Daily Archives: November 25, 2019

A Georgia man

I’m definitely not of the school of thought that argues a former alum player makes for the best coach, but there are times when I’ll make an exception.

This is one of those times.

35 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

Say What You Will About the Tenets of Manball, Dude, at Least it’s an Ethos

Per Matt Hinton:

So far, so good, at least as long as the offense isn’t turning the ball over opposite one of the stingiest defenses in the country. (Since giving it away 4 times in the midseason loss to South Carolina, Georgia has gone 5 consecutive games without a turnover, including the wins over Florida, Auburn and A&M.) It’s an identity. In a season that’s seen all of the other leading Playoff contenders consistently light up the scoreboard, though — in which even LSU, of all teams, has fully embraced the spread revolution, with borderline miraculous results — the Bulldogs’ determination to slug it out on a weekly basis is at odds with almost every trend in the sport.

30 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

My, those grapes are sour.

You gotta laugh.

Whatever gets you through the night, @DieHardUFgator.

(h/t)

43 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

Observations from the 35, soggy TAMU edition

It was wet, but it wasn’t miserable, at least not by Kentucky standards.  Part of that was due to the temperature being noticeably warmer at kickoff than it was in the earlier game and part was due to the weather clearing for the second half.

Weather notwithstanding, the crowd was into it and made an impact.  The Aggies were flagged for procedure penalties several times and Fisher was forced to call at least one time out to save them from another.

As far as the game itself went, yeah, there was a certain Auburn vibe in the air in the fourth quarter, but I never had the same sense of doom that consumed me on the road the previous week.  Partly that was due to the different nature of the comebacks (more on that in a sec); partly because I’m getting used to Georgia’s tightrope act.

And with that, bullet points:

  • D’Andre Swift, you magnificent bastard.  I’ve seen all your moves.  On the last drive of the game, he was positively Gurley-esque.  And, yes, that’s as high a compliment as I can pay a Georgia running back in crunch time.
  • The offensive line started out well and finished well.  In between, it had moments where it struggled with stunts (not the first time).  TAMU’s defensive coordinator made some hay on several calls when he overloaded the left side of Georgia’s o-line and caught Thomas guessing wrong on whom to block.  Elko also gave the middle of the line the usual issues with too many people to block by constantly sending a defensive back right into it.
  • The passing game had its most bi-polar game of the season.  Fromm again wound up with a completion rate under 50%, but it seemed like almost every completion went for big yardage. All or nothing, in spades.  Not all of that was on Jake’s shoulders; at least a couple of his throws should have been caught.  It also looked like on a couple of plays that receivers didn’t run their routes correctly.
  • Blocking by the receivers was hit and miss, as well.  There were several plays that would have been significantly extended had a receiver gotten a block down.  On the other hand, the blocking on Swift’s crucial run in the last series by Simmons and Woerner (who had a solid game in that regard) was absolutely perfect.
  • I really thought Zamir White would be a bigger contributor by now.
  • I really thought James Cook would be a bigger contributor, too.
  • Execution really left something to be desired, especially in the first half.  Which is a shame, because I thought Coley did a good job calling plays in the first half.  Unfortunately, he chose (or, depending upon your point of view, was told) to go in a shell with that in the second half.
  • After running for more than 300 yards against South Carolina, TAMU was limited to minus-1 rushing yards by Georgia’s defense.  That started with the Dawgs’ defensive line, which was smothering.  As units go, this group has been by far the most improved this season.  Davis, Herring, Clark and Wyatt all had stellar games.
  • Nolan Smith with a pass defended!
  • Crowder, Dean and Rice — solid.
  • The secondary was expected to be a position of strength this year, but overall, it’s actually playing at its highest level of the season.  Daniel has improved steadily.  Campbell has upped his game, despite missing time with injury.  That’s good; while there was a drop off from Stokes missing the second half, it wasn’t nearly as severe as I worried it might be.
  • They also got meaningful play from Wilson and Webb.
  • That being said, I’m not sure any defensive player has improved more over the course of 2019 than Richard LeCounte.  Before the season, there was a consensus that he would be pushed by Otis Reese.  Instead, he’s made Reese little more than an afterthought.  He’s always had tremendous speed for a safety.  His instincts are solid.  What he’s finally added to his game is consistency in his tackling.
  • Like I said, this ending felt differently than did Auburn’s.  Firstly, because while Fisher abandoned the running game in the second half as did Gus, Georgia didn’t go soft zone (although it did back the DBs off some during TAMU’s lone touchdown drive.)  Also, Mond got hot because Georgia wasn’t getting consistent pressure as it was earlier in the game.  He’s a much better QB when he’s not feeling heat.  But it never felt like Georgia was totally lost in coverage, the way it did when Auburn clawed back.
  • That’s why that Tyler Clark sack was so huge.
  • So was Stevenson’s PBU two plays later.
  • So was Fisher’s decision to punt on fourth-and-eleven from Georgia’s 43.  In hindsight, I bet he wishes he could have a mulligan.
  • Blankenship finished his home career with a bang — perfect with his place kicking, including a couple of tough field goal attempts in the rain, and controlling with his kickoffs, which were either touchbacks, returned for short yardage or perfectly placed for onsides.  (Tyson Campbell, you gotta recover something that pretty.  You just gotta.)
  • Camarda does seem to be settling into a groove.  His first punt flipped the field, which eventually helped set up Georgia’s first score.  Admittedly, he wasn’t perfect, as he outkicked his coverage later, which allowed a big return that set up a tying score.
  • Special teams also contributed significant returns on a kickoff and a punt.  Be still, my heart.
  • +1 in turnover margin and only two penalties.  That helped overcome losing the yardage and time of possession battles.  It’s a little weird that Georgia has fewer losses in games when it’s been outgained by the opponent than in games when it hasn’t.

