See what condition my condition was in.

“I don’t know. I sort of always liked playing them that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.”

Steve Spurrier, on the Georgia-South Carolina game

No such luck for South Carolina this year, I’m afraid.  I expect that’s gonna matter.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think team depth is getting the focus it deserves heading into Saturday.  It’s a place where Georgia enjoys an advantage over South Carolina — sorry, Saturday Down South — and I have to think it’ll be a factor as the game wears on in the heat and humidity that’s part of Columbia’s charm.

I think Kirby is well aware of it, too.

By comparison, South Carolina played its starters through three quarters against Coastal Carolina.  Now, I think Muschamp had good reason for doing so (more on that in a subsequent post), but it still is what it is.

Speaking of comparisons, take a look at what Georgia’s offensive line has focused on this week in practice…

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said Monday that the offensive line’s conditioning was not “where it needed to be,” against Austin Peay. The position group has been working in practice this week to better prepare physically for the SEC opener by doing some little things to improve its stamina.

“This week, we’ve really been focusing on our conditioning, because it’s going to be hot over there,” redshirt sophomore guard Ben Cleveland said. “So, we’ve been putting a really big emphasis on chasing down the ball, after its thrown, running on and off the field. Just the small things that are going to make a difference.”

… and to what the ‘Cocks had to devote practice time.

It’s a good sign for South Carolina that the biggest area of concern coming out of its season-opening 49-15 win over Coastal Carolina was the zip, or lack thereof, on center Donell Stanley’s shotgun snaps to quarterback Jake Bentley.

“We will discuss that moving forward,” head coach Will Muschamp said. “That is certainly a topic of discussion.”

It was a short discussion apparently. Stanley and Bentley both said Tuesday that the issue had been resolved.

“I guess it was sweat basically,” Stanley said. “The equipment guys have got some solutions for me so I think it’ll be good. It worked pretty good at practice (Tuesday).”

… Stanley’s snaps all made it to Bentley on Saturday but some of them didn’t have the pace or height the quarterback or Muschamp would have preferred, and that contributed to one fumble that the Gamecocks recovered in the red zone.

The little stuff matters.

One final conditioning note comes from a beat writer at The Daily Gamecock:

I think South Carolina will start off really strong and then it’s going to probably change second half because the team will get tired, they’ve been struggling a lot with stamina[Emphasis added.]

I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t expect a real slug fest early on.  The question is who lasts.

35 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football

35 responses to “See what condition my condition was in.

  1. 38-17 Could be worse. Dawgs will do to South Carolina what Bama did to UGA in 2015. Out work them. Out play them. Relentless until the last play.

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  2. CPark58

    But their lack of depth is actually a strength because every third snap in the second half we are playing playing a fresh second string player against their salty old veteran starter. Those snaps are where Sakerlina does it’s damage.

    Is that how CockyLogic works? Did I do that right?

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  3. Jared S.

    I’m looking specifically for a second half sack fest on Bentley once their OL is tired….

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  4. stoopnagle

    I was telling my friend at kickoff last week that I’m going to stay calm and not get overly worked up over any halftime score/performance on the knowledge that part of our approach is to wear em out.

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  5. Starbreaker

    It’s simple math when you think about the depth charts…barring turnovers or a rash of mistakes in either red zone, Georgia should pull away in the 2nd half (if not before). Just like everyone else, I’ve been scarred enough by this game over the years to have that whisper of doubt in the back of my mind, but objectively we have grossly more talent across the board and deeper. The key will be pressure on Bentley, Hot Rod kicking touchbacks, and the OL playing a solid enough game to allow our skill players room to make plays (yes, I’m stating the obvious here).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Macallanlover

      Important point buried in there, UGA kickers are a key part of UGA’s edge. No question Deebo is a threat on STs, but a threat that Hot Rod and Carmada can neutralize with their legs. Don’t expect any high winds that could hurt Rodriquez on kickoffs, and Carmada just need to get more height on punts to insure the coverage guys are in position. We have a lot of speed on our coverage units, they just need to play with discipline.

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  6. The other Doug

    Channey needs to get them running with some passes in the flats.

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    • jrod1229

      I fully expect a lot of boundary play early in the game, from both teams. That’ll get the d-lines moving and tired legs quick.

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  7. The other Doug

    Another thing, I wonder how SC’s new fast pace offense is going to do in the heat. Will they stick with it? It’ll be tough to wear out UGA’s players over 4 qtrs so if they go up tempo it better work early. “You come at the King you best not miss.”

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  8. Spike

    But, they won’t flinch! So they got that working for them..

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ben

    What do we make of this conditioning talk? We’ve heard about our program and the improvements, but they looked sluggish, at points, against AP.

    I can’t recall if this is something we’ve seen in past openers, or maybe it’s just a lot hotter than it’s been in the past.

