Archive for September, 2011

2006 called…they want their offense back.

So far this season is eerily similar to 2006, with the exception that we’ve already won twice as many games as we did all season that year. In 2006 the West Georgia defense only gave up an average of 24 points per contest. I don’t know for sure but that had to be pretty near the top of the GSC stats.

Unfortunately our offense only averaged 12 points per game. You’re not going to win in the GSC with that kind of production and we didn’t, finishing 1-9 with the sole win being a 20-14 overtime win over UA-M. The only other game we scored more than 17 was a 28-21 loss at Arkansas Tech, also in overtime. In other words the most points we scored in regulation play was in a 34-16 loss to Harding. 15 touchdowns for the entire year. UNA scores that before they start the conference schedule.

Freshman James Kennebrew was the only weapon the team had. He did a great job with 1,000 yards total offense but he was the entire offense. Daktronics All-Southeast Region Team selection Abe Felix had graduated and we had no quality receivers to speak of other than Jaybriel Holbrook, a huge target who was prone to drops. It’s tough to score when everyone knows where you’re going with the ball.

This year we’ve got too many offensive weapons to be scoring as little as we do. Two All-GSC backs, quality receivers and an All-Universe punt returner. We should be lighting up the board for 30 points every game.

I think a big part of the problem is the offense doesn’t suit the Quarterback, or vice versa. The Daryl Dickey offense calls for a drop back passer, which we had with Joe Weatherford and Brandon Behenna. Emmanuel Taylor is an undersized, highly mobile QB who would probably do well in an option offense or rolling out of the pocket. I’d like to see us become a run first team and throw enough passes to keep the defense honest.

Defensively, the 2010 Wolfpack can hang with anyone in the conference but all that talent is going to go to waste if we can’t get into the end zone at least three times a game.

Miles post-game thoughts

I don’t know about your televisions but wow, Comcast compresses the tar out of CSS and the color is horrible, especially early in the game. I’m not sure I’d watch a GSC-TV game if UWG wasn’t playing.

First Miles drive
– You have them backed up with 3rd and 20; you give them get a 4th & 7; they insult you by going for it and you let yourself get beat deep for a TD? With 5 DBs? Seriously? I know we have some seniors back there but I’m not sure we have the cover guys for man coverage. We do a good job gang tackling on defense but we don’t seem to go for the strip very much. Will Jones is a fun player to watch; very high energy on the field and sidelines. Always talking to his teammates. I’ll say it again – Teddy Lawrence will be multiple time All-GSC.

Kennebrew ran well early until that ankle injury. I think he had one in a previous season also. It worked out okay because Holloway seems to run better with a rhythm. he doesn’t do as well when he goes in and out during a drive. I still don’t get why Jones and Hinsley didn’t get more carries with Kennebrew out. Both ran hard on their carry (carries?)

I know we were having success moving the ball on the ground but I was surprised we didn’t pass a bit more. We’ve still got good hands with Hunt, Burum, Macauley and that would keep open running lanes for ET running. Nice deep ball in the end zone by ET. Appling rarely leaves his feet for a catch. We really missed French on that play. He would have brought down that rebound. Good to see Yousif get some catches.

Appling is just ridiculous. You just cannot kick anywhere near him. If you have to avoid him when you’re already backed up you have to kick it out of bounds and very likely short, guaranteeing great position. How did he not go FCS?

Great speed on Lane Thompson on that kickoff coverage.

We need a kicker that’s rock solid dependable inside 45 yards. I don’t care if he can’t hit the long ball. We’re losing too easy points.

I’m not surprised by the low score given how many play makers were out of the game. We’ll have a difficult season if we can’t stay healthy.

Soccer wins!

Congrats to the 2011 Women’s Soccer team for getting off on the right foot. 3-0 zip over Eckerd College. Eckerd doesn’t appear to have a very strong program but a win is a win is a win. I’ve been hard on Marissa Kovacs on forums so I need to give her some due when needed.

Tusculum Post game thoughts…part deux

Just prior to finger pecking this article out (my keyboard skills suck now) I did some last minute research. As a result of what I discovered I had to completely change the direction I planned to go in.

I was about to go on a rant about how offensive turnovers killed us against Tusculum just like they did all last year. Yes, we did have several drive-killing fumbles and interceptions. Sometimes you need to look past the newspaper stats (not that the Atlanta Journal ever gives us any ink) for answers. One of the interceptions was off the hands of a receiver. It was thrown a little high but very catchable for a college receiver. The other happened because we took a final shot at the end zone when the game was already out of reach. It was basically a mulligan that didn’t affect much.

