Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Then, Rex Robinson weighed in this morning with his opinion, which is not in favor of the defense stirring the pot:
So what do you think? My opinion - in the scenario as it is, it's not like we've got much to lose. Nobody outside of the UGA fan base is giving us a chance in the game anyway. In fairness, I too have predicted LSU to win, but I also said as part of my prediction that for us to win, one of the things that has to happen is LSU has to be off their game at least a bit. If the talk gets in their heads and makes them more focused on trying to make us look bad than just playing good, fundamental football........well, I'm all for it. If it backfires, and they come out and skunk us, we weren't supposed to win anyway.
What are your thoughts on our Defense talking the talk?
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
All that being said, my thoughts on the game this week pretty much mirror what SimpleMan posted yesterday. If we played LSU 10 times, at most I think we'd win 2 of them. LSU has just been so impressive this year.......if you take out the Alabama game, who most people would agree is the only team that is the same caliber as LSU, the Tigers' worst victory this year is by 13 points, and that is pretty amazing. Even your elite undefeated teams usually have one game a year where a lesser opponent sneaks up on them, and they end up only beating them by a slim margin, but LSU has simply taken care of business every time they've stepped on the field, and have essentially been at least 2 touchdowns better than everyone.
It may sound a little odd coming from me, because I typically hate when we play really conservative, but I honestly believe our only chance at winning this game is to come in with an ultra-conservative offensive game plan, and outside of maybe taking one or two well-timed shots, sticking to that game plan. What LSU has seemed to do to almost everyone this year is "out-patient" their opponent.........they just sit back on offense with a mostly conservative, patient approach, until the opponent's offense finally tries to press the issue. Then, their defense and/or special teams typically steps up and makes the plays that blow the game wide open. Just one example is when they played Auburn, who started trying to press the issue, threw a pick-6, then the game blew open from there. The one opponent who managed to stay as patient as LSU was Alabama.......both teams essentially used the same philosophy.......safe, conservative playcalling, relying on the defense to win. Both teams were able to maintain that patience all game long (with the controversial interception by LSU at the goal line as the possible lone exception - and ultimately could be looked at as what decided the game. Had 'Bama been more patient there, they likely would have at least ended up with a FG, which changes the complexion of the game). Of course, two patient offenses like that is what results in a 9-6 final score, but that's probably what we need if we are going to have a chance in this game. If the final score gets up into the 20's or 30's, it's going to be because LSU's total is that high, and we won't win.
Blutarsky posted today that he feels our WR's have the potential to be effective against the LSU secondary. I don't disagree if you are looking strictly at the wide receivers vs. their DB's, but what I can't get past is the part he touches on at the end of his post:
Bingo. The more times we drop back to pass, the more times Murray is going to be hurried or sacked, and the more likely we are to throw a game-changing pick-6, or LSU cause a sack with a fumble that can change the complexion of the game (yes, I realize that technically that's the case against any team - the more times you throw, the more times bad things can happen - but it carries far more weight against a D like LSU). Murray has been able to step up and slip away from the pressure in our past few games, but that is much more difficult against LSU. If their guys are getting in the backfield - and they will - they're much more difficult to get away from than what Murray has been seeing. But the more we run the ball, and use a quick passing game instead of deep drops by the QB, we can limit those potential game changing plays for their defense, rely on Butler to have a great day punting the ball, and rely on our Defense which certainly matches up well against their offense.And while I’m on the subject of pause for thought, I sure hope somebody in the Georgia offensive brain trust is working on a way to give Justin Anderson some help handling Barkevious Mingo. That is one scary match up if you’re trying to keep Aaron Murray upright.
But even though our Defense will hold their own, I can pretty much guarantee you that LSU is going to be conservative with their offensive game plan early, just like they have all year, limiting the opportunity for our defense to create big plays for us as well. As long as the game is close, we have to match their patience with the playcalling, and hope to catch a couple of fortunate bounces as the game wears on. Here are the things that I say have to happen - and ALL of them have to happen - for us to win:
- LSU has to be off their game at least a bit - if they show up and play to their full potential, the rest of this list really doesn't matter.
- Crowell has to play the full game, and be able to handle at least 22-25 carries without losing steam.
- The offensive line has to play the game of their lives, especially in pass protection.
- As referenced above, Butler needs a great game
- The place kickers having a great game would be helpful too, especially in a low scoring game
- Our defense will hold their own, but the offense has to avoid putting them in impossible situations, or giving up points directly.
- Hold LSU to 17 points or less.
LSU - 27
UGA - 13
"Do you not remember 2007?" "Munson wouldn't feel this way!" "No UGA fan would ever say that!"
Look, I'm not a fan of pissing in the wind. Back in 2007 when we were idle on Championship Saturday, LSU beat UT to win the SEC Championship. While no team in the country was playing any better than we were, we tied for first in the SEC East, but lost the tiebreaker to UT.
