Daily Archives: April 22, 2019

Could this be the SEC East’s year of the QB?

Now this here’s an interesting little factoid.

Every team in the SEC East has a quarterback who has started at least 13 games. Returning starters in the East include South Carolina’s Jake Bentley (32 career starts), Georgia’s Jake Fromm (28), Florida’s Feleipe Franks (21) and Kentucky’s Terry Wilson (13). Missouri’s top candidate to replace four-year starter Drew Lock is graduate transfer Kelly Bryant, who started 18 games at Clemson.

Ball State graduate transfer Riley Neal, who made 32 starts at his former school, is competing with Deuce Wallace for the right to take over for four-year starter Kyle Shurmur at Vanderbilt.

No, that doesn’t mean we’ve got a bunch of Heisman candidates at hand — that’s for the folks at Auburn to decide, anyway — but you’d think most of those starters are significantly along their respective learning curves at this point.  The question may be how many of them have good enough receiving corps to work with.

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16 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Urnge uglies (or the lack thereof)

You may think the Georgia offensive line situation during the Richt era was something of a wasteland, but it wasn’t anywhere close to this.

Heckuva job, Boochie.  Add to that a decent possibility that Pruitt will be starting true freshmen at both offensive tackle positions ($$) and it’s hard to see Jim Chaney repeating the results he got in Athens last season.

10 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Today, in profiles in courage

Greg Sankey, tower of jello.

Everything about this federal prosecution is a farce.

11 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, SEC Football, The NCAA

Observations from the end zone, #not93K G-Day edition

Yeah, it was a little nippy out there last Saturday.  That aside, it’s hard to bitch about Saturday in Athens without feeling a little churlish, so I’m not gonna go there.  The game, as usual, was entertaining without being a profound look at what’s coming.

One noticeable change in vibe came from the lack of excitement at the quarterback position, something we’d been accustomed to feeling under Smart.  This year, there’s no drama — it’s Jake’s job, period.  Curiosity substituted for hype.  Maybe that’s what gave this G-Day a more relaxed feel in some ways.

There’s no point in getting in depth about things like playcalling, since the coaches didn’t, either, but this is an Observations post, so I’ve still got a few bullet points just dying to meet you:

