Day four: still thinking thoughts about Auburn

Will Collier is one of my more favorite bloggers out there, so I hope he won’t mind if I use something he posted yesterday as a foil.

… Georgia is going to score some points.  Star receiver A.J. Green has a big mouth, but he’s got big-time skills to go with it; he’ll find the end zone against Auburn’s secondary.  UGA’s problem is, beyond Green, they’ve got a lot of issues.  Georgia has a lot of trouble on third down, on both sides of the football.  Their running game has been suspect all year, and I don’t think Georgia’s offensive line can stop Nick Fairley any more than LSU’s could, meaning freshman quarterback Aaron Murray is likely in for a long and painful day.

I also don’t think the Georgia defense has a prayer of slowing down Auburn’s offensive machine, either on the ground or through the air.   They’ll have a chance if the game is a shootout in the fourth quarter, but if Auburn can get to Murray, it probably won’t come to that.

Some of that I don’t disagree with.  Push comes to shove, I see Saturday’s game as Jacksonville with more touchdowns.  Nick Fairley is a beast.  And logic suggests that having home field advantage and the most transcendent player in college football makes Auburn a deserving favorite (if you could find anybody to take your bet, that is).

Buuuutttt… I think Will is being overly dismissive about Georgia’s offense.  On the topic of third-down conversions, for example, the Dawgs are middle of the pack in the conference on offense and separated on defense from the Tigers by a whopping four-tenths of a percent.  (Here’s the link to the SEC’s stat pages.)

It’s pretty much the same story with the rest of the stats he cites.  The suspect running game ranks seventh in the conference.  Is it anemic in comparison with Auburn’s?  Sure, but whose isn’t?  And while Nick Fairley is a scary dude, that hasn’t prevented the Tigers from ranking eleventh in the conference in pass defense or sixth in the SEC in sacks, one behind Georgia.  My feeling is that Aaron Murray is going to get his yards and more respect when the day is done.  At least he will if the offense avoids the turnovers that killed the team’s chances against Florida.

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49 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

49 responses to “Day four: still thinking thoughts about Auburn

  1. peacedog

    A.J. has a big mouth? As in, it’s large for a human mouth?

    • Yeah… I sort of let that pass.

      • Zdawg

        I heard from an Aubie fan on Monday that AJ was running his mouth and had a ‘surprise’ for Auburn. I haven’t heard anything. Wonder what that is all about?

        • This is the only quote of his about the game I could find:

          “I know we’ve got a chance to win,” A.J. Green said Saturday. “I feel like they haven’t faced anybody else like me and [quarterback] Aaron [Murray] with our offense. We’re really going to show them. We’re going to shock a lot of people.”

          Hardly incendiary. Maybe somebody knows of something mouthier.

          • 81Dog

            I guess AU fans would be mollified if AJ had said “I don’t know why we’re showing up this week. Our offense sucks, and me and Aaron just hope we don’t wet our pants while Auburn is beating us like we stole something.”

            • mwo

              I heard from someone in collegiate licensing Auburn had notified them of its intent to wear blue helmets once this year. They are running out of games. Fake juice?

          • Macallanlover

            Read on an Aubie board that AJ had “guaranteed” a UGA win ala Joe Willie. Cited this very quote as the source and it took off from there. I could have done without that statement from AJ but I have seen nothing since he was 17 to suggest he is a “mouthy” player.

      • peacedog

        Well, it’s not a particularly substantive thing to argue, and I wouldn’t have expected anything other than a snarky throwaway response, if at all.

        But, honestly, if the AJ quote below is seriously riling people up. . . well I can’t say I am surprised. We have fans who get riled up at the littlest thing, and fan bases tend to be pretty similar in these scenarios. But I’m surprised it elicited what was likely a snarky throwaway comment (but a flavored one, if you will) from a professional journalist.

    • NCT

      Sure he does. He’s a threat to celebrate excessively, remember?

    • X-Dawg

      Right! I was looking for left field when I read that.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      I guess you could make the argument he talked himself into a suspension by being honest.

      Other than that AJ is one of the quieter players out there…course I don’t get his Twitter feed.

    • D.N. Nation

      Yeah, that was pretty much the opposite of true. Logan Gray talks more smickety-smack than AJ.

  2. Turd Ferguson

    About our suspect running game … I know we’re doing the whole running-back-by-committee thing these days, but I’d kinda like to see Caleb King start and get at least 20 carries on Saturday. In my opinion, he’s pretty clearly the better RB of the three, and I’d like to see what he can do once we allow him to establish something of a rhythm.

    And yeah, the bit about Green having a big mouth was absurd. I literally cannot even imagine what that might be based upon.

    • Puffdawg

      I’d love to see Will Collier explain where that came from. Kind of surprised that kind of subjective BS would even be published by a legitimate newspaper.

    • Bobo's Playchart

      Not gonna happen. Says right here we can’t do that. 50% of our first downs are committed to throwing the streak bomb (but only 2 towards AJ of course). And we will use CT on 4 – 5 3rd and short dive plays in the red zone. I just don’t see where we can work in a single back for 20+ carries if all 3 are off suspension.

      Besides, rhythm = tendancy and we can’t let the AU defense pick-up on it. We’re sticking to the chart!

      • AlphaDawg

        Balance. Don’t forget balance. We need a balanced Offense. Playing to our strengths just won’t cut it, we cannot run plays that are working until they stop us. Because we need balance so they will never know when we are gonna run that play they have such a hard time stopping.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      It wasn’t so long ago when we complained that King was injury prone and couldn’t play a full season and that “Ealey” was clearly the better back. I hope they both show up and one of them gets extra hot.

