He’s not kidding about Stokes, who posted a higher havoc number than UT’s top nine tacklers combined.
Daily Archives: October 7, 2019
In between imposing his will and getting the ball into the hands of his playmakers, his boss wants this:
It’s the new havoc rate. And I thought havoc rate was the new havoc rate.
Oh, wait. What’s that, you say?
This is why I tend to chuckle at the internet chatter about “nothing since 1980”. I get the past and the accuracy of the cheap taunt, but there’s a difference between a Georgia team that Kirby played on and one that Kirby coaches. It’ll come.
I wouldn’t call these stats pretty.
There’s certainly enough talent for that to improve. I hope it’s a sign that all the new faces in the receiving corps and a new offensive coordinator are still feeling their way around and not of something more problematic. Otherwise, that’s an invitation for opposing safeties to get up close and personal.
UPDATE: A self-correction.
This deserves a big time “bless your heart”.
I can’t wait for his excitement when the Vols end their losing streak against Vandy.
Talk about a game that turned on a dime. The Dawgs seemingly fiddle farted around for a little over a quarter in Knoxville and then turned on the jets in the last four minutes of the first half to put the Vols in their place.
On one level, it was another example of how loaded this Georgia team is. Even when trailing, there was no sense of imminent danger. On the other hand, it was another example of how it takes this team some time to settle in, even against inferior opposition. Is that a side feature of Kirby’s devotion to manball, or are they simply choosing to hold back some of their explosiveness?
I don’t know. But I do know it’s time for some bullet points.
- The offense really wasn’t the issue during the first half lull. After all, they opened with a 13-play, 84-yard touchdown drive that burned almost seven minutes off the clock. But it seemed that a little focus was lost, as the next three series were all taken off course by (mostly stupid) penalties.
- Not that I’m complaining, but how much does Blankenship’s ridiculous consistency this season factor in to the way the offense seems to relax now and then?
- Wheel route, for the win!
- Hard to say that there’s a player who’s shown more improvement over the first five games of the season than Brian Herrien. He’s developed a sense of patience and timing that’s made him a real threat behind that offensive line.
- Yeah, Kirby, maybe you should have let Zamir White play a little in the Notre Dame game.
- It’s not so much that I’m trying to knock Tyler Simmons as it is that I wish a few of his touches had gone to James Cook instead. Cook’s been criminally underused so far this season. Maybe they’re saving him for something.
- Those of you blaming Pittman for the offensive line’s poor showing on the failure to convert a couple of short yardage situations — have you given any thought as to why Coley had Fromm in the shotgun for those?
- Pass protection was pretty damned good throughout. Fromm had lengthy periods of time to survey the field and choose his spots on more than one occasion.
- Coley trotted out a new version of a jumbo package, adding Mays as an eligible tackle, and it had its moments.
- I’d say Lawrence Cager is this year’s version of Javon Wims. Fromm certainly thinks so.
- Robertson’s route running looks so smooth.
- I dunno, guys. I don’t think this is gonna be the year of throwing the ball to the tight ends more.
- Jake Fromm is a rock. Road game in a hostile, loud environment and the home team has some momentum? No big thang, man. A (conveniently timed) busted clock? Eh, no worries. Dude takes what the defense gives him and adds in some stunning throws as back breakers, like that beautiful downfield completion to Robertson in the fourth quarter.
- Bottom line, it’s hard to complain too much about racking up over 500 yards of offense on the road. It’s even harder to complain about Georgia running 70 plays on offense.
- I know the defense again made good second half adjustments to take away the slant pass, but has anyone thought about making those adjustments earlier in the game? Like, say, right after kickoff?
- Richard LeCounte is a good, talented football player. Richard LeCounte is an inconsistent football player. Those aren’t contradictory statements, although I’m increasingly prepared to accept debate on that.
- He had company, surprisingly, as Reed had a couple of whiffs, too.
- The only guy in the secondary who turned in a consistently excellent night was Stokes, who played big.
- They miss Tyson Campbell. I’m not kidding.
- As the outside linebacking went, so did the defense. In other words, not as good as we’d like in the first half and killer in the second. Ojulari played a dominating third quarter and UT could barely move the ball.
- It was easy to miss, but the ILBs did a good job in pass coverage limiting UT’s starting tight end. I bet that surprised Jim Chaney.
