Snap Judgements – Vanderbilt @ USC Edition
Some quick, barely researched, not fully formed thoughts from tonight’s train wreck of a 21-3 victory over Vanderbilt:
We are who we are, and unfortunately that’s not good news. I’ve been one of those guys throwing around justifications for our less-than-impressive 3-0 start, talking about unconventional offenses and tough SEC road tests and how everyone experiences a little early season sloppiness. But after last night’s game against Vandy, I now fear we’re just not very good. “But Buck,” you say, “you’re going to complain about a 4-0 start that includes a road win over Georgia?” To that I respond, “Have you seen us play?”
Our offense makes the football gods have a sad. You saw it. Four interceptions from our fifth-year senior quarterback, numerous decent plays wiped out by penalties, general disorganization leading to untimely timeouts. Bumbling. Stumbling. Very little rumbling. Vandy sold out to stop Marcus Lattimore, so we turned to our best pass play, which basically amounts to throwing a jump ball to Alshon Jeffery. Our huddle must sound like a sandlot game, “Alshon, go long. I’m going to throw it in the general direction of the 30-yard line. Everybody else block. Reddeeeeeeeee, break!”
The defense of Stephen Garcia stops here. I feel you Alex Roberts. We’ve been staunch supporters of #5, taking the good over the bad, which has worked out for the most part. Part of that has also been betting on the come, that Garcia as a fifth-year senior would be smarter, more accurate, and more dependable. But now I cringe when he drops back, wondering what’s about to happen. His decision-making is mind-boggling. Accuracy? When he hasn’t been throwing interceptions this year, he’s been overthrowing, underthrowing, too-far-in-front throwing and too-far-in-back throwing. Unfortunately, he appears to be our only option.
Steve Spurrier is sick, or Garcia has incriminating photos of him. That’s the only explanation for leaving Garcia in after his first three picks. Well, maybe there is a third explanation, maybe Connor Shaw is just really bad. In any case, it doesn’t bode well for us. I saw a lot of tweets/posts ripping the ESPN announcers last night for ripping our QB situation, but I’m not sure why. The only QB situation in American football that is worse than ours at the moment is the Indianapolis Colts.
The defense is fixed…at least for one night. That was a historically dominating performance by Ellis Johnson’s defense. Holding any opponent under 100 yards total offense is incredible, much less a conference opponent. We looked like we had 15 guys on defense. We didn’t, of course, because we would’ve been called for it.
Welcome back Melvin Ingram. About time he scored another touchdown. Geez, stop taking weeks off #6.
Obligatory Jadeveon Clowney bullet point. I can’t think of any words left to describe this guy. Let’s just say the hype was justified.
This season is far from lost. But for the first time last night I thought about 2007 when we started 6-1 and were in the Top 10. We didnt’ feel like a top 10 team, and the final five games of the year showed that. This year, despite all our talent, and despite the fact we are 4-0, we don’t feel like anything close to an elite team. We’ve been waiting for four weeks for Spurrier and the Gamecocks to put it all together, but after last night I’m wondering if we have it in us. I sure hope I’m wrong.
Miscellaneous…I think watching Clemson march up and down the field against FSU all day made last night’s offensive debacle even harder to take…Good to see Victor Hampton and Brandon Wilds on the field, they both looked darned good in limited action…Welcome Demeire Byrd, we hope you live up to the hype as well…After speaking with an Auburn friend this morning, this week will be an epic battle of poor-mouthing…Anybody else going to get bent out of shape this week because the national media is going out of its way to ignore us?