1. Is this the first step "from good to great"?
Hope so. We shall see, on Saturday. This would be an excellent time for such a metamorphosis, of course, with Ole Miss rolling into Bulldog Stadium for a return match, featuring national TV exposure on ESPN2.
Mississippi lost to Georgia, and Coach Houston Nutt is in deep doo-doo) – not to mention fifth ranked Boise State, the following week, followed by a tough Utah State game, the week after that.
Three tough games in three weeks, all at home could be a "greatness catapult" with Derek Carr aiming the weapon.
2. Funniest moment in the game?
Easy! Andrew Shapiro getting reamed by Pat Hill (a lip reader's feast!), after aborting the punt on 4th & 18, and sprinting to his right, evidently on his own say-so, and making it for only 15 of those yards, before he was nailed. He is still dressing the bite-wounds in his butt, lovingly placed there by the head Bulldog.
3. How many likely NFL players are on this team?
Let's see, Derek Carr (duh), Logan Harrell (double duh), Jalen Saunders, Philip Thomas, Andrew Shapiro and Kevin Goessling - those six guys all have a shot at being drafted, in this humble opinion. Then there are "iffy" candidates, like Devon Wylie, Robbie Rouse, Rashad Evans, Travis Brown and Kyle Knox, who might get drafted (or get a shot at free agency) if they continue their excellent play and stay healthy. Then there are "prove up" guys who have the physical gifts - and who may yet convincingly display them - but it is too soon to tell - guys like Josh Harper and Victor Dean (who's "breakout" day may arrive very soon).
This team is loaded -and it looks like they may find a way to play as a team! Imagine that!
4. Robbie Rouse
The guy is relentless. Competent. Determined. Productive. He doesn't fumble. He gets stronger (literally) as the game goes on. Great practitioner of Bulldog Football.
5. Jalen Saunders
Okay, the hair is kind of strange. But there is nothing strange about his foot speed (scary), route running (solid – he arrives when the ball does), or his willingness to go after the deep ball in traffic (self-evident). Saturday, he had five catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns. That's 28, 29 yards per catch! By the way, there also seems to be some significant "chemistry" between this receiver and his quarterback. They are on the same wavelength – productive development.
6. How good IS Derek Carr?
We seem to be learning the answer to that question in episodes - and I, for one, liked Saturday's installment, very much indeed.
Carr's accuracy - his consistent, reliable, sometimes amazing accuracy - is so refreshing to a long-suffering Bulldog fan, that it makes this stove-up, old observer yell like a teenager. Add to this Carr's ability to throw on the run... a dangerous and attention-grabbing skill that scares opposing defensive coordinators and rivets fans to the edge of their seats, and you have a valuable college football performer. Add to this Carr's arm strength and his deep-ball touch, and top it off with significant scrambling skills (the kid's got wheels), and you have a fricking football commodity.
Money. Tickets. TV coverage. NFL scouts and agents and sharks and vultures, oh, my. If this sort of play continues - 370 yards plus, five touchdowns, 65% clip - and if you win some games - this could get to be a circus.
I'm ready for the next episode.
See you next week.
Redroadster is highly regarded attorney in the Central Valley, a loyal Bulldog fan, and a regular poster/contributor on BarkBoard.com. Check in time to time for his take on games and other Bulldog athletic events in his View from the Roadster.
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