Sober thoughts on the near debacle in Shreveport

It's been almost 24 hours since the Ags escaped from La Tech's unrelenting barrage of quick-outs and fades inside the red zone. I'd hoped that given some time (and some sobriety) things would feel better, but those hopes were in vain. We got lucky that La Tech came out as flat as they've ever been for the first quarter. Having said that, there were some positives and there are some relatively simple things to work on that should make us better this weekend against LSU.

The good:

  1. Johnny Football. I've really got nothing else. Last night was a kick in the balls.

The bad:

  1. Tackling. For the love of all that is holy, somebody wrap up when making a tackle. La Tech was getting 4-5 extra yards per play just because of arm/shoulder tackles.
  2. Defensive non-adjustments. I didn't see any changes on the defensive side of the ball all night. Snyder either wasn't getting onto guys about poor tackling, or they didn't care. Scheme wise, we never got pressure on their QB and we left Patton in single coverage on nearly every down. It killed us.
  3. Penalties. I'm almost willing to overlook some of the pass interference penalties (and especially the ones that weren't really interference), but letting La Tech get under their skin and getting flagged for being chippy is inexcusable. It kept drives alive for them, or killed our own drives.
  4. We looked soft. I don't know how it looked to everyone else, but to me it looked like we were getting pushed around on both sides of the ball by smaller (and let's face it, less talented) players. We couldn't run block to save our lives and all our long runs were the result of them whiffing on tackles and we couldn't penetrate their backfield except for a handful of times.

#1 and #3 should be fixable. #2, I don't even know what the deal was. We've made adjustments in the other games so maybe Snyder was just trying to make them burn as much clock as possible on every drive at the expense of completely gassing our guys. #4 is probably my biggest concern heading into this weekend against LSU. If we play like we did last night and can't run/can't get into their backfield/can't tackle for no-gain or loss, then we're gonna lose. LSU is riding high off manhandling South Carolina and they'll be looking to do the same to us.

If we can fix those issues I listed above, I think we'll have a shot. But I just don't know. Somebody please give me a reason to believe this game was just an aberration and that we'll be fine by 11 AM on Saturday. Ready? Go.

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