Daily Archives: September 20, 2016

Overreacting pundit accuses fans of overreacting. Film at 11.

Georgia and Georgia Tech are both 3-0.  If you’re Jeff Schultz, that can only mean one thing:  Dawg fans have begun making too much of a big deal about their team.

It’s building in Athens because, well, it always builds in Athens after a win. Jacob Eason makes a big throw to win an SEC game on the road and suddenly the overwhelming thought among Georgia fans is, “If he can do that at Missouri, he can do it at Ole Miss. And he can do it against Tennessee. And Florida! And New England!”

The door is open on North Ave but there’s a little more caution among that fan base because, well, duh. But Georgia Tech is 3-0 and the offense was impressive against Vanderbilt, and even though Vanderbilt isn’t nearly Clemson, even if half of the Clemson players had their arms and legs duct-taped together, the Paul Johnson-Dabo Swinney history tilts in Tech’s favor and there’s just enough there to make you think, “Hmmm.”

This week won’t define the season for either Georgia or Georgia Tech. But it will tell us a lot about the potential of each program this season in their respective conference races.

And, yes, it’s debatable which program is sitting in a better position today (as Bulldogs fans read that sentence and spontaneously combust).

Anything’s debatable, Jeff… well, maybe not the quality of Tech’s recruiting.  But I digress.

The man should really spend some time reading the comments section here at GTP.

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21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

For some people, running a football conference is just like Sesame Street.

Fer Gawd’s sake, man, show a little dignity here.

Don’t these people have more important things to worry about than Bob Bowlsby?  Then again, Kermit the Frog might make a helluva conference commissioner, now that I think about it.

14 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Political Wankery

‘Bruh, you were this close’.

As of this moment, Georgia is next to last in the conference in sacks.  That’s not where Smart and Tucker want the defense to be, but just as we discounted Georgia’s performance last season in passing defense due to the offenses it faced, it’s worth conceding that the Dawgs have faced at least a couple of teams that feature quick strike passing attacks.

Chuks Amaechi says that’s been frustrating for Georgia’s pass rushers.

How do you guys compete with each other as a group?

“It’s about the team. We’re trying to get wins. We’re not worried about stats. As a position group, I know a couple times [Davin Bellamy] was close to getting a couple sacks. I know when he gets mad he’ll sit there and not look at anybody. He can see me out of the corner of his eye and he would chuckle and then go back to being mad. I would say ‘Bruh, you were this close’ and he would say ‘I know! Leave me alone.” I would tell him I was just trying to get him ready for the next series.”

On Missouri getting the ball out so quickly:

“It’s very frustrating. That was all Bell talked about yesterday, ‘Every play was one one thousand, two one thousand, throw.’ It was very frustrating when you don’t have time to get there. Teams that throw like that have linemen who like to cut [block] too.”

Mizzou’s o-line did its fair share of that Saturday night.  Cut blocking — it’s not just for the triple option.

The impressive thing to consider is that, despite the poor showing in sacks, Georgia’s defense leads the conference in takeaways.  Imagine what they could do if they could get the quarterback on the ground more often.

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Kickers. You can’t live with ’em and you can’t live without ’em.

Poor ol’ Kirby.

Rodrigo Blankenship wasn’t a typical walk-on kicker. He made the U.S. Army All-American game. One outlet ranked him as the nation’s seventh-best prospect in the 2015 class. He passed on scholarships to smaller schools, including Colorado State, in order to walk on at Georgia, which hoped Blankenship could sit a year, win the place-kicker job, and go on scholarship.

Three games into the season, Blankenship has yet to try a field goal or an extra point. He lost out to another walk-on, William Ham, who is struggling immensely, going 2-for-5.

“They’ve got competition between each other, and that will continue,” head coach Kirby Smart said Monday, somewhat wearily.

Now there’s a shocker.

This past signing day, Smart said that “in my history, I found that you can find more quality kickers through the walk-on route than you can quality punters.” That’s why they signed Marshall Long, who had committed to Virginia Tech, where Shane Beamer was before coming to Georgia as special-teams coordinator.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean a policy against signing kickers to scholarships, as Smart clarified this week. The reason they didn’t sign any this year was that “when I got here this year every good kicker that I knew from recruiting was going to sign somewhere.” (Or, since Long had been committed to another school, Smart and Beamer just weren’t able to also flip a place-kicker.)

“We’re going to always go in and recruit kickers. It’s a matter of whether we’re going to commit a scholarship to it or not,” Smart said. “That is not a policy by any means. I firmly believe that you’ve got to have a great kicker.”

Except this year.

21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“If it wasn’t clear before now, Joshua Dobbs is not a great passer.”

Unfortunately for Tennessee’s opponents, he makes up for that shortcoming as a runner.

Tennessee is scoring touchdowns 80% of the time in 2016 when Dobbs carries twice on a drive. These aren’t gimme touchdown drives either, as all of them were more than 50 yards long…

Dobbs being enough of a threat to run that he actually does run at least twice opens up the offense enough that it makes for a 2.3 yards per play difference.

