Game day post: hot hand versus grinder

It’s pretty amazing that in the space of a mere week Dan Mullen’s gone from being the second-best coach in the SEC to THE SECOND-BEST COACH IN THE SEC!

All it took was embarrassing Ed Orgeron, whose SEC career record now stands at 18-28.

Of such things legends are born.

By contrast, Kirby Smart’s second season has been a steady grind:  a one-point road win against Notre Dame sandwiched between two slices of comfortable wins over cupcakes… oh, yeah, and the Dawgs managed to score more than forty point in a game for the first time in the Smart era.  (Thanks, Samford!)

I don’t mean to make light of Georgia’s 3-0 start, which has been accomplished without its original starting quarterback and has also managed to avoid any truly embarrassing efforts like last year’s Nicholls game.  The team has progressed.

The end result is that today’s meeting has turned out to be of more import than we anticipated back in August.  Tonight we’ll find out whether Kirby’s grind can handle Mullen’s flash.

I’ll have to be honest with you:  barring turnover diarrhea, it looks like a tough battle from where I sit.  Mullen’s offensive scheme is tough to handle when he’s got the right personnel to deploy, and Nick Fitzgerald is the right personnel for that.  Meanwhile, MSU’s Jeffrey Simmons is the kind of disruptive lineman you can build a defense around, which it appears is what Todd Grantham has done.  Making things even tougher, Simmons will be prepared to exploit one of Georgia’s obvious weaknesses, the interior of its offensive line.

So while I think Georgia is the more talented team — and while I also think that, unlike LSU, Georgia will be prepared both mentally and emotionally to take on Mississippi State — those two factors are pretty decent levelers.

That’s why this game boils down to the obvious:  (1) can Georgia play sixty minutes of assignment football on defense and (2) can the middle of Georgia’s offensive line handle Simmons.  It’s going to be a long night if the answer to both of those items is no.

I don’t think it will be, though.  Beating LSU by 30 points was the biggest favor Mullen could do for Smart.  You can bet the coaches didn’t have to waste any time last week stretching the truth to prepare the team.  They’re woke.

Still, Georgia is a young team feeling its way with a freshman quarterback making only his third start.  That’s not a recipe for a blowout.  Along those lines, if you follow this…

The ‘under’ is 3-0 for UGA with its combined scores averaging 45.3 PPG. Meanwhile, MSU has seen the ‘under’ go 2-1 overall, but the ‘over’ hit in its lone road assignment. Mullen’s team has seen its games average combined scores of 57.0 PPG.

— Georgia owns a 1-5 spread record in six games as a home favorite since Smart took over. On the flip side, Mississippi State has compiled a 9-3 spread record in its last 12 games as a road underdog.

… it adds up to a low-scoring game in which Georgia fails to cover, which sounds about right to me.  Playing in Athens winds up being the difference for the home team.  I’ll take that.

As usual, this is your invite to use the comments for your game observations.  See you on the other side.


Filed under Georgia Football

111 responses to “Game day post: hot hand versus grinder

  1. For all of those who were asking for black tonight, please wear red. All of the official social media outlets are asking for the DawgNation to wear red.

    Dawgs in a nail biter … 24-21


  2. Greg

    Got the REAL dawgs by 30+. Time for the crowd to get fired up, bring that “12th man:


  3. artful codger

    Looking for Kindley to show signs of solidyfying RG and maybe Simmons can be neutralized somewhat.


  4. Damn, does Bert B get bigger every day? My screen ain’t wide enough to contain his immensitude. If the Hawgs lose to aTm, do we get the distinct odor of bacon sizzling in Fville?


  5. Mayor

    FWIW Kirk Herbstreit just picked Georgia to win this game. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.


  6. The Dawg abides

    Anybody watching Arky-A&M? When did Ark start wearing Ohio State’s uniforms?


    • Nashville West

      They’re supposed to be replicas of Dallas Cowboys uniforms to honor Arky alum Jerry Jones. But they do have an ohio state look to them.


  7. ApalachDawg

    Athens 37 – Starkville 17


  8. Joe

    2 weeks ago in Lighting Will, a great little bar in Portland Or, I stood on a stool with 3 minutes to go and invoked the ghost of Erk Russell to compel this Dawgs Defense to hunker down and GATA!!!

