The biggest key for Saturday?

It’s pretty simple, as Garrison Smith explains.

“Ain’t no trickery, ain’t no razzle-dazzle,” Georgia defensive lineman Garrison Smith said. “It’s just all about playing the best you can and seeing who’s going to make the fewest mistakes.”

Interestingly, most of the computer modeling projections I’ve seen so far have Georgia winning by about five.  You can make a case for that, but it starts with not allowing any cheap scores resulting from screw ups, something we’ve seen in each of the first three games.

Sure, it would be nice to stop the run and no doubt we’ll hear plenty about that between now and game time.  But the reality is neither team is likely to sell out the way we saw North Texas do, which means Gurley and Hill are going to get theirs.  As long as that balances out and Georgia avoids being a generous host, I like the Dawgs’ chances.

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UPDATE:

The blocked punt that North Texas put in the end zone counts as a return, so you can quibble over semantics if you want, but the bottom line is that Georgia’s special teams have allowed two touchdowns in three games.  Nationally, that puts the Dawgs in a tie for last with Western Michigan, which has played one more game than Georgia.

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49 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

49 responses to “The biggest key for Saturday?

  1. Dawgfan Will

    Re: UPDATE

    Oy.

  2. mdcgtp

    The special teams gaffes have hurt us. I am not sure how many more ways to parse it, but can I ask why you keep posting it in one form or another? Either it will get fixed or it won’t. Its not an issue that can be analyzed and discussed the way we can about offensive or defensive strategy or personnel, etc.

    What is there to say?

    A guy has to snap a ball cleanly. Usually that is pretty routine across the college and pro game as there are lots of guys who can specialize in doing it consistently perfect.

    In terms of kickoff coverage, there is no doubt that the incremental 5-10 yards a team gets from a touchback over prior touchback/stopping a guy inside his 20 is worth giving up to avoid a long TD. we tried kicking the ball out of the endzone. Morgan failed at it a few times and some mistakes and uncalled blocks in the back lead to some breakdowns.

  3. Bright Idea

    If either defense does not first commit to stopping the run they are in for a long day. Getting outnumbered in the box will not be a smart strategy.

  4. Ginny

    Interesting fact I learned this morning:

    “The Georgia Bulldogs will become just the fourth team in the BCS era to play three top 10 teams in the first four games.”

    Not to jinx us, but if we end up coming out 3-1, I’ll say that’s a pretty incredible feat.

    • You’re right. Of those other three teams, two went winless in their three games against top 10 opponents and the other only won once.

    • Yes, you are correct. Incredible is a good word. I like to call it “Making the Impossible Possible!

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        In the poison’d entrails throw.—
        Toad, that under cold stone,
        Days and nights has thirty-one;
        Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
        Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot!
        Double, double toil and trouble;
        Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
        Fillet of a fenny snake,
        In the caldron boil and bake;
        Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
        Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
        Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
        Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
        For a charm of powerful trouble,
        Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

  5. W Cobb Dawg

    The OC and DC matchups will be interesting. Bobo vs. Chavis and Grantham vs Cameron. I consider the special teams matchup to be CMR vs. Miles. In the clemson game I’d have to say the opposing HC, OC and DC won that battle – with a lot of help from the fans and some from the refs. Our fans need to make Sanford inhospitable to lsu this week.

    • Joe Schmoe

      The fact that this game is in Athens is what gives me hope. I think we beat Clemson if that game is played at home or on a neutral field.

      • uglydawg

        I think so too, Joe Schmoe…Georgia had every disadvantage, Gurley was hurt (though he played some) and was less effective in the middle part of the game, the usual situation where penalties are only called against Georgia (is holding ever called on Georgia’s opponents?) the crowd and the dropped snap…Georgia wins 7 or 8 time out of 10 if we could play Clemson the whole season.

