I hate Florida. I hate Florida cause one of my very best stupid face friends loves them. I hate them because of Tim Tebow. I hate them because of Corch Irvin Meyers. I don't hate Steve Spurrier, but that's kinda like your crazy uncle, the one you love but hardly understand... his checkered past can't really be held against him. I hate Major Wright and Joe Haden and Jevon Kearse and Brandon Spikes and Ike Hilliard and Dallas "Stupid Maker" Baker and Percy Harvey and oh god do I hate Rex Grossman. I hate them all. I hate their putrid colors and disgusting uniforms. I hate their academic pretentiousness, the fact that they created some sugary, fruity refreshing sports drink and also that we have to play them. Every. Single. Year. I hate Florida.
This feels better. /not really.
Florida kicked our ass this weekend. There's no two ways about it. The first half, when we lead, was basically a draw. The game ended about midway through the 3rd quarter. It was obvious we wouldn't advance the ball anywhere near scoring range and regardless of how stellar our defense, they were flat exhausted.
Y'all remember the high hopes? Remember the optimism (delusional or otherwise)? Remember how Mettenberger was going to set this offense apart from the previous four years and turn LSU into a force to be reckoned with? Well, none of that happened.
There are no simple explanations to what is going on with this offense. They've regressed... entirely. Nothing works. When I say nothing, I mean, nothing. LSU rushed for 42 total yards on Saturday. 42. Like Jackie Robinson's number, 42. I can't remember the last regular season game LSU rushed for under 42 yards. If you are keeping track that's two times in seven games we've gone sub 50 yards rushing. Abysmal. Embarrassing. I don't have answers.
Animated Drive Chart brought to you by Gameday Depot.
53 Total Plays
Shotgun, Single back: 15
Shotgun, 2RB: 4
I've tried to grasp positives from this game. Building blocks. Strides. Signs of improvement. I got nothing. This is the worst offensive performance to date. The offense rarely looked competent. Nothing worked with any consistency. At one point we failed to earn a 1st down for over two entire quarters. In fact, we only had 12 possessions all day. In fact, 6 of those 12 were 3 and outs (with another being 3 plays and a FG). That, my friends, is miserable, pathetic, disgusting "offense."
Mett: He's seen better days. Started well. First throw finding an open Ware, fitting in a tight window right by athletic Bostic showed the skills we have faith in. Backs that up with an ugly, weird throw to Boone that could have been caught, but came out wobbly. Early sack, Danielson blamed on Mett, which I don't get. It was a slant and go. If you watch the replay, Boone is just breaking his route into the "go" portion. Mett gave a pump and then got taken down. You could argue he should feel and throw away... okay. But still, protection isn't that. If you call a slow-developing play, your line needs to be set up for longer protection. Hurst/Collins got beat. End of story. We ran some zone-read stuff and the short-side option. Why? Struggled to hook up with Boone all day... a guy he previously had good timing/connection with.
On the pick he made the right read, just absolutely sailed the throw. Looks like he just got anxious, because nothing visibly weird in his delivery (footwork and arm motion look normal). Chalk it up to road jitters or something. Just a plain bad throw on what could have been a big gain. Instead, a turnover.
Tried to run a hurry-up screen to Shep. Went for 4. Then tried to call it again, and resulted in a loss of yards/sack on Mett. Offense not on the same page with him, but I like his intentions in trying to jump start the offense. Later sack on safety blitz I put on Mett. It's well telegraphed. Safety is creeping up the line all the way until the snap. Also, an utter bust by Hurst who just lets him come free and dives at him and whiffs. Mett should see and anticipate, but line needs to pick these things up.
We rolled Mett out on 2nd and Goal from the 4 and gave him only 2 options? Why? This is a play for Jordan Jefferson (who could make something happen with his feet), not Mettenberger. Terrible play call.
Continued success with the stop/comeback routes. When Mett is throwing to "spots" he's more relaxed and accurate. Would like to see a move toward more of that.
Omar Hunter crushes the left side of the line as Hurst whiffs terribly and Collins is blown up. Ball ends up being batted down. Maybe a blessing in disguise judging by Mett's eyes... looked like he may be throwing into a risky situation.
One weird play on 3rd and 3 in the early 3rd. Mett seems to only read half the field. Not sure if by design or what. Bekcham is confused or something, because he's blocking, which leaves Mett only two options, well-covered Clement and Ware in the flats (no chance). Ball is thrown (poorly) to the flats, and dropped (irrelevant as it would have went for a loss).
Beautiful bomb on the play to Beckham and he stood tall to deliver it. Unfortunately, play is marred by stupid turnover.
Allowed a delay of game, or two. Bad job getting us in and out of the huddle on the road.
Tried to throw a deep out to Landry which Danielson swore was the right guy. The ball was tipped, nearly picked. Looked to me like Watkins was baiting that throw all the way. Bad decision Mett.
We waited until the 4th quarter to throw a screen pass to the RB and anything short to the TEs. I have no idea why. Not doing Mett any favors. Overall, not a very good game. Looks to be devolving a bit. Confidence waning. He's thinking too much and pressing. Not relaxed, care free kid we saw in spring. May need to have the reins taken off and just turned loose. Finished 11/25 for 158 and 1 INT.
Ware: Tough sledding on the ground. Saw the most plays of any RB. He wasn't particularly effective. Did make a nice catch and run early on a cut route that went for 20. Would have had a chance to score if the line did a better job on that first and goal play after the fumble recovery. Instead, only went for 3-4. Early third he made a bad mistake getting impatient. Tried to bounce a run to the outside but should have waited, because HUGE lane opened to his right. Play went for no gain. Could've been 7-8. Danielson blamed him for sack on Mett in early 4th, but I don't see how he would have picked it up. Nice play by UF d and poor blocking scheme up front is the root cause. Finished 8/21 with 1 catch for 20.
