Well, we lost again. No I'm not going to rant. OK, I'm going to rant just a little. I promise it won't be much. The only thing I saw that invoked some murderous serial killer rage in me was the last touchdown drive of the first half by Arky. The entire drive, the defense went back to the pathetic, flacid penis, 15 yard soft zone crap that literally makes we want to drive a dump truck full of lead bars over Ted Roof's throat. I remember screaming and cursing at the top of my lungs on a 3rd and 4 in Auburn territory watching the corners play literally 10 yards off and the safeties 23 yards back. I swear, the thoughts I had about the defensive coaching staff in that situation couldn't possibly have been legal. I mean, for God's sake, it would have been easier to just sit down on that drive and LET them score. That's pretty much what you did.
My wishlist for the defense remains pretty consistent:
I wish Ted Roof would start taking testosterone shots, or at least rubbing some of that cream that they prescribe on his wee wee so he would blitz more. I mean, it WORKED when he did it. He called a few brillian blitzes in the first half, and with the exception of the last drive, the D did well.
I wish T'Sharvin Bell could cover as well as he can run his mouth.
I wish Eltoro Freeman was consistently as good as he looked at times in this game.
I wish that our tackling was as good in the Clemson game as it is now. BIG improvement.
I wish that we could keep improving every week.
I think the last wish is coming true......the kids are getting better. The only real problem we still have is some bad scheming, and that is all coaching. The kids are coming around, becoming more disciplined, sticking to their assignments more, and becoming more physical. There are still holes, to be sure. there were some WIDE OPEN receivers that were missed, but overall, they are getting better. I'm still not happy with Roof's scheme, although the 38 points we gave up Saturday was not entirely the defense's fault. (read: TURNOVERS)
That brings us to the offense. End of the first half, the coaches panicked, completely abandoned the run, and put the game in Trotter's hands. He failed miserebly. Gus's playcalling was EXTREMELY predictable in the second half. Dyer up the middle, McCalebb sweep, Frazier run, rinse and repeat. I love pounding Dyer. I love seeing Frazier in there, but for God's sake, mix it up! The offensive coaches are still coaching scared, coaching not to lose instead of coaching to win. Granted, the strategy was good. Run the ball, keep the Arky O off the field, and pound them into submission. It is widely known that Arky's defense is not good. They can't stop the run. They couldn't stop us. We stopped ourselves. How many 1st and 20's were there? How many penalties? How many dropped balls? TONS. You can bet Trooper Taylor will be doing some hardcore yelling at the receivers this week in practice. There was some good playcalling in there by Gus, though, and the team just didn't execute. Saturday night, we saw a bunch of kids show that they were indeed just kids. They have a LONG way to go before they will be a good football team.
The team, all year, has shown problems handling adversity on the offensive side of the ball, with the exception of the Utah State game. The further behind we get, the worse the execution gets. That will go away with time, hopefully, as those boys grow into young men. You have to remember, we have a lot of 4 star and 5 star recruits. A lot of them are the best players from some of the best high school teams in the country. That same lot has probably never faced adversity. They've never been on a mediocre at best football team. They've never played a game where they weren't the best athlete on the field, a man amongst boys. It's a new experience. Cam is experiencing it in the NFL now. Despite his incredible performances and gaudy stats, the Panthers can't win. You can see it in him after the game. He's not used to losing. He's used to walking all over the competition. The difference is, Cam is a mature adult, and is handling it well. A lot of these freshman and sophomores are just plain old kids. This is their first experience with not being an all powerful all winning superstar.
Now we top it all off with a quarterback controversy. I read Jay's article, and I've read the comments. I see a lot of talk about 'Frazier isn't ready right now' and 'who can help us win now'. I couldn't disagree with you guys more. I think Jay, and most of the people commenting are completely wrong, and are looking at the problem from the wrong angle.
First, let's start with Barrett Trotter. He wasn't helped with the dropped balls. He's 4-2 as a starter. He beat USC on the road. Everyone is defending him. I'm sorry guys, I'm done. Trotter has had his chance, and he blew it. He was downright awful Saturday. He seems to get worse every week. He is missing throws badly, holding the ball WAY too long, making poor decisions, and generally being completely ineffective as a QB. He looks like Jerry the mouse getting beat up by Tom the cat for the first half of the cartoon before Jerry inevitably wins, except Trotter isn't coming back and winning. He's gotten worse every week I've watched him, and this week, he was unable to create a spark against an Arkansas defense that is NOT very good. I know we had penalties, I know we had drops. Blah Blah Blah Blah. I don't give a rat's ass. A good QB doesn't either. He finds a way to win. We had the same stuff last year, and Cam Newton just willed us to a win, no matter what kind of bad stuff happened. I wouldn't say Trotter gives up, but he panics and becomes even more ineffective then when things are going well. Trotter's chits have run out. He's had his chance, and as far as I'm concerned, he should be done.
So, one thing most of us agree on is that Trotter is not the answer. That leaves us with 2 options. Kiehl Frazier and Clint Mosely. There's a tossup on the site, with everyone arguing that Frazier is not ready and that is where the fundamental difference between myself and everyone else comes in. I agree that Frazier is NOT ready to be a primetime QB in the SEC. But here's the problem: We don't have ANYBODY that is.
