Curtis: How ‘bout them Eagles?? That was a very impressive win from a variety of angles. The defense, after its poor start, made some great adjustments and got some big stops down the stretch. Plus Phil Jurkovec reminded us why we suffered through that 4-game losing streak.
Niraj: What a great, resilient win. Such an impressive way to face that early, uncharacteristic deficit. Much to discuss. From the top, what on earth was going on with those kickoffs? Hafley said the goal was not to kick it to Jahmyr Gibbs at all. The first kickoff was apparently a mistake and of course he took it house. Maybe the rest of the kickoff unit was also surprised leading to it, but still tough look. Then the two squib kicks were curious. I get the wanting to prevent that [to a degree], but does that mean none of the kickers can boot it out of the end zone? Poor execution as he mentioned and hated spotting them 10-20 yards with a very wounded defense. But they sure stepped up big.
Grant: I get it. Squibs are fine. It’s college so you probably don’t have the ability to consistently clear the end zone, so I don’t mind playing that conservatively. For what it’s worth, I loved the random onside kicks. Especially since they came when we couldn’t stop GT to save our lives. Why not shake things up?
Arthur: I love catching people off guard but doing it twice is a bit much. I do think avoiding the possibility of a return is a good battle to fight.
Grant: Counterpoint, nobody expected it the 2nd time.
Curtis: From what I understand, the new kicker accidentally pooched those onside kicks, which were supposed to be squibs. That’s why Danny Longman came back in halfway through the game to do kickoffs again.
Will: I sort of said this is my observations but I’d argue that Jurkovec came back to a better team in some sense because I’m not sure without his injury we would’ve seen the growth of the running game, and maybe the defense wouldn’t be quite the same either. I feel as if his absence forced the team to grow a bit.
Niraj: I think maybe to a degree with guys stepping up in his absence to make up for his loss, but it also seems clear that the whole team feels so much more confidence with him leading the way. I think even based on what we’ve seen in two games of Phil, they do want to stay balanced so the run game would be similar. Injuries have been piling up for a while, but defense is now especially hard hit. The offense is going to have to stay at top gear and carry the load. Makes me worry.
Will: I just hope the team doesn’t get caught looking ahead to Wake Forest.