      • Turd Ferguson

        True, but I think Ealey’s fumble problems early in the season have affected his aggression. Ever since he came off that 2-game suspension, King has looked like a new man to me.

  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    I’ve been a reader, writer, contributor in the media arena for a painful number of years and I don’t think I can remember a time when there was more misinformation, bad reporting and just downright bullshit floating around for our consumption.

    The Cam Newton “saga” frankly makes me want to puke.

    Grown, and not so grown men are eviscerating a college kid for the sole purpose of paying their rents and/or increasing their blog hits.

    All in the name of telling the truth.

    When the truth is nobody knows if Cam Newton did anything wrong…or at least if somebody knows they ain’t telling.

    Even the New York Times, which is not without its own cheating scandals, is devoting some of its horrendously expensive space to speculation about the veracity of a college football player.

    I am becoming increasingly embarrassed by all this.

    I suspect Dean Drewry is glad he is dead.

  4. 81Dog

    If UGA’s OL can keep Walter Fairley from cheap shotting/late hitting/pile driving Aaron Murray into the ground like a tent peg, our offense will score some points. I haven’t seen a DL do stuff like that to a QB since Joe “Turkey” Jones was spiking Terry Bradshaw headfirst into the turf.

    I may be the only guy in America who thinks Fairley cheap shotted Ryan Mallett into a concussion by hitting him two steps after Mallett threw the ball, pinning his arms to his side and driving him into the turf on his head, but that’s what I saw. Sort of did the same thing to the LSU QB.

    Of course, I could be wrong. It’s not like AU ever had anyone cheap shot an opponent (cough, Ziemba, cough, cough, Rosegreen, cough).

    • gatriguy

      Rosegreen is the standard bearer on that. That hit was the only time in my life watching a football game where I really thought I might have just watched someone get killed.

    • David

      or when Ben Jones ran up behind Mississippi State’s Fletcher Cox, who had his back to him at the end of a play and Jones dove into his knee, clearly trying to break his leg. One of the cheapest cheap shots I’ve ever seen.

      Far as I know, the SEC never suspended Ziemba or Rosegreen for a half for any dirty hits. Glass houses and all that…

      • hailtogeorgia

        Who are you referencing? What Georgia player was suspended for dirty hits? Also, Ziemba is nothing compared to Pugh.

        • BCDawg97

          Ben Jones was suspended for the first half of Colorado for a “clip” called at the end of Miss St.

          But in regards to Ziemba – so if a player isn’t officially “suspended” that means a particular play can’t be dirty?

      • anon

        “One of the cheapest cheap shots I’ve ever seen.”

        And I’ve seen 3 cheap shots.

    • Scott W.

      You forgot spearing…

  5. AWESOME POST – GO COACH MARK (FOX & RICHT)!

  6. Russell

    I hate Auburn

  7. G

    About our offense, Murray can’t start the game off the way he has the last two games. He looked nervous versus UF, under throwing, over throwing, and just darn right bad at the beginning of that game. Agianst IS he looked asleep the first quarter. If he starts slow, they will be down a few touchdowns quick.

    • Puffdawg

      I don’t think you can use IS as a barometer of Murray’s readiness. The whole TEAM was asleep against IS and I can hardly blame them.

      Against UF, I think the very first play of the game threw him off for that first alf. His confidence was shaken.

      Agree we can’t dig ourselves a hole though.

      Which spurs a question for you readers… what should we do if we win the toss? I think I personally defer and try to set the tone on defense, but then I’m a conservative traditionalist. Thoughts?

      • Joe

        It sure would be nice to take the kick and go down for a 7-0 lead to set the tone. (Dawgs 5-0 when scoring first, 0-5 when not.)

  8. The Realist

    Statistically, Georgia’s defense is somewhat similar to LSU, Mississippi State, and South Carolina. All three teams had success against Auburn: 24 points, 17 points, and 35 points (including 14 4th qtr points aided by 4 turnovers).

    I don’t know if Georgia can stop Auburn’s offense, but I equally don’t know if Auburn can stop Georgia. I think it will come down to turnovers. If either team gets sloppy, they will lose.

    My wife is trying to prepare me for the worst, but for some reason I can’t help but be optimistic about this game. It’s a curse.

    • truck

      Sounds like your wife might be the real “Realist”.

      • The Realist

        No kidding. I’m usually able to remove myself enough emotionally to have sound, rational thoughts about the team… at least before and after the game (during the game all bets are off).

        This week, my delusion has overtaken my better judgment. My mind says we should lose by 14+… but my heart says we can win a close one…

        I wonder if this is what it is like to be a South Carolina fan… ignoring reason and past performance and believing this is the year… or in this case, this is the game UGA stops a mobile quarterback. It sounds so unlikely when you hear it aloud.

        • truck

          I put up an astounding public front, spouting off all kinds of “sound, rational thoughts” about each game, trying to seem dispassionate and reasonable. But in private, I’m a sniveling homer who yells, throws things at the TV, watches particularly important plays on my knees, and generally follows every superstition known to man (and some that aren’t) if I think it might help the Dawgs win.

    • Will Q

      And a bit ironic, considering your moniker.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      What a wonderful opportunity for the Stephen King quote from Shawshank….”Hope is a dangerous thing, it can make a man crazy.”

      Your wife is worried about living with you after the game…as is mine.

  9. Pingback: Georgia's win over Auburn will restore balance to the Universe. | Willeo Creek