Daily Archives: January 15, 2017

“Everyone’s fighting for the Snickers…”

Okay, red zone defense may have left something to be desired, but there were bright spots on that side of the ball for Georgia during the 2016 season.

One is turnovers.

Georgia ranked 10th in the nation in turnovers gained with 27, including 15 interceptions and 12 fumbles recovered. That was the Bulldogs best national ranking in that category since 2011 and up from 43rd in 2015.

“I think our guys understand that you have to take the ball away,” defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said before a Liberty Bowl win over TCU, “so attacking the football, forcing takeaways and working to win the turnover margin is very important.”

Georgia had a plus-7 turnover margin in its eight wins and plus-one in its five losses in the first year under coach Kirby Smart.

“If you practice high-pointing the ball and ripping at the ball Monday through Friday then on Saturday it comes easy,” outside linebacker Davin Bellamy said.

Statistically speaking, there is some luck involved (primarily tied to where the ball comes loose), so we’ll have to wait and see if this was simply a random showing, or if the coaches’ emphasis on forcing takeaways is in fact paying off.

While there may be a factor with turnovers that can’t be controlled, I don’t think you can say the same thing about this area of performance.

Look who stopped the run last season.  Looks like at least one lesson from Tuscaloosa took.  And with the development of the defensive line, I only expect that to get better.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Meanwhile, Knoxville waits.

Butch Jones is shopping for new staff while Tennessee is searching for a new boss for Booch… well, kinda, sorta searching.

Speaking of difficult situations, Tennessee has done Jones no favors by dragging out its search for a new athletic director to replace Dave Hart, whose retirement was announced last August.

There have been conflicting reports as to whether the university is hiring the same search firm it most recently used to land men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes or just using the one with which it has a long-term contract. Raja Jubran, vice chairman of Tennessee’s board of trustees, told Sports Radio WNML’s Jimmy Hyams it might be the spring before Hart’s replacement chosen.

“Hopefully we will get someone on board one or two months before Dave Hart retires (at the end of June),” Jubran told Hyams. “It could be April or May.”

New chancellor Beverly Davenport will assume her role officially on Feb. 15 and will have input on that hire.

UTC athletic director David Blackburn continues to receive much public support. The Knoxville-based Copper Cellar Family of Restaurants this week endorsed Blackburn to become the Vols’ new athletic director. One of the restaurants, Calhoun’s, is among the concessions available in Neyland Stadium.

The company’s social media post, which received more than 2,600 responses on Twitter, stated it was time to put the Vols “back in the hands of a Tennessean.”

Guys making pitches from the concessions stands?  Hell, why not?  By the way, if it’s a Tennessean you want, Phil Fulmer is tanned, rested and ready.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Great moments in athletic department management

Check out one of the reasons cited (h/t) by the Minnesota athletic director for letting the head coach go:

Johnson said Coyle cited the program’s poor performance in recruiting rankings and a dwindling season-ticket base as two primary reasons to fire Claeys. However, the ticket issue was also due in part to former athletic director Norwood Teague’s decision to drastically increase ticket prices for the 2016 season.  [Emphasis added.]

Not recruiting, but recruiting rankings.  “Tracy, you’re currently 61st in Rivals… what are you doing about that?”

Maybe the AD should start tweeting eighteen-year olds who don’t have the Gophers on their visit lists.

 

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Filed under Recruiting

Updating the Urban Dictionary

Clemsoning is dead.

Long live Georgiaing?

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Filed under Georgia Football