Daily Archives: September 25, 2011

Naysayer, time to put your money where your mouth is.

Georgia opens as a 7.5-point favorite over Mississippi State.


UPDATE:  Other early spreads for this week’s conference match ups:

  • Kentucky +30 @ LSU
  • Auburn +10.5 @ South Carolina
  • Alabama -4.5 @ Florida


Filed under Georgia Football

Dance with what brung ‘ya.

Let’s see.  Stephen Garcia’s passer rating against Vanderbilt checked in at 101.50.  (His rating for the season is a sorry 110.90, good for ninth best in the conference.)

He sounds pretty worried about it.

Garcia’s problems caused Spurrier to throw his headset in the first quarter and his playcalling sheet in the second. By the time Garcia threw his fourth pick in the end zone in the fourth quarter, the Head Ball Coach could do nothing more than slowly shake his head as his senior quarterback spoke to him.

Garcia shrugged off his performance at first. “A win is a win. If we would have lost, hell yeah, it would have been frustrating,” he said.

Seriously, why should he worry?  His coach has raised him from the dead more times than Lazarus and for all the talk about how great Connor Shaw played in preseason practice, the reality is more eloquent than Spurrier’s BS about a competition at quarterback.

… Spurrier put backup Connor Shaw into the game in the fourth quarter, his first action since getting the nod to start this year’s opener, then being benched after an ineffective first quarter. Spurrier took no chances, running Lattimore on six of Shaw’s first eight plays. The other two snaps were designed quarterback runs.

Spurrier didn’t close the door to a quarterback competition during this week’s practices as the Gamecocks prepare for Auburn. But he didn’t sound confident he had anyone he thinks can run his offense the way he wants it.

“We’ll put whoever out there we can to help us win the game,” Spurrier said, adding Garcia will likely start with “the way we’re looking at things now.”

I figure we’re only a week or two away from South Carolina going to the Wild Cock forty snaps a game.  Or at least the OBC threatening that.


Filed under The Evil Genius

So, I guess his seat wasn’t the hottest after all.

Vaya con Dios, Mike Locksley.  Can’t say I’m surprised.


Filed under College Football

The statistical story, one-third in

I don’t know if you’ll be surprised by some of this, but I am, given the overall record so far:

  • Georgia is second in the conference in pass defense, and eighth nationally.
  • Georgia is third in the conference in total defense, and thirteenth nationally.
  • Georgia ranks fourth in the SEC in total offense, and 37th nationally
  • Georgia is second in the SEC in tackles for loss and seventh nationally.
  • Scoring offense:  fifth in the conference, 26th nationally.

What this tells me is that if they can clean up some of the peripheral garbage that’s hurt them, this team stands a decent chance of getting better.  That “if” is a big word, though.

One thing seems pretty clear, though.  Grantham’s got his troops playing this year.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Observations from the end zone: Richt goes old school.

I’m back from one of the best road trips I’ve ever had the pleasure of taking.  If you consider yourself a fan of the blues, by all means take in Clarksdale, Mississippi some time.  It’s a small, friendly town.  I spent Friday night there with some friends and we had a blast.  One thing I learned is that every male resident of Clarksdale seems to go by a nickname.  We met or heard about Red, Razor Blade (who in turn had a host of acquaintances who went by other sharp object monikers) and Dollar Bill in the space of a short time.  For all I know, it may be a city ordinance.

Oxford and the Grove lived up to their reputations.  As for the latter, Michael Adams could learn a few things about how to pull off a satisfying tailgating experience for large crowds on campus.  I know… in another life, maybe.

Anyway, on to the game.

I have to say I’m a little surprised by how negative a reaction the Ole Miss game generated in yesterday’s message thread.  My reaction after leaving the game was that Mark Richt had done the time warp.  The game had the feel of so many wins from the 2002-4 era against lesser opponents.  It was clear early on that Georgia’s defense was going to have its way against the Rebels’ offense.  That had to appeal greatly to Richt’s conservative game-management nature and indeed that’s how the day played out.

Think about this for a minute:  Isaiah Crowell carried the ball thirty times yesterday.  That should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about the game.  Was it pretty?  Maybe not.  But I’ve learned that you never sneer at any SEC road game win.  (And if Walsh doesn’t miss those three field goals, it’s a 23-point win.  I doubt Richt was expecting the misses.)

It was certainly prettier than any road loss we saw in 2010.  And if Mark Richt is in the process of getting his groove back, he’s certainly got an attractive part of the schedule coming up to get the special teams kinks worked out.

As for a few specifics:

  • Aaron Murray looked sharp in the first half, although it would have been nice if his receivers had been sharp, too.  That deep ball he threw to Malcolm Mitchell was absolutely perfect.
  • I also thought Murray did a fine job reading the blitz and throwing the hot route.  Now if Bobo can just get him to stop locking in on receivers as he did occasionally yesterday…
  • One last Murray bullet point:  that scramble to pick up the first down on Georgia’s first TD drive was huge.
  • Amarlo Herrera turned in another solid game in his first start.
  • The coaches may not have wanted to give Crowell the ball 30 times.  Crowell may not have wanted the ball 30 times.  But Georgia’s offense sure looked better when he was in there.  And his presence helped sell our old friend, the play action pass.
  • Crowell kept playing even though he missed an obvious blitz pick up that led to a sack.
  • Yes, I know that Ole Miss’ QBs leave something to be desired and there was a touchdown off of a trick play pass.  But I was impressed with how much more comfortable Georgia’s secondary appears to be in week four.  There were some excellent pass break ups I saw in the second half.
  • Punt coverage is a problem (you didn’t need me to tell you that, I’m sure.)  The touchdown was set up in part by Butler outkicking the coverage, but there was no excuse for the downfield misses we saw.  On the other hand, Butler had two brilliant kicks that were as good as any I’ve seen from him.
  • Walsh may be in a field goal slump, but it’s not affecting the rest of his game.  Kickoffs and kickoff coverage continue to be very, very good.
  • I make fun of Houston Nutt as much as anyone, but give him credit for having his team ready yesterday.  I thought he coached as good a game as he could, given how undermanned his squad looked from a talent standpoint.
  • I really liked Richt’s decision to go for the late field goal as an opportunity to give Walsh a boost.  It’s not like Georgia needed the points by then.  But, boy, if Walsh had missed a fourth one…
  • To the young man behind me who was complaining that Richt didn’t go for more points when Georgia got the ball back at its 19 with less than a minute to go in the first half, even though the Dawgs were set to receive the opening kick of the second half:  dude, you’re a moron.
  • After the Ole Miss band played “Dixie” for the first time, I turned to my friend and asked if there were more black players on the field than in the stands.  We decided it was about even, but only because the players’ relatives were there watching.
  • Loved seeing the tight end involvement in the offense.  Both touchdown receptions were great.
  • I’m curious about the decision to start Chase Vassar in place of Cornelius Washington.  It didn’t exactly get off to a rousing start, either.
  • Speaking of time warps, didn’t the draw call to Crowell on third-and-long that jump-started the 99-yard drive bring to mind the draw play with Musa Smith that resulted in a similar gain in the ’02 Auburn game?
  • Richard Samuel may not be a great runner, but he’s turned out to be a damned effective receiver out of the backfield.

On to Mississippi State.  For those of you looking forward to Dan Mullen’s job interview, I hope you’ll be disappointed.


Filed under Georgia Football