How was your bye weekend? Ours was pretty darned nice, thanks. Got a lot done around the house. Went for a long run. Watched a slate of stress-free football games. But all that's over now! We're back to a hardcore stress regimen. But what better way to assuage the strains of anticipatory stress than ODS? Taking in a digital win can it at least provide a false (OR VERY REAL NOPE NOT DONE BRAGGING ON THIS NOT EVEN CLOSE) sense of security.
Take last game, when ODS predicted a comfortable win over Mississippi State. Granted, the win wasn't quite as comfortable as the simulation led us to believe, but it wasn't really a nail-biter. Let's go to the specifics:
Bullseye: Mike Davis. 128 yards, ODS. 128 yards, IRL. DAMN I'M GOOD!
Shaw Me Your TDs: Connor Shaw lobbed four TDs in ODS and IRL.
Song of Roland: Shaq's ODS day was a bit more spectacular (9 receptions, 152 yards, 3 TD), but he did snag a pair of TDs IRL.
Second Guessing: The DigiCocks broke out for 28 points in the second quarter. IRL, I don't think we had 28 yards in the second quarter.
TOP Priority: The DigiCocks edged DigiCLANGA in time of possession. It was a battle MSU won in IRL, despite the five turnovers.
Whoa, weird: DigiConnor's completions and attempts? 28-43. IRL Dak Prescott's line? 28-43.
For the third consecutive week, ODS predicts the outcome and stays even with IRL Cocks' W/L record at 7-2.
SPOILER: Let's hope that changes this week.
Also, Hell's Bells. No video again this week because my phone was dead.
South Carolina wins the toss and defers to the second half. DigiFlorida takes full advantage, relying on the run game to gash the South Carolina defense. The scoring play is a 26 yard touchdown scamper right down Broadway by DigiMac Brown. Quickly, it's 7-0, Gators.
South Carolina looks to answer, but it'll need to convert a 3rd and 19 after DigiShaw is sacked on 1st and 2nd. Shaw finds Damiere Byrd on a poorly covered fly route, and it's a 49 yard gain! Three plays later, Shaw hits Busta Anderson on a curl route. DigiBusta blasts a DB en route to paydirt. It's 7-7 after two drives.
UF has it back, and South Carolina's defense is starting to show signs of life. But not so much that they can't stop Florida from converting a 4th and 3, and then a 3rd and 11. But on 3rd and 1 in the redzone, a pitch is gobbled up for a loss and Florida will have to boot the field goal. It's good: 10-7, Gators.
South Carolina has a chance to take the lead, but after a quick first down can't manage much. Shaw's getting swallowed up by the Florida defensive line—not because the offensive line isn't holding, but because DigiShaw flees the pocket after a nanosecond, and his escape route of choice is any of the non-existent gaps between pairs of grappling linemen. In two drives, Shaw's been sacked thrice and lost yards on a speed option.
Anyway, a punt, and Florida looks to extend its lead. But the defense forces a three and out! But then so does Florida's, and the Gamecocks punt it right back. But back-to-back sacks for Clowney and Chaz Elder contribute to a second consecutive three and out for Florida.
After four consecutive punts, something's gotta give, right? Look no further than DigiMike Davis, who busts out a 62 yard run to the one yard line. I wish I'd captured this one: at the line of scrimmage, he stiffarmed a linebacker into the netherworld and then did the same to a DB at the tail end of the run. The game slots Brandon Wilds in for the one yard TD burst. 14-10, SC.
The Florida offense is reeling—a third consecutive 3 and out. South Carolina has 1:49 and 3 timeouts to move 73 yards. After a sack, a completion, and a 10 yard burst for Davis (who has 80 yards), it's 1st and 10 near midfield. Slant to Ellington—good for 14! Wow, Connor Shaw hasn't thrown an incompletion in 10 attempts why he's unstoppable. Hey do you know what foreshadowing is? Because I'm using it right now. Shaw's next pass is intercepted. Florida takes over at its own 48.
UF has less than a minute remaining and all three timeouts. The defense forces two 3rd-and-short situations but can stop neither. Florida is on the South Carolina 4 yard line—and Murphy is sacked by JT Surratt! With mere seconds left, Florida has to settle for a field goal. It's 14-13 DigiCocks at the half.
