Here's hoping the Tigers found it easier to stay fired up and focused this week than their fan base has. I think the HUGE numbers of penalties and poor turnover ratio of the mid-season schedule provided a focal point for Coach Miles and the boyz this week. I have faith in that. I have no other choice. Cause if LA Tech surprises us tomorrow night, I may not be able to stand it.
Three Points to Ponder.
- Productive Offense. The Tigers started out the season so dominant on defense that it was difficult to imagine that fans would be counting on extremely productive offensive play to win games. Yet that is where we are, and thankfully, the offense is coming through in spades. Even despite being the most penalized team in the SEC, the Tiger offense is putting up 37.2 points and amassing 440 yards per game. Because Coach Miles and his staff have used damn near every weapon in their arsenal on offense, the individual stats don't stand up and scream, "We got it goin' on!" But the Tiger offense does have it goin' on. And the versatility and potency of the squad has only been marred when they stop themselves. Look for a clean game against Tech, LOTS of substitutions, and some big plays from K. Williams, Charles Scott, and the receiving corps. I see a 500 yard game with few punts and scoring at will.
- Ryan Perrilloux. I imagine the gameplan is to feature RP in the second half. He needs it. If he's going to stick around and be the helmsman next year, LA Tech is THE opportunity for him to distance the Varsity fight and his previous transgressions (real or perceived) and get on with gettin' on. This could be the "Tipping Point" game for RP - one way or the other. Let's face it - the offense is talented almost all the way through the second string. There's really no reason why the second half shouldn't be every bit as impressive offensively as the first. Good luck, RP. Though I have my doubts that you'll be able to grow up in time to seize the opportunity sitting at your feet, I sincerely hope you do. Time to be a man, brother.
- A preview of next year's defense. With Dorsey and Beckwith ailing, I expect to get a gander at some of the stars of next year's defense. For me, this is the only question about the 2008 Tigers, assuming no coaching changes (yeah, right - bye bye Pellini, enjoy Nebraska) and RP does the right thing. What will the defense look like? Who will step up on the LB corps? Will Tyson Jackson follow Glenn Dorsey into the NFL? Will we be able to replace our talented cornerbacks? Will Danny McCray learn to cover the pass as well as he plays the run? I'm all eyes and ears.
Too bad this one isn't on TV. I'll be listening to the game on the radio. And I predict it'll be as boring as this week has been. But that's a good thing. And if the penalties are under control, and we get to see (hear) some of next year's stars in action, I'll be bored AND satisfied.