    I haven’t believed in this defense as much as I do now since 2002. We have already seen their ability to lock down the perimeter and force the run game inside and right into the teeth of the nastiest line I’ve seen in a long time.

    I have faith that these men will do enough to shit down Fitzgerald and the Dogs offense to win yet another close game for us.

    Fromm is progressing each week and I expect to see another step forward today. The receivers are getting better……and let’s hope the TE group heard CKS loud and clear and practiced like champions this week.

    I got the Dawgs by 10 after a late 4th quarter stop and a long Chubb/Michel//Swift drive to close it out!

    Go Dawgs! GATA!


  9. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Yes, Mullen is a good coach. Yes, Simmons is a fine athlete. Yes, Fitzgerald is a threat. But then, you know, Smart, Roquan, Trent, Zo, Davin. And if you watched the LSU game, MSU frequently lined up in man coverage with only one safety in an all-out stop the run plan. If we can get Swift or Sony or Chubb or Mecole the ball behind the line of scrimmage, it could get ugly in our favor. That 3rd and Grantham shit can burn you when the offense is decent.


  10. PTC DAWG

    Kirby is on it.


  11. Cojones

    Guessing this game is impossible given the evidence to support your choice. Looks like a good game for the Dawgs to let us know what they are made of this year.


    • truck

      Agreed. We’ve got the talent and the home field advantage. If we lose it’s because we got out coached. And that, my friends, will be disappointing. Good guys: 27, Tractor mechanics 17.


  12. This game is a turning point for the season. Win this one and the rest of the season is just a tuneup for Bama in Atlanta. 28-27 win for our dawgs, then we cruise to 12-0. What could go wrong? Amirite?


  13. mg4life0331

    Piss on spreads and percentages. MSU is hasnt played a team with a pulse and LSU is a joke. 35 10. Those 10 came in garbage against people in Blankenships position last year. Piss on em


  14. Russ

    Booch still building brick by brick. Nice win over an 0-4 UMass team, 17-13. At home.

    Sackerlina’s offense went Boom last week when Deebo went out. Looking like they need a miracle to beat LaTech.

    And I guess I know who’s sphincter is tighter after the A&M – Arkansas game.


  15. Turd Ferguson

    Anyone heard anything about Malkom Parrish?


  16. Dolly Llama

    Now THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is the way to start a damn game! WHOO!


  17. AusDawg85

    That Chaney…he’s a sly one.


  18. Jim Chaney is a genius. Lol!


  19. The Chaney haters are looking kinda stupid now. Looks like the only team we need to worry about is Bama in the SECCG.


  20. Superstar

    Oof. We just Georgia-ing ourselves with that turnover


  21. Doggoned

    Even if you call that a fumble by Swift, the tackle was a horse collar.


  22. Dolly Llama

    Held them to three. So far, so good.


  23. Mayor

    Refs doing their best to keep it close. Marc Curles must have a bet on the game.


  24. AusDawg85

    Eason looked ready and wonder if he was scheduled to get a series. With the way Fromm is playing I can see why you don’t, but if we get bogged down in the 2nd half I wouldn’t be surprised if he went in to see if he can light a spark. That said, I think Fromm is doing great and will get us the win.


    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      He’s dressed, but wearing a brace. No reason to chance anything, and probably not a good idea for him to get in right now.


  25. Coondawg

    My College Pic em looks worse than Floridas Offense. I mean, the Braves have a better winning percentage than I do on my picks.


  26. Raleighwood Dawg

    great blocking on Chubb’s td run


  27. Dolly Llama

    I believe we may have given up on the Wild Dawg too early.


  28. AusDawg85

    That Chaney…he’s a sly one with that WildDawg.


  29. dawgtired

    yeah, let’s not run the Wild-Dawg any more.


    • Russ

      Haha! I was yelling when they lined up and then Chubb ran it in. My wife was giving me a hard time about not wanting that play anymore.


  30. dawgman3000

    That screw up Chaney! He had the wrong guy running the wild dawg until he put Chubb back there.


