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

37 responses to “Michael Sam and the zen of Gary Pinkel

  1. Puffdawg

    A few things:

    – Going to play the part of some of our fan base here: None of his sacks came against ranked teams. None of his sacks came against winning teams. 6 is impressive though, even against air.
    – Anybody seen Mizzou’s schedule so far? Wow! Hope that’s a good sign for us.
    – Perhaps the sacks against Vandy should not scare us but rather encourage us. Maybe Vandy just sucks…?


    • AthensHomerDawg

      What concerns me is that UT with the number 111th ranked passing attack did what they did last Saturday. Missouri’s might just be equal or better than that.


      • garageflowers

        UT was 17/31 for 215 yards and 1 TD. I’ll take that. Yes the defense could be better, but there are plenty of signs of greatness. There are some real play makers on it, and I look forward to them getting more comfortable with the system.


        • The Lone Stranger

          Those are good numbers considering that the Vols were playing from behind for long stretches. Me, I’m still struggling to identify this System you mention.


  2. Puffdawg

    Also, kind of ironic Pinkel is referencing a movie about “old man basketball,” no?


  3. uglydawg

    If Gurley is really well (and that is debateable), Missouri better put more than three to slow him down at the LOS…because he’s a locomotive when he gets in the secondary and those guys will get tired of having to tackle him with a full head of steam.


  4. sniffer

    Tennessee played with confidence in the second half and played effectively. Our oddense is supremely confident but our defense, not so much.

    Missouri is confident after 5 games and I think the more confortable squad wins Sat. afternoon. Come on Dogs, get with it!


  5. HVL Dawg

    I say save Gurley and have him at full strength for Floriduh.


    • UGA isn’t good enough to not have Gurley. I agree it’s tempting to get him healthy, but if he’s 85% or so this week, they need him.


      • Ginny

        Agreed. An 85% healthy Gurley is still better than the majority of the RBs in the nation. I will feel much better about our chances if he plays.


      • The Lone Stranger

        I’d like to see the Dawgs ease Gurley in. Play the first half with Green/Douglas and if the game is within one score in the 2nd insert #3 in large doses.


      • Dolly Llama

        Strongly disagree. If we play him at 85% this week, we’ll be playing him at 85% – at best – the rest of the season. Not fair to Gurley and not a good plan for a season that’s not half over yet. If we can’t beat Missouri with Green and the rest of the offense, well … I just think the risk/return ratio of forcing Gurley back into the rotation speaks strongly in favor of holding him out until he’s truly hitting on all cylinders.


      • IveyLeaguer

        Understand. But with that high ankle sprain you risk re-injury, starting over and maybe worse.

        Gurley’s tough, but we know we can’t be without him down the stretch. Even if he’s at 85% and can go, I hope we try to win the game without him. If we can’t, then sure, put him in there.


  6. Scorpio Jones, III

    Missouri is a good football team, and if we had not played three good football teams a-ready I’d be freakin.
    I ain’t freakin, but I watched Misery and Vandy again last night…it ain’t just the crossing routes, Senator, Misery does lots of things very well on offense.

    Pinkel’s defense gets to work against that stuff all week, they don’t get to work against our offense, even if its our offense with the freshmen.

    Dear Mr. Burnette…this one is made for you baby.

    From Bubba, who is lost in the wilds of the high veld in New Mexico, comes this nugget about Mark Richt:

    “I know Mark Richt on Saturday knew exactly what he had seen. Following the game he had the demeanor of someone who has found his Redeemer all over again. Bless him. Now do something about the defense.”

    Et tu, Bubba?


    • The Lone Stranger

      Now you got me reaching for amulets all over again. All I see are 5-WR formations drawing those young pups hither and yon across the Sanford turf.


  7. At this point, after seeing UGA’s defense for several weeks, we have to accept they are what they are: poor. So any team who does anything well offensively will look great, and any team who does anything average offensively will look good. UGA will need the offense to score 35+ against Mizzou, Auburn and Ga Tech. They’ll need 28+ to beat Florida. That’s just the sad facts.


    • So. IL Dawg

      The defense is poor; but a lot of it is young, inexperienced kids who aren’t reacting quickly enough on routes. Remember, up until this year; these kids were by far the best athletes on the field and could react to anything better than anyone else. they really didn’t have to read and react; they could just react quicker. Now, they have to read and react. that’s not happening fast enough at the SEC level. They just need time for experience to help them to read the routes faster. CTG needs to coach them up. They will get better….I hope it doesn’t cost us a win though.
      On offense, AM is playing out of his mind; but the offensive line gets a big nod as well. they’re giving him the time to make the plays. with all the injuries, the key will be this Oline. If they can open holes and protect AM, this offense WILL continue to put up big numbers. It’s all about the big boys in the trenches. Give JJ or Douglas a little hole and they’ll get some big yards. Give AM some time and he’ll find a receiver open. These kids were recruited to this level because they have skills.
      GO DAWGS!!!!!


  8. BulldogBen

    After last night, if the Dawgs lose this weekend, I may just give up sports.


  9. Ptc dawg

    Mizzou has played some BAD teams.


  10. Beakerdawg

    We won’t be winning any championships with our current defense (from Clemson to Tennessee) unless there is a massive turnaround. At some point, AM will not be able to overcome the defensive shortcomings.


  11. Russ

    Crap. Now I’m worried about Missouri. This wasn’t in my preseason planning.


  12. Doesn’t it seem that, this season, UGA seems to play better with their backs against the wall yet when they are supposed to dominate it doesn’t live up to those expectations? This game has that same “backs against the wall” feel to it. The majority of the offensive is a M*A*S*H unit, the defense is playing poorly against anyone and everyone, NC hopes are in jeopardy (not to mention SEC hopes if we lose this game), and now we are facing yet another ranked opponent.

    Yeah, if that isn’t backs up against the wall I don’t know what is. Watch for the defense to play lights out and Gurley to come back and have a 150 yard game…


    • Will (the other one)

      See, the way I see it is we played average/not-great at Clemson, great vs. SCar, average at best vs. N. Texas, great vs. LSU, and not-great/poor vs. UT.
      That sets up for another “great” game Saturday, then a let-down at Vandy, and then…


  13. WillTrane

    Does that mean we and their front 3 get a steady dose of a full back and QB up the gut. It might be hell pulling down those 2 FBs down and getting worn down. Does that make Mizzou’s defense one dimensional or does it mean we start having 4-8 minute drives in the second half. And does Will Friend sub a lot on the O line so they are fresh. Mizzou will want to come out and put points on the board [thank you Hawk Harrelson, Chisox announcer out of that beautiful and highly ranked port of Savannah] so he forces the Dawgs into that. And will the Dawgs get a a foot stop penalty when the Tigers shift alot on the punt coverage.
    Funny now we moved past UT that Missouri looks a lot like Oregon, Stanford, and Bama. 5-0. Ranked in top 25. Great oppportunity for a young D to play with them and have some pics for TDs…from some true freshmen.


  14. Joe Schmoe

    On Mizzou’s sacks, if they drop eight into coverage and rush three, AM will pick them apart. We still have plenty of weapons they are just a little different. Much like last year when the WRs started getting hurt, I expect us to use our TEs more. More 2WR-2TE sets with Lynch and Rome threats in the passing game still seems like plenty of options for Murray.

    I also think that Vandy just isn’t very good this year.


  15. WillTrane

    Just for the sake of UT and their great coaching staff and their great traditions, trying to remember…help me out here. Did Walker, who ran behind one the best O lines in UGA history, did he rush for a 100 yards against UT in his first game on the road. Now tell me how many did Green have, and he was not even recruited for a T-back position. Just trying to clear up the picture and a little history.


  16. Russ

    Just for comparison FSU played the newly 25th ranked Maryland team at home in a supposed trap game and beat them 63-0. That’s why they jumped us in the polls. Now we’re in a similar situation and it would be nice to have a solid win. Of course we couldn’t shut out Clark Central this year but it would be good to have a solid victory.


  17. Bulldog Joe

    Reading this article, I’m starting to like our chances of getting a sack in the Vanderbilt game.


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