Has anyone ever seen a team that has such a disparity between the offense and the defense? And to think our head coach is supposed to be an offensive genius?
First and foremost this one is on the offensive line. Every week I piss and moan about how bad they are, but this game they truly reached a new level of ineptitude. Watching these guys is truly vomit inducing. There's very little we can accomplish on offense with this poor of a blocking unit, it is simply atrocious. They are not very talented physically, but more importantly they have no cohesion, no discipline, no fire, no nothing - There is simply no way anyone could watch that game and think Rick Trickett is doing just fine, his unit is a joke.
Sure Trickett has had some bad luck with transfers and injuries, but a lot of people have said this guy is one of the best OL coaches in America - there is obviously some sort of disconnect here. I've said it before and I'll say it again, he screwed up royally in recruiting yes, but more importantly his zone scheme just plain does not work for us. I obviously want Trickett to be let go, though even with that move next year's OL is going to be just as bad if not worse than this group. If I had to guess its gonna be Hart, 'Krug, Stork, Tre Jackson, Faircloth - well that looks like a big plate of poop to me.
His scheme calls for smaller "heady" players who work as a unit to understand who needs to pick up who. But these guys let defenders come free on an inordinate amount of plays. They are awful in pass pro, but they are even worse at run blocking. Jimbo has simply given up on calling any run plays that go right up the gut, he is basically calling shotgun sweeps all the time which means RBs have to run 12 yards before they even get to the line of scrimmage.
We have lost every game but the OU game this year by 1 score or less, can you imagine where we might be this year if our OL was even average? We might be contending for a national title instead of not even being ranked.
OK enough Trickett bashing, how about some shade thrown Eddie Gran's way. His special teams units are absolutely infuriating. GR5 must want to punch Gran almost as bad as he wanted to punch Matt "Thank you for not being a Nole" Elam - he must have 500 yards or so of return yardage over the past 2 seasons that have come back because Gran's units have no discipline. Honestly its like clockwork, if Greg gets a good return, someone who had nothing to do with the play gets flagged for something stupid. Throw in the fact that Jermaine Thomas looks like he has secretly been trying to sabotage our season and one starts to wonder what the hell is Gran doing.
One thing that has disturbed me is the amount of EJ bashing Ive seen, that dont make no sense. This OL stinks, did i mention that? Have you seen him be able to sit in the pocket and read the field at all this year? Nope, he has to drop back and immediately get rid of the ball because there's pass rushers on him quickly and consistently. Throw in the fact that while these WRs are talented, none of them aside from Shaw is even average at route running - so when EJ drops back and needs to throw quickly, but his guy isn't where he's supposed to be it looks like EJ either throws a crappy pass or he just eats it and gets mauled - but its not his fault. Then throw in that his shoulder injury has obviously affected him, he has not been the same guy since he came back. Despite all this I think he has done a pretty darn good job every game excpet for that UVA debacle.
Lets also point out that Jimbo has had his worst play calling season Ive ever seen, sure he's severely hampered by this poopy OL, but he gets a little too cutesy when he should be going vanilla. We have all seen that EJ refuses to even look at his checkdowns - again a crappy OL really hurts here, but thats also on the coaches, they need to tell him that his RBs are open in the flats all the time. Also we haven't seen him go to bubble screens when the CB backs off the WR, something Jimbo and Ponder were so good at for so many years - again I think thats on the coaches. EJ is still a fantastic QB IMHO, give him an OL that is even just average, give him an actual running game, give him some receivers that are more consistent in their routes, give him a TE that knows what the word block means, give him a true OC that can see what defenses are doing and tell him how to exploit them - all of a sudden you are looking at a Heisman candidate.
My last negative thought, there sure will be no love lost when this senior class graduates, what a bunch of dumbs dumbs and losers. I can not stand Jermaine Thomas, that guy has gotten worse with every game he played in school culminating in making sure we didn't get a shutout against The Gators - seriously we should have been taking a kneel 3 times and then punting in the 4th quarter - we would have done much better and we would have gotten that shutout. Terrance Parks should thank someone for the christmas gift TD, he sure as heck did not deserve it - that guy has been at fault for at least half of every big play our D has given up the past few years. The 2 TEs who couldn't block or catch, bert reed and his crappy FSU career. Nigel turned it on for a few games this year, but overall was a big time disappointment as a Nole. The one senior I will truly miss is Shawn Powell, that guy is a beast, the Janikowski of punters.
Now for the positives. This defense is siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick!!!! Telvin Smith came to play tonight and is going to be a superstar, loooooove that guy. Timmy Jernigan is the best freshman DT I have ever seen, his potential is nothing short of being one of the best interior pass rushers we have ever had and looks like a future NFL stud. Brandon Jenkins is a whirling dervish, but I think we might be even better next year when he leaves because a kid named Tank just had his coming out party - he reminds me of Jason Pierre-Paul, he's lanky, but super quick with great agility. Bjoern Werner might be the best DE in college, thats not hyperbole, he's a man amongst boys. Dawkins had a monster game and is a great leader for this unit, Erving is a mountain that no OL can move. GR5, Rhodes, and Harris are as good as it gets - but I'm not really worried for next year even if Greg leaves - I really like Terrance Brooks and Avis Commack and have a feeling Waisome will make his presence felt next year. Who knows how good Karlos can be, his ceiling is as high as a safety's can be (though I still kinda wish he'd move to WR).
I'm assuming these refs were SEC guys, if so is there any way we can jump to the SEC next year? We really need to get out of the ACC. They hate us and we hate them back, we're an SEC team in feel and we should be in that conference and it seems the men in charge of the ACC feel the same way.
This defense was more than good enough to win a national championship, and this offense was bad enough to get whupped by some of the better high school teams. Its a tough team to watch, but i sure do love 'em!