All those early starts due to a poor showing are no cause for celebration, right?
Not if you’re crack law enforcer Jimmy Williamson.
“Seasons past we had late games and that left time for a lot of tailgating, but so far all our kickoffs have been before 1,” he said. “We’re not seeing tailgating like we have before. This season has been a real delight.” [Emphasis added.]
I’m glad somebody’s happy.
Gentry Estes talks to Grantham and Richt about the defense’s Achilles heel, third down conversions.
… No defense in the SEC has been worse on third down this season than the Bulldogs.
Georgia’s opponents are converting 43.4 percent of their third down attempts. That means of 83 third downs faced by UGA’s defense, the Bulldogs have remained on the field a total of 36 times, the most of any SEC team to date.
Richt breaks that down even further.
“We’ve had a bunch of teams in third-and-long, and we’ve had a bunch of teams get a first down,” Richt said. “It’s just so frustrating. A lot of it has been some quarterback runs. You feel like you have the right call, you have everybody covered and they are right there to get him, and he breaks free. … Our third-and-medium has actually been outstanding compared to our third-and-long. We just have got to continue to get our guys in position to make the plays and get them to make it.”
Some of it may have been quarterback runs, but if you look at the rush defense situational stats, they really aren’t that bad on third down and more than six. Those pass defense situational stats, though… man, they tell a different story. The D is doing a sensational job defending third and medium, but when it gets longer than that, opposing offenses have Georgia’s defenders right where they want them. Opponent passer ratings actually improve as the distance to convert increases. That’s third and Willie with a vengeance.
You know you want it…
- Call it zone read, midline option, whatever. All I know is that I dread watching Georgia defend running quarterbacks.
- Speaking of which, blitzing Cam Newton hasn’t been the world’s greatest strategy: “… all five of his interceptions this season have come when teams have dropped back at least seven defenders into coverage. And when teams have blitzed, Newton has been lethal. He’s completing 70.8 percent of his passes to go along with seven touchdown passes and no interceptions when teams come after him with extra defenders.”
- Here’s another look at the 3-4 defense in college football.
- Mark Richt explains his signing philosophy.
- Chris Marve, less than two weeks off of arthroscopic knee surgery, plans on playing tomorrow.
- And Vanderbilt Sports Line has a musical question for you (and some weird speculation).
- Talk about closing the barn door waaay after the horse is gone…
- UT fan loses a bet on the Georgia game.
- Instead of suggesting that Georgia’s loss to Colorado might wind up being worse that Ole Miss’ loss to 1-AA Jacksonville State, perhaps Brian Harbach ought to consider Georgia Tech’s loss to Kansas as a benchmark for 2010 suckitude.
Every time I read an Aaron Murray story, I grow more impressed. Marc Weiszer’s got a good one up today about how Murray’s been able to grow into the position and how the playbook has opened up as a result.
And you’ve got to like this comparison from his head coach:
… Like Greene, who also started as a redshirt freshman in 2001, Richt chalks up Murray’s early success to “coachability,”
“That’s one thing I realized about Greene in the very beginning when we started meeting with him and I’d watch him go about his business,” Richt said. “That guy was focused, that guy was taking notes. That guy would go from the meeting room to the practice field and you could see his head nod and he’d do exactly what he would supposed to do in his progressions. He was creating habits that were going to allow him to make good decisions. That’s what Murray does, and Mike and I both could see that in him.”
David Greene’s approach to the game packaged in a more athletic body? Not a bad place to start…
That would be A.J. Green, as the stats bear out.
… Although Murray’s numbers have improved since Green’s return, the biggest statistical difference has come from Orson Charles and Aron White. The two tight ends were a focal point for defenses when Green was out and combined on just six catches for 66 yards.
They have combined on eight catches for 134 yards the past two weeks.
I realize that many of you who see this post will simply give me the virtual equivalent of clapping your hands over your ears and doing the “LALALALALALAICAN’THEARYOU” shuffle, but it bears repeating: there’s a reason that the college basketball experience matters in the discussion of a college football playoff. You can talk all you want about differences in schedules, in the number of teams, in the length of the season, but it still comes back down to this:
“Every Saturday when I’m in a stadium or watching on TV, I see how much these games mean to people,” Hancock said. “I get it that if you did 16 teams, then the conference champions would get in and the conference races would be [important]. But it’s inevitable that a portion of the energy would go from the regular season to the playoff.”
On that issue, Hancock claims to be somewhat of an expert. Like a lot of us, he has seen the meaning bled out of college basketball’s regular season with expansion of the tournament. The ACC recently signed a monster deal with ESPN that seemingly hinged on the hope of Miami and Florida State becoming good again in football and a couple of Carolina-Duke regular-season games.
“[The BCS commissioners] have to worry about what this enterprise is going to be like in 20 years,” Hancock said. “Nobody foresaw what the tournament would do to December, January and February basketball.”
I understand that Hancock’s a shill. But that doesn’t change the simple fact that college basketball today is a very different animal than it was 35 years ago. If you’re a fan of brackets, no doubt that’s a big plus in your book. But if you’re a fan of meaningful regular season play, it has to give you some pause for thought. And if you’re a BCS conference commissioner, or the president of a school in a power conference getting paid major bucks for that football regular season product, it has to give you more than that.
Kris Durham sums up Georgia’s early season predicament in one simple paragraph.
“Our goals have turned into honestly, one game at a time, looking at Vanderbilt,” senior receiver Kris Durham said. “We can’t look past that. We’ve already tried that and it wasn’t successful. So we talked about winning the East, we talked about winning the SEC, and hopefully being in the national title at the beginning of the year. But what we didn’t focus on was coming out, fighting to the finish, and doing the little things, the little steps it does take to accomplishing those goals.”
By the way – message to Greg McGarity: if Georgia finishes with a 5-7 regular season record, don’t even think about accepting a bowl bid. The year may go down the toilet, but at least the program can maintain some dignity about it.