The offense laid another egg last night. Noah Spence and Co. dominated the offensive line, the running game was non-existent (55 yards), and Patrick Towles was making mental mistakes aplenty in the first half. Down 14 with 4:59 to go, the Cats finally found a spark.
“When you get in those ruts, the only way to get out of them is do simple stuff,” Shannon Dawson said after the game. They had to keep it simple because there wasn’t a play that worked in the first half. “I don’t think we executed anything for three quarters, to be honest with you,” Dawson said. “There wasn’t a call on my sheet that was good. There just wasn’t.”
“I don’t know if there’s anything I can point to directly, but I feel like everybody as a unit, collectively, we came out sluggish. It wasn’t just one man, two man, it was all of us, “Dorian Baker said.
Towles, Baker and the rest of the offense still remained optimistic, and finally began executing. They got it out of Patrick’s hands quickly and began putting routine plays together.
“There was never any point tonight where I thought we were gonna lose the game. I honestly believe that. There were probably 20,000 other people who did, (but) that wasn’t me. That’s not our team,” Towles said.
Towles and Dawson knew who they needed to get it to – Dorian Baker. “I like the matchup with him with everything,” Dawson said. “We were trying to do that the whole game a lot of times and the ball just wasn’t finding him.” Dorian asked for the ball, and he received.
On the final score, it wasn’t originally supposed to be a fade to Baker. They had three receivers on the left side that were going to be primary targets, but Patrick told Dawson and Dorian on the sideline, “If he has 1-on-1, I’m going to him.” Dorian and Pat both made the right read, linking up on the perfectly executed play.
“He(the defender) actually made a good play on the ball, but I just had to go up over top of him and take it away from him.” Dorian said there wasn’t a chance he was going to let the defender beat him, “There’s no chance. I gotta make that play. 4th and 3. If I don’t, we lose.”
This sequence illustrates just how close it was to going the other. Luckily, Dorian doesn’t lose often.
Photos by Jason Ballard (@JBallardphoto)