Georgia-South Carolina hit and run

I don’t really have the heart to do a formal preview and prediction of tomorrow’s game – mainly because I can’t think of a way to better last year’s preview – so I’m afraid that you’ll have to settle for a series of random observations from which to hope some larger truth emerges.  Good luck with that.

  • Even the most rabid Gamecock partisan infected with the worst case of PH known to man has to admit that nobody suiting up for Ellis Johnson tomorrow is as good as Eric Norwood was.  He’s gone, and I won’t miss him a bit.  Dial this bad boy up to the 0:23 mark and you’ll see what I’m talking about:
  • The quarterback delivering the ball in that play reminds me that Georgia was minus-2 in turnover margin in last year’s game, ran a whopping total of two plays on offense in the first ten minutes of the game and still won, largely because of a monster night from the special teams.  I suspect that the ‘Cocks will be wary of kicking off to Brandon Boykin tomorrow.
  • The quarterbacking on display by Mississippi State last night should be a sobering reminder to us all that there’s a rather big difference between a Conference USA defense and an SEC one, even if it’s coached by Ted Roof.  So while I love reading about x-factors like Aaron Murray’s “speed”, it’s probably better to wait and see what Ellis Johnson has up his sleeve in response before going off the deep end.  That being said, it can only be a good thing that Murray makes Johnson game plan for something which he could completely ignore last year.
  • Speaking of game planning, while everyone likes to focus on Grantham’s preparation for the Evil Genius – and there’s no question that Spurrier tossed all kinds of stuff from the playbook out there in the opener for Georgia’s defensive coordinator to ponder – the OBC doesn’t exactly have a huge body of work to go by in preparing for Georgia’s defense.
  • Also, how much do you think Belin, who’s coached against Spurrier’s offense for a few years, and Lakatos, who spent a month preparing his secondary to take on South Carolina’s passing attack in his last game at Connecticut, have been able to help Grantham in his preparation?
  • Weatherwise, Columbia tomorrow is going to be what Columbia tends to be in early September:  a more humid version of Hell.  You can accuse me of wearing my red and black glasses when I write this, but I think that helps Georgia a little, because I don’t think South Carolina can match Georgia’s depth on the lines or at linebacker.
  • Every time I watch Stephen Garcia take off on one of those runs of his – that patented slow spin move of his in particular – I’m reminded of how little he’s been made to pay by SEC defenses for the risks he takes.  That’s something that’s got to change tomorrow.
  • In the opener, Marcus Lattimore displayed a Moreno-esque ability to turn what looked like a sure run for negative yardage into no loss or a small gain.  While he averaged a pedestrian 3.9 ypc rushing, he never lost yardage running the ball.  That worries me.
  • A.J. Green’s absence tomorrow hurts, no question.  The big issue there is whether Mike Bobo can be creative enough with his sets and formations to offset the increased comfort level of the USC defense.  Aron White and Orson Charles, it’s time to step up.
  • Of all the things we may hear from Aaron Murray after the game, nothing better be similar to this:  “I kind of saw Norwood and was like, hmmm, but I decided to throw it anyway…”
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42 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football

42 responses to “Georgia-South Carolina hit and run

  1. Bulldog Bry

    Just out of curiousity, was scrambling what led Murray to break his leg two years ago?

    • NCT

      Apparently not.

      http://www.tboblogs.com/index.php/sports/story/the-play-that-ended-aaron-murrays-season/

      “Late in the second quarter of Thursday’s game, Murray was tackled by Hillsborough senior linebacker Victor Bynum, just as he rolled out to his right and released a pass. The catch was made by Panthers wide receiver Justin Rudolph but back upfield, Murray lay prone on his back surrounded by trainers, doctors and coaches from both schools. There was nothing malicious about Bynum’s tackle, who appeared to simply wrap up Murray and pull him to the ground as he threw the pass.”

  2. Uga now having UConn’s DB coach is something that slipped by me. Not sure it was his coaching that turned our recievers’ hands to stone in the BowlThatMustNotBeNamed, but it sure does add to my anxiety level.

    http://www.therubberchickensblog.com

  3. Cynical in Athens

    The first of many tests to see how Grantham’s defense defends the mobile QB’s vs. how his predecessor’s defenses did.

    The UGA defense(sans Justin Houston) made Garcia look like….well, pretty much any other pedestrian QB that UGA played over the last 4 years, be it one from Colorado, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, LSU, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Miss St, Troy or one of the superstars, LeFevour from Central Michigan or Tebow.

    Hopefully QB’s with a modicum of mobility will only serve as roadkill for the new defense. It sure would be a welcomed change.

  4. Bad M

    -Bry, you just said probably the only thing worse than AJ being out (We have decent back-up receivers but QB?). Thanks for the knot in my stomach.
    -Just hope Bobo doesn’t abandon the run just when/if it’s getting on a roll, like he’s want to do. Ealey can and will get it going.
    -Defenders- stop hesitating with the option (and Garcia’s running). Just hit the guy in front of you (QB) and let your teammates worry about the pitch. Everyone says that’s why it won’t work in the NFL…why can’t we learn from that? Serves two purposes. 1) The QB will be nervous the next time and might fumble the pitch, and 2) the rest of the Def can concentrate on the pitch man.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Agree & agree. Dawgs should run, run, run – all day long. Eat clock, let special teams and D deliver good field position.

      Maryland did a pretty good job of nailing the Navy QB, which resulted in fumbles. Only reason game was close was because Friedgen’s O sucked.

  5. Macallanlover

    Perhaps the reason we threw to the TE so little last week was because it would be so critical to the offense this week. It’s either that, or Bobo has dementia at an early age.

