Monday, October 31, 2011
The only other "big" SEC game that day is Florida @ South Carolina (big for us, I guess).
I can't imagine CBS not picking our game as their 3:30, but I assume they're waiting to see if SC loses to Arky this weekend. Who knows.
Never been so happy for a prediction to be wrong.
Last week, my keys to the game were:
- Must be able to run the ball (we lose if we don't go over 125 yards)
- Stay ahead of the sticks and keep them behind them (win the 1st down battle on both sides of the ball)
- Do not give away any points (no missed FG's, no turnovers that result in points, and no special team TD's given)
- Red-Zone offense
We really had 12 more first downs, over 100 yards more offense, 10 less penalties, won the turnover battle, and held the ball 15 minutes longer than they did, and WON BY 4. Since every other blogger and all analyst will break down how poor our special teams are, I won't. I'll only say that in all my years following the Dawgs, nothing has ever been more frustrating and confusing than watching this special teams group as a whole. How is it possible to keep getting worse.
I don't want to nitpick but hey, that's what blogs are for. We all can't be half glass full fans. Aaron has not taken the big step forward this year that I really thought he would. Yes, maybe his receivers aren't great or maybe the o-line isn't blocking great but he's still making bad decisions and missing guys. The 2 fourth down TD throws were put it in the area and our guys made 2 great catches but neither one was a great throw. And like Rev said, I like the calls to go for it but we only do because our kicker has turned from Blair Walsh to Brenda Walsh. CMR has to make a change, this completely reminds me of Andy Bailey and Brandon Coutu about 6 years ago. Bailey came back from a pretty good year and then got the yips, CMR made the tough decision to sit him and it worked out great. He HAS to make that change. We still have 4 games and he's already missed 10 FGs. The fact is that we settle for FGs a lot, so we simply have to make anything inside 40 at worst.
Outside of the 4th and 19 breakdown for the TD, the defense was terrific again. Not sure what Rambo was doing on that play, there was no reason to take a step toward Brantley, he wasn't going to run for 19 yards. But make no mistake, our defense is our daddy this year. I'll take giving up only one offensive TD every game we play.
I'll just leave the rest of my negative thoughts inside my head and finish on the defensive positive note.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Jarvis Jones was a man amongst boys out there. He's been our defensive MVP and it isn't even close despite the stellar play on that side of the ball by the other guys.
- The New Mexico State game couldn't have come at a better time. We don't know yet how bad the injuries are to Crowell and Samuel IV, but we may be pretty thin at the TB position this week.
- As bad as Richard Samuel is at breaking tackles when players hit him from the side, he is brutal if the defender tries to hit him straight on. His stats from the game (17 rushes for 58 yards, 1 TD) don't pop out at you, but they don't speak to how impressive a few of those runs in the red zone were.
- Murray played pretty much how he has all year. Not bad, and had some really nice throws, but again missed on some potentially huge plays. I thought there were a couple of times he could have been just a bit more patient in the pocket, but there were also some times he was forced to throw earlier than he wanted to.......but he never lost his composure in this game. And while the WR's have to get a ton of credit for the 4th down touchdowns, you gotta give Murray credit for putting ball where his guy had a chance to make the play in a critical situation.
- Really sad to hear about Dallas Lee. Obviously I hate it for him personally, but it's a big blow to the team as well. That essentially leaves us with true freshmen as our only depth on OL. And it's not like those freshmen have been getting reps throughout the year.
- The difference in the defense after halftime was huge. Sure, some of it was due to coaching adjustments, but getting Williams back at Safety so Commings could go back to the corner was critical. I mentioned it during the game blog, Commings is my favorite DB of ours, but he is much better at corner than safety. His ability to defend against the run on the corner is something we miss when he is not there. Getting everybody back in their places seemed to give the guys a lift, and they played some lights-out defense in the second half.
- Special teams - I don't even know what to say. Was Warren Belin just THAT good of a kickoff coverage coach? We were so good in that area last year, but had been so bad the few years before that and have been so bad this year. I have no idea what the answer is. You are only allowed 8 assistant coaches, so if we hire a full time special teams coach, that means one of our current position coaches has to be fired. Which one do you get rid of, and how do you cover the position they were previously responsible for? You would be covering all the positions with 7 coaches instead of 8 at that point, which could potentially lead to breakdowns in other areas. I know there are some schools out there that have a dedicated special teams coach.....I would be curious to see a breakdown of how their special teams units stack up agains the schools that do not employ an exclusive special teams coach.
