Monday, October 12, 2009

Gators Triumph Tigers in Defensive Slugfest

It was a little past 10 o'clock Saturday night when the dream was officially dead. The No. 1 Florida Gators defeated the No. 4 ranked LSU Tigers 13-3 in what will easily go down as the most anti-climatic game of my life.

Myself, along with countless other LSU fans spent months anxiously awaiting Saturday's game. Even fans outside of Florida and LSU waited for this game. It was supposed to be the game of the year, but at the end of the day the game was nothing to write home about.

Let me clarify that I am not calling this an ugly game simply because LSU lost. It's more complex. I was well aware that LSU might lose to Florida, it's just the manner that it happened in.

The thing that is troubling to me is that LSU's defense did it's part to give the Tigers a shot to take down Florida, but as everyone saw the offense for LSU did nothing. The Gators showed why they have the No. 1 defense, but at the same time let's be frank - the Florida Gators have a great defense but not a 3 points per game defense. My point? LSU hurt themselves a lot. And as good as the Gators' defense was the offense was nothing too thrilling.

On one end I think to myself about how well the LSU defense did. They shut down a powerful Florida attack to a mere 13 points. The defense went above and beyond what, we, the fans, thought they could do. But on the other end is the cold reality of the situation. LSU's offense was beyond inept. It looked disturbing like something out of the 1940s. HB dive, two yard pass, HB dive, and a lousy punt. I do not know where to point the finger.

Yes, it was apparent that Jefferson was having lots of trouble as he once again got sacked numerous. And there were the numerous missed throws. But still it has to be acknowledged how much the offensive line is still struggling. Okay so Jefferson struggled and the offensive line really struggled. That is not even the worst part.

The worst part about LSU's 13-3 loss was the absolute abysmal play calling by LSU. I will give LSU's defense a solid B. As for the offense and in particular play calling there's no question Crowton and Miles earned an F. For the life of me I will never understand why Miles and Crowton stuck to the same bleak, bland offense that has been haunting this team the entire year. The one thing that shocks me is there were no changes to the offense against a much better defense. It was a stubborn approach. There were no trick plays. And by all means the running back up the middle on first down 95% of the time is getting old. There was no attempt by the coaching staff to add a spark to the offense. Case and point can be seen in Russell Shepard. In the biggest game of the year the highly touted recruit played ZERO snaps. Not one. And this my friends is the most confusing part of LSU's 13-3 loss.

Through the grapevine I heard the two biggest things the Florida defensive line was worried about where Charles Scott and Russell Shepard. Miles gift wrapped the defensive line's job by not putting Shepard in the game.

Have you ever heard of the story where the amateur chess player plays the professional chess player? The amateur takes whatever move he can get, while the professional keeps looking for a move that he thinks the amateur is playing. So the game continues and the professional keeps looking for a strategy that the amateur is playing to, and the amateur is taking whatever opportunities are given to him. In the end the amateur wins. This is what is going on with the LSU offense. Miles and Crowton are looking for something bigger. They are thinking too much. They are not taking the opportunity which is you have a true freshman who is getting 6 yards every time he touches the ball. That is all that matters. Put him in the game!

And that's the answer to your trivia question! How do you kill a crowd of 93,000 fans? You run a dreadful offense, and as Saturday showed us it worked like a charm.

As painful as it was to see the LSU game I anxiously awaited I must say there are positives. Keep in mind Jefferson is young and that the defense did play great. Also, through six games LSU has only one loss.


Tim said...

The fortunate part about all of this is the game would have been huge to win, but to lose meant nothing. We can still win the SEC west with a win against Bama. I'm awaiting the rematch!

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