This piece was designed to discuss pros and cons of the Gator performance the day after a game. This being a bye week, obviously,today’s piece will take a bit of a different slant. I even considered tabling it entirely until next Sunday, which should be a very interesting read, but I know many of you set your calendars to The Sunday Rants & Raves. I can’t deprive you folks. So, what I’ve decided to do is rant about what the coaches and players may do and rave about the same. Yeah, still playing that hypothetical “what if” game to some extent. But we’re coming off a bye week and I expect; nay, demand that latitude from you, passionate Gator fan or Dog fan spying on us from somewhere dark, beneath five feet of red clay.
It may not feel like it normally does, but I think you’ll still enjoy it.
Said the _____ to the ______. (This is PG-rated, people. Write your own joke there)
1. I do not want our longest pass attempt from scrimmage to be less than 20 yards. If the personnel or the competition simply prevent us from completing anything longer than that, so be it. But we HAVE to try. At the very least the threat will ease a lot of that congestion that’s been building up near the line of scrimmage and the bump coverage opposing corners are playing. We HAVE to open up the field. We HAVE to find a way to make the defense at least consider the threat. Even something as simple as lining up Solomon Patton in the slot on the first play of the game, sending him deep and having Tyler Murphy chuck it in his general direction would be a good start. And that has to be the first try of several. Maybe none of them work. I highly doubt it, but, maybe not a single one is completed. Again, however, there are other benefits to doing it. And we’re not completing the short stuff anyway, we’re not scoring points and we’re taking plenty of sacks. At the very least, this would add variety.
2. IF Pease finds something that is working, I do NOT want to see him go away from it. We’ve done so little that’s worked. IF we find something that does, geez – bleed it until it’s dry. Obviously I am not advocating running Kelvin Taylor 15 straight times if he rips of a 35-yard gain. But if he consistently gashes Georgia like he did Mizzou last week in that TD drive, Pease can’t completely abandon the guy the next set of downs. If we start rolling Murphy out and he starts working some intermediate stuff and a deep pass here and there that leads to pay dirt, don’t go back to Taylor right tackle, Mack Brown left tackle, Trey Burton wildcat keeper. If we find something that’s working, we can use that to build on, make the defense respect it and possibly find more plays that work.
3. If we use that *&%^&%^ wildcat in the red zone after a nice sustained drive … heck, if we use it at all in the red zone and don’t at least work in some new variance I am going to toss a pan of jiffy pop in the microwave oven and take solace in the resulting carnage. “They say you shouldn’t put metal in the microwave. They were right.” -King of deadpan, Steven Wright. Think about that for a few seconds. Works on a few levels, just like people who service elevators.
4. Fear the actions of a desperate coach. We’ve seen that sneaky little Richtster pull some shenanigans over the years. Champ has to have our guys at the ready on every special teams event or 4th down for the unexpected, because it IS coming. Mark Richt tends to get especially clever when the Georgia equivalent of “noise in the system” builds, and it’s at DEFCON-peach currently. The only way they can combat said system noise is calling upon the prodigious little pecan log producing engine that could — the Stuckey’s in Hahira — to stick one luscious, supah-sticky pecan log in every mouth that would normally call the local sports talk radio stations via CB to complain. It’s a tall order and these pecans ain’t free.
Learn about Stuckey’s here. http://stuckeys.com/about.php
Learn about what happens when the pecan log supply runs short here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2j0FsDkUqg
1. I want to see Taylor get the start and to be the Gators’ featured back not only this coming Saturday, but the rest of the way. Mack and Valdez Showers can spell him. He’s the horse, he’s the stud and we all know it. We know Brown is serviceable and he can still get his fair share of carries but it’s KT’s world now. If he misses a few blocks, well, that will be disappointing, but at least he can still learn. I want to give credit where it’s due but I can’t recall who posted this – “If blocking effectively was a necessary requirement to finding playing time, someone didn’t tell our offensive line coach.” True words. Claim it if it’s your intellectual property. Wish I could claim it as mine.
2. Speaking of Valdez Showers, I want to see him more involved as well. He’s elusive in space and very effective in the flats. He seems to have reliable hands and could be a really nice change of pace, third down speed/scat back. Seems like we’ll use him on a designed play or two in the first couple of drives, plays which generally work, then we just forget he’s there. Perhaps he’s proven himself as a hindrance to effective clock control. Forgive my sarcasm. No, wait. Don’t.
3. LINE UP THE TIGHT ENDS IF WE’RE GETTING ABUSED BY END RUSHERS. Or wheel out a few Gatorade coolers. Chip the end rushers. I don’t care how it’s done, just make sure it is done. Nothing more to say here, really.
4. Speaking of desperate coaches … I think we have a few of our own. Richt is going to have a few tricks up his sleeve. Both staffs are coming off of bye weeks. Even if the plays don’t work, I want to see these guys taking some chances and putting some faith in these players to pull off some trickery or execute something outside of our previously-rigid rubric. Maybe, just maybe, these guys might do some crazy things if they were having fun and playing some exciting football.
I know the difference between a “rant” and a “rave” tonight was almost indiscernible but it is there. I promise you. I would never lie to any of you. Call upon a temporary suspension of disbelief? Maybe. But never would I lie.
It’s Florida-Georgia week, folks. It may not be as exciting as in years’ past but I encourage you – if you have the capability – to yourselves down to Jax this weekend and root these Gators on to a win. They need your support now more than ever.
And remind Halley to make with the goalpost picture.