Monday, November 14, 2011

More Thoughts On Richt's Mentality

I noted on Sunday about how much more aggressive Richt has gotten in his decision making, and ugavet76 had expanded on it in his comments as well.  I'm not sure that there was one magical moment that made Richt decide to be more aggressive - as a matter of fact, after we got burned at the end of the first half in the Ole Miss game, I thought that would be the end of Richt being more aggressive.  And for a while, it looked like it would be, up until the Florida game.  Since then, Richt has been much more likely to go for the jugular, whether it's on 4th and short, or trying to tack on a score at the end of the half.  Which got me thinking, and Andy Coleman apparently had a similar thought, I wonder if our kicking woes may have ended up being a blessing in disguise?

Part of Richt's decision making has always been "Well, I can go for this, or I can take the guaranteed 3 points".  He has pretty much always had highly reliable kickers, so it was something he could always fall back on.  But now, with that reliability out the window, Richt has been in some ways been FORCED to trust his offense.......and that trust has been rewarded with success by the players..........which increases the trust for future opportunities, which will hopefully lead to more success.  The "crisis of faith" that Blutarsky and PWD have been discussing for a couple of years now is finally going away, and of all things, I think a shaky kicking game may at least partly be what we have to thank.  And the success in 4th down situations has increased the trust in end-of-half situations as well, which is great to see.  All that being said, now that the crisis of faith is over, I'd be happy for the kickers to go back to being reliable (Bogotay did drill his down the center on Saturday).

I haven't had time to research this yet, but I wonder how many times since the SEC went to 2 divisions a team has gone undefeated in their division, yet didn't win the division title?  Assuming we beat Kentucky, I know it will have happened at least twice, with SC beating everyone this year, and Florida having beaten everyone in the East in 2002 (but lost to Ole Miss and LSU).  The Gamecock fans up here (I live in the Greenville, SC area) are pretty bitter about it right now, and still can't believe they managed to lose to Auburn.  But, the games from the other division count just as much as the games in your own division, so I'm having a hard time mustering up much sympathy.  Suffice it to say there are a LOT of temporary UK fans here this week though.

I'm still just as excited about Saturday's victory today as I was yesterday.  I hope the team has already put it behind them though.  Losing to Kentucky would be an enormous shock, but I can't say it would be much more of a shock than a TERRIBLE Texas Tech team upsetting Oklahoma, and we saw what happened there.  Richt and the team seem to be playing with incredible focus right now though, so I'm feeling good about us.

Another random thought I had yesterday..........is Justin Anderson eligible to apply for a medical redshirt?  I would think he is, since he was out all last year with the injury, but I haven't heard anything at all about him considering pursuing one.  Anybody heard anything?  Will Friend has done a great job this year, but we're gonna be right back in the same situation next year with very little depth on the OL, so getting a guy like Bean back would be a boost.  He's had his issues in pass protection, but he is a devastating run blocker at times.

Have a great Monday, people, and GO DAWGS!

-Rev.

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