Daily Archives: November 5, 2019

Eyes on the Cocktail Party

Boffo box office returns for Saturday’s game:

Just imagine what going home-and-home would do for those viewership numbers.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Smarter than your average Gator

Shot.

Chaser.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Road-killed

Okay, so Smart is saying the right things about this week’s opponent.

Off to Missouri. [Head Coach] Barry Odom and his staff have done a tremendous job. Got a lot of respect for him. He’s a guy that I share a lot of ideas with and discuss a lot of things with when we are at SEC meetings, very similar to me, a defensive guy and also coaching his alma mater. I think he’s done a great job motivating this team, and putting them in a good situation.

They are extremely physical. They are a tough match-up from their defensive perspective because they are so big and physical up front. You look historically against us, they have done a really good job. They are top probably 15 in the country in almost every defensive category and they do a good job of that.

Overall, the Tigers have generated defensive stats worthy of respect (not to mention that in the wake of the South Carolina loss, Georgia had best remember that every SEC defense is worthy of respect), but when you break the stats down a little, that Mizzou defense is pretty Jekyll and Hyde-ish.

In defensive yards per play, for example, Missouri is second in the SEC at 4.44 ypp, right behind Georgia.  But move over to defensive yards per play on the road this season and that number drops to 6.08, only good for ninth-best in the conference.

Another example is opponent red zone conversions.  Overall, Missouri is third in the SEC in scoring percentage; on the road, though, the Tigers are thirteenth and have only prevented one red zone score.

Turnover margin tells the same story:  third overall, last on the road.

Interestingly, one area where Missouri maintains excellence is opponent third down conversion percentage.  The Tigers lead the conference in road performance.  (They’re actually better on the road than overall in that regard.)  Of course, before last weekend, Florida led the SEC in that category, so we’ll see if Coley maintains his roll.

Anyway, there are reasons Missouri has yet to win a game on the road, and this appears to be one of them.  Though Smart would prefer not to discuss this form of rat poison, thank you very much.

On Missouri’s road record … 

“I don’t look into it much to be honest with you. I think it’s not really to be — it’s not a big deal. The bottom line is, I know the football team they have got. I know the coaching staff they have got. I know the players they have got and I can watch the tape and know they have got a really physical football team. One of the games was played in some extreme weather conditions, which I know how that impacts the game, and I know that impacts when you’re playing against a guy that’s probably not a quarterback; he’s an athlete, he completely changed the game for how they played. It’s very different.”

No rain is expected in Athens Saturday night, in case you were wondering.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Jake Fromm’s very good day

By the way, one thing Matt Hinton highlighted about Jake Fromm’s performance against Florida is this:

Coming off 2 of his worst games, Fromm responded in the Bulldogs’ most crucial regular-season test with undeniably one of his best, turning in the weekend’s highest-graded performance vs. a Power 5 opponent, according to ESPN’s QBR metric.

Screenshot_2019-11-05 Total Quarterback Rating - College Football - ESPN

Admittedly, that was only in a setting where the divisional lead was at stake against Georgia’s biggest rival.  Savvy Dawg fans know the only QBR that really matters is what gets posted at G-Day.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Death by murder

One of the puzzling comments from Kirby Smart in the wake of Saturday’s win:

I suspect this was more deflection from criticism of the offensive game plan we watched against South Carolina and Kentucky.  In any event, let me make it clear:  the fan base hasn’t wanted Jake Fromm’s head, ever.  What it’s wanted is for the coaching staff to have the same faith in Fromm’s ability and leadership as it has.

That’s exactly what we saw on Georgia’s last and biggest third down conversion of the day, too.

Don’t take my word for it, either.  Here’s Matt Hinton on the subject.

