Daily Archives: August 29, 2008

Know thyself, Georgia edition

The Quad makes Georgia its pick for #2 in the country, seeing the Dawgs facing off against Southern Cal for the MNC.

It’s a complementary piece, as this passage on Mark Richt indicates:

… Though largely overlooked on a national basis, Richt is certainly one of the top coaches in the country. Since the start, Richt has had the Bulldogs among the top programs in the nation. After going 8-4 in 2001 (his debut season), tying a Georgia record for wins by a rookie coach, Richt led the Dawgs to a team-record 13 wins in 2002, a season that culminated in an SEC championship. Richt duplicated that feat in 2005, when he led Georgia to a 10-3 mark and its second conference title. There has been no down point for the Bulldogs since Richt took over, though one could point out the 9-4 mark in 2006 as a brief lull for the Georgia program. You’re doing pretty well when a 9-4 record, with a .500 mark in the SEC, signals the lowest point of your tenure. Only five SEC coaches have won 10 games or more in four straight seasons: Richt (2002-5), Bear Bryant (1971-74, 1977-80), Vince Dooley (1980-83), Phil Fulmer (1995-98) and Steve Spurrier (1993-98). How about that list?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Thoughts on Georgia-Georgia Southern

I’m not gonna do the detail thing with this game – for that check out what Jody and Doug have to say – rather, I thought I’d just take a broader look at some things.

Realistically, this is not likely to be a close game.  Chris Hatcher is a sharp guy with a creative offensive mind, but this is a contest that will be determined by the “Jimmies and Joes”, and GSU is both very young and playing without eight suspended players.  Not a good combination.

So here are three areas I’ll be looking at on Saturday::

  1. The Georgia defense. What I like about Hatcher is that he plays with what he’s got.  In other words, he doesn’t have the luxury of a Mike Bobo who can recruit the players he thinks will best fit the scheme he runs, but rather molds his offense around the talent he has available.  Last year that meant a strong running attack;  this year, based on what I heard him tell Coach Donnan on Donnan’s radio show earlier this week, that means a steady dose of throwing the ball.  It’s a controlled passing attack designed to move the chains steadily.  That means the Dawg D has to play with discipline, which sometimes is a quality lacking in an early season game.  Honestly, though, what I’m most interested in evaluating is the level of talent that Martinez has at hand.  The G-Day game hinted at the speed, athleticism and depth of this group.  I’m looking forward to seeing what’s there.
  2. The freshman class. The official line is that we may see as many as ten freshman play on Saturday.  Just how good are they and what kinds of contributions are being expected from them?
  3. The mentality of being #1. We all know what the typical Mark Richt domination of a cupcake tends to look like – the game slowly builds into a 20-30 point mismatch, the dogs are called off and from there things kind of fade out.  Given what’s at stake this season, and given that Richt seems to be driven by that, do we finally see a team that goes for the throat of an inferior opponent and doesn’t let up?

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Filed under Georgia Football

Thoughts from last night

Man, that felt good… comfortable chair and clicker in hand.

There really weren’t a whole lot of surprises last night.  I thought the two most impressive wins, for what they were worth, were Vandy’s and Wake Forest’s. Stanford, riding a +3 turnover margin, looked like it might be ready to step up from the land of the completely forlorn (so much for Mandel’s pick for surprise team in the country this year).  It sure was good to hear Uncle Ron’s voice last night, too.

In terms of Georgia’s future opponents which saw the field last night, I’m not sure how much to read into Central Michigan’s win, but it seems to me that an offensive juggernaut playing at home against Eastern Illinois ought to put up more than 31 points on the scoreboard.  Georgia Tech did what it had to do against a 1-AA opponent, which was play good defense and give the team a reason to believe Paul Johnson’s offense has a future.

And then there was South Carolina.  I thought it was a typical Spurrier rope-a-dope opener, which is to say, show as little as possible on offense.  It helped tremendously to face a hapless opponent like NC State, which boasts the worst looking offense from a BCS conference team this side of Starkville, Mississippi.  So while that 34-0 score looks nice, don’t forget that the Wolfpack finished off its ’07 season with a 37-0 loss to Maryland.

Then again, we were able to witness the birth of the Chris Smelley for Heisman campaign in Columbia last night, so there is that.  My big question for SC (can I say that?) is whether next week’s trip to Nashville turns out to be any sort of test for the ‘Cocks, instead of the usual kind of warm up Spurrier prefers prior to his game with Georgia.  Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

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Filed under College Football