Is physicality a state of mind?

There is no doubt that Georgia’s biggest concern going into the SECCG is how Auburn’s lines manhandled Georgia’s three weeks ago.  Maybe the Tigers’ defensive front having its way with Georgia’s offensive line wasn’t a big surprise, but seeing the Dawgs defensive front pushed aside in the second half certainly was.

Strength and speed are strength and speed.  Those aren’t going to magically change in less than a month.  Some things you can scheme around a little, but if you listen to some of Georgia’s players, it’s as much a matter of will as anything.

Georgia normally dresses out in full pads for practices on Wednesday. On this particular day, just three days before the SEC Championship, the Bulldogs wore shoulder pads and helmets only.

But that didn’t mean practice wasn’t every bit as physical as usual.

Georgia left tackle Isaiah Wynn said players were still running at full speed, thudding each other with the same intensity as before. With everything on the line in Saturday’s conference title game against Auburn, there wouldn’t be any other way for the players to approach this week.

“Even if the coaches wanted us to tone it down, the players were still treating it as another day where the only way to get better is to go full speed,” Wynn said.

Physicality has been the code word for Georgia this week…

Georgia tight end Jeb Blazevich said a lot more can be made out of football than what it truly boils down to, however. He mentioned that while a lot goes into preparing its own complicated plays or defending against a complex scheme, much of the game itself comes down to who more often moves the opposition off the snap.

It’s an attitude that appears to be filtering down from the head dude.

“Physicality is an attitude,” Smart said. “Physicality is a size. It’s a physics matter, too. It’s an attitude with which you approach the game and how you approach contact. We didn’t do as good a job as they did at that.”

I’d blow this all off as happy talk — you’ve got to find a way to motivate your players or you’ll repeat the experience, right? — except for one thing:  Georgia’s opponent.  Auburn’s offensive line started out the season terribly, giving up eleven sacks in the Clemson game.  They’ve been shuffling linemen most of the season because of injuries and the early experience, and, yet, look where they are now.  You can’t chalk all of that up to strength and conditioning.  Somebody lit a fire under those guys.

Will that happen for Georgia Saturday night?  Hard to say, but without it, I have a hard time seeing a path to a Dawg win.

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43 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

43 responses to “Is physicality a state of mind?

  1. Biggus Rickus

    The lack of physicality was a piece of the unprepared look of the team in general to my mind. They weren’t ready to play Auburn that day. This time, they’ll hold their own, I think.

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    • Russ

      I agree, Biggus. Auburn wanted it more that day. Even though we came out and scored first, and then held them to field goals, you could see the momentum shifting. I think our guys will be better prepared this time.

      And after extensive analysis (meaning I thought about it on the way into work this morning), here’s how I hope the playoffs wind up. Note that this would be in ESPN’s benefit, too. The ratings would be YUGE! The biggest ever!

      We beat Auburn. Wisconsin beats OSU so badly Corch fakes more chest pains. Miami upsets Clemson and TCU beats Oklahoma. That sets up (1) Wisconsin vs (4) Bama, and (2) Miami vs (3) Georgia. Bama whips Wisconsin, we squeeze by the Richtster and its Georgia vs Bama for all the marbles. The student becomes the master and Saban retires after the game. Book it.

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  2. Ms. Emily Littella

    What’s all this talk about physicality? I am offended. I want whoever started this physicality nonsense fired immediately. When a man gets physical with a woman like that Garrison Keillor guy did he should be fired. After all, touching her on bare skin!! Shame, shame, shame!! I know how I’d feel if a man touched my skin like that, I’d be ….wait…..What’s that? You were talking about football players hitting each other? In a game? Trying to win by being tougher? That kind of physicality? Nothing about men coming on to women?…..Oh, well….Never mind…..

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  3. atlasshrugged55

    You have to enjoy physicality to play physical. Size & strength matter but you have to absolutely love physical contact. That said, if you love it but are getting your tail whipped you can quickly lose your desire to be physical that particular day.

    The beginning of the game are HUGE for us. AU will come out & punch us in the mouth & the tone for the day will be set by whether we punch back & keep punching or not.

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  4. The other Doug

    I think the talent and desire is there on the DL to at least hold their own, but the OL is going to struggle all day.

    Chaney/Fromm have to have some early successes and get those Auburn DBs to back off the press coverage.

