I fully recognize that my fandom is based on the whims/activities of 18-22 year olds playing a game. that's really about it. then over time, through things like instagram, vine, and twitter, you almost feel like you get to know the players on an individual basis. you dont know them, but you feel like you know them, if that makes sense.
that's how I feel about tra carson. and seeing him go down and get carted off with an apparent neck/head injury makes me sick. i feel like i know the kid...and yes, as a redshirt sophomore he is just a kid (at least from my perspective as a 30 something year old). so more important than any post game write up is this simple thought: let's all think good thoughts for our boy tra carson and hope that all the carting and immobilizing was nothing more than a precaution. we're thinking about you tra.
now back to the game.
we did what we were supposed to do. a 50 point win was the the expectation for this game (as evidenced by the 40+ point spread). and it's nice to do what we were supposed to do. that being said, can we talk about the first quarter or so? easily the sloppiest quarter of play, on both sides of the ball that we've seen in the sumlin era. just sloppy play calling, sloppy execution (on both sides of the ball) just sloppy as a whole. fortunately we fixed it. but it might be a good thing for us. always good for the coaches to have something to yell at the team about after a 50 point win...especially going into the stretch of miss st., lsu, and mizzou that we have coming up.
lets talk specifics
the first quarter happened and we will never speak of it again
after that first quarter things seemed to click. i'll never understand why we dont run the ball more with the stable of RBs that we have, but we are who we are. you cant argue with 27 points in the 2nd quarter and 21 in the 3rd, and you can't argue with 564 yards (330 passing and 234 rushing).
johnny, aside from that first quarter, was johnny, and it was refreshing to see johnny on the run a little bit. i've said before that we too often see johnny holding holding holding the ball...but it was so good to see his wiggle heading up the field. felt like johnny circa 2012.
oddly enough, i felt like kenny hill was more the story of this game than johnny was. in the short time he was in the game, he gave me a great deal of confidence about our ability to adjust, in the event that johnny goes pro next year. 5/6 for 57 yards and 3 rushes for 22 yards is not a bad showing (and yes i know it's just utep). good for kenny.
brandon williams...5 rushes for 59 yards. i've had a hard time buying the brandon williams hype just because i havent seen him do much between the tackles, but even i have to admit that the guy just has another gear to him. good showing as a whole.
let's talk briefly about that first drive. the miners ran right at us, and had a ton of success. then they had success on that pass play...does it seem like we are have issues when devante and floyd are on the same side, or is that just me? but props to both for coming up with big plays during the game--floyd on the punt block and devante on the pick.
beyond that, the defense had a very solid day. think about it---the miners had 198 yards total, 77 of which came on that one long drive. that's not too shabby (AND YES I KNOW IT'S JUST UTEP, BUT THIS MAKES TWO DECENT DEFENSIVE SHOWINGS IN TWO WEEKS). all around a solid performance.
much like kenny hill showing out, we have to find a lot of hope in how well our youngsters are playing. darian claiborne is a future star...and i mean that. an absolute star at the LB position. i love seeing noel ellis get more playing time, and daeshon hall is finding his niche as a pass rusher.
final note about the defense. i've given howard matthews a ton of crap on this blog, but i'll be damned if this wasnt his best performance all year long. two interceptions and damn solid play up on the line of scrimmage. howard matthews transformed himself into howard football this game. thanks howard. i feel like a total jerk for criticizing you.
i'm intrigued to hear your thoughts because quite frankly i'm distracted by the my hope that tra is doing well. that his family is with him and they are both receiving good news about his health. tra, if you read this, all of us here at good bull hunting are thinking about you and hoping for a speedy recovery.
update as of publishing time... great news:
Im good thanks everyone
Im good thanks everyone— Tra Carson (@PlutoCarson) November 3, 2013