1st Quarter Report and Other Musings
The Tigers finished the 1st quarter of the season with a not-so-unexpected record of 2-1. The Navy loss was a tough pill to swallow for a Tigers team that 21-9 in the 4th quarter despite a very poor showing by most parts of the offense.
Quarter number 2 starts Saturday night at the Liberty Bowl against their second consecutive Sun Belt opponent, South Alabama. They follow that up with a date with Tulane on Friday, September 28th and a home contest against UConn on October 6th.
Here’s where the Tigers stand by the numbers:
- Scoring Offense: 13th (48.7 PPG)
- Scoring Defense: T-39th (19.3 PPG)
- Total Offense: 4th (603.0 YPG)
- Total Defense: 9th (267.3 YPG)
- Rushing Offense: 4th (322.3 YPG)
- Rushing Defense: 78th (165.7 YPG)
- Passing Offense: 40th (280.7 YPG)
- Passing Defense: 2nd (101.7 YPG)
The defense has certainly been a bright spot- especially holding Navy to only 264 yards rushing (well below their 358 yards per game average).
There isn’t much more that can be said about how strong Darrell Henderson has been to start the season. He leads the nation in total yards, yards per carry and is second in rushing touchdowns.
The passing game has only been tested once- and didn’t fare very well (more on that in a moment). Look for Coach Norvell to use these next 3 games to try and get more production out of the passing game against three very suspect pass defenses:
- South Alabama: 110th (292.0 YPG)
- Tulane: 101st (265.7 YPG)
- UConn: 126th (375.0 YPG)
I fully expect the Tigers to come out of this next quarter 3-0 for a record of 5-1, 2-1 by the midway point of the season.
- 9/22 South Alabama 7:00PM WMC/ESPN +
- 9/28 @ Tulane 7:00PM ESPN2
- 10/6 UConn TBA TBA
The Brady White Saga
After David Moore’s departure, Brady White looked to be in total control of the offense following a 66-14 win over a decent FCS foe Mercer.
Then the wheels came off.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it, the Navy game was an abject disaster for White. Going just 15-25 for 145 yards with no touchdowns and 1 interception was a very poor way to make an impression on Tigers fans in his first real test. He looked lost, mechanical, and seemingly unable to make an accurate throw more than 10 yards down the field (even those were sketchy at times). The inability of the offense to stay on the field led to a defense that was on the field for nearly 43 minutes.
While there are some issues with White, I think it’s still entirely too early to judge the Brady White era a total failure as some already have.
Pointing to White’s gaudy numbers against “inferior” competition demeans what Darrell Henderson has accomplished too- he’s feasted on a FCS foe, and the number 119th and 76th rushing defense.
In his junior college debut, David Moore was just 10-17 for 112 yards & no TDs. When this information made its way to social media, many were quick to point out that it was “only his first game in a totally new offense”.
Why isn’t Brady White afforded that same reasoning?
Again, it’s clear that White does not possess the arm strength that Paxton Lynch and Riley Ferguson did. He is very robotic in his mechanics and needs to work on just moving faster.
But it is also true that he has completed nearly 71% of his passes and has 10 touchdowns to just 1 interception.
He’s just a different type of QB- he’s much more of a game manager and less of a gunslinger.
It’s far too early to write the book on the 2018 Tigers football season. We’re a quarter of the way through; and the best is yet to come.