Mississippi State disrespected Steve Addazio on Saturday night, and doing so gave them a huge “upset” road win.
After taking a 10-0 lead into the half, MSU threw the ball once in the entire second half. Dan Mullen sent a message. He said that he didn’t think our offense could score 10 points without our defense setting us up with an interception, and he was right.
When I started this site a few months ago, early on some people ragged on me because we were scoring ~30 points per game. I told them that wasn’t our offense’s doing, and that it only appeared that way because special teams and the defense were gifting us with great field position, or outright scoring on their own. Saturday night was our offense, same as it’s been all year. 7 points. The only difference between the MSU game and most of our other games is that our defense and special teams didn’t score for us. 7 points is what we can expect out of our offense when they actually have to score on their own. Same (basically) as in the Alabama game. Same as in the LSU game. Same as in most games.
I’m not going to dive too deep into what Addazio did wrong on Saturday night. We’ve been there before. Saturday night was no different, as we saw much of the same. Only one shot down field all game long, Brantley running the option, Burton telegraphing when we’re running in the redzone, blah blah blah etc etc etc.
Saturday night was unique in that we got to hear the announcers, who are typically way behind avid fans of a team, be as dumbfounded with the playcalling as we were. Spielman and Herm constantly wondered outloud why we couldn’t figure out that the offense wouldn’t work unless we could get the defense to back off with some downfield passes, and Herm practically yelled at his monitor in disbelief as we continued to kill drives with Brantley option calls. One of Addazio’s biggest faults is the same as the Zookers. He plays the field 10 yards at a time. 18 play scoring drives are nice, but they’re too fragile to count on. One holding call, one run for a loss, or one false start and our entire drive is shot. The goal in football is to score the most points, not pick up the most first downs. You’ll never find a team being successful without picking up yardage in chunks at times throughout the game, and you can’t pick up yardage in chunks if you don’t call plays designed to do so.
But perhaps the most telling thing out of the announcers mouths was their anecdote about their interview with Addazio earlier in the week. In it, they asked Addazio about the O-line’s problems with blitz pickup this season. Addazio responded simply, “we’re fine”. This anecdote came as Brantley was hitting the turf for the 5th time in the last 6 plays. Addazio continues to stick his head in the sand and tell us that no problems exist, as if we’re too stupid to know any better. “Oh, our OC says everything is great, so it must be”.
An interesting stat popped across the screen during the game. Florida has only gained 400 yards of total offense against SEC opponents twice in the last two years, and both of those games came against Kentucky. It really sheds to light what I’ve been trying to beat into the Addazio apologists heads all along, that this problem isn’t new, it’s not the overreaction of one or even a couple of games, and that it has been there all along, even when he had an all-time great team to work with.
Look at how far we’ve fallen this year. Not only have we lost three games in a row for the first time since 1988, but perhaps even worse is that we lost two games in a row at home, at night. Even Pat Dooley has finally jumped onboard the bandwagon. If only he’d have listened to me sooner, before the damage was done.
At this point, I’m numb. This is the first Gator loss I can remember that I wasn’t angry afterwards. It’s almost as if I expected it. The announcers kept remarking about how shocked the Florida fans were. Were any of you shocked? The major websites hung the tagline “Mississippi State upsets no. 22 Florida”. Do any of you consider this an upset? In our current state, with our current coaches, I don’t think we’re any better than Mississppi State.
That picture you see at the top of this article was Addazio after Brantley was once again dropped behind the line to end a drive, leaving us with no points in the 1st half against Mississippi State. That was his reaction. Just standing there. Just like the LSU game. At this point, the guy barely even fits the definition of the word “coach”.
And Steve, don’t you dare try and tell us about all the good that came out of this game in Tuesday’s press conference.