Daily Archives: October 8, 2013

Communication breakdown

Man, I just don’t get this.

But in Saturday’s win over Tennessee, one of Barber’s punts was blocked and returned for a touchdown, tying the game in the third quarter. It was the second blocked punt for a touchdown this year.

So what’s the problem? Lynch took the blame a few weeks ago for the blocked punt against North Texas, saying he switched into the wrong protection coverage. This time, it appeared that Hicks just whiffed on his block, but Lynch again said it was miscommunication between the three of them.

“It’s understanding the scheme of what we do,” Lynch said. “It’s all about where the protection is, and who’s protecting who. Communication was kind of a barrier on it, and a block was missed. But the fault wasn’t on one person. It definitely goes as a group effort. It was one play that really changed the momentum of the game, luckily we survived from it.”

Lynch also said the crowd noise had an effect. The punt happened near an end zone, and Lynch said one of his teammates, Lucas Redd, told him he had to read Lynch’s lips when he made the call. Finally, senior Connor Norman missing the game didn’t help, as Norman was one of the key communicators on the punt team, lining up on the front line.

“People really don’t understand how well he does for us in that,” Lynch said. “He’s like a security blanket, almost, for the special teams. We get him back, and it’ll be a big deal for the punt team.”

I understand that.  What I don’t understand is why the punt protection group didn’t prepare for that.  Or the possibility of crowd noise affecting the call.  It’s not rocket science, or at least it shouldn’t be.  I know they care about getting it right, but somebody’s not staying on top of the small stuff.  And it’s killed them in two games now.



Filed under Georgia Football

The year of throwing dangerously

The number of all-time SEC offensive records under assault this season is astonishing.


Filed under SEC Football

Another Richt persona?

I’m trying to remember the last time Mark Richt spoke this bluntly (well, for Richt, anyway) about one of his starters:

Methinks somebody is getting a wee bit impatient with the pace of defensive improvement this season.  And me wonders what’s being said behind closed doors.


Filed under Georgia Football

Don’t take it so seriously.

Gotta give Spurdog credit – there are times when he makes me laugh.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, The Evil Genius

Context matters.

I was getting ready to go here, but Year2 thoughtfully saved me the trouble:

Despite playing no one all that good in the first four weeks, Missouri’s  rated just 42nd in that span (the figures haven’t been updated to include the 10/5 games at time of posting). In comparison, Georgia’s much maligned defense rates 26th in these opponent-adjusted ratings. [Emphasis added.] The sample size is still too small to make firm judgments, but it doesn’t appear that the defense is as efficient as the 28th-rated Mizzou offense is.

And that’s the thing of it. Missouri is behind those three upcoming opponents in both offensive and defensive S&P+, save its offense being ahead of Florida’s offense.

Vanderbilt’s offense is higher rated than Tennessee’s, so the gap between Missouri’s and Georgia’s defensive S&P+ ratings will likely narrow this week, but the bigger point – one that I brushed at when I noted how Mississippi State struggled with LSU’s offense – is that Georgia’s played more than its fair share of potent offenses this year.  I’m not predicting greatness Saturday, but maybe, just maybe, the Dawgs can keep up.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Michael Sam and the zen of Gary Pinkel

You want something to be nervous about?  Missouri recorded seven sacks against Vanderbilt last week.  You want something to freak you out?  The Tigers did it largely rushing just three men.

“They have a really great defensive front,” Dores quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels said. “I have so much respect for the front, because a lot of their success doesn’t come from moves right off the line, they just have guys like (Vanderbilt’s) Walker (May) and Caleb (Azubike), and the guys on our D-line that just want it and want it really badly. They dropped eight into coverage and it took a lot of time to go through progressions, and those three just worked as hard as they could. Part of them dropping eight into coverage was allowing more time for their defensive line to work, and that really helped them be successful.”

Michael Sam leads the SEC in sacks, with six.  He gets them in bunches, recording three in two games.

The strategy for the Tigers – “Missouri’s swarm of edge players becomes so effective in the second half if Missouri’s offense is scoring points early, forcing teams to become one dimensional” – is something that Georgia is going to have to make a real effort to avoid, on both sides of the ball.  The good news is that it’s been a while since any defense has made Georgia one-dimensional on offense.  And it’s certainly worth remembering that the offensive line has only yielded seven sacks in five games.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not getting a few bad vibes about the left tackle position.

Though I am trying to stay calm by absorbing the inscrutable wisdom of Gary Pinkel.

Asked about Georgia late Saturday night, Pinkel did his best Norman Dale.

“They’re a great team and we get to play them in a great stadium,” he said. “We have great respect for them. We’ve got to get better. We’ve got to focus on tomorrow, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. We’re playing one of the best quarterbacks in the country.”

But …

“I think (their field) is 100 yards long, though.”

Serenity now, grasshoppers.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Fourth and Todd

Hmm… maybe Grantham’s on to something here.

“Because our offense is so explosive — South Carolina went for it on fourth-and-2 — I think we’re going to see a lot of fourth downs because people feel like they’ve got to keep the ball,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “We obviously didn’t play the one flip play very good, but we’ll learn from it and move on.”

So perhaps there’s a silver lining to all the injuries, as teams may feel justified playing more conservatively, eh?

Of course, another way to cut down on opponents gambling on fourth-down calls would be to get an occasional stop.

Snark aside, there is something to the argument that SEC offenses are simply more potent this season.  As Barnhart notes, Mississippi State’s higher ranked defensive unit did a noticeably worse job with LSU than Georgia did.

After throwing for 372 yards and making one NFL throw after another in a 44-41 loss to Georgia in Week 5, Mettenberger followed it up by completing 25 of 29 passes for 340 yards against Mississippi State, which had the No. 20 defense in the country going into the game. Mettenberger’s offense racked up 563 yards and closed the game with a 31-0 run to win 59-26.

I don’t expect this defense to suddenly turn a corner and become a shutdown unit.  The thing is, that’s not really necessary.  If Georgia’s defense could just win a couple of more series, with an offense that’s generating close to forty points a game, that’s enough to get the job done.  That’s not an unreasonable goal, is it?


Filed under Georgia Football

Mumme Poll standings, Week 6

Rank Team Votes (Top pick)
1 Alabama 75 (50)
2 Oregon 75 (22)
3 Florida State 75 (1)
4 Clemson 75 (0)
5 Georgia 74
5 Stanford 74
7 LSU 67
8 Ohio State 57
9 Texas A&M 45
10 Baylor 41
11 Oklahoma 39
12 UCLA 15
13 Miami 13
14 Louisville 12
15 South Carolina 5
16 Florida 3
16 Washington 3
18 Oklahoma State 1
18 Missouri 1


  • Conference breakdown:  SEC 7, Pac-12 4, ACC 3, Big-12 3, Big Ten 1, AAC 1.  Regional bias or reality?
  • I’m a little surprised 5-0 Texas Tech, which has a win over a ranked opponent, didn’t get a sniff this week.  Also, that somebody left Stanford off his/her ballot.
  • Not exactly sure what happened, but three ballots accidentally were counted towards week seven.  I’ve made the corrections here.  Fixed.
  • Missouri pops up, just like it did on the AP.
  • I’d say there’s a pretty solid consensus around a top eleven.


Filed under Mumme Poll