When Mark Richt said that he felt we deserved a shot, the media went crazy. "You didn't even win your conference, much less play for the conference title!" Jim Rome, the Lord of all Idiots, laughed at the notion and it was played anytime the talking heads on any network discussed it. Nick Saban's quote from way back in 2003 (while at LSU) was repeated: "If you don't win your conference, you shouldn't play for the national title." More on that later.
It stung at the time, but if I remember correctly, we really didn't have a leg to stand on. Correct me if I'm wrong, but we were ranked #3 on BCS Selection Sunday when LSU leapfrogged us and I remember thinking that was complete BS that they went from #7 up to #2 and got to face Ohio State the next month. Then, I remembered that they finished 10-2 just like we did, but they played for and won the SEC Championship. It sucked. It hurt. It was reality.
Jump forward 4 years and here we have LSU poised to play us this Saturday in our first return to the SECCG in 7 long years. Alabama will be at home that day because they didn't win or even tie their division. Yet, they're a virtual lock to play LSU for the national championship whether LSU wins or loses against us. Think about that for a minute.
Chris Fowler tweeted that Championship Saturday's games would have no bearing on the matchup between those 2 teams (Bama & LSU). How nice.
Mark Bradley wrote a good piece in today's AJC about it all. (I'm usually not one to quote or reference him since he's so wishy washy in his worship of Paul Johnson...then Richt...then Johnson, but it is a good read)
Back to my comments, tho. The BCS is the most flawed system in sports, maybe even America. It's beyond ridiculous that preseason rankings and votes and behind-closed-doors politicking can dictate who plays for the national title. If Bama can play for the national championship without even playing for their conference championship when we couldn't, well, then...what can you say.
It's par for the course.
As a fan not just of UGA, but of college football and wanting to see a good, competitive game, LSU/Bama is the best matchup given the current system that suffers from amnesia (or refuses to acknowledge the past). Not the most fair. Not even close, but it is the best...unless you want to see OK State or Stanford go and get trounced by either of them. Some say they wouldn't, some say they would. I'm in the camp of the latter.
Even if you want that out of spite, that's OK. Keep in mind that we all have our own opinions and everyone doesn't have to agree.
I'm just concerned with my beloved Dawgs' game this Saturday. I don't give 2 damns who plays for the national championship because it doesn't matter what I think about it. Change to that system will have to come about in waves and a team that lost it's conference championship game vs. a team within it's own division that didn't even play for it (and previously lost to it's opponent) for the BCS Championship tells me all I need to know about the system and the need for change. Immediately.
Again, Go Dawgs and to hell with the BCS.
Monday, November 28, 2011
- Very solid win. We did exactly what we needed to. As the boys said earlier, I never felt the game was in doubt.
- Both coordinators did a great job and have earned their paychecks.
- Special teams was better than average but not quite great yet.
- Aaron was his normal self, good at times, great at times, and a little off at times.
- Was surprised that a lot of analyst thought that we'd be "looking ahead" and not ready for this game. This is the fourth time that we went into the Tech game before playing in the SECCG and that's never been an issue before. Oh well.
- 10-2 and a SEC East championship. Honestly couldn't have asked for more when the season started. No matter how we got there, 10 wins is a great season. The only kind better is one of a historic championship nature.
- There's no doubt we got lucky with the schedule but like I said the other day, we beat those bad teams. That hasn't been the case in recent years. I have no problem taking advantage of other schools troubled seasons. No one could have predicted just how bad UF would have been and we all knew that UT and Auburn were going to be garbage this year. They all had REALLY bad Saturday's and I'm okay with that.
- I've been so impressed with Grantham's in-game adjustments. This has been an issue for me for years in all phases of the game. I love the fact that a team can look great on a couple of early drives and I'm still confident that at the end of the game, we'll look up at the score/stats knowing we dominated them.
- Aaron has had a very good year but I honestly thought he was going to just be lights out. I'm going to try and put a lot of this on our thin OL, constant RB issues, and crazy young receivers. But he did miss a lot of open throws and had more picks than I'd like to see.
- I have to give Rev credit for his early season worries about Crowell and injuries. Some kids just have the bug and bad luck and some are just soft. I'm not going to be the judge on Crowell or any player when it comes to injuries but the bottom line is that we need him on the field. I really hope we end up signing a couple of these big time RB's because as we found out this year, we might need every single one of them.
LSU (side note: thanks to my wonderful younger sister who I beat in basketball growing up, I will be attending the game)
- I've got a lot of that Munson pessimism in me, so I'd put our chances of beating LSU at around 10%. Meaning that I think we could beat them 1 out of 10 games.
- The LSU offense is nothing to be afraid of but run for your life when it comes to that defense and playmakers.
- I think the lack of a running game is going to kill us. I'm not counting on Crowell being healthy enough to make a difference.
