Daily Archives: August 27, 2018

If Kirby had a hair on his ass…

… he’d have the offense come out on the opening series against Austin Peay in a two-quarterback set.

(I keed, I keed… I think.)

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Super secret

There’s no telling what Austin Peay might do with this information if they had it.

Does that mean they won’t announce one over the PA before the game?

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Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Kirby’s podium takes on a familiar look.

Aight?

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The resurrection of Hugh Freeze

Look who’s back, ladies and gentlemen.

That may not seem like much to you, but it sure beats coaching football in Italy.

I wonder what Greg Sankey will do if they start to use Hugh on the SEC Network for analysis.

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Sagarin is not impressed.

It’s not like it’s the end of the world or anything, but I’m a little surprised at where Georgia’s come out in Sagarin’s preseason rankings.

The Dawgs are eleventh, which is third-best in the conference.  What really stands out, though, is the gap in the raw numbers for the three teams:

  • Alabama — 100.28
  • Auburn — 91.28
  • Georgia — 86.14

Put it this way:  Georgia’s metric is closer to Georgia Tech than Alabama.  Weird, hunh.

If you’re looking for happier rankings, Massey-Peabody is here to help.

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Carolina’s passing attack — new and improved, or just new?

Barrett Sallee writes one of those “I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin'” pieces about South Carolina’s chances this season.  This is a pretty dynamic flag to plant:

Samuel’s return to the Gamecocks offense would be comparable to Julio Jones returning to Alabama or A.J. Green coming back to Georgia. Yes, he’s that big.

Well, now.

Will Samuel’s return have a major impact on Bentley’s performance?  Count Sallee as being in the hell, yeah camp on that.

Drew Lock, Jarrett Stidham and the Alabama quarterback situation have dominated headlines at the most important position on the football field, but South Carolina’s Jake Bentley is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the conference. He threw 13 touchdowns and only four interceptions in the first two months of last season, before injuries all over the offense limited his options and teams loaded up to stop star receiver Bryan Edwards. It was during that time that Samuel’s absence was felt most.

Bentley has the ability to stretch the field deep and will have the new offense built around what he’s most comfortable with now that McClendon is running the show.

From what I saw of South Carolina’s spring game, I do think the new offense will benefit his play.  But let’s not go too overboard here.  Take a look at Bentley’s stats from last season.  His passer rating was remarkably consistent, even if not at a particularly high level.  He was under 100 only once, but never exceeded 150 all season, with and without Samuel.

Bentley was second in the conference in pass attempts, but finished seventh in passer rating, in large part because of a relatively low yards per attempt figure and a relatively high number of interceptions.  It’s reasonable to think Samuel’s return would boost the ypa number, but Bentley’s turnovers are something he’ll have to fix himself.

In the end, I’m still a little skeptical, because, after all, it’s a new offensive scheme with a rookie offensive coordinator that’ll provide the framework for Bentley’s game this season.  And while I have no doubt Samuel’s return is a big plus, let’s not forget that the ‘Cocks have to replace Hurst’s production at the tight end spot.  Most relevantly, those are a lot of moving parts to have to fit together by the season’s second week.

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It’s game week, finally, part two

The last time Georgia came heartbreakingly close to beating Alabama in a game of national title significance was 2012.  There were big expectations for the following season, but those were derailed in a rash of injuries that decimated Georgia’s offense.

Now comes 2018.  The expectations are even bigger this time around.

Except now it’s all about lifting the championship trophy on Jan. 7 in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., in Shockley’s eyes.

“For a while it’s been just trying to win the SEC,” Shockley said. “I think now you’re at the level where you can win the national championship with the type of talent and caliber they have there. I think it’s all about winning that big one. Anything else, I don’t think they’d be proud of.”

Can they do it?  Or, more to the point, can they do the job that gets them back to the national title stage again?  Even an unbiased observer would agree there’s enough talent to do it.  The coaching staff proved their chops last year.  That would seem to leave the mental game as the remaining question.

Even with its surge into the top tier of college football last season, McGarity sees a sense of urgency with Smart.

“We’ve got a coach that doesn’t stand for complacency,” McGarity said. “It’s a new day. If you look back on last year too often, you’re not going to be able to look ahead. Complacency is always a concern. Being satisfied with what you’ve done—which you should be proud of—but it doesn’t really do any good in the future except recruiting (players) that want to be a part of that. They feel it when they come on campus.”

Can Georgia join those programs that have made multiple trips in the four seasons the playoff has existed? Alabama has made all four, Clemson has three appearances and Ohio State and Oklahoma have two each.

Or will they be a one-hit wonder?

“I always tell people it’s a sleeping giant,” Smart said in an interview on 1010XL in Jacksonville. “Hopefully we’re going to try to awaken it with some more years and more championships. …The expectation is very simple to get the most out of what we got and to win every football game because we feel like we’ve got superior talent and we can recruit at a real high level. We’re going to have years that we do better than others. The quarterback position is a big play in that because I really think it’s a quarterback driven game. “If you’ve got a quarterback then you’ve got a chance and if your quarterback plays well, you’ll be in a lot of games.”

Georgia’s got a chance, then.

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