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Tuesday, January 2nd 2007

World Back On Correct Axis

Today, USC’s thumping of Michigan is second fiddle (and rightly so) to Boise State’s big night. I’ll have a Quick Hit about the BCS games come January 8th but some points here.

This game was a huge win, as I said. The defense played more than up to its potential. The first half Henne basically spent on his back.

For all the love given to Kiffin’s “correction” (throwing 27 out of 30 plays at one point in the second half), I actually don’t find fault with the ineffectual run game in the first half. It seems easy to understand why people would be so upset with the run when you see the difference in “success” (between first and second half) on this Rocky Top Talk flash game summary (H/T Conquest Chronicles).

I’ve been as critical as anyone of Lane Kiffin. And I still believe he isn’t up for the job. But on New Year’s Day the man had a gameplan. Largely that game plan, after what happened at UCLA, was to protect John David Booty (from the likes of this man). And you know what? Running the ball some (we may should have done it less), was a part of that game. Abandoning it sooner than the second half would’ve made the pass rush more ferocious (although with timid “no blitz” Carr ferocity and pass rush don’t really go together) and it would’ve taken away with the play action.

We went back to the bootleg, we kept the passing game short in the first half, we ran for those 2 yards per carry, and the offensive line played well. And all of that kept Michigan off Booty and all of that contributed to the down field passes which opened up the second half.

I’m not saying we didn’t run too much. But there are people online (and certainly at the game) shouting stupid things like “Why didn’t we throw it 27 out of 30 times in the first half?!”

That second half doesn’t happen, without the running, slants, screens, and short route bootlegs of the first half.

I thought Kiffin and John David Booty did a great job in the Rose Bowl. Sitting in the Rose Bowl I had no doubt, even when it was 3-3, even when we Gable was only plugging for 2 yards a carry, who was in charge of that game.

Of course, not seeing it on TV, I missed this…

Offended Easily? Don’t Watch…