- Welcome back, Mr. Ogletree! Alec didn't play a perfect game by any means (it looked to me like he was one of the guys out of position a couple of times on kickoff coverage, and he got burned on that 4th & 19 TD, though Rambo didn't help either), but you can see why the coaching staff is expecting such big things from him. For a guy who missed half the year, he looked good, and that fumble he created when he tossed Rainey around like a rag doll was a HUGE turning point for us. Without that play, we probably go into halftime down 14 points instead of only 7. I don't think it can be overstated how pivotal that was for the team's psyche. And for once in Jacksonville, the ball actually bounced to one of our guys, instead of bouncing right back to a Gator player.
- Jarvis Jones ---- Freddy Krueger wants to dress up as you for Halloween. You are one bad dude!
Florida helped us a lot with all their penalties, and the fact that Brantley was pretty much limited to only plays out of the shotgun. But it was still up to our guys to seize the opportunity. They had to overcome a number of mistakes in the first half, but they refused to tighten up and let Florida get in their heads again. Is this the beginning of a turning of the tide in Jacksonville? I don't know, Florida is always going to recruit well and they're going to be really good again in the relatively near future. But I'm just enjoying the present, and the present is good.
What else jumped out at you from the game, both good and bad? I hope to watch the replay soon and post another recap Tuesday or Wednesday.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
4th qtr, 5:32 to go: BOOOOOM! JARVIS JONES!
4th qtr, 6:00 to go: Looks like it's up to the defense to win this one.
4th qtr, 8:12 to go: I swear, if we waste this effort by the defense..........I don't even know what I'll say. C'MON DAWGS!!!!
4th qtr, 10:25 to go: No pick-6, but a 3 and out followed by a poor punt. Still par for the course. We have no clue how to close a team out. This one's on the the players though, not the coaches. The plays were there, and the players didn't make them.
4th qtr, 11:20 to go: Another nice stand by the defense. A touchdown here probably wins the game for us, which means we will throw a pick-6 shortly.
4th qtr, 13:18 to go: What? I've ALWAYS loved Samuel as a tailback! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH! I've got the Ric Flair shuffle going all over the living room right now.
3rd qtr, 1:00 to go: Damn, just damn. Richt needs to make a decision now.....either go to Bogotay, or go for it on 4th down every time. Walsh is a damn good Dawg, and has been great for us in the past, but it's time for him to step down. As a bonus, Dallas Lee sure didn't look good hobbling off the field.
3rd qtr, 4:54 to go: The defense has actually played great ball in the 2nd half. Held the Gators to essentially nothing after the big kickoff return. Unfortunately, they were already in FG range, and can actually make field goals. 20-17, bad guys. C'mon Dawgs!
3rd qtr, 5:49 to go: Damn, just damn.
3rd qtr, 6:00 to go: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HELL YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3rd qtr, 8:26 to go: Not a great punt by Butler, but FL helps us with a personal foul. Will be interesting to see how badly Murray is hurt. Mason has looked good whenever he's been on the field, but he's typically been on the field against pretty weak competition. I'm not sure right now is when I want to find out what he looks like against the big boys.
3rd qtr, 11:02: Nice stand by the D to keep them deep and not allow Florida to flip the field. Getting S. Commings back at CB (since Williams is back at safety) is huge against the run. I'm a huge fan of his. As good as Boykin has been, Commings is my favorite DB for us, but he's much better at corner than safety.
Halftime thoughts: Nice to see Richt go for it on 4th down. He's done everything possible to provide affirmations to Walsh, and it just isn't working. Also nice to see Ogletree make an impact by forcing a fumble from Rainey. I feel worse now though than at the end of the 1st qtr.....I really thought the 2nd qtr was gonna go better than that. We need to come out and make something happen early in the 2nd half.
2nd qtr, 3:40: Walsh misses....again....special teams.....damn, just damn. First adjustment for Bobo at halftime..........tell the receivers to get their heads around quicker to look for the passes.
2nd qtr, 10:50: Boykin drops an easy interception for the 89th time in his UGA career.
2nd qtr, 13:16: Special teams. Damn, just damn.
End of 1st qtr: Given everything that went wrong, to only be down by 7 is really good. And if Rainey is out, that changes the complexion of the game. We're getting decent pressure by only rushing 4.....it would surprise me to see many more blitzes today after we got burned on that 4th down blitz. Overall, I actually feel decent about our chances right now. (Rev)
Not live-blogging per se, but tossing in a couple of thoughts here and there. Not sure, but SimpleMan may chime in too.
Friday, October 28, 2011
If you read my thoughts from earlier in the week here and over at the CFBZ Roundtable, you know that I'm not as optimistic going into this game about us being the better team on the field. Not that I think Florida is better than us, I just think the matchup is overall relatively even in talent. So that leaves coaching and the mental state of the two teams as the deciding factors for me.
