Daily Archives: October 17, 2008

They’ve got their story and they’re sticking to it.

The AJ-C’s Tim Tucker follows his colleagues and jumps on board the Penalty Express:

The Bulldogs keep talking a good game about reducing penalties, but so far without sufficient results. They remain the most frequently penalized team among the 119 in Division I-A. You can argue the flags didn’t cost the Bulldogs a game in the first half of the season, because they presumably would have lost to Alabama even if they hadn’t helped the Crimson Tide with penalties. But it’d be hard to argue that the Dogs can keep piling up penalties in the grueling second half of the season without having the problem cost them a game or more.

Sure, just like what happened to TCU, currently ranked 116th nationally in penalties per game, which narrowly defeated #9 BYU last night, 32-7, despite trying to lose the game by committing 10 penalties.

Can we lay off this nonsense once and for all?  Of the nineteen teams ranked at the bottom of the list nationally, nine are ranked in the polls.  In and of themselves, penalty numbers are simply not a relevant factor in winning football games.  If you feel a need to cluck over something about the obstacles Georgia faces in its remaining games, the injury situation would seem to be a more relevant topic to explore.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Final thoughts on Vandy

Judging from what I’ve read on other blogs, I doubt I have any special insight, but here goes nothing.

  • Statistically speaking, this shouldn’t be a close game.  Georgia is by far the best offensive team that Vanderbilt has faced this season; on the flip side, Vandy has the worst offense of any team Georgia has played this season.  Even if you take the position, as some Tennessee (the state, not the school) writers have, that the defenses and special teams in this game are fairly even, this is still a huge gap and really should be the difference maker tomorrow.
  • It’s not fair to say that the Commodores have been lucky so far this year.  They are, instead, an opportunistic and disciplined bunch that’s taken advantage of the situation when it’s presented.  That’s reflected in their red zone percentage and turnover margin numbers.  One thing that’s critical for the Dawgs tomorrow is to avoid turning the ball over.
  • The other area that’s important is on the defensive line.  In last year’s game, particularly in the first half, Vandy repeatedly gashed Georgia on running plays to the outside where the Dawg d-line failed repeatedly to maintain containment on the Vandy QBs.  Lomax in particular was a serial offender in this.  The defensive line has to do a better job of keeping Adams boxed in and letting the linebackers (hello, Mr. Curran!) clean up.  The Commodores receiving corps is less formidable in the wake of Bennett’s departure, and their running back, while solid and tough, isn’t a burner.  Make these guys one-dimensional, which the Georgia defense has been successful doing most of the season, and it will be a long afternoon for Vandy’s offense.
  • From a margin of error standpoint, this is a big game in that if Georgia prevails tomorrow, it can take a hit at Baton Rouge and still come back to control its fate in the SEC East by winning in Jacksonville.
  • Let’s hope nobody gets hurt tomorrow.  Clint Boling, our Dawgnation turns its lonely eyes to you.

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Filed under Georgia Football

The spread congeals?

Gary Danielson thinks so.

… Danielson, 57, also recently made a comment to a newspaper in his native city (Detroit) that should enrage Michigan followers and warm those in these parts who are reveling in the 2-4 start at the Big House by former WVU Coach Rich Rodriguez, who took his spread to Ann Arbor.

“What I said, and it was before the season, was that I think the spread has peaked, like the wishbone did in the mid-70s,” Danielson said by phone Tuesday. “I predict that Michigan will be the last of the top major programs running only the spread…”

To which MGoBlog’s Brian Cook tosses back a pretty good *Oh, Snap!* response.

The always-incorrect Gary Danielson:

“I said it before the season — and I was out there by myself — I think we’ve seen the spread has peaked, like the wishbone did in the mid-70s,” Danielson said Thursday.

The top ten teams in total offense so far, spread teams in bold:

  1. Tulsa
  2. Texas Tech
  3. Missouri
  4. Houston
  5. Louisiana Lafayette
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Nevada (pistol variety)
  8. Oklahoma State
  9. Penn State
  10. Illinois

Might want to cancel the funeral.

Semantics?  Maybe somewhat (the term “spread” is broadly used these days, no doubt), but it also sounds like Danielson backtracks a little bit on his statement when he says this:

“Instead of teams going more to it, I think you’ll see teams going to it as part of an offense. The top schools can get the best talent. For them, there’s no need to do it … I love it as a part of my package, not as the only package.”
There’s actually a decent point in there, in that almost every team out there incorporates some spread components into its offense these days.  I also think Danielson makes a good point about Rodriguez’ use of the spread at West Virginia.

“What has West Virginia gotten, maybe three of the top 150 players in the last five years?” Danielson figured. “When you’re in that situation, I can see it, because you need to keep people off balance, and the spread can do that…”

But I think he misses in comparing the situation at Auburn with that at Michigan.

Danielson said Auburn’s move to the spread “just didn’t fit the mindset there. To (Coach) Tommy Tuberville’s credit, he properly cut it out quickly.”

The mindset at Michigan is similar.

Danielson’s opinion is that Rodriguez’s introduction of the no-huddle spread at Michigan “was just too much of a culture shock. I’m not saying Rich won’t succeed there.

“What I’m saying is that he shouldn’t put all of his eggs in the spread basket. He doesn’t need that. Michigan can get the players so he doesn’t need to do that…”

The mindset at Auburn is that of the coaching staff and I think Danielson is correct in pointing out that Franklin was a bad fit from the start in that regard.  But whose “culture shock” at Michigan is he referring to?  Surely not that of the coaches there; Rodriguez believes in his system, obviously.  And he was brought in to install it.  Certainly both schools have suffered this season from not having the personnel to run the spread properly, but it seems to me that that’s as far as the similarities go.

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, Strategery And Mechanics, The Blogosphere