Maze Save- 1st & 10 from AL 20. First play of second half. OL gave just enough protection. McElroy wasn’t really hurried, but if he took longer he would have because it was coming. The throw was definitely bad and could have easily been intercepted but for a great grab by Maze. I will say this… it was not an easy pass to throw. The ball was on the left hash mark, and Maze ran a 15 yard out on the right side of the field. So McElroy was throwing from the left hash to the opposite sideline 15 yards down field— that’s a lot of grass to cover. If the coverage is at all decent, this is going to be a dangerous throw. Play made 13 yards.
Richardson rec- 2nd & 8 from AL 34. Mike Johnson gets whooped, McElroy pressured immediately. Hits his safety valve— Richardson in the flat. Good throw in response to the pressure. Had a lot of air to avoid getting batted down, which allowed the defense to reach Richardson behind the line. Richardson does a good job of holding off the tackle and falling forward for a 1 yard gain.
Incompletion- 3rd & 7 from AL 35. Good protection. McElroy steps up and throws a terrible pass. Misses Julio by about 3 yards. Upon further inspection, if the throw had been on the money, it probably gets picked off by a SC linebacker who was breaking to Julio. McElroy had no buisness throwing that pass. That’s one you throw away.
Incompletion (deep shot)- 1st & 10 from AL 43. Following a nice 20+ yard run by Ingram, we take a deep shot. This is deja vu from the one in the first half. McElroy has all day, but SC is all over it. McElroy throws into tripple coverage, and Julio draws an offensive pass interference (which was sort of ticky-tack btw). Pass was underthrown a bit, thus leading to the OPI. A little more air and Julio might have come up with it.
Ingram Screen- 1st & 25 from AL 28. Good execution & throw by McElory. Ingram makes a great run after the catch. Play gains 22 yards.
incompletion (McE trip)- A chop block sent us back to the 35 for a 2nd and 18. Very good protection, but good coverage forces McElroy to step up in the pocket to buy more time. He ends up getting his feet tangled and makes a bad throw to Hanks who was running an in route.
Incompletion- 3rd and 18 from AL 35. Good protection again. McElroy barely overthrows Upchurch in the flat. Don’t think he had a lot of options due to coverage/down and distance. Play probably doesn’t make a first down if complete anyway.
Peek rec- 1st & 10 from AL 44. After an actual return without a penalty, we start with great field position. McElroy makes his best play of the night. Protection holds up for a few seconds. McElroy throws to Peek just as he’s being hit. Peek lined up on the left, runs an out to the right and is held up in the process. But McElroy throws a bullseye to Peek in stride. 14 yard gain.
McElroy Fumble- 1st & 10 from SC 41. Again, a turnover ruins a promising drive. Was a great play by SC. Obviously we wish McElroy had tucked the ball, but I’m not educated enough about the position enough to say that he should have.
Maze reception- 3rd & 7 from AL 36. A good play by McElroy. Protection wasn’t good. LT gets burned. McElroy hist Maze on an out as he’s being knocked down. Play comes up just short of the first down. Julio has a great block btw. Upchurch was open in the flat to the other side of the field, but with the pressure you can’t fault McElroy for not getting the ball to him.
From here on out it’s all Ingram. I have to add that after watching his performance again I am just so impressed and proud. This kid is something special.
As far as McElroy’s performance goes, the story in the second half was similar to the first. The down field coverage was excellent, so he didn’t have a lot of open targets to throw to. He made some bad throws, but he also made some good ones. Once again a promising drive that ended up being cut short due to a McElroy fumble. And that was basically it.
Last weekend I joked about the possibility of putting in Star Jackson. After this review, there really is no justification for even considering benching McElroy. He’s had a couple of bad throws and decisions, but nothing all that outrageous. He did a pretty good job of taking what was open, and he was generally pretty accurate. SC did a good job covering our receivers down field. They have got to do a better job of getting open to help McElroy get out of this funk.