Yes. That was certainly...a game, alright. We suppose we should look on the bright side and say that no one got hurt (we think), we rested some guys (maybe?) and hell, even a few of our most hated rivals had really bad days yesterday. We takes what we can gets.
First, let’s look at the bright spots from this game:
Myles Garrett (8 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 1 FF).
That’s it. That’s the only guy who had a great game. #15 was finally healthy and it was great to see one of our players actually look like he was playing against a C-USA opponent.
The rest of the defense was a bit patchwork. Shaan Washington had 10 tackles. Daylon Mack had a sack. There were bright spots, but we were missing some key contributors and didn’t throw a lot at the Roadrunners.
But if the defense was plain average-to-mediocre, the offense did nothing to reverse the slide of the past couple weeks. The first half was choppy at best. There was a brief ray of hope in the second half, when they reeled off, on back-to-back plays:
- 37 yard catch by RSJ
- 47 yard TD run by Trayveon Williams
That put us up 23-7 about halfway through the third quarter and you may have been tempted to breathe a small sigh of relief at this point. This would have been wrong. Turns out those two would basically be the only explosive plays of the day and would make up 20% of our offensive output.
The next three drives went
3 plays, -1 yard, punt
5 plays, 19 yards, punt
6 plays, 7 yards, punt
Before we sort of sustained a pseudo-drive where we managed to finally exploit superior athletic ability up front and basically fall forward for a few first downs until we smothered the final clock inside their red zone. It had all the grace of a sloth dismounting an elephant. There certainly was never any instance of putting UTSA away, finishing them off, nailing in the coffin, or any of the other sports cliches you care to choose from here. They hung around just like the Mississippi schools, only difference is they couldn’t quite capitalize.
We’re happy we won, but to be encouraged by this victory is probably a bit foolhardy. Thursday’s game is wide open. LSU has nothing to lose, and their coach has everything to play for.
The Piping Hot M’Zone Stat of the Day is yards lost rushing. Not talking about sacks: take out Hubenak’s losses and our three best ballcarriers lost 22 yards on 25 carries. The vast majority of these came on first-down run plays: a -12-yard botched reverse with Kirk. The 6-yard loss on the toss sweep to Trayveon early in the 3rd quarter. These are huge losses that get us into big holes and behind the sticks right off the bat. And if we’re bumbling around behind the line of scrimmage like this against UTSA, well, folks, it ain’t going to be pretty on Thursday. Might as well punt on first down unless we can get a cohesive blocking scheme or altered game plan laid down in the next four days.
Enjoy your short week.