Snap Judgments – The Citadel @ USC Edition

Superman Returns to Action

The Good News.  Obviously, it was a win.  And win #9 to be exact.  Even better, CTU lost.  Any Saturday where we win and CTU loses qualifies as a good day.  Putting things in perspective, 9 wins for this football team, and this program, is quite an accomplishment.  It’s only the 4th time in our history this has been achieved.  As much as we want the Auburn game back, we should all be realistic and realize that we could easily be 7-4 or 8-3.  This team gutted out some tough wins (Navy, MSU) and reached into the bags of tricks for others (UGA, ECU).

The Bad News.   We played down to the competition, again.  Other than the Kentucky game, it seems as if we always have to sweat a little bit.  Don’t tell me you weren’t concerned when El Cid kicked the field goal to make it 20-13, knowing that they got the ball to start the 2nd half.  Another huge concern when looking at this game are the injuries.  While only the one to D. Jeffrey seems serious at the moment, several starters, particularly on defense, are nicked up.  This is not the condition we need to be in with Tajh and Sammy coming to town.  Here’s hoping that we heal up fast and that most of the walking wounded can suit up on Saturday night.  Finally, some words about our special teams:  THEY SUCK.

Connor Can Throw.   Yes, there was the one bad pick, but otherwise Shaw chunked it around pretty well.  This was good to see given that our passing game has been viturally non-existent the last few weeks.  While he still pulled the ball down a bunch, at times he hung in the pocket and delivered some pretty good throws.  The screen game to Wilds was impressive as were the deep out and the pump and go passes he threw to Sanders.  Plus, it was nice to see Alshon back in the game plan.  Speaking of Alshon…….

Alshon Can Catch.  While we all pretty much know that big #1 will likey be playing on Sundays next year, it was awesome to see him make another highlight reel catch in a USC uniform.   Most of us could feel a pass to Alshon coming on that drive.  Heck, it appeared that the big guy actually called it at the line.  The catch was vintage Alshon-one handed with defenders draped all over him.  Gonna miss the big fella.  Hope more monster catches are in store this year now that the drought has been snapped.

Fumble!  Glad we didn’t need the turnovers as every loose ball seemed to avoid the garnet and find the blue on Saturday.

No More Triple Option.  Unless we somehow find ourselved matched up with Georgia Tech in the post season, it appears that we survived the triple option.  While I love watching that offense being executed properly, I hate it when we have to face a team that runs it.  Our D is obviously better suited for the more conventional offenses being run in college today.  Our defense pursues well and can get after the quarterback.  Those things don’t help much when the opposition runs the belly play well and hardly ever passes.  Oh, and thanks to El Cid for running that stupid throw back to their offensive lineman on 3rd and five from our thirty.  Two dives from the fullback would have resulted in a first down.  One of the plays of the game.

Kudos to The Citadel and the Military.  The Cadets played tough and disciplined football.  Their quarterback looked no taller than 5-6, but that dude could play.  Gotta give their players credit for playing hard and taking it to us.  They gave us all we wanted and more.  The salute to the armed forces at halftime was well done and well received by the fans.  The figher jet flyover always gives me chills.

Wacky Saturday.  Those who stayed up late were treated to some fantasitic finishes.  The Oregon-So Cal and Baylor-Oklahoma games, and the finishes in particular, were pretty darn amazing.  I missed TN-Vandy and FSU-Virginia but understand that those games were great ones as well.   I was able to catch some of the CTU beatdown.  Damn, that had to hurt.