    Also, is it possible that conditioning has to do with so many guys getting reps at practice that our 1s aren’t going full speed as much during the week and slowing down in games?

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    • Comin' Down The Track

      There’s that sweet Munson juice we all crave.

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    • JasonC

      Not to be a Downer Dawg, but I think stamina is a difficult thing to fix in a week. There’s really only so much you can do to fix that and most of it comes in the form of diet, sleep and mobility. And there’s a fine balance between running your ass off in practice which gives you more stamina and running your ass off in practice which fatigues you for Saturday. Thankfully, UGA has an army of people that should know the specifics of this better than me.

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    • You can probably chalk sluggishness up to raw human emotion (cupcake, blowout, hot as crap outside) which I’m sure pisses Kirby off to no end. Thankfully, he will find it and address it, but I’m fully confident that any “awww shucks we had our conditioning / depth / no indoor philosophy all wrong this time around, but we’ll get em next year” days are long gone.

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  10. steve

    ‘No such luck for South Carolina this year, I’m afraid.’
    Incorrect. A VERY important piece of our offense is, in fact, suspended. James Cook. We WILL miss him in the 1st half.

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    • Not sure what it says that the fourth-string tailback is a VERY important piece of UGA’s offense.

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    • Uglydawg

      Cook would likely not see the field until late in the game anyway. He’s a talent for sure, though. With the other backs to pound for three quarters, look for him to maybe do something flashy against a tired defense in the fourth.

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      • The Truth

        Said the same thing to my friend at the post-game tailgate last week: Might be a blessing in disguise that we unleash Cook after their defense is gassed. I think the kid’s a competitor — he’ll be chomping at the bit to go.

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      • steve

        Uglydawg, I can tell by your posts that you are a kind man who never carries a flame thrower. I honestly believe that you are underestimating Cook’s skills and importance to our offense. On paper he may be ‘4th’ team but we need him just like a wedding ring needs a ‘ring finger’ to be complete. I think even if Zeus were healthy we would need him. Not just want him for flash bang plays, but need him. Elijah and Brian together may wear out a D, but I think they will not be ‘feature’ backs. Cook is. He is a difference maker and his absence the first half will hurt us I predict. Hope I am wrong.

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  11. Uglydawg

    ” that’s part of Columbia’s charm.” Funny

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Anonymous

    This isn’t a MPC thread, but some band called White Denim did a cover of Just Dropped In that was used in the second season of Fargo (which was fantastic BTW).

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  13. Will Trane

    So they write the number of plays against AP, some linemen talk about the extra conditioning drills, the lack of plays in Game 1 2nd half, and the “the 2 QB silent mulling HC” had concerns about his O-line after game 1.
    That sorta comes under the heading heard most often, “making half time adjustment”.
    Heard a high school coach talk about O lines and half time adjustments. First if you are making half time adjustments your team is almost a game behind. Better start doing that in initial drive and plays.
    Second, better put those digital devices on your line from both side so you can see what is happening and break down to the entire line and each position..
    My take.
    Like I posted way back about Boise State’s line re pass and runs. Better maintain that pad level and come off together and hard. Guess that is what Muschamp may have some concern about.
    Much said about the WRs and RBs.
    Take a page from Jimbo Fisher’s A&M. Look at how he used his TEs. The trend now is the TE packages. Chaney generally deals to them in the middle. Look at AP and OU game.
    Now you have supposedly two very good DCs on Dawgs staff.
    When will the secondary become Bama [where art thou Maria Taylor], and take a pick to the house.
    What team in east will lead in INTs this season.

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  14. Sides

    No one here thinks it a problem that 12 of 22 starters did not play after halftime? We expected to see all starters in the 3rd quarter because it is important to come out after halftime and make/see the other teams adjustments. Even NFL players play a few series’ after halftime in the final tune-up preseason games.

    All this deep roster talk is just BS, especially if it isn’t experienced talent. All you need for an early season game is the 2-deep. Those 30 LB’s and DB’s aren’t playing in this game. I doubt their is much cohesion back there with all the subbing, it just takes snaps away from players who will contribute. Depth matters during the second half of the year when the season is long and the games physical and injuries take their toll. The only depth you need now is the D-line, everyone else plays all game.

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    • SC returns one more starter than Georgia did this season. You think that’s a big deal?

      As far as cohesion goes, UGA subbed a lot last season. I didn’t see much of a problem from that then and don’t expect one Saturday.

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      • Sides

        I guess it depends on who is returning. UGa had a crazy talented core of upperclassmen last season…and the NFL draft proved it. Do they have that this season? It sounds to me like a bunch of young recruiting stars who all share snaps.

        I think that one returning starter is Jake Bentley. He is going to fire up his Heisman campaign Saturday.

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    • I thought CKS was still withholding the 2-deep from you. You can hardly be sure about anything after all…

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