Just some quick observations from watching the Wake game in person.
A. Seeing our defense live, they are significantly worse than seeing them on TV. Individually, Budd Thacker was abused for the (thankfully) few snaps he was in, and Korey Mangum was the poster child of what not to do....bad angles, poor approach to the ball carrier, jumping on underneath routes and leaving your corners one on one deep....it was BAD. I haven't been on the Mangum = sux train, and wanted to say it more a problem with scheme and no pressure, but.....wow. I'm just glad he is graduating. Hope he does something with his free education.
2. The Lady Spirithunters.....what are they for? As far as I can tell, they started the fight song after each score, and echoed any chant that a fan would start. They also do the completely stupid "what, what" after the S-T-A-T-E, which should be result in being beaten and throw out of the game. Seriously, who thinks this is cool? It's ridiculous, and completely unacceptable. Friends don't let friends do the "what, what". Please stop. Also, if they get free tickets to the games and travel to them, we need to be able to find better looking girls, just sayin'.
D. Our fans are pretty tame....maybe it's the noon kickoff, but there wasn't any excitement in our fans. I get that some people can't / won't stand for the whole game. But only on when our D gets the to 3rd down in the red zone? The most they were into it was when some guy came into the section 11 (1 section over) with a #15 UF jersey, and they started a "Tebow Sucks" chant. Okay, and maybe after Greg Reid's punt return for a touchdown, which was awesome, by the way.
@. I know the perception may be that our defense was good this game, but it wasn't. I don't know what was wrong with Skinner, but he was off today. He missed wide open receivers, especially on plays that would have gone for big yards. If I were a Wake fan, I would have been pissed with his performance. Seeing how he was playing, I'm not surprised they didn't pass more or try to change up their gameplan when they got behind. Wake stopped themselves more than we stopped them. I'm going to get off the defense now....
Green. It was very interesting to watch our coaches, especially on defense. It seems pretty clear to me that CTC is in charge of the defense. Mickey spent a lot of time watching the offense play while CTC talked to the defense. Mickey also played a more hands off role when the defense was on the field. He got on them a couple of times, but overall didn't seem to be involved in the overall execution of the game. He seemed to be more like a position coach than DC. Offensively, it's the Trickett and Jimbo show. If any of the other coaches are doing any coaching during the game, I didn't see it.
7. Okay, I have to go back to the defense. I could make a list of the things that they don't do at all, or that they had a major fail at during the game, but the thing that comes to mind first and foremost is that they don't make good decisions. I honsetly don't know if this is on the coaches or the players, but we many mistakes on defense. We had guys over-running their zone when we were in zone coverage. For example, Skinner rolled out and we rolle the zone to the side of the field, and rolled right out of bounds rather than tracking with the receivers in the zones...it was sad. We had guys making terrible decisions on getting to the ball carrier, almost like to avoid them. Mangum was exceptional at this...did it multiple times, including on the 20-ish yard TD run (far endzone, couldn't see where the ball was very well). Looked like the LB was being blocked and couldn't shed the block, and Mangum cut inside when Adams cut it outside. Almost looked like a dodge to me.
M. Our secondary doesn't like contact. J. Rob may be the only exception to this one, and only sometimes. Our secondary doesn't actually hit anyone. They get in position and let the running back / receiver run into/over them. At least when that happens they are in position, unlike what happened above (see 7). I'm pretty sure P. Rob doesn't like to tackle or hit, and he's not very good at it anyway. For a potential 1st rounder (I'm not a beliver anymore, BTW), he seems to try to stay out of plays as much as possible. On a completion in the flat, instead of coming up to make a hit on Adams, he continued to jog with his man (after seeing the completion) and wait for the LB to get out and make the play. Mangum looks like he's playing dodgeball instead of football. Jenije actually didn't look too bad, but let himself get run over a couple of times instead of hitting the ball carrier. Watching home games from '98-'01, this is probably the most disappointing thing I've seen from them.
29. The Bobby Bowden chants............really? The Mickey Andrews chants I'm okay with, until a Lady Spirithunter asks "Who's Mickey Andrews?". Yeah. No joke. The answer from another Lady Spirithunter, "A coach, I think. He's done after this year or next.". Wow. But at least they know the fight song, so that's good. And if they are getting free tickets to the games, or travel expenses or anything, they ought to be actually cheering and/or paying attention during the whole game....
Z. Individual Honers / Dishonors:
Dakota Watson......what to say? He is maddeningly inconsistent. One play he'll square his shoulders and make a hit, ala Nigel Bradham, and the next he's blowing the kill shot on Riley. THAT would have been a huge play, and taken any momentum away from WF. He tries to arm tackle too much. HIT SOMEONE. He is fast. He is athletic. IF he tackled better, he could be a very good NFL safety, IMO. But for a senior, I couldn't beleive how inconsistent he was. I think that's on the coaching.
Nigel Bradham = beast. Likes to hit. A rarity on our D.
Greg Reid = bottled lightning. Also always ready to congratulate a teammate on a play. Real team player.
Budd Thacker = more pancakes than a breakfast buffet. Seriously. I called it twice. My dad can verify (tickets were a Father's Day present). He likes BB, doesn't like TN, we agree to disagree.
Brandon Jenkins - will be a good one with some coaching. Good instincts, fluid movement, and athlete.
PRob - not sold on him. Not a shutdown corner (today at least) by any stretch. Looks timid, wants to stay out of the play as much as possible. There were times his man was wide open and Skinner didn't see.
McCray/McD - our DT future looks bright.
Nigel Carr - He played pretty well when he was in, I thought. Kept in control. He is the best cheerleader we had, and he didn't even have a sign! Looked to take some of the intensity onto the field with him this week, which was good to see.
Offense - no need to keep praising these guys. Pretty much everything they do is captured on TV reasonably well.
Congrats to EJ on a good first start. Hopefully with a decent defense next year we can get some more out of him in relief of CP7.