As for the coaching comparison, it's hard to give an edge either way, due to the limited body of work from UF's staff. Muschamp got the Gators out of the gate quickly early in the year, and it's hard to knock him for getting blasted by Bama and LSU, as at least 95% of the teams in the country would likely get blasted by those two teams. The performance against Auburn left a lot to be desired, but they were playing with true freshmen at QB, and again coming off of the back-to-back beatdowns from probably the two best teams in the country. So in retrospect, though it surprised me at the time, their performance against Auburn really should have been somewhat expected.
They've had time off just like us now though to recharge their batteries and get healthy, so I anticipate a very different looking Florida team tomorrow. Even if you feel we have the coaching edge though, as many have pointed out, Zook beat us 2 games out of three. That was even back when we were having our greatest level of success under Richt..........and for all the criticisms lobbed at Richt the past few years, nothing will ever convince me that Zook is a better coach than Richt. So coaching will have an impact on the game, especially who can make the correct adjustments the quickest, but we know we can find ways to lose like nobody's business in this game.
The mental part of this game has been hashed and rehashed across the blawgosphere the past couple of weeks, but that's still what it comes down to for me. If we had shown the ability to put teams away at all, I would feel a lot better. But no matter how badly we have dominated teams statistically this year, we've always managed to keep the opponent close enough to make it interesting (not counting FCS-level opponents). What my gut tells me is that we're going to pretty well control the game statistically through 3 quarters, but look up at the scoreboard going into the 4th quarter and realize that despite winning all the other statistical categories, the score will still be very close. Then THAT is where the mental part kicks in. And then if it's still a close game going late into the 4th, I just don't like our chances to buck the curse of the past 20 years and close it out.
Long story short, the gut feelings that I have are pretty much identical to what I had when making my Boise State prediction. My heart tells me we're finally going to come out and have a Statement Game, letting everybody know that we are back. But my head says we're still not quite there, and to prepare for disappointment. I hope my heart is right, but for my official prediction, I'm going UF 23, UGA 21.
Have a great weekend everyone........party hard, cheer even harder, and let's hope LC is right with his prediction and Simpleman and I are wrong. Just because I don't think we win sure doesn't mean I don't want us to. GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, October 27, 2011
As I'm sure you read yesterday, I'm predicting a 31-24 win for the Dawgs. Upon further reflection, I'm thinking it might be a lower scoring game, but that's OK. Bernie's Dawg Blog said it might be an offensive output from us that will make most fans want to jump off the top of the stadium, but would likely be effective. I'm OK with that.
Big John Jenkins called this the "Cocktail Bowl". I like that. I'm sure President Adams doesn't, but who cares.
I'm sure all of you DirecTV customers are aware that we (I'm a customer, too) will lose FX and other channels (Nat Geo, Speed, etc., to name a few) due to a financial pissing match between the network and the satellite provider.
Check out www.keepmynets.com for more info.
This really stinks for me as I watch Sons of Anarchy, Always Sunny and American Horror Story that are just in the midst of their seasons. A similar fiasco occurred on Dish last year, but only a few weeks of programming was missed.
If you're a huge fan of these shows, you can always watch them on iTunes and now Amazon.com for a small price (I think Amazon is showing AHS for $1.99/episode). Hulu.com (most shows are free) runs Always Sunny, but I think they wait a while before showing the eps.
For those of you heading down to the WLOCP, have fun and be safe. The Landing is a favorite place for a lot of people to go, but it's gotten pretty dangerous there over the years. Mixing in 2 fan bases that basically hate each other into a setting aplenty with bars and you have a recipe for disaster. I'm too old and cranky to put up with that crap, so we're going to take it sleazy tomorrow night, pop a quarter in the vibrating bed and watch Spanish soap operas. Brown chicken brown cow.
Corey Smith will be playing at the FL Theatre Friday night, and as I'd love to go, it's not going to fit in our sched.
Selfishly, I really want a win because we're making the trip with another couple that are huge UF fans. Oy vey.
Onward & upward and GO DAWGS!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
This year, that crap needs to stay in the past. None of our guys dropped the pass thrown to Terrence Edwards in 2002. None were there in 2005 when D.J. caught an unlucky break and had to miss that game when he was playing absolutely lights out. Any of our guys that were there in 2009 can pretty much come to terms with the fact they were a lot better than us that year.
That ain't the case this year. We're pretty close in talent on both sides of the ball. Our offensive horse is Crowell. They have Demps & Rainey. Our front 7 is pretty stout. So is theirs.
