Daily Archives: September 14, 2009

Positively second place

You know, the outcome of Saturday’s game hasn’t put me in a mood to gloat – nailbiters tend to do that – but, still, I can’t help but post this graciously put but nevertheless quintessential Gamecock moral victory rationale:

… The fact that we not only could have but absolutely should have won this game made matters worse upon further reflection. In saying that, I’m not trying to take anything away from Georgia. The ‘Dawgs played a good, gritty game and made the plays they needed to make to win. However, if we could have put the brakes on one of the handful of big plays they made, we win. If we could have scored a touchdown one of the several times we settled for a field goal, we win. If we don’t commit stupid penalties and have touchdowns called back, we win. If we don’t give up a blocked extra point, we win. In short, this game was there for the taking, and we didn’t take it. It’s tough to think about. A quick look at the box score will show you that we beat Georgia in every aspect of the game other than special teams and the one stat that counts, the scoreboard.

Been there, done that, fella.  (h/t Dawg Sports)

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19 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy

This will not stand, ya know…

Yes, it’s an absurdly small sample size, but it should be noted that Georgia currently ranks 114th nationally in turnover margin (at a whopping -2.5 per game pace), 109th in total penalties and 108th in penalty yardage.

The good news is, despite that, the Dawgs are 1-1 against two credible D-1 opponents.  The bad news is that, schedule wise, there’s lots more where that came from.

On the bright side, as Marc Weiszer points out, we Dawg fans are getting our money’s worth:  Georgia boasts the second longest average length of game in the country, at 3:38.  The average is three hours, nine minutes.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Superfreak

Here are photos of two incredible catches by AJ Green, courtesy of Grant Blankenship at the Macon Telegraph:

31-23

31-23

Second quarter catch

Second quarter catch

I don’t think Akeem Auguste is sorry to see the end of that game.

11 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Upon further review: Georgia-South Carolina

Having replayed the ESPN broadcast and looked at the stats more closely, I’ve got a few more observations to share about the win:

  • When you break it down, the running game was more than serviceable.  Samuel, Smith and Thomas combined for 152 yards on 23 carries, a 6.6 ypc average.  I’ll take that all season long, thank you.
  • I think what I’m more puzzled about with Bobo Saturday night was his personnel selection rather than the playcalling.  Logan Gray saw more action on special teams than he did at quarterback – and it’s not like the Dawgs didn’t have plenty of red zone opportunities to deploy him (that was the reason du jour last week as to why Gray didn’t see more action).  Even more puzzling was the decision to keep Samuel out of the game for a long stretch in the first half when it seemed like he’d developed a really good lather.
  • On the other hand, 5 of 9 on third down conversions and 5 of 5 in the red zone – all of those scores touchdowns, mind you – means that Bobo must have been doing something right.
  • Some of that may have been the result of taking advantage of what South Carolina’s defense offered.
  • Garcia did a surprisingly effective job of keeping his game under control.  His pocket presence and awareness of the rush was uncanny; he saved himself from at least three sacks on plays that turned into decent gains.
  • I should have mentioned it in my previous post on the game, but Bryan Evans’ breakup of the end zone pass on Carolina’s last drive may have been the finest coverage moment of his career.  And don’t tell me your heart didn’t leap in your throat, if just briefly, when you realized he was in single coverage on that play.
  • The replay reinforced my initial impression of the job Martinez did.  Given what he had to work with – the injuries, the turnovers and Garcia’s surprising effectiveness in negating what was an improved pass rush – his overall scheme was sound.  No, he didn’t get any three and outs, but he did get the ‘Cocks to settle for a large number of field goals (and remember how shaky Lanning had been in that department coming into the game).  In the end, that was the difference.
  • TV makes the players look smaller (it was much more apparent live how much AJ bulked up in the offseason) and faster (that fourth quarter sack of Cox by the cornerback on a blitz seemed like it took forever from the stands).
  • The one long kickoff return Georgia yielded wasn’t Walsh’s fault.  Georgia lost contain on one side and Culliver took advantage of it.
  • From a penalty standpoint, that was a sloppy game (24 total penalties for 206 total yards).  But it could have been much worse, as the refs failed to call a bunch of holding penalties that I thought appeared pretty obvious.  Georgia also got bailed out by some poor Garcia throws on what could have been a couple more pass interference penalties.
  • The irritation factor of the Mike Patrick-Craig James team is pretty significant.  But at least we didn’t hear about Britney.
  • And I’ll stick with my Orson Charles prediction.  When that kid figures out what he’s doing, he’s going to be an utter stud.  As it is, he knows how to get open on a route, he’s got great hands and he’s passionate about his play.  What’s not to like?
  • The issue with Cox isn’t what we thought would be his weakness – his physical limitations -  but his strength – his consistency and accuracy.  He was 17 of 24 (not bad).  He averaged about 2.5 yards more per pass attempt than Garcia did, on Garcia’s career night.  His touchdown pass to AJ was flat out perfect.  But there were all those little annoyingly dumb decisions that make you wonder what’s going through his head sometimes, like his pick six.  I’ll be curious to see if, another week away from the flu, he progresses this Saturday against a team that isn’t nearly as formidable on defense as South Carolina is.

