Daily Archives: November 29, 2014

Mark Bradley haz a stiffy.

Really, plenty of blame to go around today. And neither head coach exactly covered himself in glory.

But you can’t come away with only three points in three trips inside the Tech five and expect to win.

Oy. This team.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Game day thoughts on Clean Old-Fashioned Hate

I’ll be heading out soon, so I just wanted to get a few things in before I go.

This game matters.  A lot.  Not because it has any bearing on the SEC or the playoff picture.  But because this team needs to show itself and us that it’s heading in the right direction.

That all starts by being ready to play.  Taking Georgia Tech seriously.  We all mock the Jackets’ fan base, as well as Paul Johnson’s personality (or, perhaps more accurately, lack of one), but as tempting as it is to dismiss the triple option as a high school offense, the reality is that it’s effective.  And if Georgia’s defense doesn’t come in ready to play sixty minutes of assignment football, it’s going to get run on.

I expect to see the same base defense we’ve seen since Auburn, and why not?  It’s been largely successful with containment.  That, plus limiting what Tech’s B-back does on the dive play, should keep things under control.

I don’t think Tech’s defense is going to have any better success stopping Georgia’s offense than any other team outside of Florida has this year.  The front seven is small and the secondary is the weakest area of the team.  That’s not a good combination.  Let’s not forget, though, that Ted Roof has one solution for any problem, and that’s more blitzing.

Again, Georgia is all about controlling field position and winning turnover margin.  If that happens today, Georgia covers easily.  If not, it’ll be a fight.

It’s Senior Day and there are some kids who deserve our support.  I’ll be there to give it.

Feel free to add your observations, praise and/or grousing in the comments.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

“It’s all about the rhythm, all about the groove.”

Just an awesome story about the greatest college football song ever written.

Brown was a fan of Georgia and defensive coach Erk Russell, and even before the Kentucky halftime show showed up from time to time unannounced, jumping up on a raised platform with the cheerleaders while 59,000 fans in Sanford Stadium watched.

Dooley was actually there in an Atlanta recording studio when Brown recorded the song.

The late “Happy Howard” Williamson, a rabid Bulldog fan and onetime radio color commentator for Georgia football, had written some words down.

As Brown read the words he said them out loud in a kind of rhythmic chant, and in a while Brown’s band joined in one by one, blending their parts with Brown’s.

“He just made it up,” Dooley said.

I don’t really need to tell you to read the whole thing, do I?

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Uncle Verne’s “In Your Life”

Regardless of whether you think Verne Lundquist’s lost a step or two these days, this documentary ought to be a trip to watch.

It’s just sad to think that all the great college football broadcasters I’ve listened to over the past thirty or forty years will be gone from the scene in the next decade.  And all I’ll be left with is the likes of Jesse Palmer.

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Filed under College Football

Why I have hope.

Those of you who’ve given up on things improving can just skip this post, but I do think there are important things in play that will make a difference down the road.

I’ve likened running a football program to steering a battleship.  Once you get off course, it isn’t easy to turn things back in the right direction.  But it can be done.  It starts with a change in attitude.  Like this:

Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt said the defensive improvement is due to a strong work ethic that Pruitt and three other first-year defensive assistants — Tracy Rocker, Mike Ekeler and Kevin Sherrer — have instilled. Richt added that players who don’t practice well can get replaced, and Bulldogs defenders admit it wasn’t always easy during the first few months of the transition.

“The toughest thing for us was getting out of our old habits,” senior defensive tackle Mike Thornton said. “We are creatures of habit, and over the last four years we were taught to do things a certain way with the old coaches.”

Said senior inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera: “A lot of people didn’t trust one another last year, and people were trying to do other people’s jobs. There is trust now.”

There are a lot of crappy habits, built up over years, that have to be flushed out of the system.  That takes time.  And there have certainly been a fair share of missteps this season, as we all know.  And it’s cost them.

“It is our fault. We put ourselves in this situation, and now we’ve gotta deal with it,” Georgia receiver Chris Conley said Tuesday. “We have to live with it, and if it shakes out that way, then we’ve gotta move forward with it. But the only thing we can control at this point is what we do this weekend.”

Georgia needed only to beat Florida or South Carolina, a pair of SEC East also-rans, to render the whole thing moot.

The 38-20 loss to Florida looms the largest, with the Gators having a bad enough season that head coach Will Muschamp was dismissed a couple of weeks later. There is still plenty on the line Saturday when Georgia Tech (9-2) visits on Saturday. The Bulldogs are going for a 10-win season and their 13th win in 14 seasons over their in-state rivals.

“It’s still a great year,” Georgia senior linebacker Amarlo Herrera said. “We want to go there (to Atlanta), but if it doesn’t happen, it’s our fault.”

But you learn from experience.  You will yourself to get better.  And you respond to a coaching staff that won’t accept complacency.

The lesson continues today.

“It will be the first shot out of the cannon, so to speak, for this staff to go against the Georgia Tech offense,” Richt said. “I have done my best to explain the emotion of the game and how relentless Georgia Tech is in how they go about their business. You’ve got to be tough in this game, because the type of offense they run is one where they’re going to come after you down after down after down.

“You’ve got to be resilient. You’ve got to be good fundamentally, and you’ve got to be tough fundamentally, too.”

If that’s not all talk, you go out and execute.  You don’t feel sorry for yourselves.  You beat a team that you ought to beat.  Then you prepare for a bowl game.  And then you make yourselves better for next season.

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Filed under Georgia Football