Daily Archives: October 30, 2013

It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you survive the game.

This is getting ridiculous.

Gators left tackle D.J. Humphries sprained the MCL in his left knee during Monday’s practice and will miss two to four weeks, coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday during the SEC teleconference.

Humphries, a 6-foot-5, 285-pound sophomore, started the season’s first six games, but was replaced in the starting lineup to open Florida Oct. 19 visit to Missouri following a poor performance a week earlier at LSU.

Nebraska transfer Tyler Moore, who has struggled this season, as well, will move from right tackle to left tackle to replace Humphries. Junior-college transfer Trenton Brown, who stands 6-foot-8 and weighs 361 pounds, will make his first college start at right tackle during Saturday’s matchup with Georgia.

Seriously, it’ll be worth applauding whatever kids are left standing on the field when the game’s over.

By the way, those of you concerned with a rash of trick plays and new schemes from the Gator offense should pay attention to the rest of the article.  Namely this:  “Quarterback Tyler Murphy has been sacked 10 times and hurried 13 times during losses at LSU and Missouri.”  Boom’s a lot more worried about keeping his quarterback upright than he is about installing that really neat halfback pass play.  Especially with two new/quasi-new faces on the offensive line, one of whom’s “struggled this season”.

This is shaping up to be one really ugly game.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Name that caption, heavy breathing edition

Via kleph, this is a beautiful thing to see.

Go get ‘em, tigers.  Operators are waiting to receive your comments.

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Conference expansion and game theory?

Jeebus, is there a more pompous twit in college athletics than Jim Delany?

During this relatively quiet time, the Big Ten began to analyze the college sports landscape and attempted to determine what was ahead of the curve that their rival conferences weren’t seeing. They played game theory and asked themselves what would be both the obvious and unintended consequences if they expanded again. They eventually came to the realization that there was far more risk in defending the status quo than being proactive and making a new acquisition. What might not have made a lot of sense fifteen years ago made imminent sense now. For the Big Ten, it became clear that it wasn’t a question of whether the conference should expand anymore, but rather what school they should add.

So that’s how you get to Maryland and Rutgers.

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The least surprising thing you’ll read all day

Twitter is more shit that Nick Saban doesn’t have time for.

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules

Torn between two lovers

Todd Grantham sounds like a man who wants to stick to his vision even though he knows there’s empirical evidence to suggest another way might be better.

When Harvey-Clemons went down against Vanderbilt, defensive back Damian Swann moved into the nickel and Sheldon Dawson came in at cornerback. Grantham said if Harvey-Clemons is healthy for Saturday’s game, Swann will move back to cornerback.

“I think Damian plays the nickel well,” Grantham said. “… If Josh is back, we’ll continue to let Josh play that role and play cinco outside. But there’s nothing to say that moving forward we couldn’t switch that.”

Swann looked more comfortable playing star against Vandy than he has at cornerback.  And Sheldon Dawson played credibly at cornerback.    But it’s important to keep Harvey-Clemons at the star position because… well, I’m not exactly sure.  Grantham’s the guy who constantly preaches the goal of having his eleven best men on the field at any given time.  After Vanderbilt, does anybody think Mauger or Moore qualify for that?

The proof’s in the pudding, so here are the key numbers for Florida’s offense, the season highs:

  • Points:  31, against Tennessee
  • Total yards:  415, against Toledo
  • Yards per play:  6.38, against Kentucky
  • Rushing yards:  262, against Toledo
  • Passing yards:  291, against Miami

This is a wretched offense.  It’s last or next to last in the conference in every significant offensive statistic.  Oh, and did I mention that Tyler Murphy has missed almost two weeks of practice with a sprained shoulder?  (“He’s thrown about 30 balls up until (Monday),” offensive coordinator Brent Pease said. “So his arm — his accuracy was off a little bit.”)

It’s time to quit screwing around.  Quite simply, this is an offense that can be defended.  Grantham’s getting some of his injured and suspended/ejected players back.  More importantly, it’s far enough into the season that he’s got evidence of a significant enough sample size to know what has a better chance of working than not.  It’s up to him to put the right guys in a position to succeed.  All I know is that if any of those five high marks get replaced this Saturday – assuming we don’t have something like 14 points gifted by special teams screw ups, a bunch of yardage getting nullified by a great day on the turnover front or Florida’s passing yardage being inflated because it’s faced with trying to make up a huge second-half deficit – it’ll be time to admit that Todd Grantham’s dead to me.

