“Good luck figuring them out.”

That’s the last sentence in Bill Connelly’s intro to his 2014 Georgia preview, and, brother, do I know where he’s coming from.  Here’s the other part of that:

Georgia has incredible skill position talent, one of the best coordinator duos in the country, and a potentially dominant front seven. The Dawgs also have serious question marks at offensive line and defensive back.

That’s about it, plus a little something about special teams.  Well, that and health.

Todd Gurley missed three games. Keith Marshall missed eight. Chris Conley (noted “Star Wars” fan filmmaker) and Michael Bennett missed two. Jay Rome missed five. Justin Scott-Wesley missed eight. Malcolm Mitchell missed 12.9.

That Georgia lost all of these players at one time or another and then lost Murray with two games remaining was incredible. More incredible: Georgia still ranked eighth in Off. F/+ and fifth in Passing S&P+. I’ve said this many times by now, but offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is absurdly underrated. (So was Murray, really, but that’s another story.)

The upside of injuries is that Georgia returns three running backs (four including CB-turned-RB-turned-CB J.J. Green) and four wideouts who have served as go-to options at one point or another. If Mitchell, Conley, Bennett, and Scott-Wesley can all hit 100 percent health at the same time, then … well, never mind Hutson Mason, I’m pretty sure I could throw for 3,000 yards with that group.

Bill goes on to opine that Georgia has the highest ceiling of any team in the East… but.

… if every East team performs to its maximum capability, Georgia finishes a couple steps ahead of everybody else.

The skill-position players and front seven are just loaded with exciting, experienced athletes. But the other units are somewhere between question marks and outright detriments, which makes Georgia a pretty high-variance team.

Which is why he leans towards South Carolina as the team to win the East.  I can’t say I blame him.  But it’s gonna be a wild ride if the injury bug doesn’t bite like it did in 2013.

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89 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

89 responses to ““Good luck figuring them out.”

  1. JCDAWG83

    When was the last time a Georgia team performed to it’s potential for an entire season?

    • D.N. Nation

      It’s a vague metric, but I’d say Georgia “performed to its potential” under Richt in 2012, 2011, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2002 and 2001.

      • SirWilliamthe8th

        40% chance we finish in the top 25, 60% chance we don’t.

        20% chance we finish in the top 10, 80% chance we don’t.

        This comes from looking at the finishes over the last 5 years, a good enough sample size.

        I attribute it to:
        1) offensive turnovers
        2) poor defense–just been too east to score on against ranked teams
        3) poor offensive rushing

      • Atticus

        Not 07. That team was loaded. Blown out by Tennessee.Scored 12 points against SC. Beat two decent ranked teams and Hawaii overrated. That team was good at the end but the early season cost them a chance. 05 was a great team but lost to UF when DJ was hurt and then lost that squeaker to Aub. WVU bowl was bad though.

      • Bulldawg165

        to his defense, he said “for the entire season”

        We lost to a non bowl eligible South Carolina team in 2007 and also got humiliated by a mediocre Tennessee team.

        2011 was the result of a very easy schedule. We got blown out by the two legit teams we played.

        In 2012 we played amazing against Bama and pretty dang good against Florida, but we can’t ignore the South Carolina game from that year…

        Not to be a debbie downer, but what he’s saying isn’t completely without merit. Georgia has had some really high moments as well as some really low moments under Richt, especially during the last decade.

        Here’s to hoping we can put the injury ridden 2013 season aside and continue building upon the end of our 2012 season.

        • D.N. Nation

          “2011 was the result of a very easy schedule. We got blown out by the two legit teams we played.”

          What were your expectations for 2011? That’s the rub here. If you expected championship-caliber play out of that team, you were overly optimistic/drunk.

          “In 2012 we played amazing against Bama and pretty dang good against Florida, but we can’t ignore the South Carolina game from that year…”

          That team won 12 friggin games. Unless your criteria was “national championship or failure,” then…

          2007 LSU lost to a decent Arkansas team, a crummy Kentucky team, and should’ve lost to a decent Florida team and a crummy Auburn team. Failure of a season, right? Definitely didn’t reach expectations.

