And we're back.
- Kickoffs are not exciting! Norton makes the tackle. He looks thinner than last year. I hope it helps his change of direction.
- Team Feelings starts the second half. Ian Harris is in with Chiles and the gang. They start with a reverse that Acho destroys. Did I mention show much I like him?
It was stupid playcall, too, because when Chiles is in the game of course someone is going to be at home on the backside. Chiles tried to block Acho, but that is not the kind of matchup you gameplan for as an offensive coordinator.
- 2nd and 16, Chiles drops to pass and has to scramble again. He only gets a yard as Thomas pushed him out. I know this is just practice and all, but Chiles hasn't shown even remedial drop back passing skills at this point. I hope we use it as a last resort in games. I feel awful for his receivers.
- 3rd and 15. Defense is called for . . . disconcerting the snap count? Way to cause an emotional disturbance there, Dustin Earnest.
- 3rd and 10. Good and bad here. Good news is, the pass got completed, it wasn't bounced off the turf or anything. Bad news is, had the ball been a good throw, it probably would've been knocked down. Since it was high, Curtis Brown whiffed and Kirkendoll ran for a big gain after the catch. Good jump on the ball by Brown, but he got burned for it. Chiles put it in the one place that only Kirkdendoll could get it, but there is no way he did that on purpose. Hot and cold all around, here.
- First down. Fozzy takes a zone read for 6. Good blocking by everyone again. Second unit OL is playing very well. Nothing special here, but it is nice to see the defense spread out on a run play. I miss that.
- 2nd and 4. Same play, but here's the thing. It's an 8 man front, the interior OL absolutely demolishes the front 7, Fozzy makes Christian Scott miss and picks up 14. Doubt the power of the spread option. I dare you.
Yes, there was a walkon MLB who overran the play and left the hole. But that's the position you put the defense in. When you don't tell them where the ball is going, good things happen. And I want to repeat again how completely and utterly dominated the rest of the front was there.
They show an end zone angle that demonstrates exactly why I get such a hardon for this offense. Scott had to hesitate to watch Chiles, which is why he couldn't get over in time. If that's Colt, there is no play.
- 1st. Chiles keeps this time out of a 2 TE formation and gets more yards than he should have thanks to Dravannti Johnson and the walkon again. That was a tough spot for Johnson, so I don't blame him there. It was just a bad defense for that play. He had to watch the TE, who blocked someone else. He came off pretty quickly but not fast enough.
- 2nd and 4, same set same play. Fozzy gets close to a first down as the walkon makes the stop. He can write home about that. Huey is mauling Wilcoxin.
- 3rd and short, QB sneak, good.
- 1st. Another dropback pass, another scramble. Good run, first down, the fans are happy, but Greg Davis is probably pulling his hair out. So are we, Greg.
- 1st. Mcgee flies forward for a good gain. We look like we're trying to ice the freaking spring game. Come on, guys, show us something.
- It says first down again, so I must've missed something there. This isn't up to my award winning journalist standards, but let's just skip it and pretend it never happened. 1st. First option of the day, which Acho runs down. God I love that kid. He's better than Crowder was at this stage.
- 2nd and 6, a late blitz off the slot beats Ian Harris and stops the hand off to McGee for a small loss. Good football play there by Ishie Odewegu . . . that's probably not spelled right, but who cares. We won an award for this!
- 3rd and 7. Chiles actually throws the ball, which shockingly skips behind the feet of the intended receiver. Ugh. Chiles may be playing his way to the bench. If our coaches have any balls at all, he's 3rd string come fall.
- They kick a figgie I assume, I don't know. I got bored and skipped ahead to a kickoff! Award winning, folks.
- This is the moment we all waited for. Crusty yet untested vet Sherrod Harris. The great unknown. They call him The Smile. OK, only I call him that. We've also entered the portion of the broadcast where everyone starts ignoring the game to interview former players on the sideline. Do you want to see two non contributors on bad teams talk trash to each other? You don't!? Welcome to the club, membership: everyone.
- First down for Harris, and he comes out in the I. I hate life right about now. The defense is mostly intact, but two LBs are walkons. A playaction bootleg results in a defender right in Harris' face, but he makes a football play and throws a beautiful pass to Irby who was wide open. Play nets about 16.
