Alright, I'm no Whiskey Wednesday, and he's already gotten his post game up but I'm still going for this as per WW's post which steered clear of football and focused on Ole Miss fandom in general.
It was fantastic, don't get me wrong. It just doesn't talk about the game.
I realize this is late--as well as things like the Rebel Roundup, RotW, and UAB HATE WEEK--but I hope you all are cool enough to understand that between our inclination towards partying far too hard and my travel schedule that we were still really going to have a tough time bloggin'.
Oh, and I killed Juco's computer yesterday. That also has something to do with the dearth of action around here. Juco, I'm not sorry. Your computer sucks anyway.
Alright, so, enough with the apologies and excuses. It's time for football.
I feel that, in order to give me the strength I'll need to finish this, I will approach this by making a series of observations in descending order from "bright spot" to "damn you Snead."
The brightest spot of them all was our defense as a whole. Not only did the defensive line play well, as per the status quo over the past two seasons, but the linebackers worked their asses off and the secondary played inspired ball. Hardy wasn't the force he was against the Tide two seasons ago in Oxford, but his presence was certainly felt. Powe made some great plays, Tillman was his typically consistent self, and Lockett made some serious bids on the ball.
I was not unpleased with Allen Walker and Jonathan Cornell which is somehow more than I can say thus far this year. There was only one big run given up (the game's lone touchdown) which was the result of our 'backers being in the right places at the right times. Seriously, these guys played tough. Patrick Trahan and DT Shackleford have still not forgotten how to tackle which is a plus-ish.
The secondary though. Wow. Marshay Green, who is approximately 4'3", made Julio Jones look average. Cassius Vaughn went up against him as well and did the same. The fades to the endzones were the right playcalls by Saban and company. With a guy like Jones and his 90 foot arms with eight-fingered hands, why not run that play in the red zone? Still after three (right?) attempts at that play, Julio came up with nothing. Nada. Zilch. Johnny Brown was our team leader in tackles and Kendrick Lewis was constantly in a ton of plays. For a unit which was supposed to be one of the weakest in the SEC, they have really turned we at the Cup into believers. They play every single play with their motor revved up as high as it can go.
Unfortunately, sometimes amplified play like that can lead to bad news. Sorry Rebel fans, Marshay cracked a rib and lacerated a kidney and is out indefinitely. He could be back in a week or a month, it's just one of those things.
Keep this in mind: up until Saturday, Alabama was averaging 40.5 points a game. Think about that and tell me you aren't very, very proud of our D. The Landsharks held the--per the Cup's opinion--best team in the nation to 18 points below their average. Alabama ran 78 plays. Seventy. Eight. With their extremely physical style of football, it really is a testament to our defensive strength to have made it out alive, let alone hold the Tide to one successful trip into the endzone. It really is a damned shame that their hard work was all for naught come 0:00.
And, this comes as a shocker to nobody, it's Snead's fault! BOO JEVAN SNEAD! Okay, maybe not, but still Snead; no excuses, play like a champion. You made the former and didn't do the latter. I know there are rumors surrounding your lady-situation 'n' shit but dude, man up. No explanation necessary. The offensive line played well (To the gentleman standing two rows behind me--you know who you are, you have fat cheeks, bucked teeth, and talk like a sailor with epilepsy--not every single play that doesn't work out is the fault of Bradley Sowell. And his name is pronounced "SOW-ell," not "SOAL".) when considering the caliber of defense they were facing. The running backs didn't have much room to work with regardless though, so really we needed big gains in the passing game.
We didn't get them.
True, some of the poor plays were the result of badassery on the part of the Crimson Tide, and others were the result of bizarre play calling. But, if my memory serves me well (iffy, I know), we had several good plays called which were for nothing due to piss-poor execution, most of which from Jevan Snead. I can vividly recall three therrible passes into the flat which, for those of you who aren't terribly football savvy, is a generally easy throw to make. I also recall a play where Dexter McCluster was wide the hell open on a crossing route with a good fifteen yards of green space in front of him, only to have Jevan throw it high and behind.
Speaking of high and behind? That first pick Jevan threw was such, allowing it to cruise right into the hands of Justin Woodall.
He, as he tends to do, turned it on in the 4th quarter, making some great throws and even reeling off some impressive runs (Snead did, in fact, lead the team in rushing... eesh) but it was way too little and way too late.
As an aside: why don't we run Jevan more? The guy can run quite well. We really need to utilize that more, especially if we plan on having pocket trouble for the rest of the season.
Anyway, if it seems I'm being rough on Snead, it's because I am. Our defense put our team in a position to, at the absolute least, be very competitive against the best team in the entire nation. Our offense couldn't capitalize, and a very disproportionate amount of the inability to capitalize resulted from something Jevan Snead did or did not do.
But, I'm with Whiskey on this. I'm over my anger and frustration. I still had a kickass time Friday night, despite losing my favorite Ole Miss cap in the back of some girl's car on the way home from the Rib Cage (if you find it, holla at cha blogga). I'll be back in Oxford town in time for the LSU game. I hope to see all of you there.