Mississippi State: the non-preview preview

I’m starting to get into this format of not doing a formal preview, mainly because there are so many good ones out there being done by other Dawg bloggers that it seems redundant.  So, again, I’ll just leave you with a series of stats, possibilities and observations from which to draw your own conclusions.

  • Maybe tomorrow night comes down to which team gets the first offensive line to function decently.  Doesn’t this sound familiar?  “Protection has broken down, blitzes have not been picked up and, most importantly, there’s been a communication breakdown. The result has been seven interceptions and zero touchdowns during the last two games by State’s quarterbacks.” Well, except for the seven interceptions.
  • Which is one reason I like Georgia’s chances – as dysfunctional as the offense has appeared at times, it still sports a better body of work than this“MSU does not have a quarterback ranked in the SEC’s top 10 in passing efficiency — Chris Relf and Tyler Russell combined for five interceptions last week at LSU — and hasn’t produced a 50-yard rusher in two weeks.” Ugh.  It sounds like Mississippi State is missing Dan Mullen’s offensive genius as much as Florida is.
  • I don’t want to get too snide about offensive genius, though, not after Jody did some counting during the Arkansas game and came up with this cringe-inducing stat“What’s up with our play-action?  If we’re under center, we’re going to be running play action.  Saturday we had 24 pass plays called under center.  Of those, 21 were play action and the other three were 3-step drops.  In shotgun though, of our 14 attempted passing plays, only 1 used play-action.” Good grief, no wonder Murray was getting smacked around.  I’m guessing that Manny Diaz has somebody on staff who can count, too.
  • At least Georgia’s secondary will be able to look a bunch of receivers directly in the eye this week.  “Of the 6 WRs they have on their 2-deep, only Leon Berry is an upperclassman.  Only 1 of their top 6 stands over 6-0, Chris Smith, and he’s averaging only a catch per game.” After the last two weeks, that’s got to be a relief.
  • What a surprise!  Both defenses want to create more turnovers.
  • One little thing to watch is Georgia’s kickoff return game.  MSU ranks eleventh in the conference in opponents’ kickoff return yardage, and by a pretty good margin.  Those Bulldogs are noticeably worse in that department than either South Carolina or Arkansas, so perhaps this is the week for Brandon Boykin to get untracked.
  • Something else to keep in mind – going into the third quarter, Coach Mullen is doing something right with his halftime adjustments on offense.  Mississippi State has scored touchdowns on each of its first second-half series this season.  None were cheapies, either:  75 yards against Memphis, 63 yards against Auburn and 81 yards against LSU.  (And since MSU got the ball first each time, I’d suggest that if Georgia wins the toss, the Dawgs elect to defer.)
  • When you’re relegated to Fox at 7 PM, you don’t get the cream of the crop, broadcast team speaking.  Bob Rathbun and Tim Couch – be still, my heart.
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56 Comments

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56 responses to “Mississippi State: the non-preview preview

  1. The Realist

    Senator… tell me everything is going to be okay. It is, right?

  2. Faulkner

    I am concerned. Teams tend to get their act together when they play us. On paper we are better than every program we have faced so far. Unfortunately, the game is not played on paper.

  3. Scott W.

    Tim Couch, is that a hockey player?

    • The Original Cynical in Athens

      This is sarcasm, right?

      • Russ

        Hey, at least he’s not Pam Ward.

        The only Fox games I’ve ever watched (besides their abysmal BCS telecasts) were the late night west coast games. I didn’t know the players, I didn’t know the announcers, it was just people running around hitting each other, with some voices describing it. Kind of like some parties I attended in college….

    • Biggus Rickus

      I think he used to host Couch Is Burning on 940 The Fan in Charleston.

  4. Brandon

    The trick of play action passing is that you are faking as if you are going to hand the ball off but you pull it back and pass, isn’t that right? Therefore it would seem to me that the statistic to get bent out of shape about would be how many runs we were mixing in with our play action passing not what percentage of your overall passes started with a play action.

    Also, this year is a tough year for broadcast teams while it might suck to be on FSN if you play to well you have to listen to Musberger and HERBSTREIT.

    • If you watch the game, you’ll see that the Arkansas defense paid less and less attention to play action as the game went on. Hint: when it’s third-and-long, nobody’s afraid of Georgia running the ball.

      • The Original Cynical in Athens

        Still the greatest thing about P-44 Haynes is that the Ufk players actually bit on the play-action…pretty sure that play would not work this season…

        • Puffdawg

          That was a thing of beauty.

        • Macallanlover

          I tdoes help if you have established some degree of threat from your running game. Sometimes you have to pass to set up the run, we might want to try this is running lanes continue to be non-existent.

          • thewhiteshark

            Bobo’s over use of the play action is my biggest issue with him. Play action works in the right context. 21 out of 24 play action passes is dumb. We’ve seen the third and long play action way too many times.

            • W Cobb Dawg

              This is nothing new. Dawg coaches use play action with 10 seconds on the clock and 5o yards to go. It’s funny how some people are just starting to notice this huge defect in our offensive coaching. It’s been standard operating procedure for years.

  5. jferg

    We tend to make mediocre QBs look like world-beaters. GOD I hope that trend ends this weekend….

    • 69Dawg

      Not only do we make mediocre QB’s look all world but our O makes average defenses look like the Pittsburgh Steelers Steel Curtain.

    • Brandon

      That was Martinez’s MO but we have yet to see whether that trend continues under Grantham. Mallet is pretty good I think and Garcia didn’t look so tough in the game this year which is a big departure from last year when he looked like the mobile reincarnation of Roman Gabriel against Willy’s squad.

  6. DavetheDawg

    Bob Rathburn and Tim Couch > Bob Davie and anyone paired with him.

