When I first saw that Furman 22, Florida 7 score, I knew Mike Bianchi would be blaming Corch for it. Sure enough…
Daily Archives: November 20, 2011
If you’d have told be before yesterday’s game that Georgia would hold Kentucky to 165 yards on offense, force four turnovers and play an essentially flawless games on special teams, well… I would have told you to punch the Dawgs’ ticket to Atlanta on December 3rd!
Which is how things wound up. And on a weird day, the weirdest thing of all was listening to some in the home crowd boo the offense on the way to a 19-10 win. Lots of Bobo blaming, too. Although I never heard anybody explain what kind of plays they would have called in light of (1) fourth- and fifth-string running backs who couldn’t hold on to the ball; (2) an offensive line that seemed incapable of dealing with run blitzes; (3) a quarterback who struggled with his mechanics all day and (4) receivers who only sporadically were aware of what they were supposed to do when a football was thrown at them.
The playcalling was conservative and ugly. But that’s what happens when you lose half the playbook. Playaction is useless when the opposing defense doesn’t respect the run. And when you’re rushing one guy who looks like a stiff gust of wind could knock him over (and who still ran for 100 yards on the day!) and another guy who fumbled on his first carry – a turnover which led to Kentucky’s only TD of the day – what’s to respect?
Sometimes when you’re calling plays, you take the Hippocratic Oath: first thing, do no harm. As Bobo put it,
“I was thanking God the defense was playing as well as they were, and I really didn’t want to do anything to lose the ballgame, and we still fumbled three times,” Bobo said. “That’s just the hand we were dealt today, and I’m really proud the guys kept fighting. We didn’t play as well as we would like, but we did enough to win.”
How ugly was the offense? The clinching score came on a busted play.
This was the kind of day it was for Georgia: On its only touchdown, a 7-yard catch by Marlon Brown from Aaron Murray, Brown actually messed up.
“It was actually the wrong route,” Brown said. “I don’t want to tell everybody that. But it was the wrong route.”
Murray, who had an uneven day otherwise, stayed patient and found Brown when he got open in the back of the end zone.
So no style points were awarded. Big deal. They’re still on their way to the SECCG. Last time I checked, you can’t win the SEC unless you play in that game. That’s all that matters right now.
Anyway, here are a few things I saw:
- Lost in all the offensive futility and the defensive excellence was that the special teams had by far their best day of the season. Blair Walsh was a perfect 4-4, and if he’s back to being Mr. Reliable, that’s a huge plus. Drew Butler nailed every punt, one of which was downed at the one. Kickoff coverage was gloriously uneventful. Both of Kentucky’s stabs at trick plays were turned aside.
- The main reason I want to watch the replay is to see if the pass interference call that set up Kentucky’s only touchdown looks as awful on the broadcast as it did live. As much of a question as there is about who made contact with whom, that ball sure didn’t look catchable from where I sat.
- Can Todd Grantham make halftime adjustments, or can Todd Grantham make halftime adjustments? I lost count of Kentucky’s three-and-outs to start the second half, but I guarantee you after Georgia’s second third-quarter turnover, Mike Bobo didn’t.
- Aaron Murray, I have one word for you: mechanics. That pick at the goal line was a pass thrown almost flat-footed. It seems like when he loses confidence in his line play, his footwork suffers, even when he’s getting enough time to throw.
- Murray and King had almost zero chemistry. It seemed like either Murray couldn’t get King the ball when he was open, or when he did find the receiver, King couldn’t make the play.
- The play of the game was Jarvis Jones’ forced fumble that set up Georgia’s only TD on the day. He fought through two UK players’ holds to get to Max Smith in time. Just an incredible effort to watch unfold.
- Jones should feel flattered. UK’s first-half strategy on offense was to look for Jones and run everything away from or over him.
- It almost got to be a surprise when Kentucky made a defensive stop and Danny Trevathan’s name wasn’t called.
- Branden Smith had a good game. The interception return was nifty, but the open field tackle he made on that fourth-quarter screen pass was even better.
- It sure is fun watching Alec Ogletree turn into a monster.
- Oh, and so much for the “Quintavius Harrow was only signed to get Isaiah Crowell” meme. Who had the better day yesterday?
- Best victory formation of the season.
Sounds like Bacarri Rambo may be ducking Jarvis Jones for the next few months.
… After ringing up 2 ½ sacks, making seven tackles and forcing a key fumble in Georgia’s 19-10 SEC East clinching win Saturday against Kentucky, the third-year sophomore reiterated that he planned to return next year despite some projecting him as a first-round NFL prospect.
“I’ve got a long time around here,” said Jones, who increased his sack total to 12 ½, two shy of breaking David Pollack’s Georgia single season sack record. “I’m definitely coming back. I’ve got a great coach. Our whole defense is coming back next year so why would I mess that up?”
The whole defense would include redshirt junior safety Bacarri Rambo who has made no such declaration that he will return.
Asked about Rambo, Jones repeated: “Our whole defense is coming back next year.”
Hey, do you wanna be the guy who says “no” to Jarvis Jones? I’d rather risk the wrath of Todd Grantham.
Bruce Feldman, who knows a good bit about the Mississippi program, delivers a devastating eulogy of Houston Nutt’s downfall:
… The problems started to come because Nutt didn’t recruit as hard as the old staff. You’re able to get away with not recruiting as hard at Arkansas than you can at Ole Miss. His first few classes were huge, but loaded with misfires and guys who never made it to Oxford or didn’t last long. He also allowed MSU to take over the recruiting in the state in his first few years. Eventually that caught up with him, as did the eased-up, players’ coach mentality inside the program. The team had lost whatever edge was there in the early years of Nutt’s tenure. Whoever replaces him will inherit quite a challenge. There is some talent, especially in a nice group of young receivers, but there are major questions about the QB and throughout the rest of the depth chart, especially on the lines. There also are APR issues the new coach is going to have to be very mindful of because they’ve had so much attrition the past few years there. It looks like this team has been mailing it in on the field so if you’re the next coach you better hope they haven’t been mailing it in off the field too by not going to classes.
The next guy may be crazy or desperate. The one silver lining – Dan Mullen may not be gaining as much traction at MSU as everyone thought after last season.
Remember those halcyon days when pundits were fretting that the BCS was heading for a train wreck because there were too many undefeated teams still standing?
Seems kind of quaint now, doesn’t it?
Here’s what Steve Shaw had to say about the way last night’s Tennessee-Vanderbilt game wrapped up.
“On the last play of the Vanderbilt-Tennessee game, in overtime, the Tennessee defender intercepted the pass, his knee did not touch the ground and he returned the interception for a touchdown. During the play, the head linesman incorrectly ruled that the Tennessee player’s knee was down when he intercepted the pass by blowing his whistle and giving the dead ball signal. The play was reviewed as if there was no whistle on the field, and as a result, overturned the incorrect ruling. By rule, if there was a whistle blown, the play is not reviewable.”
Any way you look at it, the end result wasn’t going to be aesthetically pleasing: either the officials got the call right and blew the rule, or upheld the rule and blew the call. I’d say common sense won out, but it sounds like James Franklin disagrees with me.
An incensed Vanderbilt coach James Franklin could be seen going after the officials when the game ended.
Once the season’s over, somebody’s going to have to put together a YouTube clip of Franklin’s greatest post-game moments.