        • Macallanlover

          I think eight, even if half of them were played at Clemson. Still think we are 10-14 points better than Clemson. Sometimes the best team doesn’t win. Unusual set of factors that night with about six plays that could have changed the game’s outcome, all going against UGA. Add horrible OL play, 2 key injuries, missing suspended players, etc., and it happens.

          Unfortunately, LSU is the toughest matchup for UGA in the SEC and this will be a very difficult game for our young troops. There is a very good chance we could have to face LSU twice this year, especially if we don’t win this game. Virtually 50/50 to me with UGA having the better offense, LSU the better defense, LSU better STs, and Dawgs the home field advantage. Looks like a high scoring, one possession game to me unless either team gets careless with the ball. You have to think we will see big offensive plays from both sides. Helluva SEC game should be expected with no shock, or shame, to either team if it results in a loss. Hate to quote Dye on anything but this is a “man enough” game for UGA.

          • Man UP….all you hairy DAWGS!

          • Cosmic Dawg

            I think Clemson was the better team that day. Injuries, crowd noise, coaching decisions, will to win – all that is part of the game and if they did not beat us convincingly, I am nevertheless convinced that they beat us fair and square. I think we should wear it, no excuses, and just try to win next year.

            • Macallanlover

              I dont begrudge them their win Cosmic, just saying the best team doesnt always win and August 31 was an example of that. If we played again I would give them 7 points and lay a 5 figure bet. I have moved on, never felt that was a critical game for us, said all aling the SC game was the one game in Sept we absolutely had to win. Not saying every game isn’t important or that losses don’t hurt, but my whole perspective is about SEC titles. I can see this team developing and accomplishing that. We will get our revenge next year on Clemson, minor and temporary setback.

  6. JRW7

    Did I read that correct, The SEC has only given up 4 TD by ST, and GA has given up 2 of the 4, Can or will CMR fix the ST problem?

  7. Normaltown Mike

    It’s a good thing the CDC is in Georgia because we have a STD problem.

    Special Teams Debacles.

  8. Castleberry

    Regarding the update – it’s a small sample. I’m sure we can take Western Michigan.

  9. 81Dog

    can I get a special teams regression to the mean, here?

  10. Olddawg 55

    I think Richt said it in so many ways that haven’;t sunk in to most of you…ST give up two or three bad plays out of a hundred or so and everyone panics and wants a devoted coach (not gonna happen) or revamp the whole system {not necessary). In air combat we called these types of glitches “the golden beebee”, sometimes it just happens and usually at a bad time. Our ST will carry us thru this Saturday as will the offense and defense…bet on it!

    • Dog in Fla

      Mission Control: Incoming bogey at six o’clock!
      Calvin: Roger. What should I do until then?

      • shane#1

        Roger, Roger, that’s funny right there, I don’t care who you are!

        • Dog in Fla

          It’s nice to know that somebody else appreciates great moments in radiotelephone procedure

          • Hey, I appreciate you man. This is a really scary week. Polish your hats and boil the newt. These LSU folks are all over Atlanta. They bring with them some kind of mysterious stuff….I have not seen this before. SCORP, get out the serums. We gotta get ready!

  11. IveyLeaguer

    Yeah, this is a MAN ENOUGH game, I agree. Are we man enough? If Grantham insists on playing Herrera and Wilson the entire game, I’d say on defense, probably not.

    And the record indicates he will do just that. You’d have thought that the two thumper ILB’s we signed, perfect for LSU, would have been in the picture by now. We knew this game was coming. There is no chance Herrera and Wilson won’t wear out, unless they get spelled. They WILL wear out, if Grantham doesn’t install some kind of rotation for them. Copeland is an ILB’s nightmare, and can wear out anybody.

    Now maybe there’s good reason Grantham hasn’t gotten O’Neal and Kimbrough ready for this game. If so, I’d sure like to see what it is. Their redshirts are already burned, and getting freshmen ILB’s ready to play by the 4th game is far from an impossible task. But against North Texas, Herrera and Wilson played every snap.

