Nick Saban calls Paul Finebaum “… a good friend for a long time.”
Daily Archives: October 2, 2013
I’ve about beaten this bad boy to death, but here’s one more tidbit about LSU’s now infamous 3rd-and-23 conversion, from Grantham himself:
LSU had Beckham in the slot with Boone to his right. When Beckham ran upfield, linebacker Leonard Floyd was supposed to jam him and force him to re-route.
Beckham got free and found space between Floyd and linebacker Ramik Wilson. Mettenberger fired it in. Mauger was coming to help but couldn’t get to Beckham in time.
“That’s a young player going up against a veteran guy and [Mettenberger] threw a tight ball into an area,” Grantham said.
You decide to cover the number four receiver in the SEC, an NFL-caliber talent, with two linebackers as he goes out in his route? And you expect Floyd to re-route him? Have you not watched him in pass coverage?
Your job is to put your players in position to win. I’m having a hard time seeing how electing not to have Floyd rush Mettenberger qualifies. One of you arena guys – help a blogger out.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this is the first time I’ve seen a power conference commissioner answer this question with something other than “no”.
When asked whether he could support the “Olympic” model permitting athletes to receive money off their own name, Slive replied, “It’s a model. There’s lots of different models. Whether that model is the right model or a modified NCAA model is the right model, it’s imperative we look at those models. I’m not prepared to say one is better than another. One thing we know for certain is the status quo is not satisfactory. I think the first step is restructuring the NCAA to create the kind of platform that allows us to look at different models moving forward.”
“The status quo is not satisfactory” is not necessarily the same thing as saying the players are being treated unfairly. It could just as easily mean “I’m tired of the time and money Emmert is spending in O’Bannon waging a war he’s going to lose on worse terms than he could have had in a settlement and looking foolish in the process”. Are guys like Slive and Delany pragmatic enough to cut their losses on this and move on? Compared to Emmert, sure (admittedly, a low bar). The question is whether the NCAA would allow a restructuring that would significantly modify its amateurism reason for being. It bears watching closely how much autonomy those pushing for a new “Division 4” are seeking.
It was hot and humid last Saturday in Orlando. Working the sidelines in the sun for several hours can take a lot out of a guy. There’s a cure for that, though.
The catch is that you probably shouldn’t go on television shortly after feeling more like a man in that way.
That being said, you’ve got to admire the “aw, screw it” attitude behind this response.
Questions about Spurrier’s on-air manner during the broadcast have been raised on local and national websites.
Asked if that was due to fatigue, Spurrier said, “I guess so.”
When asked if he was impaired in any way, he said, “I hope not.”
When asked if he had been drinking after the game, Spurrier replied, “Whether or not I have a few beers after every game for the past 29 years I don’t think I need to get into all that. Most coaches that I know we probably do have a few beers after ballgames after building up all week and so forth…”
Maybe Spurdog ought to get Brent Musburger to work The Steve Spurrier Show. A little knowing empathy never hurts.
Ben Dukes is pretty cheesed with those of us who have been critical of Georgia’s pass defense. Talking about what he saw in the LSU game, this is a pretty good summary of what he thinks we’re not getting right:
… So, in re-watching the game, and in breaking it down, there’s no way in hell I can agree with the dominant attitude out there that our team is not any good in pass defense. It’s simply not true.
Did we lose on some plays? We sure did. We have a couple of pass-rushing beasts in Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd. We have a solid Defensive Line. We have some very talented young DBs who are going to have to grow up, but who played very well over all in this game.
For the most part, what we saw in this game was an NFL OC, and NFL QB and two NFL wideouts who executed a gameplan against a very young secondary. I don’t think the majority of Georgia fans understand that. Cam Cameron was calling plays in the NFL last season. The plays he diagrams are very high-level plays. The guys starting in our defense are very young. Still, they played their assignments well for the most part. They gave up more points than we wanted to, yes. But, they definitely don’t “suck” as many fans and bloggers are attempting to put forth.
Mettenberger is a pro talent in his fifth year at LSU. He makes throws that 95% of college quarterbacks are not going to make. Those receivers make catches that 95% of receivers are not going to make…
Okay, that’s fine – as far as it goes. But if you look at LSU’s passing log, that same NFL talent and that same former NFL offensive coordinator weren’t nearly as effective against TCU and played at about the same level of performance against an Auburn defense that I don’t think anybody’s going to accuse of being elite.
And if you flip over to Georgia’s pass defensive game log, it’s pretty clear that LSU didn’t scald Georgia’s defense at a noticeably superior clip to any other passing attack the Dawgs have faced so far. (Opponents’ completion percentage, in particular, has been very consistent, as even North Texas completed more than 60% of its throws.)
To be honest, with regard to the players, I’m not really sure what the disagreement is over. You’d have to be blind not to notice how much talent there is on the defense or how there’s been steady improvement out of some of the players over the first third of the season. The problem is inconsistency and that’s due to how green much of the unit is. (Issues like this don’t help.) It’s something that will get fixed over time, but meanwhile the ride’s going to be bumpy.
