Killer Instinct

Boomergump

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Normally by this time on a Sunday I have watched the film thoroughly, seeing every play 8 or 10 times and begun to write a report. Things have changed now that I am living in Atlanta and attending games. Since I hadn't see the TV version yet I decided to watch the game one time through just to get a different perspective from the upper north.

You may be tempted to ask "how could this happen?" How can a team dominate the action so convincingly only to get run over in the next half? Well, I want to tell you that it is pretty easy. While it doesn't happen all the time in a game, it does happen frequently enough not to get surprised. As you already know most sports are games of inches. In football, there is a HUGE difference in getting a shoulder on a guy and getting an arm on him. There is a HUGE difference in having your weight two inches lower to enable you make lateral moves to tackle a player. There is a HUGE difference in having a FOCUSED EDGE and MENTAL CLARITY to keep your eyes in the right place, take the correct guy, or make the correct first steps off your reads. When you lose those small fundamental things, huge swings can result leaving everyone to question why.

After seeing this game twice, once from the upper north and once from the chair in my den, I really don't question our talent or play calling. I know where we are talent wise. We are good enough to be a really tough opponent for all adversaries but not nearly talented enough overall to "mail it in" against anybody. What I do question is our maturity. It is obvious that we lost focus at half time. I have seen it happen on my teams before. We didn't do everything wrong. We just did a lot of the little things poorly. I didn't count them, but we did force a large number of 3rd and longs (5+ yds) in half two. That is what you want from your defense. They hit some plays on all downs that gained big yards, but we had several chances to get them off the field (even after those gains) on third and long. You know what? We went "0-fer" on 3rd and long as a defense. Statistically the nation is below 30% in that situation on offense. We NEVER stopped them on third down. Even if we did poorly and gave up say 60% conversion, they are never in the game.

The game gradually slowed down for GSU on defense while we just didn't keep our focused edge. That is the story. GSU is better than I thought. They have more team speed than I imagined and they have decent talent in the trenches. We are lucky today to be 3-0, but it didn't have to be that way. We ARE better than that.
 

Yaller Jacket

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Add to that, Ken S has a piece this morning about just these kinds of things that we did right in the first half and wrong in the second. Little can indeed be big.
 

GTJoeBrew

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In a way, I think that yesterday was good for the young guys. We saw JT take the team on his shoulders and refuse to give up. I think the entire team learned that they need to never let up. We need to put our foot on the gas and play all out until the game is over. The end of that game was an epic like Nesbitt ending.
 

gtg936g

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The throw and catch from was nice. The thing I was most impressed with was when JT lowered his shoulder and broke through some tackles on a keeper a few players earlier.

I hope our guys have learned to stay focused from this. From here on out we are going to have to claw our way to a win. There are no easy games on the schedule. I think the good thing is that they have displayed some resilience over the last few weeks. VT is going to be a tough game and we better be 100% focused.
 

MidtownJacket

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Agreed that it was good for the team to see and believe in the ability of their leaders to carry them. Golden with the breakup to cause the fumble, JT to carry the team across the field.

At the end of the day we had a chance to march the field and out the ball in the end zone. And you know what, we did just that.
 

Boomergump

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I want to expand a little. Having coached enough I feel I can offer something from my experience. Some people may feel like the intensity factor or focus should be like a switch and can be turned on and off with the players. Why couldn't we just wake up after they scored the first TD of half 2? You may ask. I really don't think it works that way with humans playing sports to be truthful with you. It takes a while to get into the correct zone mentally, but it can be lost in an instant. Normally, once the edge is lost it will not return no matter how much you talk about it. That is why it is so important not to lose it in the first place. Usually, there has to be some MAJOR event that changes the fundamental consciousness of the players, like a HUGE momentum changing play, or a fight, or the lead actually changing to make it happen quickly. I don't know why it is this way, but I believe it is. That is why I fear big leads as much as I do. I have seen it happen time and time again at the HS level. It is a trait that lessons on teams as they get older. It still happens to adults, but far less often.
 

