Thoughts from Music City: at least they’ve got a pulse.

I’m back from cooler than usual Opryland.  It’s always a good thing to watch your team emerge with a conference win on the road, especially when they’re 3-3 going in.

First thought after the game:  remember, that was Vanderbilt.

Second thought after the game:  if Bryan Evans starts in Jacksonville, they should make Martinez hitch back to Athens.

Third thought after the game:  Bobo needs to ditch the I-formation.

As for my thoughts during the game, here’s a sample:

  • For all the angst and disappointment that characterized Dawg fans after the Tennessee loss, that was an impressive turnout by the visitors.  Easily a quarter of the crowd was in red.
  • And that was a good thing, because that place emptied out more quickly and quietly after Georgia went up 27-10 than I could have imagined.  One minute the Vanderbilt fans were there and the next – poof! – they were gone. I guess they’ve had lots of practice.
  • Before A.J. went on that 65-yard scamper, that may have been the deadest atmosphere I’ve ever experienced at a Georgia game, home or road.
  • Of one thing there is no doubt:  Larry Smith is the worst starting quarterback in the SEC.
  • I’ve come up with a catchy name for the punt return team – the “They Can’t Handle the Fake and Chew Gum at the Same Time” Squad.  It is amazing that it’s come to this, but evidently the coaches believe the only way they can guard against the punt fake is to leave ten defensive starters in with Logan Gray and play a base defense.  That is miles beyond pathetic. It’s also a more telling indictment of how lousy the special teams coaching is than Fabris’ directional kicking fantasy.
  • What makes it even worse is that we were reminded more than once yesterday that Prince Miller is a damn fine punt returner.
  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe yesterday marks the first time all season that Georgia didn’t allow an opponent special teams return of more than 20 yards.  Of course, why build on something like that when you can order a directional kick that goes out of bounds just before the half?
  • Two things you can count on with Georgia’s pass defense:  Brian Evans’ inability to cover and the tight end having a good day.
  • I honestly don’t know how SEC refs keep a straight face as they decide whether or not to call unsportsmanlike conduct.
  • Don’t kid yourself; the running game is still in very bad shape.  The yardage stats were pumped up in the two final series after Vandy ran out of gas.  I’m not kidding with my post game comment.  Bobo needs to ditch the I, except when the game is out of hand.  For one thing, they simply don’t have the personnel at tight end or fullback to block effectively and consistently.  Combine that with how utterly predictable the play calling out of that formation is, and it’s no surprise at how unproductive the running game is.  (To be fair, I was pleasantly surprised with the formation Bobo called for Caleb King’s TD run.)
  • The call and execution on Caleb King’s TD reception was as good as anything I’ve seen this season.  More please, fellas.
  • A.J. is so money they ought to put his picture on the ten dollar bill.  He didn’t even look like he was exerting himself on that TD catch.
  • Cox still locks on to receivers more than he should, but at least he seemed aware of how often Vandy was rolling safety help over on top of A.J.
  • On the other hand, I don’t know what he was thinking with that throw to Orson Charles that was intercepted.
  • It was good to see the body language on those kids in the second half of the fourth quarter.  Even if it was Vandy.
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32 Comments

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32 responses to “Thoughts from Music City: at least they’ve got a pulse.

  1. TIM TEBOW!!!!

    ME MAKE FIRST DOWN! ME CELEBRATE! ME NO GET FLAGGED! DURRRR!

  2. Smitty

    We ran the toss sweep to the short side of the field no less than 10 times that I counted. I couldn’t help but notice Southern Cal, Notre Dame, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma rarely if ever use that play. The first 4 offensive possesions AJ was thrown the ball once. Brandon Smith was thrown the ball at the line of scrimmage? Why not let one of the fastest guys in the league get down field? Bryan Evans should never see the field again. If we are going to get burnt lets do it with one of the kids in there so they learn from it.

  3. Section Z alum

    i was aggrieved on the cox-to-charles int as well, but on the replay oc had a stumbled through a step. otherwise methinks it would have been a jump-ball.

    did we stop unraveling? unimpressive at times, but better at others. winning is tasty.

    i want to celebrate andre ware for a moment. never has one man given so many opportunities for a drinking game. drink when:

    andre uses the word “football” as an adjective. (**because the magic formulation “football field” is so easy, you may want to evaluate liver condition before employing this)

    andre uses the word “football” two times in a sentence.

    andre uses this specific phrase, you finish your beverage: “that’s a fine football play by and experienced football player on that side of the football field.”

  4. I am overcome with anxt at SEC refs. I will never trust another one again, no matter what.

    AJ is without a doubt a man among hobbits.

  5. D.N. Nation

    It’s worth noting that this is the biggest margin of victory we’ve had over Vandy since the Greene Era.

    2005- 17
    2006- Sigh.
    2007- 3 (GW FG as time expired)
    2008- 10 (FG with a minute left)
    Don’t forget being down 2-0 at halftime in 2003.

