Daily Archives: September 21, 2012

Something that bears repeating.

I’m not sure that the magnitude of Georgia’s offensive performance against FAU has sunk in with us.

Georgia’s 713 total [yards] is tied for sixth in SEC history for a single game and the most in the league since Florida had 705 yards against The Citadel in 2008.

Actually, 713 is more than 705… but I digress.  Anyway, note that’s a comparison to the Tebow-Harvin national champion Gator team in a game against a 1-AA defense.  Nobody since then, not the ’08 Gators, not the Newton-led 2010 Auburn team that won the national title with an offensive barrage that season, not any of Petrino’s prolific Arkansas offenses, has done that.  It’s not like SEC teams haven’t played a few cupcakes on occasion during that time, either.

Yet there’s Georgia, offensive warts and all.  Somebody must be doing something right.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Vandy thoughts

Could there be a more obvious Musical Palate Cleanser for this post than this?

Coaches gonna coach.  Players gonna play.  So let’s put our version of the rematch to the side for now and commence firing random bullet points.

  • Okay, first the obvious:  the defense isn’t going to have a problem with focus Saturday night.  The worry is the opposite, that it comes out overly amped and struggles with gap assignments and overrunning plays that the Commodores’ offense successfully exploits.
  • Speaking of those gap assignments and other blown matters, Georgia’s defense has given up eight big plays in its first three games.  Here’s how that breaks down:  those eight plays have yielded 333 yards, or 41.6 yards a play; the other 213 plays run so far against Georgia’s defense have averaged 3.3 yards.
  • While we’re talking about coming out overly amped, here’s looking at you, Aaron Murray.
  • I like Vandy’s defensive coordinator, Bob Shoop.  It’s early, but he’s coaching the 11th best defense in the country.  And it’s third nationally against the pass.  You can tell his unit is well coached.  It plays hard and is fundamentally sound.  But it’s still Vanderbilt, which means the line is undersized and overall depth is an issue.  Vanderbilt had fourth quarter leads in both of its losses this year.
  • That being said, Georgia is by far the best offensive team the ‘Dores have played this year.  The Dawgs’ #20 ranking in total offense is a good bit higher than South Carolina’s #47 and Northwestern’s #63.
  • Both teams want to establish the run, and for the same reason – to draw one of the safeties out of pass coverage and into run support.  Which team is likely to have more success doing so?
  • Vanderbilt’s other problem with its offensive game plan is that it has two good receivers in Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd, but little behind them.  The two have combined for 29 of Vandy’s 43 receptions so far.  So even if Grantham feels the need to cheat a little with safety run support, he’s still got a better chance to cover the receiving options with the secondary than Shoop does (especially if Georgia can run the ball out of one-back, four-receiver sets).
  • With all the extra-curricular distractions in last year’s game, it’s easy to forget that Georgia had built a 16-point lead in the third quarter and appeared to have the game under control.  Things unraveled because of 2011’s big bugaboo, bad special teams play.  The ‘Dores had a 96-yard kickoff return for a score, blocked that late punt and survived two missed field goal attempts.  If there’s one area that’s a cause for concern tomorrow, it’s Georgia’s punt return game, which hasn’t done much and saw a couple of muffs last week against FAU.
  • The other development that swung the direction of last year’s game was the insertion of Jordan Rodgers into the game at quarterback.  He didn’t throw the ball all that well (4-19, 31.3 passer rating), but he surprised the Dawgs by running the ball effectively (11 rushes for 80 yards).  That seemed to open up Vanderbilt’s offense.  Zac Stacy ran for almost 100 yards and Franklin made up for some of Rodgers’ lack of production in the passing game by pulling off a couple of trick plays, one of which went for a 45-yard TD.  I don’t expect Grantham to be asleep at the switch this year, no matter who starts at quarterback for Franklin.  (And remember that Missouri’s James Franklin had a poor day running the football against a Georgia D that was clearly prepared for him.)
  • One other Vandy coach who impresses me is the guy who coaches the offensive line, Herb Hand.  He’s earned a spot in the GTP Hall of Fame for this quote, but he also happens to be good at his job.  His problem is that he doesn’t have that much to work with.  The Vanderbilt offensive line, as you might expect, isn’t particularly big by SEC standards.  And it’s had its struggles, no doubt.  That line yielded five sacks against South Carolina.  Vandy only rushed for 62 yards in that game.