GTJoeBrew

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The throw and catch from was nice. The thing I was most impressed with was when JT lowered his shoulder and broke through some tackles on a keeper a few players earlier.

I hope our guys have learned to stay focused from this. From here on out we are going to have to claw our way to a win. There are no easy games on the schedule. I think the good thing is that they have displayed some resilience over the last few weeks. VT is going to be a tough game and we better be 100% focused.
That play was awesome. I thought he was going to get up and keep going. His legs we still moving after he was pulled down on top of the defender.
 

OldJacketFan

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I want to expand a little. Having coached enough I feel I can offer something from my experience. Some people may feel like the intensity factor or focus should be like a switch and can be turned on and off with the players. Why couldn't we just wake up after they scored the first TD of half 2? You may ask. I really don't think it works that way with humans playing sports to be truthful with you. It takes a while to get into the correct zone mentally, but it can be lost in an instant. Normally, once the edge is lost it will not return no matter how much you talk about it. That is why it is so important not to lose it in the first place. Usually, there has to be some MAJOR event that changes the fundamental consciousness of the players, like a HUGE momentum changing play, or a fight, or the lead actually changing to make it happen quickly. I don't know why it is this way, but I believe it is. That is why I fear big leads as much as I do. I have seen it happen time and time again at the HS level. It is a trait that lessons on teams as they get older. It still happens to adults, but far less often.
Boomer, that's what I was saying yesterday. Some folks were talking about the COACHES not being able to keep then players focused when in reality focus comes from within each individual. Once that focus is lost it's not able to re summoned on command especially in young players. Heck just watch any NFL games and you see the same things. Even the best, the highest paid, best coached players lost focus and fail to perform. So how can we expect anything different from collegiate players?
 

dressedcheeseside

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I think that's where the phrase "dig down deep" comes from. When someone has lost focus and has to dig down deep to find it again. Some guys, the champions, have the ability to do easier than others.
 

alaguy

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Normally by this time on a Sunday I have watched the film thoroughly, seeing every play 8 or 10 times and begun to write a report. Things have changed now that I am living in Atlanta and attending games. Since I hadn't see the TV version yet I decided to watch the game one time through just to get a different perspective from the upper north.

You may be tempted to ask "how could this happen?" How can a team dominate the action so convincingly only to get run over in the next half? Well, I want to tell you that it is pretty easy. While it doesn't happen all the time in a game, it does happen frequently enough not to get surprised. As you already know most sports are games of inches. In football, there is a HUGE difference in getting a shoulder on a guy and getting an arm on him. There is a HUGE difference in having your weight two inches lower to enable you make lateral moves to tackle a player. There is a HUGE difference in having a FOCUSED EDGE and MENTAL CLARITY to keep your eyes in the right place, take the correct guy, or make the correct first steps off your reads. When you lose those small fundamental things, huge swings can result leaving everyone to question why.

After seeing this game twice, once from the upper north and once from the chair in my den, I really don't question our talent or play calling. I know where we are talent wise. We are good enough to be a really tough opponent for all adversaries but not nearly talented enough overall to "mail it in" against anybody. What I do question is our maturity. It is obvious that we lost focus at half time. I have seen it happen on my teams before. We didn't do everything wrong. We just did a lot of the little things poorly. I didn't count them, but we did force a large number of 3rd and longs (5+ yds) in half two. That is what you want from your defense. They hit some plays on all downs that gained big yards, but we had several chances to get them off the field (even after those gains) on third and long. You know what? We went "0-fer" on 3rd and long as a defense. Statistically the nation is below 30% in that situation on offense. We NEVER stopped them on third down. Even if we did poorly and gave up say 60% conversion, they are never in the game.

The game gradually slowed down for GSU on defense while we just didn't keep our focused edge. That is the story. GSU is better than I thought. They have more team speed than I imagined and they have decent talent in the trenches. We are lucky today to be 3-0, but it didn't have to be that way. We ARE better than that.
I disagree.We are now on par in talent with a BRAND NEW D1 team that came VERY close to beating us at home .It is not like we curb stomped our other 2 powerful opponents.We flat out don't have the talent,size,speed,experience on DEF to win conference games vs decent teams unless the Off is prepared to score 40 every game..
 

