Monthly Archives: October 2016

Been there, done that.

Straight out of the Mark Richt playbook.

Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.

Funny how Greg McGarity never mentioned he was looking for a head coach who could make an impact on young men’s lives when he changed coaches.

51 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

The most Georgia thing ever…

… would be for the Dawgs to squeak into a bowl game after a 5-7 regular season.

I can already hear Kirby face the press by saying he doesn’t care about the record and that it’s good for the program to get the extra bowl practice.

McGarity, on the other hand, would probably disconnect his cell phone service for the month of December.

17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

The Process, in twelve words

Well, presumably he was focused on Florida, too.

22 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“Tennessee showed it never was back, while Georgia has a long way to go…”

I’ll take “Headers I Can’t Argue With” for $200, Alex.

70 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football

Okay, who hid the box of crayons?

In a season of imponderables, perhaps the biggest mystery is why the offense has performed so poorly.  Just a few stats:

There hasn’t been a decline in third down conversion rates, red zone conversion rates or explosive plays, but considering how anemic the 2015 offense was under Schottenheimer, that’s hardly progress.

While I get that there are certain structural flaws in the personnel at hand this year, it’s still hard to grasp why a team with the running backs and tight ends Georgia has at its disposal can have the low points it’s had in 2016.  And by now, it shouldn’t be unreasonable to expect to see some progress out of true freshman Jacob Eason.  To the contrary, a review of his game log passer ratings shows that his play has stalled.

I never expected Jim Chaney to be a genius when Smart announced his hire, but I saw enough in his background to think he would be at least more competent at his job than what we saw last season.  To say the least, that hasn’t materialized.

The question I have at this point is how much of that rests on Chaney’s shoulders and how much of that lies with Kirby Smart.  As Seth Emerson notes, some of the in-game playcalling after Georgia took its last lead of the game was beyond comprehension.

Instead, Georgia went run-run-pass – and punt – on its next two possessions. Florida took the lead back. The chance to really put the Gators behind the 8-ball at halftime was blown.

Chubb didn’t touch the ball between the 12:25 mark of the second quarter and the first play of the fourth quarter.

In the second half – a game that remained in striking distance – Georgia ran the ball just six times, while passing it 17 times.

Sure, some of that can be blamed on an offensive line that appeared unable to block its way out of a paper bag, but the lack of creativity in the playcalling from someone with years of experience in the college game is inexcusable.

Then you hear Smart talk and you wonder in what kind of box Chaney’s playbook has been placed.

Georgia was criticized by some for only running the ball 19 times. It went three-and-out in the first half at one point on three of four drives where Georgia went run-run-pass, run-run-pass, run-run-pass. On the other series in that stretch, Georgia began the drive by seeing Jacob Eason get sacked.

“What do we have to do to run the ball better?” Smart said. “We’ve got to give our offensive line a chance by what plays we design and call. Maybe that’s more perimeter runs. We tried that and we had a backer run through on a toss play. More direct runs where we can be more physical and downhill at them and we weren’t able to do that.”

Star running back Nick Chubb is averaging 4.85 yards per carry, down from 8.1 last season and 7.1 in 2014. Sony Michel’s average yards per carry is 4.74 from 5.3 last season and 6.4 in 2014.

“I think they get frustrated, I think it’s tough but I thought Nick and Sony were both very positive to the O-line in the huddle,” Smart said. “They know that’s their bread and butter. They know those guys have got to play better, play harder and we’ve got to help them by playing smarter.”

From an overall offensive philosophy, that boils down to nothing more than same old, same old.  Play better and the rest will take care of itself.  And maybe that’s true, at least when the day comes that Chaney has a dominant offensive line.  In the meantime, it sure ain’t pretty, regardless of who’s planning the trip.

135 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“They’ve got a good football team, but everybody’s got a good football team in the SEC.”

One other disturbing thing about Saturday’s result is that for the most part Georgia didn’t mail it in, unlike, say, as it did for Nicholls or Ole Miss.  And yet, it wound up being a game that got away from the Dawgs in the second half.

“In the SEC, it’s like this every week,” Smart said. “Our kids were geeked up today and wanted to play well because they had worked really hard. This is not going to be about Kentucky. It’s going to be about us and making sure we’ve got the right shoulder pads and shoes strapped up and ready to go.”

In essence, it was a rerun of Vanderbilt, except Florida is a better overall team.  What that says, then, about this Georgia team isn’t a pleasant thing.

The SEC East quartet of Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina and Vanderbilt were the league’s lone programs last season to miss out on bowl games last season, and little was expected of them this time around. Kentucky (5-3), South Carolina (4-4) and Vandy (4-4) now have a shot at the postseason, with Georgia sliding into that category as well with tests against Auburn, Louisiana-Lafayette and Georgia Tech occurring down the road.

We have met the mediocrity, and he is us.

13 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

We don’t know our ass from a hole in the ground.

It’s times like this I’m reminded of Randy Newman’s great song, “Rednecks”.

By the way, can anyone from Wisconsin explain why the rules ban wearing a mask into the stadium, but not so once the mask is inside?

7 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, Political Wankery

Observations from the end zone, Cocktail Party edition

The weather was magnificent.  The company was great.  The beach was beautiful.  The food was delicious.  The beer was cold.

