Daily Archives: November 15, 2009

Circling the bowl chronicles, week eleven

Okay, Dawg fans, we’ve certainly done our share of fretting over Martinez, Bobo, Cox, directional kicking and recruiting of late… wanna see how the other half lives?

Here’s a taste of other programs’ tears from yesterday:

Michigan (5-6, 1-6 Big Ten) is the new Northwestern — or at least an 1980s version of Northwestern. Michigan is the team you look forward to playing — a team you want to schedule for homecoming.

Since Rodriguez stepped on campus, the Wolverines are 8-15 overall and 3-13 in the Big Ten. They have yet to win a game against a Division I opponent in November.

  • Tennessee. Sure, the puns were easy this week.  But UT defenders were giving Dexter McCluster lip about his size?   Dude rushes for the all-time mark against your program, all you should be saying is “sir”.
  • Notre Dame. How can you not wrap things up with the Irish?  With the loss yesterday, Weis continues to pad an impressive resume.

… Weis has a 35-24 record well into this fifth year. Another loss for Weis and his winning percentage will be the same as his two predecessors, Bob Davie and Ty Willingham (.583), who were both dismissed before the end of their contracts.

Weis has lost seven straight games to Top 10 teams and is 1-10 against teams that finished the season in the Top 25. He has never beaten a team that finished with fewer than four losses…

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“73 is still 73.”

Here is one of my favorite plays from last night – Chris Todd’s completion to Lee Ziemba.

Malzahn’s expression is priceless.  And is the referee smiling slightly while discussing the call with the crew?

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That explains a lot.

This is one hell of an admission from Mike Bobo, regarding the TD pass to Israel Troupe that started to turn last night’s game around:

“I said ‘Hey, you’ve just got to be ready when the opportunity comes,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “It came tonight on a play I called for A.J. and didn’t realize he was out of the game. When I saw how they lined up, I said Troupe can do it because he runs a good takeoff in practice.” [Emphasis added.]

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

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UPDATE: Here’s the play.

It’s beautifully executed by Cox.  And the blocking is great.

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Pow!

Great shot of Rambo’s hit on Fannin, courtesy of the AB-H:

Yes, that does appear to be a mouthpiece dislodged piece of equipment obscuring the ‘seven’ on Fannin’s jersey.

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Thoughts from the 35: Georgia-Auburn

Sorry this is a little later than usual, but my ass is dragging a bit this morning.  7:00 PM starts, ESPN commercials and Athens post-game traffic make for a bad combination.  And, yeah, that means next week will be more of the same.  There’s something to be said for the simple pleasures of the Tennessee Tech-1:00 PM start-little commercial interruption games.

Anyway, here goes:

  • My family tells me I’m oblivious to things like this, but suddenly I noticed a radical shift in coed footwear yesterday.  The college female population seems to have ditched their flip-flops as one and put on cowboy boots to wear with their short dresses.  I don’t get the look, but my youngest (who donned the outfit herself) assures me that it’s a Taylor Swift-inspired thing.  Whatever – it was everywhere you turned.  In its honor, I dub last night the “Short Dress Boot” game.
  • The crowd showed up last night ready to play its part.  Maybe it was the opponent.  Maybe it was having enough alcohol.  Maybe it was the boots.  In any event, it was a gift that looked like it was going to be spurned for a while.  Bobo drew the boos for the night with some awful playcalling early on, but after the TD pass to Troupe, the energy returned.  The place rocked in the second half and went off the meter for the last two defensive plays of the game (we deserve the credit for the false start penalty).  If you were a recruit in attendance, I don’t see how you couldn’t have been impressed.
  • If one of the most important components of in-game coaching is taking what the other guy gives you, then Willie Martinez outcoached Gus Malzahn last night.  And, yes, my hands trembled a little typing that.
  • There was a lot of post-game chatter about Martinez making adjustments during the game.  I think that’s a euphemism for “leaving Bryan Evans on the sidelines”.
  • Speaking of which, even before he delivered the (possibly) game saving hit, Bacarri Rambo was having a monster game.  My friend described him as a faster Rennie Curran and there was much truth to that last night.
  • 118th, bitches.
  • Returning to an earlier observation, Auburn only threw one pass to the tight end.  It went, of course, for the longest gain from scrimmage for the night.  What Malzahn was thinking should make for some interesting commentary, I think.
  • Did the NCAA change the holding rules this week and not tell us?  I can’t believe some of the stuff the refs ignored last night.  From both teams, before you ask.
  • Joe Cox has a stronger arm than Chris Todd.  That doesn’t make him the better quarterback necessarily, but he does have the stronger arm.
  • And at least our quarterback doesn’t throw the ball to his offensive tackle.  Nyah, nyah, nyah.  (And what was Ziemba thinking catching the ball, anyway?)
  • Ladies and gentlemen, Israel Troupe.  Seriously, where did that come from?
  • I’m sorry that Richard Samuel has become the incredible shrinking man, but there’s no denying that the running game has gotten better with the two-man rotation.  Ealey’s improvement in five games is scary.  And King busted a couple of downfield moves on the Tigers’ safeties that were almost Moreno-like.
  • Yardage doesn’t always tell the story for the game, but it did last night.  Yardage totals after the first two series:  Auburn, 156; Georgia, minus-2.  Yardage totals for the rest of the game:  Auburn, 197; Georgia 344.  I guarantee you that midway through the first quarter much of the crowd didn’t think it would be there to start the fourth.
  • How ’bout that directional kicking?  Note to Jon Fabris:  that crap only works when the coverage team actually shows up to tackle the return man.  No touchbacks last night = 222 return yards and a touchdown.
  • And while we’re on the subject of coverage, punt coverage also sucked.  Auburn’s had a terrible time with punt returns this season, but last night averaged 13.5 yards per return.  And if Richt wants to know why his team doesn’t recover fumbles, he might want to watch the tape on the fumbled punt.  Georgia didn’t have a player within six yards of the return man when the muff occurred.  You can’t recover what you never get close to.
  • Richt was right about one thing, though, when he noted that the deflected pass Orson Charles caught was the play of the game.  Terrible throw by Cox, but if a team deserved a lucky break this season, it was this one.  You could feel the confidence surge afterwards.

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