    We’ve tended to play exhaustively halfassed against Vandy in recent years. Yesterday’s performance can be qualified as quietly semi-competent. Which is better than halfassed, I guess. And certainly welcome. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to put my feet up in the 4th quarter of a Vandy game.

  6. 69Dawg

    The SEC has become the old WWF. The fix is in, we will see Ala v UF in the SECC.
    First we had the set up for 1 v 4 but dang UGA didn’t get the memo so the refs step in. 1 v 4 done now we move on to keeping one one and two two. The refs have their orders to call whatever crap you want on the opposing team but make sure that the chosen teams win at all cost to the integrity of the league. It has become obvious that UF will get no calls. Their WRs hold or push off on every play to get separation but the three monkeys that are the SEC refs just do their jobs. I predict UGA will set a league record for penalties in the WLOCP and maybe half will be legit.

  7. Julie

    Agree on Bryan Evans. Since a coach is the best evaluator of his personnel, WM needs to be gone just because he can’t figure out a freshman is light years beyond Evans.

  8. Irishdawg

    The officiating in the UF-Ark game was disgraceful. The personal foul on the Hog D lineman when he was simply PROTECTING HIMSELF was so bad, I thought I was watching “The Longest Yard” for a second. The offficiating in the SEC is so bad that I really think it warrants an NCAA investigation.

  9. In addition to the two bogus 15-yard penalty calls on their last TD drive, this was called a first down for Florida on their last drive.

    Unreal.

  10. NRBQ

    This just in: the Ole Ball Coach has balls of brass.

    I’ve often wondered when a play just misses, why a coach wouldn’t consider going right back to it. You gotta love Spurrier running that fade back-to-back-to-back.

    As far as Bobo’s game-planning, is there the slightest doubt that if AJ had gone with Spurrier, he’d have 50 catches and be in line for a Heisman?

    • As far as Bobo’s game-planning, is there the slightest doubt that if AJ had gone with Spurrier, he’d have 50 catches and be in line for a Heisman?

      Umm… yes?

      Are you under the impression Steve Spurrier’s offenses (which have included several NFL draft pick WRs and TEs, fwiw) at South Carolina have been good?

      Wow.

      • JasonC

        I only watched the first quarter of the Bama-South Carolina game and the Cocks spent most of it in reverse on offense. Yes, AJ would help, but that offense was hurting their own defense more than it was helping.

      • NRBQ

        C’mon, Dawg. He’s never had close to an AJ.

        My point, if you missed it, is that he would utilize such a pass-catching phenom more effectively than tossing at him five times against a piss-poor defense like Vandy’s (ala Bobo).

        • Whatever. Spurrier has done a horrible job with the talent he has had for several years running now. South Carolina put 7 players in the draft this year, yet he couldn’t even beat Vanderbilt or lose less than 6 games the last 2 years.

          Our coaches use Green exactly as they should, and he is lapping the SEC field in receiving yards.

  11. Dovedawg

    Yes it was great to get a victory, even if it was Vandy…We looked pretty good at times, so that was encouraging. last evening I watched Tech demolish VT, and came away thinking that our coaching staff, even with all the SEC games looming, and particularly Fl, better have somebody assigned to dissect Tech between now and the Sat after Thanksgiving, and we better be spending some time workng against it every so often. It seems that Johnson is able to outscheme every opponent with a decent defense (except Miami)…so if we think we can just line up and stop it with a week’s practice, we better think again. I know our SEC games are vitally important, but if we start losing to our instate rival…big problem! I have often wondered how a defense that sold out to stopping the option by stacking the line and playing man on the two receivers would work. It seems to me that to play ‘read and react” with the Johnson offense is inviting disaster, and that the only way to stop it is to attack it…push their linemen into the backfield, stuff it, and dare them to beat us on man coverage. See LSU v. Tech in the bowl game. What do the rest of you say, and what about you,Senator?

    • Absolutely agree. Playing on your heels is exactly what an option team wants you to do b/c they’re coming full speed ahead at you the whole time, so they’re going to break tackles, fall forward, etc. You have to ATTACK the option, blow up the LOS and force bad pitches.

      • Macallanlover

        To some that will sound too simplistic, but you are dead on. Fire all missles straight forward on the snap, and force their options early. After that it is stripped to a guy running the football. Any penetration from the front line into their backfield and it is blown up. Bring DBs up and send them liberally. If our DT’s are healthy then, and we get our LBs back, we can defense the option.

  12. dean

    Don’t kid yourself; the running game is still in very bad shape.</em?

    Absolutely. I begining to think we need to be a pass first team. Try to set up the run via the pass.

  13. “A.J. is so money they ought to put his picture on the ten dollar bill. He didn’t even look like he was exerting himself on that TD catch.”

    As my seat was in the far endzone, I watched that play develop from behind our line. That speed burst to split the last two defenders on the TD… magical.

    “Brian Evans’ inability to cover and the tight end having a good day.”

    Also, from my vantage point, it is clear Evans is a weak link. Jones had to tell him where to line up constantly. He is consistently out of position and then ends up overrunning/missing tackles/committing penalties on those plays.