- We won't have time for long developing pass plays, so we'll need to be on with quick timing routes. And I don't mean bubble screens and RB screens, they have too much speed for that. I'm talking about 4 yard slants, crossing routes with picks, and quick outs. I want to see Orson turn around after 5 yards on a hook instead of running down the seams.
- Hopefully I'm wrong and the offensive line plays great, Murray has time, and our running game is successful.
- But since I don't think this will happen, I think LSU beats us pretty bad. I've watched all of LSU's big games and I just can't see this being close. Having said that, Iowa St did beat Okie St and Texas Tech did beat Oklahoma. We're a lot closer to LSU than those teams were in those games.
- The only way we win this game is with turnovers, if our Defense completely dominates and takes the ball a way a lot, we can win.
- At the end of the day, our offense makes too many mistakes and LSU rolls on.
- Dawgs 13 - Tigers 37
The point of all of this is to say that I all but expected us to be lumped in there not just after the Boise State loss, but in the summer. I figured we had it in us to have a successful year, but I am beyond thrilled with how things turned out. No matter what happens to us vs. LSU, we as fans have much to celebrate. Let's take a look:
- Bobo's growth as an OC in that he seems to stick with what's working instead of following a script he put together before the given game. See: Tech, Georgia.
- Grantham silencing his critics (ahem, Rev) in Year 2 of the 3-4 defensive changeover. Our front 7 is as good as any in the land and when's the last time you actually felt good about our secondary?
- Richt making necessary changes on & off the field and yielding immediate results.
- The Dream Teamers stepping up in a big, big way.
I could go on, but I'll save it for another day.
I said from the get-go that I wanted Richt to be the one that turned us around. Favorable schedule or not, he did just that.
- Murray did a nice job several times of stepping up to avoid pressure, then either completing the pass or running for chunks of yards. He had two bad misses (one to King, one to Mitchell), but he was accurate for the majority of the game. He rebounded very well from the Kentucky performance.
- I really hope Crowell is able to be healthy, and play the entire game this week. Malcome had some nice runs late once the game was basically decided, but none of the RB's were able to find any space in the first half.
- The defense did a great job of limiting blown assignments. Tech got us a few times, but it was nothing compared to last year.
- Once again, Grantham did a great job making adjustments. He referenced having to adjust to that inside dive by the A backs that they gashed us on 3 or 4 times, but once the guys figured that out, Tech really had nothing. I was also surprised Tech didn't connect on a couple of more big pass plays early (although the wheel route was there, but Washington missed him). It's just so easy to give up big pass plays when you're so focused on stopping the option, but the defense for the most part was solid in all phases.
- Butler had a fantastic game.
- Orson Charles looked like he was twice the size of anybody in their secondary, they didn't look like they even WANTED to tackle him. He got a fortunate bounce on the fumble, but he had a great game regardless, I wish he could have had a TD to top it off.
- Once again, I have fallen in love with this group of receivers. None are superstars (yet), but every one of them is a big play waiting to happen.
I had predicted us to go 9-3 this year based on our talent and schedule, so I am thrilled with the final result of the regular season. Granted, I had thrown that out the window after our 0-2 start and was just hoping for an 8-4 season at that point, but this team proved all us naysayers wrong. I have a lot of thoughts about our game at the Dome this weekend that I'll put in a separate post tomorrow, but for now I am just as proud as can possibly be of the entire program.........coaches, players, everybody..........regardless of what happens on Saturday.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
We went to our receivers and made them try & stop it. When they couldn't, we simply made them like it.
This was a schoolyard underwear up the flagpole game where victory was never really in doubt and we'd have to really screw ourselves to lose.
High fives to the D for playing them extremely well and limiting big plays. That's a very difficult offense to defend and prepare for, but kudos to Grantham and his charges for getting the job done.
The one thing I was scared of did happen as Tyson was knocked out of the game by those chickenshit chop blocks. It's a wonder they don't seriously injure 3-4 players a game with that crap. Yes, I'm looking at this filled with hate, but it is what it is.
Some random thoughts as this wonderful day draws to a close:
- The worst Gator squad that I've seen in quite some time is fumble farting around trying to beat FSU. My goodness, if we would have lost to them, it would have been catastrophic in every sense of the word, not just missing out on winning the East.
- Alabama throttled Auburn and made them like it. I loved them going for 2 while up 19 late. I'm all for a FU play in a rivalry game. Absolutely fantastic.
- Speaking of the Tide, I have no problem seeing them play LSU for the BCS Championship (depending on how things shake out w/ us next week). That's the best matchup. If either of them face OSU, Stanford, etc., it just won't be as good. If they're ranked #2 in the BCS when it's all said and done, how are you going to keep them out?
- Good Lord, we're going to have our hands full against LSU next week. I didn't expect Arky to beat them, but I didn't expect them to be beaten as soundly as they were. I did enjoy Petrino losing his cool and slinging F bombs at Miles from across the field. That guy's a turd and deserves several turd sandwiches throughout the year.
