November 8, 2017 · 2:30 PM
I suspect this wouldn’t be an optimum outcome for the folks at Butts-Mehre:
No. 3 Notre Dame (8-1) at No. 7 Miami (8-0): The Irish have been in elimination mode since Week 2. A win would give them a 4-1 record against teams that entered Week 11 ranked, a very Playoff-worthy total. The Canes can silence all concerns about their many close wins and hurt UGA’s resume (in case it comes down to Mark Richt vs. Kirby Smart for No. 4), potentially killing two birds. [Emphasis added.]
There’s a part of me that would love to hear the awkward sales job McGarity would pitch facing that scenario, but I’d rather have Georgia win out and avoid the issue altogether.
November 8, 2017 · 2:21 PM
Let’s hear it for growing the support staff, which may pay an extra dividend Saturday.
At Auburn, Fountain coached kicker Daniel Carlson, a two-time Groza Award finalist, and had coverage units that led the SEC last season but kickoff returns were near the bottom.
“He did a very solid job in his time here,” Malzhan said.
With the help of Fountain, Georgia has enjoyed “really good special teams,” this season, according to Smart. He said in the preseason it was the No. 1 area of improvement needed and that Fountain had brought “a lot of insight to our coaches.”
Punter Cameron Nizialek said Fountain’s knowledge of the Tigers can help this week..
“He knows their whole system,” Nizialek said. “He’s done a great job helping us implement our punt team and special teams phases. He knows the other returners, their coverage guys, who’s holding us up. I think it ‘s going to be good. It will help us cover well and hopefully we can do that.”
I’m okay with that.
November 8, 2017 · 1:09 PM
I’m sensing a trend here.
43.3/14.5 – Auburn is averaging 43.3 points per game in their seven wins this season. The Tigers are also averaging 14.5 points per game in their two losses this season.
The good news is Georgia’s defense is up to the task.
November 8, 2017 · 12:37 PM
Why has Georgia had the recent success it’s enjoyed against Auburn? Vince Dooley has an explanation.
“My scheduling,” he said.
Dooley elaborated: Every year from 1953-2001, the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry had immediately followed the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail party. Georgia played Florida and then turned around and immediately played Auburn. It took a toll, which Dooley know from first coaching the Bulldogs and then serving as athletics director.
“I said, If there’s one damn thing I’m going to do I’m going to separate the Florida and Auburn games,” Dooley said. “That was the toughest thing we ever had to do, was to play those two teams back-to-back.”
So over three days in Birmingham, Dooley can’t remember which year, the SEC athletic directors hashed it out so Georgia would get a break in between those arch-rivalry games. That started in 2002, and ever since then the Bulldogs have had the better of the rivalry.
Georgia has defeated Auburn 11 of the past 15 times…
Hey, it’s as good an answer as anything.
I do think there’s a little ironic coincidence, in that both Florida (when Spurrier arrived in 1990) and Georgia sought separation between the Cocktail Party and the Auburn game. The difference being, of course, that Spurrier sought the break to gain advantage against the Dawgs. It took Georgia a while longer to figure out that a little separation the week before Jacksonville was a good thing as well.
November 8, 2017 · 12:27 PM
When you’re obsessive and you have the resources, you can do things like this.
A preventative measure Georgia has used has been to analyze how much on-field running players are doing in practice and in games. The program uses a GPS device, which is placed inside the players’ shoulder pads, to track this information. Georgia hasn’t had too many games go the distance, with starters being pulled early in the fourth quarter. With fewer game snaps, that has allowed for more physical practices late in the year.
Against South Carolina, however, Georgia’s first team was needed for all four quarters. With the starters taking on more snaps, Georgia’s coaching staff has to decide how much more to put on the players during the week of practice.
“I think you follow science. You look at the GPS numbers,” Smart said. “We’re comparing the numbers this year to last year. We’re seeing how many guys are hitting top speeds in the games. If they continue to hit their top speeds, then we continue to do what we do. But if they slow down, then we have to slow down. I think for the first time (since Notre Dame), we had a game that we had to play all four quarters, so we had guys play more snaps. We have to be smarter this week than in past weeks. But we’ve also got to get ready for a tough, physical football game.”
As the old saying goes, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. If Kirby wants to claim there’s a little luck involved in Georgia’s injury status this season, he’s entitled.
November 8, 2017 · 8:58 AM
November 8, 2017 · 7:47 AM
Gus wants you to know Saturday isn’t about him, no sirree, ’cause he’s already been there and done that.
… Since losing the 2013 BCS National Championship, the Tigers are 1-7 in their last eight games against top 10 teams.
That record, an 0-6 mark against Georgia and Alabama over the past three years, and losses to Clemson and LSU featuring woeful offensive play this season is why this stretch is critical to Malzahn’s future on the Plains.
He did not want to acknowledge the enormity of this week to his own career.
“We’ve coached in SEC Championships and national championships,” Malzahn said. “This is a big game, but it’s not about me, it’s about our team. It’s a great opportunity in a huge game for our team for this year. I don’t get into for me, personally big games. I’ve been fortunate to coach in quite a few of them.”
Hunh. Losing to all those top-ranked teams must have been somebody else’s fault.
When you say it’s not about you, it usually is about you.
November 8, 2017 · 7:39 AM
If you’re curious as to how the national media looks at Georgia now that the selection committee has bestowed its number one ranking on the program, here’s the latest from the New York Times.
On the first Saturday of November in 1980, undefeated Georgia took on South Carolina at home. It was the Bulldogs’ first nationally televised game that season, and it introduced viewers across the country to the powerful freshman running back Herschel Walker, who ran for 219 yards in his team’s victory.
A lot has changed since then — thanks to CBS, NBC, ESPN and the SEC Network, every one of Georgia’s games this season has been available everywhere — but around here, mid-autumn still means facing the Gamecocks, a marked ability to run the ball and the eternal springing of hope. In 1980, that hope was rewarded with a national championship, Georgia’s only one in the past half-century.
As Georgia took care of South Carolina again on Saturday, 24-10, the Bulldogs (9-0) are once again setting their sights on a national title run…
For whatever reason, in the postseason era — going back to the first Bowl Championship Series title game after the 1998 season — Georgia, the flagship team of one of the top states for recruiting, has been consistently great but never the best. Under Mark Richt from 2001 to 2015, for instance, Georgia finished ranked 11 times, and in the top 10 five times. But it never made the national postseason during a span in which SEC teams won nine titles.
So perhaps Smart’s myopic mind-set is, well, smart. Georgia has not yet done the things for which they hang your picture and speak of you a half-century hence.
That’s a pretty fair framing. Keep winning and the picture will continue to be filled in.
November 8, 2017 · 7:17 AM
Reggie Carter says he didn’t find out Georgia won the SEC East until his mother told him.
“I’m happy, but we’ve got Auburn next and they’re a tough opponent and they’re a great team and they’re just the next team we’ve got to play against,” Carter said. ”
And what about mom?
“I told her she can do the cheerleading,” Carter said with a smile, “and leave it up to me to keep playing,”
That’s the kind of tunnel vision I can get behind.
November 8, 2017 · 7:02 AM
A couple of posts ago, you saw the points per drive improvement on offense from last season to this. How’s the defense — which wasn’t nearly as anemic in 2016 — done?
If you look at yards per play, pretty damned well. In 2016, it was 36th nationally, averaging 5.26 ypp. This year is better. A lot better.
So they’ve shaved a yard per play off on defense and added a yard and a quarter on offense. That’s a pretty good formula for going from losing five games to being undefeated.
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