Take a look at the chart below. Interceptions caused by UWG defense in blue versus interceptions our QBs gave up in orange.

Interceptions

INTs for/against

The interceptions our offense has committed versus the number caused by our defense (specifically pass rushers) has nose dived since 2005. In 2005 we had LB’s Brandon Jamison, John Perkins; DE’s Kelvin Morris and Odell Willis plus DT Prentice Purnell (all of them All-Conference) applying pressure on the QB. In 2006 we still had Odell Willis and John Perkins but the offense couldn’t find the end zone with a GPS system. Notice it’s been going back up since Dickey’s first year, when he was playing with Ledford’s players because he was hired after the recruiting season ended.

In 2005 (7-4 record) our defense intercepted 18 passes by 8 different players. In 2008 (0-10 record) we had 3 picks while our opponents had 14. By 2009 (1-9 record) it was 6 versus 17. Last year (3-7) we were up to 9 versus 13. Starting to see the connection?

A strong pass rush causes QBs to make bad throws. Up til last year our DBs were forced to cover guys for too long. Any QB will pick you apart if you give him 5 seconds to throw every play. The numbers improved last year of Jeremy Cook and Antoine Moore.

Jut for reference – UNA led the GSC in turnover ratio last year. They committed 26 themselves but caused 41. Henderson State committed 15 but caused 27. Bottom line is every offense gives the ball up. To win games you need a defense that causes more than you give up which gives the offense more chances to score. Say your offense scores 40% of the time they have the ball…it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that 40% of 15 is more than 40% of 10.

So, contrary to my initial thoughts. We don’t necessarily need to protect the ball better, although that would be really really good. We just need to get it back sooner via strong defense.

Tusculum post game thoughts.

I did make it to the game and I’m very glad I went. Tusculum has a very nice football stadium and the baseball facility was even more impressive. They say defense wins championships but offense puts butts in the seats. In that respect their fans pretty much suck. Their side was well under half full. I bet if you subtract the band and students we brought nearly as many as they had show. It felt 173 degrees in the stands but its not like the Vols were playing at the same time.

The Tusculum offense is every bit as good as advertised. Sometimes it felt like they were playing with two balls on the field. Having said that our defense was outstanding. Last year Cordell averaged 423 passing yards per game, 35 completions and nearly 4 TDs per game. Our secondary pitched a shutout against an offense with an All-American QB, two All-American receivers AND an All-American TE. He had 266 yards, ZERO TD passes (he ran one in) and one interception. Considering that is by far the best offense we (or anyone else in D2) will see this year I can live with that.

They had 417 total yards to our 349. We ran for over 200 yards which we did exactly one time last year, versus Delta State. If you had told me we were going to hold them to 20 points I would have said guaranteed win. I believe I posted that we had a shot if we kept them under 27 and I thought 23 would mean a win. It didn’t occur to me that we would not get into the end zone. The problem wasn’t simply turnovers. It’s that our turnovers always come when we’re in scoring position. James Kennebrew fumbled on the TC 13 yard line at the end of one of the best UWG runs I’ve ever seen in person. Alex Macauley dropped a red zone pass with no one around him. Nevertheless he was impressive and will be a really good one soon. I think Emmanuel Taylor fumbled on the 22. He throws a beautiful long ball, especially to the end zone corners. He’s a bit too willing to throw into coverage mid-range for my liking. Regardless, nice upgrade from Weatherford/Behenna. He runs very well. We should consider some option plays for him…maybe after the backup QB spot is a little more solid.

He was 14-28 but the numbers would have been much better if we hadn’t lost both French and Johnson to hamstring injuries within the first five minutes. That went our deep threat. Burum and Hunt made some nice catches. Dorion McMickens is going to be a good one.

Both Kennebrew and Holloway looked good running but dang, hang on the ball. 70+ yards from three backs is a luxury, especially when we’ve still got Quatavious Jones and Seth Hinsley to go to.

Davis Brackett has a much better leg than I thought. He made a 45-er and missed from 53? by maybe an arm length. I was shocked. I think Adi’s record is 54. I talked to Davis at Picture Day….really nice guy and very knowledgeable.

LB Teddy Lawrence has a motor on him. Write it down…he is the next Odell Willis.

I’m not happy with the loss but other than that, this was a play Mrs. Lincoln really liked. I’m STILL calling 6 wins.