Daily Archives: September 21, 2009

Do you mind if I have some of your tasty beverage?

ESPN’s Chris Low pours himself a big ol’ glass of orange Kool Aid and chugs that sucker:

This is a team that’s capable of getting hot and being the kind of team nobody wants to face in a bowl game. The Vols proved that at the Swamp.

Proved it how, exactly?  UT gained a whopping 210 total yards of offense against a Gator defense that most think wasn’t at its best.  Florida averaged more than a yard per play more than the Vols.  And the Vols never led in the game.

As Mergz points out in this post, overall, that ain’t a helluva lot different from how the Vols performed against the Gators in 2008.  And it certainly wasn’t better.

I know birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim and pundits gotta bloviate.  But that’s some silly stuff there.  Looks like Junior’s got hisself a big fan in Low.



Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Media Punditry/Foibles

The SEC Offensive Player of the Week is…

Ryan Mallett… just kidding.

It’s the Ginger Assassin.  And here’s one nifty little factoid about his night:

• Every one of his 18 completions went for a first down.


Filed under Georgia Football

Yeah, but check out that net punting ranking.

It’s still early enough in the season that most team stats don’t have enough of a sample size behind them to carry much weight, but one thing jumps out at you when you compare Arizona State’s with Georgia’s:  turnover margin.

ASU ranks first in the nation, at +4 per game.  Georgia?  That -2.33 per game is good enough for 116th.  Ugh.


Filed under Georgia Football

Eye of the beholder

The Chattanooga Times Free Press’ Wes Rucker does an admirable job of capturing the essential weirdness of the reactions to the results of the Florida-Tennessee game.

The mood outside the University of Tennessee’s locker room Saturday night was surreal.

UT had just lost by 10 points at archrival Florida but, with few exceptions, the Volunteers and their coaches seemed nearly satisfied.

Florida coach Urban Meyer had to coax smiles from his Gators in the postgame locker room. He remarked about reminding his seniors that they’d just capped an undefeated career against the Vols.

“I think there’s so much pressure on this team to perform perfectly, which is good,” Meyer said. “I’d rather be on that end than on, ‘Boy, great job, we lost by 10.'”

That last sentence isn’t far from what the Vols’ body language suggested.

All that’s left is for Junior to get a contract extension and a raise.

Also not to be missed is Meyer’s rationalization for playing down to Junior’s level:

“When I saw them start handing the ball off, you didn’t feel like they were going after the win. So we kind of, they wanted to shorten the game and that’s kind of, I think, the plan. I remember looking out there and there’s 10 minutes left in the game and there’s no no-huddle (offense being run by UT). They are down by, I think it was 23-6 and the urgency … .

“I do have respect for their defense. Eric Berry is a great player, I just watched his interception (of a Tim Tebow pass on Saturday), great play. So why put yourself …  ‘Let’s find a way to win the game.’  …  we’re not trying to impress the pollsters we’re trying to win the game. I think a lot of it had to do with the way they were playing. That made our life a little easier.”

All of which is true, and may very well be an effective counter on the recruiting trail to Kiffin’s likely braggadocio about the game’s outcome.  But in the short term, it sure sounds like sour grapes about not being able to pound the upstart in the manner that the Gators and their fans had clearly hoped for.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Where is the Joe Cox love?

The verdict is in and the pundits have spoken:  Ryan Mallett is the real deal.  Joe Cox, on the other hand… well, did you hear how terrible Arkansas’ defense is?

Here’s Mandel’s take:

The early scouting report on Arkansas: QB Ryan Mallett is as good as advertised (he threw for 408 yards and five touchdowns against Georgia to remain the nation’s pass-efficiency leader), but Bobby Petrino‘s defense is horr-i-ble. With his various ailments behind him, Dawgs QB Joe Cox spent the bulk of the night lofting passes down field to wide-open receivers (resulting in five TDs) in a 52-41 win.

At least he mentioned Cox in passing, which is more than Rivals’ Olin Buchanan did.

Arkansas needs a defense. QB Ryan Mallett makes Arkansas dangerous, but the Razorbacks won’t be a factor in the SEC West race unless their defense makes dramatic improvement quickly. Mallett arrived in Fayetteville with the reputation as a strong-armed passer. He demonstrated that against Georgia by passing for 408 yards and five touchdowns. Three of his scoring tosses covered at least 30 yards. But Mallett’s brilliance wasn’t nearly enough to compensate for Arkansas’ porous defense, which allowed 530 yards in a 52-41 loss. Mallett’s passing will ensure the Razorbacks will post some wins. But the defense doesn’t figure to be good enough for the Razorbacks to be serious challengers in the division.

Pretty strange, hunh?  Two straight weeks opposing quarterbacks torch Georgia’s defense, get tons of attention (and credit) for doing so and Cox, who outperformed each, is little more than an afterthought.  (In the credit where credit is due department, Cox does get a pat on the back from CFN’s Richard Cirminiello.)

On the other hand, this quote from Joe’s head coach during the week before the Arkansas game turned out to be eerily prescient:

… The subject of deep balls came up when Richt was talking about Cox’s arm strength on his Monday radio show.

“He can throw the ball far enough to throw just about anything we want,” Richt said. “We’re not going to throw it 65 yards or 75 yards, but there aren’t many Matthew Staffords in the world. I’ll say this–when we do throw the ball deep, I’ll bet you we complete more deep balls this year than we completed last year. Mostly because Joe will put it in play and give a great player like A.J. Green a chance to make the play. If we overthrow him, we get nothing. If we throw it on the money, it’s awesome and if we throw it short, A.J. can either get the ball or usually the defender interferes like happened in the ballgame there.”

Whatever else, the Hogs can’t say they weren’t warned.


UPDATE: For yuks, take a look at Joe Cox’ projected stats for 2009.  Tell me you wouldn’t have taken those before the season in a heartbeat.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles