Daily Archives: September 14, 2018

Tackling tackling

While my post yesterday indicated it’s a little premature to worry about the Georgia pass rush, I do see a defensive area that may be worth some early concern.

Not bad, but not great, either.  And I’ll bet it’s something Kirby’s not satisfied with.

By the way, note the big jump in South Carolina’s rate.  That’s what happens when your defense takes a physical pounding for four quarters.



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

The best laid plans of mice and ‘Cocks

Today, in things that make you chuckle…

Better get those hotel rooms booked soon, ‘Cock fans.  Avoid the rush and all.


Filed under 'Cock Envy, Agent Muschamp Goes Boom

First look at MTSU

The game time has changed, but the opponent hasn’t.

And if you’re Jake Fromm or Justin Fields, the sooner you get to face that secondary, the better.

Middle Tennessee’s pass defense has struggled mightily so far in 2018. Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur averaged 17 yards per completion against the Blue Raiders in Week 1. And the MTSU secondary was routinely torched by an FCS quarterback last week to the tune of 358 yards and four touchdowns.

They did manage to intercept UT-Martin’s quarterback twice, at least.

Athlon goes on to note that we shouldn’t expect “the Bulldogs to stray from their stellar rushing attack”, and, hell, why should we?  Not only has it racked up the yards in the first two games, but a Ralph Webb-less Vanderbilt ground game still managed to run the ball 38 times for 176 yards against the Blue Raiders.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, Seth Emerson ($$) reports that Middle Tennessee runs a shotgun spread offense behind an experienced quarterback.  Looking at his game log, his completion percentage stands out.  Even against Vandy, he connected at a 66.7% rate.  The problem was he averaged less than five yards per pass attempt.  That’s not good, but when your running attack is notching less than three yards every time it touches the ball, it’s the best option you’ve got.

If you think that’s an indication that the quarterbacks and running backs are operating behind a less than stellar offensive line, you’re right.

Only two teams in the FBS have allowed more sacks than MTSU so far this season. The Blue Raiders offensive line surrendered six sacks against Vanderbilt and gave up another four against FCS UT Martin last week.

Seth indicates that Vanderbilt took advantage of numbers in that Middle Tennessee didn’t always leave many blockers in on a play.  Combine that with the Athlon observation that “… if there is a knock on MTSU quarterback Brent Stockstill, it is that he tends to hold on to the football for too long”, and you’d have to think even if Mel Tucker wants to keep things vanilla tomorrow, the Georgia pass rush is going to get home fairly often.

Special teams?  MTSU’s kickoff specialist has a 25% touchback percentage and its place kicker has missed his only field goal attempt and two extra point attempts.  Their punt game looks solid, though:  nine punts with an average over 45 yards a punt, with only one return.  (Insert your Dooley-esque long snappah observation here.)

On paper, then, it’s not a fair fight.  It’s up to Kirby to make sure it’s not a fair fight on the field, either.


Filed under Georgia Football

You can’t teach an old Boom new tricks.

If you had “Will Muschamp won’t stick with his new offensive scheme once adversity hits” in the 2018 SEC season’s predictions pool, collect your winnings.

Some of the issue came with the new emphasis on RPOs this season, which gives Jake Bentley the opportunity to run the ball or throw it if the defense gives him a better passing look.

Those could lead to more lopsided run and pass ratios (South Carolina threw it almost 50 times against Georgia) so Muschamp said the Gamecocks will be more cognizant moving forward about calling run plays.

“You’re calling a run, and based on a look, you’re throwing the football. We had some affective gains the other night throwing the football,” Muschamp said. “But you need to be able to call it and haul it at times and just run the football and know you want to hand the ball off regardless of what the look gives you.”

Yeah, never mind taking what a defense gives you, or that your best players on offense are your top three receivers and quarterback, just run the damned ball because… well, just because you can.  You’re welcome, defensive coordinators left on SC’s schedule.

Today’s question:  which is more futile, being Boom’s offensive coordinator or the genius’ defensive coordinator?  It’s a tough call, methinks.


Filed under Agent Muschamp Goes Boom, Strategery And Mechanics

“I never really thought of it that way.”

“Florida’s strength and conditioning were so lacking under McElwain that some players hired personal trainers.”

What in the wide, wide world of sports was Jeremy Foley thinking when he hired Jim McElwain?

McElwain’s recruiting classes never finished higher than fifth in the SEC. The talent gap might not be as glaring against Colorado State as it will be next month against Georgia.

Yeah, he notched a couple of wins over Georgia.  Then the talent ran out and his last Gator team got waxed.

Now, Florida gets to pay a couple of million dollars to CSU as its final reward.  Well played.


Filed under Gators, Gators...

Slingin’ it

That Fromm kid’s pretty good, isn’t he?


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

The problem with a small sample size

With college football’s first two weeks in the books, Bill Connelly’s updated his win projections.  Here’s how the SEC shapes up for him now:

  • Alabama:  11 (+1.1)
  • Georgia:  10.8 (+0.7)
  • Mississippi State:  9.5 (+1.4)
  • Vanderbilt:  8.1 (+3.2)
  • LSU:  8.0 (+0.8)
  • Missouri:  7.9 (+1.1)
  • Auburn:  7.7 (-1.2)
  • Texas A&M:  7.3 (+0.5)
  • Kentucky:  7.8 (+1.8)
  • Ole Miss:  6.7 (-0.1)
  • South Carolina:  5.8 (-1.2)
  • Florida:  5.3 (-1.3)
  • Tennessee:  4.7 (-0.7)
  • Arkansas:  3.9 (-2.1)

The Vanderbilt number is crazy — even Bill knows it’s crazy.

Who’s falling back to earth? Vanderbilt. I mean, it has to be the Dores, right? They’ve risen a little too far for beating teams in the lower half of Conference USA and the Mountain West.

The best thing the ‘Dores have going for them at this juncture in the season is that they won’t be running into Alabama.  That’s not going to be enough for them to avoid a return to the lower reaches of the division, though.

And how about Auburn’s decline in the face of beating Washington?  Even if you peg them with losses to the four teams ahead of them — and I think they roll LSU this weekend — that’s still an eight-win season.

On the other hand, how much would I love a football season that ends with South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee all whiffing on bowl eligibility?  (Answer:  a lot.)


Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Efficient is as efficient does.

Um… this is good, right?

By the way, if you haven’t seen Boise State yet, they’re a pretty solid looking group.  If they manage to get past Oklahoma State this week, they’ve got a legitimate shot to run the table in the regular season, which would give Central Florida a brand new target to whine about.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!