Since Whiskey Wednesday is both lazy and a bad fan, he didn't watch large portions of the game and doesn't want to do the postgame. He wans't even in Oxford this past weekend. He has his excuses with things like "obligations" in "some other place" but whatever. That means you're stuck with me.
I may not be able to post a drunken yet inspiringly lurid rant like WW, but I can usually analyze Ole Miss football until, to borrow a phrase from some of our less couth brethren, the cows come home. But this game doesn't really afford the opportunity for very much legitimate analysis. It's just difficult to evaluate the team based on their performance against a team as bad as UAB.
Nevertheless, having sufficiently de-emphasized the value of this post, I encourage you to click the jump to read what I did see.
I think that when looking at a game like this, it's too easy to make a statement like, "Jevan Snead got his groove back, completing over seventy percent of his passes." At the same time, it's also too easy to say, "we can't tell anything at all about Jevan from this game." Let me say this, while we can't tell anything about his reads or progressions, one thing we can look at is accuracy when not under pressure. Jevan displayed pinpoint accuracy on all but two or three throws. Last week against Alabama, we saw him miss open receivers even when not pressured. Several balls were thrown at the feet of receivers who had an opportunity to help stretch the field. Last week, Jevan didn't complete those throws. This week, he did. In other passer news: Yay! Nathan Stanley doesn't suck!
As for the running game, it was certainly good to see Rodney Scott prove that the coaches weren't just blowing smoke when they said he would get carries (see: Devin Thomas and Tim Simon), but as a whole, the running game wasn't what I had hoped. Brandon Bolden just looks like he's not the back that many fans (myself included) believed he was. He appears to have lost something in comparison to last season, and that needs to get back on track. I don't know if it's just that the offensive line is struggling so much that Bolden can't really get a legitimate chance to make things happen, but he just doesn't look like the same back who broke countless tackles and made things happen in space last season.
Also, a message to Kent Austin and Houston Nutt (who read the blog fervently I'm sure): Our offensive line is only ok, and that's probably a reach. Don't call runs that take a long time to develop with our power runner in the game. Give him the ball, and let him run upfield.
It was good to see Andy Hartman get the ball. He's scrapp- oh... no. I just fell into the trap. I promise not to let that happen again.
The wide receiver position is an insteresting one at Ole Miss. Shay Hodge is excellent. We know that. Dexter McCluster can be, but he needs to get the ball in space. Wihtout a receiver who defenses fear can stretch the field, Dexter is severely limited. We couldn't even get him the ball against UAB. Markeith Summers and Lionel Breaux did alright. Neither can be relied upon right now. I'm glad that the coaches suspended Patterson for such a boring game. We need that guy back soon. He's our third best receiver right now. Also, we should try to get Jesse Grandy the ball in simple situations at receiver. It looks like his struggles right now are route running and the ease of jamming him at the line, but when he does get the ball, he can make things happen.
The offensive line did a decent job blocking against UAB, but... it's UAB. They don't suck, but I'm not ready to call the Rebel front five "good" yet.
The defensive line is excellent at rushing the passer. They're excellent at stopping the run on obvious rushing downs. They are not good at stopping the run on first and ten. Also, Joe Webb is ridiculous. I wish he was on our team. Seriously, it was almost as if he had been dipped in bacon grease on some plays, slipping and sliding through tackles for huge gains.
D.T. Shackelford needs to play... a ton. I know that Cornell has meant a lot to the program, but he's just not getting it like Shackelford is. "Shack" goes all out on every single play. That's what you want as the leader of your defense.
Jeremy McGee helped ease some concerns about our starting corners in 2010. I think he's very good, and he didn't show a drop off after Marshay. Cassius Vaughn is a baller. Marcus Temple is a very good nickel corner.
When Kendrick Lewis went down, a part of me died inside. Lewis is the best safety I have ever seen at Ole Miss (keep in mind that I have only been a real fan for... 10 years and some change). I was glad to see him get back in the game. The last thing we need from a game that means nothing is a significant injury.
All-in-all, the offense rolled, and the defense just continued to do what they have done all season. That's why there's more to say about the offense than the defense. I could spend time saying, "Jerrell Powe disrupted the pocket.... Greg Hardy is a freak...", but no one wants to read that for the twentieth time.
Well, there are my thoughts. And no, I didn't get heavily inebriated and poop in the bushes like Whiskey Wednesday certainly would have. Sorry. I'll try to do better next week.