Yes, this is just sports. The intellectual knowledge of it's place in the grand scheme of things doesn't make this loss hurt any less. I know the sun will rise tomorrow, but I also know I will not enjoy it as much. Many people will say I should not let a football game played by college guys affect me that much. My grandmother, rest her soul, would probably call those people names on her way to church.
I have so many mixed feelings about our QB. Stephen Garcia threw for 382 yards, but he missed Ace Sanders on what should have been a TD and a third down conversion just before their final drive. He also missed two easy passes before the first INT. The pick wasn't necessarily his fault, but if he made either of the plays before that, he's not throwing the ball there, so it was indirectly his fault.
Though the result of the final play was the same as with Shaw at Auburn, the difference is Shaw put the ball in a better spot when he had to try to make a play, while Garcia threw it to the inside shoulder when he could have thrown it away to set up the tying FG.
It sounds reactionary to call for another QB when our starter just passed for 380 yards and is among the top rated passers in the country. I don't know if I can justify it intellectually, but I have a deep seated distrust of our quarterback. I want Stephen Garcia to lead us to Atlanta, but I don't trust that he can lead us past Vanderbilt and Tennessee, and I hate that I feel that way.
Ellis Johnson's gameplan has been a huge disappointment in both losses. There are rumors that a couple of our DB's were battling a gastro-intestinal illness, but that does not excuse the performance. It is easy to notice when an offensive coach calls timid plays, but our defensive coaches have called timid games twice now. It is better to go down firing with a few blitzes than to die a death of a thousand cuts with a soft zone.
We have shown a disposition to blow a couple of coverages every half in zone, but we persist in rushing three or four and dropping back. It is a lot easier to double team Cliff Mathews and anybody else on the line when you know no one else is coming.
There was a lot of talk that it was easy to gameplan for the Alabama offense because they aren't fancy, they just dare you to make plays. It is time to admit that our defense has the same problem, despite possessing at least three NFL corners who one would assume are capable of playing some man coverage.
Spurrier is also confounding. We appeared to be much less balanced after Marcus Lattimore went out, though I will have to review the stats to make sure. If we had tried to continue to run and been unsuccessful, I would not complain. However, we did not. Backs with less talent than Brian Maddox and Kenny Miles have steamrolled the Kentucky run defense this year, and it will happen again before the year is out.
Yes, it sucks that Lattimore went out. I still believe he would have returned to the game if it had been tied at the time, so I blame the staff for a bit of overconfidence there. Regardless, we have other backs on the team. Try to run the ball before putting it in the hands of an obviously less than sharp Garcia.
I just don't know. After the Alabama game, I knew the team was more talented than anyone left on our schedule save Florida, and felt like Florida was (and is) so dysfunctional that they are ripe for the taking. Instead we have not only given a resurgent Georgia room to hope, but we have completely wasted all the positive coverage of the Alabama win, and disheartened a fanbase that was ready to believe this was finally our year.