Daily Archives: November 17, 2014

Auburn Dawgraded?

It’s not often you see the former ninth-ranked team in the country casually diminished, but ESPN’s Greg Ostendorf has no problem going there.

The losses might have been uncharacteristic for Auburn, who had lost only three games under Malzahn, but the struggles began much before the last two weeks.

There’s plenty more in that “it’s not you, Georgia” vein if you’re interested.

I wonder if this means he thinks that Cameron Artis-Payne is overrated now.



Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

‘All southern men know how to win a NASCAR race and coach football.’

It’s kinda nice to hear the other side complaining about bad defense after a Georgia game, isn’t it?


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Sometimes, a picture is worth more than a thousand words.

From Football Study Hall, here’s a win probability chart from Saturday night, as the game progressed.

So, for all intents and purposes, Auburn was dead well before the fourth quarter got underway. Yep, that’s about right.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“Whether or not I wear orange is still up in the air.”

Let’s face it, Dawgnation.  Just like Mark Richt, we’re all Lulu and Junior now.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

The Gurley epitaph

Let his head coach have the last word.

“Todd’s been fantastic,” Richt said. “Without a doubt one of the best run backs I’ve ever seen, have ever coached. Practiced hard, played hard. Loved the big games and played his heart out for Georgia. I’m really proud I had an opportunity to coach him.”

It’s really got to be a weird feeling for Richt to watch his two stars on offense go down to career-ending knee injuries in back-to-back seasons as has happened.

And on a related matter, the NCAA may suck, but at least Georgia stepped up and did a very good thing for Gurley.


Filed under Georgia Football

Fabris Invitational results, Week 12

This week, for once, the cheese stands alone.

Selection Name
Tie Breaker Game
1 Bubble screen Adj 9-1 9   41-23

Congrats to Bubble screen.

And on the front for the season, we have a new leader in what is still a very tight race.

SEASON STANDINGS through Week 12
Selection Name
1 jtalbert2 72-48 72
2 BR Dawg 71-49 71
2 Valley Dawg 71-49 71
4 Turfman25 70-50 70
4 Second String Secondary 70-50 70

1 Comment

Filed under GTP Stuff

SEC Power Poll, Week 12

Just another week in the SEC… which is how a familiar name winds up back at the top of the pack.

  1. Alabama.  You just don’t beat Nick Saban’s Tide in Tuscaloosa.
  2. Mississippi.  The win over ‘Bama looks ever more impressive.
  3. Mississippi State.  “Except for being undefeated, every other goal is still ahead of us.”  Yeah, well, minor detail.
  4. Georgia.  When this team is on, it’s pretty damned awesome.  It’s just that when it’s not, it’s really not.
  5. Auburn.  No rabbit’s foot + toughest schedule in the SEC = three losses.
  6. Missouri.  Gary Pinkel abides.
  7. LSU.  The Tigers are paying Cam Cameron $1.3 million this season to coach the conference’s 11th ranked offense.  They could have hired one of Florida’s former offensive coordinators for a lot less.
  8. Texas A&M.  If Florida had played the Aggies’ defense this week, Boom would still have his job.
  9. Arkansas.  Bert gets off the schneid.  Karma?
  10. Tennessee.  One day, we’ll all look back on this season and wonder why Butch Jones once thought it was a good idea to start Nathan Peterman ahead of Josh Dobbs.
  11. South Carolina.  Don’t tell me the OBC wasn’t thinking about Jeremy Foley as he walked out of the Swamp Saturday.  And smirking.
  12. Florida.  Agent Muschamp probably wishes he’d have ridden the bus with Leon Orr now.
  13. Kentucky.  The season’s best case for why you don’t need to rush to give a head coach a raise and extension mid-year.
  14. Vanderbilt.  I bet the ‘Dores would love another crack at Kentucky now.


Filed under SEC Football

Observations from the 45, Auburn edition

The evening got off to the start most of us expected.  The crowd showed up raucous and looking sharp.  Malzahn wanted the ball first, which could only mean one thing.  Ten plays later, Auburn had run off a touchdown drive that was efficient and effective.

From there, it got a little strange.  Todd Gurley’s first touch in a month resulted in a 105-yard kickoff return that electrified the crowd.  Unfortunately, there was the little matter of Ryne Rankin’s first touch, which nullified Gurley’s good work.  Georgia took the ball, moved downfield and then stalled.  A brilliant fake punt play that set Georgia up inside the Auburn five and charged up the crowd all over again was wiped out by the most questionable penalty call of the night.  At that point, I thought I could see Malzahn waving that damned rabbit’s foot at me.

But from there on out, the evening fortunately went off script and stayed there.  The coaches coached, the players played and the result was Georgia’s most dominant home game against a ranked opponent in many years.  The track meet so many of us expected never materialized.  Instead, what we were treated to was the kind of game so many of us hoped for, but never thought we might see – steady competence in all phases of the game that led to Georgia slowly but surely grinding down the Tigers.  The Dawgs earned every point of that 27-point win.