  31. The OL is improved this year and we have some WRs who are good run blockers and aren’t scared to do it.


  32. Coondawg

    In a game, this season, I predict we will run the WildDawg with Hardman and he will throw it for a big gain or touchdown.


  33. Dolly Llama

    Once Miss State has to start passing, I smell a rash of INTs. The Fitzgerald kid is a tough runner, but I don’t think he even trusts himself to throw it much, much less the coaches.


  34. AusDawg85

    I don’t recall yelling “BOOM!” for our D this much since 1980. Those are some awesome hits.


  35. Coondawg

    #22 looks like he absolutely does not want the football.


  36. Dolly Llama

    Nauta! Damn, we’re just plumb fucking with them now. I love it.


  37. AusDawg85

    That Chaney…he’s a sly one. Seam route to the TE.


  38. dawgtired

    Perfect use of Nauta…


  39. dawgman3000

    Maybe Kirby should just let Chaney do his thing.


  40. AusDawg85

    Well…we just ended the QB controversy. Sorry Jacob.


    • dawgman3000

      I hope not. We need both of those guys. Hopefully Jacob wins his job back.


      • AusDawg85

        I’m joking…mostly. Can’t see how you take the ball out of Fromm’s hands going forward and he’ll likely just keep getting better.


        • Dolly Llama

          I’m thinking you’re right. It’d be hard to bench Fromm right now. I mean, he hasn’t looked anything like a freshman.


    • artful codger

      That intangible that Fromm brings is huge. Accuracy has been damn good too. Leadership and game management all are growing by the minute. His improvement is measurable from game-to-game. His job to lose at this point.


  41. Dawgoholic

    Good to know SEC refs can call offensive holding.


  42. dawgman3000

    I haven’t heard that Simmons kid name much. Maybe the o-line is finally starting to jell.


  43. Dolly Llama

    The OL has done a great job tonight, at least on pass plays. Fromm’s had plenty of time.


  44. Doggoned

    Total physical domination. Total. Let the Big Dawgs eat.


  45. The Truth

    Folks, it’s hard not to look at the scores from the East today and think if we can’t win it this year we may never do it again.


  46. AusDawg85

    That Kirby…he’s a sly one. #throwawayseasonswork

    Liked by 1 person

  47. W Cobb Dawg

    Absolutely terrific performance!


  48. W Cobb Dawg

    Gooo Kentucky!


  49. That’s what #GATA is all about.

    Chaney generally called a good game tonight. That flea flicker against a Towel Boy defense was masterful. Tucker is turning this defense into a monster.

    That, ladies and gentlemen, was an @$$ whipping.


  50. AusDawg85

    Prepared. Poised. Dominating D. Exactly what I wanted to see from Kirby.

    Using all his weapons. Creativity. Going with what works. Exactly what I want to see from Chaney.

    Tucker is Coordinator of the year. Fromm Is maturing. Pitman doing a great job but needs to get Wynn to cleanup a few things. Sad that Chubb can’t break free like Swift, but that young kid reminds me of Knowshon.

    Time for everyone to dawggrade MSU but this was one of our best games in a few years.

    Go Dawgs!


  51. TXBaller

    Whether you like it or not, Kirby has a top 5 team in Athens town. Philes can SUCK IT!


  52. Defense is great, special teams couldn’t be better. This team will go as far as the offense takes it. Best thing is that this team has been the same every game. I am worried about what losing Kindley will do because it doesn’t look good for him. Really really impressive win tonight.


  53. Scorpio Jones, III

    Kirby Smart on the first play from scrimmage: “We saw some undisciplined eyes in the secondary.” ” Heh, heh, heh”


  54. Russ

    Well done, Dawgs! Fully prepared, played with minimal mistakes and totally took it to the faux bulldogs. I love it.

    Let the dawggrading of Miss St begin.


  55. Dolly Llama

    Well, looks like Florida just managed to keep the streak alive. I think this is a year we humiliate them.


  56. Russ

    Just think, that flea flicker on the first play was the winning score.

    Oh, and the refs just insured Florida would win the game. BS holding call to take them out of FG range.