Daily Archives: August 28, 2008

Willie Martinez: You’ve come a long way, baby.

Those of us that sat in the Georgia Dome to watch the ill-fated 38-35 loss to West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl questioned whether the Georgia defensive staff was up to the challenge of gameplanning to stop the spread option offense.  We weren’t used to seeing a Dawg defense get shredded to the tune of 502 yards – especially by a Big East school.

Martinez went through a period of being compared with his predecessor’s success, and it wasn’t pretty.  But judging by the tone of this article in today’s Washington Post (h/t Bulldogs Blog), it looks like he’s gained some measure of redemption.

It made sense at the time. Preparing to face the No. 1 scoring offense in the nation in a BCS bowl on New Year’s Day, the Georgia coaching staff figured it would be wise to employ more speed than bulk. Relying on nickel packages that utilized one more cornerback and one less linebacker, the Bulldogs’ defense throttled Hawaii, 41-10, in the Sugar Bowl and provided an example of how to slow down the vaunted spread offense.

While the writer defines the term “spread” a little too broadly – Arizona State and Kentucky frequently employ one back sets with three and four receivers,  but they don’t run spread option schemes – there’s a lot of good stuff in there from the players and Martinez about what they try to do with the 4-2-5 scheme that has become a mainstay of Georgia’s defense.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

That lid’s not just been knocked off, it’s been thrown away.

If this Chip Towers’ interview with Mark Richt doesn’t get you pumped up about the future of the program, I honestly don’t know what would.

Here’s a taste, but go read it all.

Richt on if he thinks this is the way it’s going to be from how on:

“Yes, I think so. I think we’re doing a very fine job of evaluating talent and hitting on a high percentage of the ones we’re going after. I don’t know what the record is across the country but if you look at how many guys make official visits and, of those, how many commit and sign with Georgia it’s pretty good. I’ve forgotten the number now of how many you can bring in any given year but we haven’t even come close to bringing in the number of official visits we’re allowed to bring in because we’ve just really hit on a really high percentage of the guys we’re going after. If you get every other one you’re doing really good but we’re at a better ratio than that and have been there probably the last three recruiting classes.”

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Filed under Georgia Football

Opening day tidbits

Just a sprinkle for you this morning – focus on the games tonight.

  • David Ching drops the bomb on the Auburn faithful on his career move back to Athens.  I know how they feel.
  • Mark Schlabach is bullish on the Dawg D“Quarterback Matthew Stafford and tailback Knowshon Moreno are Heisman Trophy candidates and garner most of the attention, but Georgia’s defense — the fastest it has ever put on the field — will lead it to an SEC championship.”
  • I’m beginning to question Urban Meyer’s ability to see the future.  The Orlando Sentinel’s Jeremy Fowler is reporting that Percy Harvin may wind up missing the Tennessee game.  That’s serious.  And it’s interesting that there seems to be some tension building between the head coach and momma over Harvin’s return.  This one bears watching.
  • Discretion is the better part of valor:  Kade Weston won’t play against Georgia Southern.
  • The AJ-C has a list of places in Atlanta where you can go see Weston’s teammates play on Saturday.
  • And Jody’s back with his always excellent preview of this week’s game.
  • I dare you.

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Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, The Blogosphere

It’s about damned time.

Life has meaning again.

  • Aug 28:  Vanderbilt at Miami University, 7:00 PM, ESPNU
  • Aug 28:  Jacksonville State at Georgia Tech, 7:30 PM, ESPN 360
  • Aug 28:  Charleston Southern at Miami, 7:30 PM, ESPN 360
  • Aug 28:  NC State at South Carolina, 8:00 PM, ESPN
  • Aug 28:  Wake Forest at Baylor, 8:00 PM, FSN
  • Aug 28:  Oregon State at Stanford, 9:00 PM, ESPN2
  • Aug 28:  Troy at Middle Tennessee State, 7:30 PM, Gameplan
  • Aug 28:  Wake Forest at Baylor, 8:00 PM, FSN

Let the games begin.  Yowzer!

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Filed under College Football

Another good link

Leave it to College Football Resource to find another useful link.  This time it’s to a site that gives you access to weather information for every home college football game, Weather Underground (I’m guessing that these aren’t people that lived through the ’60s).

Here’s what they’re showing for Athens this Saturday, if you’re interested.

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Filed under College Football, The Blogosphere

Are you experienced?

God knows, I like to knock ESPN as much as the next college football fan, but I have to admit that there are a few redeeming things about the WWL.  Ron Franklin, for one.

Bruce Feldman’s another.  I don’t pay for ESPN Insider, so any time a post of his pops up for free over at ESPN.com, I take a look.  His most recent post concerns the importance of returning starters.  Now if you ask most pundits – everyone from Phil Steele to the current fans of the Florida defense – they’ll tell you that returning talent is a very big deal.  Feldman, on the other hand, says maybe that’s a tad overrated.

… There is some interesting stuff to sift through in that blog entry. [Ed. note:  link added.  Take a look at that post, too.] My three cents on why starting experience is important really has more to do with the fact that it should, in theory, tie in with a player’s grasp of his team’s system. From observing the Ole Miss Rebels, I came away believing nothing costs you games more than blown assignments. Usually you get that from inexperienced players. Then again, if you have some young players who are very sharp and have learned their system, maybe they don’t need to have been starters to prove their worth. And yes, I know success does breed success.

What I like is Feldman’s Exhibit “A” to illustrate his point here.

… Two teams lots of folks are high on this year — USC and Clemson — both return only one starting O-lineman. That would seem to be a major concern, but sometimes great coaching can overcome that. That seemed to be the case with last year’s Georgia team. Credit there goes to O-line coach Stacy Searles.

What I hope is that Feldman is able to write the same thing next year.

By the way, here’s the criteria that Feldman uses to evaluate the merit of a team in the preseason.

… So to step back a bit, how would you rank the following factors as the most important when it comes to projecting a team’s worth?

  • Perceived talent base
  • Star power
  • Returning starters
  • Coaching and team leadership
  • Schedule strength

That’s the order I have it in. Disagree?

In case you’re wondering, Feldman doesn’t pick Georgia to play in the BCS title game.

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Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles