by Mike Coffey
Mike Royko would never take two months off from writing a column, but even if he had, he’d never say, “Some things you wonder, some things you think, and some things you just know” in response to queries why.
This is what blowouts under Brian Kelly are going to look like — loads of passing yards and runs only at the end when we have to. I’ve resigned myself to this state of affairs, and have resolved to just enjoy them when they happen. Then again, as JT pointed out on Rock’s House, what the Falcons were doing on defense practically begged for us to throw every down. They had only one safety back and truly were “stacking the box” to take the ground game away. Once they moved the second safety back to try and stop the passing game, the ground game opened up. “Take what you’re given” has become a four-letter word rather than a four-word phrase around here, but I suppose sometimes it’s smart football.
I still like fullbacks, though.
Speaking of which, a quick PSA — if you’re not watching Sean Mele’s “Chalk Talk” segments Irish Sports Daily, you really should. I’ve learned a ton about football and what to look for from them, and it’s made me a better football fan.
In the 30 seconds preceding the “incomplete pass” call on Romine’s fumble in the third quarter, the terror of the officials huddled on the screen was palpable, as it was obvious they had screwed up and were desperately seeking a way out of their boggle. In the two minutes of official review following the “incomplete pass” call on Romine’s fumble in the third quarter, the terror of the people sitting in my living room was palpable, as the possibility we were going to get completely boned on the call remained extant. Fortunately, Jack Springer wasn’t in the building.
One thing that did frustrate me early, though, was the Falcons’ seeming ability to establish the edge on their runs with impunity. We always seemed to be a man short on defense when the option attack went wide. Having said that, though, Jaylon Smith was the man Saturday — the Zoomies insisted on attacking his side, but he always responded and came up with a couple great plays.
National Championships are won in recruit’s living rooms just as much as they are on the gridiron. Games like this, where injuries must be absorbed and “next man in” becomes as much a requirement as a cliche, are won there as well. We’re seeing quality depth on this team, especially on the lines, and it’s good to know that depth can respond when tested.
I’m glad Andrew Hendrix got the opportunity to wash that SC taste out of his mouth. Any time your starting quarterback has a soft-tissue injury, you need to be ready to go. He may only have been 1-for-4 passing, but that one was a pretty damn good one to build on.
I don’t think it’s an accident Cam “Ridiculously Photogenic” McDaniel and Tarean “Ridiculously Low Playing Time” Folston were the leading carriers in the game. Both seem to be the prototypical running backs on the roster. For all his speed and kick-return skill, GAIII but runs upright and isn’t decisive when he receives the handoff as to where he’s going with the ball. Amir Carlisle can’t seem to find the hole consistently, although I do like his ability to run through contact. I think both would be better served as slot receivers, but in any event, CM and TF should be getting the carries next week.
If it wasn’t for bad luck, Eric Katenda would have no luck at all. My heart breaks for this poor kid. It could be argued had the NCAA not screwed him with that “transcript review” and he’d been on campus with the team instead of at that pickup game where his eye got poked out, none of this would be happening to him.