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Daily Archive for October 21st, 2007

LSU Post-Game: The Kick, The Spot, The Pass

There’s a lot of stuff in yesterday’s game that I can write about and some things I already have but, I want to focus on LSU’s last drive of the game. There were so many major issues with the drive that leave me infuriated as an arm chair coach.

The Kick: Auburn has been squib kicking on kickoffs all night long. Why? Well Holliday is easily the fastest man on the field and arguably both the fastest man in College Football and possibly in College Track as well. No doubt, the guy is fast and can be dangerous to kick to but, he’s no Devin Hestor. He’s a freshman and you can always kick it ot the opposite side of the field. Now obviously this kick was a lot worse than previous kickoffs in the game but, I’m in the camp that you kick it away there. In a situation when your opponent needs 1 point to win and 3+ minutes on the clock you want to force them to earn every single yard needed. If Holliday gets the ball and runs it all the way back, well they earned that. If he brings the ball back up the 40? He earned that. If we squib it to the 40, we gave that to them and it’s unacceptable.

The Spot: 3rd down with 2 minutes left. If didn’t catch it, it was a horrible spot. One of many in the game but, this one stung most. Again, if they earned the yards I wouldn’t be so angry but, it was just given to them. The SEC officials both on the ground and in the booth for the game should be ashamed at a few of the calls in this game but, this one in particular hurt the most in a critical situation.

The Pass: This is going to be a play that will talked about for at least a year maybe even longer. I honestly have no idea why they went for 6 when only 3 were needed but, we can certainly speculate for the time being.

  • Les Miles has giant planetary size balls. Did he really just risk his National Championship hopes, SEC Conference title hopes, and possibly his job on a single unneeded pass? If thats really the case he either has the largest balls in the state of LA or the smallest brain
  • He didn’t know how low the clock really was. Did he think he had more time than was actually left on the game clock? I’d like to hope he did. I would guess that a top NCAAF coach wouldn’t toss a game up like that without knowing what he was doing.
  • It was a statement. It seems like so many SEC games are decided by who ever has the ball last and can kick a field goal (twice, if you call timeout). Was this his way of telling Tommy “This is my damn river boat and I’m the big gambler here” or just to make sure everyone else know that if they were going to win they were going to win?

The Kick, The Spot, The Pass. It was a critical path for LSU. If any one of those things didn’t happen I’d be writing a “haha” type post instead of a long explanatory one. The rivalry will continue and this game will be added to the great list of stories that is the LSU / Auburn Game.

Tommy after LSU Game

If this was intentional someone’s head should roll

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I understand that things happen in football. At the bottom of the pile away from the eyes of the referees things happen. In the seconds after the snap of the ball on the line you get some fists flying on the line of scrimmage. Sometimes some fingers go through the masks of the helmets but, it’s blocks like this that really steam me up.

The rule is very simple and is in place for a reason. As an offensive line man you cannot block low if the defensive lineman is already engaged with someone. Simply speaking you can’t block someone low if they are already being blocked by somebody. This doesn’t prevent you from double teaming (just both block high) and blocking low (just can’t have someone high). This rule was put in places to specifically prevent the injury that almost happened to Dorsey. A single illegal hit like that can easy ruin any players career especially a lineman who’s knees and legs already take continuous beating and are where they derive the majority of their power and worth. This hit was also particularly brutal since it came half from behind and was pretty much a dive aimed at his knees.

The only possible way to forgive this block is if Ramsey (the center) confused his assignment. Auburn did quite a few line dive blocks in the game for drop back passes but, I’m not sure if this was the case here, there was a bit too much delay to be a mistaken assignment. I certainly hope that it was a decision that he made himself and WAS NOT COACHED that blocking technique. To be coached an illegal move that has been known to cause careerer ending injuries is inexcusable.

So why am I getting all riled up here? Why do I care about Dorsey? Why am I putting so much effort into bad mouthing our center, our O-Line, and our team? Because these are things that come back to haunt you. These are cheap things that tarnish a team, a program, and a coach’s image. These are things that shouldn’t be tolerated because it makes people start to use the words “cheap”, “cheat”, and “scum” when talking about your team. I don’t want people to think this about the team that I love and if we as fans encourage or cheer behavior like that then we are simply reenforcing their position and giving more evidence to make those terms harder to shake in later years. I want a clean program that wins by good honest football not cutting corners and trying to injure other players.

On top of the fact that it tarnishes the image of the entire organization it opens us up to the same type of ‘cheap’ play. It starts to foster the mumblings of “if they do it then we should too”. Well if your content with cheering on cheap hits like the one above I don’t want you hear you whining about cheap hits and illegal blocks when Groves, Carter, Roseman, Coleman, or Marks gets hit high-low and is taken out for the season, the year or their career is ended by a cheap shot. If your OK with that and feel comfortable with the fact that other teams will now be gunning for your guys since they are trying to injure their players then by all means cheer and yell at cheap shots but, I don’t want you cheering next to me, it’s embarrassing. Your encouraging these kids to prematurely end their careers and severely hurt our program with their loss. Cheer for the big legal hits and cheer for the great blocks. Don’t cheer for an illegal hit that can ruin a 20 year olds life.

Just play good, clean football and win.

Update: Looks like Tommy responded to the block and pretty much agrees with my opinion on the block and is saying it wasn’t intentional. Some quotes from Tommy on the topic

“We do not teach it. We will not teach it. We won’t tolerate it,” Tuberville said. “It was two freshmen, and they were trying like the dickens to block him. There wasn’t any malice in that. We talked to the people involved, and there was no malice at all, no trying to hurt anybody or intentionally do anything. We were just trying to block.”

“If you think it’s malice, where a guy’s trying to hurt someone, I’d take action,” he said. “But it’s just heat of the moment. It happens. I hate it happened to (Dorsey), because he came back to get his degree and finish out in college football. He’s a great kid, works hard and plays hard. There was no intent whatsoever to hurt him.”