So I’m at the Cobb Galleria last night to take in the meeting of the Greater Atlanta Bulldog Club, and in the middle of it all I can’t help but notice the mood of the crowd with regard to the Florida game – not exactly giddy, but certainly confident. And Richt played into it, both with a little humor and some feistiness (the “it’s not the Celebration, it’s the fact that we won” line plays well, trust me).
I daresay the mood in Gator Country on the game is somewhat grimmer right now. Just ask Franz Beard. Or Phil Trautwein.
As for the substance of what Coach Richt had to say, if you’re a regular on Georgia boards and blogs, there wasn’t really anything new or shocking. I thought the best Q & A of the night was about the new clock rules. Richt downplayed the effect of the new 40-second clock, based on his belief that there have always been 10-15 seconds between plays in addition to the running of the old 25-second play clock. But he feels that the new rule related to out of bounds plays will have a significant impact, because the game clock will start with the 40-second play clock.
All of which took me back to a realization I had during the G-Day game. Sometime during the action, I looked at the clock and was struck by how much game time had run. My initial feeling was that time was being bled off purposefully to lessen the possibility of players getting hurt. But it dawned on me as I watched the officials: they’re playing with the new clock rules.
The more I think about it, the more I believe it’s likely that we’re in for a decline in the number of plays run this season as a result of this. And not as much of that will be the result of coaching strategies as we may want to credit.