          • That ’07 Kentucky team wasn’t any great shakes, but it wasn’t exactly crummy, either. They went 7-5. Their only unforgivable sin was blowing that OT game against Tennessee.

            • Macallanlover

              And that, and the weirdness of the SC and Vandy miracle wins by UT, is why we weren’t in Atlanta to face an injury riddled LSU. Took three reverse “Hail Mary’s” to keep us out of Atlanta. Sometimes the football gods are like the golf gods and it just isn’t your day/year. I can’t explain the stupidity of that day in KnoxVegas but that was a pretty danged good UGA football team.

            • D.N. Nation

              I might agree with you, but I have solid memories of watching in person (like you) the Dawgs sleep-walk to a comfortable-ish win over that team on Senior Day. I mean, for Kentucky they were pretty good, but.

              (They also got Croom’d at home. Blown out, even.)

          • Bulldawg165

            he specifically said “for an entire season” which I interpreted to mean that we never wet the bed in epic fashion. Being down 35-0 with two minutes left in the game against SC in 2012 qualifies as wetting the bed to me. Same goes for the Tennessee and South Carolina games in 2007.

            I agree with you about 2011 though. We weren’t an awesome team, but I’d say we, at the very least, met expectations. Mea culpa on that one.

    • PTC DAWG

      2012 season was not bad…I still think we had the 2nd best team in the Country that year…if that’s not performing to potential, I don’t know what is.

    • SirWilliamthe8th

      Richt finished in the top 25 twice in the last 5 seasons, and worse than that, finished in the top 10 once in same span of last 5 seasons. Has been consistently underperforming preseason expectations.

    • When was the last time a Georgia team performed to it’s potential for an entire season?

      2002, 2003. That’s it.
      ~~~

      • SirWilliamthe8th

        Don’t know if any of you attended or watched the 2014 Spring game,
        but the defense looked pretty sharp at forcing turnovers. Seemed like
        every time I looked up, that defense was either picking off a pass, or recovering a fumble.
        I’d say they forced 4 or 5 turnovers. Keep that up, and it will be a season to remember.

      • Ivey, I agree with you most of the time, but I have to say any regular season that ends in Atlanta is one of fulfilled potential.
        2002 – SEC Champions – I doubt it, but I wonder if Terrence Edwards wakes up on the last Saturday night in October in a cold sweat as he relives a sure TD bounce off his hands. The team played poorly that night, so you could make the case that team didn’t play to its potential to entire season.
        2003 – The team hit its ceiling with a young, inexperienced offensive line, but that defense was nasty and brought it every week except the SECCG
        2005 – SEC Champions – I hated the loss in the Sugar Bowl but that team would have been undefeated in the regular season if DJ doesn’t get hurt
        2011 – The loss to Boise should have been expected and the loss to USCe was self-inflicted. LSU was flat out better than us
        2012 – Yes, we wet the bed in Columbia, but to take the national champions to the last play of the game is fulfilled potential when we were a double-digit underdog
        The one other:
        2007 – We finished either #2 or #3 in the country depending on the poll. We lost two winnable games (the USCe game is the head-scratcher for me). We beat the Big 3 + Tennessee for the 1st time in 25 years.

        • Good post, EE. 2005, ’07, ’12, ended up good years, but I just can’t consider a game like Boise or the Sugar Bowl and say those were years where “Georgia performed to it’s potential for an entire season.” It’s a tough definition, and a very high standard. But it’s one we should have reached 3 or 4 more times that we did, IMO.

          The good news is, I think we’re finally set now to make a run like that. We many lose some games, but that’s going to happen. But we won’t beat ourselves very often, and that in itself will allow us to make some championship runs.

          We just have to hope the current structure stays in place, and Pruitt resists the hype and temptation that is surely coming. FWIW, I suspect he will. I’m not sure he wants to be a head coach. Like BVG, Pruitt’s a football coach. And unlike VanGorder, he may be smart enough to realize it.
          ~~~

          • Excellent points as usual, Ivey. I understand your perspective and hope you’re right about the next few years and Pruitt. If so, we’re going to be in for a fun ride.

