Alright, we finally started the process of removing that massive monkey from our backs that is the GA-FL game. The fact that we spotted them a 2 TD lead and looked to continue going all “whatever it we do down there” just made it all that much sweeter. The fact that we just went out there and did it without needing any field rushing antics or other motivation made it even more real. We were just the better team, which hasn’t meant we win that game in recent years, but our defense simply stood tall all day and shut down an admittedly bad Florida offense even with their top QB returning. That was one of the best defensive performances we’ve put together in a while.
As for this week, New Mexico State is a strong passing team, at least versus the schedule they’ve played. Their toughest opponent to date is Nevada, who is a mere 5-3 this year. Look for them to spread it around a good bit. They have a mobile QB too but they don’t run with great success and rank near the bottom of the country in sacks allowed too so look for Jarvis Jones, Cornelius Washington and the other OLBs to have a big day, assuming Jones plays.
Defensively, they are horrible against the run (111th in the nation) and middling against the pass (65th nationally). That works nicely given that we’ll struggle massively to run the ball considering our top 4 are out as you may have heard. With Brandon Harton and freshman walk-on Kyle Karempelis likely to get the bulk of the carries I think we’ll see some other stuff like Figgins and Zander in the backfield at the same time only to pass block or who knows what. I’m intrigued at the prospect of this making Bobo think out of the box a little and show some different looks that Auburn, UK and GT will have to at least think about. I doubt it happens as that’s far easier said than done, but I can hope. The timing of this game is ideal though as we can use it to allow Murray to get back on track. Again, we’ll see. They’ve struggled to get after the QB this year with any consistency, so maybe we can get in a rhythm throwing the ball and just drop the hammer on them.
Sorry, hard for me to get up big for New Mexico State. We should roll. They’ve lost to Ohio, UTEP, and San Jose State among others. The fact our entire running back group is out will certainly make it more interesting, but ultimately it should be a snoozer. It’ll be one of those feel good days where the fans can celebrate the team. Hopefully we can manage to get the special teams back on track. For reals.
Couple of things in closing…
- No, Blair Walsh’s struggles didn’t mean Richt’s going for it on 4th down won the game for us. If Walsh wasn’t struggling, he makes the earlier 2 FGs plus the two where we scored TDs and assuming everything else plays out the same way we win by 2 instead of 4. Which was the line. Maybe Walsh had money on us?
- I had this conversation with a buddy right after the game. I think Charlie Weis’ obesity might have lost them the game. All year he’s sat down on the bench for much of the game and looked miserable. This week he went to the booth for the first time all year, presumably because he could call a better game. I think it was because he got tired of all the standing and sitting. Anyway, UF struggled mightily with clock management and I’m thinking a lot of that had to do with the fact that Weis was in a new spot and there was a delay getting the plays in. Just my 2 cents.
- OK, Verne has slipped a little. He’s not nearly as sharp as he normally is. I know he’s no spring chicken, but he missed a lot more than he typically does.
- This season is so, so weird. I can’t imagine being this far into a season and still not really having any kind of firm feel for our offensive team. Seriously. I have no idea week to week what to expect. If it ever all gels we’re going to completely destroy someone.
- Lastly, I’m going to be really, really disappointed if the pre-game video (which has become increasingly stale by the way) doesn’t include Murray’s late pass to Conley, Samuel’s TD run, Samuel’s clinching run, Herrera’s near safety and at least two Brantley sacks. Yes, I realize that would probably constitute the entire video but I’m totally cool with that. Also, how can they never have the Michael Johnson TD against AU to clinch in 2002 in there? That play was arguably the biggest play of the entire Richt era (P-44 Haynes might be the only real competition).