FIRST HALF REVIEW
It's been feast or famine with DigiShaw. Yes, he's 10-11 for 133 yards and a touchdown. But his one incompletion was a pick, and he's been sacked five times (!), all of which can be pinned on him. DigiMike Davis has 90 yards on just 7 attempts. The defense hasn't been perfect, but they've been aggressive—like, 9 tackles for loss aggressive. For the DigiGators, Tyler Murphy's been accurate, but only has 73 yards in 12 completions. Thanks in large part to DigiShaw, the Gators have 8 tackles for loss, including 5 by Bullard and Powell combined. Carolina gets the ball to start.
On 3rd and 4, Carolina runs a lovely screen to Davis that gains 18 yards. On the next play—ah, Jesus. Not the no-look quick screen! The one that the DigiVols picked off and brought to the house three times! Hasn't that been eradicated from the playbook? Evidently not. Intercepted, and no one will catch him. Touchdown, Gators. They go for two to make it a 7-point lead, but won't get it. 19-14, UF.
After the kickoff, DigiSpurrier calls the EXACT SAME PLAY WHAT THE HELL. Thankfully, soft coverage makes it a 3 yard gain. But the drive results in a punt. Florida reciprocates. On the ensuing drive, Carolina faces 4th and inches at their own 42. Awww, lame. Punt. We are punished for our hyperconservative playcalling, as Tyler Murphy completes a 43 yard pass, thus increasing his pass yardage by roughly 50%. Florida eventually tacks on a field goal and it's 22-14.
South Carolina starts at its own 25. Davis gains 9 on a draw. Davis then reprises his earlier fireworks, gaining 64 before he's dragged down at the Florida 5. Once again, the game slots in fresh legs and Brandon Wilds again capitalizes on a big Mike Davis run. Touchdown, DigiCocks. A two point conversion will tie it. Shaw takes the snap, has plenty of time. He scrambles—which in theory was a good idea, but he's stuffed at the one inch line. No good, and it's 22-20, DigiGators.
Florida then does—well, exactly what you would expect IRL Florida to be incapable of. A time-sapping 13 play drive covering 74 yards that results in a touchdown run. 29-20, Gators— again a two score game.
The South Carolina drive starts with promise—not sniffing a third down until reaching Florida territory. On 3rd and inches, they run a speed option and DigiShaw is smashed before he can even think about pitching it. It's 4th and 4 on the UF 30, and DigiSpurrier sends out his offense instead of opting for the long field goal. Shaw drops back, and spins a pretty pass out to the corner, where Shaq Roland dives, gets both hands around the ball—and can't drops it. Turnover on downs.
On the ensuing drive, Florida gains 3 first downs—which is enough to run out the clock. Were there really only three total drives in the 4th quarter? I guess so.
The DigiGators upset the DigiCocks, 29-20.
|C. Shaw||17-21, 190 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 6 sacks, -4 yards rushing|
|M. Davis||15 rushes, 184 yards, 1 reception, 18 yards|
|R. Anderson||4 receptions, 41 yards, 1 TD|
|J. Clowney||7 tackles, 6, solo, 2 TFL, 1 sack|
|T. Murphy||16-19, 142 yards, 68 yards rushing|
|M. Brown||22 rushes, 87 yards, 6 receptions, 20 yards|
|L. Pittman||4 receptions, 73 yards|
|3rd Downs||5-10 (0-1 on 4th)||9-17 (1-1 on 4th)|
|Red Zone||3-3 (3 TD)||4-4 (1 TD, 3 FG)|
|Time of Poss.||42%||58%
If you ever get the ear of an Paid Football Analyst like Andre Ware or Brian Greise, ask 'em about turnovers. "Turnovers?" they'll say. "Turnovers are bad. They are not a good thing in football offense. To have them, that is not something that's particularly good for a team. I don't think a team should do turnovers, TBH." I'd be inclined to agree. Why, look no further than the above display. South Carolina's pair of turnovers directly led to 10 Florida points. Florida won the game by 9 points. The goat of this digital dustup was clearly DigiShaw, but he is the player you want to be the goat, because his digital avatar is essentially the bizarro version of flesh'n'blood Connor. Still, Florida does have the personnel to make Connor pay for lazy passes and risky scramble attempts.
Anyhow, if we give up 29 points to Florida we probably deserve to lose. Here's hoping that doesn't happen! By the way, since next week is Coastal Carolina and I'll be out of town, ODS will rest up for Clemson week. Clearly, it needs some time.