I'm not going to say much about the line. There's not much new to say, and if you have to watch the seemingly same football game over and over, there's no need to read the same analysis over. The coaches did try a new alignment, even though it wasn't the one we were all expecting. Crawford played LG, and then got hurt again. There's still no running game outside of QB scrambles and fake punts, but Lock did seem to have a little more time to throw.
That time may have been the result of Vandy dropping more players into coverage, but that coverage was less effective than we've seen. Receivers were either getting open deep, or there was lots of open space for Lock to scramble through. Unfortunately, the passes were a little off and the receivers could not make the tough catches that were required. I was reminded of the first half of the Cotton Bowl versus Oklahoma State. Franklin's passes were a little off, but his receivers were doing nothing to help him. So many missed connections.
So we have progress, but not enough. Can the team salvage a bowl game? It comes down to execution. It's not a scheme thing. Even with the line problems and lack of a running game, the Tigers win this game with just incrementally better pitch and catch. Does anyone think that Drew Lock can't make deep throws? Does anyone think that none of our receivers can catch? I had been wondering if anyone could get open, and they managed to do so fairly often agains non-blitzing coverage.
Corey Fatony is awesome. Great punts, great kickoffs, and he was our leading rusher in yesterday's game for a bit. The rest of our special teams are a hot mess. Punt coverage? Sorry. Punt return? Fumble. Kickoff return? Should have been fumble.
Finis Stribling did well on the last KO return of the game. Maybe that bodes well for the rest of the season, but the return game may not get fixed until we insert a healthy JJ next year.
My defensive TD prediction game tantalizingly close as well. Charles Harris did cause a strip sack, but Walter Brady fell on it instead of scooping and scoring. To be fair, falling on the ball really was Brady's only option.
The defense again played well enough to win the vast majority of games. Its relative weakness on third down remains puzzling, but they are doing what they need to do.
Players typically get better over time, but improvement isn't linear and it isn't universal. We will see over the next few weeks if the Tigers can close the gap to "good enough to win" this season.