Daily Archives: September 2, 2016

Fun times at the Georgia Dome

Who knew there was any kind of amusing story to tell about tomorrow night’s venue?

The coaching box at the Dome, Bobo said, “is up high, but you’ve got a good view up there. When you go three-and-out and your fans start turning around and throwing stuff at the booth and yelling things, sometimes you’ve got to stay focused.”

Maybe that’s why both coordinators will be on the field with Smart.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Shall we play a game?

mp_logo

I’m officially taking a temperature reading with this post.  We had less than two dozen folks participate in last year’s Mumme Poll, and, frankly, it’s not worth the trouble to run it for that few number.

And given that I satisfied myself a few years ago that approval voting was a less biased way to rank college football teams, the only reason Tidefan and I keep the Mumme Poll going is for the sheer enjoyment of participating.  So, unless there’s sufficient interest in keeping the MP in play, I intend to shutter it for good.

Let me know in the comments if any of you are still interested in casting ballots.

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Filed under Mumme Poll

Talent will out. Or will it?

According to the 247 Sports 2016 College Football Team Talent Composite, Georgia ranks sixth nationally in total talent.

North Carolina is 29th.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

It’s the pressure, stupid.

To illustrate further a point made in my previous post about Lambert, please see this chart compiled by David Hale:

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As we used to say in law school, res ipsa loquitur.

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UPDATE:  I asked David what “under pressure” means.  Here’s his response.

And before you say, all quarterbacks are worse under pressure, here’s some context for his performance.

Seems to me if Chaney can figure out a way to overcome that, there’s some better than average upside to be gained here.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“We’re going to start the game with Greyson.”

Yeah… so what about that?  Well, first things first.  Process gonna Process, and that means going with the guy you think will screw things up the least.

“They made it very difficult in the way they practiced and prepared and Greyson has done a good job leading it, communicating it, executing it and doing all those things. Jacob has shown great promise and has continued to improve. He’s done a lot of good things. We’re excited about both those guys.”

Fret if you will over last year’s memories, but I doubt this is a decision that was reached casually.  Let’s not forget that Smart was on the other side game planning against Lambert last season.  If he’s able to put that in the past, perhaps you should, too.

For all the qualms we have had, and still have (let’s be honest), about Lambert, remember he’s now convinced two different coaching staffs that he should be Georgia’s starting quarterback.  Seth Emerson does a fair job of explaining what that means.

The decision to start Greyson Lambert may not excite fans. There may be a shrug in the Georgia Dome when he’s announced, and if and when Jacob Eason enters the game, there will be a resounding cheer.

But within the team, according to many who speak off the record – because talking about quarterbacks publicly is verboten – Lambert’s leadership and smarts have always been a source of respect. That’s why he’s going to start. Again.

Two separate sets of coaches, it should be pointed out, have now reached the same conclusion on Lambert. Last year, Mark Richt and Brian Schottenheimer made the surprising choice of Lambert over Brice Ramsey, then stuck with Lambert for all but one game – the ill-fated Faton Bauta decision against Florida.

Smart and Chaney then arrived, and at least when it came to Lambert and Ramsey, reached the same conclusion. Ramsey was the one eliminated when the competition was cut down to two, and Lambert was good enough that he’ll at least start the first game over Eason.

What do I think this call demonstrates?  Quite a few things, actually.

  • It’s not the biggest thing, but keep in mind the final decision came after some insistent whispers from supposed insiders who proclaimed Eason as the starter last week.  That this turned out as it did tells me a lot about how much better Smart has been able to control the information flow out of Butts-Mehre than was the case with Richt.  It’s also an indication that there are fewer people over there with axes to grind and a willingness to leak real news.  Less dysfunction is always a good thing for Georgia football.
  • Maybe, just maybe, we should give Kirby more credit here.  Contrary to hiding things, if you follow along with how he handled the quarterbacks in August along with what he said he was doing and looking for, it’s been remarkably consistent all the way through the final decision.
  • Would this have gone differently in the absence of a healthy Nick Chubb?  I can’t say for sure, but let’s just say it wouldn’t have surprised me if it had.
  • On the other hand, I doubt this says much about the offensive line either way.  Asking a true freshman to keep his cool behind a line that can’t protect isn’t a practical strategy, but it’s not like Lambert excelled last season in the face of pressure in the pocket.
  • Those of you who are complaining that Chaney and Smart are abandoning the deep passing game are thus missing a key point.  If the line can’t block, neither Eason nor Lambert are going to have the time to make that work.  If I had to summarize Lambert’s biggest flaw last season, it was one of trust, which is something that goes back to what I said about him during the 2015 preseason.  The Virginia offense was a big mess, both in terms of scheme and personnel, and Lambert had developed several bad habits in response that would take time to coach out of him.  In many respects, Schottenheimer wasn’t up to the task, but in fairness, Chubb’s injury and the poor o-line play didn’t do him any favors.  There were occasions last year — go back and look at the Tennessee tape, for example —  where everything lined up, giving Lambert the time and confidence to run through his mechanics properly and throw a beautiful deep ball.  Can they get more of that from him this season?
  • Note finally that Smart’s announcement isn’t as full-throated as it could have been.  “We’re going to start the game with Greyson” isn’t a declaration that he’s the man for all of 2016, or even that he’ll finish the opener as the man behind center.  Given how close the competition has been, that’s to be expected.  But here’s the thing… Lambert’s had the experience of that kind of pressure before in his career, and it hasn’t phased him.  (It hasn’t made him better, either, but that’s a different story.)  Jacob Eason, though, is used to being the man.  He’s never been placed in a situation where he’s made to feel that if he doesn’t please the coaches on every snap, he’ll be yanked.  Does a true freshman playing in his first game need that kind of pressure on him?  I’m guessing Smart thinks not.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“Joe Paterno is dead.”

Not that Penn State is paying attention.

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Filed under You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy

“… because nobody thinks we can stop the run.”

For those of you who think Kirby’s been playing eleventh-dimensional chess with Gene Chizik with the way he’s handled the quarterback question, I’ve got some bad news for you.  North Carolina isn’t paying attention.

The Tar Heels know exactly what Georgia is going to do in this game, especially with a healthy Chubb and questions at quarterback.

“We just have more of a pinpoint focus on stopping the run,” Jones said. “This Georgia team — they’re not going to pass the ball if they don’t have to, so we definitely have to show up and stop the run. That’s been our focus, especially on the D-line. It starts with us.”

That is the message defensive line coach Tray Scott and Chizik have hammered home since the offseason began. Nobody on the staff or the team wants a replay of what happened at the end of last season.

This is a fresh start, and a new opportunity to make a statement against one of the most well-known rushing teams in the country.

We can argue about Lambert and Eason until we’re blue in the face, but if the offensive line can’t block any better than it did last year, it’s not going to matter.

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