Does Georgia have the horses?, part four

Sorry, but with LSU looking at a possible undefeated season which would include SEC and national titles, I can’t help but revisit Heisman/College Football Pundit’s spectacularly wrong assessment of Les Miles as the worst college football head coach in America.

1. Les Miles, LSU — You could put a potted plant on the sideline at Tiger Stadium and get the same results Miles has gotten for LSU.  And there would probably be better clock management.  Selling his soul to the devil in exchange for wins in close games puts him over the top here.

What makes that especially delicious is that the potted plant’s success this season is significantly attributable to one of the smartest moves of his coaching career, ditching offensive coordinator Gary Crowton and his complexity-for-complexity’s sake system for a much simpler power football scheme.  LSU has an identity on offense.  It doesn’t screw up as much as it used to.  And it’s become a much more efficient scorer.

It’s a contrarian approach in a college football world of spread attacks.  And in the land of defenses built to stop the spread, the power football offense can be king.

Which is why we Georgia fans need to be careful as we beat our chests saying things like LSU hasn’t faced a balanced team like the Dawgs this season.  Because the truth is that Georgia hasn’t seen an offense like LSU’s this season either.  (The closest was probably South Carolina’s, but even there, the Gamecocks ran a zone-blocking scheme and not the straight ahead power stuff we’ll see Saturday.)

As a certain head coach we know puts it,

“Their goal is not to trick anybody,” said Georgia coach Mark Richt, whose team will face the Tigers this weekend in the SEC championship game. “Their goal is to line up and play real sound football in all three phases and basically physically maul you — wear you down and wear you out, make you quit. They’ve been able to do it most every game they’ve played.”

They’ve got the big, physical line and the deep backfield to do that.  But they’ve got other personnel that contribute to that, as well.  Rueben Randle will be the best receiver on the field tomorrow (even if Georgia gets the edge in receiving based on depth); he’s the most formidable wideout the Dawgs have seen since Alshon Jeffrey.  Both of LSU’s quarterbacks complete a higher percentage of their passes than does Aaron Murray and while they’ve combined to throw 13 less touchdowns than Murray, they’ve also combined to have a better TD/INT ratio than he does.

And don’t sleep on Jordan Jefferson’s ability to run.  He’s LSU’s fourth leading rusher.  Against Arkansas, they used the option brilliantly during the early part of the game when he couldn’t get untracked throwing the ball.

These guys don’t screw up much on offense.  Their job is to wait for the other team to do that and then capitalize.  And then pound the other team’s defense into the dust.  They’re damned good at it.

There’s only so much Todd Grantham can control.  If Georgia’s offense and special teams commit their share of errors, it’s going to put an enormous amount of pressure on the defense.  That didn’t work out so well in the fourth quarter of the South Carolina game when Lattimore took charge and never let go.  But if the Dawgs can stay away from making mistakes, LSU may indeed find out about what that balance we’ve been bragging about means.

One thing’s for certain, though.  It’s final exam time for those vaunted changes in the Strength & Conditioning program.  Strap it on, boys, and show us they’re for real.


Filed under Georgia Football, Wit And Wisdom From The Hat

81 responses to “Does Georgia have the horses?, part four

  1. Bryant Denny

    Good analysis.

    Your comments about Randle made me think back to the Game of the Century. From the stands, LSU’s receiver rotation had me scratching my head. Randle seemed to be in the game about half the time. They rotated a lot of receivers.

    On what seemed to be key passing downs, Randle wouldn’t be in. When expected to take some shots downfield, they didn’t. I wondered if it was caused by respect for Bama’s secondary or if they just had a conservative game plan.

    Whatever it was, it worked.

    It’ll be interesting to see how Miles attacks UGA’s version of the 3-4.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Actually it didn’t work BD. LSU did not score a single TD. They won because the Bama kickers missed 4 field goal attempts. LSU was lucky.

      • Go Dawgs!

        I’d rather be lucky than good.

