Daily Archives: September 12, 2016

A modest thought experiment…

… for those of you convinced that Nicholls is a better team than some of us are giving the Colonels credit for being.

After their narrow loss to Georgia, Sagarin has them at 211th nationally and ninth in the Southland Conference.  Here’s their 2016 schedule.  Given all that, predict their final record and where they’ll finish in Sagarin’s ratings.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Talking tough

Typical coachspeak, or legitimate concern?  You decide.

Even though Missouri’s defense is giving up 5.24 yards per play and 461 yards per game, Georgia coach Kirby Smart is still worried about blocking this Mizzou front. “A big part of the offensive and defensive lines is toughness and strike, and we didn’t do that Saturday. We’re moving on from that now and we have to do a better job against a really good Missouri defensive line that’s going to present a lot of the same challenges athletically. They’re a very athletic group, very active group, very disruptive group.”

He ain’t backin’ off what he wants, that’s for sure.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Rise and shine!

The Ole Miss game’s gonna be one for the early risers.

Not sure how good or bad that’ll be.  Ole Miss will be coming off what I hope is a real grinder against Alabama, so the less time for them, the better, but we saw how well Georgia played at noon last weekend.

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The ultimate “Second Chance U” candidate?

After all, you know how some coaches love offensive linemen with a nasty streak.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, General Idiocy

The magic of the four-minute offense

I’m really trying to get a handle on this, but it’s a struggle.

Eason was lifted after throwing an interception inside the 10-yard line on what Smart said wasn’t a good decision of where to throw. Lambert came in the game with 7:50 left and was in for the last two series.

Eason was 11 of 20 for 204 yards with a touchdown and a red zone interception with Georgia up 26-14 when his pass on second-and-goal at the 10 was picked off by Jeff Hall and returned 91 yards to set up a field goal.

Lambert went 2 of 3 for two yards.

“Jacob was playing well in the game,” Smart said. “He didn’t get great command out of the huddle, didn’t get great timing out of the huddle. That’s frustrating but he made some good throws. We dropped a couple of balls that I thought could have given us some more cushion there.”

Coaches discussed making a switch several times, Smart said.

“The decision to go with Greyson was more of a change-up,” Smart said. “Go with him, let him go in there and show a little confidence in him with the four-minute offense and be able to shift and motion some people and hopefully run the ball and get some run game going and let him execute the flow of the offense.”

Georgia got the ball at its own 7 with 3:42 to go and ahead 26-24.

Lambert completed a third down pass to Michael Chigbu for nine yards to keep the ball away from Nicholls State

“I thought it was a great job by pressure to Greyson to make a pressure throw,” Smart said. “He’s been sitting there all game and makes a great decision and converts for us.”

I get that some of that is nothing but coachspeak, but let’s get real for a minute.  Lambert’s first series, which came with almost eight minutes left on the clock, was another three-and-out that featured a pass that resulted in a seven-yard loss and an incompletion when Lambert missed reading two open receivers.  He did manage a big completion, as Smart noted, that allowed Georgia to keep the ball out of Nicholls’ hands when it still had a shot at pulling the upset.

Final passer rating:  72.27.  This is not exactly the stuff that legends are made from.  It’s not even the kind of stuff that lets you win SEC games with a game manager.

After two games, it feels like Smart and Chaney are in a kind of no-man’s land with their quarterbacks.  They know what they’ve got with Eason, loads of talent and just as much inexperience.  They’ve got the opposite with Lambert.  Normally what you’d expect in a cupcake game is an effort made to address the one glaring hole you’ve got there, namely, getting Eason as many reps as possible, as soon as possible.  Meanwhile, Lambert is there as a backstop, a competent backup.

That’s not what happened, though.  Instead, there appears to have been an ongoing debate throughout the game to switch quarterbacks, either to jump start the offense (Eason’s passer rating was 147.18, which wasn’t spectacular, but still) or send a message to Eason that he’s not meeting his coaches’ expectations.  If it were the former, it didn’t work.  As far as the latter goes, we’ll see.

I get that the way the game went had to be as frustrating to Kirby Smart as it was to everyone else who watched it.  The difference is the rest of us went home and vented on the Internet about it.  Smart and Chaney have to groom a true freshman who’s their best option as the starting quarterback.  This was a strange way to go about their business.

I hope I’m making a mountain out of this particular molehill.  The season is still young, no doubt.  Things will be alright if the final takeaway from Saturday was that it wound up being nothing more in the end than a wasted opportunity.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Upon further review, Nicholls edition

For some reason, my DVR didn’t record the game — maybe it’s telling me something — so I’m outsourcing this week to Seth Emerson, who’s got a good breakdown here.

A couple of points he makes are worth some extra thought:

  • Bad blocking on offense was truly a team effort, which makes me wonder why Payne didn’t play more.  But the bigger problem it seems to me gets back to what I posted about yesterday, namely, if Smart wants physicality über alles, but his team’s current strength doesn’t lie in that area, does he stick with trying to mold it that way, or does he choose another path that might lead to a more productive offense in the short run?
  • “Apparently the idea that starting Eason would mean airing it out was also wrong. Georgia started the game with 18 runs, 8 passes.”  Perhaps the intent was for Eason to throw more after the game was under control.  In any event, if you wanted Eason to get plenty of reps in the passing game Saturday to prepare for what’s coming, that went out the door.

Speaking of yesterday’s post, “Smart wondered after the game whether this was a “wake-up call,” but twice during the game his team should have been stunned into action, imposed its will, and run away with it.”  If that’s not Smart’s biggest coaching challenge this week, I don’t know what is.

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SEC Power Poll, Week 2

secpowerpoll2008_medium

A sort of normalcy returned to the conference this week.  I feel as strongly about number fourteen as I do about number one.  Progress of a sorts, I guess.

  1. Alabama.  Nick Saban doesn’t know if he’s been “this disappointed after winning a game, maybe ever.”  Coach, please.
  2. Texas A&M.  Flat out crushed its cupcake game.  Nothing else to see here, move on.
  3. Tennessee.  Started out slow, but took out an opponent that couldn’t get out of its own way for the rest of the game.  Which is what a good team is supposed to do, right?
  4. Florida.  Man, the pleasures of an early light schedule.
  5. Arkansas.  Enjoyed a nice win over a ranked team.  Let’s see if this is the year the Hogs fulfill their early promise.
  6. Ole Miss.  Cruised against an FCS opponent in a yawner of a game.
  7. Georgia.  If you’re into hot takes, the Dawgs are giving you a severe case of whiplash.
  8. LSU.  Sayonara, Brandon Harris.
  9. Mississippi State.  The Bulldogs may have found themselves a quarterback, too.
  10. Auburn.  When in doubt, play a team with a bunch of kids who went to the hospital during the week prior to the game.
  11. Missouri.  I know it was against Eastern Michigan, but when you consider that the Tigers only broke thirty points once last season, scoring 61 looks like a step up for their offense.
  12. Vanderbilt.  Is Ralph Webb the SEC’s best player on a shitty team?  (That was a rhetorical question.)
  13. South Carolina.  Boom, you lost by thirteen points to a team that couldn’t get past South Alabama.  The only reason the ‘Cocks aren’t any lower is because…
  14. Kentucky.  In a conference full of stupid coaching contract provisions, is there any one stupider than Mark Stoops’ $12 million buyout?

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