Hate Week, game day edition

Over the last couple of days, perhaps in a turkey-induced stupor, I’ve had a change of heart about today’s game.  Not about which team was going to win – Tech’s got an any-given-Saturday’s chance, of course, but not much more – but about whether the Dawgs could cover.  My first thought was that in keeping with the recent history of the series, Tech would do enough to keep the spread from being covered.  But I’ve gone to the dark side, and I’ve done so for what I think are two compelling reasons.

The first is the offense vs. defense matchups.  There’s no question that Tech’s going to get some yards today (although the message board reliance on “Georgia Southern rushed for 302 yards” is a bit misplaced in that a big chunk of that came in fourth-quarter garbage time).  But if you look at the metrics the guys at Football Outsiders compile, the yawning gap is between Georgia’s offense and Georgia Tech’s defense.  The chart there shows that Tech can’t defend the rush, can’t handle offenses that aren’t in passing downs and faces the best passing offense in D-1.

If you want what that means in English, here’s Bill Connelly to explain:

Groh or not, Tech has been an outright sieve on standard downs, ranking 101st in the country. Meanwhile, that’s where Georgia thrives. The Bulldogs are both balanced — running back Todd Gurley crossed the 1,000-yard mark last week, and the Dawgs rank 26th in Rushing S&P+; meanwhile, they rank FIRST in Passing S&P+ — and deep, with eight different players (three running backs, five receivers) logging at least one play of 30 yards or more. Despite the losses of receivers Michael Bennett and Marlon Brown to injury, quarterback Aaron Murray has found ample targets, from Tavarres King (685 yards, 12.9 per target), to Malcolm Mitchell (444 yards, 10.6 per target), to Arthur Lynch (308 yards, 14.0 per target), to Chris Conley (192 yards, 9.6 per target).

Barring turnover diarrhea – and admittedly, that shouldn’t be totally brushed off, as Tech has been better holding on to the ball than Georgia has this year, surprisingly – I don’t see how Tech keeps up, even if the Jackets win the time-of-possession edge today.

Enough on the stats.  The other reason I like Georgia today is intangibles.  No, not Richt’s track record against Tech, or even that the Dawgs do have something big to play for today, although neither hurts, certainly.  But the intangible I’m hanging my hat on is the one consistent thing about Georgia this year:  it plays well when it’s got something to be angry about.  Vanderbilt, Florida and Auburn are Georgia’s three most consistent, focused efforts of the 2012 season and what they all have in common is Georgia’s kids playing with chips on their shoulders.  It’s Tech.  That should always be enough to light a fire.

I’m heading up in about fifteen minutes, so consider this your game day invitation to comment.

By the way, those of you reading this who are going to the game, make sure you get there by 11:45 to honor the seniors.  If there’s a bunch of Dawgs who deserve our appreciation today, it’s them.  They’ve done a helluva job bringing the program back to a level of respectability and they deserve to hear a little about it.

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36 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

36 responses to “Hate Week, game day edition

  1. Keese

    I concur senator. I have a feeling the season stats are going to be as much in line as they were for the UK game. Go Dawgs!!

  2. Ben

    I’m happy with any win over Tech in any sport, but until we finally beat them 223-0, I will not be satisfied.

  3. Merk

    Also note that Tech’s leading rusher got injured last week vs Duke. He is probable for the game, but that does not mean he will be 100% if he plays.

  4. shane#1

    I,ll be watching on the tube. My Mom fell Thanksgiving Day and broke her hip. So our jaunt to Athens is off.She is doing well though and the surgery was successful.I will see her this morning then stock up on cold beer and watch the game It will be up to my brothers to look after Mama after noon, cause Mama don’t hold with no drankin!

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      Welcome to the nationwide fraternity of baby boomers caring for elderly parents. And we all thought we could move off to the big city, retire by 45, and conquer the world.

    • Macallanlover

      You a good man Shane, thoughts are with you and your mom. My wife and I went through the “caregiver” stage from 2005 through 2010. Certainly a tough time for families, especially in the later stages of illness. I agree with you about the toughness of generations, bless you for being a stand-up guy. We will all be tested more in the coming years, men like you will have to help lead. Hope you enjoy today’s win, it will give you energy to face the next few weeks as she recovers.

      • shane#1

        Thanks guys. I am back home now. I just finished icing down the beer. My Mom is resting well, under her red and black Bulldogs stadium blanket. I wish she felt like watching the game. Yesterday my oldest brother said that his first memory of a uGA game was UGa-AU at Municipal Stadium in Columbus. He remembered a tailgate picnic in the parking lot. We were raised to be Dawg fans.

  5. Careful Brad

    Be sure to cheer loudly for the seniors. To quote Les, “not one of those men is a FLOP.”

  6. SouthGa Dawg

    I feel like Larry this morning. I am scared to death of Tech today. I think they are capable of 28-30 pts although we are capable of 35-45 pts. We have got to hold on to the ball. Murray and our O-line worry me. We got no penetration vs the option last week against Southern although we played the option on the perimeter ok. Tech is bigger, faster, and better at it though. Where are my Tums? Maybe I’m over-reacting and we stick it to ‘em. I sure hope so.

