Daily Archives: August 2, 2013

Even more proof this could be Florida’s year.

Anybody sense there’s a pattern emerging?

Florida running back and third-team preseason SEC pick Matt Jones is out indefinitely with a viral infection.  Coach Will Muschamp says Jones will be re-evaluated next week.

“He came down with this the last four or five days. Right now we’re filling him full of antibiotics, and how his body responds will tell me how quickly he can come back. I probably won’t know definitively until end of next week on Matt. Just one of those things that happens. He’s got a lot of (gastrointestinal) issues right now and dealing with those things. He should be fine. Again, I don’t know when he’ll be able to return.”

Teammates say Jones has lost considerable weight. He was expected to be Florida’s primary back this year after rushing for  275 yards and three touchdowns as a backup to Mike Gillislee last season. Redshirt junior Mack Brown will take the No. 1 spot in Jones’ absence.

There are also a couple of offensive linemen who will be MIA for the first part of fall practice.  The good thing is that’s not as many who missed the Gators’ spring game.

Florida’s best friend right now looks to be its September schedule.  If the Gators had to face Georgia’s slate, with the walking wounded, you’d have to figure they’d be out of the national race before all was said and done.  As it is, they should get a chance to regroup.  Unless somebody else falls by the wayside.



Filed under Gators, Gators...

“We really don’t have any fat boys.”

If I had to point to one thing that I’m most curious about seeing with my own eyes this season, it’s where the strength and conditioning program is taking Georgia’s players this season.  Richt describes his defensive group as “a very, very lean football team” and we’ve heard about all kinds of players on the offensive side of the ball who have trimmed weight from last season.

I assume there’s a change in philosophy behind this, although to some extent it’s the logical extension of making sure the players are conditioned well enough to make it through four quarters of play.  But, among other things, it’ll be interesting to see how it applies to an offensive line that just a couple of seasons ago could boast that it was the biggest in the game.


Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

Pace is the new spread, continued.

I enjoy Gary Danielson’s CBS color work greatly, but, man, when it comes to bigger picture stuff, the guy can be a colossal muttonhead.  Mainly, it’s because he’s so bloody stubborn about recent offensive wrinkles.  His feelings about the spread offense are well documented – and for some time now – but he’s also got a thing about hurry-up offenses, especially when it comes to how they impact Nick Saban.  That, too, is nothing new.

His latest observations about the Alabama-TAMU game are particularly incoherent.

“I’m just not all in on this, OK,” Danielson told The Tim Brando Show. “I have to admit I am more old-school on this than probably everybody else. Speeding up play and tempo has gotten too much credit for why teams are doing well.”

The analyst cited Texas A&M’s win over Alabama last season as an example. He says it wasn’t the pace, but the inability for the Crimson Tide, who lost 29-24, to substitute personnel groupings.

“Tempo had nothing to do with that game,” Danielson said of the Aggies’ win. “There was no hurry up in that game. The reason, I think, Nick Saban doesn’t really love the up-tempo game is because he feels he has an advantage because he’s good with substituted defenses. …

“What that offense does when you go to the line of scrimmage is keeps Nick from using all of his weapons in his mind.”

So tempo had nothing to do with that game, except limit Saban’s use of his resources.  Got it.

This is even better.

Danielson has concluded the better team will win if there are more plays in a game, despite the fact that it is the underdog running the faster pace. He cites basketball as an example. An inferior team, he says, in basketball slows the pace, it doesn’t speed it up.

“I think when you play 100 plays, Alabama is going to win way more often than the underdog,” Danielson said. “I just don’t see where it is that much of an advantage.”

Gary, I’ve got news for you:  Alabama’s gonna win way more often than the underdog, regardless of the number of plays run in a game.  The real issue is whether running more plays gives the not-Alabamas of the college football world a better chance to win games.  And given that of the 23 teams that ran over 1000 plays last season (and, yes, I know that’s not the most precise metric to use, but I’m too lazy to dig deeper right now) only one posted a losing record, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that it does.

Coaches want to win.  If you’ve got fewer resources available than Nick Saban, you get creative and try to get the most out of what you’ve got.  This approach is growing because it works.  If that offends Danielson and his old-school sensibilities, that’s how it goes.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

“Last year’s over,” Bobo screamed to his players. “You’ve got to work.”

So fall practice begins.  And how could you have a first day of practice without somebody throwing up?

Georgia’s offense was having its way with the defense eight periods into the opening football practice on a humid Thursday afternoon, but left tackle Kenarious Gates was not celebrating.

After a second successful drive operating a no-huddle attack during 11-on-11 drills, Georgia’s offense raced back to the sideline. Which is where Gates lost what he had consumed for lunch.

“Hey, Gates!” Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo shouted as he raced over to the doubled-over 6-foot-5, 327-pounder. “I said period seven, and you went to period eight! Congrats! You won!”

Bobo already had berated players for bending over during the third of 20 scheduled periods, essentially announcing to all within earshot that this indeed is a new season.

It’s silly to read too much into the first day, but you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t obsess, so if you’re looking for a round-up of observations, here you go:  Weiszer, Emerson, Towers and Legge.  Thoughts?


Filed under Georgia Football

Dawg Porn, first practice edition

If this doesn’t get you in the mood for the Clemson game, I don’t know what will.

(Photo via Dean Legge/Fox Sports NEXT)

Love the focus on both of their faces.


Filed under Georgia Football