Remember when you were ten and your mom served you dinner with this meat in a some sort of mystery sauce that made you gag along with vegetables that you didn’t like (hell, what vegetables did you like when you were ten?) and you had to eat it all in order to get ice cream for dessert?
That’s what yesterday’s game was like. With the passing of each missed field goal, the inevitable defensive collapse at the end of the second quarter, every dropped interception, the score after the turnover and the head scratching three and out at crunch time in the fourth quarter, I just wanted to get to the end of the game and the win.
Some specific observations, in no particular order:
- As if there were any doubt, Knowshon Moreno proved again that he’s the heart and soul of this team. The two big runs he cranked out to start the big fourth quarter drive got the team and the crowd energized. In a weird way, it reminded me of David Greene coming off the bench in the fourth quarter against Georgia Tech to salvage the win in ’04.
- Stafford’s mechanics are still inconsistent. Two of the long balls he threw were underthrown because of footwork and the last one, which had it been thrown properly would have been a touchdown, wound up being picked off. On the other hand, the TD throw to Massaquoi was flat out perfectly thrown. It’s got to be driving the coaches a little crazy.
- Huge game from Reshad Jones. Darius Dewberry, of all people, turned in the best game of his career.
- I don’t know what’s happened to Brian Evans who’s gone from being the player on defense who improved the most over the ’06 season to the one benched in the second half in favor of Vance Cuff.
- That hit by Asher Allen to shut down Vandy’s last gasp drive was awesome.
- When’s the last time you watched an SEC game with zero offensive holding calls? And when’s the last time you watched an SEC game when the offensive linemen on both teams didn’t hold?
- In a way, I understand why Georgia kept throwing the ball on first down – Vandy kept loading the box with eight and kept cheating at least one safety up as soon as the ball was snapped – but when Moreno kept ripping the defense for 7+ yards a crack, why worry about it? Feed the beast.
- If there was any doubt about the tight end being reduced to nothing more than an afterthought in the passing game, there was a play in the fourth quarter that removed it. Figgins ran a crossing pattern on a play where Stafford underthrew Green in single coverage and found that nobody in Vandy’s secondary even bothered to cover him. Figgins gave up on his route before the ball was thrown. You could tell from his body language that he knew there wasn’t a player on the field, including his quarterback, that was taking him seriously on that play.
All I can say after yesterday is that play time is over. The Dawgs need to find that edge that got them going last season starting in the Florida game. Dominating teams statistically while leaving them in the game probably won’t be a good working strategy in the next two weeks.
On the other hand, if you want to guarantee me two ugly one point wins in Baton Rouge and Jacksonville right now, I’ll take ’em. Happily.