Daily Archives: September 18, 2012

Mark Richt – sometimes he knows what he wants and sometimes he wants what he knows.

A couple of quotes for you to ponder from the head man during today’s presser… first, in response to a question about Georgia’s less than stellar punt return game:

“The main thing is that we’re looking for a guy who will field the ball and communicate well. So I think we’re still searching for that, but it’s a tough job. You’re back there and guys are flying down the field getting ready to pop you as soon as you touch it, and sometimes it’s hard to decide whether to catch it, to let it roll, to fair catch it or to return it. It’s a tough job, and we’re trying to get someone who will go back there and just take the bull by the horns and make good decisions and communicate well to everybody and wrap up the ball.”

What I don’t get about that is that if this is about searching for the guy who can field and communicate, why is the player who was second on the team in punt returns last year nowhere to be found on this year’s return list?  Did Branden Smith forget how to talk in the offseason, or something?  (As an aside, I will say that while I know who it was against, I was impressed with McGowan’s return last Saturday.  There’s somebody who knows how to run north-south when it’s called for.)

And here’s something else Richt had to say about the process that led him to hire Todd Grantham:

“I knew he had a lot of fire. Sean Jones played for him in Cleveland and Sean said that about him. Brad Johnson, who is my brother-in-law, was on the team playing quarterback at the time, so he got to observe the type of coach he was in practice. I wanted that. That was one of the things I wanted in the guy who was going to lead the way for us on defense. Defenses play a lot on emotion. You certainly had to have good schemes, and Todd had a great reputation for that, understanding not only how to pressure people, but also how to play the back end in coverage and all that. I heard just great things about him in that regard. It’s an emotional game. It’s about playing hard and getting after it. When the guy in charge of that group is that type of personality, it tends to bleed over into the way his players play.”

Now that’s interesting, especially coming from a coach that’s taken his share of criticism about appearing too unemotional on the sidelines.  And I’m just wondering… was emotion this guy’s problem at Georgia?


Filed under Georgia Football

It’s not over until the fat quarterback squeals.

Man, this must be the Week of Taking It Personally in the SEC East.  Florida’s offensive coordinator’s got a major chip on his shoulder… about Kentucky.  If that’s not weird enough for you, evidently it’s because Jared Lorenzen once tweeted mean things.

“I coached Jared,” Pease said in Ocala. “Jared is one of those guys that was talking trash when I took this job. So that’s good for about two extra launch plays, trying to get to 50 points on those guys when they come to campus.”

I hope he’s as gratified if a key player gets hurt on one of those extra launch plays.


Filed under Gators, Gators...

Not just another (Vandy) game

Those of you who want Saturday to be just another day at the office, so to speak, are going to find themselves a little disappointed as the week progresses, I’m afraid.

Attitude and a liquored-up Sanford Stadium should make for an interesting game night atmosphere.


Filed under Georgia Football, James Franklin Is Ready To Rumble

Working the refs

I haven’t been shy about mocking Spurrier’s complaints to the SEC about various policies the conference has put in place, but I can’t blame him for his latest grumble.

A personal foul was called against Swearinger after he launched into UAB’s Patrick Hearn while breaking up a pass in the third quarter Saturday. The side of Swearinger’s helmet crashed into Hearn’s facemask. Both players stayed in the game…

… Spurrier pointed out Sunday that a Vanderbilt player was given a 15-yard penalty but no suspension for a similar hit against Gamecocks tight end Justice Cunningham.

Here’s the hit on Cunningham, for those who need a reminder:

This is the can of worms Mike Slive has opened with his new, laser-like focus on targeting.  And before you say, “that’s just Spurrier”, note that Steve Shaw felt compelled to respond to Spurrier’s comparison.

On replay, although contact was made to the receiver’s helmet, the primary contact from the Vanderbilt defender was to the shoulder area. The Vanderbilt defender never lowers his head and the contact is made with his facemask up looking at the South Carolina receiver. It was a foul because there was glancing contact to the receiver’s helmet. In the UAB contest, based on video replays, the contact was initiated by a slight launch of the defender into the receiver and the primary contact was targeted directly into the receiver’s facemask.

