Monthly Archives: November 2008

Excuse me while I unclench my teeth.

I hope this quote is nothing more than BS coachspeak, because if Richt seriously believes that’s what has fans upset, he really doesn’t get it.

“I guess we’ve just got the bar raised so high that anything less than a championship is a disappointment. That’s not all bad. I want the Georgia people, the players and the coaches to expect championships. I want that to be our goal, but when you come up short of it, it hurts.”

“I guess you have to have a season like this here and there to really appreciate the other ones.”

Why does this year hurt more than the other seasons without championships?  There’s the real issue, coach.

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UPDATE: Travis hits the nail on the head with this post.  Money quote:

The wheel goes round and round. If it comes up winner next year, we’ll look at 2008 as a character builder. If not, it will have been a heart-aching waste of talent.

That’s a toss-up right now.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Recipe for a lost offseason

Start with this post of mine from a couple of weeks ago.

Add in a dash of this thought from David Hale (whose live game blog from yesterday is a must read, by the way, even if you’re not a masochist):

It’s hard to fault fans for being upset. Every week, with the exception of Arizona State and to a lesser extent LSU, it has been the exact same story. This team has made zero marked improvement over the course of the season, and that has to fall onto the coaching staff. I’ve said all year I didn’t think any significant overhaul of the staff was in order at year’s end, and maybe it’s not. But I do think after this is all said and done, Richt needs to take a long look at this year and find out where things went wrong, and if he’s only pointing to the injuries and the “tough” schedule, he’s doing everyone involved with this team a big disservice.

Then finish with this quote from Mark Richt after the game:

“I think we had 18 season-ending injuries, last year we had one,” Richt said. “We played the toughest schedule according to the NCAA…”

Let sit unattended for several months.  Serves 9-10 wins.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Blogosphere

Better late than never

I guess my mind was somewhere else yesterday, because I neglected to take note of the fact that GTP turned two years old.

I’ve averaged about four times the traffic in 2008 than I did in 2007, so to all of you who drop by, and especially to those of you who keep coming back, thanks very much.

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Filed under GTP Stuff

Life outside of Athens

Believe it or not, there are things happening outside of the Classic City in the world of college football:

  • The more I think about it, this is a damned good question.
  • If this is true (h/t The Wiz of Odds), Charlie Weis ain’t going anywhere any time soon.  He and Notre Dame deserve each other.
  • Say what you will about him, Mike Leach is never short on ideas.  He’s got a unique suggestion about how to cut the knot on the three-way tie in the Big XII South:  graduation rates (h/t The Wiz of Odds).  Of course, the fact that they favor Texas Tech never entered his mind when he thought it up, right?
  • Georgia didn’t have the only epic fail on defense in the crunch yesterday.  And this one cost its school a helluva lot more.
  • What coach in his right mind would take the Mississippi State job?  A retread, sure.  The Bulldog AD needs to think way outside the box on this hire, though – and realize that if he hits paydirt with a good pick, he’ll probably lose him within five years.
  • OK, OK, one Georgia question:  what happens if the Capital One Bowl doesn’t pick the Dawgs?

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, Charlie Weis Is A Big Fat..., College Football, Georgia Football, Mike Leach. Yar!, Pac-12 Football, SEC Football, The Blogosphere

What hurts the most…

It’s not watching the team blow a chance to tie the win streak record.

It’s not losing to Tech.

It’s not being subjected to another disappearing act (hell, I’m afraid I’m starting to get numb to them) against a mediocre team.

It’s seeing Massaquoi in his last regular season game leave his guts all over the field of play and Moreno’s magnificent touchdown run when I knew once he hit the corner he simply would not be denied the score… and knowing that the defense would use it all as a crutch instead of an inspiration to step up its play.

If that was their last regular season game in red and black, it was a sad way to go out.  Both deserved better.

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Filed under Georgia Football

You’ve got your outrage, I’ve got mine.

I know that most of the Dawgnation’s anger is directed in Coach Martinez’ direction tonight, but can someone explain to me how a team can be as godawful in the kickoff game after 12 games as Georgia is now?  Richard Samuel has absolutely no instinct for running back kicks, yet he keeps getting trotted out for returns.  His teammates can’t form a reliable blocking wall to save their lives.

Most maddening of all, Blair Walsh can’t directionally kick.  He just can’t.  Multiple out of bounds kickoffs in the twelfth game of the season are inexcusable, yet the coaches keep setting the kid up to fail.

And the best Richt can come up with on this is a joke.

After Georgia struggled on kickoffs yet again, Richt joked that he might have to scour Europe in hopes of finding a kicker with a strong enough leg to help Georgia win some field-position battles.

“We might have to go to Poland or something to find a guy who can kick it out of the end zone,” Richt said. “We’ll give him two scholarships.”

I bet he wouldn’t have to travel nearly so far to find a competent special teams coach.

I hate to be snide about a coach with a winning percentage near 80%, but, crap, there’s no excuse for how shoddy this has been all year.

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Filed under Georgia Football

In a nutshell

If this isn’t the quintessential comment about this Georgia team’s state of mind, I don’t know what is:

“We lost our edge in the second half,” senior defensive tackle Corvey Irvin said. “In the first half, we were all over the field having fun and I guess we kind of lost our composure. I guess we thought we had the game wrapped up in our pocket but we really didn’t.”

