Vandy thoughts

Could there be a more obvious Musical Palate Cleanser for this post than this?

Coaches gonna coach.  Players gonna play.  So let’s put our version of the rematch to the side for now and commence firing random bullet points.

  • Okay, first the obvious:  the defense isn’t going to have a problem with focus Saturday night.  The worry is the opposite, that it comes out overly amped and struggles with gap assignments and overrunning plays that the Commodores’ offense successfully exploits.
  • Speaking of those gap assignments and other blown matters, Georgia’s defense has given up eight big plays in its first three games.  Here’s how that breaks down:  those eight plays have yielded 333 yards, or 41.6 yards a play; the other 213 plays run so far against Georgia’s defense have averaged 3.3 yards.
  • While we’re talking about coming out overly amped, here’s looking at you, Aaron Murray.
  • I like Vandy’s defensive coordinator, Bob Shoop.  It’s early, but he’s coaching the 11th best defense in the country.  And it’s third nationally against the pass.  You can tell his unit is well coached.  It plays hard and is fundamentally sound.  But it’s still Vanderbilt, which means the line is undersized and overall depth is an issue.  Vanderbilt had fourth quarter leads in both of its losses this year.
  • That being said, Georgia is by far the best offensive team the ‘Dores have played this year.  The Dawgs’ #20 ranking in total offense is a good bit higher than South Carolina’s #47 and Northwestern’s #63.
  • Both teams want to establish the run, and for the same reason – to draw one of the safeties out of pass coverage and into run support.  Which team is likely to have more success doing so?
  • Vanderbilt’s other problem with its offensive game plan is that it has two good receivers in Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd, but little behind them.  The two have combined for 29 of Vandy’s 43 receptions so far.  So even if Grantham feels the need to cheat a little with safety run support, he’s still got a better chance to cover the receiving options with the secondary than Shoop does (especially if Georgia can run the ball out of one-back, four-receiver sets).
  • With all the extra-curricular distractions in last year’s game, it’s easy to forget that Georgia had built a 16-point lead in the third quarter and appeared to have the game under control.  Things unraveled because of 2011’s big bugaboo, bad special teams play.  The ‘Dores had a 96-yard kickoff return for a score, blocked that late punt and survived two missed field goal attempts.  If there’s one area that’s a cause for concern tomorrow, it’s Georgia’s punt return game, which hasn’t done much and saw a couple of muffs last week against FAU.
  • The other development that swung the direction of last year’s game was the insertion of Jordan Rodgers into the game at quarterback.  He didn’t throw the ball all that well (4-19, 31.3 passer rating), but he surprised the Dawgs by running the ball effectively (11 rushes for 80 yards).  That seemed to open up Vanderbilt’s offense.  Zac Stacy ran for almost 100 yards and Franklin made up for some of Rodgers’ lack of production in the passing game by pulling off a couple of trick plays, one of which went for a 45-yard TD.  I don’t expect Grantham to be asleep at the switch this year, no matter who starts at quarterback for Franklin.  (And remember that Missouri’s James Franklin had a poor day running the football against a Georgia D that was clearly prepared for him.)
  • One other Vandy coach who impresses me is the guy who coaches the offensive line, Herb Hand.  He’s earned a spot in the GTP Hall of Fame for this quote, but he also happens to be good at his job.  His problem is that he doesn’t have that much to work with.  The Vanderbilt offensive line, as you might expect, isn’t particularly big by SEC standards.  And it’s had its struggles, no doubt.  That line yielded five sacks against South Carolina.  Vandy only rushed for 62 yards in that game.

Bottom line here is that I think Georgia shuts down Vandy’s running game and Vanderbilt can’t do the opposite.  The Dawgs had best be prepared to see a heavy dose of the dink and dunk passing game with an occasional trick play tossed in to see if they’re staying awake and aware.  The line is somewhere in the neighborhood of two touchdowns and that strikes me as reasonable.  Stay away from mistakes, grind the Commodores down and grab that second divisional win.

