Daily Archives: March 30, 2018

“Matchup proof”

Those of you complaining about Chaney’s second-half playcalling in the national title game, okay, fine.  Just explain something to me, first:  how would you scheme around Da’Ron Payne, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Rashaan Evans?

Evans finished tied for the lead in total tackles with 74 including eight run stuffs and in pass defense he added six sacks and three pass break-ups. Fitzpatrick was third in tackles, had seven pass break-ups and an INT, and also made six run stuffs. Payne’s impact was quiet statistically (one sack, seven run stuffs) but he was the heart of the defense and regularly clogged up the interior for the Tide’s athletic backfield.

The result of Evans and Fitzpatrick being so good in coverage and versatile enough to each play two primary positions had the effect of making Alabama “matchup-proof.” Both of them could man your typical slot WR or TE without being overwhelmed and needing an in/out bracket from a down safety. That then freed the Tide to play both safeties over the top to help the corners or to bring extra defenders on the blitz. It was also nearly impossible to find a favorable angle or matchup inside with Da’Ron Payne owning the interior and rag dolling opposing centers.

Georgia was able to throw on guys not named Fitzpatrick and Evans and also ran the ball well on a few key third downs when Alabama got caught playing man coverage with our two heroes turning their backs to the backfield (until the Tide started dropping a safety to eliminate that problem).

The good news is they’re gone.

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28 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Strategery And Mechanics

The nine yoots

If you’re looking for a little taste of how the early enrollees are doing, here you go.

Can’t say I see any huge surprises there.  Basically, new kids need work, even talented ones.  Which doesn’t mean I’m not excited to read how well Cox is doing early, as Georgia needs depth to develop at outside linebacker.

Although that Divaad Wilson injury sure sucks.

5 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Life in the post-I blame Bobo era

This is, I think, a fair observation.

… it also frees up Chaney to be more of what is known as a “walk-around offensive coordinator.” In other words, while he’s overseeing the tight ends, his focus remains mainly on the overall offense and all aspects of it. So he’ll still have the last word on what the offense looks like, what the strategy is and, yes, what plays are called.

It’s really on the latter responsibility that Chaney has attracted the most criticism from Georgia fans. Some of that is fair and some of it is not. Certainly he’s been known to call more inside dives than we think he should. But play callers are only as good as the players executing those calls. And Chaney has been through two seasons now of having to break in a freshman at quarterback and one of having to overcome substandard play on the line.

It came in response to a question about whether this would be the year that Georgia opens up the offense.  As someone who’s sat in the stands for decades and heard my fair share of fans basically complain about any single play call that doesn’t result in an immediate touchdown, I can’t say that query comes as a particular surprise.  Nor am I trying to defend Jim Chaney’s playcalling as immaculate.  But let’s slow down a little bit here.

Consider the following stats from the 2017 Georgia offense:

That looks pretty opened up to me, but, eh, what do I know?

And again, that’s with a true freshman quarterback who was thrust into the role unexpectedly and an offensive line that took a while to find some traction.

I suppose the bitching here boils down to wanting to see more deep passing, but, seriously, if you were Georgia’s offensive coordinator with the running backs and the receivers you had at your disposal to deploy, what would you have done differently?

Now 2018 looks to have a different set of variables in play — an experienced Jake Fromm, what should be an improved offensive line, the departure of Chubb and Michel, for starters — so it’s not unreasonable to expect Chaney’s playcalling to vary somewhat, at least within the confines of what Smart wants.  As long as they’re at least hitting the statistical marks last year’s offense did, does it really matter how they get there?

Maybe next year’s QOTD will be wondering if 2019 will be the year Chaney lets the running backs have the ball more.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

We must defend our bank accounts.

Give credit to Mark Emmert.  He’s not even trying to pretend being even-handed with this quote:

“The most fundamental principle here …is whether or not we want to have college sports as it exists today,” Emmert said. “That is student-athletes playing student-athletes. Or whether we want to move toward a model where these are employees that are compensated whether directly or indirectly for their performances. And universities and colleges have very consistently said they don’t want to have student-athletes become employees of a university. They don’t want them to be playing for compensation. They want these young men and young women to be part of a higher education environment.”

No mention there of what those young men and women want.  And why should there be?  Emmert doesn’t answer to them.

Of course, this is Emmert talking, so even if the greed is laid bare, there’s still plenty of bullshit to go around.  What’s conveniently ignored is that players are already being paid, with scholarships, room and board and COA stipends.  Not to mention this:

Two years ago, Texas swimmer Joseph Schooling was paid $753,000 by his native Singapore for winning a gold medal at the Olympics. One year later, he was not only eligible to compete at the NCAA Swimming Championships, he also won six medals.

Somehow, an NCAA athlete getting paid three quarters of a million dollars didn’t run the amateur model into a ditch.

Just don’t let those dollars get anywhere near football or basketball players, though.

Give Dodd credit, too.  He had the stones to point that out to Emmert, who had a classic response.

Those athletes can be paid by their sanctioning bodies and home countries because, well, swimming doesn’t matter. No one who cares about the amateur model cares about swimming. The NCAA allows elite swimmers to collect up to $1,750 a month as a stipend.

Ah, but buy a 14-year-old budding point guard on the AAU circuit a lunch, and we’ve got a major problem.

According to USA Swimming, professionals can be paid $3,000 a month. That’s the difference that led five-time Olympic gold medalist and 14-time world champion Katie Ledecky to leave Stanford’s pool this week and turn pro.

There is no doubt college athletics is a better place with Ledecky swimming. But it’s not Ledecky that rejected college athletics; it’s the NCAA that has rejected her.

“I think you described nicely one of the challenges that was put in front of the [Rice] Commission itself,” Emmert told me.

There is no financial challenge the schools and the NCAA can’t ignore, if it would affect the bottom line.  But they’ll ignore it nicely, at least.

The hypocrisy, it burns.  The bank accounts, they fill.

23 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Today, in unintended irony

From the fingers of Chip Towers to your screen:

Speaking of G-Day, the new video board that had to be installed as a resulted of the West End construction project is now up and running and undergoing some fine-tuning for the spring intrasquad game. The state-of-the-art electronic monstrosity from Daktronics is 30-percent larger than the previous video board and will feature a sound system that will put the previous one to shame[Emphasis added.]

Talk about your lowest of bars.

You know, now that I think about it, I guess it’s possible Towers is throwing out the subtlest of shade there.  If that’s the case, a tip of the cap to you, sir.

23 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“He’s got the bug.”

If there’s any college football coach I would pick who would be seriously interested in pursuing an acting career, it would be Les Miles, hands down.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football