Bama (Natl Champ)
Alabama Crimson Tide (National Championship)
L, 23-26

     Raise your hand if you saw that coming... that's what I thought. So, let's just briefly recap. Oklahoma State can't stop a hot knife through butter - 10 points. South Carolina with their traditionally stingy SEC defense allows 3 points in Week 1 - 41 points. Oklahoma State is an offensive juggernaut - 24 points allowed (and 10 off turnovers). South Carolina can't put up double digits against a middle of the pack ACC team - 37 points allowed. I know I'm slow sometimes, but is anyone else confused? Oh well, here are some of my thoughts about the Cocks game:

     The Good: It looks like we really have a weapon in the kick return game. With Boykin and Smith back there, we figure to have very good field position and be a threat to score on every kick. Also, AJ Green and Rennie Curran are proving that they belong in every national conversation about the top playmakers in America.

     The Bad: Mike Bobo, Joe Cox and Akeem Dent. I love Bobo, but I'm starting to wonder how much of that love is more based on his history in a Bulldog uniform than his more recent position as playcaller. Why does it seem that he abandons the running game for critical periods of time? With the situation as it was, we should have been feeding the rock to our running backs rather than throwing the ball when Norwood gets that pick 6. That leads me to the next guy - Joe Cox. Don't get me wrong here; I'm not calling for him to be benched. I still believe he is the quarterback, and I still think he can lead us to a successful year. BUT, inexperience or not, he HAS to see Norwood - one of the top defensive playmakers in the SEC - directly in his throwing lane. He made up his mind about where he was going before the ball was snapped and he locked in. He has to have the presence and vision to see the field and pull that ball back. And, I know I'm being hyper-critical here, but, while on this topic, I have to mention the TD pass to AJ Green. Great throw and freaking awesome catch. HOWEVER. If Cox has the vision we need him to have, he would have seen that AJ was double covered on that play because Orson Charles was standing all by himself in the flats. That's an easy dink and dunk TD if Cox sees the whole field there. As for Akeem Dent, he just seemed lost. I thought this guy was poised for a big season, enough so, that I worried about him as a potential early entry to next spring's NFL draft. Last weekend, he looked slow, confused and missed several tackles. What gives?

     The Ugly: It's unfair for long snappers because they are never lauded for a job well done, and only talked about when there's something negative to say. Guess what. Life's not fair. Ty Frix has to be automatic. If he can't do the job, find a walk-on that can. Also, the officiating. I can't argue with the horse-collar call on Reshad Jones (though Giles stepped out of bounds 10 yards before the tackle occurred), but where was the flag when the SC defender horse-collard AJ Green later in the game? Also, I saw numerous holds of our d-line that went uncalled.

     Players of the Game: Pretty easy for this game. Offense: AJ Green - A man among boys; he'll either catch it or draw an interference penalty. Defense: Rennie Curran - 15 tackles and the game saving pass break up. Special Teams: Brandon Boykin: WOW! 187 kick return yards, including the 100 yarder for a TD. Oh, and toss in 4 tackles and a pick on defense.