Daily Archives: October 29, 2020

Pay to play, Cocktail Party edition

Jacksonville has decided it must defend this particular house.

The University of Georgia and the University of Florida will each get $600,000 from the city of Jacksonville for playing their annual rivalry game at TIAA Bank field during this virus-disrupted football season.

The total of $1.2 million to the teams won approval Tuesday from Jacksonville City Council members who said the Georgia-Florida game is a tradition the city must safeguard.

“This is a tough year for everybody, but I think what we’re doing is establishing a lot of good will between the city of Jacksonville, the University of Florida, and the University of Georgia in trying to make things as whole as we can under the circumstances,” City Council member Ron Salem said.

In recent years, each team received $250,000 from the city so they’ll get more for playing the Nov. 7 game in Jacksonville. The direct payments by the city to the teams will be less, however, than the amount of $1 million per team that was in a memorandum of understanding reached last year between Mayor Lenny Curry’s administration and the universities.

The city expected sponsorship rights would enable it to pay more to the teams.

When they say it’s about the money…



Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

It’s a process.

David Ubben, in his Mailbag ($$), responds to Vol fans wondering what it would take for the Tennessee program to play on a level field with the big boys (or, as we like to refer to it around here, “close the gap”), and in doing so, comes up with an excellent summary of where I think Kirby Smart is trying to get to.

And by hiring Todd Monken, who I covered quite a bit at Oklahoma State and am very familiar/impressed with, Georgia looks like it’s buying into trying to take its offense to the next level and look a lot more like Alabama 2020 than Alabama 2012…

In the SEC now, I don’t believe Tennessee or anyone can win the league or even its division without both a strong defense and an offense that can score 40 points when it needs to do so. It’s unrealistic to expect to survive an SEC schedule without needing to put 40 on the board at some point. Georgia has one of the best defenses of the past few years in the SEC and still gave up 41 to Alabama.

Kirby doesn’t care if Georgia’s offense blows everyone out of the stadium week after week.  He does care that he’s got an offense that can dial it up when it needs to.  If his defense is stout, that’s probably good enough.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Gotta get worked on.

Some of y’all may have given up on Stetson after the ‘Bama game, but Kirby hasn’t reached that point yet.  Instead, it’s all about fixing the deficiencies in his game that were exposed.

There was plenty of areas for improvement shown in the Alabama game, where he completed just 45 percent of his passes and tossed three interceptions. As is the case for all players, Bennett got a short list of things to workout with a few days to work completely on himself rather than prepare for an opponent. Kirby Smart gave reporters an idea of what that list looked like after Tuesday’s practice.

“His first job was to do a better job of protecting the ball in terms of two hands while in the pocket and while running,” Smart said. If you noticed, he had the one at Alabama that came out, he runs the ball with one hand so we’re making a concerted effort to improve that. Second, was his decision making and downfield throws and third to put us in the right play with good decisions. I think he worked really hard at those things. Some of it is in the pocket like awareness. I think he can learn a lot from Jake (Fromm) as far as pocket awareness, where the hole is at in the pocket, where’s the rush, where can I step up. I think he’s done well with that.”

We shall see, but there are reasons to suspect it’s not as monumental a task to get the offense back on track as some might think.

First, a couple of points from Graham that reiterate something I’ve said here.

Cue the dead horse:  there are open receivers on almost every play Georgia runs.  This gets back to Kirby’s explanation of what he means by Georgia’s “brand of football”.

“What the defense gives you,” Smart said. “If they’re playing man-to-man, we’ve got to be able to take shots and make plays. If they’re playing off coverage and giving us RPOs, we’ve got to be able to take it. If they’re taking chances on the run then we’ve got to play-action them to get on top, you’ve got to be able to do it. It never changes. I think you guys want a perfect answer. It’s really a lot more about what are you good at and what can we do better than they do.”

It’s easy money.  Monken’s setting the table and receivers are there for low risk passes that move the chains.  Why wouldn’t you take that, especially when the reward for doing so is as big as it is?

Maybe I’m wrong and things are more broken than I think they are.  Or maybe Stetson’s mindset doesn’t mesh with what the coaches want from him.  But, damned if it isn’t frustrating to think what could be with a little improvement.


UPDATE:  More here from Graham.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

What if Kirby Smart isn’t being stubborn?

There’s a flip side to the argument that when Smart made the comment about the offense providing more help for Stetson Bennett, he meant that the offense would need to rely on the ground game more, schematically speaking.

Maybe instead of giving Todd Monken marching orders about pulling in the reins, Smart was talking about emphasizing proper mechanics.  Like this, for example.

Hill mentioned that he focused on improving his snapping as well as pass blocking during the past two weeks. The former has been an issue all season for the junior.

… Hill provided yet another example of how the offensive line is trying to make things easier for Bennett.

“Us up front, just getting defensive linemen’s hands down,” Hill said. “We had a lot of batted balls in the Alabama game. Just getting their arms down and then just moving him around.”

Yeah, that might help.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Cry havoc, and let loose the bombs of war

For all the bitching and moaning we’ve been doing about the quarterback position, it’s worth remembering that Georgia’s secondary was torched for several huge plays by Alabama, something that played as big a role in the loss as the three interceptions.  As Chip Towers notes, you could see it coming.

The fact is, for all the fuss that has been made about Georgia defense – and, be advised, it’s still a good defense – there is a blueprint now for getting the best of it. Lines were being drawn before the Bulldogs got to Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide just boldfaced them in permanent ink.

It boils down to: Try to predict when Georgia’s going to come after the quarterback, identify your one-on-one matchup and send them deep; stand tall in the pocket, be on target.

That formula worked to sporadic success for Georgia’s first few opponents. Alabama cashed it in like a sure thing at local track.

Towers speculates — with some validity, I think — that it’s scheme-related.  Yes, the emphasis on havoc has paid off, but at a price elsewhere.

The Bulldogs are doing a lot of things very well on defense. Once again, they’re one of the better defenses in the country at stuffing the run. They’re allowing just 2.2 yards a carry and 65.5 yards per game.

And everybody’s excited about Georgia’s havoc numbers. A point of emphasis the past two seasons, it’s really starting to pay dividends this year. The Bulldogs have logged an incredible 89 quarterback hurries in four games. The quarterback-sack numbers are up (14, or 3.5 per game), and so are tackles for loss (22), pass deflections (15), interceptions (6) and forced fumbles (5).

But that has come at a cost of allowing more explosive pass plays. It showed early in the first game of the season, when Arkansas hit Georgia with a 49-yard touchdown pass on the second offensive series, and it has occurred fairly regularly since.

Even though the Bulldogs beat Tennessee handily Oct. 10, the Volunteers hit them deep twice for touchdown passes of 27 and 36 yards.

Alabama took it to another level the next week.

Indeed they did.  And it’s something Smart and Lanning are going to have to tighten up by the time Georgia rolls into Jacksonville.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Today, in too much information

Damn, son.  I don’t think I’da shared that.


Filed under Georgia Football

Jeremy Pruitt reverse engineers the Peter Principle.

Sounds like the man has found his natural calling.

“I feel like Coach Pruitt is always a position coach if you look back at it,” sophomore linebacker Quavaris Crouch said. “He’s coached linebackers. He’s coached everything. It has definitely been a big difference, and I feel like he is getting a lot out of our defensive linemen.”

Said senior safety Theo Jackson: “Honestly, he’s just all over the place. From what I’ve seen, he does pretty much look like a position coach.”

Hey, if those that know him best feel that way, who am I to argue?

I can’t wait until Jimmy Sexton uses this to get raises for every position coach in the SEC.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange