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September 8, 2013That was a unique game because I've never seen us favored by so many points.
In the locker room the guys are going to talk about the line and the opponent, and it's tough to get focused. It's just the truth. The starters came out and did what we expected based off talent.
Then the switch, and you could tell it wasn't what the staff would like from an energy or execution standpoint, but I kind of liked it. The guys are upset, and they know they can do better. I finished watching the game and saw fans were upset because we didn't win by 50, but I'm actually excited.
As an ex-player I know that if we scored 70 there would have been nothing to say at practice. But since there was some struggle, even if it wasn't the starters, you know practice won't be as pleasant because the coaching staff ammunition to deliver a chewing. It worked out perfectly for the coaching staff. We can do better. We will do better, and it proves a point.
Don't mistake it that the most important thing was no injuries. At certain positions we simply can't have injuries and get anything accomplished. Saturday showed that, and we got out with our health intact.
I saw where Coach Freeze thought about playing one of the freshmen, Devante Kincade or Ryan Buchanan. I'm with Hugh as a fan, but as an ex-quarterback if you don't have to play the freshmen, then don't play the freshmen quarterback. I wasted a whole year for 20 or 30 snaps in 1997. If that's all you're going to get, and there's not an injury, there's no point. Sit on the bench, prepare like you're going to play, stay tuned in to what's going on and get some mental reps.
When I went in for my first two games at Ole Miss I thought I was a world-beater and completely ready for the moment as the best thing ever. I'll never forget. I was thrown in against Tulane, and my first pass was a pick-six. My head finally told my that I thought I was ready, but I wasn't. I should have sat my tail on the sidelines and saved the year.
Getting quality reps against the two-deep in practice can prepare you a whole lot. When you go out there and waste a whole year on limited snaps, it just isn't worth it. These guys, they want to play right now. I get that. But when they get to their junior and senior years, they look at it and wish they had that fifth year. Almost every one of them would say that. Wait on your time. Prepare. And be ready in case it's necessary. These are smart kids, and hopefully they realize that.
Texas is up next, and all this fire is around the Longhorns defensive staff, but they are what they are. The players are the same. The big thing for us is to keep getting better. It's a game we can win, and no doubt I want to win, but we play in the Southeastern Conference, and I just want to keep seeing improvement before Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn and everybody else.
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