Sunday, October 28, 2012

Post-Game Thoughts - Murray State Edition

Its a great day to be a Gamecock.  Some random thoughts following the Murray State game:

*What a turn around.   After the first few games of the season, including the EKU debacle it would have been difficult to predict that JSU's defense could play this well.  This may have been the best performance of the year considering the opposition and that 14 Murray points came off turnovers.

*Shut-down corners.  Nothing is more frustrating than when you are sitting in the stands and the secondary appears to be giving a 10 yard cushion.  JSU does not play pass defense like that this year. It is largely attributable to the emergence of not one, but two, shut-down, ball hawking corners.  Junior Hough and Rashod Byers are fun to watch.  The exciting thing is Hough is a freshman and Byers is a sophomore.  We also saw Trubb Buxton get in the action last night with a good pick.

*Interesting decision.   It would have been neat to learn the thought process on attempting the field goal with thirty seconds left.  Seemed to be very risky under the circumstances.   Granted JSU was only up three and a Murray field goal would have tied the game, but they were out of timeouts and had a long way to go.

*Another good running back.  The future is bright at running back for the Gamecocks.  Freshman Miles Jones looked impressive in limited action.

*The Boss.  Having Washaun Ealey as your feature back is like driving a BMW.   It is high maintenance and sometimes you ask - is it really worth it-  but when it comes time to perform, there he is.Thirty-seven carries yesterday against a Murray defense that was selling out to stop the run.   On that note, a halfback pass from Ealey would be a guaranteed touchdown the way teams bring the dbs up to stop the run.

*Good game for the birthday boy.     In his eighth season for the Gamecocks, wide receiver Kevyn Cooper celebrated his 31st birthday last week.    Unlike the BMW, Coop is like a low maintenance Chevy truck that just gets it done.  He has somewhat quietly put together a nice season.

*What a joke.  It is what it is, but the Mickey Mouse (no offense to Mickey Mouse) OVC rule where Tennessee State plays one less game than its conference foes is a sham.  It really wouldn't matter if the skipped game was against a cellar dweller, because in all likelihood TSU would win the game anyway.  This year, however,  the absurdity of the rule is particularly apparent.  There are two one loss teams in the league, EIU and TSU, that don't play each other.  Hats off to whatever TSU administrator negotiated that deal.

*The impact of two five yard penalties.  Its a little scary to think about where we would be but for a false start on a game winning field goal by TSU and an offsides on Murray that allowed JSU to get a touchdown instead of a field goal.  The difference between winning and losing is so small.

*He's not Mike Vick, but . . . Marques Ivory is not the fastest quarterback in college football, but he made some great runs yesterday.  He has a good sense of where the chains are.  One area of possible improvement for Ivory, however, is to either take a sack or throw it away. Twice yesterday he just flung it up in the air instead of taking a loss.  In this instance though, no harm, no foul.

*Hamish gets it done.  Not much has been made of it, but Hamish M. is a darn good punter.

*It doesn't get easier.  JSU may be in for its toughest game of the year next week.  Martin is always tough and they get up to play JSU- perhaps it lingering anger over some of the beatdowns they received in the GSC days.   Martin put over sixty up on Murray, beat EIU, beat Memphis and lost to EKU in a tight game, plus they have had a bye week to prepare for JSU.  I hope JSU goes out with an underdog, let it fly mentality.


  1. You didn't mention the play of Francis Duncan at corner. I spoke to him after the game and he pointed out something that I, and apparently you, didn't notice. Murray did not throw his way the entire game. So, obviously Murray was showing him much respect and deciding to test the other corners, who played well. Also, I thought the decision to go for a field goal on the last possession was a bad decision. Another bad decision was passing on 2nd down, in our last possession, which was incomplete, and saved Murray a time-out. Those little, bad coaching decisions can kill us.

  2. Downtown Telvin Brown is a play maker. A true freshman and at only 170 lbs wet, he plays big. What great focus on the touch down reception. So wide open tends to lend itself to butter fingers. Great vision by the big bomber to see the whole field and find the open receiver..... Need downtown to return more punts though.. Bonner is exciting... But Downtown Telvin Brown can take it to the house at any given time.

  3. Good observation on Francis Duncan. I like how he plays physical at the corner spot.

  4. All great points and I'd like to add the in-game bounce back by Alan Bonner who started the game not looking good and found his true form as the game went along.
    Let's also acknowledge Kevin Cooper for what may have been the most important catch in the entire game in the forth quarter when the ball was thrown behind him.
    Lastly, I'm LOST with how this team is coached and prepare the QB position. Ivory continues to mindlessly throw the balls up for grabs at key times during the game and Blanchard isn't fooling anybody since he's been resigned to strictly an option QB. With maybe the best arm on the team and the ability to throw on the run the coaches have fallen into an offensive rut and aren't utilitzing the players talents correctly.