Mark Bradley marshals up a few stats and quotes about the first third of Georgia Tech’s season, and they don’t paint a pretty picture.
1. Apparently B-backs aren’t interchangeable. Jonathan Dwyer rushed for 1,395 yards in both 2008 and 2009. Over the winter Paul Johnson said he’d be willing to bet his new B-back would gain 1,000 yards. Anthony Allen has rushed for 267 yards in four games, which would translate to 801 over a full regular season.
2. Apparently Bay-Bay was indispensable. Joshua Nesbitt passed for 1,701 yards last season, most of them to Demaryius Thomas. Nesbitt has thrown for 316 yards over four games, which projects to 948 over a full regular season. His completion percentage, which was 46.3 a year ago, is 32.6 now.
3. Apparently it wasn’t all about the defensive coordinator. Dave Wommack’s defense ranked 54th nationally last season, yielding an average of 360 yards per game. Al Groh’s defense ranks 71st, yielding 367 yards. In pass defense Tech was 45th last season; it’s 69th now.
4. Apparently “depth” isn’t synonymous with “talent.” Before the season, Johnson called this his deepest Tech team. After losing to N.C. State, Groh lamented that his defense had made but three significant plays in 81 snaps and that there was no “supermarket” where the Jackets could go buy better players.
Maybe those four NFL draft picks were bigger contributors than Johnson believed.
We’ve focused most of our attention to the slow start on the offense and the defense, but it’s worth remembering that by this time last year, the kickoff return game had already played a major role in Georgia’s 3-1 record.
This year, not so much.
Surprisingly, the culprits seem to be not an overabundance of scout teamers, but a bunch of new faces who don’t know what they’re doing yet.
… Ball, who returned kicks for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga from 1977-80, admits his team has not performed how he would like, but he expected some struggles with so many new faces. He said safeties Jakar Hamilton, Shawn Williams and Alec Ogletree are newcomers on the front line and that his two ends on the back unit, tight end Bruce Figgins and receiver Marlon Brown, are new as well…
If A.J. Green’s sale of a jersey for a thousand bucks justifies a four-game suspension, what in hell should the penalty for this be?
Todd Grantham indulges in a little gallows humor in this interview with Fletcher Page,
What’s the plan now?
TG: Don’t let them score (laughter)…
but the rest of his comment reflects a man who still sounds confident about what he’s doing.
… No I think that the big thing that I say is, really, you can talk, but it’s start and finish. You know, I think it’s important that you understand concepts and you understand what’s happening to you based on the formations that are out there. And, you know, take care of your job and you know, it’s OK to be excited for a game, but you still have to focus on your assignment, your job. And you can’t let the emotions of the game affect you. I think that’s critical and as younger players gain experience and as young players play more some of that goes away a little bit. So I think as we move forward, I expect that to stop.
Steep learning curve, I’m afraid.
Meanwhile, here’s where he stacks up after Week Four with his three peers who were rumored for the job he landed:
- Alabama, 1st
- LSU, 5th
- Georgia, 46th
- Virginia Tech, 51st
- LSU, 9th
- Alabama, 24th
- Georgia, 32nd
- Virginia Tech, 32nd
Credible, if not dominant.
Over at MrSEC.com, John Pennington rates conference players’ value based on the ratio of a given player’s total yardage to that of his team’s to come up with a list of the most valuable players in the SEC. By that measure, he’s got Ryan Mallett, not Cam Newton, as the conference’s most valuable player now. He’s surprised at his #2:
2. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia — Yeah. I didn’t see that one coming either. And sure, it might have something to do with Georgia’s low offensive numbers overall. But the redshirt freshman deserves credit for carrying more than his share of the load. He and Mallett are the only two SEC players responsible for more than 50% of their teams’ total yards.
I think Georgia’s and Auburn’s overall offensive numbers have a lot to do with that, but he’s right about Murray deserving credit.
Here’s the amazing stat, though:
* At LSU, cornerback/returner Patrick Peterson is this close to passing Jordan Jefferson. Peterson has 489 yards on punt returns, kick returns and interception returns. That’s 489 yards (25.9% of the Tigers yardage) compared to Jefferson’s 508 yards (26.9%) from the quarterback slot. That’s amazing production for someone who doesn’t even take snaps on offense…
You can see why Miles is contemplating letting Peterson play some on offense.
