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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77 Comments

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77 responses to “Torn between two lovers

  1. Good post, Senator. Swann has been good the last two years in the nickel where he can defend the slot and blitz off the edge. He struggles when he’s on the outside. Put JHC at strong safety and do the things that Shawn Williams did for us the last couple of years. We don’t control the Gator offense, and I’ll be ready for a change.

  2. Russ

    Who is suspended? I thought that was the one thing we had avoided.

  3. Rocket Dawg

    JHC at SS, Mathews at FS, Swann at Star/Nickel, Dawson and Wiggins at CB. I’ll take that secondary against FL.

    • TennesseeDawg

      That would be entirely too simple and make sense. Grantham has to over complicate the defense because by gosh he’s from the NFL and that’s they way we do it.

      • IveyLeaguer

        Sure seems that way sometimes. I feel like Blutarsky. Don’t have all the facts but when I heard Grantham say that, all I could do was shake my head.

        For one, I haven’t seen anything all that great out of JHC at the Star. Two, he isn’t 100%, and likely won’t be.

        But shoot yeah, by all means stick with your guns, Todd. Why go with something that works?
        ~~~

    • That combination isn’t rocket science :)

    • adam

      Absolutely. And I honestly suspect we will see that line up. Grantham is always weirdly coy with that kind of info.

      That is the obvious way we should handle it, though.

  4. Mike

    Well put and I agree.

    • Gravidy

      What is the attitude toward Muschamp among your circle of friends, Mike? How hot is his seat? And how much colder/hotter would it get based on the outcome of this game?

  5. Scorpio Jones, III

    Are we positive the elder Frix bro has used all his eligibility?

    • Normaltown Mike

      If I see Andy Hogan this week, I’ll ask if he can slide on pads and a wig and pretend to be Theus.

  6. Bad M

    We are going to make this wretch hole of an offense look decent, if not great. Mark my words.

  7. fuelk2

    FU will mix things up on Saturday. I expect far more spread looks, and Murphy even mentioned using a lot of motion to confuse our D. This is a desparate offense. We can either make them pay for that or reward them for their gambles (a la Tennessee). It’s on Grantham to make an incompetent offense look incompetent.

    • Eh, motion is what Pease does, coming out of the Boise State school of offense. The Gators used plenty of motion against Georgia last year.

      • If I’m not mistaken, that’s there offensive plan. Relatively few plays, but with lots of motion pre-snap and different formations so that defenses struggle to get positioned properly or show their hand early on what the play call is so the offense can find the right man.

  8. Turd Ferguson

    Not only will I predict that at least 2 of those statistical highs get replaced on Saturday, but I’ll also predict that we get at least 2 highly questionable personal fouls called against us, both of which effectively keep Florida in a game that should already be decided by that point. We may still win, but it’ll have to involve overcoming obstacles that never should’ve been there in the first place.

    That’s the magic of the 2013 season.

  9. Smitty

    Spot on my man.

  10. DawgPhan

    The only thing that Grantham is good at is loving Grantham. Seems like we got a slightly better Coach Schematic Advantage and when he has a decided talent advantage he can make it work.

  11. Brandon

    I had a guy who coaches defense tell me that if you watch the second half of the SEC championship game that we were consistently trying to stop Alabama’s rushing attack with 3 defensive players versus five blockers. I don’t understand x’s and o’s enough to explain it the way he did but it was something along the lines of that they were loading up on one side of the line and bringing three offensive linemen, a tight end and a full back and we were getting outnumbered everytime and that is how they were ripping off big chunks of yardage in the second half. He said that the failure to adjust to compensate for that revealed an maniacal stubborness of character and cost us the game. I trust the guy who told me this but I wonder if any of you guys who do know x’s and o’s well have ever looked at the film of the game to seen what he was talking about. I know I had resolved to never watch the game again but I’d sure like to confirm with my own eyes that this was true and know what if any explanation there is for it.

    • Dog in Fla

      “a maniacal stubborness of character”

      What is stuff football coaches have time for?

      • Brandon

        That’s my words and my reflection of the flavor of the conversation, he said “just wouldn’t or couldn’t adjust” the “cost us the game” part is the part I’m really interested in.

    • IveyLeaguer

      I agree with your friend. Can’t remember where the play is, but it is the play where Lacy (I think) runs off right tackle, right at Jarvis, for a long TD. So it shouldn’t be hard to find. And there are replays.

      It’s a perfect example of what your friend is talking about. And I suspect he’s right in his characterization of Grantham. If you look, you can see just a glimpse of it in the video of him talking to the press Tuesday.