    Hell, Bobcat Goldwait and Jesse Jackson > Bob Davie and anyone paried with him.

    • Russ

      Pam Ward > Bob Davie? Maybe in a fist fight, but not in announcing.

    • Dog in Fla

      There is so much quality work out there this season that it can mean only one thing: it’s going to be a tight one in the Pammies –

      2. “James Madison’s best work since the Federalist Papers.” — Rece Davis (via Sctvman)

      1. “This game is encouraging for Notre Dame’s defense.” — Lou Holtz*, 100% serious after Denard Robinson racked up 502 yards himself. May, with the rest of the world, rolls his eyes. (via Joshuaishere)

      http://www.awfulannouncing.com/pammies/pammy-awards/

      *Dr. Lou’s Boise State Pep Talk last night wins this week’s award for the least inspiring motivational talk/spitspray.

      http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5609143

    • Yeah, Auburn’s gotten this slot a couple of times the last two years and Rathbun actually does a really good job. Narrates the action and then gets the hell out of the way. Couch still had a few hiccups a couple weeks back, but he was serviceable. Better than 75 percent of ESPN’s teams, I’d say, or the Dave Neal/Andre Ware pairing in the SEC’s 12:30 slot.

  7. Scorpio Jones, III

    To quote Auburn fan Uncle Roscoe before the arrival of South Carolina….”I am feeling vewy, vewy fwagile.”

    I understand, Roscoe….me too.

    Please God don’t force me to upgrade my lunatic fringe membership.

  8. This Is the weekend we find out about the Dawgs.
    IF (A Big IF) we win , Then we can also see how USCe & ARK. do this week. A good showing by all 3 Would make me tend to believe that “The sky Is really Not falling down”. It Is a huge game for the Dawgs. The D against the spread ?. GATA.

  9. Will Trane

    Appears there has been an “Unraveling” in Athens in most men’s programs. Now they are in a “Crisis”.

    Is Greg McGarity the Gray Champion?

    Will the HC and OC change their offensive “system”? Whatever they think it is, it does not work well and the rest of the SEC DCs have had it dialed in for the better part of 3 seasons.

    Old coaching proverb: If you keep making the same mistake, guess what? You get the same mistake (again).

    A loss at MSU, followed by another road loss at Colorado may led to an “Awakening”.

    The beat of time and the direction of a program.

    • Prov@hotmail.com

      “Whatever they think it is, it does not work well and the rest of the SEC DCs have had it dialed in for the better part of 3 seasons.”

      Is that how the Dawgs tied for the highest scoring offense in SEC play last year? Not sure how that works.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        +1 Prov, but don’t be disappointed if nobody listens.

      • Don’t bring fancy facts and logic into this discussion. What Will said must be true because it’s on the internet.

        • Brandon

          Better yet Bill King said it, and he’s the Beano “Ron Paulus will win at least 3 Heisman trophies” Cook of jackleg sportswriters, so it is definately true no matter what realities Prov can point to.

          • Scott W.

            Making fun of Bill King is like kicking a puppy.

            • Brandon

              I disagree, the guy criticizes people all of the time puppies are docile. Bill should be made fun of regularly until he quits, actually the AJC should be made fun of for giving him a forum.

      • Biggus Rickus

        Obviously you have not been “Awakened” to the “Unraveling Crisis” in the “system.”

        Also, this kind of reads like terrible, terrible poetry:

        A loss at MSU, followed by another road loss at Colorado may led to an “Awakening”.

        The beat of time and the direction of a program.

      • PNWDawg

        Where does it say we tied for the highest scoring offense last year? The only numbers I’ve found so far say we were ranked #7 in pts/game.

      • That’s called getting in a ton of track meet games.

        Bobo has usually been good at padding his stats too.

    • Go Dawgs!

      Will Trane is not actually a Georgia fan, but instead is either a Bammer or a Gator. Possibly a Jacket. Discuss.

  10. Will Trane

    Hennigan, dudetheplayer, GaDawgs,and Big Rickus. We or I say what we want to say and in the manner we want to say it. Does not bother us or I if you like or dislike it.

    But We and I are UGA grads and suppporters [as other several others in our families]. We and I have concerns about the lack of success in the 3 major men’s programs. And we and I participated in some of those programs.

    We comment for GTP and not the readers. We generally do not read the other comments on this site, but this pm they were called to our attention before we leave for a game.

    We and I pull views and opinions as a compilation for the comments.

    Plus personal attacks are not something we get into with readers. But like one of our teammates said one time in a game…rave on cat…and as a courtesy to you we will end it there.

    • Prov

      The question still stands

      How did the Dawgs score so much

      When the offense stinks

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      And who is really responsible for the “unraveling” of most men’s teams in Athens? McGarity just showed up. Could it be the previous AD? Glad “We and I” and some other people are finally figuring that one out.

      • devildawg

        Wow, hilarious. I’m glad “we and I and others several others who pull views and opinions as a compilations for the comments” isn’t bothered by what other people say, because it means that William, Bill, Will, Vilhelm, and Willie Trane won’t be bothered when no one listens to them (him) either.

  11. Will Trane

    We and I would not have chosen the “politically correct” prior AD.

    He was never our choice. McGarity will do better, but what was the standard before he got there.

    As for the men’s program. The record speaks for itself, lately. Apparently most of you would settle for those hands. Not us.

    We saw those O numbers from last year. We have moved into another season that has started 1-2. Last year was 8-5 and 4-4. What was the offense at Tennessee, Florida, OSU? And what was the bowl we went to in December. And hell if we can’t beat Tech, Kentucky, Vandy, and South Carolina every year, where does your program stand.

    Perhaps you guys are Vandy, Tech, Georgia State, or some other north of the gnat line mediocre types we see and hear from. As my radio operator in combat use to say, too loud, too often, and too soon.

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