I don't think I really have to recap what happened in this game. We all saw it, unless you were too drunk to get up. I was up at 2:30am because of the baby, so I didn't have that problem.
I would like to start by saying that the defense played very very well for the entire game. We gave up one long touchdown drive and that was about all. Tulane got one or two other nice drives that stalled with a turnover or a punt, but the defense was mostly dominant.
The offense? Well, the coaches need to figure out what's going wrong with the offense. Do you realize that Matt Flynn hasn't played well in a game since Virginia Tech?
After scoring an easy touchdown on our first possession, the offense went backwards for most of the first half. Part of the problem was the offensive line either getting penalties or giving up pressure on the quarterback. The right side, so good against South Carolina, seemed to struggle in particular. The left side and the middle didn't exactly shine, however.
The other part of the problem was Flynn holding the ball too long. I don't know if the receivers were not open or if he didn't see them, but we have a serious problem in our passing game. Flynn's numbers were deceptively good. He was 16 of 29 for 257 yards, with one interception. however, he lost over 40 yards and 6 downs on sacks. He was harassed all night, and often could not find a receiver. I don't know if the problem is that Early isn't there or what, but the coaches need to figure out very quickly if this team is better with Matt Flynn or with Ryan Perrilloux behind center.
The running game, when we finally decided to rely on it, did very well. Taking out Flynn's sacks, we averaged almost 6 yards per carry and scored 4 touchdowns on the ground.
I would like to point out, however, that there really was no chance that Tulane would beat us. We played a very very poor first, about as poor a first half as you could imagine us playing, and we still went into the locker room ahead. Tulane played with passion and energy to our unfocused lack of effort, but we lined up and beat them with talent in the second half after killing their momentum. Yes, we played a very poor game, but we still won by 25.
I saw Chad Jones, Kelvin Sheppard, Drake Nevis, and Ricky Dixon all get significant playing time. Nevis had never played before, and is playing because of the injury to Charles Alexander. Jones, Sheppard, and Dixon had all played before but got more playing time today than ever before.
I don't know if I'm going to watch a replay of that. It would be too painful.
Tomorrow: What happened to Florida and the rest of the top 10? It sure was an exciting day of football after our game.