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I've been a big Dooley fan all along because his decisions have struck me as sound ones, logical ones. I knew he had a terribly inferior roster when he got here and that no one anywhere was going to coach their way out of that mess quickly. Not clear to me what could have been done differently or better, when you look at specific decisions.
Now, here we are two years later (or so) and my overall view is the same, but the current expectations are different than in year 1. We've got enough talent and experience to expect to compete and it's time that we show signs of being able to do so. One game doesn't make or break a season, but it's very disconcerting to see such a familiar pattern unfold the other night. We looked good early - looked as good or better than Florida. Then faded when things got tougher. Lost worst than last year, in all honesty, even though we started the game better. Sure looks like the Gators improved more in a year than we did in spite of them appearing to have suffered more significant losses (Rainey, Demps, Brantley) and in spite of us seeming to have added more significant upgrades (McCullers, Sentimore, CP, Lathers/Hunter back). Sure, we changed DC's, but they changed OC's. No excuses anymore.
Now, maybe this fold-aroo is an accurate representation of what is yet to come and maybe it isn't. We'll have to see the rest of the season to know. If we aren't competitive against UGA, Bama, and SoCar and/or we lose other games in addition to those, it's gonna be tough to make a strong case that we're headed anywhere significantly better than where we are now. On the other hand, if we're competitive against UGA and/or SoCar and don't lose any other games, then there's a good argument to be made that we're showing positive signs.
Imagining lopsided losses to the remaining big 3 and say one more game and imagining that we lose 2 or 3 offensive Juniors makes for a very bleak picture for 2013 and beyond (if it happens that way, recruting will wind up decent at best, I think.). Hope it doesn't unfold that way.
I'm pulling for the team and for Dooley, but must admit my confidence is shaken a bit by the nature of Saturday's loss.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by winchestervol63 19 months ago
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"Bravely taking to his feet, he beat a very brave retreat." Sir Robin's Minstrels.
The way I saw Saturday's game is as follows:
We were not perfect in the first half, but I was stoked with how we were playing. We ran the ball effectively on offense and flew to the ball carrier on defense. These were the two factors in the game that I thought would win or lose us the game , one way or the other. During half time I could not stand the wait and was ready to see us come out and play inspired football.
The third quarter was much of the same, barring our defense looking a little soft to start the half. We had, what I thought, was our best drive of the night, marching down the field and splashing the checkerboard. Everything was going as planned. Skip forward, past the defensive lapses and dropped passes, and I found myself screaming at the tv, "RUN THE &@#? BALL !!!" Bray mentally crumbled and the rest of the team with him (though I believe one reason our defense crumbled is largely because our offense was never on the field for more than 30 seconds it seemed).
I can't get past three certain events/decisions that directly affected the game.
1) Why did we stop running the ball ?
2) A dropped TD and two dropped 3rd down conversions
The first two are fixable. #3 is tough. Attitude reflects leadership. I am a Dooley supporter, but this type of mental check out is not acceptable. It has to change, and fast.
Saying that, its only one game, a big one game. We can still go 8-4, and possibly 9-3 with a win against SC or UGA.
Time to put the axe to the grind and get to work.
Time to man up.
1 Corinthians 16:13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
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