Well, Ole Miss won. You would think that these are more fun to do after wins, but I actually don't have that much to rant about, so I'm at a loss. We beat Fresno State 38-28 and put up over 430 yards of offense. There were some good things and some bad things, so I'll just make a few observations and leave it to you all to make the astute observations.
The obvious point is that Randall Mackey is clearly the guy. His ability to run takes some pressure off our offensive line and it also creates a distraction in the backfield. I think the running game opened up largely because we were able to line up in the shotgun and pistol formations and keep the defense guessing where the ball would. With Stoudt under center, linebackers and safeties can basically key the fullback/tight ends and then swarm to the ball. When Mackey hands it off, Fresno State had to make sure he wasn't taking off with it.
Mackey finished 8-18 for 214 yards and 1 TD to go along with 35 yards rushing on just six carries. Even though he started out slow, he came through in a big way on some third downs (we were 6-13 on third down) and was able to find receivers when he needed to.
Jeff Scott looked as fast as ever and Brandon Bolden looks like he's on the road to being healthy. Having the next two weeks to heal up should help Bolden tremendously before we get into the meat of the schedule. Scott's 69 yard touchdown run was eerily similar to some of Dexter's plays in that he got to the second level in a hurry and was gone. Having a homerun threat in the backfield really takes a lot of pressure off the quarterback, so it's been a welcome sight.
Our receivers looked pretty good. Melvin Harris is obviously a great option near the goal line and Ja-Mes Logan appears to be filling the Shay Hodge/reliable receiver role well. Donte Moncrief is a baller. I knew he was big and had good hands, but despite getting just one catch on a fourth-quarter screen, he made the most of it, running for 57 yards. His run after the catch put us in field position to go up by two scores and ice the lead.
I know Fresno State isn't a dominating team, but our offense needs to be racking up 400+ yards against that level of competition.
Our defense, on the other hand, played rather poorly. The noticeable difference between this one and last year's is that we actually will defend third and longs and we are getting turnovers. We gave up 444 yards, but made some big stops and picked up two turnovers while not giving any up. Charles Sawyer is tied for the lead in interceptions in the SEC. He has 4. Last year our team collectively had 6 picks all season. Cool. Now, for those of you who watched defense, let me know what you thought. I don't care to watch us play D, so Saturday night, I just sim'd to the next offensive possession. EA'd.