All of you calling for a change at Offensive Coordinator (or Head Coach) need to ask yourselves one question- What OC in the world can scheme up an offense with a line that allows sacks against a team rushing 3 guys? Let me save you the time- Nobody. This offense has no hope to improve if the line doesn't.
Now, would it help if Kelvin Taylor gets to touch the ball more than once after leading us on our lone offensive drive? Yes. Would it help if we stop running the damned wildcat formation every first down when we get inside the 30 yard line? Yes. Would it help if we weren't 112th in the nation in penalties? Yes. Would it help if we ran a few more jet sweeps with Patton and a few less counters with Mack Brown? Yes. Would it help if we ever managed to buy the QB enough time to throw it more than 10 yards downfield? Yes. Would it help if that same QB, who was dinged up and didn't practice all week due to the beating he took at LSU, could manage to complete a 5 yard out to Trey Burton to score a touchdown on our first drive? Yes. And would it help if we put one of our four Tight Ends that are no threat to actually catch a pass to assist our struggling right tackle as he's getting his ass handed to him by #52 all day long? YES.
There's plenty wrong with this offense, but all of the above are band-aids on the real problem. If we can't block anybody, we can't score. Being worried about fixing anything else first is a waste of time.
I give the guys who were out there all the credit in the world. They were facing a legit offense, even without their starting QB, and they hung in there for 3 quarters in spite of being down multiple starters. This season of injuries had gone from awful to absurd. Add in a targeting ejection of a starting safety and your middle linebacker starting fights with the secondary midway through the third quarter and you have a recipe for disaster. Hopefully Jacobs and RoPo are back in 2 weeks for Georgia. We're paper thin up front without them.
I thought our new punter and placekicker both availed themselves nicely. Patton had a huge run back that would have been a huge shot in the arm if the defense was remotely healthy and able to put up a big stop following the return. We also had a nice punt return for once. Hopefully we can build on this as our next opponent lost to Vandy almost solely as a result of being horrific on special teams.
I'm so thankful we have a bye week this week, not only because it means we'll have a chance to get healthy but also because I won't have to watch this offense for another 12 days. As of today, we're the fourth best team in our state. Miami already beat us, FSU is going to demolish us, and I think UCF beats us by double digits. I'm sure I'll muster some perspective in the next week before I write again, but right now I don't see much hope of this year reversing and going in the right direction.
Before I go, a few notes on the rest of Saturday-
- Anchor. Down. I love watching Georgia lose, but watching Vandy take them out was doubly sweet. UGA may be more snake bit than we are in terms of injuries. It looked like they lost another receiver on the last play of the game. Unreal.
- In addition to the Dawgs, Saturday proved to be a weird one in conference. Mizzou and Bama are the clear-cut leaders in the clubhouse in both divisions with South Carolina, Florida and UGA trailing the Tigers by at least 2 games each and LSU and TAMU going down Saturday. If there's any hope of our offense turning around quickly, I like to think of Auburn as an example. They were horrific last year, and this year are starting a converted defensive back from Georgia at QB, yet they had plenty of offense to win at TAMU. Here's hoping to a similar miracle in Gainesville over the next 10 months.
- As I warned you last week, FSU appears to be the real deal. Jameis Winston may be the best QB FSU has ever had TODAY and he's only midway through his freshman season. But we knew that offense could score, it is the defense that has really made some huge strides. Holding Clemson to 14 in their own building is unbelievable. It could be a long 2 years until he goes pro. NFL GM's are already scheming to lose 16 games next year so they can land him. The Jags and Bucs are already practicing that plan.
- I neglected to give my Stetson report last week. Alas, they dropped a nail biter to Dayton, 49-2,0 last week. They had the week off this week to lick their wounds and get ready to hit the road to Poughkeepsie to face Marist. As we all know, nobody just rolls into Poughkeepsie and pushes Marist around. Good luck to the Hatters.
My picks for the week-
Mizzou v. South Carolina- The Zou welcomes the Cocks in for a night game. Connor Shaw is hurt again and the HBC's team is a tough one to predict coming off a loss to an improving Tennessee team. I've got to go with the Tigers. That stable of receivers is legit, their running back is elusive, and that O line gave all day to their freshman QB. Plus, their D line is flat salty. Tigers 33-Cocks 20.
Alabama v. Tennessee- UT has to be feeling good with the strides they've made under first year head man, Butch Jones. Until this week. Bama has been quietly drilling people the last 2 weeks. RTR 35-Vols 13.
Oregon v. UCLA- The next two contests are tough for the Ducks, starting with UCLA this weekend and then at Stanford. Stanford pushed UCLA around and while I don't think the Ducks are as physical, their offense is better than Stanford's and their building is a tough one. Ducks 49-Bruins 23.
Enjoy the weekend, Gators. After all, we can't lose!