I tell you what – when it comes to football scheduling, Greg McGarity says what he means, and means what he says.
E-mail me in 2014 if you’re looking for a couple of tickets to the Charleston Southern game.
Pretty nifty juxtaposition here… start with Nick Saban’s response to the Wall Street Journal story about the number of medical redshirts that have come into play at Alabama:
“I didn’t really read the article. I didn’t see the article,” Nick Saban said when asked about the Wall Street Journal article Wednesday. “But we don’t make the decision about medicals. I have nothing to do with that. Those are medical decision made by our medical staff. I think we have one of the finest medical staffs in the country.”
Saban dismissed claims by his former players that the medical redshirts were given to clear roster spots for better players, claiming that there were legitimate medical reasons for what’s occurred.
“I don’t have any question about the fact every player we have given a medical to, it’s been because of the medical opinion of the medical staff,” Saban said. “Those guys should not continue to play football because it would put their future in tremendous risk.”
There you have it – the Devil medical staff made him do it! (To be the only people in the entire state of Alabama that Nick Saban defers to… now that’s power.)
Anyway, keep that in mind as you read this next story.
… Mark Ingram and Marcel Dareus were verbal commitments 29 and 30 in Alabama’s 2008 recruiting class. Let that sink in for a second – 29 and 30. Dareus was a 3 star product out of the state of Alabama that was not highly recruited because of questions regarding his ability to qualify academically and Ingram was a 4 star out of Michigan who was being recruited by Michigan State and Iowa, but he too was a somewhat unrecruited player. For all intents and purposes, neither of these guys were in the mold of Julio Jones, a 5 star in state recruit that everyone in the country wanted but who was a dead lock to go to Alabama and just waited until signing day to sign with Alabama.
Again, I don’t really have much of a problem with what Saban does. It’s within the rules and it’s not like his methods are some big secret. I’m just amused by the defense.
Get the Picture and 3rd Saturday in Blogtober are pleased to announce the return of everyone’s favorite fan poll/approval voting experiment for the 2010 season.
(If you need a refresher course on the Mumme Poll, check the page at the top here.)
Whether or not you participated last year, you will need to register to vote. To do so, go to the site and click on the Not Registered? link there.
If you participated last year, take note of Tidefan’s message at the site. Hopefully, we’ve come up with a useful way of tracking people who try to manipulate the voting through omission. We’ll see how that works.
Just as in the first two seasons, the ballots cast after Week Five are purely for test purposes, so that we can make sure everything is running right. There aren’t any Sunday games this weekend, so the balloting will open Sunday morning at nine. Assuming all goes well, the official start will be with the games of Week Six. You’ll be able to register to vote until Friday night, October 8th.
If you’ve got any questions or comments, let us know. We’re looking forward to having another blast with this, and hope you guys will too.
Okay, fess up – who’s been talking to Stewart Mandel?
… If Georgia runs off Richt this year, it will be textbook Clemson/Ole Miss Syndrome. (Note the example cited in that link: Minnesota. How’s that working out?) Historically, Georgia is more prestigious than either of those teams — but not as much as Dawgs fans like to think. In all my travels, I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a fan base whose self-perception is so far from reality. Georgia fashions itself a national power in the vein of Ohio State, USC, et. al., based primarily off one glorious three-year run 30 years ago with Herschel Walker (and some kick-butt years in the 1940s)…
For the record, I’ve never even been to Montana.
Not all the public talk we’re getting this week centers around the players. Take, for example, this quote of Richt’s from his Tuesday news conference:
… I thought it was interesting that in his news conference Tuesday, Richt talked about Georgia still wanting to run the ball and keep the play-action passing game that hasn’t had much success so far this season, but he also said, “We do have ways to get the ball to our receivers quickly on quick screens. We have screens to our backs. We have ways of throwing quick game if we feel like they have outnumbered the run and we want to get some one-on-one situations. We are still very multiple in what we do.”
Bill King wants to believe there’s a message to Mike Bobo in there. I hope he’s right; otherwise, all it comes off sounding like is a lame defense of the playbook. It does no good to have the plays there if you’re not gonna use them.