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    • Our wide receivers have to flat out man up (and maybe get some holding calls) but we have to go after their a**es like we used to go after LSU’s DBs (04 and 05) when they told the world they would stop our Offense in its tracks.

      Also, I think we have to call early stuff that goes right after the guys that gave us a hard time……….big crack backs, double teams and counter traps against their BEST defenders that beat them up, tire them out and have them suffering early defeats in their matchups. We can’t scheme and shy away from guys we think are too much to handle or we’ll lose.

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      • Mayor

        Best way to beat a good defender, particularly one with speed, it to run right at him with good blocking. Overpower him! Run right over his ass!!

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  5. Something I do wonder about: we looked really tired against Auburn, for whatever reason. I find it interesting that we didn’t go full pads yesterday. I wonder if Auburn caught us at the peak of our dead legs and we have been tapering ever since?

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  6. Dawg in Lutz

    the thing that i wonder about is how do we drive right down the field and score a TD to start the game and then can’t move the ball at all the rest of the game. What changed? did AU decide to man up and get more physical while the Dawgs thought they were in for another cake walk? i don’t know; but i do know we moved the ball pretty easily in the opening drive.

    GO DAWGS!!

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    • Russ

      I’m thinking there had to be a little letdown on our part, thinking it was going to be easy again. Give Auburn all the credit, though. They manned up and whipped us after that.

      Our guys should know exactly what’s in front of them this time.

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    • AusDawg85

      What happened were turnovers, penalties and mistakes that kept our offense from moving, and our D on the field for too long of AU drives that finally wore them out. In other words, they beat us with our own game plan, just using a different scheme.

      I think Kirby fixes this….He’s a sly one!

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    • Eldawg

      In the first series we were unpredictable. Then we became predictable.

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  7. I think we have to kinda sell out on both sides of the ball if we’re gonna win Saturday. Bama had some success with blitz packages. I don’t know that simply cleaning up mistakes from the last meeting will cut it. We need to create some opportunities.

    On offense we need to mix it up. I’m not saying change our offense but I do think some quicker passes, screens(lol) and not running on 1st and 2nd down every possession. Nothing drastic but we seemed so vanilla on both sides of the ball last time. Don’t do the same thing expecting a different result.

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      • Seems I was right. Smh

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        • CB

          No, a Georgia win does not validate that you understand play calling on an SEC level.

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          • That’s exactly what happened last night so keep telling yourself whatever you need to. Smh, indeed. Lmao

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          • And football is football. The level is irrelevant. Seems your understanding of football is lacking. Period.

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          • And football is football. The level is irrelevant. Unless you’re gonna tell me a level of football where slants, screens, misdirection running and quicker passes AREN’T used to combat a defense that is getting penetration against your run and blitzing your QB? That is football 101. Seems your understanding of football is lacking. Period.

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            • CB

              Well damn. I guess we should be thanking our lucky stars that Auburn doesn’t have you and your superior football acumen on their support staff. Might have ruined Georgia’s entire game plan.

              You see how stupid that is right?

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              • I see how trying your best to be a dickhead has succeeded for you. Congrats! Let us know when you graduate high school. We’ll be over talking Georgia football.

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                • CB

                  No, let’s talk if you want to talk man. If football is football then why isn’t Tennessee interviewing top notch high school coaches to run their program? Shouldn’t make a difference if it’s all the same. Probably just politics right? Don’t get your butt hurt.

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  8. Butler T. Reynolds

    I think most of us don’t know what we’re talking about, so I’ll just hang up and watch the game.

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  9. Walt

    Is “physicality” a real word? I guess it’s as real as “proactive” or “irregardless”. Our language is devolving.

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  10. Charles

    Studies in sports psychology have shown that impediments to confidence and fatigue of self-control can result in worse reaction time in explosive performance activity (getting off the block in sprinting). I think physicality on the offensive and defensive line has a lot to do with getting your momentum going first and explosively. Crowd noise could make a huge difference in this area because you are having to attend to different cues and worry about false starts. Get beat a few times badly from that and your general confidence starts to waiver. Bye bye physicality on the offensive line, in a snowball effect. (This part is speculation, but it seems pretty straightforward. If momentum exists in football, it’s through a mechanism like this one, I’d bet).

