It’s going to be my usual short week at the blog, so there’s no sense in waiting to jump in with a few posts about the Cocktail Party. Besides, I think we made excellent use of the off week to stew over how much sucks about Richt, the team, the season, etc., didn’t we?
Speaking of stewing, for those of you who haven’t quite gotten your fill of that yet, this week is going to be something of a disappointment, as I’m going to take the approach that a blow out loss isn’t a given and that it’s not insane to consider the possibility that Georgia could win this Saturday. (For those of you who disagree, Vegas is waiting for your call.)
So here are a few tidbits I started assembling over the weekend.
- Based on the schedule, Florida should be favored. Hey, I just said I’m not crazy. Florida and Georgia have played two common opponents this season. The Gators won both; Georgia split. (And didn’t look better against Missouri.) Both lost to their West opponents, but Florida certainly but up a better fight in its loss than Georgia did.
- Based on the stats, this should be a competitive game. Sorry, but it’s true. Both teams have defenses playing better than the other team’s offense. And if you notice, Florida’s offensive line is playing at about the level that was expected before the season started. The one area that looks lopsided, unfortunately in Florida’s favor, is special teams play.
- A look at what McElwain’s up to on offense. One thing you have to say about this year’s Florida offense is that unlike what we saw during Agent Muschamp’s era, there appears to be a sense of purpose. You can read this Ian Boyd piece to get a picture of that. Yeah, that use of the tight end stuff makes me exceedingly nervous.
- Forgetting Will Grier. Boyd’s piece was written before Grier’s suspension. Treon Harris is now the man. And, yes, I do remember last year’s game. If you think that’s still really important, I suggest you double down in Vegas and place a bet that Florida doesn’t throw the ball more than six times this Saturday. Otherwise, you might want to take a look at Harris’ 2015 stats to get an idea of what Georgia has to do to stay in the game. And make no mistake about it, figuring out how to contain Harris is Pruitt’s biggest job.
- Remembering Treon Harris. I’m kicking myself because I didn’t save a link to a post about Harris’ tendencies. (Richt says there isn’t much of a difference between Grier and Harris. Who knows, he might even believe that.) I can’t find it now. Maybe it’ll turn up this week and I can share it with you when it’s rediscovered. In the meantime, here’s the big thing you need to know about Harris’ passing: he loves to roll to his right. And he’s good when he is allowed to do just that. Stop that, though, and he’s much less effective. How do I know? Well, first check out his situational stats. His first half passer rating is 237.22. In the second half, that drops to 117.76. Why? Maybe it has something to do with a halftime adjustment LSU made. Keeping Harris in the pocket and pressuring him there is paramount if the Dawgs are going to keep the Florida offense in check. So, yes, the pass rush is a big deal, but keeping contain is even bigger… which is one lesson you have to hope the defense learned from last year’s debacle.
I’ll stop there. I’ll have more to chew on as the week progresses.