A bit of a heavy-handed sentiment when the truth is closer to the opposite: If anything, the overwhelming consensus among Georgia fans before Saturday was that coaches didn’t trust their veteran, NFL-bound quarterback enough. They weren’t the only ones. The low-level buzz that plagued the offense over the past few weeks — murmurs which briefly escalated into outright boos in the Bulldogs’ waterlogged, Week 8 win over Kentucky — had almost nothing to do with doubts about Fromm’s ability and everything to do with Smart’s and offensive coordinator James Coley’s reluctance to exploit it to its full potential. The “doubters” weren’t watching Fromm and wondering about his arm. They were wondering why he wasn’t letting it rip.

Look, in a sense, I don’t really care if Kirby wants to use us and the media as a prop to motivate his team to coach and play to the best of their ability.  Whatever works, and all that.  It does come off sounding a little silly in the aftermath, though.

In any event, if the strategy succeeded, as Bill Withers once said, keep on using us until you use us up.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“But it’s very hard to get in the way of the ballot box.”

Here comes California, messing with college football again.

What began as SB 206 in the California assembly— and became known nationally as the Fair Pay To Play Act — has help fuel a revolution in college sports.

Now along comes AB 7, which threatens to play havoc with your Pac-12 kickoff times.

Think those 7:30 p.m. games along the west coast are a too late?

If Assembly Bill 7 becomes law, late-season games on Pac-12 campuses will start at 8:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Assemblymember Kansen Chu — and already approved by voters — AB 7 would place California on Daylight Saving Time all year: No more falling back and springing forward.

California would be permanently sprung forward, with all the lifestyle benefits that come with evening daylight and none of the disruptions to our circadian rhythms caused by changing the clock.

Apparently, if this goes into law in California, Oregon and Washington are prepared to follow suit in short order.  And that would make things inconvenient for Mickey.

The entire West Coast would skip the process of falling back, leaving it two hours behind Eastern Time from early November through early March.

That would create a problem for Pac-12 kickoffs in the final month of the season.

ESPN and Fox use three-and-a-half-hour programming windows (approximately) on football Saturdays, starting with 12 p.m. Eastern and followed by 3:30 p.m., 7 or 8 p.m. and then 10:30 p.m.

The final window is reserved for the Pac-12 — the only Power Five conference capable of starting home games as late as 10:30 p.m. Eastern. (And those are sometimes pushed back to 10:40 or 10:45 p.m.)

If the West Coast doesn’t join the East Coast in falling back, the three-hour difference during Daylight Saving Time would become a two-hour difference from early November through early March.

In order for the Pac-12 games to fill the 10:30 p.m. Eastern window, they would have to start at 8:30 p.m. on the west coast.

Pacific Daylight Time in the winter months would be the same as Mountain Standard Time.

Late games would get later.

Eh, not to worry.  I’m sure Larry Scott’s on the mother.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Fox Sports Numbs My Brain, Pac-12 Football, Political Wankery

“… because Florida basically was doing the same thing.”

David Wunderlich’s Cocktail Party postmortem is worth a read.  He softly dings Mullen for some of the same reasons I mentioned yesterday.

Down two scores with 10:01 to go against Georgia, Florida did score a touchdown but needed 17 plays and 6:50 to do it. That left 3:11 left on the clock with only two timeouts, meaning that even if they got an improbable (given how the game had gone) three-and-out, they’d have had almost no time for the final desperation drive. After preseason talk of pushing the tempo, Florida appears unable to actually do that. Maybe Mullen only trusted Feleipe Franks with that package.

The real strange thing was all the coaching blunders on the Florida side. Mullen had to burn three timeouts due to either the wrong players or wrong play or both going in, and they still got a delay of game after a sack and an ineligible receiver downfield penalty when one of two senior receivers lined up incorrectly. The initial OL lineup didn’t make sense, nor did the jet sweep to Toney. The third down defense was atrocious and remained so all game. Coaches are human too and will have some bad games, but having one in a hugely important game coming after an open date boggles the mind.

Despite that, he’s comforted by the thought that Florida only wound up losing by one score.  There is that, although I’d argue that the slow pace of the game from both teams meant it was unlikely there was going to be a large scoring gap between the two, barring turnover luck that never materialized for either.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Stats Geek!