Daily Archives: November 3, 2017

My favorite play from the Florida game

Sony’s last touchdown run.  Aaron Taylor breaks it down.

The best part of it was that Randy Shannon actually called a good defensive set for the play, but it went downhill when Michel ran right by the run blitz.  From there, it was off to the races.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Assholes gonna asshole.

I do feel better knowing there are still some Notre Dame fans worthy of dislike.

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Filed under Notre Dame's Faint Echoes

When being a Champion of Life “has been one of the worst work experiences I have ever had.’’

Just another day of fun and games in Knoxville.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

I’d like to see this at somebody’s tailgate.

Sam Adams sells a beer with a 28 percent ABV that costs a mere $199 a bottle.

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Oh, yeah — it’s illegal to purchase in eleven states, including Georgia.

If any of you have indulged, please share the experience in the comments.

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Filed under I'll Drink To That

Any given Saturday

Bill Connelly assesses the odds against an Alabama-Georgia showdown in the SECCG.  (For once, Georgia’s in better shape than Alabama.)

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Filed under SEC Football

Name that caption, this never gets old edition

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It’s about time to see that SEC unsportsmanlike conduct penalty come into play, innit?

Have at it in the comments.

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Filed under Name That Caption

Another South Carolina thought

Assuming Georgia doesn’t let the turnover margin battle get away from it, I have a hard time seeing how South Carolina pulls off the win tomorrow.

As I posted yesterday, though, I have to be convinced about whether the home team can cover a rather sizeable 24.5-point spread.  Smart’s impose your will approach combined with Muschamp’s get the opponent to play down to your level approach (I don’t mean that disrespectfully; instead, it’s a reference to how well his team has done so far without having a talent advantage over most of its opposition this season) makes me think points will be somewhat hard to come by on the day.

That being said, if the Dawgs do break through and cover — keep in mind they’ve won every game since Notre Dame by 25 or more points — it’ll be because of one advantage they have over the Gamecocks, explosive plays.

Georgia is third in the nation in runs of 20 or more yards with 28. That trails only Arizona and Notre Dame, according to cfbstats.com.

The Bulldogs had just 15 runs of 20 or more yards In 2016, tied for 86th.

“It’s great,” Chubb said this week. “Those guys are doing a great job up front of just opening it up for us. After that, you’ve just got to make the guys miss.”

Chubb has 11 runs of 20 or more yards in only eight games after having seven all of last season…

Smart earlier this season spoke of explosive runs, saying Georgia tries “to get as many 12-yard runs as we can.”

Georgia produced seven of those against the Gators Saturday including touchdown runs of 74 and 45 yards from Michel and 39 from Holyfield that the sophomore earned.

Head to head, consider that:

Part of the secret to generating explosive runs is taking advantage of the numbers game when teams load the box, leaving the second level relatively short of defenders when a running back breaks through the line of scrimmage.  Can the South Carolina defense keep Georgia’s backs in check?

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Put me in, Coach.

One thing I found frustrating about the Richt years was the relative infrequency of blowouts and the lack of time the backups got on the field as a result.  Practice and scout team work are fine, but on field experience, particularly against SEC teams, is invaluable in developing depth for the future.

So color me happy that 2017’s been the Year of the Backup.

Georgia didn’t win a game last year by more than 14 points. This season, it’s only had one win that was by fewer than 20 points — the early-season, one-point win over Notre Dame, which is now ranked third nationally.

“You come here, you go into the mentality that you’re going to beat teams as good as you can and play up to your full potential,” tight end Jackson Harris said. “It’s exciting. It’s rewarding.”

And the byproduct of having an abundance of these games that don’t require last-minute heroics has been how backups have had a chance to get significant playing time. Because when Chubb-status players are spectating from the sideline, their less experienced counterparts are starting to become a bit more familiar with the in-game action.

“You may not see much now,” Harris said, “but down the road, just getting those few reps here and there will make a difference.”

And it’s not just in games against non-Power Five opponents like Samford and Appalachian State. The backups have had considerable time in Southeastern Conference matchups.

It’s not just getting the playing time that matters.  It’s being held to the same standards as the starters that does, too.

