Daily Archives: October 19, 2020

I’ve got some good news for you, and some bad news.

Really, this may be my favorite header of the season so far:

Georgia’s defense dominated in Week 7, and Alabama still scored 41 points

Well, shit, said the punch line.

Screenshot_2020-10-19 seth galina on Twitter

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Observations from the armchair, Roll Tide edition

Screenshot_2020-10-19 Georgia vs Alabama - Game Summary - October 17, 2020 - ESPN

Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

That’s what an onslaught looks like.  Notice how short most of those possessions were:  0:49; 1:11; 1:58; 1:03.  The Dawgs aren’t built to withstand onslaughts like that.  Hell, nobody is.

The rest of the game was the struggle between two good teams I expected.  And, yes, that and five bucks will get me a Starbucks latte.

I’ll give you some bullet points, but there really is one bottom line to the game:  you can’t go minus-2 in turnover margin against a great team like Alabama.  You just can’t.  All the rest is commentary.

  • I thought the offensive line, after some very early struggles, got traction and played well.  Bennett was only sacked twice, had decent pockets to throw from more often than not, and Georgia’s running game, while not dynamic enough to carry the offense alone, was sturdy enough to be a contributor.
  • Speaking of the running backs, White bounced back nicely from a poor game against Tennessee. Milton ran well again and had obviously been coached about ball security.  I’d love to know why McIntosh seemed to disappear in the second half after he had a couple of effective runs in the first half.
  • James Cook had a helluva night, didn’t he?
  • The receiving corps had something of a disappointing night.  ‘Bama went into the game looking to make Jackson something of a non-factor and succeeded.  You would have thought that would have made life easier for Pickens, but Surtain did a nice job limiting him to three catches.  That left Burton playing a bigger role than expected and he was hit and miss in it.  It’s hard to get upset at a true freshman for that.  He’s one I’m hoping really grows from the experience.
  • I’ve already talked about my frustration with Bennett.  My concern from here is the coaches not repeating the same mistake with him that they did (well, substitute Coley for Monken) after Fromm’s disastrous turnover fest against South Carolina last year.
  • If Bennett’s performance was crucial, right behind it in that regard was the defense’s failure to get much pressure on Jones after the first play of the game (talk about your false hope).  You can count the number of incompletions he threw as a good indicator of how often he was under pressure.  In other words, not nearly enough, as he was allowed to sit in the pocket and pick Georgia’s pass defense apart.
  • My perception — and I know there was talk after the game that Lanning brought pressure about as usual — was that after Georgia got burned on the corner blitz that led to Alabama’s first TD, the defense was a bit more wary about that.  I also had the sense that there was more focus on stopping Harris, not that that did much good.
  • That in turn led directly to a brutal night for the secondary.  Campbell, Stevenson and Stokes all gave up touchdowns and were whistled for penalties when they couldn’t keep up in coverage.  I expected Alabama to score.  I didn’t expect to see DBs fall down, misplay passes and bust coverages as much as I did.  LeCounte has certainly had better games in run support.
  • Linebacker play, supposedly the Georgia defense’s greatest area of strength, was just so-so.  Dean and Johnson played well.  Ojulari had his moments, but didn’t take over like we’ve seen him do so often this year.
  • Assuming a rematch in the SECCG, please don’t put Monty Rice in a position to cover Jalen Waddle again.
  • The defensive line was a major disappointment.  It’s the first time in a while I’ve seen them wear down physically, as they were dominated by Alabama’s o-line.  Najee Harris may not have busted a lot of big runs, but it felt like he could have gotten five yards a carry all night long.  Come to think of it, he basically did.
  • Special teams were pretty damned good.  Camarda turned in another faultless performance, both punting and on kickoffs.  When you limit Waddle to a total of something like 25 return yards on the night, you’ve done your job.  (Obviously, that also applies to Georgia’s return teams.)  Kickoff returns continue to be productive.  About the only flaw was Podlesny’s miss, and, let’s face it, by then, the game was already out of hand.
  • As far as coaching goes, it’s not a good game when your head coach, who has a big hand in running the defense, admits he got schooled by the opposing offensive coordinator.  Blame Monken for not running the ball more all you like, but Georgia wasn’t going to win this game giving up 41 points.  I also thought Georgia’s soft coverage at the end of the first half, allowing ‘Bama to sprint down the field for a field goal, was inexcusable.

This was a frustrating game, to say the least.  Georgia led at the half, and, in fact, well into the third quarter, before everything fell apart.  Maybe it’s the SEC West road game jinx, maybe it’s Alabama, but it’s certainly an act we’ve seen before.

The good news is I saw nothing Saturday night to make me think Georgia’s three-year run atop the SEC East is in serious jeopardy.  The bad news is all that means is another trip to the SECCG to face the Tide again.  There’s a lot to fix between now and then if the Dawgs intend to put up a full game challenge.

I have to admit I’m sort of happy the bye was moved up.

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Filed under Georgia Football

I blame Newman.

I know everyone is focused on all the batted passes at the line of scrimmage, but this is the recurring part of Stetson’s game I find most frustrating:

He’s got time.  He’s got a nice pocket to throw from.  He’s got McKitty standing right in front of him for an easy completion.  I don’t know if he would have made it to the first down marker, but at worst, it sets up a shorter field goal attempt at a time when a score would have slowed, if not blunted, Alabama’s momentum.

I know I repeat myself, but Monken’s scheme routinely gets receivers open looks for the quarterback.  Saturday night, there were plays for the tight ends much of the night.  They wound up with two catches.

I’m not trying to dump on Bennett here.  He’s been dealt a tough hand (not that he’s complaining).  But it’s clear that his lack of preparation during the preseason is limiting what the offense is doing.

