Here’s the walking wounded list as of today’s practice.
Daily Archives: October 22, 2013
I’m going to try to avoid rehashing what’s pissed us off as best I can. Here are a few things I picked up watching the game again.
- I’m guessing most of you don’t want to hear this, but the defense had its longest sustained period of excellence of the season. Here’s how Vanderbilt went from about mid-way in the second quarter until the Wilson “penalty”: pick-six; 3 plays, 2 yards, punt; 4 plays, 6 yards, punt; 6 plays, 35 yards, INT; 3 plays, 5 yards (all on penalty), punt; 4 plays, 6 yards, targeting call. That’s 54 yards on 21 plays, with two turnovers. Yes, the wheels kind of came off the wagon after the call, but keep in mind the two touchdowns scored then covered 15 and 13 yards.
- Also, remember all that happened after they lost Drew and Harvey-Clemons. The defensive line stepped up and continued to play well, and, somewhat shockingly, so did the secondary (at least one of Georgia’s sacks was clearly credited to coverage). Swann played far better at star than he did at corner and Grantham got more out of Mauger and Moore than he did all season. One example was Moore’s interception. Sure, it was a lucky deflection, but if Moore wasn’t in the correct coverage on that play, he never makes the pick. Jordan Matthews isn’t the best receiver Georgia’s faced this season, but he’s in the top three, and the Dawgs held him to his season low in yards per catch.
- Given Swann’s play, what does Grantham do when Harvey-Clemons and Matthews come back?
- Man, that flag on Wilson was slow in coming. I guess that’s what “when in doubt” looks like.
- A lot of the line play could be chalked up to numbers. Georgia ran strong when Vanderbilt showed a four-man line. The Dawgs were also able to run out of the I when Vandy set up with five men on the defensive front. Otherwise, nothing. Shoop did a very good job on a lot of pass plays making sure there was one more man to block than Georgia had blockers for, and while Murray never got sacked, he played like a quarterback who felt he didn’t have much time.
- That may be one reason there was little play action run. But for the second straight week, I wonder why Bobo didn’t call more screens.
- What’s killing this offense more than anything is inconsistent play in the red zone. Georgia had a first-and-goal on three separate occasions and only managed to get in the end zone once, and that was on a first-and-inside the one situation. Convert all three, and Georgia likely wins the game. Not having Gurley hurts, but the tight ends aren’t showing up, either.
- Bobo’s fourth-quarter play calling left something to be desired, but the scoring drive that effectively closed out the first half was a thing of beauty.
- How was that hit on Murray not flagged for targeting? At this point, all I can figure is that the SEC has decided that Aaron Murray by definition is never a defenseless player.
- I haven’t seen another team that’s played Georgia this season use their hands as much as Vanderbilt did. The offensive line, the secondary (Conley, in particular, was held almost every time I saw a replay downfield) and the receivers (Krause got away with what I thought was a blatant push-off of Swann on that 41-yard completion) were all doing it early and often. But you know what? If the refs aren’t going to call that stuff, you coach your players to do it. Vandy’s a well-coached bunch.
- If the US is looking for a replacement for waterboarding terrorists, may I suggest turning Brando and Taylor loose on them? Between the two, I can’t figure out what was more excruciating – Brando’s fumbling about on the targeting rule or Taylor’s insight on Georgia running the read option in almost any situation – but combined they were bad enough that it would have been a relief to listen to Jesse Palmer.
As it stands, there are two primary motivations behind the targeting protocol: player safety (or, perhaps more accurately, fear of losing multiple concussion lawsuits) and ass-covering officiating crews.
“It was my understanding based upon the information that was passed upon us at the board meeting that [the review] was a little bit of a protection for the officials,” Berry said…
Why do the officials need protection? Because the NCAA wanted a hair-trigger response on the field and knew that officials would be reluctant to react in that way without some structural support. That’s how you get to a mindset of “when in doubt, throw the flag” for a penalty that can lead to the ejection of a player or a 15-yard mark-off even if no infraction occurred. There’s nothing else in college football that’s approached in a similar manner.
And for all those who believe that some of the calls we saw this weekend will have to lead to a re-evaluation of enforcement of the targeting rules, how do you address this?