  • Noticeable in warmups was the strength and conditioning work being put in; I don’t say that in a preseason happy talk manner, either.  There were kids all over the place who were obviously bigger than they looked last season, kids like Cook, Jackson and LeCounte, to name just a few.  The first team o-line is mammoth.
  • Again, I’m cognizant of what this must sound like, but the biggest takeaway on the day for me is the overall talent level.  It’s the highest I’ve ever seen in Athens.  Based on what I saw from other spring games, there isn’t another program in the East close to Georgia’s level right now, and very few nationally.  Stack enough stud recruiting classes and you’re bound to wind up there.  Georgia’s there.
  • The most pleasant surprise of the day was the depth in the secondary.  Stokes isn’t quite at Deandre Baker shut down level yet, but he’s getting there.  LeCounte was more physical and, better yet, did a good job wrapping up tackles.  He’s clearly been hearing what Smart’s been saying.  What really impressed, though, was what I saw from the second team.  They lined up true freshmen at one cornerback spot and safety and had a JUCO transfer man the other cornerback position.  All acquitted themselves well.  Cine is going to push for a starting spot all season long and I loved how confident Stevenson looked.  Overall, I thought the defensive backs played more aggressively than we saw last season, which is probably due to more depth, more experience and the coaching change.  Baker’s gone, but I can’t say I’m worried.
  • I don’t know that I’d call it an area of concern, but the group that stood out least Saturday was the receivers.  Some of that was due to Robertson’s last minute absence due to illness, but I didn’t get the sense that the quarterbacks are really all that comfortable with anyone past Holloman and Woerner.  Landers clearly illustrated what the scuttlebutt about him all spring has been — flashing talent, but not consistently.  He’s only going to play as much as his hands let him.  Let’s just say that I left G-Day thinking there’s plenty of opportunity available for the kids coming in this summer.
  • Jesus, is D’Andre Swift gonna have a year this year.  He didn’t play much, but he didn’t have to.  He burned a very good defense a couple of times with that patented change of direction move and he flashed his jets.  With that offensive line blocking, hoo, boy.
  • Herrien isn’t as dynamic a rusher as Swift — hell, who is? — but he showed what an effective weapon he is in the passing game.  Learn to love the wheel route this season, folks.
  • To answer the question does Georgia really field two complete offensive lines that are as good as any in the conference, I’d have to say, nah.  The left side of the second team line had issues with pass protection, and, for that matter, so did Mays when the second team defense got aggressive with the pass rush.  (Yes, Virginia, Georgia did blitz on occasion.)  That being said, there’s no question Pittman can plug and play Mays and Salyer with the first-string line without losing much.  Speaking of the first-string line, they didn’t get the opportunity to mash much (or, using the preferred expression, impose their will), but I don’t think there’s much to worry about in that regard.
  • Speaking of the offensive line, the funniest thing I saw was Clay Webb, all 6-3, 295 pounds of him, looking like the runt of the litter out there.  Talk about everything being relative.
  • As for the quarterbacks, well, while I wouldn’t say the backups dazzled, I would say they did manage to lower my anxiety level.  Mathis is physically gifted for the position with a more polished delivery than I expected.  His arm strength is more than adequate and he can run.  He’s also raw and is definitely a work in progress with regard to all the things you’d expect a true freshman quarterback with a month of practice to lack.  He’s clearly a redshirt candidate, but with the four-game rule now, I’ll be curious to see over the course of the season if the coaches pick a spot here and there to deploy his skill set.
  • I don’t know that I’d call Stetson Bennett a beast, but, all in all, he had a good day out there.  He’s bigger now than he was in his first stint, which certainly doesn’t hurt.  He displayed a nice touch on his passes and throws a very catchable ball.  (Maybe that’s why he completed the only deep ball to Landers.)  He also had my favorite play of the game, a pass to Herrien where as he was rolling out saw that Herrien had position on Dean and motioned him to go downfield a little more for the catch.  That took a little chemistry.  Do I feel like if Fromm went down with an injury, Georgia wouldn’t miss a beat with Bennett?  Can’t say that I do, but I feel okay that Bennett can run the offense competently when it comes time to take Fromm out with a decent lead.  And, no, that’s not a backhanded compliment.  Protecting Fromm this season is kind of a big deal.
  • The only thing you need to know about Fromm’s day is that he didn’t get hurt.
  • The d-line neither surprised nor disappointed, which isn’t that bad a thing to say when you consider who they were up against.  Jordan Davis had his moments, but a couple of times I did wonder about his stamina.
  • As far as the outside linebackers go, there’s a wealth of talent.  All you need to know is that Cox lined up on second team and had a disruptive, dominant second half.  Johnson made Thomas work, which is all I needed to see.  Smith is a little smaller than I thought, but, damn is he solid.  He made a great tackle on Swift.  Biggest surprise is that the one kid who doesn’t look any bigger than he was last year is Adam Anderson; he’s still got that burst, though.
  • The story at inside linebacker was Nakobe Dean, who is as quick and fluid as advertised.  He’s also a true freshman, as advertised.  Still, that physical talent says he’s going to crack the starting lineup sooner or later.  The only other ILB who made an impression on me was Monty Rice.
  • I mentioned some of the second team DBs who stood out, but the first-stringers more than held their own.  Stokes and Holloman had some epic battles all game long.  Campbell is coming on, but still gives more cushion on occasion than I like to see (and Fromm took advantage of that more than a time or two).  Reed was solid, outside of that Herrien stiff arm.  There looked like a coverage screw up on Bennett’s touchdown pass to Holloman, but when you hold an offense around six yards a pass attempt, you’ve had a good day.
  • No point in spending much time on special teams, except to mention that Rodrigo’s still got the big leg and Camarda chipped in with a nice long-distance field goal, as well.
  • Best of all, nobody got hurt.

And now, we wander in the desert for the next few months.  On that note, anything you want to add, add in the comments.

32 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

If you take requests, I’ve got a few for you.

Faithful reader Nick emailed me with this question yesterday:

If Josh Allen of UK is the top edge rusher in the draft, why did he disappear against UGA? His official stats were unimpressive and my memory of the game was that he was a non-factor. PERHAPS the only elite line he faced? Worth a conversation?

Well, with two fumble recoveries that kept his team in the game early on, I wouldn’t say Allen completely disappeared, but with only three tackles and zero sacks, he certainly didn’t dominate Georgia the way he took over Kentucky’s game against Florida.

As to why, I’d say, yeah, the offensive line certainly played a part, but the game plan may have played an even bigger one.  Fromm only had twenty passing attempts; meanwhile, the Dawgs ran the ball fifty times for 331 yards.  That’s definitely the way to keep a pass rusher from being a factor.

Georgia was definitely focused on Allen and Snell and did a solid job grounding both.  I do think Allen in particular is a special talent who will excel at the next level, but in college there’s only so much a kid like that can do facing a loaded team like Georgia when he’s not surrounded by a lot of talent.

Anybody else want to pitch in here with a take?

22 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Musical palate cleanser, rock ‘n’ roll stutter edition

Let’s do a little shaking this morning, with the Who’s Live at Leeds version of “My Generation”.

As a bonus, here’s Entwistle’s bass from that, isolated in all its glory.

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Filed under Uncategorized