    My best hope for Saturday is that our line got surprised and shaken which then caused them to perform even worse. And a poor performing line made Fromm jumpy, made our backs discouraged, made our receivers frustrated, etc etc. Then defense is on the field all day, frustrated that they held Auburn to field goals only to have the offense do nothing, people get chippy, try to over-perform to make up for things (leaping), and it turns into a shitshow.

    I think we probably are out-talented on the defensive line. Their quarterback and running back are very good. I think we got out-coached a decent amount too (should have passed more, gone for the touch down, etc.). But maybe if our coaches learned from that game and we get a more favorable environment to play in, our team can be a lot more comfortable and play a little looser, a little more instinctively. That should go a long way to minimizing stupid errors and maximizing physicality at the line of scrimmage. And if I’m right that part of what happened was the snowball of being shell shocked, there’s a chance we could look like a different team even if we still get somewhat outplayed at the line on offense. A marginal difference is surmountable, but a collapse is not.

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    • Very well stated. I also keep thinking that it makes no sense that we are able to block well enough to have the running game numbers we have against 9 ! ! other Power 5 schools but are completely helpless against this 10th one. I don’t buy that we are that helpless…….and like you and some others have said, we don’t have to dominate them and completely flip the script to be in the game with an opportunity to win in the end. Depending on how other things shake out, my understanding is that you can absolutely have a chance to win a ballgame even only winning something like 40-45% of your battles against a D-Line. Not saying that’s ideal, but the Nov. 11 game we were at like 20%. Just hit the big plays when you do have those wins up front. Just match them up front most of the time and we should have a chance.

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  11. Will Trane

    Glad to see Dawgs practice indoors and in skulls.
    If you are physically ready now, when will you be.
    12 games plus classes plus travel is a grind on those players.
    Think this is the right approach by staff.
    Would like to have seen them go in Benz for some practice.
    The noise and atmosphere will be different.
    Plus they are game planning on artificial surface. In doors is always a faster surface.
    So do the RBs go outside more.
    Will the SEC like to see a 2 loss team represent them before the committee.

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  12. I expect we look different on offense. Split running backs ,like the Tech game, Please throw to the open tight ends (Fromm missed two wide open Tight ends against Tech) and the judicious use of the screen would have to help wouldn’t it? Jet sweeps , tunnel screens and reverses keep those Barners guessing and we win. Also make sure every defender is completely clear on which one of Johnson’s shoulders is injured……. I think I’m ready to Coach Tennessee now and I’ll do it for half of what they offered Gundy .

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  13. CB

    Just watching Thompson in the second half, he didn’t appear to want to be there. I believe the term is titty bumping. Not sure if his knee injury played into that, but the mentality didn’t appear to be there either.

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    • Mayor

      Then they need to get him out of there. I appreciate when a good player is injured and can’t give 100% but there comes a time when the backup is more productive than the injured first-stringer. That’s a coaching decision.

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  14. Uglydawg

    Physicality is somewhat emotional. It sometimes explains why there is a shift in momentum and the team that was originally dominant can’t get the big mo’ back. It’s driven by emotion and adrenaline, but only so much.,

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  15. Skeptic Dawg

    This is just not a good matchup for the Dawgs. Auburn is simply better in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Much like the Ole Miss game last season, we are just outmatched in certain areas and there is nothing that we can do to combat it. As painful as another loss to Auburn will be on Saturday, it will not take anything away from this great season. This team dominated the East, Kirby is crushing recruiting, and the staff is coaching kids up. Yep, the future is bright for the Dawgs.

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    • Mayor

      Sorry, Skeptic but it will take away from this season if we lose to Auburn on Saturday, just like it took away from the 2012 season when the Dawgs lost to Bama in the SECCG. If the Dawgs lose, Georgia won’t be SEC Champs. Georgia won’t be in the playoff. Georgia will end up in a lower bowl. Georgia HAS to win Saturday. Period. It’s time.

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      • Skeptic Dawg

        Your opinion is totally fair and valid. For me, I never expected the Dawgs to win the East this season, much less 11 games. The trip to South Bend, the win over the Vols and crushing the Gators were all incredible Saturday’s. This entire Fall has been a blast. However, from this point on it is all gravey. Yes, I want to see the Dawgs beat the living hell out of Auburn and win the SEC. But a loss this weekend will not take aaay the joy of the regular season, at not for me.

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