    Undeniably Green is a significant loss for UGA, likewise Norwood for SC. Green might have made a play only he could have on a throw, and he definitely would have required extra attention that could open plays for other receivers. That is tough for us, but will only matter if the game is very tight and equally matched.

    The huge “net” gain for UGA this year is the attacking defense that unleashes the athleticism of our athletes. That, combined with Norwood’s loss and our special teams edge, is why I think we win this game despiter AJ’s absense.

    I agree with you Senator, our depth could play a significant factor, and Spurrier seemed to deliberately throw a lot of looks at us in a game where it wasn’t required. He may not have the talent he had at UF but he still plays a good game of chess.

    Wouldn’t be a shock if they upset us, but I think we win this game, perhaps by 10+. More talent, better special teams. The AJ situation and media disrespect will galvanize our guys. Tough in the beginning, but I think we get stronger as the game goes along.

    • Scott W.

      I was wondering/ hoping that the offensive game plan last week was tailored to obscure what would be going on this week. That D has me very excited and I can’t wait till tomorrow.

    • Kevin

      It’s gonna be tough for them to upset us considering they are favored to win.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        The line I saw had UGA favored by 2.

        • Kevin

          that’s possible, im just gauging the line i saw on my yahoo pickem. which have SC up by 3.0… without much change since the AJ announcement which i find odd.

          also, doc sat mentioned the line being 2.5-3.5 in favor of SC in most places

          • ugafan

            Any time the gamecooks win against UGA it’s an upset. Just sayin.

            • Macallanlover

              That is exactly why I stated it that way, we are just a better football team. Doesn’t mean we win because they aren’t a bad team, but the betting line is based on balancing the money. Media is hyping SC more so the public places bets based on Granny and Craig james’ opinions and they get “favored” on the points spread.

              If they best us, I think it is an upset. It could also be that they are truly a better team, but they didn’t look like it to me. So Miss choked 3-4 Red Zone trips, UGA didn’t allow ULL across the 50.

    • Will (the other one)

      I figured the gameplan was off early because they didn’t find out until that day that AJ wasn’t cleared to play (and had planned to use him).

  6. Section Z alum

    speaking of the msu/auburn game last night, jessie palmer stopped saying the word football, not just three times per sentence, but almost at all. ruined my drinking game, but mage the game more enjoyable.

  7. 69Dawg

    The only thing I have ever worried about with CTG was that he has not seen anywhere in the NFL the weird and wonderful offenses that these college OC put together. Looking at Auburn and Miss State last night just reinforced that worry. Old Monty Kiffin had a heck of a time last year against the wacky O’s but shut down the pro sets for the most part. SCU will be a test to see if this 3-4 thing really works against a team that is going to dink and dunk it and then throw long. Ellis J on the other hand is going to put as many guys in the box as it will take to get AM to have to beat him. Did I say I was worried about the D only, my mistake.

  8. Scorpio Jones, III

    Dear Stacy Searels,

    Please make sure your guys know not to sell their jerseys. Should not take a lot of time, since proly nobody but they mommies know they numbers, but still.

  9. Scorpio Jones, III

    I thought AU vs MSU was a pretty good example of what happens with two SEC teams open with mediocre opposition then play each other.

    • Dog in Fla

      I thought AU vs MSU was a pretty good example of what it will be like when the first team in the SEC has a 300 lb. option quarterback.

  10. I used to comment as “tbone” but someone else is now using it. The archives tbone was probably me. Now I am out for the immediate future.Actually I know that I will not be missed.

  11. ugafan

    Travis Haney, the gamecook beat writer thinks SC and UGA are “REALLY close in talent. But not without Green and, as you said, frosh QB.” http://is.gd/f4uFo

    He also said “SC better at QB, WR, DB. GA better at LB, OL, ST. Pushes at RB, DL, coaches. Homefield big when things are that even.” http://is.gd/f4uNL

    And thinks SC wins 31-17.

    • A two-touchdown home field advantage? How do the ‘Cocks ever lose in Columbia?

    • Will (the other one)

      He thinks the RBs are “even”?

      Whatever he’s smoking isn’t legal.

      • ugafan

        Also interesting how he left out we have the best kicking duo in the country. Perfect for settling close games. I’m certain Spurrier hasn’t forgotten Brian Mimbs punt to the farmer’s market in ’08 to seal that game.

        And if home field advantage has never been an advantage for SC since Mark Richt came to Georgia. He’s undefeated.

        Haney is a homer, but his thoughts on this game are pure fantasy.

  12. Dave

    We’re only missing AJ (to my knowledge). Granted that’s huge. But check out the walking wounded/suspended over there:

    http://southcarolina.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1121343

    We have no excuse on this one. 2 of their best defenders out. Starting tackle…and some others, no depth…..and a noon game. No excuses.

  13. M'villeDawg

    There’s another player who could make a huge difference in this game: Justin Houston. Obviously, we know what he can do. But he did not play in this game last year…I’m hoping he gets a few opportunities to make Garcia’s acquaintance!

    • ugafan

      But Cornelous will have to have just as big a game as Houston. Garcia can run from Houston, he can’t run from both.

  14. A Question? Which team benefits if it rains & it might?
    I just turned down an opportunity to bet ( a non-monetary bet ) on the Dawgs. I still am sticking to my 17 to 13 Dawgs prediction anyway.

    • Dave

      definitely us with the OLine I would think, but correct me if wrong….plus it may slow down Garcia’s mobility. Generally, the more finesse teams have a tougher time, though the rain doesn’t seem to bother Spurrier’s passing game as much as I would like.

      • Macallanlover

        Rain is usually an equalizer that benefits the lesser team…..in my mind that is Sc. More likely is heat and humidity which can weaken certain players more than others. Since depth across the board favors UGA, especially on the OL and defensive front, I would say UGA probably wins the weather factor. Still comes down to mistakes in a close game.