Them folks at Ole Miss have long memories.
Daily Archives: November 13, 2017
Kirby, on Malzahn’s “We whipped the dog crap out of them, didn’t we?” post-game glee:
“I’ll be honest with you, I think when you perform the way they did on the field, you earn the right to say really whatever you want,” Smart said. “I don’t get into what Gus says and he probably doesn’t get into what I say.”
He’s right. The only way to answer that is to return the favor the next time you play ’em.
Bringing the smack.
Honestly, I’m surprised Junior waited as long as he did to say that.
Of all the stupid things to suggest, fake juice after the Auburn blowout is about the dumbest.
It had better. They’ve already got Senior Day for motivation. If honoring the four who stayed with renewed effort and focus doesn’t offer enough, those jerseys aren’t gonna make any difference, either.
Quite the spread on the times for the Georgia-Georgia Tech game.
I live in the ATL, so it’s no great hardship for me, but I imagine the folks elsewhere wouldn’t mind a little more certainty. Soon!
Fortunately, Seth Emerson watched the replay so I don’t have to. I guess that’s the downside to doing this for a living.
I don’t think anything he writes comes as a particular surprise, but it’s worth highlighting his conclusion.
It’s important for people not to overreact to this and forget how dominant Georgia was in the first nine games. But it’s also important not to under-react. Georgia was not beaten by a series of fluke plays and bad breaks that went the wrong direction. It was outgained (480-230), outschemed and outclassed.
This was too much like last year. The offensive line and play calling concerns were back. There were critical special teams errors. The passing game hasn’t stepped up as a consistent force. The defense took a step back.
That doesn’t mean this can’t all just be a one-off. Georgia’s hopes and main goal are still out there. The Bulldogs will have a chance in less than three weeks to avenge this on a neutral site or to beat an Alabama team that looks beatable. But this performance gives you pause on whether Georgia could actually pull it off.
The one upshot for the Bulldogs: Maybe the role of the hunted didn’t suit them. Now they can definitely go back to being the hunters.
As I posted yesterday, it’s too soon to start drawing conclusions from a very disappointing outcome. We do know for certain that the Dawgs played like crap against Auburn. We don’t know yet whether that means the nine wins before last weekend were a mirage. That’s what the next three games are for.
Allow me to repeat myself. Sigh. No guarantees, but I’ll do my best to avoid gallows humor. It won’t be easy.
One thing about a blowout like Saturday’s is that it’s easy to dispense with nuance. Georgia lost the game because Auburn dominated both lines of scrimmage. The Dawgs got smoked because sometime shortly after scoring first, they lost their hearts and their heads.
When you bring your “D” game (yeah, I’m probably being generous) and the tenth-ranked team in the country brings its “A” game in front of the home folks, the results are pretty much guaranteed to be ugly. Georgia, in fact, is a little fortunate that the score wasn’t even more lopsided than it turned out to be.
Honestly, there really isn’t much need to say more than that… not that I’ll stop there.
- I should have known it was an omen when Auburn trotted out Nick Fairley for the pre-game festivities.
- This may sound strange, but looking back, I think the game turned on Jeff Holland’s sack. You had the sense that the staff freaked out over how easily he abused Thomas on that play. One thing’s for sure: Georgia essentially abandoned the pass from that point in a vain attempt to protect Fromm until it had little choice otherwise.
- Unfortunately for Georgia, volunteering to make itself one-dimensional proved ineffective, largely because it turned out that Auburn was able to defend the run consistently with only seven men in the box.
- All those games when Georgia showed it could pass early and then stayed with the run made Chaney and Smart believe it would work again. This turned out to be the time when continuing to throw on first down after the first series was the smarter move.
- It’s hard to blame Fromm for Georgia’s offensive ineptitude, seeing as he was running for his life for much of the night. I sure wish he’d have been able to hit Ridley fully in stride on what should have been an easy touchdown, though. (Not to excuse Ridley on the drop, of course.)
- The flea flicker would have been another easy score, except for the minor detail of what appeared to be the entire defensive front’s penetration of the line of scrimmage before the ball had been returned to Fromm’s hands. Definitely Jake’s deer caught in the headlights moment of 2017.
- I can’t overstate how bad the offensive line’s play was. Blame Chaney all you want, but when your offense is structured around the run and your linemen can’t get out of their own way to block, it’s going to be a long day no matter what you call.
- To its credit, the defense didn’t come apart at the seams as quickly as the offense did — in fact, early on, it did a credible job of putting pressure on Stidham — but after the two special teams’ snafus, unravel it did. As the second half progressed (regressed?), resistance wasn’t futile. It was non-existent. Auburn was able to gash Georgia up the middle and embarrass Georgia with misdirection plays and two of the prettiest screen passes you’ll ever see.
- Then again, when a defense can’t even get itself aligned properly to defend three receivers deployed on a bubble screen, it ain’t hard to look pretty.
- The deep ball that Stidham threw for Auburn’s first touchdown was set up by having what seemed like an unlimited amount of time to throw against a four-man rush, which was a sign the game was getting away from the defense on every level.
- Special teams were more bad than good. Two major screw ups on punt returns led to two Auburn touchdowns, which is not supposed to be how that works. Between putting the Tigers up by sixteen and taking the heart out of the defense after it managed a stop on Auburn’s first drive of the second half, Hardman’s fumble essentially settled the game. That was a real shame, because up to that point, he was one of the few bright spots for the Dawgs.
