Driving through the Arizona desert in the rain was the final disappointment of the trip. The visibility was low and what could be seen was mostly just a dark sillhouette against the fog, so there are no pictures from today. It wasn't the best end to the road trip, but I did get to wrap up my In N Out trials with suggestions from some of you, and my focus is turning more and more to tomorrow's game.
We ate lunch at an In N Out somewhere in the desert, and per The Other Andrew's request, I tried the double-double animal style. It was definitely much better than the regular version, and its uniqueness definitely gives it what it needs to be someone's favorite burger. The fries were exactly the same, though, so I don't think I caught a bad batch the first time. I'll back off calling In N Out average, but I still don't understand why people are so obsessed. P-Terry's beats it in just about every category in my book, knock-off or not. I don't have a moral food conscience that makes a P-Terry's burger taste worse just because they modelled their business after another company. What I have is a tongue, and it tells me that P-Terry's tastes better than an In N Out burger. Plus, P-Terry's tastes good without having to know the secret password.
Tomorrow's game presents an interesting challenge for Muschamp's defense: Power running. We haven't seen much of it this year, and we've shown mixed results. Against OU we shut down the run completely, but against OSU we got gashed when we tried to take away Dez Bryant. I'm expecting more of the former, as we'll be completely focused on stopping the run with no Dez Bryant to chase around all over the field. If we can take away the run half as well as we did against OU, the Buckeyes will feel like they're going uphill on every possession. The Buckeye linemen look to be a stout bunch, not unlike the OU group, and they're built for shortening games, not pass blocking for half a normal work day. Our depth of speed on the DL should help to wear them down, especially if we're trying to penetrate instead of just holding our ground. Can you imagine a 300 pounder chasing around Kindle for three and a half hours? The worst thing we could do, IMO is keep everyone at home and let the Bucks' OL lean on us while Beanie runs three yards after contact against an LB. Conservativism is our enemy in every facet of the game.
Some may say this is a no-win situation, and that we'll get no credit for a win but we'll get hammered for a loss. To them I say that our title game claim is on the line. Look at Tech after their Cotton Bowl disaster - did they deserve to be in the BCS after going 11-1? Yes, and they had a legitimate complaint. But now no one is going to say they deserved anything after they stunk it up against Ole Miss. It will be the same for us if we lose or eke this one out. If we win, we can keep griping about being shafted by the BCS, and if OU were to not suck, we would have a legitimate claim to the national championship. So there is something to earn from this game beyond just beating the Buckeyes.
I'm headed to the Fiesta-val surrounding the game in just a few minutes, so that means I'll have one more road diary sometime tomorrow to recap the game, hopefully with pictures again. Until then, though.