We'll be very busy here next week recapping the season and examining the upcoming SECCG, but enjoy yesterday's win, Bulldog Nation. It was, in the words of the nWo...TOO SWEET!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
“We were trying to mix them up, give them something different … Our base plan for the game was to be balanced, but as the game went on I thought the best way to win was by throwing.”In previous years, he still would have tried in vain to establish the run for the sake of balance. Well done, Bobo, your past few games as a playcaller have been excellent...........and yes, I include the Kentucky game in that opinion.......having to adjust on the fly to losing Crowell early on, and Murray going into a deep brain freeze for much of that game. LC will have his game wrap up either tonight or early tomorrow, then SimpleMan and I will chime in with our thoughts.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I didn't say we'd be able to stop it, but I'm just not in the camp of believing that we aren't built to handle it.
Secondly, I am more than confident in Grantham's preparation of our D in getting ready for this, although lots of coaches admit that 1 week really isn't long enough to prepare.
I'll give them credit where credit is due in that it is a highly effective and difficult offense to handle, but I'll also give credit where it's due to our DC and our D. I'm really looking forward to seeing how we handle it.
As for our offense vs. their defense, I'm not all that worried unless Crowell is either still gimpy or re-injures that ankle. We can't have our 4th string TB getting the majority of the carries in this game because Carlton Thomas will likely misinterpret the term "smoke a turkey" for something else and be suspended again.
We should be able to exploit them w/ our TEs, Mitchell, etc. I'm looking for some big plays to get a comfortable lead and let Richt do what he likes to do: eat the clock and rely on the D.
In sum, unless we just can't find a way to keep their offense somewhat under control, I say we win a squeaker, 27-21. I'm really hoping for a 35-14 beatdown, tho.
I hope everyone enjoys their holiday, eats too much, farts even more and gets ROWDY while watching the game Saturday, either at the field library or at home.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I'm very proud of the guys for coming back and winning 9 in a row and winning the East. Yes, you can only play the teams on the schedule but the fact is we got lucky as hell with this schedule. We're the same fan base that would be complaining if the roles were reversed with SC or UF and they had the easy schedule and won the East. When you look the Senator's rankings, it really shows just how lucky we got this year. We didn't play the top 3 teams and lost to the next best team. The 7 SEC teams we've beat have a combined SEC record of 12-39 and Auburn beating SC is the only win out of the 12 that was against one of the top 5 teams.
Because of our defense and talent on offense/special teams, I really do believe we can beat LSU (or Bama). I'd never put money on it and don't expect it but I won't be shocked and I'll be cheering as loud as anyone. I'm not drinking the kool-aid just yet that we've turned this thing around but at least we beat the teams that we should. That hasn't happened consistently the last couple years and it's really good to see again.
As far as Tech goes, my hatred is all used up on Auburn, UF, SC, and UT. I have a lot of Tech friends and of course want to beat them, but my hatred for them just isn't there. Like playing basketball against my little sister, it's just hard to take them seriously. Don't get me wrong, I fully understand their ability to beat us, but let's face it............At Georgia, we're not snobs, we're just better than them.
I'm afraid this will be an ugly game and I think it comes down to turnovers and limiting them on big plays. Keys:
- Win turnover battle (or at least even)
- Win field position
- Score TD's instead of FG's
- Do not give up first downs with penalties
I think we keep them in the game with FG's and put it away at the end. This isn't cricket so we win.
Virgins - 14
If I don't have to travel for work, I'll be going to the UGA-Colorado Bball game on Monday night and provide a quick recap. Yes it's football season, but LC needs some bball news or he'll die.
Monday, November 21, 2011
We wanted to respectfully share this with the Bulldog Nation. We filmed it last year as part of the "1980 Dawgs" project. We don't want to try to commercialize his passing, but wanted to share it. We are deeply saddened by Larry's loss. There will be no other like him.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Herbstreit and Fowler both just wanted to crawl under the desk and hide after that one, I believe. Just a wild guess here, but I'm guessing Mr. Corso will be otherwise occupied during the Gameday broadcast this upcoming weekend.
Anyway, after that, things just continued to get crazy. The endings of the Oklahoma-Baylor, USC-Oregon, and FSU-VA games were mixtures of bad coaching decisions (Stoops not letting the clock run out in regulation, Kelly keeping all his timeouts in his back pocket), penalties, and just poor execution. Then you had Clemson, who apparently peaked back in their Va Tech game. It's one thing to be upset, it's another to lose 37-13 to a .500 team when you are in the top 10. Florida and Auburn both at times looked like they might find ways to lose to FCS schools. I'm saying all that to say this.....
