I've had a chance to rewatch the televised version and wanted to share a couple thoughts.
First off, give the coaches and players credit for a total team effort in beating an SEC opponent soundly. I admit, the 10-3 halftime score had me a little worried even though our defense appeared in control of their depleted offense enough to control things. In what had to a monumental week of distractions, everyone focused on the task at hand and gave the fans a very welcome result for four complete quarters.
Speaking of the fans, we were definitely a subdued lot. That came through on the broadcast even more than in person. Still, the turnout was better than I expected. It was a late arriving crowd, but Sanford filled in pretty well.
The highlight was certainly Marshall's touchdown reception. For a coordinator that has struggled mightily with red zone play calling, that screen pass was the perfect selection. The blocking was perfect, especially on the edge where Malcolm Mitchell not only locked on his man long enough to set him up for THE STIFFARM OF THE CENTURY, but he also kept his position enough to force a difficult angle on another Kentucky defender.
From there Marshall took care of the rest. Great speed to turn the corner and powered through towards the pylon with nimble footwork and perfect product placement of the football (all the way down to the Georgia G showing on the endzone replay camera) for the replay officials to correct the call on the field.
The only nit to pick on the defense was some poor tackling at times. That needs to be emphasized and cleaned up the next three games especially.
Special teams. Until pooch kicks are outlawed, we will not rest easy my friend.
Lastly, the reason this post is over 24 hours late is because of this - how in the world did we not have that gamplan for Florida? I can't wrap my head around that level of egregiousness and inept game planning. Faton Bauta has taken a lot of criticism since Jacksonville, some of it carefully and appropriately worded, some of it out of Fran's mouth. However, if we utilize those simple read options with Bauta at quarterback, and allow Godwin and Michel to stretch the field laterally, the 2015 edition of the WLOCP is a different game altogether.
I'm bewildered. And I'd be lying if I didn't admit that took much of the shine off of what was otherwise a great day to be a Dawg.