      • ChicagoDawg

        LSU was not lucky in that game. I may not be digitally accurate, but I beleive that four of Bama’s missed FGs were from beyond 40yds and two of them were 50yd and beyond. Whereas LSU had there FGs of 19, 30 and 25 yds in regulation. LSU, playing in Tuscaloosa no less, drove the ball deeper into Bama territory and finished the drives off with points on the board. That is not a “lucky” win in my opinion.

        • ChicagoDawg

          Correction, the last LSU FG was of course in OT. Whatever the case, the point is that LSU was able to get deeper into higher percentage FG territory vs. Bama. I went back and looked at the box score and the two FGs that the Tide did make were 34 and 46 yds, so even those were not lay-ups.

        • 4.0 Point Stance

          I’m glad to see some people realize this. LSU won that battle of FGs not because our kicker was better (although he may have been; he never had to prove it) but because our offense was better, or at least generated better drives. And that interception at the six inch line that wiped out Bama’s only deep drive into LSU territory.

          • adam

            The LSU offense only had one actual drive that resulted in points. That was the one right after Bama hit the first FG. LSU drove down and kicked a FG before halftime to tie it at 3.

            Their other two field goals came from an interception return to Bama’s 15 and a 10 or 15 yard “drive” in OT. They’d gained 10-15 yards before, but OT gave them their second best starting field position of the night.

            LSU benefitted significantly from going to OT.

      • HaywoodJablomi

        Honorable Mayor:

        Were they “lucky” when they blocked the field goal?

        Were they “lucky” when they abused the ‘Bama offense in OT and pushed them out of field goal range?

        Were they lucky when St. Nick chose to have his kicker attempt to do something Satan knew or should have known he couldn’t do?

        Were they lucky when they held ‘Bama out of the endzone the entire game?

        Were they lucky when they outrushed ‘Bama?

        Were they lucky when they held T.R. – an admitted beast – to 89 yards?

        ‘Bama outgained LSU by a net 50 yards or so, mostly on the 2 long pass gainers to T.R. Time of possession differential was only 10 seconds. Almost everything else about this game was statisticaly dead even.

        Lucky my ass.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          I agree with all the facts you related. Nevertheless, Bama missed 4 field goals (one blocked). If any one of those field goals goes through the uprights Bama wins in regulation.

          • Haywood Jablomi

            Thanks for agreeing with the facts. I assume you’ll now agree that the Tigers weren’t just “lucky,” because IF Alabama’s offense had been able to get it done, they might not have lost. And IF a bull had tits, it would be a cow, and if a frog had wings it wouldn’t bump its ass

            ‘Bama fans have been screaming “luck” since they lost. Great football team; but it LOST – and not simply due to luck, either.

            • Bryant Denny

              I’m sure there are some of us screaming luck, but eh, that’s just fans being fans. When you look back on a game and see an interception on the one yard line, illegal block on a near pick six, missed field goals, etc., it’s easy to holler luck.

              • RandallPinkFloyd

                Missed field goals because ythe offense couldn’t get close enough.

                An interception on the 1 yard line because Saban got desperate and threw downfield with his WR throwing the ball.

                I wouldn’t totally agree that luck was not involved, but Bama had their chances. Plenty of them actually and couldn’t captialize.

                The real ‘luck’ is that Bama gets to play in the nation championship despite not having won it’s own conference subdivision. Weird freakin’ year.

                • Bryant Denny

                  I don’t disagree with you related to having multiple chances. But it’s not like we were playing Auburn.

                  I think part of what you are saying goes back to the original post. Miles, for whatever reason, played a bit safe – at least in my opinion. They won, so it worked.

                  • RandallPinkFloyd

                    I can agree with that. It was almost weird how conservative he was and how shocking it was that Saban would run a play like that, which probably could’ve gone either way in terms of possession…but call on the field had to stand.

                    • Mayor of Dawgtown

                      What you said above is right, Pink. There is more than one kind of luck. How many times does a team get to play a rematch to the team it lost to, in the BCSNCG? The ulitmate “mulligan.” That’s luck, too. Good luck for Bama.