Oh, and don’t forget to shake hands after the game, fellas.


Filed under Georgia Football, James Franklin Is Ready To Rumble

58 responses to “Vandy thoughts

  1. AusDawg85

    It will be nice to go back to not worrying about the Vandy game each year.

  2. I believe Grantham will drop an ACME safe on Franklin at some point. Just to show he cares.

  3. paul

    Gotta love the quote. Give the man his due. I only wish CTG had said it first.

  4. FCDore

    From a Vandy perspective, D-Line coach Sean Spencer is one of my new favorites; wish I could get him to record my office voicemail greeting. (The 1:09 mark in this clip from last week.)
    May and true freshman Azubike have been disruptive so far from the DE spot, but our linebackers are a weakness and our safeties are making WAY too many tackles. On offense, we saw some glimpses of the speed that our most heralded recruit (Brian Kimbrow) possesses, but he’s still learning.

    • The Lone Stranger

      I can foresee a plethora of tackles necessitated in the defensive backfield in this one. I get the distinct feeling that the Dawgs will have a true two-headed Running Back monster on display Saturday, and if the OLine communication has solidified “bar the doors.”

    • Keese

      Are they really saying “any dores in the house….woof woof?” at the end

  5. Senator, I want you to call all the Georgia Games for me. Not on the airways, via close circuit radio.

  6. Scorpio Jones, III

    A typically rational opinion Senator, but I notice you did not adress the long snappah issue, again. I am worried there is something you are not telling us.

    • I’ll give you something to worry about – Georgia was +3 in turnover margin last year and still had a nail biter until that last minute of the game.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Yeah, Vandy don’t quit….what you think I have been raving like some kinda lunatic about all week?

        Actually, if we are going to get goofy with the football it would probably be better to do it in the first half this time.

        I have never had such a hard time with hat selection for Vandy.

        • Cojones

          Use the one with the dead cat’s head affixed to the front brim and a rabbit’s tail on the other end. Let me know when you are ready for a chicken hat. I have chicken hats that are literally coming out of their rears.

      • Bevo

        Vandy was simply a better coached team than we were last season. They did not kill themselves; we tried to, but talent overcame our efforts.

    • Macallanlover

      SJ, would appreciate your recommendation to CMR to put the backup players in. We do have TN coming up next week, then SCHOOL. I think mid third Qtr.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Mac….ah….what the hell are you talking about? Backup players? Next week? Not me….

        • Macallanlover

          Trying to help you enjoy the next 32 hours. Plenty of time for you to sweat it out the next two weeks. You need to be rested. Dawgs will handle Vandy on their own. Trust a wise old man on this one.

          • Cojones

            Leave him alone, Mac. He’s just intent on suffering worryingly for us all. He picked up my shoulder full yesterday. I just hope his health can stand up to this or we will be confronted with : Scorp- He died for our sins.

          • The Lone Stranger

            Incidentally, hope you didn’t bet the entire Back 40 on the Bulls Wed. nite! Got some saved up on UGa +16? That was not the team that graced the Sanford Stadium turf a few weeks ago.

            • Macallanlover

              That was a baaadd miss on Buffalo for me. Just shows how it is too early to be confident of anything (except UGA this weekend—-cue SJ3). Not giving more than 2 tds in the SEC, although I think we win by 17-27.We have too much offense, the don’t have enough. But…. Any Given Saturday, or Wednesday, or Thursday…..

  7. What fresh hell is this?

    Here’s a sobering Vandy thought for you:

    Buffalo Bulls QB, Alex Zordich, who recently carved up the UGA D like a Thanksgiving turkey, just went 4 for 22 against the mighty Kent St Golden Flashes. 1 of those 4 completions was an end-of-the-first-half Hail Mary that accounted for 46 of his 92 yds in the game.

    • fuelk2

      I hope you’re kidding about this. This form of simple logic really doesn’t work with college football.

    • What fresh hell is this?

      Am I wrong to be disappointed or worried that we didn’t do a better job against Zordich than Kent State?

