I know it’s too early to question Greg McGarity hiring acumen, but still, I can’t help but wonder about this: the powers that be thought they hired the next Nick Saban, but what if they hired the next Ron Zook?
Daily Archives: November 26, 2016
So much for my optimism.
Offseason just got a lot longer for this staff.
The last day of the regular season is always a bittersweet experience for me, especially when it’s a home game. Ten months until the next Athens tailgate, until the crowd gathers in Sanford Stadium, until we get to enjoy the collective experience of Georgia football again. That always leaves me a little sad.
Then again, we always have Georgia Tech. And for the past fifteen years, that’s been a great thing to have. Chan Gailey. Reggie Ball. Shutting down Calvin Johnson. Running the state. It’s a long list.
Kirby, keep things rolling. I’d like to be typing TIAR, B! in about eight or nine hours from now. GATA.
This is your home for in-game commenting, peeps. Have a happy time with it. See ‘ya on the other side.
If your team’s nothing special, pump your conference.
Johnson was asked, as he often is before the game, on the standing of the ACC vs. the SEC. In 2014, the ACC was 5-3 against the SEC. The SEC won in 2015, 6-4. Thus far, the ACC leads 3-2.
“We’re probably the only team that’s an underdog this year,” Johnson said of the SEC-ACC matchups this weekend. “I saw where I think Clemson and Louisville are probably three-touchdown favorites. Florida State’s probably a little less than that and we are what we are. I think it’s just an example that the ACC doesn’t have to take a backseat in football to anybody.”
If Tech loses and the other three win today, I guess Johnson can spend time at his presser bragging about the ACC’s great day.
Rivalry week always makes for good games, so we’ve got plenty to enjoy today.
Unfortunately for Kentucky, I don’t think this will be one of those.
Look, Ma! The Big Ten’s got one of those meteor games of its own!
|Mississippi State||3:30 PM|
Sometimes you go to the Egg Bowl with the teams you have, not the teams you might wish you have.
Remember, we’re supposed to believe this game doesn’t matter.
This one should be fun.
If Vandy manages to pull the upset, does Tennessee have to give back the life championship trophy?
I don’t think Florida will win, but after the season the Gators have had, it wouldn’t surprise me, either.
Don’t ask me why, but for some reason I woke up today feeling strangely optimistic about the game. And, after all the ups and downs of the 2016 season, it does feel strange to feel that way going into a game, especially a rivalry game.
I do see a few keys to the Dawgs preventing the Jackets from assaulting the hedges.
- Make Tech grind. Groo discusses that point in this post. Johnson’s offense is 20th nationally in yards per play because it hits on big plays. That’s been one of the drivers to Tech’s late season run of success. Georgia can’t give up big plays on the perimeter and the secondary has to be aware of Justin Thomas’ threat as a big play passer. Easier said than done, I know.
- Turnover margin. Georgia Tech has won four of its last five games, going +5 in turnover margin during that stretch. The one loss came against Miami, when Tech was minus-2 in TO margin. Perhaps more significantly, the Jackets are +6 in their last two games and probably wouldn’t have won either without that. Georgia needs to work that stat in its favor.
- Don’t give up on the run. Ted Roof’s never seen a run blitz he didn’t like, and I fully expect him to live up to that mantra today. Even if that generates early success, Chaney shouldn’t take that as a sign to abandon the ground game. The funny thing about Tech’s defense is that it hasn’t been that awful against the pass, despite not having much of a pass rush. A look at the pass defense game log shows that they haven’t allowed a passer rating over 150 but three times and haven’t allowed more than two passing touchdowns in any game all season. Meanwhile, you can see that the Jackets’ rushing defense has slowly worn down over the course of the season and in November is giving up almost 200 yards on the ground per game, along with almost three rushing touchdowns a game. If that smells to you like making sure Nick Chubb gets plenty of opportunities to pound the shit out of Tech’s defense, you’re not alone.
- Keep special teams even. A couple of months ago, this would have seemed like a pipe dream, but now, not so much. Blankenship has emerged as a competent place kicker. Coverage teams have improved and over the past two games, it appears that blocking on returns has, too. (No coincidence that McKenzie and Davis turned in their best returns of the season in those two games.) The Dawgs would still appear to be at a disadvantage in the net punting department, but if they can at least play Tech to a draw elsewhere, I’ll take it.
In the end, my reason for optimism lies in large part with Kirby Smart, who, I think wants this game and has given every indication that he’s prepared the team for that. It hasn’t been a great year in many ways, but a solid finish against Georgia Tech lets the season ends on an upward projection and gives Smart a good place from which to grow the program. Plus, there’s no reason to think he feels any differently about Tech than we do. That should be enough to do the trick.