Daily Archives: January 2, 2013

The end of a meme

I think it’s time to quit waving the crayon around, Bobo detractors.  This may be the single most astounding team statistic of the 2012-3 season.  (Technically, Alabama and Texas A&M still have a chance to catch Georgia, but based on their season averages, ‘Bama would need to amass nearly 640 yards in the national title game and TAMU would have to get nearly 750 yards against Oklahoma to do so.  Either is unlikely, to say the least.)

All of you who predicted before the season’s start that Georgia would lead the nation in average yards per play, take a bow.  As a group, you very likely fit in a phone booth.  To think that was done with a green offensive line, last year’s SEC Freshman of the Year booted off the team and two of Georgia’s top receivers gone for half the season is pretty remarkable.

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“I’m sick of hearing about that hump crap.”

How do you know when your team has experienced a satisfying win?  When the losers start playing “the better team lost” card.

“I don’t care if it’s ‘Bama, I don’t care if it’s Notre Dame. Georgia was nothing special. We came out, we had ‘em tied. We just didn’t finish. I feel like we’re a better ballclub than those guys. You saw that early. We just didn’t finish. …

“We knew they were gonna come out lively and talking. But if you hit ‘em in the mouth a couple good times, they were gonna lay down. And that’s what we did. We just didn’t finish.”

And if you don’t count the shutout Georgia’s defense laid on Nebraska after Abdullah’s fumble, Taylor Martinez has a point.

Taylor Martinez says he thought Nebraska’s talent was on-par with Georgia’s.

Same goes for his feelings about the Big Ten’s talent-level compared to the SEC’s. In fact, he thinks the Big Ten is better in that regard. He made his feelings clear before the game and was sticking to his guns afterward.

“I think the Big Ten, talent-wise, is a lot better, and the defenses in the Big Ten are better than SEC defenses,” he said. “This was supposed to be one of the top defenses in the SEC, and we pretty much did anything we wanted against them.”

I guess Nebraska got tired of scoring, then.  Snark aside, there may be more to this hump thing than Abdullah wants to admit.  Look at what Grantham said about how his guys reacted to adversity:

“That game wasn’t going great right there (against Nebraska), but we found a way to win it, and we showed more mental and physical toughness in the second half to win the game. And that’s why you win 12 games in a year. That’s what we’ve got to work with the guys coming up is to develop that mental and physical toughness to win ballgames.”

Compare that to what Nebraska’s offensive coordinator said about how the Huskers reacted after Abdullah’s critical fumble.

Said Beck: “When we fumbled that play on third-and-1 and they scored, we didn’t overcome that play to be able to get back in the game and go, ‘OK guys, even though that happened, we’re back.’

“It ate at us. It sat in our craw. We weren’t able to get past it.”

It could be there is something afoot in Athens.  As lousy as things went in Columbia, this was a Georgia team that showed an ability to bounce back and shake things off mentally.  It’s too early to make any final calls, of course, but let’s hope the last two games of this past season turn out to be an indication that the program has put itself in a better place for the longer haul.  Let somebody else deal with that hump crap for a change.

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How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless defensive coordinator.

Quite frankly, Al Groh thinks Paul Johnson sucks.  This is not an exaggeration.

Groh, the head coach at Virginia from 2001-09, served as Georgia Tech defensive coordinator until he was relieved of his duties Oct. 8.

Head coach Paul Johnson announced the move two days after a 47-31 loss to Clemson. That was the third straight loss for the Yellow Jackets, who had given up more than 40 points in all three games.

Johnson said he had based his decision on results but it appears there were other issues.

“Just to say it briefly, this circumstance here was the most unprofessional, divisive and negative environment in which I’ve ever been,” Groh said. “To say more would be unprofessional of myself.

“It was just a bad cultural match.”

I’d love to hear a description of the two cultures in question.  Is this merely a case of a staff not being big enough to accommodate two head coaches, or is there something really scummy we’d like to know more about?

I wonder if Bradley and Schultz are on the mother.

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UPDATE:  I think I’m going to have to award Johnson with a touché here.

“I’m sorry to hear that Al feels that way,” Johnson said in a statement. “I’m surprised he would stay here for 2 1/2 years if he felt like that it was that bad.”

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Aaron Murray’s not so bad, better than you might have expected, day

Prior to yesterday, this is how opposing quarterbacks fared against Nebraska’s pass defense on third down:  42-122, 459 yards, 4 TDs, 5 INTs.  That translates into a passer rating of 68.65.

This is what Aaron Murray did on third down against Nebraska.

I don’t know if Bill is using “Goodness” as an expression or a description, but either works.  Murray’s passer rating on third down was a staggering 273.31.

Also, this.  And this.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Something old, something new

It was apparent from the first series that Mike Bobo had spent the last month doing some tinkering with the offense.  Bowl games can be fun for the coaches, too, you know.

… He also hit tight end Arthur Lynch for a touchdown from 29 yards out on a pass across the middle on which receiver Rhett McGowan picked Lynch’s defender to leave Lynch wide open — Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo’s favorite of the many wrinkles he installed during the month since Georgia’s last game.

“That was something that we haven’t done before, so that was my favorite,” Bobo said. “We worked hard on those things. … We had a guy open for a similar-type gain that Artie had [earlier in the game], so I knew it was going to be there. The guys just did a great job of executing something that we hadn’t done all year.”

The Bulldogs (12-2) also ran direct-snap runs to tailbacks Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley — Gurley actually ran untouched 24 yards for a touchdown on a direct snap — and hit the 16th-ranked Cornhuskers (10-4) with several new formations that the Bulldogs hadn’t previously employed this season.

“They’re going to study your formations and what you do out of those formations,” Bobo said, “and they’re going to play the percentages, so you always try to have a wrinkle or two off of those things, which were big.”

They really were, because Nebraska did a good job studying Bobo’s tendencies.  That paid off big time, at least on one occasion.

It was Nebraska who actually got the takeaways early, picking Murray off twice in the first quarter, including one by Will Compton that he returned 24 yards for a touchdown.

It was Compton’s first career interception.

“That was a play they had shown throughout the course of the year in the formation they ran,” Compton said. “And the back stepped up and I kind of sat there for a second, and I recognized the receiver coming to crack, and I just tried getting up out of the wash. I didn’t think he (Murray) was going to throw it.”

It didn’t help that Marshall went to the ground on that play, but, yeah, credit the defense for being prepared there.  But considering that Georgia had three long touchdowns when the players who scored went in untouched, I’d say Bobo had the better day.

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Penn Wagers, all is forgiven.

Todd Grantham, expressing his displeasure over yesterday’s Big 12 crew, maybe goes a bit overboard in channeling his inner Saban.

Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham wasn’t thrilled with how the Big 12 officials allowed the game to flow.

“I really appreciate the SEC officials, because when you start looking at the way the game was going — you talk about player safety and tempo, and it’s really a credit to how the SEC does it,” Grantham said. “There were a handful of plays that were the result of a lack of getting lined up or a lack of communication, and it allowed them to make some plays. To me, that’s not what football is all about, but at the end of the day we showed more mental and physical toughness.”

Suck up.

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