After taking the trip to ATL, this is the first time I've been able to get on the board. Wanted to share some of my thoughts:1. Vanilla play calling losses games
I haven't watched the replay yet, but I only remember taking one, maybe two, shots down field all game. This was against the worst passing D in the SEC. Part of this was the fact that our O-line was getting owned all night, I'll give them that. But playing the short outside pass followed by runs up the middle isn't going to get you anywhere. On Defense, when your corners are biting on run fakes and getting blown by all night on the outside, dropping the linebackers into coverage doesn't do much good. Why not use them to make something happen up front? Of course, when we did get pressure in the backfield, our guys are getting dragged down from behind. (Devin Taylor on the Hail Mary comes directly to mind)
2. Team lacks mental toughness
Other teams, notably Auburn, can be down in a game and come back to win it. I don't know that our team can. It is very noticeable when the will of the team breaks. It happened on the Hail Mary at the end of the half. Team was only down by 2 TDs, drove down the field and missed a field goal, then never showed up for the rest of the game. I hope I am wrong on this one and I hope that if I am right, its something that can be fixed for next year. If I can think of one good thing that can come from this game, its that our returners will never want to be embarrassed like this again.
3. Our fans suck.
And I really mean that. First, All of our fans spent the weeks leading up to the game complaining about ticket prices. What did Auburn fans do? Bought the tickets. The stadium was 2/3 Auburn, they were loud, and they made it a home game. $300-$400 is the price of an SECCG ticket. Accept it. Many people from other fan bases buy the tickets every year and sell them for a premium the years their team isn't in it. Its just the way it works. Second, in the biggest game of our school's history, our fans sat on their asses and sat on their vocal chords. We never got loud and sustained it. The Auburn fans were standing up, even in the upper deck, and shouting the whole time. It caused problems with our offensive audibles which caused some wrong routes to be run by receivers on critical plays. The lack of noise includes our student section, which leads to point 4.
4. We need to fix student ticket allotments for this game. Only students that have been going to games for years should be rewarded with tickets for an event like this. Many freshmen and sophomores, many that don't go to games regularly, received tickets for this game. I believe that is directly correlated to the fact that students were sitting and making no noise for much of the game. This includes the beginning of the game, not just after we were blown out.
When Spurrier talks about changing the culture, he isn't just talking about wins and losses, he is talking about fan support. I hope he is talking about team resolve, too. We were completely embarrassed on the biggest stage possible. It hurt our image as a program. I just hope it didn't hurt the recruiting momentum that we have been building this year. I love this team and I hate to see what I saw on Saturday night. Flame me if you will, but I will stand by every word I typed in this. It wasn't easy for me to go to this game, but I did it. I wanted to be rewarded with at least a good showing. I am disappointed.