As always, brought to you with minimal statistical or video analysis. This is the third game this year that I missed live, so any insight I stumble upon was seen through the eyes of a CBS HD camara lens. Beverage of choice was, for the third straight week, Jack Daniels and Sprite.
I’ll be honest. I haven’t been emotionally drained like this since the 2006 LSU game. Apologies in advance. This may suck. Nevertheless, let’s get to it.
Winning this game was a tall order before the tragedy that befell our program last Sunday. Factoring that in, it was just impossible. I knew it. All week I knew it, but I talked myself into believing. I should have known better. Whatever, that’s my job as a fanatic. I’ll do it again the next time I know we’re up against it, same as I did this time. That might be a long time, though.
Through no fault of his own, Bobby Petrino led his team in a classic Nuttian effort today. Difference being is that there was really no other scenario that could have played out. Petrino has spent four years not only building our program, but developing our psyche. We are no longer a team dependent upon emotion to win. We win by being better prepared mentally and physically than our opponent, and capitalizing on that preparedness through our execution. The events of Sunday compounded by a short and unusual week completely undermined our greatest strength as a football team.
There is nothing Petrino could have done to keep us from coming out sky high. The letdown was inevitable, and it was brutal and devestating. You could see the game being a blowout as soon as Jerry Franklin slipped on the painted dirt of Tiger Stadium and gave Mathieu a seam. I can’t fault Petrino or the players. The script was written for them in this one. And it just fucking sucks.
People are getting on Wilson for taking the sacks he took. Yes, I wanted him to get rid of the ball, too. But it seemed to me that he was doing the right thing. He stepped up into pressure, as he should have. Unfortunately, he was stepping up into a collapsing pocket most of the time. The tackles of LSU just close entirely too fast. Wasn’t Tyler’s finest hour, but he competed. He’s a tough sonofabitch. I’m thankful for him.
It occurs to me that even with the emotional letdown, 21-0 makes scenarios completely different. Highsmith getting that 15 yard facemask was huge. A few years ago, that’s a five yarder without an automatic first, and it’s conceivable that a whole different ball game plays out. Just a thought I had.
Did we ever make LSU punt if they got the ball outside their own 10-yard line?
Not once did Joe Adams get a chance to find the edge. Even if we think they’re too fast, I feel like you have to at least attempt it once or twice. Might have opened up the middle for DJ if nothing else. I want to second guess Bobby on this issue. Not nearly enough touches for #3.
Remember the difference a year made for Juice Leon and Rudell Crim? We need The same light switch effect for Robert Thomas. He underwhelmed as the year went on. Absolutely got blown up at times out there today.
How in the hell did Cobi get run down like that? Same sideline that saw McFadden get chased down by Chad Jones in 2007. Darren got some help from Casey Dick and managed to score, but it seems to happen along that boundary.
Even with the fumbles, Johnson was our only hope.
Surely Petrino wasn’t mad over a field goal. I wonder what the underlying reason that we will undoubtedly never know was.
So, it’s over. 10-2. 10 wins that seem very small in the face of two very demoralizing losses. As crazy as this season played out, it somehow played out EXACTLY the way it should have on paper. We had a team that could pass and catch and run with the best of them, but blocking and tackling bring you the hardware. We knew that coming into this season. This wasn’t going to be the year. Not playing those two monsters at their respective lairs. It’s important to remember that and to not lose those 10 wins over the next days and weeks. This team delivered the success that 9 out of 10 fans called for, and overcame setback after setback in doing so.
We just kept plugging along and plugging along. Lose Knile. Lose DJ. Lose Tank. Lose Jake. Get some back, lose some more. And aside from the two monsters who most of us thought we’d have a hard time beating when healthy and 100% focused, we just kept winning. That is ONE mark of an elite team. That is something LSU can do. It’s something Alabama can do. The difference in us and them is just the bodies. We don’t have them yet. I know Bobby Petrino knows that and is working to change it. All I can do is trust in him and enjoy the season that most of us optimistically hoped for back in August.
It’s been fun this year. Orlando or Dallas, it’s crucial that we get to 11. Seeing that we don’t have to play Alabama or LSU, I like our chances. In any other conference we’d be 12-0 and thumping our chests, waiting for our shot at one of them on January 9 in New Orleans, unaware of the coming beatdown. At least we got it out of the way during the regular season this way.
Saved me $700.
And chime in on the discussion thread…