The second-team defense made a last-second, goal-line stop against Mississippi State, and when the backup defenders have failed to do so in those situations, as they did against Florida, Smart told reporters after the game that he was “pissed.”

The scoreboard may look different than it did most of the time last year, but fullback Christian Payne said the sideline expectations are unchanged, adding how Smart preaches “consistency over complacency.”

“You could be up 45 points, but you don’t want to act like that,” Payne said. “You want to keep going and going. When you start doing that, it kind of molds bad habits into you.”

That’ll pay off down the road.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Running back by committee

Georgia and Alabama are the top two teams in the country.  Not coincidentally, Georgia and Alabama also have the greatest depth at running back in the country.

“It’s pretty simple,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart began, “you have a three-year window [before getting to the NFL]. A lot of the greatest backs don’t want a ton of physicality on the body. You want to share the load. They’re going to judge you based on the carries you get, not the ones you don’t get.”

Smart is not only a former Saban assistant but a disciple. He has landed his own set of superstar backfield talent. Helping replace Sony Michel and Nick Chubb will be top-10 talent Zamir White and Dalvin Cook’s brother, James Cook.

“They’ll draft a guy on 10 carries if he carries it really good those 10 times,” Smart said. “We sell kids on that. You’re going to be fresh. The pros are going to see you as a valuable asset. You’re going to share the load.”

You’d think that’s a tough sales job on the recruiting trail and even once the studs arrive on campus, but Nick Chubb’s bought in to the benefits.

The injury questions are also gone now. Chubb isn’t talking about any lingering effects of the leg injury. Instead he’s talking about how fresh he is for the stretch run.

Chubb has carried it 120 times this season, well under pace of his career-high 224 carries last season, when he averaged a career-low 5.0 yards per carry. A deep backfield and lopsided wins have helped that.

“I feel great. I feel better now than I did at the beginning of the season,” Chubb said. “Just how I’ve been sharing the load, and not playing full games, that also helps. We’re doing a great job of taking care of everybody, I think.”

No doubt winning helps the buy in, but if you’re running power football as your base offensive scheme, you aren’t going to win consistently without quality depth at running back.  A happy chicken vs. egg story, in other words.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“He can’t pass.”, ctd., ctd.

Chip Towers gets to the heart of why that’s such an ignorant perception of Jake Fromm.

But there’s a difference in “can’t pass” and “don’t need to pass.” And Georgia simply hasn’t needed to or chooses not to, in most cases. Thanks to a salty defense and one of the best running back corps in America, the Bulldogs have gotten all the offense they’ve needed by keeping the ball on the ground.

Georgia is second in the SEC in rushing yards with 284 per game. The Bulldogs are best known for senior tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, but they actually utilize five backs most every game, including dynamic freshman D’Andre Swift.

So the Bulldogs always are going to see to run the ball first. They’ve been forced to pass only twice this season. Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm had 326 yards and two touchdowns in a 53-28 win against Missouri and completed 55 percent of his passes for 141 yards with a TD and an interception in the win at Notre Dame.

South Carolina appears to be a run-stopping defense. It is fifth in the conference while giving up 137.6 per game. But Florida, which was then ranked third in the SEC, thought it was, too. Georgia ran for 292 in the 42-7 win over the Gators.

Last week, Florida’s Chauncey Gardner dissed Fromm’s ability to throw the ball by saying, “I get it, he throws a lot of slants.” Fromm attempted only seven passes against the Gators. As it turned out, one of them was somewhat of a slant to running back D’Andre Swift from the slot position. Swift caught it and proceeded to truck Gardner, who came up from his safety position to make the tackle. Gardner had to be helped off the field.

Aside from the defense carrying the load, aside from the potent running game and aside from the special teams competency that’s taken pressure off the offense this season, there’s one thing to keep in mind about young Mr. Fromm:  every time this team has needed him to step up, he’s done so.  Whenever I hear the can’t pass talk, I keep going back to what might have been his most pressure-packed completion of the season, the 30-yarder to Javon Wims that set up the winning score in the Notre Dame game (dial this clip up to the 14:37 mark).

That is one clutch throw.  So, yeah, you just keep on underestimating Fromm.  He won’t mind.

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Filed under Georgia Football