Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Common Themes of the Week

With gratuitous image of Mr. Peabody and Sherman. What sort of a dog is Mr. Peabody anyway? He looks kind of like a terrier.

As I watched football this past week, one thing could not avoid my notice. A lot of teams that struggled did so because they couldn't block. Despite our big win, our offense struggled somewhat because we had a hard time blocking. Auburn couldn't block, and should have lost to an unranked team. Notre Dame couldn't block, and lost by 30 to Georgia Tech. Virginia Tech couldn't block, and beat a n unaccomplished mid-major team by only 10 points, and that only because they got a defensive touchdown, getting only 10 yards rushing along the way. Florida State couldn't block in the first half and went behind by 21.

It was the one thing common to almost every game I watched. Tennessee-Cal was the only exception, as both teams had successful offenses and good blocking.One team or the other had trouble on the offensive line. We were the only team to struggle on the offensive line and not either lose or survive a scare, and our game was in doubt until the last play of the first half.

I don't think I'm presenting anything novel here, and I don't think we need Mr. Peabody to explain it to us (ha! I did manage to make the Mr. Peabody picture non-gratuitous). It's simple, really. If you can't block, you can't run or pass. If you can't run or pass, you can't succeed on offense. If you can't succeed on offense....

The other thing I noticed, and this became glaringly obvious when watching Clemson play Florida State (I only saw the first half, then went to bed), was that right now we don't have a playmaking running back. Or if we do, that playmaking running back hasn't emerged yet. I watched CJ Spiller and James Davis run over and around Seminole after Seminole and I realized we don't have anyone who can do that. It's a weakness of the team that certainly makes us less explosive.

Honestly, so far this team lacks any apparent offensive playmakers other than Early Doucet, and he's not really a score-from-anywhere sort of guy. Early is a great possession receiver and is great in the red zone, but he's not really a threat to take it to the house from midfield. Another playmaker on offense will have to emerge quickly, or it will seriously hurt the team. Whether it's a receiver or running back, we need a big threat.

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