Category Archives: Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

“This football team is brand new, over half of it, and it’s the same thing with Georgia.”

Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press

Aaron Murray is gone, but the series goes on.

All the back and forth we’ve had this week about the game – in the end, I think it boils down to whether Georgia shows up today.  Not in the Woody Allen sense, but in the Aaron Murray sense.

I don’t think there’s any question that on paper, Georgia’s been the better team so far this season.  Or that Tennessee comes in hoping that a whole bunch of green players grow up in a hurry on the road.

In the loss to the Sooners, Tennessee faced 11 plays of third-and-10 or longer, and that’s a bad formula for any offensive line, especially one as young as Tennessee’s.

That’s a lot to ask, especially if the Dawgs don’t offer any help.

If it’s likely that Georgia scores 40+ points today, and recent history tends to support that premise, I have a hard time seeing how Tennessee keeps up.  The Vols have yet to score forty in a game this season; I don’t care how shaky Georgia’s secondary may be, if you can’t hang forty on the likes of Utah State and Arkansas State, it’s not a good sign for huge offensive success today.

Georgia just needs to show up.

Have at your game day thread in the comments.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football

This is easy.

Okay, if you’re looking for Tennessee’s version of the wheel route – the can’t miss play call against Georgia’s pass defense – here’s my candidate:

All Hitch Concept

UT All Hitches

The all hitch concept is one of my favorite Butch Jones concepts – and, really, favorite plays in my playbook.

The reason I love this play so much is that it is easy. The throw is predetermined before the snap, so, really, the QB just needs to take the snap, rock and fire. The read is simple – pre-snap – find the deepest DB away from any of your WR and throw it to them. It really is that simple. The QB is directed to make the easiest throw possible. In the play below, UT exploits Oklahoma’s soft quarters coverage for a quick 12 yards.

I bring this to your attention because against SC and some against Troy, Georgia still has the tendency to bail out of their pre-snap positions a little soon and show the rolling coverage too quick. If Jones sees the ability to get quick throws for Worley and get him into a rhythm without much pressure, they could have a lot of success.

UT All Hooks

That call will eat an undisciplined secondary alive.  And it’s going to come too quickly for a pass rush to affect it.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“It only takes one guy for a breakdown.”

Jeremy Pruitt sees Tennessee’s offensive line in the same boat as Georgia’s secondary.

The way Bulldogs first-year defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt sees it, his guys are going through the same developmental process as Tennessee’s offensive line.

“They’ve got a lot of new guys up there, and the guys they had were there for a long time,” Pruitt said. “They’ve been productive all year. They’re probably like us a little bit in that when you’ve got five new guys or six or seven counting the tight ends, you might have six out of seven do the right thing on one play, but it only takes one guy for a breakdown.

“I’m sure they’re like anybody else in the country in that they’re trying to sustain over the course of a game.”

Except the Vols may be even greener in spots.

Tennessee coach Butch Jones said this week that there could be many instances in which an entire side of his offense is comprised of true freshmen: right guard Jayshon Robertson, right tackle Coleman Thomas, tight end Ethan Wolf and receiver Josh Malone.

If Jalen Hurd starts, that’s another true freshman running behind them and providing the last line of pass protection for Worley.  But I’m sure they’ll play just as well on the road as South Carolina’s right side did in Columbia.  Because, Georgia pass defense.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football

This can’t be bad news for Tennessee.

Tennessee is down two of its top three receivers (in terms of receiving yardage) for Saturday.  Nah, it’s probably no big deal.  Last year showed that key injuries to skill set players have little impact on the game.

Then again, if Georgia does win comfortably, there’s your ready excuse to Dawgrade the result.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Wild Dawggin’ it.

As I mentioned in my game review, I really liked the version of the Wildcat… er, Wild Dawg, Georgia trotted out against Troy, with Michel taking the direct snap from center and McKenzie running the jet sweep.  And not just from a results on the field standpoint.  I like that it gave Tennessee’s defensive coaches something to ponder.

So, needless to say, I’m down with Richt being coy about the formation’s future.

“Everybody has called it the Wildcat formation for the longest, but ‘Wild Dawg’ is probably not a bad way to go,” said UGA coach Mark Richt when asked about it during his Monday night radio show. “I would think we’ll see a little bit more of that before it’s over. I don’t know how much we’ll do. But (Michel) really has got a good knack for it, and his former high school teammate – Isaiah McKenzie – is a good speed-sweep guy, which is always a part of that Wildcat system.”

