Daily Archives: August 15, 2012

Half down, half to go: mid-preseason report

 

If you’re trying to get a feel for where things stand half way through preseason practice, then Seth Emerson’s report today is a must read.

Some of what he reports shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’ve been following the beat writers – the coaches have settled on a top six on the offensive line, very few members of this year’s recruiting class will redshirt, Malcolm Mitchell’s early season status, the fluid tailback situation, for starters – but there are a few surprising nuggets in there.

  • Christian LeMay.  It doesn’t sound like the (for now) second-string quarterback has done much to impress either Emerson or the coaches.  Perhaps skipping your senior year of high school football probably isn’t the best development strategy.
  • Offensive line depth.  This isn’t what a Georgia fan wants to hear:  “The gap between Dantzler and the next reserve is a wide one right now.”  Gulp.  Fortunately, Georgia has a track record of healthy offensive lineme… wait, what?
  • Receiving corps.  It’s not so much that Emerson says anything surprising about it, so much as he reminds us that consistent playmaking with this bunch is still a question mark in Mitchell’s absence.  Fair point.

Not to be all gloom and doom here.  Because this will pump you up:

Hopefully Georgia fans apprecaite what they’re about to watch in 2012. It’s not just the starters, but the depth is deceivingly good. Consider that a talent like John Taylor will likely have to redshirt at nose tackle. Garrison Smith, who looked good as a starting end late last year, is a second-teamer right now. Christian Robinson and Amarlo Herrera are second-team at inside linebacker. Ray Drew, a five-star recruit two years ago, will have trouble seeing the field.

If the front seven can carry things through the Missouri game, the defense will be fine.

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40 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

I felt bad about Georgia having single game tickets for FAU available, until I saw Tennessee’s Triple Option.

Believe it or not, you can still buy tickets to the Vols’ home games against Florida or Alabama if you’ll purchase them along with tickets to two other home games.  Now no doubt some of that is due to a cooling of Urnge Ardor after a few seasons of mediocrity.  And I understand that some of it is due to Florida returning some of its ticket allotment.  Nevertheless, I don’t care how tough times have gotten, Alabama-Tennessee should always be a sell out.

Perhaps it’s time for Slive and the presidents to worry a little bit about whether they’re looking at a canary in the coal mine here.

22 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, SEC Football

Sure, he could sign the other 15 kids. But then he’d have to kick them off the team anyway.

I guess you could say that Mark Richt recruits with an eye on the Fulmer Cup point totals.

“Well, I can’t tell you how many times we don’t bring [a recruit] into Georgia because we were concerned about [off-the-field issues],” he said. “… So that happens quite often and we just gotta make judgments on what’s best for the university. And we do that on a daily basis.”

I wonder if vetting the potential recruits through Jimmy Williamson is part of the process.

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UPDATE:  Tyler suggests Richt’s doing an adequate job with retention.

26 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Rocky Long is single-handedly trying to interest me in watching Mountain West football.

One of college football’s greatest charms for me is its variety.  Unlike the NFL, which seems to be all about variations on a strategic theme, there are all kinds of offensive and defensive schemes clawing for supremacy on the college level.  There’s a greater willingness to explore different ways to skin the cat.  Some of that is due to the greater number of teams; some of that is due to a greater disparity in talent.  But in any event, the result is fun.

So, all I can say about this news is – just do it, Rocky.

After reading articles about an idiosyncratic Arkansas high school coach who never punts, always onside kicks, and has tremendous success doing it, Long is toying with the idea for his Aztecs of no punts or field goal attempts once they’ve driven inside an opponent’s 50-yard line.

Conceivably, San Diego State would go for the first down whether it needed a couple of inches or 10 yards.

And yes, Long — who apparently hasn’t yet tried it all in his 40 years of coaching — is serious about this.

“It makes sense,” he said, seeming almost giddy in talking about the possibilities.

“Additional plays would allow you to score a lot more points,” he said. “It also puts a whole lot of pressure on the defense.”

Like I need an excuse to stay up late watching games on ESPN2 or some Fox regional broadcast, anyway.  But, damn, that would be fun to watch.

18 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Arkansas’ new ride

There’s a legitimate argument to be made that Arkansas will deploy the best running back and the best quarterback in the SEC this year.  That’s a formidable combination.  So why is there less buzz about the Hogs going into the 2012 season?

I’ll let Paul Myerberg explain.

It all comes down to coaching. Arkansas was never going to beat Alabama and L.S.U. with talent against talent – while the Razorbacks recruit well, the team’s overall talent level alone will never be enough to claim an SEC West title. It’s all about coaching; it’s about schematics, blueprints, game plans and adjustments, and it’s in these areas that Arkansas will take the steepest dive without Petrino running the show. He was the reason why Arkansas was viewed as a national title contender prior to April: Petrino was such a good pregame and in-game coach that it seemed logical that he’d eventually dream up a plan for beating Alabama and L.S.U., even if the Razorbacks were steamrolled by this pair a season ago. With Petrino gone, I can’t think of any reason why Arkansas should remain among those teams in the national title conversation.

I keep saying it – there’s a reason a guy with the personal baggage Bobby Petrino totes around keeps getting plum coaching jobs (and don’t think he won’t have a new one within two or three seasons, tops).  The man can coach.  There’s also a reason John L. Smith was going to be coaching at Weber State until Petrino took that fateful motorcycle trip.  It’s not the same reason.

11 Comments

Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal

The 2011 season, in a nutshell

I’m hard pressed to summarize last year any better than this:

I caught a replay of the Florida-Georgia game the other night. It reminded me of a few things about the Dawgs. They have a great college quarterback in Aaron Murray. When he’s on, the Dawgs are as explosive as any outfit. He made several big third and fourth down throws in that game as Georgia climbed out of a 17-3 hole to take the lead. But he also has innacurate bouts bogging down the offense. During the meat of the second half in that Florida game when the Dawgs had several chances to put some distance between themselves and the Gators, he misfired on nine straight throws and took a sack, enabling Florida to stay in striking range the whole way. In Michigan terms, he really knows how to sprinkle in a little of 2003 John Navarre with 2002 John Navarre to make things interesting. Their special teams were rotten and need to dramatically improve for a better season. Why did they give up a combined 155 points to Boise, South Carolina, LSU and Michigan State? Mostly because of ill timed poor special team gaffes. In the points allowed category, it crushed an otherwise stellar effort from UGA’s D, which sees nine starters back this year. But the bottomline is those were the best four teams the Dawgs played a year ago, and Georgia lost them all.

For all the fretting we’ve done about the offensive line and the offseason suspensions in the secondary, it’s worth considering that if Murray can cut down on the valleys in his play (and, yes, some of that ties back into the o-line’s work) and special teams play can rise merely to the ranks of the competent, this year’s team stands a decent chance on improving what was accomplished in 2011.

29 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Who is the cat and who is the mouse here?

Marc Weiszer throws out a little snark bait that’s oh-so-hard to resist:

Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo will continue to call plays from the press box after moving back upstairs prior to last season. In the preseason, his unit has gone up against defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s. “It’s a chess match,” head coach Mark Richt said. “We know so much about each other that there’s a lot of checking at the line of scrimmage. The defense knows something’s coming and they’ll check and the offense might check again. It’s kind of a cat and mouse game, but it’s a lot of fun.”

I dares ‘ya not to be a smart ass in the comments.

19 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football