Bottom line here is that I think Georgia shuts down Vandy’s running game and Vanderbilt can’t do the opposite.  The Dawgs had best be prepared to see a heavy dose of the dink and dunk passing game with an occasional trick play tossed in to see if they’re staying awake and aware.  The line is somewhere in the neighborhood of two touchdowns and that strikes me as reasonable.  Stay away from mistakes, grind the Commodores down and grab that second divisional win.

Oh, and don’t forget to shake hands after the game, fellas.

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Filed under Georgia Football, James Franklin Is Ready To Rumble

“But it is making it more difficult for a guy just to get after it and play hard and fast.”

Mark Richt reflects on the consequences of the SEC’s new attention to the targeting rule.

“The kind of hits that (former UGA safeties) Thomas Davis and Greg Blue made, I just don’t know if they’d have played very often,” UGA coach Mark Richt said on his Monday night radio show, “because they were so physical and they got after it so much.

I’m not sure I’m ready to go quite that far just yet, but I do worry, as does Richt, about whether all the emphasis being put on the rule – and the need to avoid penalties and suspensions from its violation – is going to cause players to think more and react less quickly.  At least until Nick Saban figures out the cheat to it.

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Filed under SEC Football

GTP Bulletin Board announcements

A couple of PSAs for you, Dawgnation:

The folks behind the 1980 Dawgs DVD are back and want you to come see them this weekend.  It’s not like you won’t have time before the 7:45 game start.

Members of the 1980 National Championship Bulldogs will be joining Filmmaker/Director, Lenny Daniel,  in Athens this weekend to promote the “1980 Dawgs” Documentary Film project.  They will be talking with fans and signing autographs at the Red Zone in downtown Athens, Saturday, 1pm – 4pm.

So far,  confirmed are 2-time All American, Rex Robinson #5 and All American Freddie Gilbert # 90, one of the best UGA defensive players of all time.   Other members of the 1980 Dawgs team have also been invited.

Fans, their families and kids really enjoy these events.  The former players from this special group show a humble graciousness about their past and enjoy meeting fans, talking football and joking around.  The 1980 players  are now at the age where remember their playing years well and  they don’t mind “letting their hair down” and talking with fans about what it was really like to be part of that special team.  They will also give their views on current Bulldogs football.

For more info and movie trailers:  www.1980Dawgs.com

Where:  The Red Zone, 155 E. Clayton Street, downtown Athens

When: 1pm – 4pm,  This Saturday

And Hoppy, our man in Montana, needs your help with another matter.

There is a Facebook page pushing ESPN’s College GameDay to come to Missoula, MT for the annual Cat/Griz game in November. College Game Day has never been to Montana. The Cats (Montana State) are currently #2 in the FCS poll and the Griz have a storied tradition as well.

The nickname of this game is “The Brawl of the Wild” and it dates back over 100 years.

I would just love to see GameDay come to Montana, and I know a big push from the Dawgnation would certainly boost the numbers for this cause.

Step it up, peeps.  Montana came through for us.  We can return the favor.

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Filed under GTP Stuff

Why we can’t have nice things.

I swear, for all the days that I’ve complained that Mark Richt burned through the good will he banked from the fan base, there are times when I wonder if he couldn’t do a lot better than us.  Like, say, when I read this:

A caller to Richt’s radio show on Monday night wanted Barber to wear something other than orange shoes.

“They’re not orange,” Barber said of the Nike Vapor shoes. “On the Internet, they were like solar red. They do look more pink than anything, but I love the cleat. It fits great and is really lightweight.”

Barber said his teammates haven’t said a word about them.

Richt called the color “Georgia peach.”

No word on whether Richt muttered “are you effing kidding me?” under his breath upon hearing the complaint.

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Filed under General Idiocy, Georgia Football