      • I think that depends on whether you think the defense shows up in focus tomorrow night.

      • JonDawg

        More disturbing than the passing numbers? How bout that was ALL that Kent St.’s D gave up. The whole game. Hard not to notice. I’m hoping that Rambo and Tree are just that important to our D…

      • Cojones

        Fresh, this is Fri and Scorp hasn’t even gotten to the “lamenting women” stage. I’m working on a Skin Worry Patch as hard and fast as I can, but you could be most responsible for Scorpe being driven to Milledgeville instead of the game by your taking over his worrying. Oh, and the patch has some green herbs mixed with Drambuie that aids in skin penetration of the alcohol-extracted THC. The Dram also gets him laid back between highs. It’s all good and probably legal. Then again, it may be the pharmacological discovery of the century.

        Sorry, gotta go and write up a patent before someone finds out what’s in the patch……Oh…..Uh…I’m just going to step outside for a moment…

        • AthensHomerDawg

          Enter the world of the Green Dragon. 😉 Slow down the patent wheel Cojones. I admire your choice of Drambuie, a fine upscale malt whiskey liqueur. However, at 40% alcohol you might as well stick to canola oil in your extraction process. Fat vs. alcohol. You need high alcohol. Very high. We are talking Everclear or Golden Grain here my man. You need to hit that mark to gain any efficiencies in your extraction process. Besides it’s cheaper and after all you are building a patch here. You are not drinking it. Right?

          • Scorpio Jones, III

            I have no idea what you wild people are talking about….THC? Green Dragons? Golden Grain? Phu Bai breakfasts?….oh, well not those, but ya’ll are scaring me here…I took all the courses daddy would pay for, but nobody ever mentioned any a those deals.

            I just know Vandy players caint run far with a Anchor Up They Damn Ass.

    • Biggus Rickus

      Whoa there, Sparky. He went 14-24 for 146 yards with a TD against Georgia. The second quarter of that game sucked and all, but there’s no need to oversell it.

    • The Lone Stranger

      I actually watched snatches of that game, and I will corroborate — that did not look anything like the QB that engineered a couple successful scoring marches against the Dawgs.

  8. Slaw Dawg

    I feel about this game how I initially felt about Missouri until getting worried the last few days prior to that game. It’ll be tough and hard hitting and all that for 3 quarters, but we really should beat them on both sides of the ball (tho maybe not the “third side,” special teams) and come away with a clear, 2 TD or more win. I think the bigger story here is that we’re entering a 3 week stretch of tough SEC games. When we come out of it, we’ll know what we really have, one way or the other. I never believe you can tell much from cupcake games one way or the other (which is part of the reason I hate them), but 3 weeks of conference play will give us some Truth.

  9. Cojones

    Amen, Slaw. The senator has filled our analysis plate for this game and the link to their O-line coach and the O formation running the D response has us assuming that Grantham will have conjured up an adequate D with the players he has. Now don’t mention this to Scorp, but the team should be given a snakebite kit as well. Lady Luck sometimes ends up screwing us in favor of the other team.

  10. Turd Ferguson

    Has it been confirmed that Rambo and Ogletree are playing? I’m still under the impression (albeit, an unreliable one) that Rambo’s suspension is 4 weeks, and that Ogletree’s was 2-4 weeks.

    • Dboy

      There was an interview this week where M Mitchell let it slip that he would be primarily playing defense until next week when we get a few all american caliber players back and are full strength again. (paraphrasing, of course). Most people took that to mean that Rambo and Ogletree were both suspended until Tenn. game. Other than that, the public doesn’t seem to know.

  11. JG Shellnutt

    What about “Don’t Fear the Reaper” or if it had to be a TP&HB day, “Don’t come around here no more?”

  12. Rebar

    Well, now we see what we are made of. The first of seven SEC games in a row, this will give us some idea of where we are. Personally, I don’t think we will be the sausage, rather the sausage grinder.

  13. Cosmic Dawg

    I think we win this one by 28 points, say 41-13.