      I’m to the point now that I don’t trust Grantham. We’ll see how the rest of the year goes. But that defense should have been pretty solid a month ago.
      ~~~

  12. William

    I know he’s going to say something akin to “But you don’t see what I see out of JHC in practice”. And I get that aspect of it. However, Swann wasn’t just servicable in the nickel, he was comfortable (can’t over emphasize how much that matters). His comfort was almost palpable. I agree with the Senator in that, if we see Swann out on an island again and JHC at the Star, then Grantham is dead to me. That’s hard to type because I want the man to succeed. However, banging your head against a wall because you just know its going to give this time, is still idiocy, no matter how you view it.

  13. JAX

    “Cinco”? Really coach, just say “five” or “nickel” and stop trying to be so fucking cool. I swear this guy is either too smart for the college game or too stupid for the NFL. Please pick one and adapt, you know, cause you’re getting paid a lot of fucking $’s to do just that.

  14. Slaw Dawg

    Sometimes I wonder if CTG isn’t thinking “you know, the worst that happens is I lose my job, get a helluva package and, if I land another gig within a few months, double up on salary.” College coaches, like Fortune 500 executives, rarely suffer actual negative financial consequences from their failures, unless it involves blonde mistresses on motorcycles.

    • +1 :). It is time for CTG to move on and he knows it!

    • Cousin Eddie

      If uf wins due to the D, I say we chip in to get him a motorcycle.

      • Macallanlover

        And that is when it is time for joyridingdawg to step up and take one for the team. Sorry babe, we need to speed this along.

        • Taking one for the team is my specialty. Always been very good at that!

          • Macallanlover

            I suspected that already, that’s why you were the go to pick. We don’t have time to argue with someone about what is needed and had to have someone who give their all.

            • We will get these newbies acclimated eventually. How are you doing with your bets this year? Just curious you being such a high roller and all.

              • Macallanlover

                I don’t roll that high, just enjoy the challenge, But I am beating them pretty good again this year, only had two losing weeks so far. Love the action but am happy if I get all that excitement and break even.

                • Cannot do it for the Money anymore. Too risky. Ahh…but back in the Day…I made some serious Coca-Cola money. Athens in 76, 77,78, then I became engaged and well….. A wife and a bookie are like alcohol and firearms….not a good mix.

  15. Go Dawgs!

    Put up or shut up. It’s just that simple. Georgia is about to face the worst offense in the Southeastern Conference. If the Bulldogs manage to make Florida look competent on offense, we’ll have our answer about this man’s defense. Grantham turned in one truly good year in 2011. Other than that?

    Stop Florida, Coach Grantham. Make sure they’re still the worse offense in the league by the time the dust settles Saturday in Jacksonville or Georgia will have to admit that it is the worst defense in the SEC. Forget youth, forget the lack of a dominant nose tackle (we all knew football games would be played in 2013, they should have had someone recruited and ready). Georgia should never have the worst defense in the league. That will have to be addressed in a serious manner if Florida walks over the Georgia defenders the same way every other team not named North Texas has.

    • IveyLeaguer

      I agree. If he can’t stop Florida that’s just more evidence of what’s been talked about here.

      BTW, we’ve been pretty solid in the middle since Mayes began playing.
      ~~~

  16. Macallanlover

    Very difficult to analyze this matchup and be comfortable with either side this year. With the circumstances that have played our for both teams this season, injuries, bye week, and the added intensity of a true rivalry game, there are few things that should surprise anyone. I expect a low scoring game where neither side is likely to score over 24 unless there are several gift points thrown in by one side. I do recall Tebow’s first year when Crier used the off week to successfully reset the offense enough to get them the win, I am sure Boom has spent the two weeks adding some wrinkles for us.

    At the beginning of the season this one had UGA’s name all over it but the as a bad as the injury bug has been for FU, UGA has had the most impactful injuries of the two. Almost a “flip a coin” game from where I sit, just hope the football gods realize we are the team that is the more deserving. FGs made/missed is what I see this coming down to and with wet/windy in the forecast, should be a nail biter.

    • Macallan, that was 2005 when Corch used the bye week his first year to put in some wrinkles to compensate for the fact that Chris Leak didn’t fit into his offense. Tebow didn’t come to the Arm Pit until 2006 with Stafford at UGA, and they won the natty with Tebow as glorified fullback.

      • Minnesota Dawg

        Yes, 2005 Florida game….UF went back to a 1980’s playbook. Georgia used one from the 1950’s. Third and long? Joe T on the quarterback sweep and punt it away… Good grief, I hated that game.

