IN WHICH a 41-year old Vanderbilt fan who should know better than to have another pint of smoked porter every time Jordan Rodgers's brother lights up his NFL team's defense attempts to unpack the week's Commodore football performance.
Our offense is ahead of the defense. That's not to say it couldn't use some help. The three-headed running back situation, right now, looks like it ought to be 1) Seymour 2) Tate 3) Kimbrow, with the slight edge to Seymour just because Tate's effectiveness was slightly inflated by a wildcat set geared to power running on the strong side. That said, why aren't we doing more of that? Put the beef up front, let Fitz Lassing lead the way, and just do some of the power football that was so effective Saturday night and on that drive against Ole Miss?
We need to start establishing the run just to give Jordan Matthews a chance to get free. I liked the trips set with JMatt in the slot, simply because it forces the double-team to account for the other receivers - but the downside is, you have to give ACS time to make that throw. Ultimately I think some power football will eat clock, buy time, and force defenses to account for the run, which in turn gives our receivers a prayer. (Including Scheu, who I really like and who has stepped up to be the TE of record when it matters.) The downside, of course, is that if you take on the power game and start having full-house backfields and such, you're going to leave the defense free to double JMatt every time out.
As for the defense...we miss Chris Marve. And we definitely miss Chase Garnham. And we need to figure out how to stop a freaking QB run, because we might give up 1000 yards to Johnny F***ing Football unless we can get a stop up the middle. We can't be giving up 37 yard receptions to a running back on 3rd down - we have to figure out how to get off the field, and soon.
* I don't know what is the difference between the shotgun and the pistol anymore. Any time a QB lines up other than under center is now a pistol, far as I can tell, and ACS was cited as being in shotgun one yard closer to the O-line than Shaw was cited as being in the pistol at one point. Whatever. Great work from an announce team that couldn't have been more indifferent to who Carolina was playing - right, Demon Deacon fans?
* I swear Ellington was playing for Carolina when they were in the Metro conference. Shouldn't he have graduated sometime during the Clinton administration?
* I don't know that I heard Azubike's name called all night. Bring back the Hulk eyes!
* HAIL LOKI. Not only for Spear's 54-yard sniper kick, but for some special teams madness that kept us in the game when things were looking bad. The neuro-genetic nano-engineer that punts for us isn't Richard Kent yet, but he's definitely got potential.
* If you really thought we would get a whistle for a hold in the end zone on the road against a ranked opponent from an SEC official, you must be new here.
* I don't know that we could have won last night. Carolina had home field, they had the crowd, they had a lot of motivation after losing to Georgia, and they had an opponent that was almost certainly distracted (and understandably so) after the events of Friday, before taking into account that our biggest weakness is one of the things they do best on offense. It's a loss, and you can't shine it up, but you can take this away if you want a silver lining: down 28-0 on the road against a ranked opponents, we didn't fold our tent and quit. We battled the whole way and didn't give up or give in. If this team can take out their frustration on UMass and UAB and Mizzou, it'll be 4-2 and a whole new ballgame down the stretch.
* Apropos of nothing, can anyone tell me what's the data service like on a Verizon iPhone 5 at Vanderbilt Stadium? No real reason...