34 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Comeback

One line in this weekend’s many box scores I was cheered to see was that of Southern Mississippi’s DeAndre Brown, who caught seven balls for seventy five yards in the Golden Eagles’ win over Central Florida.

Brown, you may remember, suffered a brutal leg injury that put him out last season.

Way to go, young man.  You give this Dawg fan hope after seeing two Georgia starters lost for the season with knee injuries.

3 Comments

Filed under The Body Is A Temple

This week’s perception is reality… this week.

It’s fun to watch the perceptions of the pundit class change rapidly during the early weeks of any college football season – another reason why preseason and even initial season polls are essentially worthless.

Take, for example, my man Tom Dienhart’s latest assessment of Tennessee’s offense:

Tennessee needs a quarterback. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Vols QB Jonathan Crompton is victimized by interceptions in another loss. Sure enough, it happened again, as Crompton was intercepted three times in a 19-15 home loss to UCLA. It seems everyone was hyperventilating too much over Tennessee’s 63-7 season-opening win over Western Kentucky. Since when was ripping the Hilltoppers a reason to sing “Rocky Top”? The Vols’ humbling loss to a rebuilding UCLA program is indicative of the rehab project Lane Kiffin is undertaking. The sledding won’t get any easier for the Vols. Six of their next eight games are against conference foes: at Florida, vs. Auburn, vs. Georgia, at Alabama, at South Carolina, at Ole Miss. The only gimmes in that stretch are visits from Ohio and Memphis. Tennessee may be 3-7 when Vandy heads to Knoxville on Nov. 21.

Dienhart’s right:  we weren’t reading any of that stuff a week ago when UT routed the formidable Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky.  Of course, I don’t remember him warning us then, either.

He’s also giving us this breathless take of Michigan:

Michigan will be in the hunt in the Big Ten. Michigan’s 38-34 win over Notre Dame makes it official: The Wolverines are a legit Big Ten contender. A once-moribund offense has come to life in Rich Rodriguez’s second season in Ann Arbor. Thank true freshman QB Tate Forcier. And don’t read too much into Michigan yielding 490 yards to the Irish. Notre Dame has one of the top offenses in the nation and will burn many foes this fall. The Wolverines are a confident and focused team that should win its next two games and be 4-0 when it opens Big Ten play at Michigan State.

Don’t get me wrong – that was a thrilling, gutsy win for Michigan, which will get better this season under Rodriguez.  But “don’t read too much” into giving up almost 500 yards?  Greg Robinson took a crappy Syracuse defense into South Bend at the end of last year and held virtually the same Notre Dame offense to 332 total yards.  This was an overrated, mediocre Irish team that Michigan took down Saturday.  And while the nation (except for Lou Holtz) owes Michigan a debt of gratitude for exposing Notre Dame, it’s not the bellweather event Dienhart makes it out to be.

Of course, don’t tell that to Stewart Mandel, who manages one of the niftiest feats of bandwagon jumping I’ve seen by taking the Michigan win and Ohio State loss and conflating them into an argument that Terrell Pryor made a mistake in his selection of schools.  Never mind these minor details that Mandel gives all too brief lip service to:

Granted, it’s far too early to render any definitive judgments on Pryor (Vince Young, the player to whom he’s most commonly compared, didn’t truly blossom until midway through his redshirt sophomore season), and granted, he faced a much tougher defense Saturday than Forcier…

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UPDATE: You’ve got to love Tony Barnhart, master of understatement, for this comment - “Jonathon Crompton now looks a little shaky.” Crompton was 13 of 26 for 93 yards.  He threw three picks, no touchdowns and fumbled once in Tennessee’s loss.  I’d hate to see what kind of game a quarterback has to play in order for Barnhart to say he sucks.
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UPDATE #2: In Mandel’s defense, Chris Brown halfway agrees with him about Pryor, in this rather amazing post.

11 Comments

Filed under College Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Kiffin watch: things don’t bode well.

Cue the music of doom:  between the finger pointing going on after UT’s offensive collapse against UCLA and Meyer continuing to obsess about Junior’s preseason slander about the Corch’s recruiting tactics, things aren’t shaping up nicely for this Saturday for the Vols.

I had thought before the season started that Tennessee might surprise and keep the game closer than most thought, but if Florida gets off to a quick start, this one could get very ugly very fast.

7 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Urban Meyer Points and Stares