The good news is that they’ve got two weeks to get Bennett more comfortable seeing his options all over the field.  Let’s hope they can.

************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Here’s another example.

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UPDATE:  Danielson took note of this one during the broadcast.  Look at Cook, out in the flat to the top of the screen.

James Cook was free in the flat.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

This week, in SEC net ypp

Here is the conference order, four weeks in, by net yards per play, with the offensive ypp and defensive ypp, respectively, in parenthesis.  Just as I did last week, I also show the week-to-week change in the net figure (stats via cfbstats.com.)

  1. Alabama:  2.32 (8.31; 5.99) [net change:  -.33]
  2. Florida:  1.29 (7.61; 6.32) [net change:  DNP]
  3. Georgia:  0.67 (5.42; 4.75) [net change: -.80]
  4. Mississippi State: 0.52 (5.08; 4.56) [net change:  -.68]
  5. TAMU:  0.47 (6.43; 5.96) [net change:  +.59]
  6. Kentucky:  0.28 (5.24; 4.96) [net change:  +.09]
  7. Auburn:  0.01 (5.39; 5.38) [net change:  +.45]
  8. Missouri:  -0.09 (6.17; 6.26) [net change: DNP]
  9. Arkansas:  -0.16 (4.85; 5.01) [net change:  +.05]
  10. Tennessee:  -0.38 (4.90; 5.28) [net change:  -.06]
  11. South Carolina:  -0.45 (5.19; 5.64) [net change:  -.30]
  12. LSU:  -0.66 (6.34; 7.00) [net change:  DNP]
  13. Ole Miss:  -0.99 (6.71; 7.70) [net change:  +.36]
  14. Vanderbilt:  -3.30 (3.95; 7.25) [net change:  DNP]

Here’s the current order for turnover margin.

  • +6:  LSU, Arkansas
  • +4:  Kentucky
  • +3:  Alabama
  • +2:  South Carolina
  • +1:  Georgia
  •  0:   Auburn
  • -1:  Florida, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
  • -3:  Ole Miss
  • -5:  Missouri
  • -10:  Mississippi State

And, observations:

  • Both Alabama’s and Georgia’s net went down, which is what you’d expect when two very good teams go at it.  Turnover margin killed Georgia.
  • My favorite contrarian result this week was South Carolina’s net going down and Auburn’s going up.
  • My second favorite was watching Tennessee get blown out without moving the net needle much.
  • The net ypp numbers reinforce the perception that the SEC as a whole did play more defense this week.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“Why everyone runs mesh now”

The bastard offspring of Mike Leach and Chip Kelly is an ubiquitous staple of college offenses today.  Ian Boyd breaks down its popularity here.

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Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

This is what happens when you can’t fire your starting quarterback:

Tennessee is making a change to its coaching staff just four games into the 2020 season. Jimmy Brumbaugh, who was hired in February, is out as the Vols’ defensive line coach, sources told GoVols247 on Sunday night. The former assistant coach at Colorado, Maryland, Kentucky and Syracuse replaced Tracy Rocker, whose contract was not renewed after it expired and is now at South Carolina following two seasons at Tennessee, and also held a co-defensive coordinator for the Vols.

The Vols have lost their past two games to Georgia and Kentucky after starting the season with wins against South Carolina and Missouri.

Brumbaugh previously worked with Tennessee defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley for three seasons (2013-15) at Kentucky and played in the SEC at Auburn. In February he signed a two-year deal at Tennessee with a base salary of $650,000.

That should make all the difference in Tennessee’s game this week against **checks notes** Alabama.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

SEC Power Poll, Week 4

secpowerpoll2008_medium-1-1-1

Given the number of teams that didn’t play, you don’t want to draw too many conclusions, but the whole “the SEC doesn’t play defense anymore” narrative took something of a hit this past weekend.

  1. Alabama.  The cheese indeed stands alone.
  2. Georgia.  About last week’s “We’re about to get an early look at how far a great defense can take a team in this day and age”?  Eh, not far.
  3. Texas A&M.  Don’t look now, but the Aggies have a legit chance to run the table.
  4. Florida.  Dan Mullen getting COVID after asking for a full stadium tells me the football gods ain’t fooling around in 2020.
  5. Kentucky.  When this team doesn’t lose the turnover battle, it’s pretty solid.
  6. South Carolina.  This is when I start to realize how mediocre the middle of the conference is.
  7. Arkansas.  “Sam Pittman is my early candidate for SEC Coach of the Year” is turning into an evergreen opinion.
  8. Auburn.  The Tigers lost their composure playing… South Carolina?  You hate to see it.
  9. Missouri.  First bye week bounce of 2020.
  10. Tennessee.  If it weren’t for Mississippi State, the Vols would be the conference leader in suffering the biggest drop in mojo in the shortest time.
  11. Ole Miss.  Junior’s body language after watching Corral throw those last two picks was epic.
  12. LSU.  The other bye week bounce beneficiary this week.
  13. Mississippi State.  The Bulldogs are next to last in the SEC in offensive scoring.
  14. Vanderbilt.  No bye week bounce for the ‘Dores.

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Filed under SEC Football

Fabris Pool results, Week 7

A weird week, to say the least.  Four games dropped because of the coronavirus and no tiebreaker.  Maybe I should start a pool where we pick the number of games that will actually be played.

Screenshot_2020-10-19 Fun Office Pools

Congrats to all eight of you.  May this never happen again.

There’s a tie, albeit much smaller, in the seasonal rankings, too.

Screenshot_2020-10-19 Fun Office Pools(1)

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for this week, eh?

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Filed under GTP Stuff