GTNavyNuke

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Boomer, I agree entirely. While I have not competed in football, I have in cycling and triathlons. Being in the zone is very important and can be lost quickly by daydreaming and losing performance or by working too hard and burning yourself out. I have done lots of interval training where I measured and analyzed by heart rate and speed (biking and running). What I have found is that once I (and most endurance athletes) go too hard, it is very hard to recover.

Since I come from this background, I look at our game where we had the ball for about 22 minutes in the first half. I think our team, especially the O, got tired out in the first half. The D thought they wouldn't' have to play that much in the second half either. Maybe not consciously, but certainly subconsciously. JT was in on 46 plays in that first half - 16 of which he was the ball carries and many others where he pitched or had to escape the pocket to rush. He had to be getting tired and I think the relaxation at half found it extra hard himself and for the O to get back up on the bubble. Call it what you want, leading 35-10 at half it's hard to think you're going to have a dog fight in the second half. Now that they have, this group will know better next time.

One thought from cycling. It would make sense for certain key players to have their heart rates and speed / performance monitored live during the game. It's what is done in major cycling races now to decide which of the team members should be used to support the team leader at different stages of the race. When a players speed goes down at increasing heart rate, that's the time to bring a substitute in if the sub is close in expected performance. That's why during the game yesterday I said at halftime that I wanted to see Byerly for a lot of the second half and have the D keep up intensity. Nothing against JT except that he is human and gets tired. I saw his body dragging back to the huddle more and he didn't have the spring in his step at the end of the first half or in the second half. But he was a warrior and willed us down the field on the last chance; it would have been nice to have stayed out of that situation.
 

AE 87

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@GTNavyNuke very interesting post, imo. I've always had this uneducated suspicion that there might be an inverse correlation between heart-rate and passing stats. It would be interesting to find out if we ever run passing drills after raising our QB heart rates. Maybe it would be like shooting free throws after wind sprints in basketball.
 

GTNavyNuke

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@GTNavyNuke very interesting post, imo. I've always had this uneducated suspicion that there might be an inverse correlation between heart-rate and passing stats. It would be interesting to find out if we ever run passing drills after raising our QB heart rates. Maybe it would be like shooting free throws after wind sprints in basketball.
I think for passing (only an opinion) that when you are tired you change your mechanics which is what appears to have happened to JT, Vad, JN, TW, ........... I've heard the same thing for free throw shots in BB too, like you.

I think it's not just the heart rate for precision movements but also the lactic acid built up in the muscles. But I have no experience in that personally since cycling and triathlon are more cardio optimization than precision movements.
 

Stonewall

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It was a trap half.
haha! when i called this a "trap game on steroids" earlier this week a few on here wanted to argue till the cows come home it wasn't. we've all seen GT go to sleep too many times when gaining leads. don't think the eagle coaches didn't know this. they adjusted during the half to pick on the secondary on O and the D fed off the O's momentum and adjusted to the speed of the option.
 

dressedcheeseside

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haha! when i called this a "trap game on steroids" earlier this week a few on here wanted to argue till the cows come home it wasn't. we've all seen GT go to sleep too many times when gaining leads. don't think the eagle coaches didn't know this. they adjusted during the half to pick on the secondary on O and the D fed off the O's momentum and adjusted to the speed of the option.
Hat off to the Eagles. They made me a believer! Wish you guys a great season going forward.
 

AE 87

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haha! when i called this a "trap game on steroids" earlier this week a few on here wanted to argue till the cows come home it wasn't. we've all seen GT go to sleep too many times when gaining leads. don't think the eagle coaches didn't know this. they adjusted during the half to pick on the secondary on O and the D fed off the O's momentum and adjusted to the speed of the option.
So, to be clear, you're seriously saying that when you called the game a "trap game on steroids," you were predicting Southern would go into the half 25 pts down in order to sucker GT to sleep?

FWIW, I didn't understand you that way. I was saying that GT would come out ready to play, and they did.
 
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