Daily Archives: November 25, 2008

First thoughts on Georgia-Georgia Tech

I’m not going to break down any keys for the game with this post.  I’ll save some of that for later in the week, when I’m trying to fight off a turkey-induced coma.

Instead, I’ve got a word I want to drop on you:  malaise.

Here’s something Realist posted at his blog yesterday.

Georgia’s fanbase seems to be rather scared, no… that’s not the word… I’m not sure there is a word… let’s try horrifraidypantywaistedaghastmentness’d, of Georgia Tech. This is a response that, quite frankly stuns me. It’s almost like losing to Tech would validate the feeling of it all slipping away…

Let me just say that I second that emotion.  Where did all this dread come from?

Look, I don’t ask this as a knock on what Tech’s accomplished so far this year.  And I’ve said all along that Paul Johnson was a home run as a hire on the Flats.  I’ll even grant that the Jackets and their coach are motivated to play this Saturday (although, as Paul asks, so what?).  I still don’t see where this attitude is coming from.

Sure, Tech walloped Miami last week.  That’s the Miami team ranked 90th in total offense in the country this year (not to be confused with the higher ranked Miami of Ohio offense, by the way).  The Miami team whose offensive coordinator is the same guy that couldn’t help Reggie Ball count to four in 2004.  Somehow, I expect Stafford and Bobo to perform a little more competently against the Jacket defense this Saturday.

As for those 472 rushing yards Tech picked up, Miami’s defense, ranked #57 nationally against the run, looked dazed and confused, no doubt.  As the game rolled on, the ‘Canes looked more and more like they didn’t like the weather and didn’t want to be out there.  As maligned as Georgia’s run defense has been of late, it’s still ranked fifteenth in the nation.  Tech’s run defense ranks 29th – where’s the concern about how the Jackets will handle Moreno?

None of this is offered as a prediction, just as context.

Then, there’s the concern over the team’s frame of mind.  As usual, Barnhart pulled out the “if Georgia doesn’t take them seriously” card yesterday.

Georgia Tech has a couple of big things going for them on Saturday against Georgia. No. 1, the Yellow Jackets are going to be very excited about playing this game. I could be wrong, but I just don’t get the sense that the Bulldogs are that jacked up about playing the state rival…

Based on what, Barnhart doesn’t say.  But I’ll say this right now – Mark Richt has proven himself to be a good student of the history of this program and I have no doubt at all that he recognizes the significance of a win this Saturday.  It’s a chance for the Dawgs to rewrite the record books.

In other words, this team has a chance to make some history for itself, to do something that no other Georgia squad has ever done before.  If that hasn’t been stressed to this bunch repeatedly over the two weeks of preparation and, more importantly, if that message can’t serve to motivate these kids more than the typical rivalry game already should, I’d be seriously disappointed.

Fortunately, I’m already seeing a hint that nobody in red and black is taking this game for granted.

Said Collins: “It is a little bit more challenging, but because it is Georgia Tech, I think the kids are buying in a little bit more.”

By the way, Vegas isn’t buying the weak-kneed stuff.  Sheridan has Georgia as an 8.5 point favorite. Considering that it’s a rivarly game between two ranked opponents with seventeen wins between them, that’s a pretty strong vote of confidence.

Have a little faith, folks.

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Tuesday morning buffet

The chafing dishes are fired up… sample some of these tidbits:

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Charlie Weis Is A Big Fat..., College Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles

My Mumme Poll ballot, Week 13

TOP FIVE

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Oklahoma
  • Southern California
  • Texas

BEST OF THE REST

  • Georgia
  • Missouri
  • Ohio State
  • Oklahoma State
  • Penn State
  • Texas Tech
  • Utah

COMMENTS:

  • Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but given the fact that I already had Southern Cal ranked ahead of Oklahoma in last week’s ballot, it wasn’t too hard to construct this vote.  Texas Tech clearly doesn’t deserve to be ranked ahead of Oklahoma at this point.  I don’t have a problem ranking the Red Raiders behind Texas, either, given that the Longhorns’ strength of schedule is superior to TT’s and given how close the game in Lubbock between the two wound up being.
  • As for the Texas-Oklahoma debate, you really can’t beat this format, can you?
  • If I feel guilty about anything, it’s where I’m ranking Penn State.  One narrow loss on the road, yet the Nittany Lions aren’t worthy of top five consideration?  What’s up with that?
  • I know it’s fashionable to give Boise State a lot of love right now, but when you struggle down to the last play of the game to put away a 6-5 Nevada squad, that doesn’t raise my level of confidence.  Utah, on the other hand, looked very good going away against a ranked BYU team.
  • On the fringe, I’m watching Oregon State and (I can’t believe I’m typing this) Florida State.  I don’t think FSU has enough offense to keep up with the Gators, but if it pulls off the upset…

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Georgia-Georgia Tech 2007: Chantastic!

If the musical question going into this game was “Reggie or Chan?”, the answer was “both, silly”.  While Gailey channeled his inner Steve Spurrier and kept trotting out quarterback after quarterback, none of them played a decisive role – for good or for bad – in the inevitable Tech defeat.

Meanwhile, defensive guru Jon Tenuta had Knowshon Moreno in his sights.  His charges did a good job of bottling Moreno up, limiting him to 45 yards on 17 carries.  Unfortunately, they failed to account for #20.  Thomas Brown shredded the Jackets’ defense to the tune of 17 carries for 139 yards.  Georgia gained more that day on the average Brown carry than it did on the average Matt Stafford pass.

The most memorable carry of Brown’s day came on this immaculately executed toss sweep that led to Brown’s only touchdown.  Brannan Southerland, in particular, was a complete beast.  The blocking was perfect and nobody laid a finger on Brown as he scored from 32 yards out.

Final score:  Georgia 31, Georgia Tech 17.

In a vague echo from 2000, Gailey would be out of a job before the bowl game.  Just like Reggie Ball, he would never know what it was like to beat Georgia.  (Gailey’s departure wouldn’t make much difference, as Georgia Tech lost to Fresno State on a blue turf and finished the season with a Gaileyesque 7-5 record.)

SIAR, B!

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