        • UGLYDAWG

          When one team misses that many field goals in one game, the other team is…………”fortunate”………

          Even if some of them were at the outer limits….that’s a lot of “misfortune”.

          • RandallPinkFloyd

            Or simply bad kicking.

            • adam

              2/6 is incredibly bad kicking. LSU was fortunate indeed. You don’t expect any kicker (except maybe Andy Bailey) to do that poorly.

          • Cosmic Dawg

            I think that means that one team is better than another. If a kicker doesn’t make the field goal, whose team does he play for, anyway?!? Did LSU’s kicker make his field goals because of luck?!?

            It’s not like a bolt of lightning struck the goalposts every time he was about to kick. Alabama’s kicker did not convert, Saban should not have tried such long field goals, etc, etc. Whatever else you may think, these things are NOT luck.

        • I think the horrible call on Ed Reid’s “interception” was definitely luck, and basically decided the game.

          • RandallPinkFloyd

            Horrible? If it was that ‘horirble’, it would’ve been overturned.

            Also, if Ed Reed intercepted that, he would’ve taken it to the house.

          • adam

            Eric Reid, you mean.

            And that was not a horrible call. It was close to shared possession, but the safety got the ball. That was one of those instances that was just incredible close. If the ref interprets that differently, Bama probably wins.

      • Bryant Denny

        Well, we made more mistakes. Miles played things a little more conservatively and won.

  2. Turd Ferguson

    Little off-topic, but … has anyone else heard the rumors about a confrontation between Jarvis Jones and Isaiah Crowell? As if I didn’t love Jones enough already …

    • Nate

      Chuck Oliver said something about Crowell smarting off in practice the other day, but I didn’t hear all of it. I also don’t put much stock in anything he says either.

      • SCDawg

        Crowell runs his mouth a lot-too much, IMO. Jarvis is a leader on the team-so I expect he’d take care of it. I would not mess with Jarvis

      • Zdawg

        You may not put much stock in what they say, but they played a clip from the Richt presser and coach is obviously very frustrated with the running back situation. Crowell is not staying healthy and aggravating the situation by showing a lack of mental toughness.

        This upcoming game is for grown men only. Man, I never thought I would want to see Richard Samuel back so much.

        • Nate

          You’re right about that. I don’t like Chuck Oliver, and I think he exaggerates quite a bit, but he does seem to have sources all over the place. As an aside, my dislike towards him comes from his shitty website, not so much his radio show.

    • BCDawg97

      The story is IC got lit up by a walkon and spouted off in practice then the next day came out in a green jersey but wouldn’t do the conditioning with the other greens. At some point Figgins, Ben Jones and others have “talked” with him. Someone “in the know” said that it isn’t Jarvis’ style to get in the grill of anyone, that he is quiet and laid back about that type of stuff.

      • Nate

        That sounds believable I guess, and stuff like that probably happens all the time all over the country. However, another talented running back on the team wouldn’t hurt the situation. (cough, cough, Keith Marshall)

        • BCDawg97

          The only part that is “heresay” is how much Jarvis might have said to him. The IC spouting is confirmed by ADasher. But yes, we gotta get Marshall.

        • gastr1

          I don’t know. Not playing doesn’t seem to bother him.

          I am beginning to think IC is a lost cause. We should just get another RB, period.

      • PNWDawg

        “…wouldn’t do the conditioning with the other greens.”

        That surprises me. I would think that would be right up Highsaiah Ohwell’s alley.

    • Faulkner

      I have and I am still trying to figure out if he is playing. After I heard the report I searched all over the usual spots and found nothing about it.

      • RandallPinkFloyd

        Bet he plays. Richt might as well use him one last game. It’ll be his last in the red and black.

        • baddawg

          That comment is ludicrous! he’s not going anywhere. he’s an 18 yr old. he needs to grow up. when is the last time we had a true freshman tailback starting games? he is carrying a huge load of responsibility. he just needs to keep his mouth shut and learn from the other men on the team!