That performance against Kentucky was as ugly a win as you can see, but it was a win. Everyone on offense was off their game. Bobo had some curious play calls, though it's not like he had a lot of time to plan to have to rely solely on Harton and Malcome. Even if we have to rely on those guys against Tech, with plenty of time to plan in advance, I actually feel pretty confident that Bobo will come into the game with a good gameplan. And in Bobo's defense yesterday, there were a number of times that he had the perfect playcall on, and the guys just didn't execute. After having 2 great weeks, Murray regressed back to his head-scratching self. When he wasn't overthrowing guys, it was mainly because he was underthrowing them. And Harton and Malcome both have a long way to go in pass protection. Hopefully a lot of reps this week will help. After his fumble, I actually thought Boo looked pretty good, but it was clear to me that the coaches don't trust him in pass protection. I think Harton was on the field for almost every pass play, it seemed like if Boo was on the field, it was a running play every time (don't quote me on that, I haven't watched the replay, that was just the impression I got as the game wore on).
But, WE WON!
There was also a lot of good that came out of this game. Chief among them is the division championship. That was so badly needed for the program at this point. Walsh was 4 for 4 on field goal attempts, and they were all solid kicks. The defense was OUTSTANDING, that poor freshman QB for Kentucky is going to barely be able to roll out of bed this morning. Butler got back into his groove with punting....as a matter of fact, outside of Bogotay's shank, special teams all the way around looked good. And the offense did enough to win, despite losing the top 2 RB's. And of course with Samuel being out, we were really playing with our 4th and 5th string backs. And if you consider that Ealey and King were supposed to be on the team this year, we were REALLY down to our 6th and 7th string backs. Any team that is having to dig that deep into their RB depth is going to have some struggles, so I'm proud of the guys for fighting through it.
Bring on the Nerds. Even if Crowell and Thomas are out, I believe in this team. I have officially chugged a full pitcher of the Kool-Aid. These guys know how to win the ugly, close games, and I have a feeling that's what we are going to find ourselves in on Saturday. Plus, we will have Jarvis Jones, and they won't....that's good enough for me.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Congrats team, and thanks for the ride. Whip the Nerds for us, and you'll go down as one of my favorite UGA teams.
Oh yeah, and if you were at the game and not watching on tv, I hope you recorded it. If you did, fast forward to the post game celebration, and watch the moment between Richt and his wife. Richt's offense might not have scored much today, but I've got a feeling he's gonna be make up for it with some scoring of his own tonight. :)
Friday, November 18, 2011
They'll be brief today due to a crazy start to the day that just kept going. Having said that, here goes:
Barring a clusterfork of epic proportions, the Dawgs will win the SEC East tomorrow and either quell some of Richt's critics or simply give those that say our schedule was easy more fodder.
To the latter, I invite them to kiss my ass because we didn't make the sched. We just had to win the games.
I'm going to have an article up next week about this season, so I'll stop for now and go onto some entertainment tidbits rattling around my brain.
I was almost ready to give up on American Horror Story, but I'm glad I didn't. I'm really into that show now. This week's eppy was way out there, but got very interesting towards the end.
I've pimped Sons of Anarchy to you already, but the fits really hitting the shan right now. Wow.
Duty calls again, but if you're going to the game tomorrow, enjoy the show. I had to sell my tix due to my son having a minor surgical procedure done today, but we plan on viewing it together tomorrow and taking it all in.
We've come a long way a lot faster than I thought we would. Go Dawgs.
Onward & upward.
Also, instead of me putting up the full press release, Bernie has already done so, so check there for the full details!
Thursday, November 17, 2011
SimpleMan already put up his keys to the game, so I don't want to step on his toes there, but here's the things I'd like to see:
- 10 points or less allowed by the defense.
- Crowell to show more of the toughness he showed in the 2nd half of the Auburn game.
- Murray continue with the level of accuracy he has shown the past 2 weeks.
- Be far enough ahead that the backups get lots of playing time in the 2nd half.
- Georgia Tech losing to Duke, just because.
UGA - 38
UK - 10
- Continue to work on quick timing routes, WHEN we play LSU in the SECCG, Aaron will have to get rid of the ball quick, he won't have the time he's been having the last 3 games. Need to practice hot routes and quick 3 step drop timing patterns.
- Close this game out by halftime and get the backups and walk-on seniors a lot of 2nd half playing time. I'd like to see Hudson play most of the 2nd half and Crowell not play one snap in second half.
- No injuries
We win 56-13
I'm 8 episodes in on HBO's The Pacific and am once again in total awe of the Courage, Bravery, and Sacrifice that those men and women displayed. My great uncle was wounded in WWII and a POW in Europe. He and I are very close, he's 87, has had a dead foot from getting shot multiple times when he was 20, and still sharp as a whip. I've always had the utmost respect for our military and been fascinated with WWI and WWII. Band of Brothers is the greatest television program ever created and The Pacific has the same quality. It's not quite as good as BofB, but it's still must watch. All high school kids should have to watch both of these series to help gain a little perspective in today's "tough" world.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Gotta support a fellow Dawg anytime we can. If he ever plays close to you, go check him out live, he puts on one hellva live show.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
As he noted, Grantham does have an out in his contract to take another position as a head coach, but nothing else.
