Sunday, October 7, 2007

Miles 4th Down Calls Propel LSU Over Gators

Last season the Gators used their loss against Auburn to propel them forward and eventually win the national championship, but this is a different team and a different year. The Gators said they were more focused than ever and ready to beat LSU at home. They came out fired up and had a great game plan on offense, but it wasn't enough to make up for mistakes and bad defense.

The Gators were able to something against LSU that no one else had been able to on the season; run the football. LSU came into the game with the number one run defense, allowing only 30 yards per game. The Gators used their option read and ran the ball right at the LSU vaunted defense all game. The Gators ran for 157 yards and seemed to move the ball at will for most of the game. Dan Mullen did a great job of mixing up the plays and allowing Tebow to make plays with his arm and his legs.

The offense did it's job until the end of the third quarter, when the Gators were driving with a 10 point lead and Kestahn Moore fumbled the ball back to LSU. Although the defense held and LSU missed a field goal, the offense gave it right back to LSU when Tebow's pass bounced off of Ingram's head and into a Tiger defender's hands. After that, LSU coach Les Miles decided he was going to go for it on fourth downs. The Gators gave up a touchdown on fourth down on that drive and would later give up the game winning touchdown on fourth down as well.

Most of the fourth down calls made by Miles made absolutely no sense, but in the end they worked ever time. The Tigers went for it 5 times on fourth down and got it every time. Down three with only a minute left he went for the touchdown instead of kicking the field goal and hoping to win in overtime. Those calls took guts and he was either going to be a hero or an idiot and the end of the game. Unfortunately for the Gators it was the former.

The defense for the Gators once again could not get off the field when it needed to, and was picked apart by a team that was not throwing the ball well. The Gators, who also had held teams in check running the ball, gave up 185 yards to the Tigers three running backs. The frustrating part of the Gators defense is the fact that they have the athletes to make plays, but they do not allow them to make those plays. The coaches are worried about having a young secondary and have made the defense very conservative. The coaches should just let these guys come out and use their athleticism to make plays. They may get beat once and a while, but they will make some splash plays that will more than make up for it. The Gators have the talent on defense to be successful, but the coaching staff is holding them back from using their abilities.

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