Georgia-Arkansas: random, tasty bits

Again, I’m going to dispense with a formal preview here, as you can find plenty of them throughout the Dawgosphere.  I’ll settle for tossing out a few things and letting you figure out what sticks.

  • If Vegas is any judge, nobody has a really good handle on what’s going to happen tomorrow.  Arkansas comes in as the 12th ranked team in the country, tenth in total offense, fourth in total defense… and is a two-point underdog to an unranked Georgia squad.
  • One reason for that is that it’s hard to figure out how much of the Hogs’ gaudy stats are a mirage.  Put it this way:  TCU played Tennessee Tech the week after Arkansas did, scored eighteen more points, gave up 30 less yards on defense and had their coach apologize to Watson Brown after the game for the lopsided result.
  • It sounds like Caleb King’s ankle is still an issue.
  • Speaking of which, is Carlton Thomas an agoraphobe?  Because otherwise, I don’t understand why the coaches don’t scheme to get him the ball out in space.
  • Another reason to wonder about Arkansas’ chances is that, as Jody points out, Arkansas under Petrino has won exactly one game in an opponent’s stadium.
  • I know there’s a certain element that doesn’t want to hear this, but the season won’t end with a Georgia loss tomorrow.  South Carolina has a tough row left to hoe schedulewise and Florida has to go on the road to play Alabama.  Jax could still be the scene where the SEC East gets decided.  As John Pennington notes, “(n)o one wants to start in an 0-2 hole, but one out of every three teams to have reached the SEC title game has had two league losses or more.”
  • That being said, a win tomorrow would be huge from a momentum standpoint “If the Bulldogs can win Saturday at home, it’s very possible that they could be 7-1 heading into that game against Florida. Their next five opponents are Mississippi State, Colorado, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky, all games in which Georgia figures to be the favorite.”
  • Regression to the mean watch:  Georgia, last in the conference in 2009 in turnover margin, now stands fourth at +1 per game, while Arkansas, second in the conference last season in that, currently ranks twelfth at minus-2 pg.  That could be important tomorrow.  (Georgia’s turnover margin was minus-2 in last year’s Arkansas game.)
  • If Arkansas comes out and plays a bunch in a three-wide, one-back set, it’ll be interesting to see what Georgia’s nickel package looks like – particularly as it pertains to how much Kwame Geathers sees the field.
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69 Comments

Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Georgia Football

69 responses to “Georgia-Arkansas: random, tasty bits

  1. Go Dawgs!

    The season doesn’t end with a loss tomorrow, but I also think one would have to have one’s head in the sand to think that we could just win out after the way we lost the SC game and then took another loss against Arkansas.

  2. Scorpio Jones, III

    Glad to see somebody other than me interested in the fortunes of Carlton Thomas.

    I asked about his lack of touches in the SC game as was pretty much told it was a dumb question.

    Seems like Thomas would be pretty effective on a few wide plays during the game…or coming out of the backfield.

    Or something.

    • 69Dawg

      I don’t but it could be that he can’t catch the ball. Also he is so short that the QB might have a hard time finding him on a screen. Maybe CMR and Bobo think he is Warwick Dunn and can run up the gut. Who knows what our O coaches think I don’t even think they know.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      They seem able to get Brandon Smith in the open field when he plays O. Seems strange they can’t utilize Thomas’s skills in the same way – or at least use him as a decoy to spread the D.

      Of course, the same could be said for throwing to the TE’s. Or sending a WR 5 yards down field when it’s 3rd and 10. Makes you scratch your head doesn’t it?

    • D.N. Nation

      I’m a Bobo defender- probably to a fault- but one place where I’m pretty darn sure he’s screwing up is the misuse of Thomas. I swear the wee one could be a viable offensive weapon if we figured how to give him the rock in space.

      Of course, this issue pre-dates Bobo as OC. We often thought Tyson Browning was a power back, for some reason.

    • Buhhhh

      It seems like it would make since to use him like Richt used to use Tyson Browning….just sayin’

  3. Castleberry

    I hate to get down on the coaches but I couldn’t agree more about Thomas… I clearly remember big runs to the outside in the last two spring games. Most of my game memories are him getting lit up and fumbling between the tackles. Bizarre.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      I am reasonably sure the coaches have a good reason for Thomas not seeing the ball more. I would just like to know a little more about why that is. Maybe we will see him more this week.