Hilliard: We tried that inside toss we experienced so much success with against UF last season and they apparently watched tape, because there were about 5 guys there immediately. Quiet day mostly. Finished 5/16.
Ford: 4 carries for 14 yards. When you can't seal the outside, your outside RB isn't going to do much. Ford used his speed as much as possible to extend plays but never really broke free. Had one promising play snuffed out due to missed blocked by Turner and Hurst.
Hill: Interestingly, saw A LOT of run end of game. Not Hilliard, not Ford, not Ware, but Hill was on the field for most of the final possession (the one before the hook and ladder). Turned a 3rd and 18 into a 1st on a wide open screen pass with nothing but him and green grass. Still, showed soft hands and nice speed. Beautiful cutback on a play just a couple after the screen to turn it into a 4-5 yard gain rather than nothing.
Copeland: Stupid personal foul early in the game nearly cost us dearly field position. Fortunately, Matt Elam out dumbed him. We threw to him on 3rd and 10 early in the game. Fine with the play in general, but just seems like a bunny-soft play call. Super conservative. We tried it again later and he dropped it. Quiet. Tough to operate when nobody in front of you cleans up.
Neighbors: Only thing of note is that he was outright tackled on the 2nd and Goal rollout pass play by Mett, where he was one of two featured receivers. First of all, why? Second of all, isn't it illegal to just tackle a player who doesn't have the ball?
Beckham: Really rough day for him. His blocking wasn't good. His receiving maybe worse. Obviously fumbled away the potential game-changing play for us. But can I just say, I hate this play. I hate how this is ruled. Beckham obviously fumbled and some guy from UF half-assedly picked up the ball, but EVERYONE stopped because the refs blew it dead. Then they check replay and give the ball to UF? I hate that. Almost as much as the infield fly rule benefits the potential cheaters. Who knows what happens if that ball stays live? Swallow the whistle. /rant
His disappointing Sophomore campaign continues. I still have a lot of faith in his abilities, but he's just not putting it together. Drops, fumbles, mental mistakes, you name it. He's struggling out there. Trying to do too much. 4/78.
Landry: Was targeted a couple of times, but Mett could never find him. Made a mistake lining up wrong and forcing an illegal formation... after a nice game. Frustrating. Quiet night.
Boone: 0 catches as he and Mett struggled to get on the same page. He did get the start, so the coaches have noticed his hard work and connection with Mett. Unfortunately, didn't build on it here. Not the best blocker, but maybe our most explosive receiving options.
Wright: Played a little, didn't do much.
Clement: Up and down game. Sometimes really successful blocking. Others, looked bad. Did get one catch for 7. Wouldn't mind seeing more of that implemented.
Jacobs: Had a nice catch early and a few late. Hope this becomes a larger part of the offense. Blocking wise, he did solid. Struggled to get across the face of Easley, but he did manage to drive him out of the hole. Back-up, blocking TE the most sure-handed guy on the team?
Hurst: It's hard to put into words just how terrible this guy has been. I don't want to pick on him or needlessly insult, but I have to be honest. The foolish notion that Hurst could play LT for us came crashing down in a hurry against UF. In fact, he wound up on the bench in the favor of Dworaczyk in the 4th. Miserable. He missed in the run game. He missed in the pass game. Wound up on the ground a ton. Missed assignments. Whiffed on guys. Just ugly, ugly, ugly. We'll see what role he plays for the rest of the season.
Collins: Not his best. He wasn't abjectly terrible, but he wasn't particularly effective either. We seemed to suffer all night from box overload. Not sure our typical game of getting him into space in pulls and traps worked that well considering.
PJ: I don't know anymore. Completely beat on the 1st and Goal play. Seems like some protection breakdowns belong to him, making the calls. Slid guys wrong (or didn't slide them at all). Guys were all over the place. Maybe not his fault, but the C is generally responsible.
Williford: Didn't play much and went down early. Not sure it would have mattered.
Turner: Did okay. Missed block early that could have sprung Ford. On one pull, he came in tenatively and McCray dumped him aside easily. Needs to be more aggressive and trust he knows the play. Overall, I feel optimistic about his play. I think he's more athletic than Williford and may allow the offense to due some better stuff overall. Ultimately he needs confidence he knows the plays and aggression to insert them.
Vadal: Got beat once. Nothing else of note. Wasn't particularly effective as a run. Just a big body out there, right now.
Tough to watch this offense right now. Even in dogged days of Jefferson/Lee, we could run the ball. Not now. It's worrisome. At this point, I'm in nothing to lose mode. I would love to see us open against USC completely spread out, no huddle, allowing Mett to wing it around a bit on a lot of short, simple throws. We need to rebuild his confidence. The coaches need to get back to trusting him. We are so handcuffed right now. Can't get to the 2nd level in the run game. Can't catch. Pass pro was okay, but the rest wasn't there. Just ugly football all around. I have no answers for what to do at LT. I'm guessing we'll see a Dwor/Collins/PJ/Turner/Vadal line this weekend. Sub Williford for Turner if he's okay. Not sure Hurst hasn't earned himself a spot on the bench. So many issues, it's difficult to pinpoint how to fix. Offense needs a new look. Offense needs to be rebuilt. But that's no easy task, particularly considering we're entering the bulk of SEC play. Miles has questions to answer.
At this point, I'm tired of "blaming" players. For 5 years, I gave Miles/Stud a vote of confidence in that they had limited QBs to work with. Mett isn't limited like those two, but we've only regressed. At some point it comes back to coaching and preparation. I'm not saying heads should roll. I'm saying something needs to change. The coaches get paid good money to figure this thing out. So I'll leave it up to them.