It's going to come down to want to. We're in position to win the East. They want to break a 3 game losing streak. This is a rivalry game with a lot on the line for both sides. I'm firmly convinced that if we show up and do our jobs, don't have traditional brain freezes at the worst possible times and adjust appropriately when they do something crazy, we will win. Read that again. We will win.
I get the pessimism that my other 2 cohorts have, but I'm just not going to buy into the curse. I'm a blogger. I don't have to. The players are the ones that really need to ignore it and just do their jobs. Florida is going to come out ready to fight. Why shouldn't we?
I feel good about our DC making adjustments along the way. When's the last time we could say that about this game?
Maybe Richt needs to cue up the Hoosiers clip where Norman Dale shows his guys that even though they're at the state championship, the rim is still 10ft off the ground and the free throw line is still 15ft from the rim.
I'll be down there this year for the first time since 2004. That was a close contest that we won 31-24.
Guess what kids? I'm predicting the same score this time and we're going to come out on top again.
If we look completely unprepared and get outplayed, then we'll all have more interesting things to say, but we have no excuses. Unless our guys have quit on their coach, they should come out focused. If not, get ready for Armageddon.
On the other hand, they've had to pull out everything they could just to compete in their last 3 games. The truth is that if we don't come out prepared, we have no one to blame but ourselves. My biggest concern is it doesn't seem to matter who the coach is down there, they're able to come up with some new twist after a bye week that always confuses us and we are unable to adjust (I was sitting in Jax with Rev watching them throw 723 screen plays on us one year and we stopped 4 of them). We had all summer to prepare for Boise and I was shocked at how unprepared we looked. I didn't think we'd win the game but really thought we'd look better.
I'm really worried that our offense will disappear down there again. Over CMR's 10 years, there's been games where you just can't believe how bad our offense is. And it's not always against good teams, Colorado at home years ago and the UCF bowl game last year immediately come to mind.
Our last 10 games against UF have resulted in 10, 13, 13, 31, 10, 14, 42, 10, 17, 31 points on offense. I usually feel good if we get in a defensive low scoring battle, but history shows that doesn't work against UF. Outside of last years OT loss, our offense isn't doing their part in these games.
Back to my earlier comment about not trailing in any of our last 5 games/wins. This concerns me because we haven't proven that we can come back and win a game. The best way I can describe our recent strategy has been to get ahead and hold on for dear life. We haven't played better once we get a lead and closed anyone out like really good teams do. Hopefully, we can continue to get out to early leads and not have to worry about trailing.
Simple keys to the game:
- Must be able to run the ball (we lose if we don't go over 125 yards)
- Stay ahead of the sticks and keep them behind them (win the 1st down battle on both sides of the ball)
- Do not give away any points (no missed FG's, no turnovers that result in points, and no special team TD's given)
- Red-Zone offense
Just putting this out there about injuries, it seems that a lot of times when a guy comes back after missing many games, that they either re-tweak something or they aren't quite up to game speed. I only say this because I'm not overly worried about Brantley but on the other end, I'm not expecting a lot from Ogletree either.
Maybe I've just left Jacksonville disappointed too many times to believe in us down there. At some point, doesn't the Cubs syndrome come in and you just start believing that the sports gods are against us and we'll find away to lose. My first game attended down there was in 1992 and the last in 2008. In around 10 trips down there I've seen blow outs, heart breakers, and only one win (1997). Yes, every year is different and past years shouldn't matter..........but why does it feel so much like they do matter. The only thing that will surprise me in this game is a blow out either way, I expect it to be close and I really think they need it more and somehow find a way to do it to us again. I'm 7-0 right now on our season and would love nothing more than to be 7-1 Saturday night.
UGA - 16
UF - 22
Plus they get the last at bat since they're the home team this year.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
You can't really compare any sort of statistics between the two teams, due to the difference in schedule. I don't think anyone would argue the fact that our statistics would be worse right now if we had played Bama, LSU, and Auburn our last 3 games instead of MSU, UT, and Vandy. So the best comparisons I can make is performances against the same or similar opponents, which boils down to 3 games.
The first comparison is obviously Tennessee, as we have both played the Vols. We beat the Vols by 8, Florida beat them by 10, and in both games it was clear that the winning margin could have been greater than the final result. Overall, I'd say the comparison between us and the Gators here is pretty even.
The second comparison I would do is their performance on the road against Kentucky, and our performance on the road against Ole Miss..........it's pretty widely accepted that those two are in a neck-and-neck race for the bottom of the conference, although Ole Miss did show some fight last week. But the way Florida dispatched KY early vs the way we let Ole Miss hang around the whole game was a stark contrast in my mind. Advantage in this comparison goes to the Gators.