      The story has been he is prone to fumble, but he is certainly not alone in that.

      Is he?

  4. Wu Mao Dawg

    Arkansas only led 17-0 against ULM with 10 minutes left in the game. It was ULM’s first game of the season. I would be worried about that if I were an UArk. fan.

    Of course, with 8:45 left to play, Mallet threw a 40 yard laser beam that hit a receiver in stride to set up a quick TD. I’m not sure even Stafford at his best could have made a throw like that. But it begged the question of why the Ark. offense wasn’t more explosive, given Mallet’s extraordinary talent. Obviously, let’s hope he’s not on tomorrow.

  5. Otto

    Agreed on Thomas, he maybe the most dangerous weapon UGA has on the field with AJ out and nothing special seems to be designed for him.

  6. jferg

    Thomas will get his touches this week….just from a punt return position. Either way, those who want to see Thomas in space will get their wish. I just hope he has tack’em on his gloves.

  7. Dog in Fla

    “there’s a certain element that doesn’t want to hear this, but the season won’t end with a Georgia loss tomorrow. “

    But it will lead to some good times around here with a little of this

    and lot of that

  8. Reptillicide

    EVERYBODY PANIC!!!!

  9. Tim Rankine

    Unreasonably confident prediction:

    Dawgs 38-21.

  10. Castleberry

    This is off topic, but does anyone have video of Flair on the jumbotron from last Saturday? I’ve always thought the SC fans were wired before kickoff when they heard Also Sprach Zarathustra because they thought Flair would soon take the field… This year he did. It was freakin’ awesome.

  11. Gdawg

    Speaking of the running game, what happened to the toss sweeps we used to see when Knowshon was running the ball. I know he is a different back, but it was very productive. I don’t think I have see it once in our two games.

  12. DawgPhan

    One thing is certainly for tomorrow. If the defense plays like it did against South Carolina the offense is going to get more than 40 or so snaps.

  13. ontap

    What am I missing on the TO Ratio?

    You say it is plus one and that is what it has on the NCAA site as well, but from my recollection.

    La-La- neither team fumbled…LaLa=3 Int UGA 1=+2

    SCU-neither team threw an INT SCU=1 lost fumb UGA=1= Even

    Doesn’t that mean UGA is +2? What uber-obvious thing am I missing?

  14. W Cobb Dawg

    Hope the game doesn’t come down to who uses their time-outs most effectively.

  15. opsomath

    I firmly believe that Arkansas is the game that Todd Grantham has been waiting for as soon as he realized he was taking the Georgia job. I know Petrino’s offense will score on us some tomorrow, but we had five sacks last Saturday. FIVE. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t match that number against a drastically less mobile QB. If all that pressure doesn’t lead to at least two TOs, we are just unlucky, and hopefully the resulting added offensive chances will let us score enough to win.

    It deeply sucks that Caleb is probably out. His hard-nosed running along with his impressive top gear would really come in handy.

  16. MA

    Re: Thomas: I think the reason we don’t see him outside in space is the coaching staff’s desire not to telegraph what we’re going to do via personnel. The thinking basically goes:

    “Thomas would be great in space…but that’s what the other team would *expect* us to do, so let’s run him up the middle, even though he’s not as good at that, and we’re not as good at run blocking up the middle, because maybe we’ll catch the defense off-guard”

    Not a terrible bit of game theory, but it does lead to us making players do things they don’t do well just in case it works, rather than making the other team stop what we do do well. (Whatever that is, other than indulging in hypotheticals.)

    • opsomath

      “In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not that good at talking to girls.”

      “Oh? There’s someone you are good at talking to?”

      -Firefly

    • King Jericho

      Kinda like how we try to run the ball on 3rd and 15+, because they’ll never expect that!

  17. Ausdawg85

    D pressure results in 3 picks for Dawgs tomorrow, one for a TD. Regression and aggression. Thank me later.

  18. ugalaw

    Getting to Atlanta with 2 SEC losses is a pretty common event, but that’s entirely different from starting out 0-2 in SEC play. Are there any teams that have ever started out 0-2 in the SEC and ended up in the title game?