Added Richt: “I’m sure a lot of people would say if you’re reviewing it, why don’t you go ahead and change the penalty if it was called incorrectly? Maybe you can just have it in that wrong case. We’re talking about a safety rule. That might make sense. I can understand why they didn’t want to do it because they didn’t want to open up a Pandora’s Box on that because if you review that then why don’t you review pass interference, why don’t you review all kind of stuff like that? It would just take too much time. Since you are reviewing it anyway, it might be one that they make an exception for in the future.”
The SEC hasn’t commented about the targeting calls on Georgia beyond putting out a release during the game detailing rule 9-1-4, with certain words capitalized.
Shaw told The Birmingham News earlier this month: “Maybe we look at making the targeting foul a special case where we allow replay to come into that judgment and say if only targeting is involved, and it’s not deemed targeting, we could take away that 15-yard penalty. But that crosses into a very slippery slope of officiating from the booth. A lot of purists have never wanted us to go over that line.”
Slippery slopes and Pandora’s Boxes. Those don’t make for simple solutions. The NCAA wants those calls to be made as proof it’s serious about concussion issues. Officials are going to be more reluctant to judge those plays in the aggressive manner the NCAA wants if they feel they’re going to be broadly second-guessed by the replay official (who’s under the same pressure as the guys on the field, by the way, except that he doesn’t have the in-the-moment excuse in the booth).
My bet is that we’re going to see some version of Todd Berry’s two-penalty suggestion…
Berry said even if a targeting penalty is overturned, he could still see the reasoning for yards being marked off because there still could be two fouls on the same play — for instance a late hit along with targeting.
“There could be two fouls within the same play and we need to view it along those lines,” he said. “That’s my opinion. … I need to actually hear some more information in terms of clarifying my own mind about why they did what they did because obviously from a common sense standpoint, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
… offered as a solution that in reality won’t solve the problem, because then the officials will simply be told “when in doubt, call two penalties”.
If you’re looking for a fair solution, I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place. Fairness isn’t the NCAA’s strong suit.
UPDATE: More from Steve Shaw.
“Our game is absolutely under attack, there’s no question about that,” Shaw said. “Even the president of the United States said, ‘If I had a son, I’m not sure I’d let him play football.’ We may pass that off, but those are impactful words. There’re a lot of people out there with lawsuits. The NFL has just settled a lawsuit, but it’s not over. That’s just the first stage.”
At least he’s honest about it.
I’m a little surprised that Jeremy Foley is having to stoop to a vote of confidence for Will Muschamp midway through his third season.
Not unhappy, mind you. Just surprised.
Rank Team Votes (Top pick) 1 Alabama 43 (28) 2 Oregon 43 (3) 3 Baylor 43 (2) 4 Florida State 42 (10) 5 Missouri 41 (0) 6 Stanford 40 (0) 6 Ohio State 40 (0) 8 Miami 34 (0) 9 Texas Tech 21 (0) 9 Clemson 21 (0) 11 Auburn 19 (0) 12 UCLA 13 (0) 13 LSU 9 (0) 14 Fresno State 6 (0) 15 Virginia Tech 4 (0) 16 Wisconsin 3 (0) 17 Louisville 2 (0) 17 Texas A&M 2 (0) 17 Oklahoma 2 (0) 20 Florida 1 (0) 20 Michigan 1 (0)
- Yeah, I’m a little surprised somebody left FSU off a ballot this week. I’m almost as surprised somebody put Florida on a ballot this week. Which makes me wonder if the same somebody screwed up clicking on the drop down menu.
- Hard not to miss the rapid ascent of both Baylor and Missouri.
- I’m not feeling the Texas Tech love. Yes, they’re undefeated, but they’ve played a weak schedule so far. That being said, they’ve got both Oklahoma schools and Baylor coming up, so they’ll have the opportunity to justify a place in the top ten.
- Going back to FSU, it looks like the ‘Noles are cannibalizing some of the “anybody but Alabama at the top” support that Oregon was getting. Is that a harbinger of things to come in the last season of the BCS?
- Ohio State abides.