Morning Tusings on a Thursday Afternoon
Tusings, or Tuesday Musings, was meant to be a weekly column where I speak of random randomness involving the Gamecocks. But, since I don’t get paid for this, and because the people who do pay me expect things of me that do not involve writing for obscure blogs…here are your two-day late Tusings!
I feel really good about this weekend’s game. Which is odd, because I rarely feel good about any game. I can’t tell you if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, because it’s so rare that I have these feelings about a USC game that I don’t really remember how they turn out. Maybe it’s that I believe Stephen Garcia is going to get it into gear this week, which means Alshon will get it into gear this week. Maybe it’s because Auburn’s defense is SO bad statistically, and Marcus is so good statistically. Maybe it’s ecause I saw our defense beat up on Vandy like a JV squad. Maybe it’s because the HBC has been in a good mood this week. I don’t know, but if we get our butt beat on Saturday, please remind me to never have a good feeling about one of our games again.
The overrated 1. We love Saturday Down South, and if you haven’t been there, we’d recommend it. It’s a football lover’s paradise. However, a curious article from “MrPalmetto” yesterday asked the question “Is South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery Overrated?”, to which his answer was “yes”. (Tip: if you’re going to write an article you know is going to be controversial, don’t tiptoe around on the title, just call it “South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery is Overrated”. Take a stand, man.)
Anyhoo, Mr. P can certainly have his opinion, that’s cool. But a lot of it involved things I don’t actively measure during a game like “he’s not very fast” or “he has problems with press coverage”. My response in the comments section of his article was this:
You can argue that he’s not elite, but the preponderance of the evidence suggests otherwise:
2009 46-763, 16.6 ypc, 6 TD (after only 5 catches in his first 5 games)
2010 88-1517, 17.2 ypc, 9 TD
(BTW, where do you get “one season, heck, six standout games” from? Is that your arbitrary statistical analysis? He had eight 100-yard receiving games last year. And does his freshman year not count?)
He didn’t put up those numbers because he’s slow or because he can’t get separation, I can tell you that. His 14 catches for 246 yards and 1 TD is certainly disappointing so far in 2011, but with the sub-par QB play and the fact he’s been bracketed by two and three players in every game are making it tough to put up numbers comparable to 2010. Teams have geared their defenses to stop him, and it’s worked.
Will he be a great pro? Heck, I don’t know any more than you. People considered better than AJ have flopped and people considered not as good have excelled in the NFL. But to write that he shouldn’t be considered among the elite COLLEGE wide receivers is just silly.
That’s just scratching the surface. And to me, that’s elite.
Bulletin board. Speaking of Alshon not getting off press coverage (gasp! maybe MrPalmetto is right!), apparently Auburn CB Ryan White thinks that’s true: “From what I’ve seen, he can’t get off press. So that’s what we’re coming in with.” Considering the War Tigers’ abysmal defensive statistics, they better come with a heckuva lot more than that.
Bulletin board II. Ryan White again: “If we shut those two down – Alshon and Marcus – we’re going to come out with the W.” Oh, no, we’ve been found out!!!
Dangerous Tigers. In all seriousness, I hope Coach Johnson has as good a plan this week as he had last week. Auburn’s offensive line is bad, but if they can create time and space for the likes of Dyer, McCalebb and Blake, we could have a shootout on our hands. Also, Coach Butler, please kick the ball out-of-bounds on kickoffs. The one thing I do not want to see is Tre Mason finding a crease.
Ire of the Tiger. Auburn is the only SEC football team we have not beaten since joining the conference in 1992 (0-6). Our only victory against them was in 1933. And no, I wasn’t around to see it.
It’s all about football. I used to be as big a Braves fan as any team in any sport. I lived and died with the Bravos throughout the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. Unfortunately, years and years of “almosts” have finally worn me down. I paid only casual attention to their September swoon this year, and watched with mild interest last night as they completed a historic collapse. I was actually asleep during the last four innings.
Folks, I’m officially a football man.