          • Bazooka Joe

            I think you’d be hard pressed to find ANY team that performed to its potential for an entire season – heck I can tell you Bama hasn’t done that either – not every game (they may have still won the game, but didn’t look great doing it).

            • I agree. I think “played to their talent level” is more accurate.
              ~~~

              • Dadgum no-edit. Continuing …

                … you’d be hard pressed to find ANY team that performed to its potential for an entire season.

                Yeah, but I knew what he meant by “potential”. But you can play to your talent-level for a whole season, broadly speaking. That doesn’t mean winning them all. Sometimes the other team is better than you, or just as good that day. It doesn’t mean perfection, because every team makes mistakes, even if they never lose. And it doesn’t mean you’re at your best every game. Nobody does that either.

                But it does mean you show up to play, and give your best effort. It does means you’re well-coached. And it does mean you don’t give away games with missed assignments, penalties, and stupid mistakes. And so on.

                So to me, based on that, we’ve only had 2 years under Richt 2002, 2003. 2004 would be there if we had been able to handle Tennessee week, because I believe we would have played Auburn a better game.

                And BTW, that’s all I ever ask of a head coach, other than recruit and do things the right way – just field a team that plays to its talent-level.
                ~~~

        • Atticus

          07 we were blown out by TN and scored 12 pts against SC

  2. Jack Klompus

    I’m at the bottom of my pitcher of Kool-Aid, so I can’t help but feel like our OLine is becoming less of a question mark then it has been in the past. Perhaps its wishful thinking, I don’t know. But, maybe (hopefully) the only glaring question mark is DBacks.

    • SirWilliamthe8th

      There are 2 reasons to refill your koolaid.

      1- Pruitt faced the Clemson and Auburn teams last season, so he is familiar with their offensive schemes.
      You don’t hear anyone talking about that, but I think it’s a big deal. And his team won both games last year.

      2- We get a bye week before South Carolina
      This is a big deal. Bobo & Pruitt will have twice as much film to study as Spurrier has. 2 weeks to scheme for one team is a
      long time in college football. Richt wins over 70% of these games coming off a bye week.

  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    It’s all about them skill players, just like last year with such a buncha bums on the offensive line…oh, wait…there’s more:

    “More incredible: Georgia still ranked eighth in Off. F/+ and fifth in Passing S&P+. I’ve said this many times by now, but offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is absurdly underrated. ”

    Seems like….I’m not an expert, and I don’t stay at Holiday Inns…but maybe all this whining about the offensive line is overrated, too.

    • You don’t think the line was inconsistent last season? Sure looked that way to me.

      • D.N. Nation

        Whatever Wheaties they ate before the LSU game, I wish they kept going back to that box. Alas, I think they lost it.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        There are several reasons an offensive line looks not so hot to a lawyer…inconsistent is just one of them.

        Just like there are many reasons for high offensive production, and the offensive line play is just one of them.

        • What does being a lawyer have to do with it?

          • Scorpio Jones, III

            I’ll have my son-in-law write you a brief.

            • I think your wit is being wasted on me.

            • Scorpio Jones, III

              The straight answer is that people who do it for a living say that offensive line play at this level is one of the most complicated, maybe the most complicated parts of the game, and that offensive lines have to be judged as one part of offensive production.

              Considering that, it makes me itch to read commentary about how woeful last year’s group was, and how this does not bode well for this season when you look at offensive production as a whole.

              What really makes me shake my head is when I read here that so and so is not SEC tackle material, and we have bad coaches cause they keep playing him.

              I seriously doubt any of us here are more qualified to make that judgement
              than the coaching staff.

              Just sayin, as a short, slow, old former offensive lineman right after the war.

              • There’s a big difference between woeful and inconsistent. The o-line certainly had its moments last season – against LSU, and the first half against Florida, for instance. But there were plenty of stretches where it disappeared.

                Inconsistency implies that overall, things could be better, by the way. I don’t think it’s an unfair criticism.

                • AthensHomerDawg

                  The end of the fourth quarter against the OBC was impressive. I still run that clip of the Douglas run. I had someone try and tell me that uSC was just tired but Douglas did it again against uT and Florida. I hope they save some snaps for Douglas this year.