Even if Bobo never calls it this Saturday, making the Vols spend preparation time on it is a win of sorts.  Particularly since Tennessee is having to work on something else it’s seen infrequently.

Jancek noted Georgia’s offensive line’s role in a rushing attack that’s averaged 304 yards per game, and facing a power team like the Bulldogs will be an adjustment for the Vols, who see mostly spread looks from their own offense and two of their first three opponents.

“We don’t get to see that a lot even in spring practice,” the coordinator said. “We don’t get to see that a lot in fall camp. It is foreign, and that’s been a challenge for us to try and make sure that we cover all of our bases when it comes to the two-back offenses and the problem they can create with that two-back system.”

Just because you throw eight guys in the box doesn’t mean you’ve automatically shut down the other team’s running game.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Bummer, dudes.

This strong sense of pessimism many of you are giving about Georgia’s chances Saturday makes me feel weird, like there’s some big secret news you know about that I’m not privy to.  (Gurley’s not hurt, is he?)  Because on paper, it’s hard for me to see what’s the basis for all the gloom and doom.

For instance, take the advanced stats appraisal of the game.

The F/+ and S&P+ View of Tennessee-Georgia

OVERALL

When UT Has the ball…

When UGA has the ball…

Category

UT

UGA

UT Off.

UGA Def.

UT Def.

UGA Off.

F/+ Rk (Overall)

62 (0.4%)

14 (18.2%)

F/+ Change From Last Week

64 (+2)

13 (-1)

S&P+ Overall

46 (210.0)

16 (235.8)

FEI Overall

74 (-0.038)

13 (0.206)

S&P+ Rk (Overall)

210.0

235.8

85 (92.9)

40 (108.6)

29 (117.1)

7 (127.2)

Rushing S&P+ Rk

101 (0.418)

46 (0.417)

30 (0.402)

2 (0.636)

Passing S&P+ Rk

99 (0.467)

83 (0.523)

31 (0.458)

14 (0.638)

 

It’s not close.  Where Georgia is weak, Tennessee is even weaker.  And where UT is at its best, the Dawgs are dominant.

You guys gesture at a shaky Georgia secondary and fret.  I look at Tennessee’s offensive line and understand why Leonard Floyd can barely contain his glee.

Georgia beat Clemson at home by 24 points.  Tennessee’s defense isn’t as good as Clemson’s.  Georgia lost on the road to South Carolina by a mere three points. Tennessee’s offense isn’t as good as South Carolina’s.

Believe me, I get the any given Saturday aspect of this game as much as the next guy.  But it’s Tennessee that hemorrhages turnovers on the road to ranked teams.

What am I missing here, guys?

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football

Just throw the ball, Vols.

I think the general consensus is that Tennessee’s green offensive line is going to have its hands full with pass protection Saturday.  The big question is how the Vol coaches scheme to help Worley stay upright in the pocket.

One obvious way would be to run the ball.  The problem with that is that to date the running game been a weakness for Tennessee’s offense and stopping the run is one thing Georgia’s defense does at least competently.

Another possibility would be to throw a lot of quick, short passes to keep Georgia’s pass rush from having the time to get to the quarterback.  If you listen to the last episode of the Seth and Gentry Show (it starts at about the 20:30 mark), that’s what a media observer of the Tennessee program suggests for the Vols.  And, statistically speaking, that appears to be the nature of UT’s passing game, anyway, as the Vols are averaging 240 passing yards a game, but only averaging 5.9 yards per attempt.

The problem I see with that approach is that it appears to play into another area Georgia’s been competent in, at least after the first half of the Clemson game.  Georgia’s pass defense has done alright defending the underneath stuff, even against South Carolina.  Where the secondary has continued to look vulnerable has been with the intermediary and deeper pass plays, where receivers have had enough time to find the holes in Pruitt’s zone defense, or to exploit breakdowns in man-to-man coverage.  But having enough time brings Tennessee back to the issue of pass protection.

To me, it looks like a classic damned if you do, damned if you don’t choice.  I suspect UT tries a little of everything to see what sticks to the wall, but that’s pure guesswork on my part.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics