Great conclusion to the regular season that was the first step of a big rebuild. Lots of good things by our team, but still some inconsistencies and a couple of head scratching decisions that fortunately didn't harm us on the way to a big win. Biggest stories from the game have to be the defense, especially the ends and most notably Polite, Franks, and the ineptitude an lack of discipline displayed by F$U.

With the exception of a couple of series, the D kept the Nole O on the ropes. I thought like a lot of us that keeping pressure on Francois was job one and they obviously did a great job save the aforementioned two series where Francois threw and ran for a score. Otherwise, he was harassed effectively resulting in four sacks (I think), a fumble, two picks, and a number of errant throws. Franks is the Sunshine Kid for the day. Threw for three scores to Hammond, Jefferson, and Grimes, managed the offense, and didn't make any critical mistakes. He seems to have gained some momentum after the UGA and Missouri games and looked more poised than ever maybe. It'll be interesting to see what the bowl will bring where his continued development is concerned. The Clowns, on the other hand, looked more undisciplined and uncoached as ever despite obvious talent in their front seven and some aspects of their offense that doesn't include their
OL. Penalties by them came in waves, kids running on the field late, ineffective passing game for the great majority of the game (a lot of credit goes to our D, however), and poor execution of their coverage schemes add up to the hot mess that they are. Glad it's them and part of me wants to believe that they are getting what they deserve after making a snowflake decision on a coach. But I digress. Let's review some specifics...

*Our OL wasn't stellar today by any means. To wit, not getting a push when needed on a couple of fourth downs in the red (one featured a whiff by the LG) and some inconsistencies in the run and pass pro. But they were far superior to the hapless Nole$. They had a part in us putting up 41 and should be applauded as such. That said, this group needs to make great strides before next season as well as being fortified by some good gets in recruiting. Hevesy IMO has made them more functional than they've been in a while, so I believe we have the guy, but we've got to get him some good players to coach.

*Running game was decent overall despite some of the OL inconsistencies. Perine, as has been the case lately, was pretty good, rushing for over a hundred with the long TD run. Good blocking and the F$U safety getting sealed inside, which resulted in a zero look with nobody in the back yard playside to make a tackle led to the success of this play. Scarlett was better late, running hard with each carry, and scored the final TD to put the exclamation point on the game.

*Jefferson and Grimes stood out among the receivers. Jefferson's TD on the seam route was highlighted by a deft deke inside that put the defender on his @ss and left him "quarantined" to borrow Mick's catch phrase. Grimes was great on the comeback move throw from Franks that resulted in a TD and his post route and reception was text book on the Franks' RPO. Toney had a really nice catch in traffic and Hammond was effective as well. The receiving corps is an obvious strength and stronger still when Franks is playing well, meaning making good decisions and throwing accurately.

*As mentioned earlier, the D was pretty good, especially the ends led by Polite. If I have a criticism or two, it is that the ends often getting too far upfield which allows the QB to either step up and throw or escape on a run. Joseph still isn't good in coverage, but our secondary is growing and recorded several PBUs along with mostly solid coverage. The two picks by Dean and Stiner were not bad either. We've got something to build on with this group, but adding superior athletes is still necessary.

*MVP for the clowns was their punter, but I still don't think he was the best punter today. Townsend was remarkable, especially when he flipped the field with a 64 yarder when it looked like the Nole$ would have good field position and a chance to score and close the gap.

The Box


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