Monday, September 08, 2008

All over but the crying

Great game this past weekend. No not because we played well, because we didn’t. No not because I was able to make it up to Hogtown and enjoy the atmosphere, because I didn’t. But because we won. Plain and simple.

There were a lot of things to be happy with besides the end result:

1. The defense. A 50yd field goad from a shutout. Holding any team to 140 yards of total offense is an accomplishment.

2. The play of our linebackers. What a difference Spikes makes, but he wasn’t the only linebacker that played well. Doe played well until he got hurt and then Hicks filled in admirably.

3. I thought our defensive line play was excellent. Our weakness against their strength proved to be otherwise.

4. Special teams. Chas Henry nails the coffin corner, Sturgis booms the kickoffs, James had a couple of excellent returns, the blocked punt was huge and of course Phillips hits his only field goal attempt (more on this later).

5. On offense the only good thing I saw is that we made adjustments, albeit a little late in the game in my eyes.

I still have a few questions that I hope get answered in 2 weeks:

1. Why don’t we take advantage of our playmakers and swing the ball out to them in space early in the game? The two long scoring drives featured getting our playmakers the ball, why didn’t we do this in quarters 1, 2 & 3?

2. When does the strength of our offense (the line) start playing like a strength? Two games, two mediocre, at best, performances. Now that the warm-up part of our schedule is over time for the big boys to step up and play like they are supposed to.

3. Where is Moody? Wasn’t he a pretty good running back a couple of years ago?

4. Why don’t we run more off-tackle? The middle was clogged up for most of the game, yet we continued to hammer the ball between the center and guards.

Finally I would like to address two misnomers from the weekend.

1. If you listened to Brent Mushberger and Kirk Herbstreit you would have thought that Miami had the youngest team on the field Saturday. Of course you would be wrong if you thought that. Miami has more upper-classmen starters (13-10) and of the 85 players Florida has on scholarship, 60 are either freshman or sophomores.

2. If you read the Miami Herald you get the feeling that Randy Shannon didn’t like the field goal at the end of the game. If you listen to the South Florida talk shows you might get the feeling that the Miami fans think our coaches ran up the score. Before Randy starts spouting off to the papers about other coaches, maybe he should take a look in the mirror. Of Randy’s SIX wins as head coach at the University of Miami, 3 (that’s half to you math majors) have had scores that a discerning eye might deem questionable.

a. Miami v. Marshall – First game of the Randy Shannon error, errrrr, era. Chris Zellner scores a touchdown with less than two minutes left in the game to put Miami up 31-3.

b. Miami v. Texas A&M – ESPN Thursday night game. Miami kicks a field goal with about 2:00 to go in the game to go up 34-10.

c. Miami v. Charleston Southern – just last week. Up 45-7 against 1-AA Charleston Southern, Shawnbrey McNeal scores a touchdown with approximately 2:00 left in the game to put Miami up 52-7.

Woody Hayes, was once asked why he went for 2 against hated rival, Michigan, when they already had the game in hand. His response: “Because we couldn’t go for 3”.

Go Gators!


Anonymous said...

If Shannon thinks this helped his recruiting, then fine. But I'm not sure I'd want the sort of player that'd wash up at my door for no better reason than UF giving da U a kick in the a$$ on its way out of the stadium.

Personally, I think the good players would've been hollering that their team go for six and then the two point conversion. Like Tebow and half the offense on a 4th and 3 sensing UM beginning to buckle and screaming at Meyer to let them go for the kill. I'd take players like that any day.

Jason said...

I can understand wanting to avoid running up the score in situations where it increases the risk of someone key getting injured. A 29 yard field goal doesn't exactly qualify as a danger inducing moment.

As for Moody... I read elsewhere earlier that he was out injured, from an ankle injury I think.