Now whether you think that’s a load of hooey or not, that’s an awful lot of detail you’re asking officials on the field to absorb in a short time.  (Remember that the player who received the season’s first suspension wasn’t even flagged on the play.)  And it’s setting things up for an awful lot of second guessing in the aftermath.

None of which is to say that sending a message about targeting isn’t a worthy idea.  But the devil’s in the details.  And details aren’t something at which the SEC has always excelled.


Filed under SEC Football, The Evil Genius

While you were out watching the games, they were inside preparing to slice the pie.

The wheels of commerce keep turning, people.

BCS commissioners meet as a group for the first time since assembling a playoff beginning Tuesday in Chicago.

On the agenda is how to distribute that financial windfall from a playoff. Two sources have already confirmed to CBSSports.com that conferences involved in the Rose, Champions and Orange bowls will keep all the revenue in years those bowls don’t pass through the national semifinals.  [Emphasis added.]

Sucks for you, mid-majors.

Oh, and speaking of the Orange Bowl, they’re about to lock that sucker up tighter than a drum.

The Atlantic Coast Conference and Orange Bowl are finalizing a deal that would pit the ACC champion against either Notre Dame, an SEC or Big Ten team starting after the 2014 regular season, sources told ESPN.

The ACC champion, or another team from the conference if its champion qualifies for the national semifinals, will play annually in the Orange Bowl. How the ACC’s opponent will be selected from Notre Dame, the SEC or Big Ten is still being determined.

First thought:  my Lord, in just how many high tier bowl games is the SEC gonna place a team?

Second thought:  isn’t it ironic that the new playoff structure is going to be the excuse to direct even more football revenue to the power conferences?

Third thought:  scratch “ironic” and substitute “inevitable” in second thought.


Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness

It’s the triumphant return of Dawg Stat Watch, Week 3 edition!

You may recall a recurring feature here at GTP, the Dawg Stat Watch.  It’s a series of metrics I track throughout the season until it’s clear that Georgia isn’t heading to Atlanta.  What all these stats have in common is that they’re standards the Dawgs have met in every season under Richt that led to an appearance in the SECCG.  So I’m starting the tracking this week.

Last year’s results have led to one slight adjustment in defensive scoring, but other than that, the song remains the same.  Here’s goes nothing (all stats via cfbstats.com, natch):

  1. Hold opponents under 18 points per game.  As a team, Georgia is yielding 21 ppg.
  2. Finish at least +8 in turnover margin.  Georgia’s turnover margin is -1.
  3. Average better than 380 yards per game on offense.  Georgia’s offense is averaging 517.7 ypg.
  4. Finish in the top five in total defensive yardage.  Georgia’s defense ranks eighth in total defense.
  5. Finish in the top three in first downs.  Georgia is sixth in first downs.
  6. Finish no worse than third in passing yardage.  Georgia is third in passing yardage.
  7. Finish no worse than third in sacks.  Georgia is tenth in sacks.

Two out of seven is nothing to write home about, but it’s certainly early.  We’ll see how things progress.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

What would Evil Richt do?

So James Franklin, after joking about drinking Mai Tais with Todd Grantham at Disney World, went on to note how grown up everyone is.

“I think everyone else is going to talk about it, but I know Coach Richt’s going to focus on playing the game and the fundamentals and that’s what we’re going to do,” Franklin said. “It was an emotional, passionate, great game last year. But we’re going to do what we do every single week and focus on the game, and I would think that’s what Coach Richt is going to do as well.”

Eh, he’s probably right about that.  Boring, though.

Now I’m not here to advocate another Celebration moment – although that remains, and will always remain, totally worth it.  But there have to be a few more subtle moves with an edge that Richt could take if he wanted to get on Franklin’s nerves.

For example, were it me, I’d name Shawn Williams and Kwame Geathers co-captains.  Send a little message right from the coin flip ceremony.

Suggestions, anyone?


Filed under Georgia Football, James Franklin Is Ready To Rumble