  19. shane#1

    Does Suessian belong in the Lexicon? UGA has plans for Thomas this week because Ealey fumbled in the red zone and King isn’t showing up. As for getting him in space, what’s wrong with attacking the corners? There aren’t as many people out there and they are smaller. I know that little guys have been successful running up the middle just as little guys can attack the basket in BBall. It just seems like a tough way to make a living to me.

  20. Will Trane

    Is it true that Green is still on hold because he may have wanted to sell King’s jersey, too.

    What good is a jersey if you never get into a game and play.

    Should have sold them to Damon Evans.

  21. Will Trane

    It is hard for us not to laugh when we read some of the comments today about the running game.

    We have said this all along this week about the offense in the SC game with the personnel going in. So we will say and ask this again.

    What in the hell was the game plan going into SC with a second game QB. Your number 1 TB is almost always doubtful; the number 1 FB goes out, and you knew going in a wideout would not be available. Bobo thinks his only offensive play has to be something set around Green.

    What were the sets we ran from in SC.

    Get a power running game and let them stack it, but let them know we are patient. Will take the 3 -4 yards, hit, and grid. But somewhere in the late 1st half or early 2nd half with a strong O line rotation we are looking for 30 to 40 per run.

    You have the players, use them! Green is not the key to this offense. Murray is. He is a triple threat. Make them suck wind for a change.

  22. Objective Bama Fan

    Good luck Georgia fans. We’re pulling for you. Hopefully, the defense can get a little pressure on Mallet. If y’all lose, don’t worry, Smart can be your coach next year.

  23. carolinadawg

    No reduction in suspension for A.J. 4 games stands.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      The NCAA is intentionally trying to undermine UGA’s season. (Call me paranoid but even paranoid people have enemies.)

      • Russ

        Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get us.

        • Question: If & When CMR is gone, Will the NCAA, the REFS., & ESPN get off the Dawg’s Case & start treating us like everyone else ? Am I paranoid or am I just stating the facts as I see them ? .

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            I have a friend who is a longtime Dawgs fan who absolutely insists that this bias predates the stomping in the end zone incident. There are several possibilities that could be the trigger and it also could be a combination. First, the case of UGA and OU v. NCAA (brought by VD as AD) that ended the monopoly of the NCAA to set TV schedules for member institutions. That would certainly explain the NCAA’s glee any time that august body can pin anything on UGA, Second, the suspension of the ref who blew the call in the UGA-Tech game where Jasper Sanks was ruled to have fumbled at the goal line and Tech recovered when, in fact he was clearly down before the ball came out. This blown call caused Tech to win the game. UGA AD VD raised hell with the league office and got the ref suspended. (By the way, that guy is now a TV official, sitting in the booth reviewing calls.) That is supposedly why the SEC refs started to hate UGA. Third, the stomping incident. Fourth, there simply are an inordinate number of former Tech players who are SEC refs and they are allowed to referee UGA games. SEC rules prevent a ref who attended one of the schools involved in the game from participating but not from a rival team of a school. Think about it. If you were the coach or AD at FLA would you want your games reffed by FSU grads? That doesn’t happen but the Tech grads ref UGA games all the time. I lay this at the feet of the former UGA ADs (and yes I include VD). In fact, Rogers Redding, the current head of SEC refs and Bobby Gaston, his predecessor, are both Tech grads and played for Tech. Something should have been done to stop this years ago. It ain’t paranoia if it is really happening.

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              I didn’t even get to ESPN many of whose commentators seem to have some connection to a hated rival of UGA as a coach or player.

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              PPS: Marc Curles, the head referee of the crew of the 2009 UGA-LSU game (that came up with the phantom “celebration” call on UGA) is a Tech grad, FYI.

  24. Scorpio Jones, III

    What’s the snippet from the movie “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

    The NCAA is out to get anybody who takes money under the table from an agent.

    Thanks for that Reggie Bush.

    AJ is, after all, only a freaking wideout.

    Herschel sprains his thumb, Carnie Norris has a huge game. That’s what good teams do when they lose a key ingredient.

    I hope none of us think this is equivalent to losing Herschel.

  25. shane#1

    I think the NCAA has been flying over my house in back helicopters, and I’m not paranoid.