Richard reviewed the game and a lot of his observations I agree with. The line looks deep and effective. The offensive line has not been tested at all. The Mitchells, particularly Chris, have looked terrific, and have probably passed Tolliver on the depth chart. Cutera, such a question mark last year, was effective as a replacement for Beckwith, who can’t get healthy soon enough as far as we’re concerned.
I hate to be Debbie Downer, but I couldn’t disagree more with Richard’s assessment of our quarterback play. It wasn’t okay, it was terrible. Our quarterbacks combined line was 20-36 for 209 yards, no TD’s, and 1 INT. Against North Texas. A 5.8 yard per pass would be mediocre against an SEC school, but against the dregs of the Sun Belt, it’s awful.
I’m not going to single Hatch or Lee out. They were both pretty bad. OK, each had a few good passes (strangely enough, Hatch’s best pass of the night was dropped by Tolliver), but they both spent most of the night throwing swing passes and letting the receiver do all of the work (not a bad strategy by the way) or throwing inaccurate balls downfield. Neither guy showed me much of anything and I have almost no confidence in either guy to play an even average game against Auburn.
OK, I’ll single out Hatch for a second, after I promised I wouldn’t. There are bad interceptions and then there are BAD interceptions. Hatch’s INT was one of the worst you’ll see all season. He rolled right, got in a little bit of trouble and then sort of made a jump throw. It was an awkward motion that looked terrible even on the release. The ball then floated down the sideline but in the field of play, almost nowhere near the receiver who, incidentally, was out of bounds and ineligible to catch the ball. It was bad mechanics and even worse decision making. Hopefully, it was an isolated incident, but it’s never a good sign when what I’m rooting for out of my quarterback is not to make any cover-your-eyes awful plays.
Also, to add to my complaints, I’m not sure if it was scheme or talent, but North Texas picked on Chris Hawkins all night long. He was playing a good ten yards off his man, and UNT just kept hitting the short route on him. To Hawkins’ credit, he never gave up the big gain. So I’m not sure if it is a matter of Miles telling his cornerback to just play deep and not give up the big play or whether it was Hawkins being unable to adjust. Probably the former, but I’m not comfortable with giving up so many short passes. Auburn can dink and dunk us to death.
Enough of that.
The truth is, we have no idea how good we are. LSU has essentially played two scrimmages and well, they looked like scrimmages. The team was about as focused as you’d expect. I spent a good portion of the game clicking over to other games to check on the action. The team has not been tested and we’re still just wildly speculating. The Auburn game is going to tell us where this team truly stands.
Let Auburn Week begin.