                • The o-line certainly had its moments last season … LSU … Florida, for instance.

                  Don’t forget South Carolina. Probably their best game.
                  ~~~

                  • Maybe in terms of how Bobo schemed around Clowney. But in terms of physical dominance, LSU was the line’s best game and the first half against Florida was the line’s best half of the season.

                    • I meant in terms of just tough, OL play. LSU was good, too, I wouldn’t argue. Heck, it was great. But you have to put the SC game in there with those.
                      ~~~

                • Inconsistency implies that overall, things could be better

                  Right. For us to play really well, we have to max out, as we did in several games last year. Then, in other games, we absolutely sucked. That’s where the talent-level hurts us, and has been enough that it has kept us from winning games.

                  Here’s a picture I painted yesterday to try to demonstrate the talent-level we have been at: http://blutarsky.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/jeremy-pruitt-brings-the-dawg-porn/#comment-300405

                  That’s why REAL improvement (development) that we’re hearing about (and I believe there could be something to it this year), if we indeed have that, will make such a big difference. We’ll be able to finish games like Clemson 2013. It can keep us in the game in Columbia. And so on.

                  Real development means better football players. And we need that from those guys this year. And for the next several years, really, until we can get stocked up, which it looks like we’re trying to do.
                  ~~~

  4. Union Jack

    I am looking with rose-colored glasses but I think if our guys perform to their potential, I think we win the East even if USC, Missouri and UF are at the top of their games. USC and Missouri are breaking in new QB’s. UF is installing a new offense. USC’s secondary is as green if not greener. Missouri lost a lot of skill position talent.

    Our front seven is good. We have had OL question marks for several seasons now, but the offense still seems to churn out yards and points.

    Plus – our best player is better than ANYONE that USC, Missouri, UF, UT, Vandy or Kentucky will put on the field. He is one of the 5 best players in college football when healthy. Unlike talented players on the defensive side of the ball, we have plays designed to get the ball in his hand. If we can get a full season from him, he could have fantastic numbers.

    Of course, if Gurley or Mason gets injured and the defense does not improve, then we will be looking at 8-5 again.

    • Charles

      If Mason gets injured and the defense hasn’t improved, we could be looking at worse than that.

      • According to yesterday’s troll, we’ll win the SEC and the national championship if Mason gets hurt (eyes roll) because Richt & Bobo don’t know how to pick a starting QB.

  5. Macallanlover

    I certainly understand the point deduction for the questions in the secondary, although I don’t see how we can be any worse and expect us to be better. I haven’t been happy with the quality of our OL in a decade but I feel it is at least comparable to what we have had in the past few years when we have been one of the better offenses in the country. Because of that, I don’t see why we should get dinged, especially to SC who lost significant defensive talent versus last year, and the best QB I have ever seen play for the Cocks. The best reason for giving them any edge is the tie breaker advantage since our game is in Columbia; I am not conceding it by any means but it will be a close battle and their record at home has been impressive of late. Hate the heat that is likely early in the season for a game there but pleased it will not be a night game when the loonies are all tanked up.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Mac, I have said this before, but Wiliams Bryce Stadium is the hottest place I have ever been…it’s all that asphalt around it, I guess. It’s tough to get into game shape by the second game, but the week off after Clemson might help.

      If you are going, carry an extra sweat rag.

      No shit, it’s hot, brutal, hellish.

      • Macallanlover

        Totally agree, did basic training there a few decades ago and convinced it is where the Global Warming rumor was born. But heat is an equal factor and we should not disadvantaged by it. A night game on the road is worse to me, PS rates that stadium as an overall 5 point edge, I think it is more at night.

        • Macallanlover

          BTW, I know my heat limitations, it should be in the 70s on my covered porch for that game and plenty of liquids available. The 2002 October game in Tusky cured me of attending high heat games forever.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        Heat island effect. It is the asphalt.

        • Scorpio Jones, III

          Always figgered that, Williams Bryce is several kinds of island, heat is just one of them. :)

      • JCDAWG83

        It is not any harder for us to get in game shape than it is for the chicken players. Last time I was there, it seemed to be hot on both sides of the field. Heat is not an excuse for not showing up to play like we did in 2012.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          uSC didn’t show up at Florida either. 44-11. Sometimes it just ain’t your day.