The final comparison I would do is our game against South Carolina and their game against Auburn. Given that Auburn and South Carolina played a pretty tight game, and South Carolina had not had all their attrition in either game yet, I think they're a pretty good comparison. The wildcard here is that we played our game against SC with our starting QB, whereas Florida did not against AU. Regardless though, Florida laid an egg against Auburn, and we showed a lot of fight in our loss to the 'Cocks. Edge to UGA on this one, though again the QB situation can't completely be ignored.
So of the three games that can be considered pretty close apples-to-apples comparisons, I give UF the edge in one, us the edge in one, and score us about even in the other. What I deduce from that is that UF is a similarly talented team as us. Again, if they're playing true freshmen at QB all game then that changes the argument, but I'm operating under the assumption that Brantley is going to take the majority of the snaps in the game. And when Brantley has played, I haven't seen anything that says we are clearly the better team. I think people's perceptions of Florida are based on their recent schedule.........put another way, if the schedules were reversed and we were coming off of playing Bama, LSU, and Auburn, most likely losing at least 2 of those 3 (and probably losing just as badly as everyone else has to Bama and LSU) whereas FL was coming off of MSU, UT, and Vandy, what do you think the discussion would look like going into this game? Do you think even most UGA fans would consider us clearly the better team?
I'm not being all gloom and doom here, I do believe we can win on Saturday. I just don't see the optimism that we are clearly the better team on paper. I feel like even if we play well, it's going to be a game that comes down to the wire, and again we're going to have to overcome our mental blocks that have prevented us from success down there (or as Reeder 3:16 calls it, our "Wet the bed syndrome").
For those of you who DO feel we are clearly the better team, what are the reasons you feel that way? Does it boil down to the QB situation, and you don't think Brantley will be able to perform? (and again, if Brantley is a no-go, I do agree that at that point we become the better team on paper). Am I just too jaded from the past 20 years? Let me know in the comments below.
1. Why should we worry Florida will come out on top this year?
2. If you were Mike Bobo, how would you attack the Florida defense?
3. Mark Richt has seemingly had "must win" games all year long. Is this a "must win" game for Mark Richt's tenure at Georgia?
4. There is still a lot of time before the game but give us a quick prediction on the outcome.
Click on the link above to see the full discussion, including my answers, and feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks again to Kevin for including me!
Monday, October 24, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Just curious how you guys are feeling about the Florida game right now? Obviously being one week out, a lot of things can still happen before kickoff, but as things sit right now, what does your gut tell you is going to happen?
We get 2 major contributors back, but have 2 more sitting out for a half. Brantley may be back for the Gators, but you gotta figure even if he does play, he won't be 100%. And as crazy as it may sound, I would almost feel more comfortable if Brantley DOES play, because in some ways that simplifies the defensive philosophy. Even when healthy, Brantley is no running threat, so with a gimpy ankle you gotta figure the last thing we'd have to worry about is him breaking containment and scrambling for yards, which is something their younger QB's can do. So the defensive philosophy becomes much more straightforward at that point. Brantley has actually been impressive as a passer this year, but I think we can pressure him and give our secondary the opportunities to make big plays.
There will be much more analysis leading up to the game, just curious to get a pulse on how most of you guys are feeling right now. The poll is below, and please add any additional thoughts in the comments.
A Week Out, How Are You Feeling About the FL Game?
Friday, October 21, 2011
Looks like Vandygate has calmed down a bit, but the first half suspensions will sting. Yes, we're getting Ogletree & Washington back, but we're going to have to be creative with Jenkins' reps until Geathers (whom I am hoping storms onto the field at some point in the 3rd quarter EXTREMELY pissed off) gets back in.
Speaking of Williams, a pal of mine brought up an interesting point after watching the clip of his Goldberg-like spear into the Vandy player's noggin: he wonders if Richt will even play him at all. Think about it. Take that hit and all the reported (by the tattletale Franklin) comments and gyrations and grabbing of his nether region, and I think he has a valid point. I won't be surprised at all if Richt doesn't even let him sniff the field. He did call him a dumbass, after all.
Then again, I just want to beat Florida, so if he gives us a better chance to win, he can do whatever he wants and I'll just look the other way. I'm not driving all the way down there to sip whiskey, giggle at jorts and lose again. F that noise.
On the entertainment front, we rented Scream 4 this week. It wasn't worth a damn. We got halfway thru it and gave up. I guess you could say we saw Scream 3.5. I've long since passed the point of hating horror movies. I almost left this out, but don't want anyone else to waste their time with that piffle.
