Just re-watched all of our games this past season...

305jacket

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
417
And I am nowhere near as worried as I was about this season before watching them. The game by game improvement of this team was incredible.

Those first 4 games, even though we were 4-0, we played bad. Even against Miami, we didn't play well, we did just what we needed to do to win. (Side note: I had dinner with Miami starting QB Brad Kaaya last week, and he told me that he had a tough time playing at Bobby Dodd. He said with the whiteout and and the night game, it really felt like a big time game and the fans showed up and made it tough for them to execute. I thought that was worth sharing, as I found that very interesting.) The Duke game was so rough to watch, there were some VERY bad calls in that game, but still no excuse, we played poorly. I almost felt like skipping the UNC game, the defense was so bad. You would watch plays, and our linebackers would fall for no reason, take wrong paths, absolutely no penetration. There was one play, a 4th down that UNC went for, and they caught a 40 yard TD over DJ White. Couldn't help but think if it happened later in the season, as DJ developed into a playmaker, if he knocks that pass down, we win.

The Pitt game was the obvious turning point of the season, going in without Laskey I thought the season was over. I was ready to wave the white flag, and then out of nowhere, 28-0 first quarter lead. DJ White ran down the RB 80 yards for the touchback and the rest was history. Every single game from there on out we improved.

Go watch the first 3 drives against FSU and the 3rd quarter against MSST. Those 2 teams were ranked #1 at some point this season, and were big physical Defenses with top NFL talent, and we dominated them. We executed our plays, and it was due to everyone getting comfortable with their roles, and Justin Thomas' dynamic playmaking ability.

I was very skeptical about the coming year, losing Smelter and Waller, because they bailed us out of a couple 3rd and longs that I don't think we convert without them. Losing Days/Laskey will hurt a lot as well, I am not worried about the AB situation anymore, Andrews is severely underrated, amazing blocker. Snoddy was also our most lethal RB, so it would be great to have him back.

Defensively, we will certainly miss Nealy and Isaiah but if we could recover from losing Jerry and Jemea last year, we should be just fine. We have so much experience in the secondary, that I actually don't expect to regress in turnovers as much as everyone else expects us to. We will excel in being in the right place at the right time.

I am sure that next year's team will be better than last years, but........
our record wont be as good. Replacing GaSo and NCCST with ND and FSU is no joke.

I expect another 9-3 record, but I think we beat Clemson in the ACCCG.

Question I wanted to ask: If you could allow for one graduating senior to return, who would it be?
Tough choice between Synjyn and DeAndre for me. But I would lean Days. (Who would have thought to say that midway through the season!).

Love this team and I can't wait for that Thursday night when toe meets leather.
 

takethepoints

Helluva Engineer
Messages
5,146
Laskey, in a New York Minute. Did you see his pro day stats? He would have been as far along with another year to develop. Further, while Days had some great games last year, he was never as good as Laskey against Ugag. As someone else said, the on;y reason he didn't have over 200 yards rushing in that game was CPJ.

For your other observations: right on. I buy the whole analysis and I agree with it almost completely.
 

Skeptic

Helluva Engineer
Messages
6,300
And I am nowhere near as worried as I was about this season before watching them. The game by game improvement of this team was incredible.

Those first 4 games, even though we were 4-0, we played bad. Even against Miami, we didn't play well, we did just what we needed to do to win. (Side note: I had dinner with Miami starting QB Brad Kaaya last week, and he told me that he had a tough time playing at Bobby Dodd. He said with the whiteout and and the night game, it really felt like a big time game and the fans showed up and made it tough for them to execute. I thought that was worth sharing, as I found that very interesting.) The Duke game was so rough to watch, there were some VERY bad calls in that game, but still no excuse, we played poorly. I almost felt like skipping the UNC game, the defense was so bad. You would watch plays, and our linebackers would fall for no reason, take wrong paths, absolutely no penetration. There was one play, a 4th down that UNC went for, and they caught a 40 yard TD over DJ White. Couldn't help but think if it happened later in the season, as DJ developed into a playmaker, if he knocks that pass down, we win.

The Pitt game was the obvious turning point of the season, going in without Laskey I thought the season was over. I was ready to wave the white flag, and then out of nowhere, 28-0 first quarter lead. DJ White ran down the RB 80 yards for the touchback and the rest was history. Every single game from there on out we improved.