    • Uglydawg

      SouthGa Dawg, I also worry. I worry about how Southern got to Murray a few times. I worry that Murray will revert to a bad streak, although he’s been very, very good as of late. I worry about fumbles, though Gurley has done a good job holding on to the ball. I worry about HOW MUCH IS AT STAKE…and how much the nerds will be determined to kill us all with an upset. In my heart, I know Georgia should win, but things happen. Please, someone comfort us!

      • gastr1

        Tech has an extremely narrow path to victory. Its defense is so bad that it has to score at about a 50% rate on its possessions against an offense as good as ours is. Can our defense stop the Bugs from scoring half of the times they have the ball? Obviously the odds of doing so are very high. And that number is just for them to keep the score close, mind you.

        On top of this we’re at home, and even though it’s the traditional early start, the stakes are high. We should be pretty jacked up. Can you not be jacked up for a game versus your rival at home with a national title in the background? Can they stay with us when we’re at the top of our game?

        Our chances for winning this game run north of 90%, I think.

        • Uglydawg

          Thanks, gastr…good info that I hope and expect to run true.
          It’s just that losing to the Nerds is so horrible, esp. this time.
          If Georgia wins, and Florida beats FSU, does that make UGA ACC champs based on Georgia’s win over Florida? Not that anyone cares about being ACC champs, but it will be a point to “rub in”.

    • SouthGa Dawg

      Ok, I feel much better for now.

  7. The Lone Stranger

    “You did well to turn toward the dark side, young Blutarsky, thinks I…mmmm” — Master Yoda

  8. The Lone Stranger

    I’m thinking it may be a little while before the defense fully gains its footing, perhaps yielding some extended drives for points in the 1st half. But once they have a bead on the speed of the GT option, their effort will be more focused and the smooth UGa O will put the NATS away, grinding them down eventually in the 4th quarter, ala 2009 (if the Dawgs could do it then, with that collection of RBs, imagine the destruction reaped by Gurshall).

    Just don’t let it be a one possession game in the 4th quarter, boys!

  9. Macallanlover

    No question that any analysis comes up in favor of UGA. Without a rash of turnovers we will win the game. That said, while capable of putting theam away by 3+ TDs, this game could be frustrating as they will drive the ball and use 4 downs to pick up firstdowns and extend drives. I think they will score more than we will be comfortable with but our offense would win a shootout if they succeed in getting 28 points. Be patient, we will pull away if they move the ball in the first half like Ga Southern did.

    I hate playing this HS offense, and hope we get out of this without any major injuries. The fact GT returned almost 25% of their tickets says all you need to know about this program, and this team. It is an away game less than an hour’s drive from their campus and they cannot sell 8K tickets? Come on, man. You are simply a pathetic football program, you deserve to be embarrassed….every week. Let’s rock Dawgs, get rid of these wannabes and go to THE meaningful game of the year next week. UGA wins by a similar score as last week, they may get one more score.

  10. Hogbody Spradlin

    DID YOU SEE THAT TACKLE BY RAMBO. Somewhere, Thomas Davis and Greg Blue are smiling. AND OGLETREE FOR ANOTHER ONE.

  11. rusty

    Halftime. Domination. Only worry now is someone getting hurt.

  12. Uglydawg

    Someone needs to tell the idiot announcer that Georgia’s winning. All he can talk about is the play where Tech drove it down to the one and Rambo pulled it away from him….no mention that there was a penalty on Tech that would have negated the threat anyway.
    And someone should tell the “Halftime Report” that OSU/Michigan doesn’t mean crap. Mark May finally slammed OSU into their place…”They don’t deserve anything. They’re on probation” (my paraphrase).
    Looks like the Dawgs can roll if they come out as fired up in the second half.
    Dawgs still under the radar. Need to finish Tech off in a big way!

    • gastr1

      I agree about Dave Pasch, today’s ESPN game-calling asshole. What does this dude have against us? Looked up his background…can’t find any Tech or ND connections anywhere.

    • Rusty

      Agree with every thing you said. I guess our coaching staff knows more than they give them credit for.

  13. Tronan

    This isn’t a football game. It’s an especially brutal mugging. Fantastic!

  14. Heathbar09

    Has ogletree made every tackle? That guy is everywhere.

  15. Lrgk9

    TDs on 6 out of 7 possessions. Has Lindley had more than 0ne kick returned?

  16. shane#1

    Good win, but the team we saw does not brat ‘Bama. However, a win against a good team in NO and I am a happy camper. Hell, I am a happy camper now. Beat AU, FU, and UT in the same year makes me happy!

  17. Macallanlover

    You sound like me. Great job against the HS offense I hate so much, but the vulnerability to the pass raised it’s ugly head again. Watching the start of the Bama game, that is exactly what they are throwing with great accuracy against Auburn. We haven’t defended that well in years, has me maga concerned. The OL worry is always there but the inability to cover receivers is even larger. Seven days to band-aid that puppy.

    Hate to sound nitpicky with the way our team is playing but it is a glaring problem. I love the way this team has gotten better all year and ignored the negatrons scattered throughout our fanbase, they have gotten so close to their dream but will have to step it up to win in Atlanta. We will be, and should be, an underdog next week but we are capable…..just need that “A” game.

  18. Cosmic Dawg

    Can somebody explain how the Florida hit on the FSU quarterback isn’t a head to head penalty?