- Tae Crowder keeps making big plays. Good on him.
- He doesn’t get a lot of mention, obviously, but that was a nice play Nate McBride made to break up a pass on UT’s last possession.
- And let’s tip our collective caps to the defensive line depth. Jordan Davis went out early with an injury and the rest of the cast still shut down the Vols’ running game. Not a bad night’s work.
- That all being said, the defense gave up what seemed like a lot of explosive plays in the first half. Should we attribute that to Chaney’s familiarity with the scheme, or is the emphasis on havoc leaving the defense more vulnerable to the big play than it was last season?
- Special teams… well, special teams outside of Blankenship showed a little better this week, mainly because there were no big mistakes in the return game. But I’ve got to think Camarda’s adventures are causing more concern for the coaches than they’re admitting publicly. It was a good thing that UT’s punter kind of evened things out.
- I hate to keep saying this, but I have the feeling that Kirby enjoys these little adventures of having to dig out from adversity. That’s all well and good, but adversity against Alabama and Clemson is going to be a whole ‘nother animal than adversity against Tennessee.
- Stupid penalties are stupid, David Marshall.
- I’ve made a promise not to discuss officiating in these Observations posts anymore, because it’s simply a waste of bandwidth, but, jeez, that call on Matt Landers in the end zone was horrible. Not that I’m expecting to hear a mea culpa from Steve Shaw any time soon.
I get being a little frustrated about the early inconsistent play, especially on the defensive side, but, really, this game was never in doubt. That was enough to make Kirby happy and it should make you happy, too. Now, it’s on to South Carolina… are those cannon shots I hear?
A couple of heartwarming amateurism stories for your edification:
- A Division III golfer writes a book about his year off between high school and college and hilarity ensues. (h/t Russ)
- “A business school student at the University of Utah, junior Britain Covey recently pursued and was offered an internship in sales. Then the NCAA told the Utes wide receiver he couldn’t accept it.” A business school student! Oh, and this: “Covey said he also can’t do something as simple as tweet a congratulatory message to his teenage cousin on the clothing line she developed, lest it be seen as promoting her brand. Nor can he promote brands on his Facebook page, like some of his business school classmates are paid to do.”
Those of you who believe the NCAA doesn’t have a choice with this stuff — honestly, I can’t imagine you’d feel the same way if it were happening to you or a child of yours.
As of this morning, we have a total of 219 ballots cast, which is quite a bit more than I was expecting. There’s still all day today left for those of you who haven’t gotten around to voting. You’ll find the link to the ballot here.
One thing to mention to everyone — please review your ballot before casting it. We’ve got a few votes posted that clearly were meant for other schools. It’s a problem we had the first time ’round, so you guys are to be congratulated for your consistency. Seriously, take a second to check next time.
Just a reminder about the schedule… tomorrow, I’ll post my ballot and invite discussion on how y’all voted and what an idiot I am for my ballot. Wednesday will be the day I’ll post this week’s poll results, which should be interesting, based on what I’ve seen so far.
Any questions? Hit me up in the comments.
Les Miles, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Three weeks after Kansas scored 48 points in a historic road win against Boston College, offensive coordinator Les Koenning has been fired.
First-year coach Les Miles on Sunday announced Koenning’s dismissal, a day after the Jayhawks’ 45-20 home loss to Oklahoma. Brent Dearmon, who had served as a senior offensive analyst for KU, has been promoted to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Best part of this story is the least surprising part: “Kansas owes Koenning a total of $1 million for the remainder of this season and next season.”
It’s not so much firing now that makes me chuckle — the idea that a mid-season firing of an offensive coordinator is going to light a fire under Kansas is ludicrous, of course — as it is the decision to hire a guy you’re willing to jettison after six games in the first place. Then again, I’m not the management genius that Jeff Long obviously is.
Jeremy Pruitt, for the win:
“Until we start doing that around here, we’re not going to stop. That has to be the expectations. Our kids hurt. They put a lot into it. But Georgia made more plays than we did and probably did a better job coaching than we did. It all starts at the top and goes down. We’ll go back in the film and see what we need to improve.”
As I like to say in these here parts, “probably” is doing a shit ton of work there. To think that if Kirby had outcoached Pruitt, Georgia might have covered the spread… oh, wait.
On the other hand, perhaps it’s worth wondering if Pruitt’s outcoached anybody to this point.