Daily Archives: August 18, 2015

Rashomon under center

I get a chuckle from those of you who think you have some insight into how the quarterback battle is unfolding, based on what you’ve “heard”.  Let me give you an example of why I’m amused.

Here’s Logan Booker’s take on Faton Bauta from today’s practice:

  • If you’ve been reading my practice reports, you’ll like I’m being paid by the Bauta family to lobby for quarterback Faton Bauta to start. Today was no exception, as he continued to look like the best quarterback on the field. Particularly, on a rollout play, Bauta had two options downfield running right with him, and he threw to the deep option (20 yards or so) downfield on the run. He hit his receiver, freshman Shaquery Wilson, right in his extended hands with maybe a toe left in-bounds – a spot where only his receiver could have caught the ball. It was perhaps the most impressive throw I’ve seen from any quarterback this camp.

  • Speaking of me saying Bauta has looked the best, I am not the only one. While watching drills today, I was talking with two other very well known beat writers about the topic, and they both agree with me that in terms of hustle, work and doing the small things to keep a team from getting in trouble, Bauta has so far been the guy. So I am not crazy…. I don’t think.

Wow.  Stop the fight now and give Bauta the rest of August’s reps.  Boys, we gots us a quarterback!

Er, not so fast, according to Seth Emerson.

Throwing with wet footballs, Lambert and Ramsey had some good spirals, but Bauta struggled. It was a small sample size, and weather-induced, but it was what the media was allowed to see, so there you go.

Okay now, wait… that’s a tie.  Surely Marc Weiszer Connor Riley must have seen what got Booker so excited, right?  Um, no.

Greyson Lambert took first team reps and looked pretty sharp as he made several impressive throws. Faton Bauta, who was with the twos today, struggled to generate any velocity on his throws. The ball took considerably longer to get the receiver as it was coming out of Bauta’s hand.

So much for an end to that.

My point with this isn’t to pick on Bauta or Booker.  It’s that those of you who think you know something are merely hearing what you want to hear.

28 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

The NEW!, IMPROVED! Sanford Stadium Experience

Here’s what they’re rolling out for 2015, per Georgiadogs.com:

Concessions
We don’t want you to miss any of the action on the field, so we have invested a total of $1.3 million to allow for quicker transaction times. New point of sale systems have been installed at all portable and full-service locations that allows you to now use Apple Pay and Google Wallet in addition to credit and debit cards when purchasing your concessions items.s

In addition to faster lines, we have completed the first phrase of a multi-phase project to upgrade the front of the concession stands. The screens on all of the 100 level and West Lower stands have been removed and replaced with roll down doors, allowing a better line of communications between fans and the concessions staff.

In addition to our full-service locations, we have added new locations that will serve bottled beverages in the following locations:

  • Field Level, Section 101
  • Gate 9, Section 137
  • Gate 6 Plaza, Sections 121-124

Verdict:  Okay, eyes are on the prize, and I can see how some of these changes could help.  But I don’t see anything there about changes to the concessions staff itself.  So, wait and see.

Restrooms
We have completed the first phase of a multiphase project to renovate the stadium restrooms. The 100 level restrooms on the East, South and West sides will have new fixtures and amenities.

Verdict:  This is both a work in progress and fairly open-ended as to the meaning of the word “renovate”.  Considering the hole they need to climb out of, I’m not too impressed.

Cool Off
Football season in the South can be hot, so we’ve done our best to cool things off for you inside and around Sanford Stadium. When you enter the concourse of the 100 level and the seating area in the 200 level look up! We are installing 62 fans from the company Big Ass Fans to improve the airflow throughout the 100 level of the stadium. The fans will range from 6.6 feet in diameter to 8 feet across.

We will have misting tents and cooling stations for the first four home games of the season at Gates 7 and 10, as well as at Reed Plaza to help keep you cool. The tents and stations will be available at the following home games:

  • Sept. 10 – Louisiana-Monroe
  • Sept. 19 – South Carolina
  • Sept. 26 – Southern
  • Oct. 3 – Alabama

Verdict:  Any solution involving “Big Ass Fans” can’t be all bad, right?

