It really is hard to know where to start with this one, or where to end for that matter. I think that JW and I really hit the key points of it. I made the statement during the game that this was as embarrassed as I've ever been watching my beloved Bulldogs play. I can't remember a game in the last 15 years that we looked that bad. Honestly, I didn't expect to be thanking Cracker Barrell poster child (Fulmer) for not running the score up on us any more than they did.
In my opinion:
We really got our D-line exposed this year. I think they're undersized, and from what I recall, there were a few injuries that kept us from having the full complement. This front four was not at all capable of breaking down their O-line and crashing through to make a play. I can't remember a single player's name (except for Weston) off our D-line. They got manhandled. Linebacker play was beyond pathetic. So many missed tackles, they seemed to be on their heels the whole game. Ellerbee is like the only guy that I saw make a single play on whatever rare blitzes we made. Secondary was in a word pathetic. In three words, pathetic as hell. Kelin Johnson looks lost out there at times. We couldn't stop the run so we made up for it by letting them pass all over us, all day. No sacks, right? What I noticed was that we would give them a defensive look, often a 5 man line made by rolling a linebacker over and playing what looked like a 5-2. If Ainge like what his play looked like, he'd keep going. If not, he'd look over at the sideline, and they would signal him in the new play (definitely from Cutcliffe) in the same formation and then they'd kill us. We would never fake a defensive look to lure them into a bad play. What's worse, is that we knew they were audibling, and I never saw us change our defense. They really don't look like they have any idea what they're doing. They're not instinctive at all like some defenses we've had in years past. The other thing that we're sorely missing (other than a dominant defensive line) is a punishing, big-hitter (i.e. Greg Blue, Odell, Thomas Davis). Nobody's scared of us at all, anymore, and they shouldn't be. What was our halftime adjustment? We looked pretty much the same to me. We just won't blitz, and when we do, it's so obvious, that the other team changes the play and burns us. That's not a reason to not blitz, it means that we're showing our cards so soon that we easily get outplayed. That's a coaching problem. You get the sense that our defense does a good job of stopping OUR offense, but no one else's. They're used to stacking the box to stop the run up the middle, but when they hit us outside we get torched, especially when we blitz in the middle or from a safety or corner from one side and announce over the PA system where we're coming from. The bend-but-don't-break concept works when we've got a dominant D-line, smart linebackers, and can adjust on the fly. That ain't the case this year.
In the end, we have to do something from the coaching side. I'm not saying that we HAVE to get a new DC, but come on, how many time has this happened, just like this with CWM? We play without fire, uninspired. We need an Erk Russel to headbutt 'em and bleed and light a fire under their asses. I'm trying to think of what we did right on defense, and I'm having a hard time figuring it out.
We have one of the most stubborn offenses in the country. It's like watching a kid try to pound a round peg into a square hole. Look around the country. I love the I formation as least as much as the next person, but the defensive solution is stack the box and stop the run, forcing you to pass quickly. Check this out, posted on RockyTopTalk....
4. Georgia got out of the gate well with a 35-14 win over Oklahoma State and then lost 16-12 to Steve Spurrier (we don't call them "South Carolina" on RTT). What did the Gamecocks do that the Cowboys did not?
PWD: The Cowboys are poorly coached, and they apparently didn't watch a minute of film on us. The scouting report on UGA is simple:
1. Run delayed draws straight at us and hope our talented DTs don't step up.
2. Run stretch plays behind your OT directly at our smaller DEs. Then use those plays to set up Play Action crossing patterns.
3. Blitz the hell out of us on defense.
4. Hope we drop passes and don't make you pay for blitzing.
Against OSU, they tried to run wide on us and roll their QB out using slow developing plays. Our super fast DEs ate them up. SC didn't do any of that dumb stuff. They ran right at us. UT will do the same. We also caught the ball extremely well vs. OSU. Stafford had some shaky passes, and the WRs dropped at least six passes by my count. Georgia lost b/c Georgia couldn't pass and catch. Not because of anything genius that Spurrier did.
That sums it up for gameplan. Back to offense, we keep running this bullshit up the middle and it doesn't work. How long have we been doing that? What's even more incredible to me is that the OSU game, I saw some play calls that I hadn't seen for a while with the quick passes and WR/tunnel screens, and they really seemed to work well. That looked like a Mike Bobo offense. The last few games have looked a lot more like CMR offense. I set, run up the middle. You can't play ball control when you're down by 28 points in Neyland Stadium. Again, uninspired. More later...