Which brings us to Grantham. Of everything Ben wrote, I found his analysis of the 3rd-and-23 completion the most interesting:
This is the play. This is the one that has our genius fanbase screaming for the heads of our DBs. This is the play that people are saying defines Todd Grantham’s mediocrity. This is the play, more than any other, that I wish wouldn’t have happened, because it gives idiots some form of self-imposed legitimacy.
What happened? Well, we actually get a decent pass rush, forcing Metts to step up in the pocket. Unfortunately, no one is there to clean him up. From what I can tell, the offense is running 5 vertical routes. Everyone just go for the first down line, and Metts will throw to whomever he thinks is open. In this situation, he decides to throw it to Beckham, between Wilson and Floyd and in front of Mauger, who made the tackle. Floyd and Wilson were both in zone, and Beckham simply split it. Mauger was in a deep zone, and came up to make the tackle, just as is his assignment. He actually was giving our Corner help on the widest receiver who was headed up the sideline.
This play pissed our fanbase off because many of them wanted us to blitz. Of course, many of those same people were asking why we were blitzing earlier in the game when a blitz got beat for a big throw. So, you know, genius fans. Here’s the 17-beers and three quarters of a game-in logic: “It’s 3rd and 23! You have to trust that you won’t give up the big play. You have to put the pressure on and force the QB to throw a bad ball. That’s what you HAVE to do.” Of course, this exact same playcall worked 3-4 times against South Carolina. The fact is, you’re much more likely to give up a huge play on a blitz than you are on a deep drop. Did it suck to give up the first down? yes. Would our fanbase be even more rabid if we’d been hit for a bomb TD there? Yup. But, I’m not here to talk about what if’s. I’m telling you what happened. Moving on.
I don’t know that I was pissed off, but I sure was frustrated by the defensive call. I’m not an in the arena guy by any means, but it seems to me that in that kind of situation, it’s not so much that you want to force the quarterback to throw a bad ball, as it is that you want him to throw early. 23 yards is a lot of real estate to make up and that takes time for the receivers to run their routes. Why would you want to give “an NFL OC, and NFL QB and two NFL wideouts” time? Georgia got a fair amount of pressure on Mett throughout the game with a four-man rush when the run was a viable option. If you’re going to take something on faith in a pass-only situation, why not have faith that Jenkins, Floyd and the other two can make Mettenberger come to a decision early than he would have liked?
And the thing is, I give Grantham credit for changing his approach on LSU’s last series of the game. Hey, look, it’s a learning experience for him, too, as he’s still trying to figure out what his guys are capable of as a group.
The good thing is that, between the offense playing lights out and the softening of the schedule, there’s enough time to get the kinks worked out. If things settle in by Florida, nobody’s gonna care about the early jitters. Going into the season, we all knew it was going to be a race against time for the defense to click. It’s been managed well so far and it’s reasonable to expect that everyone will keep plugging away to get better. We’ll just have to wait and see how that goes.
As you probably know, Georgia is sixth nationally in total offense, averaging 554 yards per game. And that’s come against three top ten teams on the early schedule. One of the big reasons for the high level of play has to be the unit’s experience, led by its fifth-year senior quarterback. Aaron Murray and his receivers have an obvious chemistry that comes from a mutual level of comfort and confidence that routes are going to be run correctly and throws are going to be where the receivers are/will be.
“He’s actually just as comfortable as he is with Justin (Scott-Wesley), as he is with Michael (Bennett), and he’s getting that way with Reggie Davis too, to where he’s able to take chances, and knows that nine times out of 10 his receiver’s gonna come down with the ball and make a play,” Conley said. “It really speaks not only to him studying the defense but taking the time to build chemistry with his receivers, whether that be working on stuff after practice with them, or something as simple as sitting down to talk with them about a game plan.”
It’s also a testament to how quickly Murray has learned to go through his reads. Conley said he thinks Murray is going to his second and third reads, but he does so quickly enough that it seems like the first option.
“Sometimes it’s just his mental clock and knowing the matchups across the field,” Conley said. He knows the types of receivers he has where, what type of attributes are and who they’re going up against. He knows which side of the field he’s gonna work, and he can snap to the receiver, knowing the matchup.”
When the line play is there and the running game is doing what the running game is expected to do, Murray’s going to have options when he throws and he’s shown that he knows how to take advantage of that. He’s hitting better than 68% of his pass attempts and he’s already had two games when his passer rating has exceeded 200. Georgia’s ninth in the country in passing, but only has one receiver in the top 100 in yardage. Depth and spreading the wealth has been the story.
Three different players have led the team in receiving yards during the first four games. Six different Bulldogs players already have more than 100 yards receiving. Murray threw four touchdown passes in the 44-41 win over LSU, and three different receivers caught them.
Junior Chris Conley, one of four players who has between 11-15 catches this year…
Talent combined with experience adds up to high production. That’s been Georgia’s story on offense so far.