Daily Archives: September 5, 2019

“We’ve got to protect the quarterback better.”

Kirby saw what we saw Saturday night.

Smart attributed the protection issues against Vanderbilt to poor communication, though it had nothing to do with crowd noise.

Georgia fans made up approximately 75 percent of the crowd at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville.

“We had some ill-advised communication and busts that are not indicative of an offensive line that’s played so many games and starts as these guys,” Smart said. “I think the guys played hard and physical, but we got to play smarter and protect better.”

While Hill comes in for some specific criticism about his consistency in the article (and he did have trouble picking up the stunting Vandy’s d-linemen did), he wasn’t alone in having protection busts on occasion.

While they’ve got two weeks to spend on working out communication issues, it doesn’t help that they’ll have to do that with a change of cast.

It would seem one likely adjustment for Saturday’s game is for sophomore Cade Mays to move from right guard to right tackle, and redshirt junior Ben Cleveland to get the start at right guard.

At practice, however, sophomore offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer was the next man up after Wilson left the field with injury.

Salyer figures to see his first action of the year after returning to practice on Tuesday, though his conditioning would be a question mark.

Salyer missed more than a week of practice with an undisclosed lower body injury suffered on Aug. 20.

Given the talent on hand and Sam Pittman, I wouldn’t say this represents a crisis as much as it does a challenge.  But, yeah, they need to find a way to keep Jake Fromm’s jersey cleaner.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“If you look at the matchup, the Racers are going to be dominated at every position.”

If nothing else, you have to appreciate this beat writer’s honesty.

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“The Pac-12 just doesn’t have the numbers.”

Some pretty eye opening data here:

According to the NFSHSA, participation in California dropped by approximately 3,000 athletes year-over-year and is now down 11.7 percent over the latest five-year stretch (2014-18).

Meanwhile, Florida, which feeds numerous Power Five conferences, has experienced a decline of just 0.6 percent over that five-year span.

Georgia, a key feeder state for the SEC (and others), has lost just 3.2 percent.

Meanwhile, Texas, the primary pipeline for the Big 12 and a vital recruiting ground for the SEC, has experienced an increase in participation over the five years.

* In the fall of 2014, there were 163,998 players in Texas (11-player tackle).

* In the fall of 2018, there were 165,641.

Contrast that to California:

* Participants five years ago: 103,740.

* Participants last fall: 91,305.

Or, to put it in an even more dire perspective:  “Last fall, there were 4,000 more high school football players in Texas than in the entire Pac-12 footprint.”

Parents’ fears over head trauma are playing into that, although that’s not the only reason for the decline.  But as a trendline, that disparity means this:

Daniel Jeremiah spends hundreds of hours watching film of NFL prospects and talking to coaches while preparing for his role as lead analyst for the NFL Network’s draft coverage.

He’s also a Southern California resident with a son who plays high school football.

Personally and professionally, Jeremiah’s life is the Pac-12’s talent pipeline at its entry and exit points.

“You see some individual players” as good as those in the SEC and Big Ten, he explained recently when asked to compare the Pac-12’s high-end talent to its Power Five peers.

“You’ll get one here or there, but the difference is the waves of guys, especially on the lines, the defensive line,’’ he said.

Now, this is just me speculating out of my ass, but if you’re steadily losing ground on your home turf, the only way going forward to make up for that is to go elsewhere for talent, and if that’s the path you have to take, how do you make it attractive for recruits outside the region to come west?  Well, that California legislation might not be as bad a thing as Larry Scott might think right now.  Just sayin’, necessity can be a mother sometimes.

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Filed under Pac-12 Football, Recruiting

So, what’s James Coley up to?

If you’ve watched the opener, it’s clear, as we expected, that nobody’s making wholesale changes to the offense Georgia ran last season.  That doesn’t mean, though, that there haven’t been tweaks made here and there.  Even in a game where Coley didn’t show much of his hand, there were a few interesting developments on display, as this terrific thread that popped up on Twitter yesterday demonstrated.

Here’s an example, along with a comparison:

And, another pair:

As you can see, it’s a lengthy thread.  Go through it, and you’ll get a better understanding of what Georgia’s players were saying about how Coley was changing the offense this offseason.  Good stuff.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Adapt and survive

A couple of quick notes about the California legislation giving Mark Emmert heartburn:

The legislature may not be listening to the NCAA bitch, but it’s clearly hearing from state schools about potential issues and making an attempt to address their concerns.  To me, that’s a sign the schools have recognized the inevitable and are looking for ways to accommodate.  You know, the kind of thing the NCAA should be doing if it weren’t the NCAA.

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

The best thing about the Dooley Field naming

Barbara Dooley, you go, girl.

Most inside the program are pleased to talk about Saturday’s occasion of the University of Georgia naming its football field after Vince Dooley. Until, that is, the conversation turns to the politics that it took for it to happen.

Ask about that, and folks suddenly get quiet or vague…

No, Dooley has always prided himself on remaining “above the fray.” Now his wife, Barbara, she’s been known to jump down in there sometimes.

She did when asked about the matter.

“It’s only because of Don Leebern; that’s just the bottom line,” Barbara Dooley said this week. “I had no idea that man had so damn much power. But he did.”

“Vince and Don were very good friends for many years, and Don turned on him,” Barbara Dooley said. “And, man, when he turned, he turned. Of course, when he turned, I turned on him. Vince didn’t, but I did.”

Time wounds all heels, eventually.

I only wish Leebern and Michael Adams would present themselves at the ceremony this Saturday.  I haven’t enjoyed a good boo at Sanford Stadium since… well, since Adams presided over his last Homecoming game.

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Your Daily Gator knows that hope is the best of things.

Dan Mullen still pines for that sweet transfer waiver for Brenton Cox.  In the meantime,

For now, Cox is one heck of a pass rusher for the likes of Jean Delance and Stone Forsythe to deal with every day in practice. Those are the starting offensive tackles for the gators and both are in their first full year of running with the first team. According to Mullen, Cox is also making sure he remains academically eligible…

Talk about your low bars.

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