Clint Mosely has been unable to best Trotter in practice since the beginning. People are always saying, we don't know what happens in practice, we don't see practice, blah blah blah blah. I DON'T FREAKING CARE. Practice is just practice. IT'S NOT A DAMN GAME. It is IMPOSSIBLE to match game intensity, game pressure, game speed, and game thinking and logic in practice. IMPOSSIBLE. Some people just respond differently, whether it be positively or negatively in an actual game environment, and the ONLY way to find out for sure is to give them a chance in a GAME and see what happens. I'll bet Curtis Painter in the NFL looks good in practice, just like Kerry Collins. How are the games going? Yeah, that's what I thought.
Kiehl Frazier's responsibilities and playing time has increased more and more this year. However, the coaches are still afraid to cut him loose. They finally did a little bit on Saturday. He threw two downfield interceptions. Everybody on this site is screaming 'OMG FRESHMAN MISTAKES!' 'HE'S NOT READY!' NO NO NO! THAT'S BAD! ' Now I see Jay, as well as others saying 'well we have to play Trotter or Mosely because Frazier isn't ready. I say you are all fools. Fools!
You are looking at the problem we have from an incorrect angle. Guys, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we are NOT a good football team this year. We are NOT going to beat LSU. We are NOT going to beat Bammer. We are probably NOT going to beat Florida, although I give us about a 35% to 40% chance of winning that game. We are going to beat Ole Miss because they are just a whole new level of suck, Samford because they are a cupcake gimme win, and we have a chance agiainst Georgia because they are the same perenially overrated underachievers they have been for the past 12 years. But we are NOT going to compete for the SEC or a BCS bowl. Not this year. Freaking deal with it.
Where does that leave us? It leaves us with 2 goals:
1. Acquire at least 6 wins for a bowl bid and win the bowl game. Get the money for the program and end the year on a high note. We have 4 wins. We need 2 more. That's it and that's all. Anything else is just butter.
2. (The most important goal). PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE. That's right. This is the MOST IMPORTANT thing we can do this year. PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE. What does that mean? That means we play Kiehl Frazier right now, take our lumps, and get him the experience and the confidence he needs to be a deadly effective starting SEC quarterback next year and beyond, when we DO have a chance to compete. Make no mistake about it kiddies. The future of this program rests in that kid's hands. He is EXACTLY the type of player Gus Malzhan needs at that position to make his offense as deadly effective as it was when Cam was running it.
Now here comes all the whiners: BUT BUT BUT HE'LL MAKE MISTAKES! HE'S A FRESHMAN! HE'LL MAKE FRESHMAN MISTAKES! Damn straight he will. He'll throw ints. He'll screw up. He'll make bad reads. He'll tuck and run without going through the progression. I DON'T CARE. Would you rather him make those mistakes now, this year, when we have nothing to lose? Or would you rather him make them next year, when we're trying again to compete for an SEC title in a big game? He is GOING to make the damn mistakes. They are GOING to happen. Every single fricking QB in the damn league has to go through the growing pains of learning the realities of being a starting QB in the toughest college football conference in the land. You can't hold him out forever and hope they never happen. THEY ARE GOING TO HAPPEN.
What if we don't play Frazier now? Well, we'll be right back here next year. We can either play an ineffective Barrett Trotter or we can play an untested inexperienced Kiehl Frazier that will make the mistakes next year that he should be making and learning from this year.
Here come more morons screaming, 'But but but how are we going to win?' 'How can we win this year??" Come on, idiots. We all knew this was a rebuilding year. We all knew we had a schedule from hell this year. Anybody that thought we were going to win 9 or 10 games need to put down the damn crack pipe. We aren't. This is what I mean by looking at it from the wrong angle. I don't give two tenths of a hairy gorilla ass if we win this year. If you do, then remind me to never ask you for financial investment advice. You are an idiot. This is a rebuilding year. We take the wins we can get, get a bowl, and PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE. Don't sacrifice the future for wins now. If you do, you are dumber than Forrest Gump tripping on acid.
Even if you insist on trying to win every game this year, do you HONESTLY think that Barrett Trotter gives us a better chance to win the Kiehl Frazier? REALLY? Have you WATCHED the damn games? The offense MOVES when he is in there. It is just that fricking simple, people. When Trotter is in there, if the run is ineffective, we have no offense. Frazier hasn't thrown much, but that is only because of the coaches. Defensive coaches have to completely change a game plan when he is in there, because of his threat to run. I saw Trotter try to run the zone read a couple of times Saturday and could do nothing but bury my head in my hands. He'll never get through the D-line if he runs the damn ball because he runs about like ME. The coaches can zero in on the RB and ignore him, because he is NOT going to hurt them with his legs. With Frazier, it is TOTALLY different. You HAVE to play D on him.
His throwing will get better. It will get better by leaps and bounds every week. But you HAVE TO LET HIM DO IT. You have to get him in there, let him screw up, and let him learn. He WILL get better. But think about your choices. Him learning now, or him learning in the future. The mistakes and screwups are GOING to happen. The only choice you have is WHEN you allow them to happen. I say allow them now.
Florida is next week. They are going to be pissed. They got whipped like Michael Vick's dogs the last couple of weeks by the top 2 teams in the country and are going to be looking to take it out on us. I say Frazier should be the starting QB after the LSU game. In the meantime, increase his role. Let him throw more. Give him some freedom. Give Mosely a shot just in case he happens to be worlds better than Trotter in games or something. But Trotter has had his chance, and the pooch has officially been screwed as far as I'm concerned. Let's think about the future people. Get your minds off the here and now and look at the big picture. Now is the time to develop our next starting QB.
See you Saturday!