Harris' play in consistent with everything I've ever seen of him. He's cool under pressure, he makes good decisions, he's athletic, and he throws a gorgeous ball. Better than Colt, even. Why this guy can't get a chance is beyond me. That play had nothing to do with competition level. He nailed it.
- 1st again. I just found out Blaine Irby is black. I found out last weekend that Frank Haith is black, too. I need catch up on my backlog of JET magazine, or something.
Straight drop out of an offset I. We run our heavy stuff into the boundary which frees up Buckner on a backside post. Harris makes a good read, puts the ball right where it needs to be, but Palmer makes a good play from behind on it. This is why I don't think Buckner plays this year. He is a possession receiver. There isn't anything wrong with that, but we already have those and more. We need explosion. He's good, don't get me wrong, we just won't need him.
- 2nd and 10. Kinne comes in and throws a pass to the flat for 2. With your permission, I'm going to find more Harris.
- Skipping ahead a few minutes gets us Harris again, on a 4th and 8. It's a pass, but he scrambles quite effortlessly out of trouble then around Dustin Earnest for a first down, which is either good or bad. I have no idea.
- OK, honestly, nothing else interesting happens. Sherrod Harris ends up with a TD on a zone read. It's tough to give him too much credit against a tired backup unit, but I can say with 100% confidence that he is a good enough athlete to survive in Vince's offense. 100%.
Tre Newton and Jeremy Hills each get a carry. Neither does anything notable. Cody Johnson never gets a reason to run hard, but you can tell he ain't running a 4.4 anytime soon. He isn't Javorski, but he's big.
Some overall thoughts from the spring:
I have more confidence in the offense after watching this. The OL will be very good eventually. We have talent at RB, so no worries there. Our WRs are good, but we do lack a proven big play guy. Malcolm Williams and Jordan Shipley need to be that threat for us. Colt was Colt. That is not really a good thing. I think he's as good as he'll ever be. If I was coach, Harris would be starting (or Chiles, if I could iron out his motion) and we would be running 80% of the time. But, then again, you already knew that. Yes, I linked that twice in consecutive posts. It took a long time to do.
Our coverage ability is spectacular. It's right there with 2005. We are unproven run stoppers though, and nobody stood out there in the game. We have no Michael Griffin. Still, it's so much fun watching these guys play. If either Chykie or Curtis Brown steps up over the summer, we are going to be tough to beat with a lead. We are going to hammer Tech, too.
LBs will be fine if they can stay healthy. If we are playing Bobino and Earnest, we'll be in trouble there again. We need depth there.
First team DL looked great, Miller especially. Sam Acho needs to play. I'm really confident about our first team defense. If anyone gets tired or hurt, depending on who it is, we might not be so OK. We can cover up one Bobino or Ishie, though. We are going to be really good for the next couple years.
Offense showed off some new twists. I hope we keep them throughout the year. Davis showed a bizzare habit of using one wrinkle in the run game versus a team, then ditching it forever. Out best game running the ball, surprisingly was against he best run defense we faced, OU. We ran it well that day because we used misdirection and variety. Then we put it away. Mystifying. If we show what we used today, plus a few wrinkes here and there, our running game will improve. You have my word on that.
We still have a problem at QB. Colt is good, but not 14 wins in a row good. At this point I'd risk it with Chiles or Harris, but there is no way we do that unless Colt gets hurt. He's starting this and next year, and he probably shouldn't be. We're a better offense with a running QB. It's just that simple. Davis' passing game is so unreliable that someone will stone us for 48 minutes. It's inevitable. We need to explore this.
Muschamp and Major looks like home run hires so far. Mack, from what I've heard, has taken their advice in some key areas. Mack will always be as good as his coaches, so this is really, really good news for us. If I had to guess right now, I'd say 10-2, with two close losses to OU, Missouri, Kansas or someone we won't expect. If Colt quits farting around and we can find a way to resuscitate our run game with him, we can run the table. We'll be better than everyone on the schedule. I don't have faith that the offense can have 13 straight good games in a row, but the defense will be light years better. We could win them all, or we could lose 3. It's all up to Colt now.