Sky Club and North Side Suites
We have invested $3 million to make significant improvements to the Sky Club and North Side Suites. Highlighting the improvements is the complete refurbishment of the Sky Club located on the South side of Sanford Stadium.

Verdict:  Of course they have, bless their hearts.  I wonder if they’ve spent as much as the $3 million mentioned here on the rest of the improvements elsewhere combined.

Parking
We know that parking can be troublesome on game day. To help relieve some of the stress, you can now call our parking helpline to get information related to campus parking lot. The operator will be able to assist with directions, public handicap availability, the East Campus game day shuttle and other game day information. The operator will not be able to help with selling of open spaces or questions related to Hartman Fund allocations.

Verdict:  They’re not even trying anymore.

Game Atmosphere

Get Loud, Show Your Colors
Sanford Stadium is known for it’s electric atmosphere on game day and we’re constantly looking for ways to make it even better!

This season, you will notice a difference in the sound quality as the sound system as been recalibrated and redirected to improve and maximize sound quality throughout the stadium.

Verdict:  I have no idea what this means, but I suspect it won’t take long to find out.

All in all, the Masters it ain’t.  But that doesn’t mean I’m ready to stop coming on Saturday.

36 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

A shopping list for Second Chance U

Obviously this is mixing quantity with quality to some extent, but, still, you gotta be impressed with any list that has eight SEC teams in its top twelve.

53 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, SEC Football

“He has been all-in with UGA from the get-go.”

You know what the best part is about the news that Jacob Eason will sign his financial-aid papers with Georgia on Friday?

Now the media can ask Richt and Schottenheimer if Eason will be the starter in 2016.  Good times!

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“We’ll make the decision when we feel like it’s the right time to make the decision.”

Gee, I wonder what decision Brian Schottenheimer’s referring to there.  He does manage a pretty good crack about having been in a multiple quarterback situation (“I was around it in college, obviously, playing for the Ol’ Ball Coach.”), but what’s of greater interest is what he claims to be looking for in his eventual starter:

“You want to see a guy that can move the team. Obviously we feel very good that we’re going to be able to run the football. We want guys that can throw completions. But when the opportunity presents itself, we want them to push it and go make plays. We have good skill players, so certainly they don’t have to make the perfect throw every time. But, again, what I’m used to is consistent play at quarterback. And that’s certainly what they’ve had here, a guy who takes care of the football.

“The big thing for the whole offense, and that includes the quarterbacks, is consistency. We can’t make a great play and then take a step back. We need to have multiple good practices, multiple good periods together. That’s when you know you’re becoming a good offense.”

So, it’s a playmaker who doesn’t have to be perfect, but has to be consistent that he wants.  Well, hell, don’t we all?

What he says he doesn’t want is a game manager.

“I hate the term manage the game. We’re not looking for that. We want a guy that can go out and make plays as well. Certainly there’s going to be a lot of vertical elements to what we do. At the end of the day their job is to move the team and score points.”

Now obviously how big a grain of salt you want to take with that is a matter of taste.  I don’t read that as an endorsement of, say, the kind of play Bobo got out of Hutson Mason last year, but Schottenheimer prefaced that remark by complimenting Mason for having been someone who “goes out and takes care of the football.”

My interpretation, for what it’s worth, is that this all sounds consistent with what I think I’ve heard from Richt ever since last season concluded.  The coaches want the bullet of a deep passing game in their holster, but aren’t crazy enough to risk everything for that.  There’s a cost benefit analysis being run every day with the three quarterback candidates.  It’s up to one of them to make a convincing case that he’s worth taking that risk.  If we take the coaches at face value on this, nobody to date has made that case.

35 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“That’s what would have happened had he hired me to run a Big Ten offense.”

We all talk about the disadvantage Georgia Tech’s defense is at going up against the triple option every day in practice, as it limits the looks it gets at less alien offenses.  But maybe there’s a flip side, as this story about TCU demonstrates.

Patterson, after his most frustrating season as a head coach, realized he needed to make major changes. Not only did his offense struggle to keep pace on the scoreboard with the rapid-fire offenses in the Big 12, it also couldn’t give the Horned Frogs defense an adequate look at the speed it would face in a game.