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            I think Pink was suggesting that CMR might “runn oft” Crowell in a similar manner to Ealey “apres la season.”

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              I reiterate, however, my suggestion from yesterday. This all me be a “laying in the weeds” strategy similar to Kentucky’s QB move against UT.

          • Cojones

            However, baddawg, with this many reports (I was with the challengers to “rumors” yesterday that seems to have turned to reality today) I wouldn’t be surprised if the players didn’t run him off. If he can be obstreperous at this sensitive time of the season, no one would want him to play in a bowl nor depend on him for next year. As fans, we can only look on helpless, hope for the best, sympathize with Richt who has given him every chance and take the chaff with the grain.

            If all of this is true, then I’ll be first in line with the torch to illuminate the tarring and feathering and running him out of town. If his attitude is this bad, then it may also be reflected in the classroom and that assuredly would cost him a bowl appearance plus probation. Too bad. I don’t think Richt should play him for fear that he can infect the attitude of others. I’m conflicted because he is one of the reasons we are in the SECCG.

          • Junkyard Dawg '00

            “when is the last time we had a true freshman tailback starting games? ”

            Danny Ware? 2004

  3. Gravidy

    Thanks for reminding me of Heisman Pundit’s lunacy. I had forgotten about that.

  4. Mark

    Glad to hear someone finally point out something important for the game this weekend. How well our O does will play a factor in how well our D plays in the 4th quarter. Bama did 3 things better than the other teams that played LSU and could have won as a result. They didn’t lose the turn over battle, they didn’t give up many big plays in any phase of the game, they got first downs. IMO, getting first downs is important in this game because the D will need the time off.

    I know CMR talks about TV timeouts keeps folks fresh. But another thing he use to talk about but doesn’t much any more is the number of plays. Keep the number of plays your D faces to a low number and your D most likely will play better in the 4th quarter. To do that, the O needs to make first downs.

    • Bevo

      I agree with this point, and with Senator’s post in general.

      “How well our O does will play a factor in how well our D plays in the 4th quarter.”

      This is an sometimes overlooked issue with our D in the Boise State game. The D actually had a great first half against Boise. They were on the field constantly as our O failed to get a first down in the first half and created awful field position, but kept us in the game for a couple of quarters. We wore down in the second half. If our O disappears for too long tomorrow, LSU will make our D pay the price.

  5. Nate

    After reading this post, my first thought was that if the SEC Championship were a cheesy 80’s movie it would be Top Gun. LSU would be Iceman and Georgia would be Maverick.

  6. AlphaDawg

    We are the 2nd best defense LSU has seen all year, I don’t see their Offense scoring more than 17/20 on us. If we get good Special Teams play and Murray doesn’t have a pick 6. I think this will be closer than the experts think.

    When I look at common opponents its a push as far as stats are concerned. I’m not saying we win, but I don’t see this game as a 2 score game.

  7. Carolinadawg

    Yeah, I actually made the mistake of defending Miles on this board a year or so ago and got flamed royally for it. Anybody who thinks he’s an idiot who can’t coach is delusional.

    • SCDawg

      He is clearly not an idiot. You have to admit he has had some clock management brain farts, though. He got lucky against Tenn when they had 124 men on the field the last play of that game last year. Didn’t they also spike a ball on 4th down last year, Reggie Ball style, with him calling for it on the sideline? Richt had a bad one his first year against Auburn-uggh.

      However, his guys play hard for him and they know their assignments. He is aggressive, to the point of being reckless, but it works for him, so I can’t fault that. He’ll be coaching LSU for a while. He seems to be more good then lucky at this point.

    • Bevo

      I agree. Miles does his job very well. And I actually like his loose and off-beat style, especially in today’s age of robot corches.

      Just look at the results Miles produces. People like to say scoreboards don’t keep track of yards gained and other stats. Well, what about LSU’s wins-losses under Miles? Those numbers speak for themselves.