On to the bullet points.

  • I’ll get to Bobo’s night in a minute, but of all the kudos to be handed out, Jeremy Pruitt has to get the biggest nod.  The defense played at a level that, I’ll be honest, I didn’t think it was capable of playing at.  Pruitt made one brilliant personnel move, getting Carter, Floyd and Jenkins on the field in his base unit, to get as much speed in the front seven as possible.  But that would have mattered little, if it hadn’t been for the miracle he performed in getting that same front seven to play disciplined ball.  The same bunch that couldn’t cover the edge against Florida if their lives had depended on it did an almost flawless job with containment – indeed, after that first scoring drive, I’m not sure I remember more than one or two plays where an Auburn back made the edge, and even in those cases, Mauger was there to clean it up.  I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it.
  • The other great achievement in the defensive scheme was the way Pruitt constantly mixed up looks and coverage.  If the point was to confuse Marshall on the option reads and force him to give up the ball, it worked pretty well all night.
  • Really, it’s hard to bitch about any defensive player’s showing.  But I have to single out Floyd and Jenkins in particular, both of whom played brilliantly.  Floyd, in particular, looked like a totally different guy from the one we saw free lancing with disastrous effect in Jacksonville.  And that one sack of the night was something to behold.  Jenkins couldn’t be blocked, but he could be held.
  • Herrera had a monster night, too.  And Sanders played some excellent coverage.
  • It’s fun watching the Auburn offense when it’s in panic mode.  Which actually started earlier than I expected.  It was not one of Gus’ best nights.  Or Marshall’s, for that matter.
  • Bottom line, you don’t hold a Malzahn-coached offense to seven points unless you’re coaching and playing your collective asses off, and that’s exactly what happened.
  • Bobo may have made you grit your teeth on occasion, but it was clear from the get go he was going to pound and pound Auburn with the run game and make that defense wilt.  He probably had a vision of that 98-yard fourth quarter scoring drive in his head before the start of the game.  He got the ground game going, and called just enough stuff to keep Ellis Johnson guessing – there was a brilliant pass play called to Michael Bennett that was the perfect counter to the steady dose of run blitzes Johnson was calling in a futile effort to slow Georgia down.  And of course, getting Chubb and Gurley on the field together with a package of plays was both entertaining and effective.  All told, he had a terrific night.
  • So did Hutson Mason, who didn’t have as much to show for it as he should have, with at least two dropped touchdown passes and another deep ball that was on the money, only to fall to the ground.  Mason wasn’t perfect – he got lucky one bad throw wasn’t picked – but he was damned sure good enough on the night.
  • What can you say about the nights Chubb and Gurley had?  Both ran tough and both ran to the point that Auburn’s defense didn’t want to have anything to do with them.  It’s a shame that Chubb stepped out of bounds on that incredible screen pass play (and, man, what a tough play to have to defend!).  It’s a bigger shame that we’ll never see that combination on the field again for Georgia.  Sigh.
  • Of course, you don’t have a dominant night on the ground without superior blocking, and the offensive line played at an even higher level blocking the run than it did against Kentucky.  Every one of the lineman had a good night, but Greg Pyke in particular has to be singled out.  Pyke’s level of play is at a point where I think he deserves some serious all-SEC consideration.
  • The line wasn’t the only group that blocked well.  Hicks atoned for his, um, strange play against Kentucky with a kick ass night.  There was rarely a play when he didn’t open a hole for a tailback.  He had a catch and handled his one special teams moment flawlessly.
  • Conley may not have had the best night catching the ball, but he and Bennett also did their jobs blocking downfield.
  • Mitchell didn’t have many catches, but he did have the night’s toughest catch on his score.  And by the way, there isn’t a Georgia quarterback who could have made that slant throw any better than Mason did.
  • Special teams deserved better than they got.  But at least they never got in the way.
  • The two big plays of the night were the fumbled punt and Richt’s decision to go for it on fourth-and-one.  The former undid some of the bad karma from Georgia’s special teams’ reversals and the latter seemed to kick the offensive line into gear for the rest of the night.
  • Which brings us to Richt’s night.  You don’t cream one of your biggest rivals and the ninth-ranked team in the country without having your guys ready to play.  And Richt made it clear from early on that he was coaching balls out all night, whatever it took to put Auburn down.  Every button he pushed worked.  It was one of the very best coaching jobs of his career.
  • Okay, if I have to live with a ridiculously loud PA system, would it be too much to ask that you not blast it when Georgia’s on offense?  There were at least a couple of times when they cranked tunes while the offense was heading to the line of scrimmage, only to have the players and coaches gesture to drop the noise so they could get the play called.
  • And the less said about the James Brown halftime experience, the better, I’m afraid.

All season long, when Georgia’s controlled field position and won the turnover battle, it’s been the better team.  This game was no exception.  It’s a winning formula and when you see games like Saturday night, you have to wonder if there’s a team in the country that can beat Georgia when it’s checking all the right boxes like that.  All I know is I’d like to find out.


Filed under Georgia Football