Not many, I’ll grant you. But there were some. Since the negatives will get plenty of verbiage, I’ll supply at least some positives.
Anyone saying the team still looks slow is just not being objective. There has been a major speed and quickness injection into the lineup. Now, to paraphrase Lou Holtz, being faster doesn’t always make you better. You can just run more quickly to the wrong spots. And inexperience plays a huge role there.
We are more talented almost everywhere on the field. (Except the o-line. I suspect our best players there are the least experienced. Not what you want). Our WR’s are very young, but super talented, and I think they will be more and more productive. They and the QB(s) have to get used to one another in game situations. Our QB’s didn’t look great yesterday, but we are more talented there. IMO. We are super green in the secondary…but they are much more talented than in recent years. I was actually excited watching them fly around. (Foucha is a SERIOUS upgrade in talent at the free safety spot).
Now that I think about the defense, it looked much better all-around. We do miss Dre. No question. But Bumper is on his way to being a stud. And of course good ole #8 IS A STUD now. We did lose contain some…but their only effective play was QB scramble. And while we did blitz alot to get pressure, I disagree with the previous post that said we “only” got pressure when we blitzed. Yes, I know Portland State is a weak squad. But most on this board have watched enough football to be objective and admit we are looking at a talent upgrade and a better defense than the last few years.
I think we can all agree that this #5 may not be as good as the legendary #5. But, I also think we can all agree that Rakeem is indeed a stud. I suspect…or should I say HOPE…that Rakeem will be the featured component of the offense next week. Much like Darren once was. He was gashing Ole Miss last year until he went down…and while we miss Froholdt for sure, its not like our O-line last year was actually good. (Hjalte was though). And they could not stop Rakeem, who went through them like sh*t through a tin-horn (thank you Nick Saban). I hope he gets 25-30 touches.
Bottom line, this squad looks much quicker and more talented than last year. But that doesn’t make them “better.” At least not yet. I expect a rough year this year…but i am going to TRY to enjoy watching these young, talented kids grow and hope they can manage to sweep the non-conference schedule and spring 2 upsets over SEC opponents. There are certainly some SEC teams on the schedule whose fan bases are bitching and moaning as well.
So, am I happy with 20-13 over Portland State? Lord no. But all is not lost. There is talent. and I have not given up on this staff yet. Some of you have. Fine. I have not, and won’t til I see the season unfold.
I thought that Burks and Knox played pretty well for their first time in a college game, and have SEC level talent. I really like the way Warren and Woods are developing, too.
I am cautiously optimistic that the defense is going to be much, much improved this year. I thought the secondary looked much better overall, with a lot more speed back there. I think Bumper Pool is coming along nicely, and Morgan and Henry were serviceable as back ups. DL rotation was pretty good.
Clary thankfully made the snaps look routine, only saw one that he lobbed up there just a little. TE play apart from drops was actually at a pretty good level. The return of Grady and the development of Henry make me think that will be a pretty good group, Chase looks capable of having a good year if he can hang on to the ball.
The RBs as a group look to be fine. I like spreading the work out to try to keep guys from getting so beat up.
I think that good coaching can produce much improved offensive play, there’s more talent out there. I think that in the next two or three weeks that a big part of that coaching is going to involve making some personnel decisions on the OL and at QB.I also think that it’s probably going to take at least one more game and maybe two for there to be enough game reps and post-game practices to make those decisions.
Got to disagree with this part. Yes, their QB scramble was effective and is a concern, but also having the RB leak out to the flat and take an outlet pass was open all day long. They burnt us with it on at least 3 different occasions. Not sure why they stopped doing it, we never contained it.
I saw many positives. I thought the o-line got off the ball much better than last year most of the day and saw some very good pin and pull blocks by Capps.
I think the defense looks much faster saw a lot of good movenent up front,saw secondary come up and actually want to hit somebody.
We have athletes on offense that can hurt you if we would just put them in the positions to do that hopefully I see that this week and we continue to get better and go into a hostile environment and pull out a win
QB play has been weak for 13 games under Morris. Is it talent, the learning curve of the QBs, play calling or coaching? Because the three starters from last year are gone, there appears to be one common denominator but I don’t know if that is the real culprit or not.
Experienced at the college level or not, it’s really a lot to ask of any QB to come in the first time with a new team and just kill it. I think you have to look at another 4 quarters of QB play to have a better idea whether Hicks can get us to a bowl or not. And Starkel needs to play as well-he showed the arm strength and we have to know if he can grow through the two mental errors at the end of the first half.
I actually kind of like that we are playing a winnable conference game on the road this week. That kind of pressure should help us get to a decision point sooner.
Yeah he was wrong but it was a chicken sheet call…he just bumped into the guy…some of these refs must be dull lifeless people, no memory of youth and fun. Another game I was watching, unsportsmanlike for spiking the ball…ridiculous…the game is supposed to be fun…yeah it’s the rules but it is frackin’ ridiculous
They would fire me as a ref. Because I’d turn my head and walk away on some of these calls. And, I’m a stickler for the rules. But you gotta have good judgment, too. That’s why they call some of them judgment calls.
Hogwild you not remember Petrino barely beating western Illinois in Little Rock. True freshman Chris gragg caught touchdown to save us if I remember. Young talent grows up. This squad is young. Gonna be some growing pains but next 2 years look to be good.