Daily Archives: November 14, 2008

I suppose Mozart is out of the question.

You know what popped into my head when I read this.

… As is the routine, Georgia practiced at Sanford Stadium on Thursday where it cranked music to deafening levels. They do that to simulate the crowd noise they will encounter at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium.

“It’s been a little bit of Ground Hogs’ Day for the last four weeks,” Richt said. “We’ll change the music to something Auburn-like. That’s about the only difference.”

So, inquiring minds want to know.  Exactly what is “Auburn-like” music?  Your comments are welcome.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Final thoughts on Georgia – Auburn

First, I’ve rounded up the usual suspects with their game breakdowns:  Jody, Doug and Kyle.  Read ‘em all.

That’s what I did.  But you know what?  Even after sifting through all the data and analysis I still feel a bit gun shy trying to assess Georgia’s chances tomorrow.  Maybe David Hale has the right approach:  all we can do is ask questions, grasshopper.

Well, running with the metaphor a little further, if you did the gun to the head thing and ordered me to blog something about what I think about the game, here’s what I’d come up with for you:

  1. The one truly excellent unit that will see the field tomorrow is the Georgia offense.  Looking at the others, both Georgia’s and Auburn’s defenses started out well this season, but have sagged lately, and Auburn’s offense never got going.  If there aren’t any hiccups or surprises, on paper that should be enough to generate at least a two-touchdown difference in the score.  On paper.
  2. Georgia’s special teams can’t be as putrid as they were against Kentucky.  That should be the case, if for no other reason than I wouldn’t expect to see Prince Miller returning punts tomorrow.  (How about Knowshon, though?)  And the weather during the game is predicted to be considerably less windy than were the conditions in Lexington, which should help.  One troubling thing here:  Richt’s confidence in Blair Walsh seems to be dwindling, as evidenced by his decision last week to pass on a 50-yard field goal attempt with the wind at his kicker’s back to go for it on fourth and six.  Three weeks ago, I doubt that’s the call.
  3. The turnover margin battle favors Georgia.  Auburn certainly ain’t no Florida here; it’s not even a Kentucky.  The trick here is to force the Tigers into a passing game.  Ole Miss accomplished that and was rewarded with three picks.  I’d much rather see Burns trying to hurt the Dawgs with his arm than with his feet.  On top of that, Massaquoi isn’t going to fumble the ball two series in a row this week.

That’s all I’ve got.  If Georgia can just hold serve in all the other areas of the game, its offense is more than good enough to win the game comfortably.  If it can’t… unlike last week, this is a rivalry game against an opponent which has little left to play for this year except for its last two regular season games.  Auburn may not have proven itself to be a better team statistically than the one Georgia played last week, but it’s going to come in with more emotion.  If Georgia implodes in certain areas of the game as it did in Lexington, that emotion may be enough to make the difference.  I’ll split the baby and predict that the road team in this series comes though again, although it won’t be especially pretty.  Georgia wins by no more than a touchdown.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Riffing off of a riff

In the beginning, there was Westerdawg’s post about the special teams.

That, in turn, begat a post of Groo’s about kickoff coverage that’s well worth your attention.

I don’t know if any of you watched the Miami game last night.  I did.  One thing that jumped out at me was the Hurricanes’ kickoff coverage.  The kicker wasn’t especially good – he didn’t kick it any deeper than Blair Walsh does on average and he didn’t seem to get as much height on the ball, either – but Miami’s coverage was smothering, as in 54 total return yards on five kicks.  The longest return the ‘Canes gave up was 15 yards.

And this was against Virginia “We Do Special Teams Right” Tech.

What was Miami’s secret?  Speed, baby.  Its coverage team is loaded with a bunch of little guys who are burners.  Guys were getting down to cover so fast that, if they weren’t making the tackle, they were at least clogging the return lanes quickly enough to make it easy for the second wave of coverage to wrap up the return.

And I’ve got to tell you as a Georgia fan, it was palpably different from what we’re used to seeing.  I had watched a replay of the Kentucky game the day before and was used to the pace of the Dawgs’ kickoff coverage.  As I sat there last night, I was literally startled by Miami’s speed on the coverage of its first kickoff.

So let me add my voice to the chorus here:  more speed, please.

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Filed under Georgia Football