Daily Archives: January 2, 2019

Those fingers aren’t going to point themselves, you know.

Man, it’s so hard to figure out what the main cause of last night’s poor play was.

I mean, on the one hand, you’ve got the destructive effect of Deandre Baker selfishly taking his talents to the next level after being forced to come back and play his senior season in Athens and Luke Ford’s equally selfish decision to consider possibly playing for one particular school closer to home so that his ailing grandfather has an easier chance to see him play.

On the other hand, you’ve got the players who knew what they were doing wrong, but couldn’t quite put their fingers on why.

Inside linebacker Monty Rice said the main issue he saw was the number of missed tackles, and defensive back Richard LeCounte agreed. But neither could pinpoint one specific reason as to why there were so many.

“I don’t really know what it was,” LeCounte said. “Our focus wasn’t really there. That’s what really contributed to all the different things that we did.”

Execution played a major role in the team’s tackling ability, and Rice attributed the lack of “wrapping up” the ball carrier and Ehlinger as another factor.

It’s a complete mystery to me.  Maybe if Baker had swallowed his foolish pride and played, Richard LeCounte would have tackled better.  What do you guys think?

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On the bright side…

Arguably, the defense was the least culpable part of last night’s shit show, and that was with three key players unavailable.  These kids have some serious upside.

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Stuff happens.

Believe it or not, the Sugar Bowl wasn’t the most nauseating moment of TV yesterday for me.

It was the respectful tongue bath the broadcast crew gave Urban Meyer for his ride into the sunset (at least for now).  How you let the schmuck get away with saying something like this…

Utter garbage.  It’s really going to suck hearing the same people falling all over themselves in a few years when he decides he’s ready to get back into coaching.  Five minutes after the game, he was already backtracking about that.

Believe is doing some heavy lifting there.  Barf.

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Forget the Mississippi. Denial is a river that flowed through New Orleans.

I mocked teams like Florida for the sentiment, so it’s only fair to cringe when Georgia says the same crap after getting embarrassed.

“I don’t know,” junior tight end Isaac Nauta said when asked about them. “Probably should have kept our mouth shut on that one but, like I said, I still believe we’re the better team and they played better than us tonight. Hats off to them. They did a good job. They scheme well to stop us.”

I will admit that’s not as lopsided a statement as some of the Gators made after Jacksonville.  At least Nauta acknowledged that his team was outplayed on the evening.  So did Kirby, although he clung to his own version of denial with this comment:

“It gives the other team motivation. But our team was motivated to play Texas. Texas outplayed us, outcompeted us. They outcoached us. They out-physicaled us. They did a lot of things better than us.”

Contrary to his assertion, his team has a habit of not showing up for a game every now and then.  Nicholls in 2016.  Auburn in 2017.  LSU in 2018.  And now, last night.  It’s a hump and they’re not going to get over it by pretending otherwise.

I get that this was a young team and maybe was a little farther along than was expected, maybe even by the team itself.  Nor am I slitting my wrists over the disappointment.  There will be no existential post coming about the Sugar Bowl coming from me.  There’s no denying what Kirby is building with this program.  While it’s great to recruit like sumbitches, though, at some point that talent has to show up and prove itself all the way through a season.

That’s the lesson that Smart has to get his team to buy in the 2019 offseason.

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Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit worrying about motivation.

Well, hell, if I’d have known about the story Holly Rowe told during last night’s broadcast, that three practices in, the staff was threatening to bench some of the starters because of lack of effort, I would have worried a lot more about Georgia winning, let alone covering the spread.

Now, Kirby gave a half-hearted denial afterwards, but it makes little sense for Rowe to make up a story like that.  Besides, what unfolded in the first half told you everything you needed to know about where the team’s collective head was at.  If that wasn’t convincing enough for you, perhaps Solomon Kindley’s take on things will be.

“We just didn’t come out and play,” Kindley said. “I’m going to speak for my team and everybody, I feel like we had the big head and didn’t come out focused. We took Texas lightly, even though they were a very good team, and they showed us why doing all that others stuff, not knowing what you’re supposed to do throughout the week then coming on Saturday or whatever day it is and play football, you can’t do that.”

Throw in the post-SECCG hangover and a team that was sulking over not making the playoff field and you get rebukes from former players like this.

That is what the bust part of “CFP or bust” looks like.

Let’s hope that mockery is a good motivator for next season, because the Dawgs are bound to be on the receiving end of some industrial-grade mockery for a while.  And deservedly so.

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It started as an amusing moment…

… and ended as a metaphor.

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