Molder of men

When Paul Johnson ain’t happy…

… Paul Johnson ain’t happy.

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Filed under Georgia Tech Football

Game day thoughts, Troy edition

First, hot off the presses, it’s Justin Scott-Wesley status news!

Doubt it’ll matter a bit today, but the question is whether Georgia will have him suited up next week against Tennessee.  Stay tuned.

As for the rest of it, there’s not much to get worked up about.  As I posted before, expect to see Mason and the receivers get plenty of opportunities to smooth the edges off the timing issues that we saw in the first two games. Todd Gurley sticks around long enough to get his 100 yards.

The big question, if there is one today, is whether we see any new faces on the field.

… We heard all spring how well J.J. Green had done in switching from the team’s second leading running back to the team’s hard-hitting defensive back. We heard how good Reggie Wilkerson looked coming back from his knee injury. Praise was showered on Malkom Parrish, Sheldon Dawson and Tristan Askew. Where have they been? Will Davin Bellamy, returning from a two game suspension, make an impact in his first game? Maybe this is the game that we see tight end Jordan Davis show something. In other words there are a load of Bulldogs that didn’t see any action in the first two critical games of the season that might make a name for themselves on Saturday. The participation report will also go a long way in letting us know who will play this year and who will red shirt.

I am looking forward to seeing what Bellamy can do.  He caught my eye at G-Day.

Bottom line, the game looks like a seal clubbing going into the fourth quarter, when Troy does its patented pull out the stops against Georgia’s backups act.  Call it something like 49-17.  Hopefully, it turns out to be an injury-free contest.

Consider this your game day comment thread invite, peeps.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Steve Spurrier channels his inner Vince Dooley.

Spurdog reaches to find something nice to say about this week’s opponent.

“Vanderbilt, by the way, has scored I think two special teams scores already, two special teams touchdowns. And they’ve got a defensive touchdown. They’re ahead of us in those categories, but anyway we’re trying to get better ourselves,” Spurrier said.

Nicely done, there.  Spurrier tied Dooley’s wins record last weekend.  Maybe that’s his way of doing a tribute.

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Filed under The Evil Genius

Bill Connelly’s measuring hell raisin’.

This is a pretty cool concept.

Havoc rate is a pretty simple method for looking at how much hell a defense is raising. Add up tackles for loss (which includes sacks), forced fumbles, and defensed passes (picks and break-ups), divide it by total plays, and voila: havoc rate. The national havoc average in 2013 was 15.9 percent.

The school currently last in havoc rate?  That would be South Carolina.  Nevertheless,

Against Georgia, South Carolina’s was a paltry 11.7: four tackles for loss (two sacks) and three pass break-ups in 60 snaps. Not very good. However…

A) It represented significant improvement from South Carolina’s first two games, in which the Gamecocks averaged a woeful 6 percent against Texas A&M and East Carolina: five tackles for loss, five passes defensed in 166 snaps. (Further frame of reference: Navy was dead last in havoc last year at 9.3 percent.)

B) South Carolina’s second “sack” saved the game. Georgia trailed 38-35 with 5:24 left, and Damian Swann had just picked off S.C. quarterback Dylan Thompson and returned the ball to the Gamecocks’ 4. Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo had called seven consecutive run plays (three for Todd Gurley, one for Sony Michel, three for fullback Quayvon Hicks) to finish Georgia’s last scoring drive, and he decided it was time for the play-action bootleg that tends to work pretty easily in those situations. Only, when [quarterback Hutson] Mason turned to run to his right after faking the handoff, [Gerald] Dixon was charging at him. Mason attempted to throw the ball at a back’s feet (a “grounding” that doesn’t tend to draw a penalty), but the ball deflected off of Dixon, and Mason was penalized.

It was a pretty tenuous call, and if the ball doesn’t hit Dixon, it doesn’t get called at all — but it set into motion the chain of events that won South Carolina the game. Facing second-and-goal from the 14, Georgia quickly went three-and-out (thanks in part to a pass broken up by J.T. Surratt), and previously automatic place-kicker Marshall Morgan missed a 28-yard field goal off of the right hash. South Carolina moved the chains a couple of times, converted a fourth-and-1 by a literal millimeter, and ran out the clock for the win.

So while South Carolina didn’t generate much havoc, it generated clutch havoc. That’s something.

Maybe it’s not so much that Georgia coaches are intimidated by Spurrier as it is they refuse to accept the simple premise that they’re always going to get his best shot.  But they always will.  No matter how you measure it.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, The Evil Genius

Georgia’s opening day mystery

One other thing that came out of yesterday’s UGAAA meeting is that Georgia has done a little remodeling of its 2015 schedule.

Meanwhile, there has been a change to Georgia’s 2015 schedule.

Georgia was scheduled to open next season against Southern, an FCS program, but the two schools recently agreed to move the game to three weeks later. That leaves Georgia’s opening weekend open again.

But McGarity said that was done to accommodate the SEC schedule, which hasn’t been released yet. McGarity said not to read too much into it.

Well, it must mean something.  Is Georgia going to be opening against an SEC opponent?  Or will an existing cupcake game be moved to that slot to make it easier to fit the SEC slate into the schedule?  Enquiring minds want to know.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Florida in Tuscaloosa, a game of “if”

I don’t want to mock this piece, because it has an excellent depiction of the past, present and future of Nick Saban’s defensive philosophy, but the idea that a Gator offense that appeared constipated scoring points at home against Kentucky is going to have its way in Tuscaloosa today…

All of that is to say: Alabama and Nick Saban still have one of the most talented defensive rosters in college football this year, but it’s not the 2011 vintage — not even close, really. Saban will try to do what he always does because it’s in his DNA, but when you combine the way offenses are being run with the quick snap and Alabama’s current “transition period” of developing more athletic players in the front seven, this is certainly any team in the SEC’s best chance to dictate offense against the Tide. It’s worth noting that Alabama has only forced one turnover so far this season. If Jeff Driskel can turn his missed opportunities against Kentucky into conversions, and not turnovers, this game might be closer than ‘Bama fans would care to see, even in Tuscaloosa.

… strikes me as a tad optimistic.  Even Robbie Andreu tries but can’t buy it.

For Florida to have a real shot today, Boom is going to have to outcoach Junior.  And that’s certainly within the realm of possibility.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Nick Saban Rules

Jameis Winston’s bridge too far

Now comes word that the reigning Heisman Trophy winner is suspended for the entirety of the Clemson game.

Winston, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner for the top-ranked Seminoles, originally had been suspended for just the first half against the visiting Tigers after a profane and sexually explicit outburst in the student union on campus earlier this week.

But Florida State decided to extend his suspension to the entire game because Winston was not entirely truthful or forthcoming regarding Tuesday’s incident, a source told ESPN.

“Based upon the results of our continuing investigation of Tuesday’s incident involving Jameis Winston, we have decided to not play him for the entire game against Clemson on Saturday night,” interim Florida State president Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Stan Wilcox said in a joint statement Friday night.

There’s no question that Winston’s got some serious maturity issues, but, honestly, after the school has repeatedly enabled his earlier bad behavior, why should there be any shock on officials’ behalf that he wasn’t entirely forthcoming about what he did?  It’s worked before.

Note also the absence of Jimbo Fisher’s name from the joint statement.  That’s probably not a good thing for the football program.  Add in the inevitable rumor mongering, and it’s hard to think Gus Malzahn isn’t already making preparations.

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Filed under ACC Football