Saturday, September 12, 2009

Still hanging tough: Commodores down 13-7 at halftime

You know how I said earlier this week that for some reason this game reminded me of the Auburn game last year? You know, a talented team pretending to take us seriously and acting like they don't hear their fans grumbling? Well, look at the score right now: 13-7. That was the halftime score of the Auburn game last year.

Now, I'm not saying we'll win this one 14-13. For one thing, I have no idea how we can stop LSU's offense. The Tigers have 234 yards of offense, including 124 yards rushing on 5.9 yards per carry. Oh, and a 60 percent conversion rate on third down.

Some observations:

• We're halfway following last season's recipe for success: A positive turnover ration of +1 but four penalties for 32 yards, including two killer face mask penalties on the Tigers' TD drive.

• Our running game looks pretty good, with 72 yards and 4.2 yards per carry. Zac Stacy is the real deal, folks. He was nine for 48 yards on some tough runs between the tackles including a huge 25-yard gain on 3rd and 1. When's the last time we even converted with run on 3rd and 1? I know we were 0-6 in the Music City Bowl. Kennard Reeves has been running tough, too. Still no Warren Norman. I also notice Wesley Tate on the sidelines. He's No. 24.

• LSU's pretty much shutting down our receivers in man-to-man. Collin Ashley had a nice 9-yard catch early on, and John Cole got his first career catch and then dropped a pass later in the drive. He looks tiny out there. The tight ends have been getting popped hard by their linebackers. Our best receivers so far have been our running backs. Did I mention Zac Stacy is a player?

• Larry's looking pretty good and is capable of creating plays when he's not getting any help. That TD run was nice and also showed that maybe the winds of fortune are blowing our way. Remember that he's learning and he'll only get better.

• The O-Line doesn't look bad. As we mentioned earlier in the week, Larry needs to stay in the pocket and the line have been carving him out a pretty good one.

• Finally, why are Jamie Graham and Ryan van Rensburg returning kickoffs? RVR is a fullback for heaven's sake, and Graham, while being a nice, shifty athlete, doesn't have the breakaway speed to rip off 10-20 yards before the coverage can get down the field. Aside from a nice sideline return to start the game, he's lost yards.

OK, let's turn things around and pull this one off. Only six points down.

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