I'm back and I'm no longer wet. It never rains in Tiger Stadium, so let's just say I got hit by deluge in the parking lot. And to whoever makes the ponchos LSU sells in the bookstore - you should take more pride in your work. Just saying.
I have not seen the game on TV and I've been in a bit of a media blackout due to the drive home (and the obligatory stop at some casinos - yes, mom, multiple casinos). I do not believe that being at the game gives you a better view of the game due to the ridiculous number of replays you can get on TV, but there were some things that jumped out at me that might not have been apparent had I been on my couch.
LSU steadfastly refused to throw the ball deep. I noticed. The guy next to me noticed. Vandy's defensive co-ordinator noticed. That's why the Vandy free safety played only ten yards off the line of scrimmage throughout the second half. Richard's already talked about the wide receiver blocking on screens, and he is right, but it was also the fact Vandy played eleven defenders within ten yards of the line of scrimmage. There's almost no blocking scheme on earth that's going to make a wide receiver screen work in that situation. There's just too many men to account for (on the flip side, had a defender missed a tackle, Lafell would still be running).
For the love of God, throw a deep ball. You don't even have to complete it, but you have to move the safeties off the line.
The offensive line was pretty terrible, but there has to be a point we start blaming Charles Scott. I love the guy, mainly because I love power football, but Keiland Williams is finding holes that Scott can't right now. Williams looks like he should be our every down back and Scott should come in on short yardage situations. I also noticed Scott lined up as a blocking fullback for Williams for a few snaps. And I just can't talk about Murphy's injury. That just sucks. If anybody deserves a break, it's Murphy.
I'll sum up how little faith Miles has in the offensive line by the fact on third and one, LSU lined up in the spread before calling a timeout to think about whether the line could simply over power the Vandy defensive front. He eventually called Scott's number from the power I, but that should have been a no-brainer.
The defense was very good, but I'm still concerned about the pass rush. I was stunned the team had three sacks (though one was the intentional grounding) because from our seats, you could see a clearly defined pocket on almost every play. It's pretty rare to actually be able to see the pocket, but there it was. The QB had a little bubble around him on almost every pass play. OF course, he couldn't complete that many passes because no one was open. The defense was very good, so I'm sort of nitpicking. Vandy just could not move the football.
Now... the fans. I know it was raining, but it was 13-7 at the half. There is no excuse for the stadium to be one-third empty in the third quarter of a tight SEC game. Are we that spoiled as a fanbase? Unfortunately, the most barren sections were the ones across from the press box, so I'm sure it looked bad on TV. Could we at least wait until the fourth quarter to try and beat traffic?
To those who stayed... don't boo the kicker. I hate field goals from inside the 20 as well, but Miles sort of had to make those calls. With two seconds left in the half, just get some points. Don't risk getting nothing. And the final FG, the one that garnered the boos, put LSU up by two scores. Also, LSU had 2nd and 2 and couldn't gain a yard in two plays. The offense had its chance to avoid a kick. It wasn't the call to kick that deserved a boo.
Finally, to all of the guys and gals at the TDT tailgate, thank you very much for your hospitality. The beer was plentiful, the pork loin was delicious, and the head cheese was something I don't even regret eating. You guys rock. I'm sorry to the tailgates I did not make it to, I appreciate the invites, time just got away from me.