Georgia’s defense had better be ready for that.  Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if Debord were to live down to Michael Elkon’s expectations.

39 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Not far enough.

We all know an AD who has no problem with Jeremy Foley.

59 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

Non-football: a barbecue travelogue

I have to admit I got a kick out of the reaction I saw from some of you guys in the comments to my post about my trip to Austin.  As I got a few requests for my foodie impressions from there, here’s a brief summary, in chronological order.

First stop was La Barbecue, in East Austin.  To give you some sense of my priorities, we stopped there on the way from the airport to the hotel where we were staying.  Like many of such places in Austin, it’s housed in an upscale food truck park.

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It was hot as hell, by the way.  I felt for the folks working inside there, but they were all friendly and helpful.  Not that it mattered, because they could have been the biggest assholes on the planet and I still would have loved them for serving me this:

The first bite of that was as close to an Oh. My. Gawd. moment as I’ve had eating… well, anything.  Brisket isn’t supposed to melt in your mouth, but that came damned close.  The texture was matched by a wonderful smokey goodness and a terrific bark that, somewhat surprisingly wasn’t that strongly seasoned.  The sausage, which they make as well, was great, but ultimately came off as a dining experience that would have been better spent on more brisket.  By the way, La Barbecue also makes its own dill pickles, which were excellent and nicely complimented the meat.

Final grade:  glorious.

The next day was my pilgrimage to Franklin’s, also in East Austin.  We didn’t discover until we got there that it was only three blocks from the hotel where we stayed.  (Marketing note to Sheraton:  you might want to make a bigger deal about that.)

Franklin’s is the hot thing right now.  How hot?  Well, it opens at 11AM and we got there at 9:15 to discover a few people had the same idea:

That’s on a Friday morning.  I thought we’d beat the working crowd, but it turned out that most of the line was like us, people visiting Austin who had to try the place.

For a joint with a long wait for its clientele, Franklin’s has management of the time down to a fine art.  There are umbrellas to borrow to keep the sun out.  There are chairs you can grab to settle down for the hours until you’re served.  They put out a water station.  A woman came around to sell cider, beer and coozies.  Plus, you get to talk to your neighbors.  All told, it’s almost like a tailgating experience.  No, really.

And in the end, if it were analogous to a tailgating experience, I felt like when I got my order, my team had kicked some righteous ass.

Brisket, pork ribs and turkey.  The brisket was easily the match of what I had the day before, although Franklin’s seasons the meat a bit more than La Barbecue.  The pork ribs were excellent, but, again, kind of a place holder that would have been better spent on more brisket.  The turkey was, surprisingly, a revelation:  juicy, flavorful and nicely smoky.  I would order that again.

Final grade:  worth the four-hour wait and then some.

We took a day off from barbecue before heading to the town of Lockhart on Sunday.  I was on an ambitious schedule, intending to sample the wares of three of the town’s best known places in a couple of hours.

The first of those was Kreuz Market.

Kreuz bills itself as the oldest continually operated barbecue joint in the state.  This is its second location, as it’s moved from its original spot on the square in the heart of Lockhart.

Given the schedule, I did pace myself a little, ordering a little brisket and sausage.

Florescent lighting isn’t kind to barbecue, I’m afraid.  The brisket, while not up to the standards of my first two stops, was still quite good.  The flavor and the bark excelled, while the meat was not quite as tender and juicy as what I’d eaten in Austin.  The sausage was terrific.  If I made a return trip, I’d have that again.

Final grade:  good, but you can do better.

From there it was a short drive to Black’s, which bills itself as the oldest, continually operated by the same family barbecue restaurant in Texas.  (It seems that family disputes are a large part of the Texas barbecue story.)

Black’s is a little different from the other places I tried, in that in addition to the barbecue, they have a quasi-buffet set up where you can order lots of sides.  I didn’t go down that path.  I was there for the meat.

Damned good.  The ribs were as tasty as the ones I had at Franklin’s, and while the brisket wasn’t quite as good as its counterparts in Austin, it was certainly nothing to sneer at.  The bark, in particular, was excellent.

Final grade:  if I had eaten here first, I would have been more impressed, but still, I wouldn’t kick it out of bed.

On to the final destination: Smitty’s Market.  This was the original location for Kreuz until there was a family falling out.  This is what you see when you walk in the front door.

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The gentleman running the pit was a great guy.  He let me walk around and check out what he was smoking at the time.

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Pretty.

Anyway, I ordered — guess what? — fatty brisket and sausage.

Again, apologies for the lighting, which doesn’t do the food any favors.  The brisket wasn’t up to the highest standards in that it wasn’t quite as tender and juicy as what I had at La Barbecue, Franklin’s or Black’s, but it was tasty.  The sausage was great, though.  Lockhart kicks some major ass in the sausage department.

Final grade:  fourth place, which is more impressive than it sounds.

So there you go, a thousand words on Austin barbecue.  Eating it was better than writing about it.

 

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Filed under Uncategorized