Another weekend and another win for the Tide. A few initial impressions from the aftermath:
- Ugly win last night, and I mean ugly. Any time you average 4.6 yards per passing attempt, have over 100 yards of penalties, miss a kick, and turn it over four times, your performance has all of the aesthetic appeal of a Roseanne swimsuit calendar. Thankfully, though, the defense was impenetrable as usual and Mark Ingram took over the game, carrying us to victory. Had either one of those two slipped up any last night, we would probably be lamenting our first loss of the season.
- Another bad night for the offense. I know South Carolina is generally considered to have a good defense -- and in all fairness Lorenzo Ward and Ellis Johnson had them prepared -- but they are not that good. Thirteen points on the night offensively, and our previously unstoppable offensive juggernaut has put up all of two touchdowns in nine quarters.
- The extremely frustrating part of our offense's overall performance was that South Carolina never really stopped us. We averaged over 6.0 yards per play, and only punted three times all night long. On six of our drives, we moved the football at least 30 yards, so again, South Carolina never really stopped us. We moved the ball well, but as usually is the case, we continued to beat ourselves. Leigh Tiffin missed a field goal, we failed to convert touchdowns in two first-half red zone opportunities, and we turned the football over four times. We only had 10 possessions in this game -- short game last night, mind you -- and when you are so inefficient that literally half of your possessions end in missed field goals and turnovers, you simply aren't going to score many points. It's just frustrating as hell... opposing teams aren't stopping us, but we continue to stop ourselves. We are our own worst enemies.
- Greg McElroy was the biggest problem offensively, and his performance just gets worse and worse with each passing week. Again I know South Carolina played well defensively last night, but that still doesn't change the fact that McElroy was ungodly terrible. He couldn't hit a wide receiver if his life depended on it, and our "passing game" -- and I say "passing game" loosely because in all actuality we had no passing game whatsoever -- consisted of dump-off passes to the tailbacks. He threw two interceptions as it was, and had it not been for great wide receiver play (see next bullet), he would have probably thrown at least three more. The stat line says it all... 10-20 for 92 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions. I do not say this lightly, but I nevertheless stand by the following statement... for all intents and purposes, we had Spencer Pennington at quarterback last night, and quite frankly Pennington rarely played worse than McElroy did last night (and in terms of QB rating, I don't know if Pennington ever had a rating this low). I don't remember the last time we had a quarterback play this poorly.