        • It is not any harder for us to get in game shape than it is for the chicken players. …heat is not an excuse for not showing up to play like we did in 2012.

          Agree. We just haven’t been doing it. We may have done it this year, I think we have. And it’s been interesting, since it’s such a striking contrast to everyone – players, coaches, all of us. It’s something new.

          And indeed it is new. It’s been a long time now. But the reality is, we’re just in the same shape as most everybody else.
          ~~~

  6. Assuming no extended injuries (and MM is able to come back), no one in the conference has the depth of offensive skill talent that we have. Our number 3 & 4 options at receiver could be the #1 option in most of the league and can make nickel corners or safeties miserable. If the line is stable, Florida is the only team with the defensive talent up front to make our lives miserable until a possible LSU/Alabama matchup in Atlanta.

    On defense, we have to hope that the front 7 can put enough pressure on the QB to protect the secondary. If that happens, watch out we’ll be in for a wild ride. If not, we could be looking at a mid-tier bowl.

    • BourbonSt

      Funny post! No we don’t have the best receivers in the nation :) Keep tryin though!

      • What are you talking about? You don’t think Bennett or Conley (#3 or #4) could be a #1 option at most other schools in the SEC. If MM and JSW are healthy, what group of 4 receivers are better right now? I didn’t say the nation, troll.

  7. DawgPhan

    What the fuck happened to the Dawg Nation I used to know? Where’s the spirit? Where’s the guts, huh? This could be the greatest season of our lives, but you’re gonna let it be the worst. “Ooh, we’re afraid the offensive line might be inconsistent. We might have some guys get in trouble.” Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I’m not gonna take this. Auburn, he’s a dead man! USC, dead! Florida…

  8. SirWilliamthe8th

    Things are simple for winning the SEC for Georgia:

    1) Must make up for inexperience at Qb by finishing in the top 3 in rushing in the conference
    Comes down to a whole lot of Gurley, Marshall, Michel & Chubb if you actually want to win the conference. Easier said than
    done, as Bobo hasn’t finished in the top 3 here in at least 6 seasons. He will have to coach run scheme better, and call more running plays.

    2) Must make up for inexperience at DB by finishing in the top 3 in turnover margin in the conference
    a) This means Hutson must virtually eliminate interceptions. He needs to continue his excellent no interception habit
    he has developed over the off-season. Sometimes a guy who has only one year, forces things, Cox finished #105 in interceptions
    and only won 8 games in his one season. DJ Shockley only threw 5 interceptions in his one season as the starter. Bobo calls a bunch
    of pass plays, so this will be a challenge for Hutson.
    b) Pruitt has to figure out a way particularly against Clemson, South Carolina, and Auburn, to force 3-4 turnovers a game. Pruitt
    did a good job at FSU against 2 ranked teams: forced 4 to’s against Clemson, and 3 against Duke, but only forced 1 against Auburn.
    Pruitt’s defense at FSU finished No 2 in forced turnovers nationally.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Willy, I have been longing to say this for a while, just picked your thoughts to hang on.

      All these comparisons about what Pruitt did at FSU are interesting, but meaningless, at least for the couple of years it will take Pruitt to get athletes like he had at FSU at Georgia. (Assuming he can get them into school, and keep them on the roster.)

      The WAY Pruitt’s defense played at FSU…the level of competence, beyond talent, the fire they demonstrated, now that is something that can translate.

      • SirWilliamthe8th

        Sco, I disagree for 2 reasons:

        1- Pruitt’s D has a track record of forcing a lot of turnovers against ranked teams as in Clemson and Duke. His secondary picked off 43 passes
        in the last 2 seasons (18 at Alabama in 2012 finishing No 12 in nation, and 25 in 2013 at FSU finishing No 1 in nation)

        2- Pruitt’s D seemed to be sound scheme-wise at forcing turnovers, since he finished No 2 in the nation.

