Daily Archives: September 8, 2020

“He got a little bit of a ding today and ended up having to leave the scrimmage about halfway through.”

He also had surgery.

UGAsports has learned that graduate transfer tight end Tre’ McKitty underwent a successful procedure to have his knee scoped after getting dinged up during Saturday’s scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.

Although the procedure was considered minor, his timetable for a return is unclear.

Georgia opens its season Sept. 26 at Arkansas.

Damn it.  Just when this was going to be the year when the Dawgs used the tight ends in the passing game, too…

11 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Today, in “competitive advantage”

Lincoln Riley, trend setter.

Over/under on the number of programs that embrace this approach?

You’d have to be a complete idiot to bet on college football this year.

8 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, The Body Is A Temple

This year’s cannon shot

This has an air of inevitability to it.

Of course, it did at the time people were hyperventilating over UF’s and UT’s classes back then, too.

30 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Recruiting

“There are just so many freebies in the college game.”

When it comes to strategery, I’m always a sucker for contrarian talk, so this Barton Simmons/Bud Elliott discussion of whether teams will be able to find a market inefficiency with the run game as teams recruit to stop the pass is right up my alley.

Along the way, they make a lot of interesting points, such as Simmons’ note that the inside linebacker position has become deprioritized (“They’re just kind of there. You have to put somebody at linebacker to occupy some space.”), but ultimately I think Elliott makes the best one:

I can’t wholly dismiss the idea that we could go back to smashmouth. But there has to be a reason to go back. And to me, the only two reasons would be either a rule change which makes passing more difficult, like a roll back of the illegal contact stuff, or if we were to reach peak passing efficiency, where clearly we have topped out and it starts to backslide as defenses figure it out. I know there is a lot of narrative about teams running base dime and base nickel, but passing games keep getting more efficient every year despite defenses recruiting specifically for a half-decade to stop them. There is no evidence that defenses are figuring it out, and in fact it is going the opposite way. Until we reach a point where passing becomes less efficient, I can’t see it happening.

The rules create so much incentive to throw the ball that it’s practically counterproductive to ignore them.

Of course, it would be the most Georgia thing ever if Smart allows his offense to evolve to take advantage of that, only to have the NCAA finally amend the downfield blocking rules, for example, to lessen the advantage.  Not that I think that’s gonna happen.  Everybody loves scoring too much.

4 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Sticking to sports

Good to see our political class has time to sweat the small stuff.

Care to guess the political affiliation of every signer of the letter?

30 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, Political Wankery

“The key word in ‘depth chart’ is the first one.”

As much as Kirby Smart may grumble after last Saturday’s scrimmage about his quarterback situation, Seth Emerson ($$) has a brief reminder about how it’s still better than what he faced going into the 2019 season.

As for depth, even after losing Newman, Georgia still has four scholarship quarterbacks, a year after a freshman walk-on traveled as the No. 3 quarterback. That bodes well for the future.

Smart’s not exactly in dire straits for the present, either.

6 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

How much does UGA’s offense need to improve in 2020?

That depends upon what your goal for the season is.

As much as the offense sputtered in the second half of 2019, do not forget Georgia didn’t lose a regular season game down the stretch, won the East and also won its bowl game to finish 12-2.  All nothing to sneer at.

That being said, it wasn’t built to take on a team with an above-average defense and a prolific offense like LSU, and it showed.  Hence, all the talk from Smart and Monken about the need for more explosive plays than Georgia delivered in 2019.

Therein lies the rub.  It’s not hard to make an argument that the 2020 defense will surpass the level of last season’s, but will that be enough in and of itself to get past the 800-pound elephant… er, gorilla in the room?  For, make no mistake about it, Georgia is going to have to beat Alabama at least once to make the CFP semis.  How much scoring will that take?

A reminder about offensive scoring in conference games last year:

Screenshot_2020-09-08 cfbstats com - 2019 Southeastern Conference Team Leaders

Georgia can’t finish middle of the pack in scoring — at half the rate of the conference leaders — again and expect to show better than it did last season.  The defense will be great, but not that great.

As Josh put it,

One can see that as good as our defense was in 2019, the offense dragged us back to pack in total efficiency. Eyeballs and numbers agree on this.. Monken is here to improve on that, and while I doubt he cares about EPA, he will have to create explosive plays to get UGA to the playoff and a Championship.

The good news is that the defense is likely to be so dominant that the offense doesn’t have to be great to attain that goal.  It just has to be good enough.  Can Monken coax that out of his unit?

53 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

The most important quote from Week One

Navy took a shellacking from BYU yesterday and head coach Ken Niumatalolo pointed a finger at himself for that.

… The Midshipmen held a different kind of preseason camp than BYU, too, something that became a focal point to explain Navy’s lackluster performance. The Mids held limited face-to-face contact during practices to potentially limit COVID-19 spread. In his postgame news conference, Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo blamed himself for his team’s approach during camp, which he said resulted in the dismal showing. Instead of tackling or blocking one another, the Mids tackled and blocked dummies. There were no live scrimmages.

The Navy staff’s pregame concerns materialized quickly. BYU scored on five of its six first-half possessions, mounting what was Navy’s biggest halftime deficit (31–0) since 2002.

“That’s the worst Navy game we’ve ever played. That’s my fault. I chose to block bags and tackle donuts,” said Niumatalolo, who said he will re-evaluate his team’s conservative practicing model with physicians. “You hope it doesn’t turn out that way and we talked in a lot of staff meetings, ‘Are we going to be ready?’ I heard [the staff] and their legitimate concerns. Last time we tackled anybody was the bowl game. Nine months ago.”

Tackling COVID is fine, but coaches get paid for their players to tackle opposing players.  You can bet there will be more than a few discussions this week with medical staff about how far things can go in practice.

9 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, The Body Is A Temple

Today, in idle speculation

My, that was quick.

The first job opening in college football has arrived before the first full weekend of games.

Jay Hopson stepped down as the Southern Mississippi head coach on Monday, sources told Yahoo Sports. He’ll be replaced by Scotty Walden, the 30-year-old co-offensive coordinator, who sources told Yahoo Sports will be the interim coach.

Hopson didn’t appear at the Southern Miss football building on Monday, as the staff was unsure whether he’d coach practice on Monday afternoon. He never made it there, meeting with the coaching staff around 4 p.m. ET to tell them he was out.

Hopson had a respectable 28-23 record and appeared in three bowl games in four seasons. But entering this season, Southern Miss opened with a home blowout loss, 32-21, to South Alabama in a game where the Golden Eagles were favored by more than two touchdowns.

Hopson was the dude who feuded with his AD about hiring Art Briles, so there may be more to this than just a bad opening week loss, but the guesswork about his replacement has already begun, and a couple of names look familiar.

Bruce Feldman ($$):

Another former Rebels coach who may get consideration is Georgia offensive line coach Matt Luke. He has lots of ties around the state. The Gulfport native is local. He’s still only 43. He was fired after three seasons with the Rebels but took over in very turbulent circumstances and steadied that program.

Either Monken or Luke would take a huge pay cut to jump to Southern Miss (“The school has been hamstrung by financial issues. Hopson’s $500,000 annual salary ranked lowest among Conference USA coaches last season.”), but if you want to scratch that head coaching itch badly enough, who knows?

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Fabris Pool results, Week 1

An impressive beginning out of the gate:

Screenshot_2020-09-08 Fun Office Pools

No tiebreaker needed.  Well played, Mr. Crowe.

Week 2 picks are up, so have at it.

1 Comment

Filed under Georgia Football