Monday, 6 October 2003

Comparative advantage

Pete Holiday has written a recap of Week 6 in the SEC, which saves me that chore for this week. Predictions will be forthcoming later.

One thing I will quibble with is that nobody seems to be giving Ole Miss any credit for the win. Perhaps Zook made some questionable calls—I probably would have passed more—but if there’s a rule of coaching, it’s to stick with your game plan, and the way Leak was passing late, he probably would have thrown more picks if Zook went to the air earlier. But, if you look at the stat book, the Gator offense doesn’t look that bad: 376 yards is hardly a sign of offensive weakness, the O-line only conceded one sack, and they went 3 for 4 in the red zone.

Even on defense, the Gators didn’t look that bad. Florida essentially shut down the Rebels’ go-to receiver, Chris Collins, for much of the game (he was held to 5 catches for 72 yards, and didn’t catch a pass until 24 minutes into the game on the drive where UF intercepted the ball). Maybe the defensive line failed to stop a few running plays that they should have, and perhaps the secondary wasn’t prepared for the best passing quarterback they’d seen to date.

But, in the end you have to give some credit to the Rebels, who were down 14-3 early and could have just folded their tents and went home. Instead, they made some adjustments, came out, and played to win the game. Ole Miss may have been mediocre early in the season, but they weren’t mediocre on Saturday when it counted, and now they’re the only team who’s 2-0 in conference road games this season.