    In Grantham’s defense, the ILB’s are just as integral to stopping the inside run as the DL. And the ILB’s were every bit as responsible, for us getting trucked over the last time we played Alabama and LSU, as the DL was. Every bit. And probably more.

    Maybe Carter will play some. Maybe Grantham intends to surprise LSU, knowing LSU is licking their chops to run it down our throat in the second half, by playing the two thumpers and rotating and giving his ILB starters some rest (I doubt it, but I can dream).

    And don’t think LSU isn’t going to try. Miles has said as much already this week. And you can tell he believes wholeheartedly they can do it. They plan to run it down our throat in the second half, just like they did in the SECCG.

    That’s why I’ve maintained that the key to this game is Georgia’s OL and our run game. We HAVE to be able to run the ball and sustain drives. We have to answer scores, and we have to keep our defense off the field as much as possible. Two years ago, LSU completely shut down our run game in the second half, our offense couldn’t stay on the field, and that led to the second half slaughter.

    We can’t afford to have that happen this time. So, IMHO, it’s up to our OL to man up, and for the team to play a solid game. The defense has to play solid too, but they only have to play well enough for us to win. This game has to be won by the offense. And that means passing to open up the run.
    ~~~

    • shane#1

      Do you think like I do that LSU will load the box? Miles had to see the film from NTS. I daresay the D backfield at LSU has a much better chance of hanging with the Dawg receivers than the Mean Green D backs. I have a bad feeling about this game. I’ll be in the bunker wearing my tin foil hat.

      • Puffdawg

        If by seeing the film you mean the one where we put up nearly 700 yards of offense, then I hope The Hat and Chavis go with the NT game plan as well! If we have turnovers that limit our scoring yet again, we don’t deserve to win. But North Texas’ gameplan, while they played honorably, did anything but slow our offense! Just because we had to earn everything on the ground doesn’t mean we didn’t have success overall. I agree though LSU is nore talented than NT, but I think we’ll be able to move the ball just fine. Now, stopping their run game and PA – that does have me on edge!

      • IveyLeaguer

        ["Do you think like I do that LSU will load the box?"]

        IDK, they might. But I doubt it. Of course, they can load the box at any time with the snap of a finger and be comfortable. But I doubt their plan is to sell out everything to stop the run, like NT did.

        I’m sure they figure they don’t have to. Their Front 7 is a much better match against our run game than our Front 7 is to theirs. But I suspect it’ll be a mix of everything. Chavis will react to whatever we’re successful with, and he’ll stay with what he’s doing if it’s working.

        LSU does have the ability, everybody thinks, to man up in the secondary. So they could cheat down a safety or something in the box rather easily, and be comfortable with it. That might be their initial ploy. That’ll force us to hit something in the passing game to open up the run. And I would think that is our plan anyway, hit short stuff in the passing game to open up the run. So that’s my guess, what I expect to see, when we first get the ball.

        From there, it’ll depend on how successfully we drive the ball. We have to drive the ball for our balance to fully kick in. If we can do that, if we can drive the ball and gain rhythm, then we’ll start hitting some run plays, and Gurley & Co. will begin to eat. And there won’t be a whole lot Chavis can do about it, because he’s not going to load the box and let us run up points throwing the ball, when we’ve already shown we can beat their man coverage.

        So, in addition to the OL, the other critical matchup in this game is our WR’s vs. their secondary. And this is where I like the matchup. Our guys aren’t the flashiest, but they’re solid, very solid, fundamentally. They run good routes, and we don’t look for any one or two receivers. They all block well. And we keep’em fresh.

        But of course the OL still has to open up the holes. They’ll have to play their best game yet. I hope they are ready to do that.
        ~~~

  12. BCDawg97

    Anyone else notice on the blocked punt that Penn Wagers actually kicked the ball into the end zone? It was an accident and NTexas still scoops and scores anyways, but just thought I’d add to the Wagers mythos anyways