Last weekend (on the way to Nashville for the Vandy game), our crew stopped over in Lynchburg, TN to tour the Jack Daniel's Distillery. It. Was. Awesome. I don't ever use the word awesome, but I feel it's appropriate in describing that place. If you're ever in the vicinity for any reason whatsoever, you need to go.
The crazy thing is that the distillery is in a dry county. You can purchase bottles in the shop, but can't enjoy a drink there. They also sell the barrels to take with you for the low price of $9 - 12,000 (depending on where it's going and the tax rate) and that barrel will produce 240 bottles. Sadly, my AmEx was maxed out.
As for Nashville, it's a great trip. We hit the downtown area Friday night (spent most of our time at the Wildhorse Saloon and a few other bars) and it was painted red. Everyone I talked to said this was their favorite road trip in the SEC.
The tailgating, however, was an epic bomb. For those of you that have never been (it was my first trip), Vandy is a very small campus (12,000 students; split down the middle w/ undergrad & grad students). The tailgating options are not aplenty. The good spots on campus belong to the Commodore Club (NERD ALERT!) and you get stabbed with a compass if you even think about setting up a tailgate there, empty or not. There are, however, a few schools surrounding the campus and we were told to go to one elementary school in particular by someone that has been going to the game for years. We got there early, set up and were ready to get things started. The lot started filling up, tents were being erected and there was a smell of whiskey and grilled meat in the air. It was glorious. Then, a surly woman claiming to be the principal (and in need of Rogaine) came around to each individual party and told us to get out because the lot was parking only, no tailgating (citing a city ordinance that no one seemed to know about, especially the Nashville resident tailgating right next to us). There was no mention of this anywhere. No signs, nothing. A security guard even drove by earlier and chatted with a few folks, even telling us not to pay the $10 if someone came around asking for it. We were livid. Then the cops show up and start telling people to leave. Think about this for a minute: you have a parking lot full of people that have been there for several hours and no telling how many drinks they've put down, yet the cops tell everyone get in their cars and go somewhere else to tailgate, yet have no suggestions as to where. Complete garbage.
So, we went back to the hotel, watched LSU toy with UT in the sports bar, and took the shuttle to and from the game.
As for the Vandy fans, I took them to be pretty cordial. They know they aren't any good, but support their team and hope for a win along the way. The chippy play and the postgame fireworks went right over their heads.
The asshole quotient will be off the charts in Jortsonville next weekend, tho. Chippy play will only heighten the hate amongst the 2 fan bases. I can't wait.
Here are the 3 questions I was asked to provide answers for:
1. Which player has been the biggest surprise on defense?
2. If you could give one piece of advice for Todd Grantham for the second half of the season what would it be?
3. What needs to happen for Georgia to run the table in the rest of their games?
You'll have to click the link above to see my answers, but I'm curious what your answers are? Let us know in the comments below.
Also, big thanks to Kevin for including me in this. I know a lot of you come to us via dawgbone.com, and since collegefootballzealots.com isn't exclusively UGA content, he's not listed there. But his site is well worth bookmarking and visiting regularly if you don't already.
Have a great Friday.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
(thanks to haffy7281 for giving me a call, I had not seen the reports yet)
I'm interested to see how Clemson looks after last week's almost loss and I'm always game for watching Auburn get beat, so hopefully LSU will destroy them. Curious about Tech down in south beach and only slightly interested in Wisconsin-MSU.
My game of the week will be USC-ND. I realize that I'm the only one, but ND is actually my #2 team (very distant), so I will be watching that one but honestly that's probably it for me this weekend. Amazingly, a couple of the ski slopes have opened up out here. I'll be heading up to the mountains for something but who knows what just yet. I'm out the rest of the week, so everyone have a good weekend and rest your injuries for our HUGE next week. We'll need strong voices, solid high fives, chest bumps, and strong drinking arms.
In case any of you have missed it, here's a look at a cool little shout out commercial Hyundai showed during some games this year.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
For those of you that might not have heard, someone raised up their cell phone and recorded the postgame conversation between Coach Franklin (after he got his ass chewed by Grantham) and Coach Richt. You can audibly tell what Richt is saying, but at the end of their chat, Richt appears to say, "Yeah, he's a dumbass." Re-read what I put: appears to have said it.
Here are the problems I have with their exchange:
- I know it's Richt's demeanor that he's always cool, calm and collected, and at the time did not see Franklin coming onto the field and gesturing towards #36 (Williams), but this is just not good. After all the chop blocking going on out there by Franklin's team, why wouldn't he have been a bit more terse with him or at least brought that up...or just walked away.
- If he did indeed call Williams a dumbass, how in the world is he going to explain that to him?
