Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sunday's Thoughts on lightning striking twice...somewhere.

I remember walking toward Sanford Stadium before the ASU game a few years back, right when that super cell storm came down Baxter Hill, and hearing over the loud speaker that you shouldn't come into the stadium and should seek shelter and please exit in an orderly fashion. That was cool, because the students largely ignored the announcements and the storms largely moved out.

Yesterday was just plain annoying. You wait and wait and wait for the season to get here. You cram an awesome tailgate into the few hours you've been allowed. You get to the stadium in time to hear the trumpet. And your reward is to wait out Mother Nature's obnoxiousness.

Maybe that sounds like sour grapes, especially to those of you that stayed at home. And yes, I realize that the safety for all involved was driving those important decisions.

Good. Seriously, awesome. But damn. What a craptastic way to usher in the season.


- Of all the storylines you may read today, all of the ones that draw all of the angles towards a good feel good favorite part of Saturday was watching Collin Barber. Because he was electric. He punted with authority. And he kicked off WITH AUTHORITY!!! But he was also showing a lot of emotion. Like many other players (who were seeing the field a LOT more than Barber was) he was fully into the game. Dancing. Jumping up and down. Just flat out pumped up!
- Barber is back. I've been critical, but I should point out that he was my favorite player yesterday. Punting and kicking may not have affected the eventual outcome of the game, but seeing him fired up and executing to such a high degree was quite the relief. Like so many of his teammates, Barber got after that ass!
- Man oh man did the Warhawks have trouble with the snap of the ball. I mean it was like the football was covered in butter and the quarterback and punters were all wearing rubber gloves.
- The defense did its job, but the second intermission really helped didn't it?
- Other than that, a very vanilla defense gave up a lot of yards (as well as some points) to a bad offense. I expect a lot less vanilla next week in Nashville.
- Wow. Leonard Floyd y'all. Damn, just damn. What a beautiful freak of nature!
- Overall, defensively, I like the way we lined up with authority. Maybe watching Louisville's defense against Auburn when I got home reminded me of those years where we'd have linebackers and defensive backs (and fans...) raise their confused hands towards the sideline. But, even though we gave up some yards, the defense appeared ready and prepared.
- Plus, Pruitt was very committed to a base defense and generating a rush naturally.
- Similar analysis for the offense actually. Very plain. Every run was between the tackles with very little challenge of the edge blocking and such. Even when UL Monroe continually blitzed up the middle.
- That's all we needed. Even though we ran Chubb much more than I anticipated, Schottenheimer kept everything close to the vest.
- I thought Lambert looked good. I hesitate to use any other word to describe him, because it was UL Monroe.
- But it was abundantly clear why he was named the starter last week. He was decisive in his progressions and made very good throws. Plus, he audibled into some plays that I can't recall Ramsey doing before (albeit in a very limited scope of work). Most notably, Chubb's second touchdown run.
- My offensive MVP though would have to be Malcolm Mitchell. How could I forget how much of a difference maker he is when he's healthy? Plus, MM put on a clinic for downfield blocking. He made two, TWO, key blocks on Ramsey's screen pass to Michel that went the distance.

Overall, it was about what we expected: a dominant performance with just enough flaws for us to analyze and pore over this next week. I'm pleased enough with Lambert and very happy with what I saw from Keith Marshall, our special teams, the offensive line, the linebackers, and the receivers.

Let's exorcize some demons next week in Nashville. Go Dawgs!