- The vibes were bad enough that I called the missed field goal and the fumbled punt before they happened.
- Has there been another game when Georgia wasted as much good field position as it did Saturday?
- Another reason I don’t want to watch the replay is that I didn’t notice if Roquan played badly and I don’t want to discover whether he did.
- There is no excuse for this team ten games into a season like this to lose its composure the way it did. None. Especially with so much of the most egregious actions coming from senior players who know better. I don’t know if they were baited on the field, overly amped up, overwhelmed by the moment, or what. I do know that’s on the coaches for not getting the players settled mentally.
- Which leads to the last point — the coaching was a complete disaster. They tried to approach this game like they had every other game this year, which is understandable. However, when it became apparent that wasn’t working, rather than adapt and fight, they chose to retreat. That isn’t how number one teams are supposed to react, and you’d think given Kirby’s extensive experience in Tuscaloosa, he’d be the first guy on Georgia’s sideline to know that. Tremendously disappointing, to say the least.
- I guess it’s only natural that when a hot seat cools, the first thing you do is show your ass, right, Gus? (Then again, when your team kicks some righteous ass in front of the home folks, you’ve got to give them a little something extra.)
To his credit, Smart forthrightly took the blame for the debacle fully on his shoulders. That’s a good place to start, but if he can’t fix what was broken (which was pretty much everything, admittedly) and fix it quickly, it’s not going to amount to much. Unfortunately, the Kentucky game just got a lot more interesting than I anticipated it would be.
Shake it off and move on, Dawgs. That may not be as inspiring a message as GATA, but it’s a good beginning.
It sounds like Mark Richt took one lesson to heart from his Georgia days when he accepted his new gig.
And though Richt is quick to credit athletics director Blake James and deputy athletics director Jen Strawley with investing in things that weren’t done around here before — like a nutritionist— that Richt knew were critical to competing for national titles, none of this happens without a lesson learned in his final years at Georgia.
Under some administrative pressure to shake things up, Richt tried to Sabanize his coaching staff, hiring Saban disciple Jeremy Pruitt as his defensive coordinator along with five other staff members who had Alabama ties, giving that group wide latitude to modernize the recruiting operation and other aspects of the program.
The gambit ultimately didn’t work, as Richt went 10-3 and 9-3 in those two seasons but lost the games he needed most, including twice to Florida, once to Georgia Tech and a 38-10 loss to Alabama in Athens that made the Bulldogs seem light years away from contending for an SEC championship. Moreover, there was constant drama inside the football building, as people separated into camps over how things should be done and never developed any chemistry as a staff.
It was a lesson learned for Richt, who was far more clear-eyed and uncompromising when putting together his staff at Miami…
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right…
I’ll keep saying it — nobody running the show at Butts-Mehre has the first clue about successfully supporting a football program. “Why don’t we do things more like Alabama” is envy disguised as strategic planning. The best a Georgia football coach can hope for is benign neglect from the administration, something that works as long as the reserve fund isn’t being threatened. Fortunately for us, Kirby appears to know how to play that game.
Georgia’s shocking blowout notwithstanding, this past weekend’s results didn’t shake things up too much.
- Alabama. With the win, Alabama has won at least ten games in the last ten seasons under Saban. In the SEC. Mercy.
- Auburn. I’d say that was the most convincing win in the conference this season. Wouldn’t you?
- Georgia. Nice run while it lasted, fellas.
- Mississippi State. In this mixed-up, crazy world, there’s something comforting about the consistency of a Todd Grantham defense crumbling under pressure.
- LSU. The Tigers have a decent shot at nine wins now, something that was fairly inconceivable after the loss to Troy.
- South Carolina. I’m guessing Boom enjoyed that win over the Gators more than he let on.
- Texas A&M. Cupcake time.
- Kentucky. Took care of business against Vanderbilt. Now let’s see what the ‘Cats can do with Georgia and Louisville.
- Missouri. Before the season started, I thought the Tigers, with a little defense, could be a surprise team. Too bad it took ’em half a season for that to happen.
- Ole Miss. I know it was against a Sun Belt squad, but 50 points and 640 yards of offense with a back up quarterback is nothing to sneer at.
- Florida. I wonder how many “UAB Upset Alert!” stories we’re about to see this week.
- Arkansas. It feels like the Hogs aren’t so much awful as they are irrelevantly mediocre.
- Vanderbilt. The season finale against Tennessee is going to be epic.
- Tennessee. The only thing that could make this season worse for Volunteer fans would be for Florida to hire Jon Gruden, forcing Tennessee to settle for the return of Junior.
No tiebreaker needed this week.
STANDINGS for WEEK 11 Rank Selection Name Standings
W-L Pts Tie Breaker Game
1 dbartholomew Adj 9-1 9 35-13
Well played, dbartholomew.
The seasonal race, with two weeks to go, is tight as a tick.
SEASON STANDINGS through Week 11 Rank You Selection Name W-L Pts 1 Meat686 71-39 71 2 Biggen 70-40 70 3 83Dawg 68-42 68 3 sanders 68-42 68 3 mhagan73 68-42 68
And down the stretch we go.