Saturday, September 16, 2006

Jackets Explode in 4th Quarter, win 35-20

Well that was the closest 35-20 game I've ever listened to. In what was beginning to sound like another nail-biter after Troy tied the game 14-14 on their opening drive of the 2nd half. It wasn't until a late 3rd quarter drive resulted in what sounded like a circius one-handed catch by Mike Cox for a TD that the dam break open. It was then that back-to-back INt's by the Jackets led to two more TD's and a sigh of relief. That's 21 points in the 4th quarter by the offense, all of which came in the span of about 5 minutes.

Troy put up another great fight for 3 quarters, but just didn't have the horses for a full game. Credit the defense for staying very strong after that initial drive of the 2nd half. The late Troy score came with mostly 2nd teamers on defense.

Well, the Jackets finished with 500 yards of offense. I'm not sure that has happened in the Chan Gailey era. A whopping 320 yards on the ground and 180 yards in the air. 41 rushing plays and 32 passing plays. An average of 7.8 yards per carry on the ground. Interestingly 5.6 yards for attempt through the air. Honestly many of these yards were racked up late and I am still quite concerned about the effectiveness of the offensive line.

From a scheme standpoint, I think we saw a larger playbook today. There were reverses, sets with R.Grant lined up in the slot, sets with T.Choice lined up as a receiver, and some with both those guys in the game at the same time. Not sure how effective that stuff really was, but Patrick Nix is opening up the playbook a little more each week.

The defense gave up an 80 yard TD drive to open the 2nd half, but then held Troy to consecutive 2-and-outs, then back-to-back INT's to seal the win. Overall Troy had 101 rushing yards and 182 net passing yards. Throw in a couple of questionable calls to keep drives alive, or it would have been even better. Overall a good grade again for the D.

Better kick-off coverage today, particularly because we kicked more of them out of the endzone. Durant Brooks didn't have an outstanding day, but didn't do anything bad either.

Reggie ran for 138 yards, an all-time record for a Tech QB, beating Gary Hardie's record from 1978......... at least that's per Wes Durham. So, is it a good thing that your leading rusher is your QB? Not really in my humble opinion. As long as it doesn't become a trend.

From a passing perspective, Reggie didn't seem to have a good game, but honestly it was better than the stats would indicated. He ended 13-29, 165 yards, 2 TD's, 2 INT's. However, there were at least 3 dropped passes that should have been caught and one of those INT's came on a hail mary that ended the 1st half.

Not good, but evidently CJ had a "contusion" of some sort. He was in and out of the game after that, but sat most of the 2nd half. He only ended with 2 catches for 9 yards. His stats the last couple of weeks arent' going to win him any awards, but at the end of the day, winning is all that matters and win we did.

So, with CJ out, who is trying to make a statement of their own as the #2 guy. It clearly looked like James Johnson wants to be that guy, as he caught 3 for 74 yards. However, he's not the only guy. Greg Smith continues to make about 1 impressive catch per game and today he caught 2 for 38 yards. Great to see some other guys stepping up.

Chris Dunlap, I believe, has dropped at least 1 pass in each of the first three games. He wasn't the only one today, but he's had at least 3 drops this season. Chris, time to find the tube of stick'em.

Great to see the back-ups get more action. Taylor Bennet was 2-3 for 16 yards and might have taken us down for a TD had a penalty not brought back a nice connection to Wayne Riles. Jamaal Evans gets 5 carries for 40 yards and a TD. R.Grant hd 2 carries for 51 yards as well. On defense, a lot of guys got more action today as well. That bodes well for deeper into the season to know that certain guys aren't going to result in a big drop-off at their positon. Nice to have some game-speed film to review of a lot of different guys.

Some strange use of timeouts during this game. I don't have a lot of time to add more, but the timeout calls were just frustrating..... almost giving me flashbacks to Reggie's freshman season.

- It was a war in the 1st half, but as Dan Radakovish just said - "we imposed our will in the middle of the 3rd quarter".
- we're not one-dimensional offensively, trying to make sure people have to cover inside, outside, short, long, all over the field.
- On the other side, we felt that if you stop Troy's short quick passing game, you can win. That's was Jon Tenuta did today.
- good to get some of the back-ups some action. Good to see Taylor Bennet get some throws.
- 5 days to get ready - physically a concern.

Overall a good day. A little early frustration, but don't sell short a Troy team that almost beat FSU last week. Nice job team........2-1 and time for Thursday night ESPN action. I will be there!!!!.........

GO JACKETS!!!!!!!!.....