This is a team that’s been enamored with itself, with its depth and talent, for some time now.  Unfortunately, as we keep seeing demonstrated, there’s more to being a great football team than simply being talented.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Final thoughts on Georgia-Georgia Tech

Some preliminary observations:

First, there’s no way I’m going to top the opener to Doug’s preview of the game.

Second, it saddens me a little bit to learn that SIAR, B! isn’t a selling point to recruits.

… When it comes to grabbing those top defensive recruits, Richt said, one thing that isn’t part of his sales pitch is Georgia’s seven-game winning streak over its in-state rival.

“I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it,” Richt said. “I think the kids care more about where they see themselves fitting into your system. They all want to know what are your plans for me here? I don’t think (the rivalry) crosses their mind that much.”

Third, Groo notes that while the weather may be taking a turn for the worst, it may not matter as much as we may hope, as Tech relies heavily on the old-fashioned handoff and the quarterback keeper to account for a significant majority of its running plays.

Bad weather or not, keeping the ball in the hands of the quarterbacks and Dwyer almost three quarters of the time when running the ball is a good way to minimize the risk of turning the ball over.  You’ve probably seen the stat being bandied about this week about Johnson-coached teams being on a 14-0 run when they win the turnover battle.   This year, Tech’s turnover margin in its eight wins is +1.25/game; in its three losses, the Jackets sport a -2/game turnover margin.  This is a battle within the game that the Dawgs can’t lose.  The good thing is that the trend line over this year shows that Tech has gotten more careless with the ball as the season has gone on.

One other big number that Georgia has to watch:  Damaryius Thomas has 35 of Tech’s 65 total receptions in 2008 and over half of Georgia Tech’s receiving yardage, as well.  It’s obviously in Georgia’s best interests to force Tech into throwing the ball, as Nesbitt is completing less than 50% of his pass attempts, but the Dawg secondary has to be aware of Thomas’ presence throughout the game.  Ironically, if Tech has to throw the ball, itsr passing numbers suggest that the backup QB, Jaybo Shaw, is much more accomplished at throwing than is Nesbitt, with a much better completion percentage and a much higher yards per attempt figure.

With all the focus on the triple option, it seems that almost no attention has been paid to how Tech will handle Georgia’s offense.  With apologies to Mr. Barnhart, Georgia’s offense is likely to pose the biggest challenge that Tech’s defense will face this season.  The Dawgs are ranked 24th nationally in total offense.  The next highest ranked opponent that the Jackets defended this year was Florida State, 47th in total offense, which scored 28 points and was an end zone fumble away from beating Tech in Atlanta earlier this month.

The one other number of interest that snuck up on me in looking at Tech’s stats was its field goal percentage in road games28.6%.  That’s the kind of number that suggests going for it on fourth down early and often once you cross the 50.

The psychology of this game, particularly from Tech’s standpoint, is interesting.  I don’t think the Jackets have much to lose here at all, other than playing in a more mediocre bowl game if they don’t win.  Winning their ACC division is out of their control and in the hands of two teams they’ve already lost to this year.  And if they lose in Athens tomorrow, it won’t be devastating (unless they get blown out) because of Gailey’s legacy.

But I believe Johnson’s a much better coach and much more motivated than Gailey.  This is a guy, after all, who turned down more money to take the Tech job because he had a burning desire to prove he could win in a BCS conference.  He knows how important it is for Tech to end the long losing streak and reestablish some degree of competitiveness to the series.   He’ll have his kids playing loose.  The success of the Miami game will no doubt feed into that.

Because of that, it’s important for Georgia to take charge in this game from the start.  Tech’s going to get some yards and some big plays because of the triple option, but Tech’s also going to have to deal with a balanced Georgia offense that will get more than its fair share of yards and big plays, too.  If the Dawgs can stay out of a mess with turnovers, it’s going to be difficult for the Jackets to keep up.  And if Georgia can maintain a two score lead late in the game, Tech doesn’t have the makeup skill-wise or scheme-wise to come back.

In the end, it’s Senior Day and it’s a chance for these Dawgs to put their names in the record books.  I’m guessing there’s too much pride in them to lose on Saturday.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

Does Georgia Tech have a better offense than Troy?

Tony Barnhart, who cries wolf about Georgia’s opponents more than any other pundit on the planet, on the challenge that Georgia’s defense faces tomorrow:

…Johnson’s offense is run with such precision that every member of the defense has to carry out his assignment on every play. If a defender tries to free lance and create a play outside of his assignment, it creates an opening for a big play. In short, Johnson has figured out a way to use the superior talent of an opposing defense AGAINST them. Georgia has been an undisciplined team at times on defense this season. Next to Florida, this will be their toughest challenge of the season for the Georgia defense. [Emphasis added.]

National rankings, as of this week:

Now maybe Tony means that literally – that while Georgia Tech’s offense isn’t in the same class as Florida’s it’s still the second toughest Georgia will see this season.  It’s just that besides Florida, this season Georgia’s already faced three teams with higher scoring averages than Tech and two that average more yards per game than Tech.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Stats Geek!

Further annals in how the mighty have fallen…

That Clawfense is teh awesome:

Tennessee strong safety Eric Berry may be the best all-around player in college football. He has seven interceptions, which he has returned for 265 yards and two touchdowns. Only two Tennessee receivers have that much receiving yardage and only one has more receiving touchdowns. [Emphasis added.]

Ouch.

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Filed under The Glass is Half Fulmer