By the bye: Dawgly thoughts from an SEC Saturday

There’s a certain liberating effect when comes Georgia’s bye week.  I get to settle on the couch with a clicker and a beverage or two and flick away to my heart’s content with the remote.  And there was plenty of action to follow yesterday.

Here are a few general observations about the conference:

  • Good teams play good defense. For all the flashiness of the spread, the strength of this conference is still in its defensive play.
  • Quarterbacks?  What quarterbacks? You’ve got Tebow, who’s having what for him is a lesser year.  You’ve got Snead, who’s talented but erratic.  You’ve got Mallett, who’s channeling his inner Matthew Stafford.  You’ve got Garcia, who’s good at generating yardage without generating points.  With the regression of McElroy and Todd, this is a very ordinary group overall.
  • Mixed bag on the kicking front. Lots of missed field goals yesterday.  Outside of Tiffin, no kicker had what I’d call a great performance.
  • Lots of smart coaches in this league. The undermanned Dan Mullen really stood out, which makes sense, but all the usual suspects – Saban, Monte Kiffin, Ellis Johnson among others – had their defenses well prepared.  And it looks like the defensive coaches in this league have figured out Gus Malzahn’s offense.
  • Will you people finally realize that Arkansas isn’t that good? I’ve never understood the love this year for the Hogs.  They’re 1-4 in the conference now with a couple of ranked opponents left to play, including a road trip to LSU in the finale.  They gave up 553 yards to Mississippi; the score would have been much worse if the Rebels hadn’t turned the ball over so much.
  • Alshon Jeffery is a rising star. After watching that game yesterday, I understand why Junior threw the insults at him during recruiting when Jeffery indicated he wasn’t interested in wearing orange.  This kid is good.  I can’t believe how much he’s improved since I saw him in Athens.
  • That Florida defensive depth is no myth. No Brandon Spikes and a patchwork defensive line, and the Gators still held Anthony Dixon to 53 yards on 15 carries.
  • No plaque this time. Savor this, ye fans of the GPOOE™:  “And then after the game, which No. 1 Florida hung on and won 29-19 despite repeated woes in the red zone and a determined effort by Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs, Tebow declined to talk to the media for the first time in his career.” That’s what happens when you throw about as well as Tyson Lee, I guess.
  • No Heisman for you. I think the Mark Ingram campaign stopped as abruptly as it started.
  • A Vanderbilt milestone. Warren Norman became the first Commodores player since Vanderbilt began playing football in 1890 with two kickoff return TDs in a season.
  • A South Carolina milestone. But that’s not as sad as what got Spurrier excited

Spurrier, who won his 105th SEC game to tie Georgia’s Vince Dooley for third in the conference, was asked about that distinction. He said he was more impressed that South Carolina had won five straight SEC games at home — best in school history.

“That’s a record, right?” Spurrier said. “I like that one better.”

“And what about Georgia?”, you might ask.

Well, on a certain level, matters are about as we might expect.  The Dawgs have said and done the right things during their off week.  The Gators’ newfound offensive shakiness in the wake of Tebow’s concussion has given them grounds for hope, as well.  But there are still many questions surrounding this bunch.

Do we take it as a sign for optimism that the same Vandy team that Cox and Company scorched (okay, it’s a relative term) for 34 points in Nashville was able to limit South Carolina to 14?  How depressed should we be over Tennessee being held to three points until there were less than two minutes to play yesterday?

How concerned should we be at this point in the season that Stacey Searels is still reshuffling assignments on the offensive line?

Are we unfairly discounting the effect that the schedule has had on Georgia’s play and record to date?  And why does the betting public seem to have a better impression of this team than the fans who follow it more closely do?

As much as I’d like to think that Florida’s less than stellar play in its last two games against teams with lesser overall talent than Georgia’s gives the Dawgs a better chance than many will give credit, I can’t help feeling that if Bobo and Martinez stroll into Jax with the same coaching philosophies they’ve had on display all year – soft zone on defense and running to establish the pass on offense – it’s going to be the exact tonic Florida needs to get everything back on track.  Throw in Georgia’s 119th national ranking in turnover margin, and you don’t exactly have a recipe for success.