- What if he was calling Grantham a dumbass?
- People are crucifying Grantham for his reaction and not enough heat is being put on Franklin (IMHO), but I'm more disturbed by Richt's handling of it both with Franklin in the above clip and his comments after the game about being gentlemen.
Reeder 3:16 said it's all fine well and dandy to rip Williams & Grantham behind closed doors, but he needed to stand up for them more than he did. I 100% agree with that sentiment.
At this particular moment in time, I feel like we're preparing for the most important game of our season with tampons in our locker. What if the players are overcome with the feeling that their head coach doesn't have their back like their DC does after they were reacting to a close win and were still feeling the adrenaline & anger by the chippy play by Vandy? I hate to make comparisons, but there are a few coaches that come to mind immediately that I feel quite sure would have handled that situation at midfield a helluva lot differently. Damnation.
Based on what I've just seen, I'm even more glad Grantham reacted the way he did. I'm more ashamed of how Richt has handled it thus far.
If you feel differently about it, let me know in the comments section.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Let's just say that was as disappointing of a win as I can remember. Yes, it was a road SEC win, but this is beyond getting old. IMO, this wasn't just us having a bad day, this is just what we are.
We had more first downs, more yards, won time of possession, and won the turnover margin 4-1.........and of course needed a last second play to win.
Luckily, the rest of east isn't that good either, so we have a chance. Winning the east is going to end up like being the world's tallest midget. I really wish we could say that we've gotten a lot better since our lost to SC but I just don't see it, maybe you all do.
I'll have a few more overall thoughts about the game and football program later but nothing specific, I have nothing nice to say about this game.
Things have been falling into place for us to win the SEC East and if this isn't a gift from above, I don't know what is.
I also know that if we stumble along the way, the red & black guillotine will be swinging before or after Christmas.
Having said that, Vandy put up 28 points on one of the better defenses in the SEC. Their points didn't come off turnovers like vs. SC. They gashed us on runs up the gut like a hot knife thru butter. I found this highly disconcerting.
A good team will beat us if we continue to play that way. Our 5 wins are against subpar talent. Florida, for all their injuries and woes and 3 game losing streak, will be ready on October 29th.
They have 2 weeks to prepare and so do we. Let's hope we right the wrongs in this game and bring our best effort because the road to Atlanta just got a lot easier with the breaking news from Columbia that Lattimore is out for the year with the knee injury he sustained yesterday.
I just want to look a lot better getting there (if we indeed to take advantage of the opportunity).
Here's the one issue I have with our coaches in this game..........unless Carlton Thomas was slowed by an injury or some other issue we're not aware of, there's no way that any gameplanning should call for Samuel getting 3 times as many carries as Thomas. Thomas has shown himself to be the better runner this season, even between the tackles. He has better vision, hits the hole quicker, and gets through the hole quicker. Anytime Crowell is a no-go, Thomas and Samuel should at worst be splitting the reps pretty equally, if not shading towards Thomas getting a few more touches. Samuel did have a few nice runs, but they were on plays where the OL opened up nice holes for him, any RB would have had big gains on those plays.
Outside of that though, I'm not going to pile on the coaches or players at this point. As I mentioned last night, every team has at least one of these games every year against an inferior opponent where just nothing seems to go right (and it doesn't help when the refs refuse to call blatant holds all night long). The important thing is that when you have that game, you still find a way to win. And maybe this will end up being a good thing, letting the players know that there's still a lot of work to be done, and not to start thinking they can just show up and win.
There will be a lot of split opinions on Grantham's antics with Franklin after the game. I'm still not sure how I feel about it, I'm reserving judgement to see if more details come out. If Franklin really did go after one of our players (verbally), then I can understand Grantham losing it. A coach should never have anything to say to one of the opposing players, if he has an issue then he can take it up with that player's coaching staff. That being said, the whole thing did kinda come off like what you see at a little league baseball game when the parents and coaches get carried away. I would imagine that after the fact, Franklin and Grantham both wished things had gone down differently. But I've been there in the heat of the moment before, and sometimes you just let your emotions get the better of you. If I were Grantham, I'd be looking at my long term employment opportunities though........after the choke sign last year, and now this, if he consistently finds himself in these types of situations, it may give an Athletic Director pause before hiring him as a head coach one day. In these days of political correctness, a lot of schools are doing everything possible to steer clear of controversy (see Mike Leach's continued unemployment). Of course, if that means he stays with us as DC longer, I'm ok with that! I love his fire, and am willing to take the good with the bad (to a point, of course).