Now, the question at hand is this: With our turnaround, being on the cusp of winning the SEC East, the emergence of the D to Vangorder levels, etc., if Richt comes back, but Grantham leaves, how will you feel?
I have a well-documented man crush on Grantham. I find myself looking forward to watching our defense more than our offense. I love his intensity, I love how his players love to play for him and how they note how prepared he is and thus how prepared they are, I love what potential recruits say about him. I could go on & on.
If he leaves to take a DC job in the NFL, I wouldn't really blame him. That's the highest he can go as a coordinator, but I would really hate it. Also, if he left to take a head coaching job, I wouldn't kvetch too much, but I would if he did a BVGesque move to a school like GA Southern. If he took, say, the Ole Miss job or something along those lines, it'd be hard to blame him.
My answer to my own question is this: I want Richt back, but I lump he & Grantham in the same deal. If Grantham leaves, I don't feel as good about anything. Granted, he's not the only DC out there, but based on where we were and where we are (and where we may be headed), I do not want him to leave. If McGarity feels good about Richt and Richt feels good about staying, I hope they back up the truck and show Grantham some monetary love.
What say ye?
I've been going back and forth on this for a while now, and the further I go along, the more uncomfortable I am with the "Reverend Whitewall" nomenclature. If you've never clicked on my name to the right and read my profile, here's where the name came from:
I've always been strong in my Christian faith, including during my time at UGA where I was a member of the Worldwide Discipleship Assocation (WDA), which was basically a smaller version of a Campus Crusade or Baptist Student Union. In an unrelated venture while I was at UGA, I had to get new tires at one point, and they put them on with the whitewalls facing out. I had to leave though, I can't remember exactly why but I didn't have time for them to flip the tires once I saw them, so I ended up having to drive around for a couple of days with whitewalls on my 1989 Mustang before I could get back over there for them to flip the tires - it was quite a sight, but I've always been fine about laughing at myself, so it just kinda became a running joke. Well eventually at one point me, LC, SimpleMan, and Reeder 3:16 were having a debate about something that I disagreed with LC on, and LC said something to the effect of "Well if you take what ol' Reverend Whitewall over there says..........." and then continued on his point, but we all thought it was hilarious, and it just kinda stuck as something LC liked to throw out there every now and again.
My problem though is that I feel kinda sacrilegious because especially when I'm commenting at other sites and things like that, people's responses that don't know who I am tend to be tinged with some sort of religious of references, because they think they're talking to an actual Reverend. The more those sorts of things happen, the more uncomfortable I feel about it, like I am misrepresenting myself. Nothing like some good ol' Christian guilt to unsettle you, you know? (just kidding). And I'm still early enough in my life as a blogger that I don't think switching names would be that big of a deal. This blog has only been around for about 6 months, but if I'm going to make a change, I need to do it sooner than later.
Anyway, I'm looking for some ideas. One is just to go my real name. That's not super common, but not unheard of either for bloggers (bloggers like Doug Gillette, Aaron Torres, Ben Dukes, and T. Kyle King jump to mind, not that I consider myself in anywhere near the same category as them). Another is since people have taken to calling me "Rev", come up with a name that still incorporates that somehow. There's just not that many good words that start with "Rev".........Revolution, Revenge, Revolver.......nothing I can think of that fits me in any way. I suppose I could go with "Rev Dawg" or something along those lines, that just doesn't totally strike my fancy. If I can't come up with something I love, I may still stick with Reverend Whitewall.........I don't know. I haven't even discussed this with my co-writers here, so I'll be curious to hear their thoughts too.
What do you guys think? Am I crazy for being uncomfortable with the name? Can you think of anything clever that would still use "Rev" in it? Or should I just go to my real name? T-Bone? I'm open to any and all suggestions. If your suggestion is chosen, you'll win...........something. Maybe get to do a guest post on the blog here, or just a big ol' "Thank you" from me, and the eternal feeling of satisfaction that that brings. Seriously though, I would appreciate your thoughts below. I've spent way more time thinking about this than I should have, and would appreciate help in putting it to bed.
-Rev. (for now)
Monday, November 14, 2011
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!
Completely agree about how impressive Grantham has been with in-game adjustments. There's been quite a few games this year where a team looks like they're gonna have their way with us and then we absolutely shut them down the rest of the game. We've had some very good small DB's in the past 10 years but I really love having a big secondary. These guys all like hitting and are very solid in coverage. Imagine for a second how good this defense could potentially be next season.....scary good.
The kicking thing is working right now but I'm curious who our "go-to" guy is if it comes down to a last second FG.
