I was in high school when Swinney was born and yet somehow he comes across like he grew up during the Depression. I feel like we’re just a presser or two away from hearing how back in the day, he walked four miles to school barefoot.
Daily Archives: September 3, 2019
51 D1 schools faced P5 opponents in Week One (and Zero). Of those 51, Georgia is first in opponent’s plays from scrimmage of 20+ yards, fifth in offensive plays from scrimmage of 10+ yards and second in scoring defense.
I get that it’s Vanderbilt, peeps, but would you be happier if Georgia’d had a poorer showing?
Now just because computers can’t overreact to Week One results the same way pundits’ and fans’ knees jerk, doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy themselves, too.
Georgia’s FPI improved from 22.3 to 23.8, with LSU’s FPI improving from 21.8 to 25.8. Georgia’s remaining strength of schedule dropped from sixth to 14th in the country. Georgia’s chances of winning out, per the FPI, improved from 2.6 percent to 4.8 percent, and the chance of winning the SEC improved from 24.8 percent to 30 percent.
The season’s outlook got better, but the Dawgs slipped in the rankings. The only conference game where Georgia’s odds of winning decreased is against Kentucky, and that was by the barest of margins.
Meanwhile, Sagarin’s computer hates — and I mean hates — Tennessee. The Vols dropped down to 77th. To put that in proper perspective, Sagarin has Georgia Tech at 65th.
Matt Hinton has long been one of my favorites and he’s really outdone himself with the latest edition of his Monday Down South column, in which he starts by spending a lot of time placing Tennessee’s loss to Georgia State in historical perspective (HINT: “So while it might not be beyond any shadow of a doubt The Worst Loss Ever, full stop, it is fair to say I can’t recall another nonconference loss by an SEC team that I would describe as worse.”), appears to change the subject by moving to his Conference Notebook section, only to proceed with a detailed breakdown of Tennessee’s numerous… well, breakdowns against Georgia State.
Alignment, recognition, containment, pursuit, tackling: Tennessee filled its “Mental Mistakes Against the Run” Bingo card, and it wasn’t only the underclassmen and first-time starters who were responsible. Presumably it will get better, if only in a regression-to-the-mean sort of way. But the mean in 2018 was below average by SEC standards, and as the strength of schedule steepens just getting back there looks like an uphill climb.
Now that’s how you analyze like a boss.
Watching a replay of the game, I realized I forgot to mention in my Observations post this memorable moment from Travon Walker, who literally engulfed the Vandy receiver on this play:
I’ve long said that one of the best things about the internet is that there’s always somebody out there to do the heavy lifting I’m too lazy to do myself, and here’s a good example of that.
Now, that doesn’t take into account down and distance situations, but considering that the Georgia offense only faced seven third down opportunities and one fourth down, there appears to be something worthy of some self-scouting.
UPDATE: Some additional heavy lifting here.
Matt Hayes must have been feeling threatened by the spate of this weekend’s stoopid hot takes to join the party with this incisive observation:
There’s no way around it, so we might as well get it out in the open.
If Ohio State gets to the College Football Playoff and Georgia doesn’t, that’s a bad look for Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart.
If Washington gets there, it’s disastrous.
I don’t care about who has the harder road to the CFP, or who plays in the toughest conference (did you watch the SEC East Division in Week 1?). This is all about a decision Smart made – not once, but twice – that will define his time in Athens.
It was easy to ignore the decision to choose one almost 5-star quarterback (Jake Fromm) over two 5-star quarterbacks (Jacob Eason in 2017 and Justin Fields in 2018) when Fromm was the only guy on the field to protect that decision. Now that Fields (Ohio State) and Eason (Washington) are playing at major Power 5 schools since transferring from Georgia because of Smart’s decision to hitch the program to Fromm, the fallout could have far-reaching implications.
Ooh. The retort to that is so obvious… well, obvious to anyone not named Matt Hayes.
Fields and Eason looked unique. As well as Fromm has played at Georgia, he hasn’t been unique. That’s not an arguable point.
His numbers (55 TDs, 13 INTs) are strong; his numbers in big games are uneven – most notably, 2 losses to Alabama.
He struggled in the National Championship Game in 2017…
As a true freshman, Jake Fromm quarterbacked his team to within a whisker of winning a national championship — and that was after heading up an epic Rose Bowl comeback. By comparison, showing up FAU and Eastern Washington is supposed to give Kirby Smart heartburn?
C’mon, man. Would Smart like to have Eason or Fields still on his roster? One would presume so. Is he kicking himself for making a bad choice by sticking with Fromm? Pundit, please.
This, I swear, is the SEC equivalent of a unicorn sighting.
Joe Alleva and others are here to set the record straight about Fisher. In 2016, Alleva had one phone call with Fisher’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, early in the search process. They never spoke again. In the end, he was not a serious candidate, partly because of his price tag: $7.5 million a year over seven years, committee members say. New Orleans businessman Stephen Perry, a board member who served on that search committee, describes a “fateful moment” during the search when decision-makers agreed not to pursue Fisher. “We loved Jimbo and thought he was a great guy, but we felt like the program at Florida State was in a downward spiral. And what the agent was asking for…” Perry says trailing off.
A football program turned down Jimmy Sexton’s demands for a coach it wanted? Miz Scarlett, ah feel faint.
We may never see a story like that again in our lifetimes.
We had a comment yesterday about Fromm being boring. I get where the commenter is coming from, when I read stuff like this:
Overall, the junior signal caller completed 15 of 23 attempts for 156 yards and a touchdown. That stat line isn’t going to blow anyone away but according to Kirby Smart, Fromm is asked to do much more than just distribute the football via the forward pass. The UGA staff puts a lot on his plate when it comes to managing the game and he has a big role in the success of the rushing attack, too.
Ultimately, his job is to make the offense as right as possible, the defense as wrong as possible, and Smart, who is on the other side of things during practice, feels the pain of opposing defensive coordinators.
“…He does a nice job of making sure we’re in successful plays,” Smart said. ” As a defensive coordinator, I can tell you, going against him every day is frustrating because it’s hard to be right a lot of times.”
Fromm’s ability to run the offense has been his calling card since arriving in Athens. The third-year starter is adept at anticipating his throws, delivering the ball with accuracy, and taking advantage of his downfield opportunities, but seeing what the defense is trying to accomplishing and countering that is one of his greatest strengths.
He put that on display against Vanderbilt maybe more so than any other game in his career. Fromm was consistently walking up to the line of scrimmage and making adjustments before the snap. Georgia rarely huddles so as to give Fromm time to get the lay of the land and then its up to him to make sure everything is right. He changes protections, flips plays, and even changes plays altogether. He’ll change routes, check to certain plays depending on whether a team is bringing pressure, and, sometimes, he may be playing mind games with the defense and going with what Smart calls “window dressing.”
Three-dimensional chess ain’t sexy, but it is effective in the right hands. I’m good with that. So is Kirby.