I’ll have more to say during the week, but rather than tritely saying that Georgia has to play its best game of the year to have a fighting chance in Jax, I’ll close here by simply saying that it’ll be a great start if the Dawgs show up and play their most competent one.



Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

13 responses to “By the bye: Dawgly thoughts from an SEC Saturday

  1. rbubp

    I agree about the running to establish the pass problem and I’m glad someone in the UGA blogosphere puts that on the table. This team needs to be a lot more Spurrier and a lot less Dooley, clearly, it’s just where their strengths are. It would be really nice to be practicing those screen passes and slant timing patterns and quick outs to Moore with AJ as the lead blocker and dinks to Munzenmaier/Chapas in the flat to get short yardage when it’s needed.

    It’s still kind of amazing that UT was able to to take away the long passing game and the offense fell apart. Here’s hoping the Vandy game rectified that problem a bit.


  2. Aligator

    Let me reiterate, we do not have new found offensive shakiness, we have known about this for weeks now. In a previous post i let you guys in on all the ways to beat us next week.

    Addozio calls his plays off of the Waffle House menu!


  3. Aligator

    Our offensive coordinator, Steve Addazio sucks way worse than yours. He calls his plays from the Waffle House menu. Here are some things we have learned about our offense this yea,that if you pass along to Martinez, you will win for sure.

    We can not score in the red zone.

    If we do score in the red zone, it is a field goal.

    We can score on the run in the red zone if we run out of the I formation, which we have done once this year.

    We are supposed to have a fast break offense this year, but because Addozio reads his plays from the Waffle House menu, we have to stand their and let him signal in any audibles.

    Tebow will either fumble, take a sack or throw an interception at least twice a game. When he does, it is usually in a place that allows the other team to score quickly.

    Tebow will run out of the empty back field every time. The play is designed for a QB draw or a bubble screen, Tebow hates bubble screens.

    We purposely give the other team interceptions, or fumbles whenever we can so we can keep the score close or be behind. That way Tebow can put it on his back one more time and be the hero. When we do win he says, “this is the SEC and we are undefeated”, still looking like the hero and keeping his Heisman trophy chances alive.

    Did I mention Addazio sucks my balls.



  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    The betting public has more faith in Georgia than us because it knows what we forget in our emotion: talent has never, even in the Ray Goff days, been the issue at Georgia. Vince got a little lazy recruiting in his last few years, but since then we’ve always gotten more than our share of Georgia high schools’ rich talent.

    I like and heartily agree with the ‘competent’ thought. We don’t have to exceed expectations to beat Florida, just play up to them.

    Aligator. You copied and pasted your post from the other thread. That’s not kosher. ;<) But we get the point.

    And the Waffle House menu ain't bad. I like mine scattered, smothered, and covered.


  5. NCT

    Any chance that Tebow’ having *tied* Herschel’s conference rushing touchdown record in the game before the WLOCP is mere coincidence? Can someone please put a bug in Jeff’s, Geno’s, Justin’s, and Rennie’s ears? This season has put me in a place where I’m looking for strange, alternative victories.


  6. ADawg

    Is no one else pissed about the refs handing the game to Florida AGAIN?!?!? That are 5-2 w/o the refs. Simple as that.

    Not so fun to talk to the media when you don’t play well is it Timmy???


  7. Dog in Fla

    “Tebow declined to talk to the media for the first time in his career.”

    On the way back from Starkville, Urban arranged for the other Florida legend to come up from his Land Shark Stadium owner’s box hideout before the Saints wipe out the Dolphins today to consult with Tim on how best Tim could carry out his media blackout just so Tim could properly get himself in the right frame of mind for the WLOCP full scale combat…


  8. Florida

    If we play the way we’ve played the last two weeks against Georgia, we will lose.


  9. Dog in TN

    Ga cured Tn ills, take heart gators.


    • NCT

      I’m really not this down about things (I think), but I can’t resist. If we mady Crompton look like Manning, I reckon we can make Tebow look like, well, Tebow.