Saturday, September 04, 2004

Jackets Whoop Dawgs 28-7

.... The Samford Bulldogs that is. The Jackets win 28-7. The game started with a bang as the Jackets marched downfield and scored a TD on their opening possesion.

There were exciting drives and some downright average ones. Total offense of 469 yards - 268 rushing / 201 passing. Good balance, although 60% of the plays were rushing ones - not unexected. A string of 3-and-outs was a bit concerning in the 2nd half, but overall the offense looked good. The running game dominated (45 running plays, 22 passing).

Daniels rushes for 25-169 and scores 3 TD's (2 rushing, 1 catch). Rashaun Grant racks up another 75 yards on 17 carries. Chris Woods was out with a stinger or not doubt he would have gotten some snaps as well. Reggie Ball had a pretty good day, going 14-21 with 201 yards passing, 2 TD's, 1 INT. He spread the passes around, with L.Thomas 3-54, N.Curry 3-40, Daniels 3-24, C.Johnson 2-45, J.Dixon 2-33, R.Grant 1-5. I will reserve judgement on Ball's performance until I can see the replay of the game and see him against tougher competition next week.

The 2nd team came in at the end for cleanup. Patrick Clark took a few snaps, but went 0-1. The heralded freshman Calvin Johnson had 2 catches for 45 yards and evidently looked good. Ball gave him a couple of chances to go up and bring down some jump-balls but couldn't bring them down. One was the end-zone. Should we be worried that Ball is hoping for CJ to bail him out on occasion. I guess that's ok if he does.

Well, they were tough against Samford, but that was to be expected. Samford finally got a score against GT (1st time ever). Without Parker / Henderson they still stuffed the running game, holding Samford to 53 yards rushing. But they also stuffed the pass, holding them to 169 yards on 44 attempts. The LB and DB's got a lot of action as Samford used 73% passing plays. No sacks which was surprising, but missing both ends was a factor and the quick release of the Samford QB. Overall Chris Reis led the team with 10 tackles, 4 unassisted and 1 for a loss. No doubt he adjusted well to the LB position. Reuben Houston had 9 tackles, including 3 for a loss. Wilkinson had 6 tackles, K.Scott 5, D.Davis 4. Freshman Darrel Robertson had 2 tackles.

Travis Bell missed his first FG attempt from 46 yards out, but did knock through 4 PAT's....... B.Arndt had a decent day punting, with 4-159 (39.8 avg) with a long of 48........ The real star was Kyle Belcher who had 5 kick-offs for a total of 325 yards, 3 touchbacks. The 2 returned by Samford were for a total of 29 yards. No doubt this was a major plus coming out of this game.

Well, I predicted 31-7 and the final was 28-7. Had the Jackets elected to kick a FG at the end instead of just run out the clock I would have nailed it. I said the running game would get over 200 yards and they did. I said PJ Daniels will end with about 140 yards rushing and he had 169. Not bad.

After the game, Chan Gailey had the following comments:

WES: Your team played well, but there are things to work on.
GAILEY: Well, we didn't do enough to cancel practice this week. There are things to work on and the players saw that. We looked pretty good early and got a little ragged toward late.

WES: Reggie looked pretty good out there.
GAILEY: Reggie had an ok day. He missed about 3 plays though that could have given him about 275 yards. We'll work on some things in practice.

WES: PJ Daniels picked up right where he left off last season.
GAILEY: PJ's day looked a lot like Tony Hollings in the opener against Vanderbilt a couple of years ago.

WES: Even with the switching the O-Line looked good.
GAILEY: The offensive line did a good job. Not bad at all. It is hard to tell though until I take a look at the game film.

WES: Adam Oliver was tough out there.
GAILEY: He played well. I saw him cause and recover a fumble and also a couple of plays where he kept the QB from rolling out. He gained some valuable experience today.

WES: You new kickers had a pretty good day. Bell missed a FG but Arndt punted well.
GAILEY: And I think we found us a kick-off guy. I like it when kickoffs are not returned and they are out of the endzone or 4-7 yards deep. We'll take that all day long.

WES: Can you take anything from this game in preparation for the Clemson game?
GAILEY: Sure. Clemson and Samford both play a lot of 3, 4 and 5 wide-out sets. So we will be able to use some of that in preparation.