IN WHICH a 41-year-old Commodore fan who should know better than to load up on homemade sweet tea bourbon on a school night tries to unpack last night's result.
Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. Pretty much exactly as I expected, except I thought we'd find a way to pull it out. That was the double, no, triple stomach punch - lose the lead, then get it back in heroic fashion, then lose it again in one play, then driving, there's a chance, then boom. It is absolutely the height of cruelty and proof that football has no god but Loki that the final tip-interception bounced off the hands of Jordan Matthews, who should be in the Heisman conversation after his effort last night. I mean, when everyone knows you're the only big ticket offensive threat, and can key on you all night, and you still rip off 178 yards...heroic.
It sounds like the Great Regurgitation was what happened to Jahvid Best for Cal against Maryland a few years ago - dehydrated player is pumped full of fluids, gets hit in the stomach, and it all comes back up. At least the stuff Jordan took wasn't green. The YouTube video of Best is particularly unpleasant. In any event, I'm pretty sure our medical staff wouldn't let a guy with a vomiting concussion back on the field, and I trust Vanderbilt Medicine implicitly. More so than color commentators, of which more in a bit.
Zac Stacy is hands-down the number-one loss for this team, but I'm not so sure Richard Kent isn't number two. The confidence of knowing you would be able to pin the bad guys deep every time...I'm going to miss that Hopefully the new guys work it out quick. The three-headed running back beast may work out, but not having that reliable workhorse of a back anymore takes something away from the defense. That said, that power run drive was a thing of beauty - more of that please. A good solid punch on the ground will really help the receiving corps.
I think ACS will be fine. Has it really been six or seven years since the last 300-yard passing game? It's pretty obvious that the live-game timing and touch with the receivers could be better (and Jordan Matthews has an uncanny ability to catch the bad ball, no matter who threw it) but the kid from down the road stands in the pocket and delivers a strong ball. I'm not worried about our quarterback play this year. Next year...maybe next year let's not open with a hot conference opponent, a'ight?
Defense...needs help. Secondary was supposed to be our particular strength and D-line a potential point of weakness, and yet the front teed up 4 sacks in the first half while there was no answer whatsoever for Treadwell in the second half, nor for the QB option that is our particular Kryptonite. That alone is enough to make me think that South Carolina and Florida may not be winnable games, unless Shoop can do what he didn't do this summer and come up with something that can stop that play.
I had completely forgotten that touchbacks come out to the 25 yard line now. At this point, I would never, ever, EVER bring the ball out of the end zone, EVER.
I'm not going to kick about the officiating. Mainly because if you're surprised in any way by a PI call or no-call going against us in the second half of an SEC game, you must be new here. That's the tax, that's our particular burden: we just have to learn to live with it.
I never want to hear Matt "Ole" Millen call a football game anywhere ever again, and I don't want to see Joe Tessitore step over the Davidson County line ever again for the rest of his life. That Gus Johnson voodoo stuff might be great when it's happening to somebody else, but I'll take my chances with regular announcer luck. When even Rebel fans are "FOR GODSAKE SHUT UP ABOUT THE FRESHMEN," it's not been a well-called game.
Thirty minutes before kickoff, the usual SEC types were circulating pictures of what looked like a half-empty stadium and a sea of red. Two minutes after the final gun, they were already into the "same old Vandy, that's why your [sic] Vandy" routine. It's too bad they couldn't be bothered to watch what went on in between, but then, that's why my first purchase when I get to Nashville is going to be one of the "CHIP" shirts. If you want us to actually get credit, you should have called SunTrust.
We started 0-1 last year, too. It's not a season-ending loss. The process continues, and 0-1 this week gives way to 0-0 on Sunday. If "puke and rally" is the motto of this season, we could do worse.
Anchor down, y'all. -|-->