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Filed under Georgia Football

No big deal

You know, for a guy who claims to be easily offended by the on-field actions of another head coach

“That wasn’t right,” Urban Meyer said in his recently released biography, “Urban’s Way,” about the celebration. “It was a bad deal. And it will forever be in the mind of Urban Meyer and in the mind of our football team. … So, we’ll handle it. And it’s going to be a big deal.”

… ol’ Urbs is no shrinking violet when it comes to pulling off the occasional dick move of his own.  (h/t The Wiz of Odds)

When Urban Meyer called timeout to challenge the ball spot of Allen Robinson’s fourth down reception in the third quarter, Bill O’Brien could only stare down Ohio State’s sideline.

The timing of the challenge called into question the Buckeyes’ approach to their ultimate 63-14 blowout of the Nittany Lions on Saturday. At the time of Robinson’s initially called fourth down conversion, Ohio State had been up 49 points.

“The timeout to challenge the spot? He didn’t think we had a first down, so he called a timeout to challenge it. I have no thoughts on that,” O’Brien said after the game.

Maybe O’Brien will write a book about it one day.  Or at least call a few late time outs the next time Penn State is on the winning side of a Buckeyes game.

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UPDATE:  From Matt Hayes -

Let’s not get confused here. What Meyer did wasn’t running up the score. It was much worse.

What he did was tell the 65 scholarship players at Penn State—a team with 20 less scholarship players than his own, and a team that has lived hell the last two seasons through no fault of its own—that a 49-point humiliation wasn’t disheartening enough. You’ve had the worst night of your life, young men.

And now I’m going to make it worse.

I called or texted 10 BCS coaches in the last few days, and each made it a point to say that Meyer’s decision had nothing to do with running up the score. Pouring it on, they all said, is leaving starters in the game.

Meyer had his starters out midway through the third quarter.

“That wasn’t running up the score,” said one BCS coach. “That’s being a (expletive deleted).”

For once, I’m not sure what “expletive deleted” means there.  Too many possibilities…

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Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Three things worth playing for on Saturday

Three big things, in fact:

  1. Keeping the SECCG hopes alive.  This is the weakest reed of the three, but it’s still plenty relevant.  Georgia’s chances for a repeat appearance may be flickering, but they got fuel when South Carolina beat Missouri.  And it’s not like this team hasn’t played behind the eight ball before when it came to needing help to get to Atlanta.  One thing’s for sure, whichever team loses in Jacksonville is toast.
  2. The series psyche.  When’s the last time we had 3-18 thrown in our faces?  (Nowadays, there’s a lot more soul-searching going on.) If Georgia wins Saturday, here’s a new set of numbers to toss around:  5-5.  That will be Mark Richt’s record over the last ten games against the Gators.  Even more remarkably, Richt will have a winning record against Florida over the last seven games.  If you don’t think that’s a big deal, maybe this expert opinion will change your mind:  “We had better teams most of the years and the psyche of losing to them, we were able to get rid of after maybe two or three in a row,” said Spurrier, now coach at South Carolina. “But yeah, now there’s a little psyche on the Gators, I guess. Coach [Will] Muschamp hasn’t won that game, I guess.”  Weiszer notes that only six current Dawgs have played on the losing side of a game against Florida.  Win this one and next year’s team will be closer to having total ignorance of that feeling.
  3. The rest of the season.  Here’s what Bill Connelly noticed about how Georgia plays after the Cocktail Party:  “Since 2005, the Dawgs have gone 3-4 versus Florida. Following their three wins, they have gone 12-0 with an average score of 39-14 for the rest of the regular season. Following their four losses, they have gone 12-5 with an average score of 32-23. After their loss to Florida in 2006, they lost to Kentucky. After their loss in 2008, they barely beat Kentucky and lost at home to Georgia Tech. They lost to Kentucky again in 2009, three weeks after the Florida loss.”  That’s a significant momentum swing.

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