Daily Archives: August 6, 2019

Have clickbait, will travel.

Chip Towers may have changed his digs, but not his approach.

Although I have to admit the tizzy he’s probably stirred up at StingTalk would be fun to read.  If I could, that is.  But I digress.

Advertisements

12 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Your Daily Gator is hurtin’.

Ain’t no way to sugarcoat this news if you’re a Florida fan.

That’s an injury at a place where UF can’t afford any injuries.  He’s not a starter, but the Gators are very, very thin in the secondary.

Sorry for McWilliams and hope he makes a full recovery.

16 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

“Holy moly, we’ve got a football player.”

Evidently my eyes weren’t deceiving me at G-Day.

No, Stevenson wasn’t a finished product by any means — who would have expected that in a spring game from a true freshman early enrollee, anyway? — but his instincts, size and athleticism really stood out.

One of the more interesting developments ahead of us this season will be watching the mix in the secondary.  I won’t be surprised if a few two-deep spots change hands by the time the Tech game rolls around.

13 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“There’s no beating the South for college football.”

Ian Boyd takes a look at how some of the teams in our neck of the woods are likely to fare making the CFP field this season.  I like the way he frames his analysis.

Infrastructure check

Does this team have offensive tackles and an overall line that won’t limit them when they face teams with NFL players on the DL? If you can’t win battles in isolation in the trenches, either protecting your QB or blocking for your RB, then that’s going to be trouble.

How is the defense up the middle? Are there proven veterans at the nose, linebacker, and safety that will allow the team to have flexible gameplans and match up against great offenses without getting blown away?

Championship gear

Does this team have elite facets or game changing players that can allow them to overpower even the best opponents? For instance, the 2018 Alabama Crimson Tide were impossible to handle up the middle of their defense. The 2019 Clemson Tigers ended up being able to fling the ball around on anyone with Trevor Lawrence and had an all-NFL DL.

Schedule

Even good or great teams can be derailed by an unfavorable scheduling draw. Schedule is a regular reason that top 25 caliber SEC teams go 8-5.

As you might imagine, Georgia manages to check all his boxes.

Georgia

Infrastructure check

The loss of infrastructure on defense is why I had the Dawgs pegged for a step back in 2018. They lost CB/Ni/Di swiss army knife DB Dom Davis, Roquan Smith, their nose tackle, a starting safety and the other ILB, both OLBs, it was a lot. They also lost the Sonny Michel/Nick Chubb tandem although that never seemed as dire given the way they’ve recruited at RB.

For 2019 their OL is insanely massive and well blooded by actual games and not just the physical practice culture that Kirby Smart encourages. Fromm is also back and although all their WRs are green it’s a good bet that whoever has received the 1st team offseason reps will be ready to go with their junior QB.

The offense was good last year too though, defense is the question. The middle of the defense looks more solid for 2019 with some older vets now established at ILB after taking some lumps in 2018 and the DL now restocked with blue chips that have had some seasoning.

Championship gear?

The Dawgs will run on teams this year and it’ll be hard for most squads to do much about it. Granted, Texas shut down their rushing attack in the Sugar Bowl, but Georgia will have taken some lessons from that experience and most teams got railroaded up front.

The real fear will be from a revitalized defense that has too much speed, physicality, and want to for teams to find openings. A secret about Georgia that has been revealed a few times is that their anti-spread strategies aren’t astounding. They have good sub-packages, they use the tite front and some other fronts that help them, but their schemes aren’t really the secret. What they do well is matchup to your personnel and then play hard and fast with great athletes that play hard. When they have it going at every level they can make things hard.

Schedule?

Florida has problems with Georgia because they’ve lacked the size and ability up front on defense to withstand the Dawgs’ downhill run game. The rest of the east still hasn’t caught up. They draw Notre Dame at home after playing Arkansas State and before a bye week and then from the SEC West they draw @Auburn and Texas A&M at home in back to back weeks. This is probably the easiest schedule in the SEC.

Gut call

The Dawgs will out-talent and out-physical their competition, Notre Dame will make them look good with a solid season after taking it on the chin in Athens, and they’ll advance to the SEC title game. There, even if they lose, they may still have a resume that puts them in. Or they could beat a non-Alabama squad and create a path for a double SEC entrance mirroring the 2017 season. At any rate, I think they’ll get in.

I might quibble with his overly broad assessment of Georgia’s schedule, but the rest is solid.