Go watch the first 3 drives against FSU and the 3rd quarter against MSST. Those 2 teams were ranked #1 at some point this season, and were big physical Defenses with top NFL talent, and we dominated them. We executed our plays, and it was due to everyone getting comfortable with their roles, and Justin Thomas' dynamic playmaking ability.

I was very skeptical about the coming year, losing Smelter and Waller, because they bailed us out of a couple 3rd and longs that I don't think we convert without them. Losing Days/Laskey will hurt a lot as well, I am not worried about the AB situation anymore, Andrews is severely underrated, amazing blocker. Snoddy was also our most lethal RB, so it would be great to have him back.

Defensively, we will certainly miss Nealy and Isaiah but if we could recover from losing Jerry and Jemea last year, we should be just fine. We have so much experience in the secondary, that I actually don't expect to regress in turnovers as much as everyone else expects us to. We will excel in being in the right place at the right time.

I am sure that next year's team will be better than last years, but........
our record wont be as good. Replacing GaSo and NCCST with ND and FSU is no joke.

I expect another 9-3 record, but I think we beat Clemson in the ACCCG.

Question I wanted to ask: If you could allow for one graduating senior to return, who would it be?
Tough choice between Synjyn and DeAndre for me. But I would lean Days. (Who would have thought to say that midway through the season!).

Love this team and I can't wait for that Thursday night when toe meets leather.
Good piece, with some legitimate concerns. As far as getting a player back? Smelter. And Smelter. And Smelter.
 

AE 87

Helluva Engineer
Messages
12,989
Thanks for your reflections @305jacket

I agree that the improvement, in consistency especially, on offense was remarkable. JT got better every week and with him the offense as a whole. I also agree that we have good reason for optimism, with our returning players.

I don't understand our problems on D enough to get overly optimistic or pessimistic about D for the next season. On the one hand, we seemed worse statistically for most of the season than could easily be explained by talent and/or youth alone. On the other hand, we seemed to have a good game against Clemson.

If our D gets sorted, we're going to be really good.
 

swampsting

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,662
I rewatch the Orange Bowl about once a week.

I rewatched the Georgia game about a week and a half ago and from the second quarter on, we dominated that game. Aside from their first drive and their last drive in regulation (and I give them a lot of credit for both, with their talent and sense of urgency and a good scheme), the defense played a whale of a game, I thought. They got close a couple of times but the D stood up and forced turnovers or FG tries. Even after that fake field goal they converted, all they got out of that was ... a field goal.
 

Skeptic

Helluva Engineer
Messages
6,300
For certain you are not.
I rewatch Georgia, FSU and MSU all the time. But for nothing more than catching a Bizarre Moment in Time (subtitled A Coach Who Can't Believe It Is Happening to Me), watch Pittsburgh, 1st quarter. What happened to them cannot happen to anybody, ever. It is just not possible. Even Johnson looks like a boy who has discovered the candy store was left unlocked on the weekend. Now that I think about it, it didn't happen.
 

Ash

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
731
I just rewatched VaTech. Holy crap we looked bad early on on D. We couldn't get them off the field in 3 and long multiple times. And the O was sloppy until the 3rd quarter. It brought me back to watching that game in real time and getting a sinking feeling that it was going to be another long year.

Then 4th and 15 happened. Everything was different after that.
 

Skeptic

Helluva Engineer
Messages
6,300
I just rewatched VaTech. Holy crap we looked bad early on on D. We couldn't get them off the field in 3 and long multiple times. And the O was sloppy until the 3rd quarter. It brought me back to watching that game in real time and getting a sinking feeling that it was going to be another long year.

Then 4th and 15 happened. Everything was different after that.
I know Johnson has always managed to find WRs, and that Smelter was one who left the baseball diamond and starred immediately in football. Doesn't stop me from wondering, and worrying, that when we have the Smelter moment this season, will we have the Smelter receiver? I also sometimes wonder if Smelter looks back after the results of a 2-year career, and wonders what would have happened with four. I know I do.
 

GTFLETCH

Banned
Messages
2,639
I am excited for our oline and Dline this year...

Also excited to see if Ricky Juene can be the next WIDEOUT from GT
 
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