Sunday Morning QB- How We Lost Edition


1. Heard all week about how tough it is to play in T-Town and how awesome Bammer is there. And we walk out there and poo poo in our pants so we can prove everybody right- starting with the Head Coach and working our way down.

2. Bama came out and was who they are from the opening whistle until the final whistle. We came out, tried to be cute and something we aren’t. And that is why we dug ourselves such a deep hole. JRob with only 4 first half carries is inexcusable. Put another way- Holloway had nearly as many touches in the 1st half as JRob. OC’s have been fired over stuff like that. It’s ridiculous. It’s stupid. It’s called P-A-N-I-C. We lost because we dug ourselves such a big hole- not running JRob was the shovel.

3. Why can’t we punt suddenly? 5 punts for a 34.4 average. You can’t shank like that in a big game and give Bama better field position. One of the things that hurt us was lack of field position. Their punter went for 45.6 for the game. Totally outplayed us there and it was a factor. At least Sobeisk came to play. He was 2/2 and is now 8/9 on the season.

4. We outrushed and outpassed Bammer by almost 100 yards. Put the most yards on them any team has all year. We held them to 335 yards- that’s Croom-level numbers in today’s football. So what went wrong? Let’s examine the things that stood out to me.

A) Bama downing the punt on the 5- we come out and throw a pass that gets broken up- then get stuffed for a safety. Ross came in motion late to disrupt the timing and JRob’s vision- but he also can’t fly wide when that happens. Bama made a good play and we are down 2. How about a quick pass to Jameon or something there? Just wasn’t a well thought out series.

B) Down 5-0 in 2nd- we finally get a drive going. We get to Bammer’s 40 and then fall apart- it ends with a pick on Dakota on a pass over the middle at the Bama 21. JRob had 1 carry on that drive- so by total to that point: State: 4 offensive drives- JRob: 2 carries.

C) We continue to lose the punting battle- and Bama gets the ball on their own 39 in the mid-2nd Q. So what do we do? We put the 1B defense in. The entire 1B defense against the team some people think is the best in the country on their field. 1st play against 1B? a 35 yard pass to the 2nd RB out of the backfield (good play design by Kiffin) down to the State 26 to put us in a hole. You can’t do that against a top 5 team. Guys need some rest- but not the whole unit. Huge coaching mistake there by our staff. Broke the game open.

D) After another State possession that goes 3 and out in which JRob didnt touch the ball- Bama gets great field position again around midfield. 1st play they move Cooper inside and throw deep on our Safety complete to our 1 yard line. That can’t happen. It wasn’t some new wrinkle. It wasn’t anything spectacular- it’s basic football. That took the 12-0 game to 19-0 and basically put us away right there. Back to back critical coaching mistakes on defensive possessions. That’s why teams lose big games.

E) We respond with a good drive before half- even though JRob only got 1 carry on that drive for 7 yards. Inside the Bama 1 and absolutely need a TD- we get one there and we are still in it. We get stupid and go long count with 95K screaming- Malone flinches. 5 yard penalty was a killer. Mullen calls a good play on 1st down and gets MoJo open- but Dakota missed him badly in the end zone. Of course we don’t run on 2nd to give us a chance to make it 3rd and short- end up with a FG. Had to have 7 points and we didn’t get it. You cant go long count there with 95K screaming on the road. Huge mistake that basically ended our chances.

End of 1st half- JRob 4 rushes. FOUR. Cuatro. You have to be “who you are” offensively no matter who the opponent. Adding a formation or a wrinkle here and there is fine- but you have to you. We weren’t us the 1st half. Terrible job by Mullen with the offense in the 1st half. Terrible. Out-coached, out-played, out-punted, out-everything in the 1st half.

5. 1st drive of the 2nd half????? JRob 3 carries 13 yards…1 catch 12 yards. We kick another FG. Amazing how we finally, FINALLY start using JRob and we go down and get more points. You have to run JRob to make the LB’ers hold in the middle to play run. If the LB’ers are run-focused- it creates more room to hit MoJo and others in the middle of the field. We didnt do anything in the 1st half to make the LB’ers run-focused to help create passing lanes.

6. 2nd drive of the 2nd? No JRob touches- 3 plays and punt. See a pattern here?

7. 3rd drive of the 2nd ends pick a pick in the end zone. Great job on the drive but we don’t finish. 2nd turnover of the game- but even worse- 3 trips into the red zone with only 6 points.

8. All those mistakes to that point- and it’s still a 19-13 game with 14 minutes left in the game. And then Alabama shows why they are Alabama. They put together the winning drive when they had to:

15 plays/76 yards
3rd and 5 from the 40- Sims pass to Yeldon for 8 yards
3rd and 8 from the 50- Sims runs for 10 yards
3rd and 10 from the State 40- Sims runs for 11 yards

At crunch time- their QB made the plays to win the game. Ours didn’t. You can factor in coaching mistakes and all kinds of other things without a doubt- but at the very core of things- Sims came thru in big situations to get the job done and didn’t make mistakes. We didnt come thru when we needed it badly and turned the ball over 3 times- all from Bama’s 21 yard line and in.

To be the man, you have to beat the man. And Bama is still the man. They earned it.

Moving forward- all we can control is us. We have to beat Vandy and win the Egg Bowl. We do that- and we might get a shot at the playoff. If we don’t get a shot in the playoff, an 11-1 season with an awesome bowl is a great season. Hell, 10-2 would still be a very good season- but a loss in the EB at this point would leave most of us sour all offseason. At least I will be. No way our football team should lose to that bunch. We are a better team. We only lost by 5 in T-Town with 3 turnovers- think about that. We are a good football team. We just have to get back to being who we are in each game moving forward.