After Meacham and Cumbie arrived, the offense and the defense got better. An already excellent Horned Frogs defense went from allowing 4.8 yards a play in 2013 to 4.7 in ’14, second best in the Big 12. Meanwhile, TCU’s record improved to 12–1. The Horned Frogs just missed the College Football Playoff and finished the season by pasting Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl. For that, TCU can thank Patterson, the two coordinators he hired and 10 personnel.

The numbering system for personnel packages works like this. The first digit is the number of backs on the field. The second digit is the number of tight ends. To find the number of receivers, add the first two digits to six (one quarterback and five offensive linemen) and subtract that sum from 11.

The preferred personnel grouping in the Big 12 is 10: one back, zero tight ends, four receivers. TCU’s old offense was designed for 11 or 21. It also huddled regularly. TCU’s scout team offense would simulate up-tempo schemes for the defense, but when the Horned Frogs went good-on-good—when they practiced against the type of players they’d see on Saturday—the defense rarely saw anything that looked like the upcoming opponent.

That’s why Patterson doesn’t refer to his hiring of Meacham and Cumbie as a change of offense. “It’s truly a change of philosophy,” Patterson said at Big 12 media days in July 2014. He compared the old philosophy of beating teams 17–13 to drinking only water while training. What might happen, he asked, if the Horned Frogs began drinking Gatorade?

That only goes so far, of course.  Patterson’s move worked because he went with the flow in his conference.  And as it’s something of a prevailing flow in college football these days, it makes sense on a larger scale. (Just ask Ole Miss about that.)  Would it work as well against a power pro-set attack, or Johnson’s triple option, for that matter?  I’ve got no idea.  But that’s one thing to love about college football, the sheer variety of offensive philosophies being deployed.  And finding out who’s better at coping with whom.

1 Comment

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Everything old is new again: the 46 defense as a counter to the spread running game

If you’re wondering how Virginia Tech shut down Ohio State’s offense last season in a way that no other defense did, Ian Boyd gets really deep into the weeds with his analysis of using the 46 defense made famous by the Ryan family against power spread attacks.

It’s not a defense you’d want to deploy against an Air Raid offense, but it’s definitely got its pluses against one that runs the ball from the spread.  And for some, the high-risk, high-reward nature of the 46 may be a feature, not a bug:

As more and more coaches find that the only way to consistently beat good, modern spread teams is to be capable of outscoring them, more teams will adopt aggressive defensive strategies that can either get them the ball back quickly or yield a quick score that still picks up the pace of the game and gives them a chance to wear out the opposing defense.

Definitely worth a read.

9 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Nick Moore, Tripp’n?

With the sudden attrition due to Christian Payne’s injury and Quayvon Hicks’ somewhat mysterious absence, the former Boston Red Sox minor leaguer has been moved from inside linebacker to fullback.  Hey, apparently it’s either him or freshman Turner Fortin right now.

Let’s hope that’s not the case in a couple of weeks.  At least not if you’re fond of watching tailbacks run out of the I-formation.

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Schottenheimer meets SEC speed.

One thing he’s getting used to in Athens:  his players are more familiar with hurry-up no-huddle play than he is.

“This is as fast as I’ve ever been around. These guys are obviously used to it. It’s pretty impressive to tell you the truth,” Schottenheimer said. “So I’m very pleased with it. Again, they’re used to it. I’m the one that’s new. Tempo has been very good.”

That isn’t to say that the hurry-up element of the Bulldogs attack is going to be the norm. Under Schottenheimer the UGA offense will continue to be multiple.

Both in formation/scheme and how he chooses to attack defenses with temp.

“We do a little bit of both,” Schottenheimer said when asked about running and up-tempo offense. “With the starting players we have some tempo packages that we like and when we go tempo, we go pretty fast.”

If you’re looking for an area of change resulting from the offensive coordinator transition, this may be one to watch.  Will Georgia run as much HUNH in 2015 as it did in 2014?

2 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

News from the enemy camp

Those of you already in a “focus, bitchez!” mindset might be interested in learning that, unlike Georgia, ULM has settled on its starting quarterback, redshirt freshman Garrett Smith.

And, yes, “redshirt freshman” is the operative term there.

1 Comment

Filed under Georgia Football