Oh, wait… there was a football game this weekend?  Damn, why’d you have to harsh my mellow, man?  Just for that, here are your bullet points:

  • First and foremost, this game was about field position.  That was almost entirely driven by poor blocking on offense, unimaginative playcalling and a horrendous day punting.
  • The other factor that played a part was a defense that played mostly well, except on third down and in the red zone.
  • The end result was that Florida controlled the clock and limited the amount of time Georgia’s offense saw the field, although one could argue that was an act of kindness, given the ineptitude on display most of the game.
  • I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the notion that a team with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel on the roster could be held to less than 20 yards rushing in a game that wasn’t a blow out.  (Then, again, I’m still trying to figure out how South Carolina held Georgia t0 less than 30 passing yards.)
  • Yes, the offensive line play was abominable.  Yes, it hasn’t improved in the slightest over the course of the season.  What isn’t getting much attention, though, is how much Christian Payne has regressed over that time.  He was a  non-entity against the Gators.  One of the two moments from the game that stuck with me was Chubb pounding the ground in frustration after being tackled by a defender who Payne couldn’t be bothered to block.  Really, if he’s not going to get his primary job done, it’s another strong reason to abandon the power running sets that aren’t fooling anyone.
  • The other moment?  The second Reggie Davis fly sweep that was stoned because the play was designed to run in to the defensive lineman that Blazevich momentarily blocked and then released.  I guess if you look at it that way, it was perfectly executed.
  • Speaking of Blazevich, given the results we’ve seen the last two seasons, the next time Georgia is in the market for an offensive coordinator, I hope it’s somebody who cheerfully admits he has no idea how to use tight ends.
  • It’s hard to criticize Eason’s game, considering he had zero support from his surrounding cast, so I’m not going to waste my time doing that.  I will say that the touchdown pass was one of those rare moments where it was fun to watch a play when things clicked perfectly:  the line did its job well enough that when Eason rolled out he wound up in what amounted to a RPO situation that left the Gator defensive backs on that side in no man’s land and an easy throw resulted.
  • I don’t want to be unduly harsh about the defense.  Given how poorly the offense and special teams played, it was left in a rough situation most of the day and held up pretty well despite the hand it was dealt.  Unfortunately, it seemed like almost every time it was in position to make a key stop to shut down a drive or prevent a score, there were just enough missed tackles, misalignments or freak plays (like the one when Del Rio somehow managed to get off an awkward pass completion while being dragged down by a Georgia player) for things to go wrong.
  • That being said, it’s clear the defense has improved from the Ole Miss game — a low bar, I know.  There’s reason to be excited about the defensive line’s future.  Baker is an improvement at one of the corner spots.  And I continue to like what I see from the inside linebackers.  There’s enough going on that if the other areas of the team were merely competent, it would probably be enough.  Unfortunately…
  • I am not going to waste my time discussing the special teams play, other than to say it’s criminal to watch McKenzie’s talent as a punt returner go to waste.  I have yet to see a single punt return properly blocked this season.  The yardage he managed to gain on his two returns was entirely of his own making.

There’s really no point to breaking things down further than that.  It was a joyless four quarters for the most part that reflected what’s gone on all season.

Perhaps the saddest thing of all is the realization as I was watching that Kirby wants what Jim McElwain already has, a competent team that is coached well enough to stay out of the way of the defense when it’s winning the day.  I can only imagine what the future holds for the Cocktail Party when Smart gets there.

I said to my friends afterwards that for all his talk about wanting to establish an identity, Kirby has a team with less of one than any Georgia squad I’ve seen in a while.  Upon further reflection, I don’t think that’s right.  The Process is the identity.  The identity is the Process.

Enjoy the rest of the season, folks.

60 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

SEC Power Poll, Week 9

secpowerpoll2008_medium

The SEC West grows more interesting.  The SEC East couldn’t be less interesting.

  1. Alabama.  Does the Tide’s remaining stretch of games seem more challenging now than it did a month or so ago?  Sure.  Will it make a difference?
  2. Auburn.  Still rolling, although doubt is beginning to creep in about the quality of Ole Miss.
  3. LSU.  We’re about to watch Ed Orgeron’s interview for the head coaching job.
  4. Texas A&M.  Any week you don’t play Alabama is a good week.
  5. Florida.  Not a great team by any measure, but a well coached one.  In the East, that makes you the front-runner.
  6. Ole Miss.  At 3-5, you have to start wondering if they’re going to move proactively to ban themselves from postseason play to placate the NCAA.
  7. Tennessee.  You had one job this week, Booch.
  8. Arkansas.  Eh, sure, why not…
  9. Kentucky.  Raise your hand if after the first week of the season you predicted the ‘Cats would be playing for bowl eligibility before the Dawgs.
  10. Mississippi State.  It seems only fair to point out that right now MSU isn’t actually in last place in the West.
  11. Georgia.  I thought the Process was supposed to be fun.
  12. South Carolina.  Boom springs his version of an October surprise.
  13. Vanderbilt.  This week’s game against Auburn looks pretty daunting, but with Mizzou, Ole Miss and Tennessee after that, maybe I shouldn’t write off their bowl chances just yet.
  14. Missouri.  Man, has this program fallen on hard times, or what?

17 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Fabris Pool results, Week 9

Once again, tiebreaker city.

STANDINGS for WEEK 9

Rank
Selection Name
Standings
Adjustment
W-L
Pts
Tie Breaker Game
37-34

1

Pat Head

Adj

8-2

8

  37-27**

1

econodawg

Adj

8-2

8

  35-34

1

KingCMO

Adj

8-2

8

  27-28

1

By Georgia we did it

Adj

8-2

8

  21-20

1

holtonjt

Adj

8-2

8

  0-0

Congrats to Pat Head.
Meanwhile, on the season…

SEASON STANDINGS through Week 9

Rank
You
Selection Name
W-L
Pts

1

Gravidy Picks

55-34

55

2

wilcodawg

54-35

54

3

Boomshakalaka

53-36

53

4

MeatDawg

52-37

52

5

CoastToCoast

51-38

51

5

Ga92grad

51-38

51

5

Giving the Business

51-38

51

8

jamivansant

50-39

50

… we got ourselves a good race.

5 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff