Friday, September 18, 2009

Larry Smith still a work in progress

I think Larry looked great in Baton Rouge last Saturday... for a kid playing the fourth college game of his life.

Yes, Larry's played in four games, and started three:

1. Wake Forest: Off the bench in the rain in a game where the Commodores were seemingly behind before it started — and on the road against a defense with two No. 1 draft picks. Had a gutsy fourth-down touchdown pass. Threw a 60-yard strike dropped by Sean Walker, then on the next play had a pick returned for a TD.

2. Boston College: Starting in a bowl game in freezing weather against a team that hadn't lost in the post-season in eight years — and with a senior quarterback replacing you on nearly every drive. Opened the game with two nice deep balls that led to two field goals. Closed the game with a huge third-down pass to George Smith to set up the winning field goal. Wowed the team with his coolness under pressure.

3. Western Carolina: Ran for a bunch of yards, just like Nickson would do against weaker teams. Fumbled into the end zone on the opening drive. Had a TD bomb to roommate Justin Green. Left the game with cramps right before he would have been pulled anyway because of the wide margin.

4. LSU: Still fresh on our minds. Handled the spread and the no huddle and all the hand signal business coolly and professionally in a loud stadium in driving rain. Ran out of the pocket a couple of times when he shouldn't have. Had a bunch of passes dropped.

Larry's only going to get better and I believe as he develops he's going to figure out how to make his young receivers better. He wasn't pointing fingers last Saturday though he had some reasons to. But it's not like he's been throwing to these guys for years.

Anyway, it takes a while for an SEC quarterback to develop. If hindsight were 20/20, we'd have started Larry against Miss State last year and let him get baptized by fire. You've got to do it at some point. But we didn't realize we were going to lose the next four games.

Larry's going to experience some growing pains, maybe even have a bad game every now and then. But I believe he'll be dramatically better by the time we face Tennessee at the end of the season. Eventually, he'll be a quarterback who helps us win instead of our usual quarterback who just needs to avoid doing anything to make us lose.


Anonymous said...

Goro will be our starter next year, he has what it takes and knows how to win.


Interesting. Lots of people, including me, think Larry has what it takes and knows how to win. Unless Larry struggles, I doubt Johnson would go through this year breaking in a new starting quarterback and then do the same thing all over again next year with Goro. On paper, Goro's no better a prospect than Larry was out of high school.

But I'm intrigued. Why do you think Goro will be the man? Make your case and if it comes true I'll give you all the glory.

Greg M said...

I agree with you 100% on your read on Larry Smith, He could be very special over the next two and three quarter years.

It's Good to be Gold!

Greg M said...

Just checked out Goro's bio. He played WR as a sophmore and anchored the state champion 4x200 relay team and ran the 100 in 10.9.
Why is he not playing some WR for us right now??????


While we're talking about converting quarterbacks to receiver (and polishing off the high school track statistics), Mackenzi Adams was the 6A 110- and 3300-meter hurdles champion in the state of Oklahoma.

Greg M said...

Goro proved he can catch a little by actually playing WR in high school. If Mac can catch I say put them both out there!


Actually, I meant the 300-meter hurdles. If he ran the 3,300 meter hurdles he could play both ways and special teams too.