Boom went the dynamite in Columbia.
Daily Archives: September 8, 2018
If you asked me to sum up in a pithy comment the biggest thing I saw in each team’s opener last week, I’d say “well coached team” in South Carolina’s case and “ridiculously athletic” in Georgia’s.
As I wrote in my first Observations post of this season, it’s one thing to count the stars in the 247Sports Composite, and it’s another thing quite completely to watch the talent in action. I’ve never seen a Georgia team with this much team speed and with as much size and athleticism on the offensive line as the 2018 Dawgs had on display last Saturday. More relevantly, I sure didn’t have anywhere near the same impression of South Carolina in that regard.
Obviously, others may disagree. Here’s the assessment at Team Speed Kills:
There is a reason this has been a popular upset pick. A lot of that has to do with the talent SC has on both sides of the ball. Georgia has to replace a lot on defense, and while they are still extremely talented due to Kirby Smart’s recruiting prowess, they are inexperienced in some areas. South Carolina has both talent and experience.
Not too surprisingly, the author doesn’t trouble himself to elucidate. He also manages to write the post with no mention of a depth comparison, so I guess that’s not supposed to matter today. What I did find surprising was his estimation of Boom’s strategy against the Dawgs.
The two previous South Carolina-Georgia games ended in two touchdown wins for the Bulldogs. Will Muschamp has seemed like he wants to slow the game down, force less possessions, and see what happens. It hasn’t happened the last couple years, but at home, with his most talented team yet…
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m buying that Will Muschamp doesn’t want to slow the game down like usual (barring a big second half lead, of course). He wants tempo because he’d like to wear down Georgia’s front seven in the humid heat and, more importantly, because he believes it’s the best strategy to narrow the talent gap between the two. I suspect he’s spot on about that.
I just doubt it’ll be enough without a decent plus number on the turnover margin front. (To answer your question, no, I don’t think this Georgia team will be sleeping on the Gamecocks, nor do I think it will roll in as the less-prepared one.)
Honestly, where I’m at today is almost word for word what I read in Brooks Tilley’s post yesterday, so much so that I was almost inclined to outsource this post of mine completely.
This will be a drawn out, physical game where the Dawgs pull away late due to overall depth. Kirby didn’t play 83 players last week for fun. Experience, depth and conditioning will determine this game. The heat of 93 degrees in that tradition-less concrete stadium is going to test both teams. You will see a lot of inside runs on 1st and 2nd down. Not all of them are going to break open. Don’t get frustrated (he quietly whispers to himself). Big offensive line bodies will lean on South Carolina’s front and we will wear down what has been described as a small but athletic defensive line. Georgia’s offensive line averages 328. South Carolina’s defensive line averages 279. This is where the game will be decided. Last year, South Carolina only got the ball a total of 8 times. I expect Georgia to try to again limit the Gamecock’s opportunities via their own ground attack and convincingly pull away late. [Emphasis added.]
The timing of this game is important. Last year, post Florida beat down and emotional high, the Dawgs came back home and didn’t completely demolish South Carolina. I guess they look at a two touchdown loss as a success. This year in week two, at nearly full strength (Ledbetter questionable), they are our main focus and likely have been since early fall camp. The Dawgs don’t roll into this one sleeping.
Trust me, Will Muschamp knows he can’t afford for his offense to deploy for only eight possessions. He’s got to tempo it up and hope enough things happen to disrupt Georgia’s game plan successfully. I’m not saying that can’t happen, but it’s a tall order. Which is to say, I like Georgia’s chances to cover the ten points today.
Take this as your game day in Columbia post and pontificate away in the comments.
Give ESPN credit. As this “Week 2 college football betting nuggets” piece demonstrates, Mickey’s all over the brave new world of betting.
Note the story from Columbia:
- South Carolina went 6-1 ATS with four outright wins as an underdog last season.
- The under is 11-4 in South Carolina’s 15 games against teams with a winning record under Will Muschamp.
Boom led something of a charmed life last year. We’ll see if that narrative holds up today.
Feel free to use this as a general game day thread for today’s CFB action.
… To me, it’s not that South Carolina can’t win this game, it’s just that I believe Georgia will win this game. The two teams are close enough in talent to where a great game by the Gamecocks plus the advantage of playing at home against a somewhat inexperienced Georgia team can close that talent gap…
… The Bulldogs are just a bit better and a bit deeper than South Carolina…
I do not believe that “a bit” means what you think it means, sir.
When considering this matchup from the Gamecocks’ perspective, it’s also important to note what that no program is more rapidly upending the college football power structure than Georgia.
Recruiting provides easy evidence of that idea. Georgia’s 2018 class set records for quality. Its 2019 class might be even better. The Bulldogs have five five-star prospects currently committed. The rest of the SEC East can claim just two such players in the 2019 cycle.
The Bulldogs are recruiting even better than Alabama under Kirby Smart. There’s a reason the Crimson Tide have won five championships under Nick Saban. Smart, a Saban disciple, is following that template of aggressively acquiring talent.
It’s translating on the field, too. Georgia reached a national title game in Year 2 under Smart, well before the players Smart recruited fully matured. Smart reached the title game mostly with Mark Richt’s framework.
That fact lends to the idea Georgia is only going to improve.
There’s a conclusion the author draws from this that actually makes some sense.
And if that’s the case, the Gamecocks’ window is now. Georgia might be ranked No. 3 nationally, but the Bulldogs are replacing eight starters, including a pair of first-round picks and two of the best running backs in program history. The defense, which lost six starters, will take time to coalesce.
Georgia is going to be good. Really good. But there’s an opportunity for the Gamecocks to catch them early.
If the ‘Cocks are going to catch Georgia napping, or whatever you want to chalk the opportunity up to, it’s likely that they’ll never have a better chance than today. That talent gap ain’t closing any time soon.
Forget the stories about Vince Dooley’s garden. Between this shirt…
… and the one in the picture that adorns this blog, I want a story on Dooley’s wardrobe. That must have been one wild and crazy place in the seventies and eighties.
Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer:
Gary Patterson says facing an Ohio State team without Urban Meyer on the sideline won’t be an advantage for TCU. He said if he was in Meyer’s position, he would communicate with the staff in the game. When I told him Meyer couldn’t, according to his suspension, Patterson joked that he would do it anyway.
You just think he’s joking, dude.
Here’s the opener to Sharky’s Machine.
The opening credits use the 1979 hit song “Street Life“, originally performed by The Crusaders with vocalist Randy Crawford. The recording in the film is a newer version orchestrated by Doc Severinsen, inviting Crawford to reprise her vocal and who composed the original score, as well. This version is a much more powerful and faster-paced version with a full orchestra, and it was the one that Quentin Tarantino included in Jackie Brown (1997). (Crawford is given the only credit on the song title.)
I dig the original, too, for what it’s worth. Here’s a live version.