Category Archives: Georgia Football

Gary Danielson’s key to the game isn’t that key.

Does Florida have a chance Saturday?  According to Danielson, the Gators do, if

Danielson: They have a shot because defensively they can stop run. The last eight years the teams that have run for the most yards has won the game. Somebody asked me: What would be the weakness of Georgia. At first I thought was their secondary, because so many players turned over. But I think they’ve done a nice job of turning that around. That matches up with their outstanding pass rush. They have a lot of veteran linebacker who make a lot of plays.

I would say if Georgia has a weakness it is quarterback. You probably wouldn’t believe this, but its Georgia that is ranked 112th in passing. Florida is ranked 94th. The reason for that is that they run it pretty darn good.

So the matchup has to be: can Florida force Georgia into a passing game and take advantage of that. If not they have no chance.

The problem with that analysis is that he’s looking at passing yardage.  When you compare passer rating it’s Georgia 27th, Florida 116th.

Georgia hasn’t had to go chase yards in the passing game this season because it’s run the ball so well, true.  But that doesn’t automatically mean the passing game isn’t good enough to get those yards if they’re needed.  Besides that, it’s the same facile analysis we’ve seen about Georgia’s offense all season.  At 6-1, it’s hard to see where any opponent has been able to make that a go.

Danielson is right in that Florida possesses the best rushing defense Georgia will see this season.  But the Gators didn’t exactly slow down either of the two stout running offenses they’ve already faced.

By the way, Georgia’s rushing defense ain’t too shabby, either.  In fact, it’s ranked higher in average yards per rush than Florida’s.  So what’s the Gator offense going to do if Georgia forces it into a passing game?

I know I sound like a broken record, but Georgia’s chances are going to come down to turnover margin and field position.  That’s what the Dawgs are built around and that’s what you have to control if you want to beat them.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

In which I say something nice about the Gators…

I know hate’s what’s on the menu this week, but I have to take a moment to tip my cap to the other camp’s appreciation for what’s so great about it.

… The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party will commence this weekend in Jacksonville when the Gators and Bulldogs get together for their annual meeting.

“There’s nothing like it, coming over the bridge and getting ready for this game and the excitement that’ll be in the air, certainly on game day, but the build up to it,” Muschamp said.

Of course, Boom has been on both sides of the fence, so you’d expect him to get it, but even his players know what it’s all about.

A few of the players on Florida are from the state of Georgia, including linebacker Michael Taylor and center Max Garcia. Neither of them have beaten the Bulldogs since they’ve been at UF, so they’re desperate for a win.

“Being recruited by them (Georgia) and being recruited from the state of Georgia means a lot because you chose to go away for college,” Taylor said. “It’s a big game, it impacts us too as it does probably Muschamp too, he went there. It’s a big game for all of us, it’s the border rivalry. You want to play good in this game. This game has decided who’s going to come out of the [SEC] East for the last couple years, except for last year.”

“I’m a Georgia boy. One of the first memories I have is watching this game. I just feel like this game has so much hype, so much tension around it,” Max Garcia said. “I don’t even know how to describe the atmosphere. It’s so much antsiness and anxiousness around the game. It’s a huge game. Guys are really locked in from our lift this morning, guys are just focusing on trying to get better.”

The plus out of all this excitement is that Florida may be more on the edge mentally/emotionally going in than Georgia is.  Boy, is that a change.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Great turnover margin plus field position management

… makes an offense one efficient mofo.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Now they love ‘em in Montana.

Welcome the latest pundit’s kiss for the Dawgs.

The question mark at the end there is a nice touch.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

When in doubt, there’s always the weather.

Gotta love Coach Richt.  He’ll never give up on WLOCP issues like the weather.

… Nice to practice in heat today to be more like the weather in Jax, forecast is for mid 70’s at gametime. Normally we practice in cold then go down and play in heat, so this is good for us this year to get in the heat.

Average October temperatures in Athens, Georgia:  from 77°F to 69°F over the course of the month.

Average October temperatures in Jacksonville, Florida:  from 83°F to 76°F over the course of the month

Yeah, that arctic weather in Athens is a total bitch.  It’s a good thing the strength and conditioning program has stepped up.

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A not so defensive defense

Damian Swann is grateful, y’all.

Senior cornerback Damian Swann is a symbol of that turnaround. He struggled last year, and as the veteran cornerstone of the unit, that was a big reason it struggled. But this year, he has three interceptions and two sacks, and last week, he was named SEC defensive player of the week.

Asked how gratifying it is, Swann answered: “Very.”

Then he credited his own hard work, but also Pruitt, for moving him around so much on defense — blitzing from the star position, or playing deep at safety, covering tight ends as well as receivers.

“I’ve received the coaching to put me in those spots, to help me as a player fundamentally,” Swann said. “And that’s what it was all about, getting back to the fundamentals of the game, being able to go out there and play fast. I give a lot of credit to Coach Pruitt with allowing me to play those different spots and do those different things, not being out there on an island all day trying to cover.”

So is Leonard Floyd.

“It’s way more fun because I can trust them,” Floyd said. “Last year, we’d get to third down, I’d be focused on, ‘I hope the secondary can cover everybody.’ But now I’ve got total confidence in them.”

Trust begets confidence.  Confidence begets results.

After just seven games, Georgia has already forced more turnovers than last year. Georgia has recovered seven fumbles this year and intercepted 10 passes. Last year, it was eight fumble recoveries and seven interceptions.

As Cory Brinson puts it,

… The defense has gained more game experience, they’re understanding situational football better, and their coach is gaining confidence in them. Want to know how confident he is in them? Just look at the amount of movement going on pre-snap in the defensive secondary. We are rolling down guys as the QB looks away and changing the picture as often as possible. It is really the mark of a good defense when you’re able to add in all those other elements that make you an elite defense. We’re not at that level, yet… but we’re playing like it.

I remember thinking after that 2011 game against Mississippi State – the one when Cornelius Washington went nuts and totally dominated – that it was the first time in several years when I looked forward to the defense stepping on the field.  They sustained that for a while, but eventually lost their mojo.  I’m crossing my fingers a little, still, but it seems like they’re on the road to getting it back.

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Survive and advance, Georgia.

I’m telling you, the pundits are starting to come around.  Here’s something from Matt Hinton’s piece surveying the present groundwork for playoff entry:

After surveying the field, I’m almost tempted to jump onboard with Georgia, which has looked solid since its September 13 loss at South Carolina despite its reliance on a pedestrian quarterback and the extended absence of the best player in college football. Then again, UGA is coming off a bye week, and this is the kind of season that can start to make not playing look like a virtue simply because it means not losing.

And this week it’s on to Agent Muschamp, while Auburn and Ole Miss chew on each other.

Patience, grasshoppers.  This team has a chance.

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Filed under Georgia Football