Monday, October 10, 2005Weekend Rewind...
I'll do grades tomorrow on this game but after a second viewing I was very pleased with the offense that has questions (580 yards) and especially the contributions from the running backs. The defense had a definite off game and those happen, especially against a team like Wake Forest that traditionally plays FSU tough. I think Chris Barclay has been one of the best running backs around and he deserves to get a lot more credit than he does. What was Jim Grobe thinking by putting Cory Randolph at receiver? The kid is a damn solid quarterback and runs the misdirection well.
With Virginia coming up the goal was to get through this game without major injuries. No dice. FSU lost its best offensive lineman, Matt Meinrod, for the season. For now John Frady will replace him. I don't know how much of a difference it will make against Virginia and their 3-4 scheme, but I'm more worried about the N.C. State defensive line.
Speaking of offenses with questions. After the game Meyer admitted that Leak had a shoulder injury and hadn't practiced all week. He's expected to play in pain this week. [SP Times] Right now the Gators are riding on the heels of a defense that can't be trusted from week to week. They are getting good production from the special teams and the pass rush but can they stop the running attack they are sure to get from LSU next week? It's hard to say.
Meanwhile the Bulldogs hung in there for the better part of three quarters and continues to improve under Slyvester Croom, hopefully that will soon turn into more victories.
Interesting game and it solidifies my thinking that Georgia is the cream of the SEC East and a serious National Title contender. They've got all the components there. They play a strong, disciplined game. They've got experience on both sides of the ball and they play excellent special teams, which is a key to me. They were much tougher than Tennessee down the stretch, the Bulldogs pounded their runnin ggame while shutting down the Volunteers completely.
As for Tennessee, I hate to say this but I feel like Phil Fulmer's time is beginning to come to a close. His teams just aren't as good as they use to be, he's not getting in as much talent as he once did. The quarterback situation was handled terribly. It's possible the situation with Alabama and the memos took a lot out of him, but his team doesn't respond. Late in the fourth quarter they gave up.
Highly entertaining game between two teams that would have their lunches handed to them by Texas. Terrible way to lose the game for Nebraska and it would've been a fitting victory because the Huskers handled Tech's offense beautifully in the second half.
But this game was strictly for my enjoyment. Both sides made great plays and terrible mistakes, there were about 100 passes attempted and lots of running north and south. Joel Filani was a stud down the stretch while Nebraska should've rushed the ball a little more in the second half.
It was this or the Big Ten game and I made the right choice. 900 yards of offense and six lead changes. I love Jeff Tedford's offense. I love what he does with Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett in the running game while DeSean Jackson is the best freshman receiver in the nation right now. UCLA played with a lot of heart, something that they've been questioned about over the last few years. There is another team in L.A. and another running back, Maurice Drew.
And don't sleep on Cal, they still have USC in Berkeley next month and I have a feeling Tedford's team will not go away quietly. They had 13 separate double digit leads but couldn't hold on until the end.