A few others have already chimed in so I guess I should probably get to it, seeing as I'm the host and all.
1. How did you watch the game, and why?
Well, that's a long story. I watched the first half in the stadium, left, and watched the second half later at home (and the final play via YouTube, of course). Nico and I talked earlier in the week about going to the game, and to be perfectly honest neither of us was all that crazy about attending. It's practice, after all, and anyone who tells you that it's as exciting as a real game is either easily entertained or lying. But, with the get together at Egan's being planned and the excuse to meet/hang out with y'all and talk about football all day, well, we just felt like we should go. In hindsight, probably should have just stayed at Egan's and watched the whole thing on TV, really, but for some reason I just really felt like I needed to see it with my own eyes in order to do the position previews for Yea Alabama. Oh well, a good time was had by all, so it was definitely worth the trip.
2. Who stood out most on offense, be it for good or bad reasons?
Trent Richardson, receiver. I mean, we already knew the kid was good, but the two long catches early in the game (one out of the Wildcat and then the TD) were just amazing, especially the touchdown catch. We've said before that the biggest difference between him and Ingram is the breakaway speed in the open field, and Richardson showed it off while also displaying some solid route running and soft hands. I'd even go so far as to say we ought to just line him up as a slot receiver and see what he can do.
3. Same question for the defense.
B.J. Scott. He's not there yet (couple of poor tackling efforts were very noticeable), but watching him Saturday reminded me of why he was such a super stud recruit as an "athlete" and why most projected him as a DB. He's got speed, he looks like he understands the defense (though with the very limited sets being used, he ought to), and just really showed a lot of potential. There could be some growing pains for him, but by the end of next season he should be a monster. And now thinking about that, I should probably say Dre Kirkpatrick stood out more. He's got shutdown corner written all over him and I honestly quit paying attention to him to focus on Scott.
4. Did A-Day make you feel better or worse about our chances for a repeat in 2010?
It actually made me feel worse. Not trying to be a doom and gloom guy, because I honestly believe we have a very real chance at taking the SEC and playing for another national title this year, but the kicking, sweet mercy the kicking. It was just painful to watch at times and when Nico texted me later on (he left before I did) asking how we were looking I sent him back a profanity laced quip about how we better find a punter in the fall or we are screwed. And beyond that, the second team's secondary was clearly not up to snuff just yet. Milliner showed why he was so highly touted but he's not there yet, and we all better get down on our knees and pray to the football gods every night from now 'til the end of the season that Mark Barron doesn't get hurt 'cause there is no one even close to him at safety. Maybe fall and a couple of games will sort that out, but for now it's just a very uncomfortable reality.
5. With the long dark of the offseason finally upon us, what's your favorite coping mechanism?
Can't argue with ol' reliable, NCAA '10 (or '11 soon enough), though I'm really going to try and break that habit this year instead catch up on my reading. No, seriously. I have piles and piles of books that I've either started and put down or bought and have let gather dust on a shelf, all because I really haven't had time to just sit for an hour and actually read more than a page or two in the bathroom. So after we're through with this year's Yea Alabama I'm committing myself to an hour or so every night to start catching up.