I'm going to post in two parts, partly because we just got back in from a friend's birthday get together (where I watched the second half) and I got pretty deep into the cold beers. Also, I want to try and find the game stats (for whatever reason, I can't find them at Gatorzone anymore) to digest and I'd also like to see the post game presser. So what I'll give is my usual impressions and a few light analyses. Not much joy in Mudville after a 54-16 @ss kicking that was hard to watch even though most expected it. Anyway, here goes: Glimpses. We had a couple to inspire some hope, like a TD drive on the opening possession. Similar to the script that began the F$U game, but actually found the end zone, and against Lord Nick and his professional collegians no less. Glimpses of sh!tty QB play. Well really there where extended views and it requires cuing the broken record of several seasons that until we get a bonafide guy in that position, many of our struggles offensively will continue. Glimpses of of a size, strength, depth, and speed mismatch where Bama is concerned. Despite a handful of good plays on both sides of the ball, we pretty much got dominated. To borrow a phrase from the late Kenny Stabler, I haven't seen as many roosters hitting the windshield of a team of semis in a long time as I did tonight. Hate to quote Dooley, but as he said in a post-game column, the gap is wide between us and them right now, and I'm personally having a difficult time seeing it close enough for us to be competitive with an elite team in the near future. Glimpses of what once was when the broadcast opened with a montage of the eight previous times we met Bama in the SECCG (well, seven of them at least). Saw a lot of things I've seen before this season...1) the aforementioned poor QB play (3 INT's was more than enough to make me wonder for the umpteenth time "why have we not seen one or both of the freshmen?); 2) the OL get dominated (I know it was Bama and we've had injuries, but for goodness sakes, we were able to get a push against the LSU D that pretty much held Bama in check!); 3) the D gave a good effort, but eventually succumbed to a strong and powerful offense after our O, with a couple of exceptions, failed to convert or extend some drives; 4) open receivers either overlooked or under thrown to (on one of the picks, Callaway was streaking past the Bama secondary only to have Appleby throw well behind him off of his back foot); 5) a lot of missed tackles. I'm sure there were more, but I'll stop here for now. This is enough. Saban is a good coach, nobody will contest that, but his genius may be in not only the simplicity of his game plan but also sticking with it. We weren't going to run on them and Appleby and the receivers were going to have to beat him. Of course, it's a plan that is easier to pull off when you are as good from top to bottom as they are, but even a lesser team could pull it off if they stick to the script. That is part of why we are as bad as we are against the better teams (and a couple of average ones). Two plays that summed up a part of the divide that exists between us an Bama (and really most of the elites we play or might play)...Quincy Wilson getting stiff-armed to the ground by a Bama RB and young Reese getting pancaked on a Bama TD run. The difference in strength and aggression was quite stark in many instances tonight. Glad we played UK and Vandy when we did! There were bright spots...nice throw to Callaway for an opening TD, same to Goolsby, heads up play on the blocked PAT by Reese's to return it for points, a couple of good series by the D, etc. The special teams play overall was not. Nor was getting stuffed four plays when we had it first and goal, but F$U gave us a heads up on that. Of course, we hadn't pissed a drop running the ball to that point and yet (forgive me) we try it three times in that span! Go figure if you can. Part II will come tomorrow, but in the mean time, I look forward to your input. I'll sign off by saying this...I appreciate that, as Mac is wont to say, our guys are playing their tales off, and there was a point early in the season that they weren't, but it isn't enough without depth, consistency, all around better play, and most certainly better offensive game planning. Without a quick fix in these areas, it's hard to see us become appreciably better in the near future. Tonight should have been a wake up call for any that are still dreaming of a hurried return to any National Championship conversations. The next step will be to see how we approach the bowl. Quoting Dooley again, but I agree that it should be a time to see a change at QB (and I'm not referring to reinserting LDR as the starter). Nor should it be viewed as just an extra few weeks to practice. A win would help in many ways! Go Gators!