His other Southern picks to make the playoffs are Alabama (duh) and Clemson (duh, duh).  His picks to miss include Florida (not enough dominant players to overcome the schedule), Auburn (“boosters may send some flowers to Bob Stoops…”) and TAMU, all of whom appear on Georgia’s schedule.  I can live with that.

23 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football

Deeply profound

Georgia celebrated its version of Groundhog Day yesterday, as its two coordinators popped out of their holes to do a presser, never to be seen again until season’s end.

Then again, if this is the kind of insight Dan Lanning has to share…

On Jermaine Johnson:

“Football is football, right? Football is football in Missouri. Football is football in Kansas. Football is football in Georgia. And obviously, the SEC though is a different animal. I think it’s always hard to compare and contrast, but the field is still 100 yards. That stuff doesn’t change, but the difference in the way you prepare there and the way you prepare here, there is a difference.”

On Georgia’s last game:

“You watch the Sugar Bowl?” Lanning asked a reporter. “It was obviously a great learning experience, but it left a sour taste in our mouth. But that was last year and the 2019 team is completely different from the 2018 team.”

… I don’t really think we’re gonna care whether he sees his shadow.

**************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Shoot, I didn’t mean to overlook James Coley’s contributions on the day.

“There are some good players, we play against really good players, we all understand the challenge is to be better,” Coley said Monday, speaking to reporters for the first time he was promoted on Jan. 11. “Going into this job, you know what’s ahead of you, you know what you have. Now, whether it’s offseason or in season, right now we’re getting in this training camp mode, we’re figuring out little by little where we’re at with some of the guys, how much they have to improve.”

“I think in the pro-style game you coordinate to your players,” Coley said. “Players not plays, right? It’s a little cliché in the coaching profession but it’s the truth. Players not plays. Coach Smart is all about players not plays. He definitely preaches that to us. Sometimes as coaches you forget and you’re like, ’Man, this scheme is really intriguing, but are your players touching the ball within the scheme?”

Hey, give him a little credit.  At least he was willing to acknowledge he was dishing out pablum there.

18 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Neon yoogly

OHMYGAWD.

This Michigan State alternate uniform isn’t just routinely hideous.  It’s whoever-thought-this-was-a-good-idea-should-be-immediately-sacked-and-all-reference-to-his/her-hiring-erased-from-the-records hideous.

And if the excuse is that recruits really like it, it may be the strongest case for the argument we’re raising our kids wrong I’ve seen yet.

The only good thing I can say for that look is it’ll come in handy the next time they play a game in a snowstorm.  Truly awful.

16 Comments

Filed under Stylin'

How sketchy will Florida’s offensive line be this season?

It’s true the Gators have lost a bunch of starters on the o-line, but David Wunderlich thinks they’ll be okay there, subject to one caveat.

Put it all together, and age is probably more important than starting experience along the offensive line. Replacing a true senior with a redshirt junior as Florida is at left tackle likely isn’t a recipe for a dramatic falloff. Stone Forsythe has had plenty of time to mature physically (losing bad weight and building muscle in his case), so the Gators aren’t rolling the dice on a younger player who may or may not be there yet. He’s also played a million snaps in practice, many of them in the past 18 months with the guys who will be starting this fall thanks to four starters leaving at once.

Obviously age doesn’t explain everything. Jean Delance is a fourth-year player starting at right tackle, and no one expects him to be as good as Jawaan Taylor was in his third year on campus in 2018.

However, the line consists mostly of upperclassmen. The top five also set itself apart early, as the current starters played most or all of spring on the top line of the depth chart. John Hevesy didn’t lose much chemistry building time in March and April trying to find his best players.

Florida’s offensive line probably will be just fine this year. It may even start ahead of where 2018’s line was thanks to the players having more time in the system. The fact that only one scholarship backup is above redshirt freshman status means it can’t afford any injuries, but the starting five may not be such a concern after all. At the very least, having a relatively low number of returning starts doesn’t mean the line is guaranteed to experience a decline in quality.

Hevesy is a good position coach and David’s point about age for offensive linemen is credible.  That all being said, there’s a certain amount of hope substituted for analysis in his last sentence.  You can’t expect a wholesale reshuffling of an offensive line to be seamless.

Beyond that, he’s hit on Florida’s potential Achilles heel for 2019.  Between the state of the offensive line and that of the secondary, a couple of key injuries have the potential to turn the Gators’ season into a train wreck.

15 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...