Something to get you in the mood for Saturday:
I don’t think Aaron Murray played badly against Clemson, but he’s certainly not immune from criticism (even he admits there was room for improvement). And while I don’t necessarily agree with some of the full-throated blame that’s been directed his way for the game’s outcome, I can still understand the frustration. Because none of it’s been as detached from reality as this:
“I put that game on Aaron,” said Palmer, who played quarterback for the Gators from 1997-2000. “He just left so many huge plays on the field. He’s got to make better throws. He just wasn’t very accurate. He just wasn’t putting the ball in the strike zone. They could have had 800 yards of offense in that game. I’m being dead serious.” [Emphasis added.]
Just to put that assertion into context, last year was a record year of offensive production for the Dawgs. Even so, Georgia’s top offensive yardage number was 713. Against Florida Atlantic. Georgia ran 70 plays against Clemson. Murray and Company would have had to average almost 11.5 yards per play to hit 800 total yards – and you have to assume the average would be even higher, since Palmer pointed to several plays that should have picked up big yards, if not touchdowns.
Georgia’s not going to rack up those kinds of numbers against North Texas, let alone Clemson, so it’s kind of hard to take Palmer’s seriousness seriously.
Quite the scheduling conflict my brethren in Birmingham face.
Choosing between the Book of Life and Nick Saban? Man, that’s a tough call.
UPDATE: You knew there had to be a topper, right? Right.
Among the members of the congregation is SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, who was in attendance at Rosh Hashanah services. Apparently the edict applies to him, too.
A shocking observation:
Random: Shaw says UGA ran a lot of vanilla defense vs. Clemson due to youth, Spurrier big fan of vanilla defenses—
Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) September 05, 2013
It’s more satisfying to blame the results on coaching incompetence, though.
I know what he was trying to say here, but this is unintentionally amusing.
… So it would seem starting off the season by missing tackles and giving up more than 200 yards rushing to Clemson would be a cause for concern.
Not so, says linebacker Amarlo Herrera.
“Everybody misses tackles. You just see more than some,” said Herrera, who had eight tackles at Clemson. “There’s games where we missed more tackles than that since I’ve been here.”
That’s a relief.
No matter how pessimistic or jaded you may feel about Georgia’s chances against South Carolina, there’s one unavoidable fact that should cheer you up. This guy won’t be stepping on the field:
I guarantee you that makes Grantham feel better.
I confess: this I do not get.
Playing at home, coaches and players say, will help the line.
Georgia was forced to rely on a silent cadence against Clemson’s home crowd, which played into the pass protection problems some. Clemson racked up four sacks and forced a fumble.
Quarterback Aaron Murray said David Andrews even had trouble hearing him when he was behind center, but he wasn’t blaming it all on crowd noise.
“We made mistakes and we can’t make those kind of mistakes in big-time games and expect to win them,” Murray said.
Has something changed about the art of pass protection that I missed? Georgia’s played in front of plenty of hostile, noisy crowds during Richt’s tenure, so why are we now hearing about the problems the line is having with silent cadence? (Remember that was blamed for some of the line’s woes in last year’s South Carolina debacle, too.)
This one’s a coaching issue. Somebody needs to figure out a fix to this in the next month.
Time to nosh.