      • Macallanlover

        Apologize, I knew Leak was involved and knew he and Timmy overlapped so I put the two together And that was also the game where Shock was out and JT3 played qb. Thanks for the correction.

  17. Connor

    This game may not be a referendum on the head coaches involved, but it will be on the two highly paid and heretofore underwhelming coordinators. UF can make almost the same argument for Pease: “If he can’t score 30 points on this UGA defense…” The loser is going to have a lot of explaining to do to his fan base.

    • The Lone Stranger

      All too true, as I recall a lot of squaking about how the cutting-edge Pease would haul UF out of the offensive swamp The Black Pope had sunk it. I just don’t think Pease has recruited a suitable QB to run the show. And, too, I have to believe the OL has not been up to standard exactly.

      I say bring Swann on a variety of blitzes when he is not checking the slot receiver. That worked a bunch during last season.

  18. AlphaDawg

    If UF scores 30 Grantham should be given a bus ticket back to Athens.

  19. No, if UF scores 30, Grantham should send for his things and never return to Athens.

  20. Bright Idea

    I don’t see Florida good enough on offense to execute a lot of new stuff beyond window dressing with formations. I worry most about our OLine getting stuffed. They play lazy and uninspired more often than not. I agree if Grantham can’t control this offense the verdict will be in.

    • William

      Just keep in mind, this is what we all said about UT as well. And look how that crap turned out.

      • As Corey Smith says, “Talking too much junk in those Florida Bars”, makes for a long ride back from Jacksonville. Really believe we win this, but Grantham is history no matter what happens.

      • uglydawg

        This will be a game similar to the Tennessee game where the offense throws caution to the wind and gambles on 4th down. Georgia’s defense will have to stop UF for four downs vs 3 whenever the ball is across mid-field or it’s fourth and less than two. There will be reverses, half-back passes, etc…tricks. It will be hard to defend..Georgia will have to be careful not to be pullled offsides on fourth down baiting by UF. Georgia has to hope that the SEC seacrches high and low to find some refs that are both competent and honest…no small task. Florida, like Vandy, will be able to substain at least one or two drives on bullshit fourth down peanlties on Georgia. One hope is that Mushchamp has even more bad blood between him and ths SEC refs than Georgia does..

  21. fatman48

    Bring back the 4-3

  22. Athens Townie

    “…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…”

    Big “if” here…

  23. D.N. Nation

    “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.”

    Ditto.

    For what it’s worth, I considered the 14-point deficit against Florida in 2011 to be Richt’s Last Chance Saloon, and he pulled us out with some gutsy 4th down calls.

  24. JRW7

    Muschamp’s Gators are going to bring something new on offense, can CTG adjust in real time?

    • sniffer

      I’m not sure why some think that Florida will go crazy and run trick plays or add things they haven’t been doing. They are down to freshmen, second and third team players (like we are). Do you really trust inexperience with sophisticated plays? Do they know their assignments? Can they block, chip an end? It seems to me that’s a big gamble.

    • Rocket Dawg

      They can’t run the offense that they have been practicing since Spring competently, what in the hell makes any of you think they can learn and execute a NEW one in a two week period???

    • Bulldog Joe

      Florida’s game plan is simple. Run plays to the edge, make first downs, protect the football, and let Georgia beat itself on offense and special teams.

      • Normaltown Mike

        I figured they’d want to revise the “Punt Bama Punt” plan of attack used by Auburn years ago.

  25. I’m late to the party, and this may be blasphemy, but I need to jump off the band wagon here. Swann played great at star, but against Vandy. Florida is bigger and faster, and Swann struggles to bring down big men, Also, as Emerson. or Estes (those two must be brothers, I’m having trouble telling them apart), pointed out, a lot of Swann’s cover problems are due to safeties not being in position to help. Swann is much better in coverage than JHC, and JHC is much better against the run. I’d love to see Dawson get more time, and I love Langley get a chance to show he’s improved.

    Now if that didn’t get me flamed, I’ll add this. Grantham took a terrible defense and righted the ship in two years. He has earned the right to work through the inexperience and injuries we have had this year.

  26. W Cobb Dawg

    In defense of CTG, I’d say the D has been pretty tough against fu. It’s the one game of the year where CTG seems to be most motivated. But if the D has another implosion, its another nail in his coffin.

  27. DugLite

    I am happy UGA won, but Senator, based on the game who are you more disappointed with Bobo or Grantham?