Seth Emerson, who in a previous life was a South Carolina beat writer, just popped this out:
… I find it amazing that Georgia hasn’t had a three-game losing streak in two decades. At the program I just got done covering, South Carolina, they had a word for a losing streak of three or more: November.
I know we live in a strange world, but if this scenario were to play out and Greg McGarity hired Derek Dooley simply because his father coached here, I’d be looking for a new program to support so fast it would make your head spin.
Things that are buzzing around my brain this morning that I can’t figure out:
If the offense is having that much trouble game planning around A.J. Green’s absence, what’s going to happen next year? I don’t get the excuse making about why the tight ends aren’t more involved in the offense. I’m betting there’s at least one college offensive coordinator out there right now that manages to throw to his tight ends successfully without having an All-American wideout.
Will a Georgia defense ever be able to stop a crossing route consistently? The more things change, etc. I know it’s a risk when you play more man coverage underneath like they’re doing now, but somebody’s got to react more quickly to limit the damage once the pass is completed. The safety play in pass coverage has been abysmal for the most part. And judging from Mississippi State’s situational stats, Mullen has some clue about what to dial up when it’s third-and-long.
How ’bout that play action. You want to see something ugly? Check out opposing quarterbacks’ passer ratings on third-and-short. That’s not a misprint. Sure, it’s obviously based on a small sample size, but it’s another sign that Georgia’s inexperience with the new approach on defense can be exploited.
Will Mississippi State be able to run effectively Saturday night? Even with Marcus Lattimore’s coming out party, a close look at Georgia’s run defense stats shows that these Dawgs have been pretty stout against the run. MSU wants to run and does a pretty good job of it on first and second downs. Georgia needs to watch out for QB Chris Relf, who has the most rushing attempts on the team. And the draw play, which South Carolina and Arkansas used with some success.
Is the offensive line starting to come around? Josh Davis claims that he sensed the line was starting to jell in the fourth quarter against Arkansas, but who really knows? And what I can’t really figure out here is why Searels is having so much of a struggle getting his guys to play. This is a coach with an excellent reputation – remember, all you folks who believe that Nick Saban is the gold standard, whom Richt battled with to hire Searels in the first place when he left LSU – who hasn’t been able to get good play out of his charges on a consistent basis over this season or the last. I don’t get it.
If it’s consistency that you want… The weirdest looking set of stats that Georgia has compiled over the first three games are the split stats for average offensive yards per play. Come rain, come shine, on the road, at home, conference opponent, non-conference opponent, it doesn’t matter. These Dawgs are getting their five-and-a-half yards, damnit.
PlayoffPAC is at it again. The best part is the punch line: “As to whether the complaint, even if successful, will help the PAC’s goal of a playoff system, Sanderson argued that “when we raise awareness about these types of irregularities, the need for change becomes more apparent.”” Yes, because if there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that the next set of people in charge of the postseason won’t be consumed by greed.
I’m not sure if Georgia’s any worse than most schools about this, but Nick Williams is getting frustrated about being Tripped.
The Pac-10 looks to reinvent itself as a post-modern conference: “Another concept to be raised is splitting the northern and southern schools but using three scheduling “pods” of four teams to provide a rotating schedule that would allow northern teams to play in California regularly. Under that scenario, each team would not be guaranteed to face each divisional opponent each season.” Why even bother with divisions, then?
After the third week of play, here how Grantham stacks up against the three men that broke Mark Bradley’s heart by (reportedly) turning down the Georgia defensive coordinator’s job: Smart, Chavis and Foster (stats via the NCAA):
Virginia Tech, 49th
Virginia Tech, 82nd
That’s what happens when one team plays Mississippi State and the other plays Arkansas. LSU hosts a presumably more competent offense this week when it takes on West Virginia, so we’ll see what happens with those numbers.
In any event, it’s still a credible showing. Bud Foster would certainly trade places with his former assistant.
“And Georgia fans, don’t be turds. Enjoy this. Soak it up. It’s awesome. If you don’t win this year, it’s still not a failure. It’s a heck of a run. Back-to-back in the Playoff era hasn’t been done. So, to ask for a third I feel like it’s gluttonous. I feel like it’s not OK. But we’ll be in the mix.”-- David Pollack, On3.com, 5/9/23