Category Archives: 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

Tennessee trends

I believe in trends when it comes to analyzing matchups in college football.  The problem with the Georgia-Tennessee game is that most of the betting line trends are mixed.

The 17-point spread is the largest in the history of the Tennessee-Georgia series. … The Vols haven’t beaten the Bulldogs since 2009, back when Lane Kiffin was head coach. … In 2013, the first year under Butch Jones, Tennessee lost to Georgia 34-31, but covered as a 13.5-point dog. That game was played in Tennessee. … The Vols are 6-9 against the spread and 9-6 to the UNDER under Butch Jones. … Georgia is 2-1 ATS and 3-0 to the OVER this season.

Low scoring game?  Maybe.  Georgia covers?  Maybe again.

Still, there are a couple of things worth noting.  For one, the Vols haven’t won an SEC opener in ten seasons.  And for another,

In their five road games against ranked teams the past two seasons, the Volunteers were doomed by 15 turnovers, including three against the Sooners, and carry a minus-9 turnover margin into Saturday’s trip to No. 12 Georgia.

Old habits tend to be hard to break.  Let’s hope that continues to be the case on Saturday.

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Standard preparation for Tennessee Week

Richt’s not taking anything for granted.

Rocky Top, Tennessee!

Yes, Saturday’s game is in Athens. But the Bulldogs were still blasting “Rocky Top” at practice this week.

“I’m sure they’ll bring their band,” Richt. “I hope our players are getting sick of it.”

If they haven’t, you’re not doing your job well enough, Coach.

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

Miscommunication breakdown

Tennessee offensive tackle blames high sack rate on miscommunication.  But that’s all fixed now.

“It really is important to be able to spend time together, and these past weeks, being able to work at the same positions has really helped,” Kerbyson said. “I’ve started to mesh more at left tackle. Getting good reps against quality guys with Curt [Maggitt] and [Derek] Barnett over there has really gotten me ready for whatever I have to face.

“Then Jashon and Coleman working together, they’ve got to be able to mesh really well, whether it’s games from the defensive end or double teams and what they need to do on run-blocks. It really is important for the past two weeks of all working together.”

I’m trying to figure out which will have a greater impact Saturday – an extra week of practice, or a loud, noisy home crowd disrupting timing, snap counts and protection calls.  Hmm…

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“We haven’t beaten ‘em since I’ve been here, so that’s the main goal.”

In a fitting metaphor for the current state of Tennessee football, A.J. Johnson relates how one of his career highlights was observing his teammates’ excitement in a game they lost.

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