This is almost sad.
Daily Archives: September 17, 2019
I only hope that each of you is loved by someone as much as Mark Bradley loves the fact that Paul Johnson is the last coach to beat Kirby Smart in Athens.
On Cager’s touchdown reception, I was so intent on watching him, I missed the best part of the play.
Check out what Cade Mays does to a poor ol’ ASU defensive lineman.
Don’t bother to get up until the whistle blows, dude.
Honestly, do any of y’all feel this?
No. 3 Georgia and No. 7 Notre Dame are both steeped in rich tradition, but they don’t have much real history together, not as far as actual on-field meetings go. Yet their matchup Saturday feels like one filled with the bad blood, pettiness and season-changing implications that go hand-in-hand with rivalry games.
The “bad blood” evidently is supposed to extend from last year’s CFP, which the Irish made and Dawgs didn’t. Not sure who’s feeling that now, especially after Georgia laid an egg in the Sugar Bowl.
This just seems like the kind of trumped up stuff Mickey loves to invent, because it’s not enough to have a first-time meeting in Athens between two great programs that both come in ranked in the top ten. I’ve got the feeling I’ll be really glad I can’t watch College GameDay Saturday.
If you look at SP+, you’ll see that there’s one area of clear separation between Georgia and Notre Dame. (I know sample size is relatively small, but it’s all we’ve got to work with.)
The Irish have been solid on offense and special teams, but there’s a noticeable gap on defense. And that, in turn, brings us to a place where the early numbers suggest Georgia has a sizeable advantage Saturday night: Georgia’s run game versus Notre Dame’s run defense.
The story of the latter isn’t pretty. This week, at 4.96, ND sits an almost unbelievable 107th in defensive yards per rush. (For comparison’s sake, Georgia’s 2.14 ranks tenth.) That’s barely better than Arkansas State, for point of reference. That defense is tasked with stopping a rushing attack that currently ranks fifth nationally, at 7.61 yards per carry. (Again, comparing the teams, Notre Dame averages 4.84 ypc, good for 49th.)
On paper, that’s a tall order. To start with, those stats were compiled against Louisville and New Mexico, neither of which are going to be confused with offensive powerhouses. Beyond that, the situational stats aren’t good. It’s not the result of ND having relaxed in the second half after building big leads, either. In fact, that defense yielded at a rate of 6.91 ypc in the first half and 3.57 in the second half. It’s also gotten creamed on third down (9.24 ypc!), regardless of distance.
I don’t want to sound too confident here, but if that defense can’t stop Georgia’s rushing attack or at least slow it down considerably, barring some craziness on the turnover front, I don’t see a path to victory for Notre Dame. It’s the number one point on any defensive coordinator’s list for beating Georgia. Allowing that running game to function successfully essentially drives everything a Smart-coached team wants to do in terms of clock management, not taking big risks in the passing game and keeping Georgia’s defense fresh.
Regarding this twitter thread,
… the biggest thing I gleaned from it was a confirmation of what I saw from the stands: the offensive line dominated all game long. And that was without Isaiah Wilson, who, by the way, returned to practice yesterday.
A few morsels rounded up for your reading pleasure:
- A reminder about the value of that free education the NCAA touts: “According to 2018 report from USC’s Race and Equity Center, just 55% of black athletes from the Power Five conferences, which include college sports’ most profitable programs, graduate in six years as compared to 69.3% of all student-athletes.”
- This is a detailed breakdown of how we got to California’s Fair Pay to Play Act, as well as what we might expect to see if there’s a court challenge (assuming it passes, of course).
- Scratch Mike Leach on the subject of paying players and he sounds a lot more like Dabo than Mike Leach.
- For those of you who don’t get how antitrust law and cartels work, remember that you don’t have to buy tuna fish.