I love the smell of manball in the evening.

I think I’ve hinted at this in some of this week’s earlier posts, but the more I read about Missouri, the more I’m convinced Georgia is about to play a mirror image of itself, albeit a less-talented one.

For example, here’s how Nathan describes the Tigers’ defense:

… this is one of the first times this season that UGA’s offense has faced a defense that outranks it in many advanced statistical categories. While this is a defense that has suffered some key injuries, they are still a fundamentally sound bunch that does an excellent job in limiting the efficiency of their opponents. They’ve also posted a statistical profile that, in a vacuum put them in the same tier as UGA.

Sound familiar?  Meanwhile, on offense…

At everything but preventing havoc plays, this is an average to below-average unit. Couple that with an injured starting QB, and it’s hard to imagine this offense lighting up the scoreboard against what has been – to this point in the year – an excellent Bulldog defensive unit. In particular, the Tigers have been neither efficient nor explosive in the passing game — ranking 75th and 68th in passing SR and explosiveness respectively — a fact that does not bode well for the denizens of Co Mo, as UGA has been most susceptible to the air attack this season.

Mizzou even has inexplicable losses on its resume.

Missouri’s most impressive showing this season so far is a 34-14 thumping of South Carolina, the program responsible for Georgia’s lone loss, but the Tigers have since lost 21-14 to a Vanderbilt team coming off a 24-point home loss to UNLV and 29-7 to a Kentucky team that Georgia beat 21-0 the week before.

“I don’t look into it much to be honest with you,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said when asked about Missouri’s erratic play. “It’s not a big deal. The bottom line is that I know the football team they’ve got. I know the coaching staff they’ve got. I know the players they have, and I can watch the tape and know they have a really physical team.

“One of their games (at Kentucky) was played in some extreme weather conditions, and I know how that impacts the game.”

Kirby can be such a card sometimes.

This is a game where both teams are going to grind and do what they can to limit the other’s offense to as few series as possible.  You know what that means.


As in, don’t commit them! South Carolina beat Georgia earlier this year by not committing a single turnover while benefiting from four of them. If the Tiger offense kills a drive by handing a superior opponent the ball more than once this game will, essentially, be over. Unless the Missouri offense can magically start connecting down field on big plays, utilize the run game successfully, and break some tackles, the focus should be to limit possessions, slow the tempo down, play the field position game, and make the safe choice on every play. It’s boring and ugly but its the best way to limit the effect that superior talent has on turning the game.

Boring and ugly will be Saturday’s mantra.  There will be a premium on avoiding screwups.

Assuming both squads do manage that, it should play into Georgia’s favor as the deeper team.  But it’s hard to argue with this conclusion:

Ultimately, while I agree with what the Senator points out here — that Mizzou is facing, in Georgia, an exponentially tougher opponent than any it has this season — I still worry about this offense. We discussed this at-length in the Florida review episode of Chapel Bell Curve, the Dawgs offense is a few excellent 3rd down plays away from being right where it was at the end of the Kentucky game. While it did appear to me, at least anecdotally, that Coley and Co. got a little more creative in the second half against the Gators, I have a hard time believing that the Butts Mehre brain trust is capable of breaking their core tendencies. Usually, that wouldn’t bother me, as those tendencies have led to quite a bit of success in the past three years. But past results don’t always dictate future performance, and most current data shows us that this is a team that is either unable or unwilling to move off of Man Ball Island, despite how many ferries are departing to parts unknown where teams can score 30 points a game.

My biggest worries for tomorrow are two-fold.  One is Albert Okwuegbunam.  I’m already assuming a big first half for the Missouri tight end and only hope that Smart and Lanning make the same effective halftime adjustments they did against Notre Dame and Florida.

The second is that Todd Grantham was last week’s defensive coordinator, so we can’t count on that third down magic tomorrow night.  Missouri, in fact, is second in the SEC in opponent third down conversion rate, right behind Georgia (natch).  Interestingly enough, even in their last two losses, the Tigers have been very good on third down defense, allowing only a 25% conversion rate.  Coley, in other words, is probably going to need to up his game on first and second downs from what we’ve seen in recent weeks.

But it wouldn’t surprise me if it takes him more than a half to realize that.  ‘Cause that’s the way manball rolls.


Filed under Georgia Football

18 responses to “I love the smell of manball in the evening.

  1. gastr1

    Second-half success from wearing them down or coaching adjustments from new realizations? Manball says “Yes.”


  2. RangerRuss

    I am one simple sumbitch. I reckon that explains why I can’t understand why Fromm isn’t allowed to sit back behind some of the best pass blocking ever at UGA and light the opposing D the fuck up. If Coley can’t scheme some routes then just tell everybody to go long. Show some imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 79Dawg

    So you’re saying we’re in for another 6-3 thriller… Hurrah!



    Don’t let South Carolina happen again.


    • Cojones

      Do you mean the loss of a game or our disappointment built sky high before the big ugly repeats itself in a game?

      Now is the time to post the remarks we all made here before the SC game. The Senator’s post here is vaguely familiar.


  5. Macallanlover

    You have to feel good because it is a night game in Sanford, but you cannot help but worry coming off a nice win at FU, with a serious road game coming next week on The Plains. This exactly fits the definition of a trap game, but I am leaning the positive night effect will out weigh the trap fear.

    Betting line at 17 points sounds manageable but is high enough to keep me away, although my gut is telling me UGA will cover (especially if Bryant doesn’t play.) Probably make a smaller play, or take UGA as part of a teaser at -7. I don’t like this back-loaded 2019 schedule where we play all weak games early and then hit the tough stretch in November. Dawgs win


    • Cojones

      Mac, we never suppose that other teams get much better into the season as opposed to what they were in their first games. They look so vulnerable to our high-powered O early on and then they begin to catch up by the time we play them. Happens every year.

      After watching Auburn in their first games this year, I felt sure they were no obstruction, but then I remembered having the same feeling a couple of years ago when they beat the punk out of us (before going on to beat ‘Bama) and we returned the favor later.

      It’s deja vu all over again.


  6. GruvenDawg

    Overmatched opponent from a talent and depth perspective trotting out a backup quarterback. This is the type of game where down and distance says to take a shot we should take it rather than play ball control. Go for the jugular and don’t take the foot off the gas until the 4th quarter up by 21 to 24 points. Not sure what their interior D line is like but I sure as hell don’t want to see another SC game.

    “Sweep the leg, no mercy!” “Get him a body bag!” – Karate Kid


  7. Bill Glennon

    Missouri is such a weird, unpredictable program. Their wins, losses and season trajectories seem completely random year after year.

    How does an SEC team lose to Wyoming on the road? Bigger question: Why does an SEC AD schedule a road game at Wyoming?


  8. BuffaloSpringfield

    If you look at the upcoming games through 2024 Wyoming might be a nice place to visit in September


  9. psyopdawg

    Whew! Not sure I know how to take that post title


  10. Russ

    Senator, I don’t think you’ll be asked to preview any games for Mickey in the future. You almost had me checking the listings for a romcom to watch on Saturday evening.


  11. WHB209

    Man Offense and Great Defense is NOT boring and ugly.
    Don’t just watch the ball. Pick out an O lineman and watch what he does. Pick out a D lineman or LB and watch what his assignment is and if he succeeded. You will learn a lot about football and you will learn to love the decisions and plays that are make during a game. Even a game when the ball is not thrown 100 times.
    This was not intended for any one person. Everybody do it for several plays and you will start doing it all the time and you will start enjoying the game much more than just watching the ball..

    Liked by 1 person