Daily Archives: November 27, 2012

Style points? Style points? Mark Richt don’t need no stinkin’ style points.

If you want to understand the essence of Mark Richt’s coaching philosophy, he’s happy to lay it out for you.

“… There’s something about our league that’s special. If you win the Southeastern Conference, you’ve really done something special, and if you win the East, you’ve done something special in my opinion. I think our fans really understand that and embrace that. When I came from Florida State to Georgia, that’s one of the things that I learned. Every victory is precious in this league, and the style points don’t really matter all that much. Just win. Whereas before when I was at Florida State, we were wanting to win, but we wanted to win with a certain flair or a certain style. At Georgia I realized really fast that it doesn’t matter if you have style points or not. Just win. This league is so competitive on all levels, so it’s just fun to be a part of.”

And that’s how you get to this year’s approach to special teams.

“My goal this year was for us to be solid on our special teams. My goal wasn’t to try to lead the nation in any one category. I wanted to make sure that every time we force them to punt, I want to make sure we have the ball. If someone makes a fair catch, that’s okay with me. At the end of the kickoff, I want to make sure we have the ball in our hand. Let’s have a good, solid return, secure the football, and do well. Of course when you punt, you have to make sure you protect. My goal is just to kick that sucker high and have the least amount of big plays in that situation. We did have the one returned for a touchdown, but other than that, we’ve given up very few return yards. Now is our net punt quite as high as Alabama’s, which is almost 44 (yards)? No, but even if it’s 38 or 39 yards and it’s got good hang time and we fair catch it, we can then move the ball for four downs and get a good play out of it. My goal was for a really solid kicking unit this year, and I think we are solid. In the kickoff return, Malcolm (Mitchell) returns it back to the 50. It’s not like we’re not trying to get a touchdown. We had Todd Gurley return one for a touchdown, and we blocked a couple punts this year. We’ve done some good things in there, but the big thing is to make sure that they don’t become a huge momentum play for the other team.”

I still think Richt settles for too little on punt returns and has for some time now – **cough**Logan Gray** cough** – but they’re in the Dome on Saturday, and as Richt says, that’s all that really matters.

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11 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Fabris Invitational inquiry

As I’m sure you’ve already surmised, this week marks the last regular season set of games for the pick ‘em.

The good news is that there will be a pick ‘em for the bowls.  My question to you guys is how big a bowl pick ‘em pool do you want?  Limit it to ten games as we’ve done?  Put the whole 35-game shooting match out there?  Something between those?

I’m pretty agnostic on this, so if there’s a clear majority on a particular number, I’ll go with it.  Let me know in the comments.

38 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff

For once, a game that’s not about the Jimmies and Joes.

At least that’s what Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage says about the SECCG matchup:  “In most cases, Georgia and Alabama can out-talent the teams that they play. This time, that won’t be the case.”

Interesting comment from him about the most talented player on the field Saturday night.

Savage said to keep an eye on Georgia wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, who he said would be “the best athlete on the field.” Mitchell leads the Bulldogs in receptions even though he started the first three games of the season at cornerback.

“He’s a player Alabama will know exactly where he is,” Savage said.

Hope he makes Kirby rue losing the recruiting battle to Bobo.

29 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

This week on I blame Bobo…

Actually, we’re at the point where I think I’m going to have to retire the meme.

Mike Bobo, the play-caller for a Georgia offense that has set school records for points and touchdowns in a season, is among five finalists for the Broyles Award, which goes to the nation’s top assistant coach.

As for Weiszer’s “Bobo has been a frequent target for fan criticism in past seasons” observation, judging from some of the negative reactions to the news I saw on my Twitter feed yesterday, I’d say the past isn’t past just yet.  But you gotta love this nod to Bobo’s god:

“We’re doing a nice job right now,” Bobo said of his offense. “Balance is the No. 1 thing.”

I hope he’s tweaking us with that.  It’s the romantic in me, I suppose.  In any event, congrats.

105 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Genius never takes a day off.

Let’s face it.  There can only be one possible explanation for a 32-point blowout, and it’s not that Paul Johnson suddenly forgot how to coach.  That leaves only one suspect… er, suspects.

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said he could have handled losing 42-10 to Georgia if he thought the effort was worthy. That was not the case.

Johnson said the Yellow Jackets were guilty of a “lack of competing” in their loss to the Bulldogs in Athens, Tech’s 11th in the past 12 years to its archrival. This season, Johnson has been critical of the team for missed assignments, poor tackling and lack of focus. However, his public challenge that the team lacked competitiveness – against an archrival, no less – compared only to his statement that the Jackets “no showed” in the 21-point loss to Middle Tennessee State.

So Johnson wants everyone to know the Tech coaching staff gives out lots of demerits for lack of effort on a play.  Maybe they ought to make ‘em helmet stickers, so we can all join in the fun.

It’s hard to believe that recruits don’t flock to the Flats these days.

14 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football

Boom goes the Sabanator.

Touché, Will Muschamp.

If Alabama coach Nick Saban doesn’t like the way the Bowl Championship Series is playing out, Florida coach Will Muschamp has a solution.

“Well, I can switch and go to Atlanta if he doesn’t want to go to Atlanta and play the Dawgs,” Muschamp said Monday. “Be careful what you ask for, Nick.”

Really don’t get all the whining from the SEC’s elder statesmen these days.  Which, to his credit, is why I find this Muschamp comment refreshing:

“We knew the rules of engagement when we started the season,” Muschamp said. “I’m not one that’s going to sit there and complain about it. It is what it is. We had our opportunity in Jacksonville, and we didn’t get it done.

“That’s our fault. Nobody else’s.”

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Nick Saban Rules

Not all out of all in

Fess up – you’d be a little disappointed if that weren’t the case, right?

28 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Dawg stat watch, Week 13

With the final step in the regular season journey taken, here’s how this year’s team finished against its predecessors who also traveled to Atlanta (stats via cfbstats.com):

  1. Hold opponents under 18 points per game.  As a team, Georgia yielded 17.7 ppg.
  2. Finish at least +8 in turnover margin.  Georgia’s turnover margin is +9.
  3. Average better than 380 yards per game on offense.  Georgia’s offense averaged 463.7 ypg.
  4. Finish in the top five in total defensive yardage.  Georgia’s defense ranks sixth in total defense.
  5. Finish in the top three in first downs.  Georgia is fourth in first downs.
  6. Finish no worse than third in passing yardage.  Georgia is fourth in passing yardage.
  7. Finish no worse than third in sacks.  Georgia is tenth in sacks.

Two categories, defensive scoring and turnover margin, clicked in place after the Tech game.  I tend to see the near misses in defensive yardage, first downs and passing yardage as a consequence of league expansion.  Really, the only thing that’s a true outlier is the sack ranking, some of which can be chalked up to Jarvis Jones missing a couple of games and finishing out the season with two triple-option offenses.  I’ll no doubt return to this in the offseason, but if you pushed me, I’d say what the data shows is that the first three categories are the keys to watching whether a Richt-coached squad is destined for SEC success.

7 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!