Long story short, this game was pretty much a cluster**** from the scoreless first quarter all the way through the antics after the game. But we won. Last year, we would have lost. We'll find out in two weeks if this team is ready to play to its potential or not.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
I had texted LC earlier this week that I was worried about us looking past these guys. I'm not sure if we looked past them, or if it was just a function of playing without our best playmaker at WR, and a significant amount of the game without our best RB. Or if it was just that our special teams are the biggest joke this side of the Mississippi.
If Richt ends up staying on and gets a new contract, there should be a stipulation put in there that for every successful fake punt we give up, Richt gets docked a half million dollars or so. Maybe then SOMEBODY will pay attention to that epidemic. We have to hold the all time record for allowing successful fake punts over a 10 year period. (Yes, I'm being facetious about the half million dollars per fake punt.....sort of).
At the end of the day though, every team has at least one of these games every year, and you're just happy to have escaped with a victory. The team was not sharp at all, but they won. Sometimes the victories you barely escape with are the most important ones, because they keep you in the hunt instead of ruining your season. We would have found a way to lose that game last year, but instead we found a way to win, and I'd much rather almost lose than almost win. The last time we barely escaped with a victory in Nashville (20-17 victory in 2007), things turned out ok for us in Jacksonville. Here's to hoping for a repeat of those events.
More to come tomorrow.
Friday, October 14, 2011
- Who's your favorite Dawg of all time (any connection) and why?
- What's your favorite TV show currently still in production?
- What's your favorite sport other than football?
- Where's the furthest you've ever traveled?
- And Who's the hottest person on the planet?
Thursday, October 13, 2011
- NO MORE INJURIES
- No costly/bad turnovers
- Avg over 4.5 yards a carry and gain over 200 total rushing yards (this one will be tricky)
- Backups getting a lot of 4th quarter playing time
- No 2nd, 3rd, or 4th and 50 plus
My only concern with Grantham is that he may be a little too aggressive in his attitude, not on the field, but on the sideline. You see glimpses of it if you pay attention and it may start a rift between the two.
In Saturday’s game against Tennessee there was one point where Coach Grantham was studying the field and Richt was trying to go in front of him to get to the referee. Grantham pushed him to the side while he studied the field, and then let him pass. That could cause a head coach to get a little miffed. Hopefully Richt let it go. I really hope that it does not become an issue because I like what he brings to this team and I think he’ll be very successful here.
It was also brought up in Seth's mailbag yesterday where one person asked:
Seth, I'm really liking what I see out of Grantham's defense, but I am concerned that he and Richt may not be jelling well. If you saw the sideline shot where Grantham pushed him back while Richt was trying to get to the ref, that could get under a coaches skin. Have you noticed anything like that as you get to see them working together a lot more than the average fan?I've seen it referenced in several other places where people are concerned that Grantham was out of line and it may cause problems with Richt.
Well, as I referenced above, I saw the same incident, but came away with a completely different interpretation (I couldn't find a clip of it, but I'm at Disney World right now so also didn't put a whole lot of effort into looking). It was a key third down situation where we really wanted to come up with a stop (we did stop them on that play, by the way, though they converted the 4th down). Richt was walking over to the official to take a timeout so we could make sure we had the right defensive call ready to go. As Richt walked in front of him, yes Grantham did physically stop him, but you could read his lips, he was saying "Wait, Wait", and he was intently scanning the field. It was clear to me that before the timeout was taken, Grantham just wanted Richt to wait long enough for him to see the personnel grouping and formation before the timeout was called. As soon as he saw what he wanted to see, again you could read his lips and he said "OK" and broke away to go get ready to huddle with the defense. I got the sense that Richt totally knew what Grantham was doing, and surely he couldn't have disagreed with Grantham wanting to gain as much info as possible before deciding on the defensive playcall. I didn't see anything that in my mind would offend Richt or think Grantham had overstepped his bounds.
Could Grantham have been slightly less animated in how he was asking Richt to wait a minute before calling the timeout? Of course. But I'm pretty sure that Richt knew he was getting a very lively coach when he hired Grantham. Nothing that I saw came across to me as disrespectful towards Richt or anything that would indicate some sort of problem between the two. Grantham wasn't trying to push Richt because he was getting in Grantham's way or anything like that, he was just trying to make sure Richt held off on calling the timeout long enough for Tennessee to line up, giving him the info that he needed.
What did you guys think? Did you interpret it like I did, or that Grantham was out of line?
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
- Lose to Alabama/LSU in the SEC title game, finish the season with 3 losses, win the Cap One bowl, and finish ranked 10th OR
- Have SC win out (SEC play) and lose in SEC title game. We win the Sugar Bowl finishing ranked 4th.