I know he was just handing the ball off, but I was surprised that Aaron was still playing into the 4th and maybe even to finish the 3rd. He's playing very good but I do wish he'd throw the ball away more instead of taking a sack or bad hit (the one where he got his legs taken out when he rolled right). Of course, Matt Ryan is just as bad on Sunday's, so it's apparently not an easy thing to learn.
I can't wait to see how we play against Tech and LSU (or whoever).
My final thought is that Verne and Gary are terrible. I usually don't complain too much about announcers but good googly moogly, they got so many things wrong. Verne couldn't figure out if Thomas or Harton was running the ball, mispronouncing names, and even reading stats on the screen incorrectly. Maybe it was just me but it was tough to listen to. Gary drives me crazy with his arrogance. I like Verne but these old guys just need to move on, they can't keep up with the game.
I'll be disappointed if we don't win these next 2 but there's no way you can say that this team gave up on the season after the rough start. Love to have a do over on those first games but the team was able to move on much faster than I was.
This past game against AU was the most complete I've seen us look in years. The D is healthy and clicking on all cylinders and the offense was humming along at a great clip.
Now, fire away below and let me know how you feel as if this game were approaching this Saturday.
(Don't waste your time about insinuations of Kool-Aid drinking or anything like that.)
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Wow, are you kidding me? Now I realize those teams are not the superpowers they have been in the past, but we're still talking about talented runners like Poole, Rainey, Demps, Dyer, and McCalebb. That stat is somewhat misleading due to sack yardage being taken off of running totals, but that is impressive no matter how you slice it. Todd Grantham's salary has turned out to be a bargain, after what we suffered through in the Martinez years.
I said it during the live blog, but how nice is it to enjoy to watching our games again? Last night was a team that was well prepared in all phases of the game, and executed the plan perfectly. Ted Roof is a horrible defensive coordinator, but that doesn't take away from the fact that Bobo called a beautiful game last night, and Murray's execution was just as good. I know New Mexico State was a weak team, but Murray seems to be really hitting his stride the past couple of weeks. His stats have been good all year, but there has been a disconnect between the stats and the on-field performance, where some of his throws would just leave you scratching your head. But the past two weeks he has been on the mark. There may have been more, but the only miss I can think of last night was when he missed Conley deep early in the game, but it was fairly well covered and I think Murray was just trying to lay it out there far enough that no defender had a shot at it. From there on, he was on the money. The touchdown to Bennett was as pretty a throw and catch as you'll see at the college level.
On top of that, Crowell really impressed me in the second half. I'll admit it, I was getting down on him again at halftime, after he basically disappeared again in the first half after taking a big hit. But then he came back out in the 2nd half and gave his best performance of the season as far as grinding out tough yards. The OL did a great job blocking, and he & Thomas were great at hitting the hole at just the right time to squirt through and pick up good yardage. Crowell has to watch the fumbles, of course, but that was an anomaly for him. I was just glad to see the toughness and grit he showed in the 2nd half. Gary Danielson made the comment that it looked like maybe a light was switching on in Crowell's head of what it takes to be a star back in the SEC, and I think he was right. I think making the switch from AAA high school football to the SEC was a lot harder than Crowell had imagined, and he's had to go through a maturation process. But if Crowell can continue to show the growth that he showed last night, big things are in store for him.
Here are some of my other thoughts:
- Wow, Alec Ogletree! Grantham is doing a great job of moving him around. Auburn never knew if Ogletree was going to be coming from the middle, the edge, or wherever. Grantham has to be having fun getting to mix and match two guys like Ogletree and Jones.
- Remember when we used to blitz, yet nobody would get within 5 arm lengths of the QB? Contrast that with the 3rd down play right smack in the middle of the 2nd quarter where we blitzed Ogletree, Jones, and Robinson - and all 3 LB's got to the QB at the same time for the sack. That nearly brought a tear to my eye.
- I gave Crowell props above, but Carlton Thomas also played a GREAT game. He is playing far beyond his stature. Whether running, blocking, or whatever else is asked of him, Thomas is invaluable to the team right now that Samuel is out.
- Malcolm Mitchell definitely adds another element to the offense. Having him back was a big lift for our big-play potential. I've totally fallen in love with this receiving corp. Nobody is going to be confused with AJ Green, but I can't remember us having so many guys who have the ability to step up at any given time and make a huge play.
- Grantham continues to show a great ability to make adjustments. Auburn's first drive, and the first few plays of their second drive, looked like they were going to move the ball at will against us. Then, all of a sudden, our defense figured them out, and it was all over.
- I love Richt's new mentality. He is playing to win now. You look at the 4th down calls against FL, the timeouts before halftime that we've seen the past few weeks to give the offense another chance to score instead of just running out the clock, and just his demeanor on the sideline, and you can tell that he has adopted much more of a "take no prisoners" mentality. And that is feeding into the team. There is no more "crisis of faith" on this team, like there had been the past few years. The coaches believe in the players, the players believe in the coaches, and the players believe in each other. I said early in the year that I wanted Richt to be the guy who got us turned back around, but I didn't believe he had it in him. Well, I was wrong. There's still a lot of football to be played this year, but Richt HAS turned this team around, and the future looks very bright right now. McGarity needs to come out soon and make it clear that Richt will be back next year so we can get along in putting together another top recruiting class.
