Observations and hypotheses from the Jackson State game as well as the first weekend of SEC football.
1. Thank God that football is finally here. This is my Christmas morning, and I’m sure its the same way for many of you as well.
2. Jackson State was better than the Memphis teams we played the last 2 years. That bunch was 9-2 last year. They had solid gameplans on both offense and defense, and also lined up correctly. Some of our ignorant fans are running around spouting “SWAC defense”- but you didnt see any of our WR’s running around wide-open or them being disorganized. Jackson State will be pretty good this year for their level and probably win the SWAC.
3. Cant really tell much about our defense. We had probably the most vanilla defensive gameplan in the history of modern football. You can also tell we are going to play more man coverage this year on defense because we didnt look comfortable in that zone we played.
4. I liked the fact we moved Eulls inside and had Autry and McCardell at the DE’s. We have so much flexibility on the DL with all the guys we have- we can match-up well with anybody we play.
5. Richie Brown was not dressed out and appears to be redshirting. Myself and others had been hoping this would be the case. He is talented and going to be a good one, but no need to waste a season for him with all the guys we have at LB.
6. Tyler Russell looked ok- but locked on a little too quick at times. Also forced a couple of passes. But not a bad job overall. He has a good arm, and made some really nice throws. The decision-making just has to get a little quicker.
7. Dak has a cannon, and is going to be a good QB. He just needs time and experience. He ran the ball hard in the goalline set for his TD. No wonder they nicknamed him “Tebow”. I look for that to be a regular package for us in goalline situations down the road. I predict he gets around 5 carries vs Auburn.
8. Our OL is improved over last season. The Tackles and Center looked solid. Our starting Guards only played one series- and they played well. Malone and Beckwith got a ton of reps and they need it. Both of them need to get their head inside when they pull to kick out the DE, as well as stay engaged and keep driving him. They need work, but it was their first action. They are a work in progress, but they were also matched up against a couple of 350 pound guys that JSU had in the middle. Hard to get push against jug asses like that. Malone will be good in time, but Tobias really needs to stay healthy as long as possible. Malone is Clausell from 2011.
9. Not sure why some of our fans are down on our offense and the OL. We went right down the field and scored on our 1st possession. The 2nd possession, Tyler had all day to throw but threw 2 incomplete passes to kill the drive. Stupid freshman missed the FG (I hate freshmen). The 3rd drive we pounded it in. We lined up with both OT’s on the same side- Clausell and Siddoway knocked the defense back. 3 straight runs from the 23 yard line- and a touchdown on the board. We also scored on the 4th and 5th drives as well for a 35-0 lead. The OL did it with back-up guards playing the whole time. Thought it was a pretty good half of football and we did what we wanted out there.
10. Josh Robinson is the best RB we have. He runs hard and looks good. Perkins is good also and Milton had a good day- but the future is Robinson. Once again, Miss State will be good at the RB position.
11. We were pretty vanilla on offense also. We didnt throw any screens or passes to the backs out of the backfield. No fade passes to Morrow. Only ran the zone read twice. We have lots more to throw at Auburn next week.
12. Speaking of Auburn, they struggled. Frazier was only 11-27 against a team that was 81st in the nation in scoring D last season. Auburn ran the ball well- but some of that was due to Clemson not lining up correctly. I saw at least 4 instances of that. Defensively, Auburn gave up 528 yards and 31 first downs to Clemson, who also played without one of the nation’s best WR’s in the game. Had he played, the game wouldnt have been close. We’ve got to get ready, get loud, and take that game this Saturday. It’s time for our program to take the next step. IT’S TIME BABY!!!!!
13. Saturday went as expected, and I saw nothing that should keep us from being an 8-10 win team in 2012. Solid beginning for us, Auburn was down as I expected, UPig gave up 24 points to Jacksonville State…but Tennessee is going to be a handful when they come to Starkville. I’m so glad football is here.
In Mullen We Trust