        Both will likely be points of emphasis in his strategy to beat Clemson and South Carolina with an inexperienced secondary.
        And if his past is any indication, he’s pretty good at making sure his strategy is executed properly. Talent is one thing, getting them to execute at
        forcing turnovers is something Pruitt’s secondary’s have been very, very good at.

        • getting them to execute at forcing turnovers is something Pruitt’s secondary’s have been very, very good at.

          We’ve been working really hard at it.
          ~~~

          • SirWilliamthe8th

            Better than that, we’ve been executing it, forced 5 turnovers at the 2014 Spring game.

    • The other Doug

      I disagree that UGA has to be in the top 3 in rushing. I think it’s no longer the amount of running you do, but instead being able to run the ball whenever you want to. The modern offense is just as comfortable throwing the 5 yard dink to move the chains.

      • Macallanlover

        Good post. And any thinking that Bobo cannot coach a successful running game is silly, he took what was available from the defenses and matchups. Like baseball is still a “hit ‘em where they ain’t” game, you cannot measure a coach on a perceived standard that running and passing has to hit certain benchmarks. When you line Todd Gurley up in your backfield, the defense is going to fudge a little against the run because it is the easiest to execute if you don’t cover it, no pass and catch required. If finishing in the Top 3 rushing was such a great plan, Paul Johnson would be a genius……oh, wait.

      • uglydawg

        Rushing will be very important if the defensive backs are the weakness we are worried about…Running the ball equals running the clock and keeps the other teams O on the bench…and our Dbacks on the bench.
        I still remember the mixed emotions I experienced the last few years when Georgia would score quickly….But with backs like Gurley and Marshall, the running game can and has put up some quick points too…But if the defense is a liability…control the ball and the clock with the run.

        • But if the defense is a liability…control the ball and the clock with the run.

          It’ll be interesting to see if that happens. I think it kinda depends on the game. But we will get a game like that.
          ~~~

        • JCDAWG83

          Clock control only works when you have a defense that can get the other team off the field. A long drive that eats clock and scores a field goal can be neutralized by an opponent who drives down the field in under a minute by passing on your terrible defense and scores a touchdown. Also, today’s defenses are too good at linebacker to line up and run against on every down. No one is going to put together a drive running the ball against 8 in the box and 10 within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Last year at tech, Roof loaded up against the run on first and second down and forced Mason to throw on third so Roof knew the pass was coming. That plan worked great for the first half until Bobo finally changed the play calling and flew down the field passing on first and second down. You have to run to set up the pass and pass to set up the run. Getting too committed to either will stop a drive.

          • Clock control only works when you have a defense that can get the other team off the field.

            Agree. For example, South Carolina wanted to last year in Athens, but couldn’t get us off the field.

            today’s defenses are too good at linebacker to line up and run against on every down … You have to run to set up the pass and pass to set up the run.

            Agree again. There are still teams you can overpower, but not in the SEC. And even then, you have to keep them from scoring.

            It’s about balance today, which is why I love our super-multiple offense. And it’s important, IMO, that we can move at different speeds, but have the built-in ability to score quickly. Overbalanced offenses can be stopped by a good defense. Even Malzahn’s, once it’s figured out, will be slowed down and vulnerable. I believe Auburn’s key this year is whether or not they can achieve some balance.

            But we’ve seen what happens, even to us, when one element gets shut down. Boise, for example – when our OL couldn’t block them because we couldn’t squat and move – they shut the run down, and there we were. When we couldn’t play defense, it was over. Same thing in the SECCG later that year.

            And we keep getting back to the necessity of a top OL.
            ~~~

      • SirWilliamthe8th

        Think again. The last 5 years, every team that won the SEC finished in the top 3 in rushing.

        • BourbonSt

          The Other Doug:

          The numbers say otherwise. If you are open to statistics, no conference champ has not finished among the top three in rushing in our conference in a long time. You might feel like the way to win the conference is passing and the spread, unfortunately, you can’t prove that.

  9. BourbonSt

    +36 to Scorpio too is what I meant to type….

