What I saw

I wanted to really see how the offensive line played in this game so I reran all of the offensive series in slow motion and took a few notes. Here are my observations:

  1. The Oline - *against an inferior opponent, but with abnormal front…played pretty well. There were a couple of busts but for the most part they created creases that got us 4-6+ yards per run play. They also gave the qb time on some deep balls and generally for pass plays. Cunningham missed some assignments at guard in pass pro, but he’s not used to playing guard. They don’t get great push but pull ok. The watch out is Jackson. He got flat beat a couple of times and other times seems to be out of it. Not sure what is going on there. Bottom line - Oline wasn’t great but they were clearly not the offenses problem in this game.

  2. Play calling was abysmal - and I don’t mean it because we didn’t have big plays. It’s like we were trying to practice the passing game instead of winning the game. Maybe that’s what they were doing. I don’t know if it’s Morris or Craddock but someone’s obsession with throwing the deep ball…and to covered receivers is getting old. Like we have to prove we can get the big play. We were gashing them with the run. We stopped several drives with poorly executed deep balls to covered receivers. Either we need better designed “chunk” plays or we should continue to take what the defense is giving us.

  3. Execution needs to be better - Poor easy passes, dropped easy balls, backs being impatient and picking the wrong holes, poor qb checkdowns. There were several wide open underneath receivers where the qb had time and decided to throw deep downfield to covered receivers. Got away with one of them that they won’t in the SEC.

  4. This team is clearly better than last year…but won’t be dominating anyone due to physicality issues at Oline, QB execution, and unless something changes- play calling and design.

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I think this Ole Miss game will mean a lot more than I explected it preseason. If we show improvment this week, great and I will feel good. Howver, if we do not, and if we get beat we are in a heap of trouble.I reserve judgement to at least one more game.