Talk all you want Dawg fans, talk about how the final score of the game is indicative of the entire game. I seem to remember driving and down only 7 with 8 min left in the 4th quarter...until Franklin threw a pretty horrible INT. But still. One score game in the 4th, leading or tied for the previous 3 quarters. Both sides played one hell of a ball game, the deciding factor became who would make the first big mistake. Unfortunately, Mizzou did, and repeatedly.
I was pretty upset after the game. I was upset at Franklin, the coaching staff, the play calls, everything. In other words, being a Missouri fan. We had this game! How did it get out of hand so quick??!! Well...
There is one sure fire way to lose a football game. Unlike every other disadvantage you may have in comparison to your opponent, be it size, speed, athleticism, or coaching, possession of the football is insurmountable. You cannot score (realistically) without the ball in your possession.
Unfortunately, for our Tigers, we gave the ball away 3 times in the last quarter, and got scored upon and did not score ourselves because of it.
But the first three quarters were some damn fine football, from both sides. I'm a little crunched on time this week, so the breakdown is going to be mostly from one play, but one play I thought highlighted, and in a way encapsulated, how the Tiger's played against one hell of a good team.
The big breakdown is going to focus on a play in the late first quarter.
Nothing really big here. 4-1, Y in tight (but not down, this is Mizzou football, duh).
(Side note: If I were Waters, the temptation to crack block No. 29 right here would be too great. It would have screwed the play up, but.... that would have been one ooooooohhhhhh moment to remember)
Spoiler alert: Murphey goes into motion. As he does, to keep the next picture from being too cluttered with lines and circles, I'm going to split it up into two pictures. In one, I'll draw up how the line is going to block, the next, how the wide-outs will.
But before we get there, I'll let you in on a secret.
This play is an inverted veer. Remember Cam Newton? Remember plays like this?
(I read Chris Brown's The Essential Smart Football before the Georgia game. After watching this tape, I saw what Mizzou has done with it's offense with Franklin at the helm. It's pretty, and shiny, and when it works, beautiful. But No. 29 does not like beautiful things. I do not like No. 29 )
This is Mizzou's version of that play. And this play IS Old Man Football. All the way back to Faurot and the Split T. So suck on that Georgia fans.
It's a simply power blocking scheme with a wrinkle. No. 29 is unblocked and drawn up field. As with the option play I broke down in my last post, this is the man Franklin is trying to read and neutralize. Boehm is going to pull (How's that, WHERE IS THE FULLBACK crowd? Pulling guards!) Fisher is blocking backside, and everyone else is down blocking.
Power Football. Glorious.
A fraction of a second later..
No. 29 has bitten. The line has won, not dominated, but that is some solid blocking against some damn good D Linemen. Waters and Boehm are going to combine to seal the edge, to prevent any middle or weak-side backers from scraping along and making the play for minimal yardage. The wide-outs are all stock-blocking down field. Everyone is doing there job. It is now time for Franklin to do his.
Franklin's job is a decision. Based on his read of 29, hand the ball away for what amounts to a sweep play for Murphey, or keep it and run what amounts to Power Right. Let's see the running lanes that Franklin has learned exist for this play.
There are 3 running lanes. Starting with the most important is the lane between what will be Boehm and Water's backs, once they seal off the block, and Moe and Washington. That lane is the same one Newton used to make SEC defenses look like kU defenses. If the first lane were to collapse, then the cutback lane to the left should be open. The idea being once the CB has seen the runner start upfield, he will scrape behind the blocks and meet the ball carrier. We've all seen a power play fail, and running back just up and turn to his left and have literally no one in his way. Same principle. The final running lane is what Murphey would run, he would sprint past 29, get behind the wide-out blocks, turn the corner and show off that speed.
Now what decison does Franklin make?
He keeps it.
Not a surprise huh? 29 has Murph dead to rights. And look at that lane! He should get close to first down, at the very least!
But there is a problem. 29 is good. Like really good. He wasn't fooled by the fake. In fact, I'm pretty sure he didn't even look. I am willing to bet a large sum of money he was told this week that his job was to stop No. 1. And so when a play like this comes up, unless it was obvious that Lawrence had the ball, he was going after Franklin every time. And he did just that. He caught Franklin from behind, and dragged him down for a 1-2 yard gain.
Now, what did I take away from this play?
I gained much more confidence in our line. They pulled off a power run attack against some potential first round draft picks. It wasn't dominant, they didn't blow them back 5 yards, but they did move them where they wanted them.
I was less upset with Franklin. In real time, you want to scream "The guy was right there! Run the other way!!!!"
But in reality, the play was devised so that Franklin should be able to run right by 29. But 29 is just too good. He got the better of MU all game, and we had no answer. Not to say we were beaten by him, we were successful in the run game, beating the average number of yards given up by UGA last year by almost double (once you take out negative rushing yards from fumbles). So we can be successful with our run game in the SEC. It may not be dominant, but it works. And that flies in the face of what every ESPN talking head has ever said. So Old Man Football that, UGA. But 29 did dictate what we could do on offense, and that was a big problem all night.
Also, once you break it down, you cannot be mad at the coaching staff. What a hell of a job of blocking and scheming.
So really, when it is still fresh in our minds, we get pissed about how "Franklin kept the ball too many times/coaches called too many run plays with Franklin" But once you break it down, you realize that we were one player (Damn it 29! And yes, I refuse to type his name, he made me ruin my voice from Saturday until even today for nothing) away from executing a damn fine running attack. We can only ask so much of our players before the QB must be a Peyton Manning/RGIII hybrid or he sucks, and we need real running backs, like a Daren Sproles/Trent Richardson hybrid man-child. And sorry, Bama gets all those.
We have extremely talented players. Unfortunately, UGA has one even more talented linebacker. He didn't win the game by himself, we got our licks in and we were winning or had a chance to for almost all the game. But when 29 came up with the interception, that sealed the deal.
Extra notes from the game:
They were either very good on special teams or they were comitted to not giving Murph a chance to return a punt. Hopefully he get's to return a few this weekend
Holy hell defense, how many third downs did you get UGA into??? Every series, they had to convert multiple 3rd downs, and as Bill will back me up on with stats, that is very good for the defense and very bad for the offense. Way to go Steckel. One hell of a job.
Now, for all those UGA fans complaining about us booing your "hurt" player. I re-watched the entire game, and was there in person. Only once do I remember booing a player, and only once did I hear boos when a player was down.
Let's take a look at the inner workings of 83's mind during this particular play.
"I need a sub"
"Still need a sub, why is no one coming out? We have a system we practice, my sub should be coming out, they are going quick, coach put in a system just so we sub in and out when they do this, unless......"
"I have never experienced so much pain come on so quickly at such an inopportune time for my opponents offensive scheme"
Hope this was both humorous and in depth enough! Busy week this week, and I didn't have much time to break down all the interesting plays. I would have loved to break down the passing plays, and what worked and what didn't, but the camera angle is rarely right for me to do so, at least somewhat quickly.
Hopefully next week I won't have such a bad schedule...and the game film will be much more fun to watch, especially towards the end.
Great game Tigers, you player your hearts out, especially on defense.
Go punish that over-hyped party school this weekend.