    • UGAfoo

      I’m a Miles fan as well. He cracks me up. Like the cut of his jib.

  8. Eric

    I love how 4 coaches on that list have had great seasons.

  9. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Let’s give Pundit some credit. At least Derek Dooley and Muschump are on the list. Got that much right at least.

  10. AusDawg85

    A little over 24 hours now and the nerves are starting to rattle….

    C’mon Larry and Lewis….get with the Big Man and point-out how much Brother Richt as earned this one.

    (would /tebowing be wrong here?)

  11. charlottedawg

    Am I the only one who finds it a little bit remarkable in that during lsu’s run of success these past 10 years they’ve done it without a big name qb or even really a big name running back? not to take anything away from the four very productive rbs on their team whose names I can’t right now recall.

    • 202dawg

      What, JaMarcus Russell not big enough for ya?

      • Carolinadawg

        You mean Jamacuth Ruthell?

        • RandallPinkFloyd

          They never won a natty with Ja’macus. Always with a game manager.

          While they never had a ‘big name’ back, they’ve always had productive ones who went on to NFL careers. Sometimes pretty short careers, but they at least htey made it to the show.

          Justin Vincent(I swear he’s still playing for them), Jacob Hester, Charles Scott, Keiland Williams, Joseph Addai, Stevan Ridley, etc.

  12. Red Blackman

    These things don’t happen very often but I just have this feeling that Mark Richt is due to win a game he shouldn’t.

    I am uncharacteristically calm and confident.

    Perhaps it was the corn dog etouffee I had for dinner last night. Perhaps not. I dunno.

    Yes, Senator, Georgia does indeed have the horses.

  13. 4.0 Point Stance

    Ah the ole’ Caramel Belching Pinata. The guy is clearly out of his league when he tries to talk football. What he does know, is the Heisman. And this isn’t that surprising, because his day job is a PR guy, and the Heisman is a PR award. So he gets that.

    Where he runs off the rails is in assuming that the Heisman is actually meaningful from a football standpoint. And he assumes that because LSU doesn’t have a Heisman type player – a QB or RB with a lot of awesome stats in a ring-em-up offense – they must not be a good team. He actually picked against LSU in five of its first seven games (swear to God – Oregon, MSU, WVU, Bama, Auburn) before giving up making picks on the year.

    Before giving up, I want to point out this quote from the Senator:
    “one of the smartest moves of [Miles’s] coaching career, ditching offensive coordinator Gary Crowton and his complexity-for-complexity’s sake system for a much simpler power football scheme.”
    This is exactly what Heisman Pundit constantly says is the worst thing any team can do. I’d go into it but uggh, I’ve given this guy too much of my time already.

  14. NC Dawg

    I just wish we had the same horses we had going into the florida game. The running back horses, I mean.

  15. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Chris Huston’s an idiot. Total west coast homer who spends his entire time whining about east coast bias and anti-USC conspiracies by the NCAA. His idea of good coaching starts with offense and requires four players on the opposing defense who would never see the field on an average SEC team.

  16. Rocketdawg

    I look for Ken Malcome to have a big game tomorrow. He got some yards at the end of the Tech game and his confidence has to be high. Now if he can just hold on to the damn ball.

    • adam

      He only fumbled once, right? In his first carry, too.

      I think it was just the jitters. Harton, however…


    I look for A Murray to have some legging yards. Crowell may be handed air on a lot of dives.
    LSU is a good team. They are not infallable. ANY team can be beat with good scheming and execution.

    DEAR SEC, PLEASE, PLEASE send unbiased officials!


    I’m not asking for competant officials, that would be asking a lot…I’m just asking for unbiased officials….and I know that’s a lot too, but it is nearly Christmas.

  19. Always Someone Else's Fault

    The only way this crazy-ass season can end…

    Georgia gets popped with a celebration penalty on the 5 as (x player) holds hands up in triumph approaching the goal line for the winning TD late in the 4th.