  10. W Cobb Dawg

    “The Dawgs also have serious question marks at offensive line and defensive back.” – Connelly
    “That’s about it, plus a little something about special teams. Well, that and health.” – Bluto

    Other than OL, the weakest aspects of our team (DC, DB, ST) have new, and much better, coaches. Hiring the unproven Friend was a mistake, but he’ll either start improving as a coach or be gone. I know a lot of folks believe injuries were a killer last year, but Ball, McClendon and CMB had their subs ready to step in when the injuries hit. Combined with the favorable way the schedule is set up, I expect a much better season in 2014. We’ll be in the secc, and we have a great shot at the cfb playoff.

  11. Ed Kilgore

    I’ve been waiting for Bill’s take on the Dawgs for weeks, and I thought it was both fair and illuminating. The most startling stats for me were the adjusted scores for 2014, leading to an adjusted record (what the yardage predicted we might have expected) of 12-1. Ironically, the Vandy game where everyone figured we got hosed (rightly so, given the specific events at the end) was the only adjusted loss.

    Though his rankings have been out for a while, I guess I didn’t quite absorb that he had Georgia with the 8th best offense in the country last year, despite all the injuries. That’s amazing. I do wish that since he’s regularly (and rightly, IMO) telling Bobo-doubters they’re way off, he’d at some point address the specific playcalling complaints, if that’s possible without watching games.

    It’s interesting that a guy as statistically oriented as Bill seems to place so much credence in the possibility that Pruitt could instantly make a difference. A lot of lazier observers intone “change of coordinator” and assume a “year of adjustment” (much as they assume a big dropoff in offensive production with Murray’s graduation).

    In any event, my appetite for this season is fully whetted. I would note that Bill’s got Clemson rated higher than us going into the season, which would probably come as a shock to fans who think the loss of Clemson’s offensive playmakers will be fatal for them. But the difference could easily be offset if the kind of noise fans made (took me days to get my voice back) at last year’s LSU game is there on August 30. Indeed, it should become routine.

  12. Ed Kilgore

    True, though only one of the four suspended players–Corey Crawford–was a defensive starter. Afraid from the Dawgs’ POV the wrong Beasley–David, not Vic–will be out.

  13. Keith

    Bobo can be brilliant, BUT, the biggest concern has always been the disappearing of the offense for long stretches that cost us games, Auburn 1st half last year comes immediately to mind. He needs to be more consistent, and that alone may be enough.

    • Point well taken.

      There was a time when Bobo would just plain blow a series with stupid, usually too conservative, calls. I used to call them “dud series”. But he is past that now, IMHO, and those moments have been rare to nonexistent the last few years. I suspect it’s pointing to something else …..

      … biggest concern has always been the disappearing of the offense for long stretches that cost us games, Auburn 1st half last year comes immediately to mind.

      Same thing happened in Clemson, and IMHO, it’s the inconsistency of the line. The entire middle of the game the offense was stalled. I forget where today, maybe here, but we were talking about the OL and how it’s inconsistency has been a problem for some time now.

      That’s one of the ways it shows up.
      ~~~

      • Yep, offensive line play has been inconsistent since about 2006. We’re killing Clemson with the toss, and then we bring Marshall in to run between the tackles while Gurley gets worked on. Until the late 3rd quarter at Auburn, the offensive line played like they had never played together before and made Dee Ford look like a world beater. For that reason, I would have to say Will Friend is the one assistant on the staff who has to be looking over his shoulder.

        • I haven’t decided whether it’s Friend, the talent, or maybe some of both.

          I know the talent has something to do with it, as this is a League where you don’t want to be under the talent bar up front. But it looks like we’ve turned a new leaf and ditched the ‘sign a bunch of 3-stars and hope most of them can play, since we don’t need more than an average front anyway’ philosophy.

          If we keep recruiting well, we’ll find out for sure whether or not Friend is up to the charge.
          ~~~

          • Good points – the problem is that the state of Georgia doesn’t produce a lot of blue-chip (4+ star) prospects in the offensive line especially at tackle. You either have to go national for offensive line recruiting or make darn sure the best stay in state. I don’t think the talent development for the offensive line has been good since Callaway left for UAB and the identification of recruits has been the best it could be.

          • Cosmic Dawg

            Friend certainly did one recruiting job well… :)