Marc Weiszer reports that it’s a clean sweep on the back end of the schedule in that the Tech game has been scheduled for an 8:00 PM start. Selfishly speaking, at least the drive home will be significantly shorter for me, and for those of you tuning in at home, an ABC broadcast should spare you another night with the Davie-Jones team.
Daily Archives: November 16, 2009
Let’s hear it for Auburn’s Demond Washington, the newly minted SEC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Demond Washington’s record-setting day was honored by the SEC. Washington was named the conference’s Special Teams Player of the Week after breaking Auburn’s single-game kickoff return yardage record against Georgia.
Washington, a junior from Tallassee, Ala., who transferred from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College this summer, had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Bulldogs. It was the sixth-longest in school history.
He finished with 202 kickoff return yards, breaking the previous mark set by Tristan Davis against Arkansas last year. His 202 kick return yards and 229 total return yards were both tied for fourth most in SEC single-game history.
It’s just another challenge in Jon Fabris’ world.
UPDATE: Here’s a clip of Washington’s TD run. Note Logan Gray’s contribution.
One day, Fabris is really going to have to explain what he’s doing. Because I don’t have a freaking clue.
UPDATE #2: By the way, in case you’re wondering, Georgia ranks 118th nationally in kickoff return defense average.
Judging from the comments here after the Auburn game, it’s fair to say that the fan base is still conflicted about where things stand with the program. I thought I’d add my two cents worth with a couple of observations.
First of all, it’s a mistake to read the Auburn game, or, more accurately, the last three quarters of the Auburn game, as a binding referendum on Willie Martinez’ career as the Georgia defensive coordinator. Whatever good we saw Saturday night has to be balanced by what we’ve seen out of the defense for the past two or three seasons. Even with what’s been done on defense in the last two games, statistically speaking, Georgia is still awash in a sea of mediocrity.
It’s fine that the defense is starting to believe in itself a little. But there’s still a ways to go with a Kentucky team that shredded this same defense last season and a Georgia Tech offense that, frankly, no one is giving Georgia a shot in hell of stopping. Tech’s been held under 30 points three times in eleven games this year; jump in with that crowd, and maybe we can start talking.
Second, pardon me if I chuckle a wee bit after reading comments to the effect that the results Saturday night weren’t impressive because Auburn was a poor team. Please – where were all those curt dismissals in the week leading up to the game? I’m not telling anyone that Auburn’s a great team, but then again, neither is Georgia. Yeah, Auburn lost to Arkansas and Kentucky, but the Tigers also went up to Knoxville and won. And the fact is that they’ve played quite well on offense this season. Auburn is ranked in the top twenty nationally (and second in the SEC) in rushing offense, total offense and scoring offense. So it’s not like the Dawgs kept a Tennessee Tech or even a Vanderbilt out of the end zone on offense for three quarters. Something good happened.
But I return to my first point, except that it’s narrowed to the perspective of one man. I’ve said it before – Mark Richt has certainly earned the opportunity to right the ship. Dumping a head coach who’s accomplished what he has is, well, prematurely premature. And I don’t expect him to make any hard calls in the midst of the season. That being said, if he’s taken what happened Saturday night for more that what it is right now, it’s a ginormous leap of faith that in my mind isn’t justified.
Based on quotes like this,
“The thing I would have really liked to have seen is what kind of defense would we have played all year long if we weren’t constantly turning the ball over deep in our own territory or throwing the pick six or having the kickoff returned for a touchdown,” head coach Mark Richt said. “All those things can deflate the energy of a team, not only a defense. If you could magically take away all the short fields we’ve put them in and all that, it would be interesting to see how it would have all stacked up.”
Rex Robinson is convinced that Richt has already made up his mind to stick with Martinez. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but I do believe that Richt is hoping that the defense shows enough in the last two regular season games to give him enough of a reason to avoid making a decision that I have no doubt is personally distasteful to Mark Richt. And, again, that’s his call and I’ll support his right to make it.
But he’ll be the guy that will have to live with the consequences. There are plenty of examples of good people at the top being undone by their subordinates. One thing we all know from following this program is that Georgia can’t be a successful SEC program with a second-tier defense. And one good night against a better-than-average offense doesn’t change that.
Wow, three straight weeks with an unchanged top five… who’da thunk it?
BEST OF THE REST
- Boise State
- Georgia Tech
- Ohio State
- Yeah, I know, Iowa.
- But if you’re not going to slot the Hawkeyes there, which school do you choose? Every one I contemplated had warts of one sort or another. If you put Penn State there, how can you leave Iowa out? Oklahoma State hasn’t beaten any team of consequence and lost badly to Texas. Wisconsin lost to the only two ranked teams on its weak schedule. The remaining choices are all three-loss teams like Virginia Tech (tempting, I admit) and Stanford (hot team, but with a loss to Wake Forest – ugh).
- LSU moved back into my top twelve by virtue of process of elimination as well. The Tigers offense leaves much to be desired and they don’t have a signature win, but they haven’t been embarrassed by anyone, either. And their schedule is tougher than the likes of Oklahoma State’s and Wisconsin’s. Sigh.
- As easy as it was to construct my top ten, it was a struggle finishing the ballot. Total time spent: 45 minutes.
So exactly how bad are things going for Southern Cal? Matt Hinton lays out a compelling case for these being the worst of times for Pete Carroll, but, honestly, I think this story tells you all you need to know:
When Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll met at midfield after Stanford completed its 55-21 defenestration of USC here Saturday, their conversation was brief, pointed and seemingly unsatisfying. “What’s your deal? What’s your deal?” Carroll said, according to two sources near enough to hear. “What’s your deal?” Harbaugh retorted, and that was that. Now there’s the brevity of wit for you. It is also evidence of what will be a lingering dislike-a-thon between the two men, punctuated by Harbaugh’s impish yet gratuitous two-point conversion attempt after Stanford‘s seventh – yes, seventh – touchdown. It looked like what it was, Harbaugh putting a knee in Carroll’s exposed coaching nethers.
When the nerd is kicking sand in the face of the bully and the bully remains helpless, that’s a pretty good indication of how far and how fast things have fallen for USC this season.
Who says “NFL” stands for No Fun League? Consider these hijinks:
But for neutral observers, Sunday’s finishing sequence at Giants Stadium was both unorthodox and memorable. It included a Jets defense trying to allow a touchdown to give Jacksonville the lead and the Jaguars refusing to score it. And it had nothing to do with either team trying to lose.
Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, one of the stars of the game, intentionally dropped to his knee before the end zone after a 9-yard gain to set up the winning field goal while running time off the clock.
What made it even stranger was the play before that. On first-and-10 from the Jets’ 14 with two minutes left, Jets Coach Rex Ryan told his defenders to let Jacksonville score. Ryan figured it would give the Jaguars a 6-point lead but leave his team time to take the ensuing kickoff and drive the field for a game-winning touchdown.
Because not all of his defenders got the message, Jones-Drew was tackled at the 10 by Marques Douglas and Sione Pouha after a 4-yard run.
“We couldn’t even get that right,” Ryan said.
The topper, though, was this quote:
Mindful of what some fans care about most, Jones-Drew said, “Tell my fantasy owners I’m sorry.”