A tough win without Cager and Mays, not to mention only a half out of Stokes.  It’s a deep, resilient bunch.

Admittedly, you aren’t going to get a lot of style points with this Georgia team, but you are going to get a lot of grit, especially with that defense.  At 10-1 now, you could do whole lot worse.

33 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Remember, remember, the month of November

For all our fretting, consider this:

That’s compiled against the current nos. 9, 36, 11 and 16 teams in SP+, so it hasn’t been an Urnge-colored November, either.

28 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Who’s up for some clean, old-fashioned hate?

Fair warning — if you’re one of those lost souls who’s been a steady advocate for dumping the series with Georgia Tech, this might not be the best week to hang around the blog.  Just sayin’.

Georgia opened as a 29-point favorite over the Jackets.  Twenty.  Nine.  Points.

To give you an idea of how lopsided that number is, consider this:

And this.

The Georgia football team hasn’t scored 29 points in a game since pasting Tennessee 43-14 in Knoxville more than seven weeks ago.

But that’s how many points the Bulldogs are favored by over Georgia Tech, per VegasInsider.com.

After you’re done with that, inject this directly into your veins.

At 10-1, Georgia has seven more wins than Tech at 3-8. In the series, only twice have the Bulldogs owned a greater margin in wins going into the game. That was in 1980 and 1981, when UGA was at its peak behind Herschel Walker and the Jackets were in coach Bill Curry’s first two seasons…

Tech has only twice beaten Georgia when it had a losing record going into the game, 1935 and 1969, when the Jackets were 4-5 before facing UGA. They beat Bulldogs teams that finished 6-4 and 5-5-1, respectively.

This will be the 39th time since the advent of the weekly Associated Press poll in 1936 that Georgia will enter the game ranked. In the first 38 , Tech is 7-31.

Ahhhh.

The genius is gone, which means that (1) Georgia faces off against a Tech squad that is in the first year of a rebuild with a ton of personnel ill-suited for its current scheme and (2) Georgia’s defensive linemen are liberated from dealing with constant cut blocking.  Those guys are even happier than you are after reading those stats.

It’s lopsided enough that, one day in, we’ve already got a hardy StingTalk commenter invoking King Theoden from Return of the King in this thread about the point spread.

In short, a good time is promised for all this Saturday at historic Mark Richt Field.

Speaking of which, let’s have a quick reader poll on the crowd.

Show ’em who runs the state, Dawgs.

51 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

But he’s so young.

How can we expect any kind of major contribution from George Pickens this season?

So he’s caught a few balls.  But you can’t expect a true freshman to handle the physicality of the SEC, amirite?

Okay, maybe he’s got a future.

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Where they’re at

Pete Fiutak defines the essence of this year’s version of Georgia football:

This is how the team plays. The defense wins games, Fromm doesn’t throw picks – he still hasn’t given one up outside of the South Carolina loss – Rodrigo Blankenship hits kicks, and D’Andre Swift runs well. Now, the team that was dismissed after the home loss to the Gamecocks a few weeks ago has wins over Notre Dame, Florida, Auburn, and Texas A&M on the resumé.

Not exactly chopped liver.

Sagarin, ESPN’s FPI and Bill Connelly’s SP+ all have that adding up to the fifth-best team in the country.

Really, before the season started, how far off is the present from what we were expecting then?

20 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

SEC Power Poll, Week Thirteen

secpowerpoll2008_medium-1-1

It took 13 weeks, but we’ve got the SECCG participants lined up, finally.  As for the rest of the conference, let’s just say there’s a noticeable drop off after number six.

  1. LSU.  With one game left, LSU has outscored Alabama in league play this season.  How many of you saw that coming?
  2. Alabama.  Oh, shit, Tua’s out, which means they got almost nothing from his backup Mac Jones **squints, checks notes** outside of 10 of 12 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns.
  3. Georgia.  If doing just enough to get by in the SEC is an art, the Dawgs are Rembrandt.
  4. Florida.  Dan Mullen is on the verge of starting his Gator career with back-to-back ten-win seasons.
  5. Auburn.  Which coach in the Iron Bowl needs the win more?
  6. Texas A&M.  The Aggies played well against Georgia, but still don’t have a meaningful win this season.
  7. Tennessee.  The Vols are 4-3 in the conference, with a minus-44 point differential.
  8. Kentucky.  All things considered — their two best players from 2018 gone and a wide receiver playing quarterback — to be bowl eligible with a week to go is no mean feat for the ‘Cats.
  9. Mississippi State.  If the Bulldogs lose the Egg Bowl, they don’t go bowling.
  10. Ole Miss.  All they have left is to ruin Mississippi State’s season.  What else do they need?
  11. Missouri.  Like Tennessee, the Tigers have a minus-44 point differential in SEC play; unlike Tennessee, Mizzou is 2-5 in the conference.  At least they close with Arkansas.
  12. South Carolina.  It sounds like Agent Muschamp will endure for another season.  What’s the over/under on the number of assistants he cans?
  13. Vanderbilt.  The Commodores three-game win streak against the Vols is on the line.  I just wanted to type that because I probably won’t be able to do so again in my lifetime.
  14. Arkansas.  A fine mess.

18 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Fabris Pool results, Week 13

Massive five-way tie for first this week:

Screenshot_2019-11-25 Fun Office Pools

Congrats to By Georgia we did it, who pulled out the tiebreaker.

As for the seasonal race…

Screenshot_2019-11-25 Fun Office Pools(1)

… with one week to go, I won’t say it’s over, but it’s certainly on life support.

1 Comment

Filed under GTP Stuff