Daily Archives: June 6, 2019

“When he puts his pads on, I think guys feel it.”

Saw this a couple of days ago.

Mike Griffith adds:

Georgia’s linebacker play fell off last season after the departure of 2017 SEC Defensive Player of the Year Roquan Smith.

Rice, a 6-foot-1, 235-pounder, never could get on track last season after suffering a pulled hamstring in the 2018 spring game.

Rice suffered a sprained knee in days leading up to the Sept. 22 Missouri game, an injury that lingered.

“Monty gives us a tough, physical presence,” Kirby Smart said last October. “I don’t know that he’s 100 percent still. I think he’s getting there.”

Rice looked much better — and so did Georgia — during a key stretch against Florida, Kentucky and Auburn. He had eight tackles or more in each game — including a career-high 11 stops against Florida — as the Bulldogs played arguably their best football of the season.

Rice, only a sophomore last season, was appointed a team captain for the Nov. 17 UMass game, only to suffer a foot injury during warmups that essentially sidelined him the remainder of the season.

Rice’s health looks like something to keep an eye on in August.

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24 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“Well, they trolled us first, you know what I mean?”

The only thing more awkward than Dan Mullen’s recent attempts at trolling is an article ($$) trying to justify Dan Mullen’s recent attempts at trolling.

Then there was the comment Mullen made about player transfers. He was asked a general question about players receiving more waivers for immediate eligibility. This was in March, before the start of spring practice and after Fields had left Georgia for Ohio State.

“I’d think we did a poor job recruiting if guys were coming in and then immediately walking out the door because it was something different than what they thought it would be and we lied to them during recruiting, or we sold them on a dream that wasn’t true,” Mullen said.

Fans from rival schools were quick to revive the quote after Florida players entered the NCAA Transfer Portal, but, to be fair to Mullen, he was specifically discussing being truthful in recruiting pitches and didn’t make it seem like the Gators would be immune to attrition…

Riiight.  He’s college football’s fearless truth teller on the recruiting trail.

21 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

Offensive stress test

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Here’s a good piece from Ian Boyd checking off the four things an offense needs to be capable of these days to overcome a defense’s plan to, as Boyd puts it, “… make sure they can take away an offense’s best features and force them to get by on their third or fourth options.”

He breaks this down in the context of the Big 12, but I thought it would be a good exercise to see how this applies to Georgia.  Here’s a more detailed look at his list:

1. Effective distribution at QB

The QB has to know where the ball should go in the different dimensions of the offense and then reliably deliver it there with good timing and placement. Good defenses make it harder to figure out where the ball should go and narrow the windows that a QB has to hit in order to break down their structures.

2. Effective blocking along the OL

In the run game that means not allowing penetration, making contact on assignments (if they’re in position to threaten the play), and getting push when you have a double team. In pass protection that means no free runners inside and making good edge guys work their way slowly so they can’t interfere with a three-step drop. An OL that can do all of those things against a sturdy front will set enough of a floor that a team can dominate if the QB and skill players are good.

3. Some kind of plan for blocking a nickel front in the run game

Five OL can handle five men in the box, to handle that sixth and prevent teams from stuffing your offense from a two-deep shell with a six man box, you need a plan to block six. One way is to block him with an ancillary, another is to option him with a QB pass or run option. The former barely counts because if you actually want to run the ball on a nickel front, like on 3rd and 2 for instance, you don’t want to count on hitting a slant.

4. Two to three offensive features/specific skill players that can’t be stopped without the defensive being +1

This is where the over-stressing occurs, checklist items 1-3 merely set the stage for achieving this result.

He writes that, “… if an offense can check off every part of this list at a high level, then it doesn’t matter what the defense can do, the offense is going for 30+.”

Now, we don’t know for sure what James Coley has up his sleeve, but given the pieces in places, it probably won’t be a radical departure from an offensive scheme that last season managed to be top fifteen nationally in both points per game (37.9) and yards per play (7.05).

So, how many of Boyd’s boxes can we reasonably expect Georgia’s offense to check this season?

  • Effective distribution at QB.  This is one of Fromm’s great strengths.  Checked.
  • Effective OL blocking.  I’m not sure I even need to type an explanation here.  Checked.
  • A plan for picking up overloaded fronts trying to stop the run.  Georgia uses a variety of sets deploying tight ends and blocking backs to pick up extra defenders, although it could be argued the offensive line doesn’t need that much help.  Checked.
  • Ability to isolate skill position players to take advantage of defensive alignments.  Boyd argues this naturally follows from being able to implement the first three goals, so it would seem to follow that this box is checked, as well.  You can ask who those particular players are at this point, but considering the number of five-star recruits at Coley’s direction, I don’t think he’ll have that much of a problem finding two or three for a given play.

Last season, Georgia averaged 37.3 points per game against D1 opponents, second best in the SEC.  What’s your thinking on that number this year?

41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

One out of twelve ain’t bad.

Ladies and gentlemen, the life of a P5 college football player:

“This is the one month out of the year where we encourage them to slow down, take a deep breath, enjoy being a college student.” Kirby Smart said in May. “Because when June 1 rolls around, coach (Scott) Sinclair, you know the guy that’s always pulling me back on the sideline, he’s going to be the guy out there snatching them and running them and working them. He and his staff do a great job with our young men in June and July.”

Remember, it’s not a job.  It’s an educational experience.

92 Comments

Filed under College Football

You know what happens when you assume…

The cutest thing about Pete Fiutak’s Tennessee preview is this:

Assume a win over Vanderbilt at home to close out the regular season…

The Vols currently own a three-game losing streak against Vandy and, yes, it felt good typing that.

16 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Putting the cocktail back into the WLOCP

Gotta admit I didn’t see this one coming.

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said UGA and Florida will be discussing whether or not to sell alcohol in general seating areas at the schools’ rivalry game in Jacksonville…

“We could always do what both schools desire to do, (but) alcohol has not been sold in the general seating at Everbank (now TIAA) Field since we’ve played the game there (1996),” McGarity told DawgNation.

“It’s like any other neutral site game, as far as the same deal at Mercedes-Benz Stadium — schools could sell alcohol at professional stadiums,” he said. “So if we wanted to implement we could. It would be something we’d have to agree upon.”

Hell, if making money is the raison d’être for Jacksonville, you might as well make as much of it as you can.  (Of course, that increases the revenue gap between staying there and going home-and-home, which probably means the folks in Jacksonville brought it up in the first place.)

27 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, I'll Drink To That