There's a lot to go through here, because I'm feeling a lot of feelings, so I'm going to have to go through them one by one, and I will try and be brief.
If this is his last game (and I'm not 100% convinced...maybe 99% convinced), we just witnessed the best ever to play the game at our school. OUR SCHOOL. I need someone more eloquent than me to write up a true tribute to everything he's meant to us, so I'll keep mine short.
Johnny's first start was 4 days after my second son was born. Naturally we started calling him nickname-football throughout his first year (and we still do). My son was diagnosed with a rare form of cerebral palsy in March. This year has been hard. This past August we flew to Seattle to meet with a specialist on my son's condition...and prior to the visit one of my best friends talked to someone who knew Johnny, told him our story, and asked if Johnny would write a note to us for encouragement (we were terrified of what we'd find out). Johnny went one step further and immediately personalized a ball to my son and wrote a note of encouragement on the ball..we didnt get it until we came back from the appointment (and the appointment itself went terribly)...but I cannot even tell you how much it lifted our spirits. Our son might not ever play football, but Johnny Football took the time to personalize a ball for him.
Johnny means a lot to my family. He means a lot to all of us fans. I'll leave it at that.
Big Picture Question
Why do we seem to play uninspired ball at home? Seems like on the road we click a little bit better (especially on offense) where at home we're lackadaisical and make mental mistakes. Why is that?
We have high expectations, and sometimes I wonder if they are unreasonably high. But when you think about the talent we have, we're allowed to have high expectations (as evidenced by that two play drive in the second quarter...big play to Mike, followed by a big play to Trey).
The fact is that it seems like we have a ton of cool toys to play with but we have no idea how to play with them. Sometimes we get it right, and we cut through the defense like a hot knife through butter--seems like we can score on anyone. Other times we either force the run game or abandon it all together. Perfect tweet to sum it all up
We went from probably the best play scripting team in the country to 3 and out city. Wonder what changed.— Jeremy Anthony (@JeremyAnthony) November 9, 2013
We got better, but the truth of the matter is that our offense sputters when it shouldnt sputter. Our OL struggles when, on paper, it shouldnt struggle. We abandon the run game alltogether in favor of the passing game (which works sometimes), but then we got three runs in a row when backed up on our own side of the field. Another well phrased tweet:
The plays are the same between last year and this year. But how and when they are called are not. Feeling the play call flow is what makes u— Justin Kaspar (@Ranger222) November 9, 2013
Aint that the truth? But then I feel guilty because we put up 537 yards and won the game. But when you break that down, 91 of those yards were rushing, and with our backs and our QB that's downright criminal. 91 yards on 33 rush attempts? With an OL that is made up of at least 3 first round picks? Something is off there.
Last point. I find it fitting that Mike Evans got that last first down. Basically got himself a game winner. He's another one that we will never see the likes of ever again. Thanks Mike. Thank you for everything.
I mean they are who they are. Bend but dont break. Do what you need to do to survive...but I'll tell you right now that Missouri scares the crap out of me. We dont do well with mobile QBs. Not at all.
Before I go any further, kudos to Dak Prescott on his game. That guy needed a good game after the week he had.
Back to the point, missed tackles seem to plague us. Missed responsibilities by veterans plague us. I recognize that Floyd Raven is just a sophomore (right?) but he had a bad bad bad game in coverage.
I thought our DL did a good job up front for the most part, they just got out manned by a bigger prototypical SEC offensive line. Linebackers struggled, as did the secondary, but then again there goes that selfish part of me. We won the game. We obviously got enough stops to win the game. But it seems like games like these bring up more questions than they do answers.
Good win. Not a great one because we should have won by a larger margin, but anytime you beat a conference foe by double digits, it's a good day. Bye week could not come at a better time...not to heal, but to watch film and gear up for a tough tough stretch of games.
I need your help to process through this. Why do I feel so conflicted right now?