As LC said earlier this morning, it truly is great to be a Georgia Bulldog. Let's take care of business the next two weeks, then see how the chips fall in Atlanta. GO DAWGS!
- The crowd was jakked and ready for blood.
- Not that AU is anything more than an average team, but that's the best I've seen our D look all year as far as reacting to everything that Malzahn threw at them (and that's saying a lot).
- The balance of our offense was very good.
- After the game, some of the players ran to the stands on the band side and celebrated with fans. For those that were still there, and there were still a lot, there was a lot of joy coming out of Sanford Stadium.
Sitting at 8-2, I see no reason why we couldn't finish 10-2 and give LSU all they can handle in the SECCG. This isn't a Kool-Aid statement. If you look at us as a whole right now, we look pretty damn good.
It's great to be a Georgia Bulldog.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
3rd qtr, 5:37 to go: Ogletree strips Dyer, and I think it was Gilliard who came up with the football. As the cameras cut away, I'm pretty sure I could see Chizik calling the bus drivers and telling them to rev up the engines. It's gonna be a good night in Athens, wish I was there!
3rd qtr, 7:32 to go: UGA pounds it down the field and eats up a ton of clock. Bogotay splits the uprights for a 38-7 lead. Auburn looks about as interested in this game as Russ does over on the sideline.
HALFTIME: I mocked Ted Roof, but on the flip side gotta give props to Bobo....hell props to the whole team and staff. The defense started a little slow, but has quickly adjusted. Both sides of the ball, AND EVEN SPECIAL TEAMS (until Butler's punt), are playing like a well prepared, well coached team that has fire in its belly again. Isn't it great enjoying watching our games? UGA 35, Auburn 7, and you wonder if Auburn will sniff the endzone again.
2nd qtr, 5:00 to go: Murray to Mitchell, pitch and catch, this is a joke at this point. I hope Auburn signs Ted Roof to a 10 year, unbreakable contract extension. UGA 35, War Tiggers 7.
2nd qtr, 8:00 to go: Another three and out by the defense. Grantham brought 3 LB's on a blitz - and all three got to the QB. Gotta love that!
2nd qtr, 9:41 to go: Rambo with a pick 6! Got a celebration penalty afterwards, but 28-7 Dawgs. The defense looked great right there on all 3 plays. Now let's see if we can bury these guys, of if we let them back in.
2nd qtr, 10:36 to go: BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We finally went back to the FB in the flat, and Figgins rumbles in for a TD. 21-7, good guys.
2nd qtr, 13:09 to go: The football gods must like us again. Auburn gives it right back on an equally terrible fumble, Geathers with the recovery. LET'S GO DAWGS!
2nd qtr, 13:16 to go: Terrible fumble by Crowell, who was untouched, then a less than inspiring effort to try to recover it. Auburn takes over near midfield on the turnover.
End of 1st qtr: One of the few times Malzahn has been predictable. I saw that draw play coming from a mile away, and apparently so did Abry Jones & Christian Robinson. Barring a special teams breakdown, UGA is about to get the ball back to start the 2nd qtr. Other than that last play, Malzahn has kept us off balance with the passing game and misdirection in the running game. I gotta think we'll adjust to that misdirection as the game wears on. Boykin is injured, though not sure how serious yet. That could end up being a big deal though.
1st qtr, 3:02 to go: Dang, this is shaping up to be a MAC game. UGA flies right back down the field. Murray hit Marlon Brown on a beautiful 25 yard pass where he threw it before Brown even made his break. Then he throws a perfect pass to Bennett, who laid out for it in the endzone and brought it in. To this point, this is the best Murray has looked this year. Let's hope he can stay in that mental zone for the next 3 hours or so.
1st qtr, 6:13 to to: Well, that didn't take long. Auburn goes down the field with the passing game, and receives little to no resistance from the UGA defense. Then they capped it off with a clever playcall from Malzahn to score. Knotted at 7.
1st qtr, 8:57 to go: Nice opening drive, even if we did need the first generous spot for UGA from an SEC officiating crew in recent memory. Now let's see if we can tackle somebody on the kickoff. Score is 7-0, good guys, as Murray and King hook up on a nice little slant route.
1st qtr, 13:00 to go - UGA gets the first break of the game. No way Crowell picked up that first down.
Pregame - Well, the 'Cocks refused to make the path easy for us, but then what HAS been easy this year? Let's hope the boys come out fired up and ready to play.
Assuming my young ones cooperate, I'll be adding my sometimes humorous, occasionally insightful thoughts during the game here. Feel free to add your own comments as well.