Daily Archives: October 11, 2013

Random Georgia-Missouri thoughts

This, that and the other…

  • Plenty has been made of how it’s Georgia dealing with injuries this year, but don’t forget that the Dawgs were short-handed in Columbia, too, because of the suspensions on defense.  So this isn’t exactly a new experience for Georgia.
  • Gary Danielson thinks Bobo will rely on the short passing game for first downs and not their running game for first downs.  I can certainly see a case for that, based on how poorly Georgia’s power formation did when the Vols stacked the box on third-and-short.  I don’t know why Georgia doesn’t throw more to a tight end when it’s faced with that situation.  (That worked in the South Carolina game.)
  • The intangibles seem huge for this game.  Mizzou rolls in feeling confident with its 5-0 start, one that’s compiled against Sagarin’s #81 strength of schedule.  Georgia, meanwhile, comes in 4-1 against Sagarin’s second-rated strength of schedule.  There’s confidence from that, from the way Murray’s played and that it’s at home.  How much do the injuries unsettle that?
  • If you’re puzzled why the spread opened the way it did, take a look at the chart that graces the beginning of Bill C.’s post analyzing the game.  Adjusted for schedule, Georgia ranks higher across the board in all of Football Outsiders‘ metrics.  Including defense, believe it or not.
  • Speaking of Bill, I love this line:  “Gurley or no Gurley, Quayvon Hicks is a load. He’s also a “fullback,” whatever that is.”  I know he goes on to say that Missouri handled Vanderbilt’s power blocking last week, but Vandy doesn’t rely on old-fashioned I-formation football the way Georgia does.  On the other side, Georgia may not handle well what Missouri does on offense, but as least the defense has seen it before.  Who’s got the advantage?  Hell if I know.
  • One more thing from Bill:  “…if the Dawgs tackle well and hold Mizzou to minimal gains on standard downs, the Tigers will be forced to continue to come up big on passing downs. That will be difficult to accomplish.”  For Georgia or Missouri?
  • I have a feeling I’m gonna miss Jarvis Jones.
  • The X-factor?  Special teams, of course.  How likely is it that we’ll see Georgia pull off a big play like Samuel’s stuff of the fake punt?  Um, don’t answer that.
  • If I recall, last year Missouri was extremely aggressive on defense, attacking Georgia’s line with lots of blitzing.  It worked well until Bobo popped ‘em with some well designed screens and slants.  It strikes me as a pretty good strategy this go ’round, at least until they can see whether the inexperienced offensive players can cope with having the timing of plays disrupted.

My gut is telling me right now that Georgia wins, but doesn’t cover.  What do y’all think?

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All kidding aside

I read this

Already without Malcolm Mitchell, who tore his ACL in the opener against Clemson, Murray lost two more key wideouts, Justin Scott-Wesley and Michael Bennett, last week against Tennessee. Tailback Keith Marshall also went down with a season-ending knee injury last Saturday, joining fellow star tailback Todd Gurley on the sidelines as the Bulldogs’ high-scoring offense started to sputter without so many key pieces.

“I would say it affected not only the offense, but the team,” fullback Quayvon Hicks said. “It was players that are not only playmakers on the field, but great teammates. Losing them and knowing that they’re not going to be out there, it’s something that you’ve got to just suck it up and keep going.”

Murray and No. 7 Georgia (4-1, 3-0) barely salvaged the game, forcing overtime with a last-minute touchdown and winning 34-31 with a field goal in the extra session. The lone constant in Georgia’s lineup over the last three-plus seasons, Murray’s experience adjusting to the personnel around him might have been the difference in the outcome.

“You never really can truly practice everything that might happen in a game,” Bobo said. “So I think it’s been a lot of experience for Aaron, obviously, to have to go through that and the game plan altered in the middle of a game. And then obviously myself with calling plays. You’ve just got to adjust. That’s football, and I think anytime you’ve got experience to draw back from instead of maybe something that you practiced, it’s always beneficial.”

… and can’t help but wonder how would Hutson Mason have done if he’d have been thrust into that situation?

Consider, too, that Mason hasn’t taken a single snap in a game this season and that it’s starting to look a little iffy about when he might get a chance to do so, other than against (I hope) Appalachian State.  That’s going to leave Bobo with an interesting situation going into next season’s opener against Clemson.  I think they’ll be up to the challenge, new quarterback notwithstanding, but it sure would be nice if nobody on offense were facing health issues then.

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Pick your poison.

I mentioned that Georgia didn’t complete a single pass to its tight ends against Tennessee.  It wasn’t from lack of trying.  It was simply that Murray was willing to take what the UT defense was giving him.

The end result was this:

If that’s what it takes to help open up the coverage on the receivers, more, please.

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“I think it will be Georgia football as usual, but with different guys.”

If you’re Mike Bobo, it’s not easy being asked to play with less than a full deck (or if you prefer critics’ favorite metaphor, missing a few crayons from the Crayola box).  Here’s his explanation about what happened on Georgia’s first series of the second half of the Tennessee game:

“Things were going well with what we were doing, but then we had a missed assignment on two runs back-to-back down there in the red zone,” Bobo said. “On third down we got a delay, so we basically shot ourselves in the foot three straight plays and left ourselves with a third-and-long. If I could do it over again, I wish we had gotten us in the right play and ran the run right, but that happens.”

And that’s on top of having to limit the playbook because of inexperience.

“We had our plays that we had practiced, and we tried to coach the guys up each series on what we were going to do that series,” Bobo said this week. “There were certain things that I knew they couldn’t run. We went a little more basic, but we were able to call enough to win the game.”

Bobo’s right about that, but Georgia’s facing a more dynamic offense this week.  Can he call a game that’s more than a little more basic?  How fast can the newbies pick up what’s needed?

The good thing, of course, is that there still remains a solid base from which to work, as Chris Conley reminds us.

“We still have talent at all those positions, and we have a talented offensive line that can run-block and pass-block,” Conley said. “Plus we have a quarterback like Aaron, so we don’t have to lean too heavily on one area or the other…”

It says a little about how weirdly the season has progressed that the offensive line is something to be leaned on in trying times, but there you have it.

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Friday morning buffet

Missouri is on the menu, pards.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

“But we know the appetite out there is strong to help college athletes.”

Once again proving that there is no better misleading political excuse than “do it for the children”, everyone’s favorite self-billed “college-sports watchdog group” proposes (1) Congress grant the NCAA an antitrust exemption so it can cap coaching salaries and control the days on which college football is broadcast; (2) giving the NCAA the power to issue subpoenas to compel witnesses to testify; (3) turning control of the college football postseason over to the NCAA; and (4) tougher academic standards for student-athletes.

C’mon, kids.  Don’t you want to help Mark Emmert to help schools’ reserve funds you?

Expect more and more of this bullshit the closer the NCAA gets to losing O’Bannon.

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA