynn for making the trek the the SEC's northern most destination. Adam is BDB's first Follower and took it upon himself to cover the game. He reports that the Dawgs won, traffic was bad, air was cold, but he had a great time. Keep up the great work Adam. Catch a nap in between classes........
- Tim Nama for scoring Bernie a ticket to the Auburn game.
- Shaun Chapas on his first TD as a Dawg on a play that rests near and dear in every Dawg fan's heart.
- Rennie Curran - Happy Birthday!! Keep bringing the hammer!
So we set our sights on the War Eagles. Personally, this will be my first trip to Auburn. If the visiting team wins (please note I said if), is it frowned upon to take a roll of toilet paper to Toomer's? On Friday we'll take a closer look at this Schizophrenic SEC team that can't decide whether they are eagles or tigers. We'll also evaluate some of the PR spin Tuberville has given the media related to his staff changes as of late. It has lead to a challenging season for Coach Tubs......
I haven't seen any film, but from the score updates it looked as if the SkyHawks of the Ohio Valley Conference gave Auburn all they could handle for more than three quarters. They trailed by a TD going into the 4th. Hopefully theAU starters got no rest. Of course they just have to turn on the projector to get pumped up for this week's game. Last year we blacked out the stadium to welcome them and then made sure they were black and blue before they left. I'm sure they will be reminiscent of that this week in preparations.
Reader Rants! Some topics BDB is offering up for discussion this week include:
- What's bigger - Terry Bowden's mouth or Tommy Tuberville's ears? Most would say Bowden's mouth as it is rarely closed. But have you seen the size of those skin frisbees on the side of Tuberville's head? Whoa Man! At least they balance each other out..
- Does Bobby Lowder let Tuberville carve the turkey when they celebrate Thanksgiving together? It would only be fair after the infamous runway meeting to oust ol' Big Ears.
- Are 6 scholarship O linemen enough to sustain us against Auburn?
- Why can 3 down linemen produce more of a pass rush than four?
- So you want Martinez gone. Well ....he ain't gonna get gone. At least CMR is not gonna push him out. And as Marc Weiszer reports, the head coach is rather defensive of his defense. Chip Towers has a similar report, but includes a brief transcript of the call in show. Reading between the lines I would say the coaches' assessment is that some players have not stepped up and that injuries have hurt.
- Would YOU keep Martinez? This season's stats have proven that we are regressing defensively. I would argue that something needs to happen going into these last couple of games and certainly next season. Can CMR convince Martinez to better utilize his talent, change schemes, grow a pair?
- And lastly, what is your source for Dawg info, stats, gossip? I mentioned last week I listen to a lot of 680 The Fan. Now that Chuck Oliver is there they undoubtedly have the best college football coverage on radio. When it comes to printed word, is there anyone out there that actually prefers the AJC to the Athens Banner Herald? And when it comes to the cyber word, do you prefer the rumor mill/smash talk of the DawgVent or do you click more often on ESPN.com?
My sources you ask? I just ask Jennifer. She tells me what should be done, how it should be done and why it should have been done yesterday.
Cord Trammell and Chris Nama both connected from way down town on last week's trivia. They both knew that Dickie Lyons had a rather weird dream about his fiance', simple battery and Matthew Stafford over the summer. For an account of the fantasy, click on the freak's name - - Dickie Lyons. For their hard work these gentlemen will both receive the DVD version of this YouTube classic - tastin' Old Crow! Perhaps they can use it to help them grow out of their
bourbon snobbery..... And given Cordgeous' streak of trivia wins he has agreed to continue on this season without the crutches that have gotten him this far. But he sends this warning: Never go against a sicilian when death is on the line!!
Peace be with you BDB brethren. I hope your week is "orange free"!!