Daily Archives: December 14, 2020

Oh, noes.

Bloody hell.

Sources in Nashville say the Commodores have several players involved in COVID-19 contact tracing that would not be eligible to play in the noon game scheduled against Georgia on Saturday.

That could mean the game — originally scheduled for Dec. 5 before Vanderbilt backed out on account of COVD-19-related issues and players quitting the team — will be canceled.

Here’s hoping this is more click bait than actual news.  These kids have sacrificed.  The seniors deserve their day.  C’mon, football gods.

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UPDATE:

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A not too shabby statistical note

Would it be rude of me to point out that, as of now, JT Daniels sports a higher passer rating (187.88) than Kyle Trask’s (187.86)?  No, I don’t think so.

In fact, Daniels would rank second in the conference if he had enough appearances to qualify.

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UPDATE:  Oh, yeah.  One more thing

Screenshot_2020-12-14 cfbstats com - 2020 National Player Leaders

That’s almost obscene.

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Observations from the armchair, chilly day in Columbia edition

A weird comment to start this post:  for a 35-point blowout, I thought this was a well-coached game.  Drinkwitz knew he was undermanned, but instead of playing not to lose, he did the opposite and took plenty of chances, especially on defense.  And it worked, at least until the final 70 seconds of the first half.

Georgia showed up, but Mizzou’s aggressiveness in the second quarter put the Dawgs on their heels.  It may not have seemed like a big deal at the time, but Smart’s decision to call a time out just before the Tigers scored their second touchdown of the game turned out to be a key, as it gave the offense the time it needed to settle down and retake the lead before the half.

Bullet points, y’all.

  • Take out the second quarter and the o-line played well, especially considering Hill’s absence.  Missouri’s stunts and late blitzes certainly confused the middle of the line and allowed the Tigers’ defense to shut down Georgia’s offense after the Dawgs punched out to a 14-point early lead.  They settled down in the second half and that was all she took for Georgia to run away with the game.  Run blocking was solid enough that it made White’s long TD run and Cook’s TD run look effortless.  Once the pass pro settled in, Daniels looked like a different quarterback.
  • I’m still not convinced that Salyer is a left tackle, but you don’t hear his name called and he moves really, really well for his size, which is something Luke values.
  • That second string offensive line looks pretty damned impressive for… well, being a second string offensive line.
  • Four running backs with rushing touchdowns, two with 100+ yards rushing.  Yeah, I’d say they had a terrific day.  And they’re still waiting for Milton to get healthy.
  • White continues to improve.  I’m especially impressed with the patience he shows waiting for the blocking to develop.
  • Monken looks to have solved the James Cook puzzle, amirite?
  • Washington is still figuring out the position, which is a damned scary thought for SEC defenses.  I thought all the tight ends blocked their asses off, which has to be most gratifying for Kirby Smart.
  • George Pickens in single coverage is every bit the George Pickens we expect him to be.  He’s in single coverage because other legitimate receiving options have developed and defenses have to play Monken’s offense straight.
  • He only had one catch, but Kearis Jackson’s reception on third and ten on Georgia’s last drive of the first half was the play of the game.  If the Dawgs don’t convert there, they’re forced to punt again and go into halftime with their confidence shaken.  Instead, two plays later, Pickens makes an insane catch for a touchdown and they’re off to the races.
  • JT Daniels?  Yeah, he played okay.  Actually, he was better than that.  There were at least two throws — the touchdown pass to Cook for the second touchdown and the pass to Pickens that was Georgia’s first score of the second half — that were, well, if not perfect, good enough until perfect comes along.  His reads were spot on, his timing was impeccable and the throws led the receivers just as you draw it up.  You can tell he’s grown more and more comfortable running the offense with each week.  Finally, if you worried about his toughness, he showed he could take a hit in the second quarter and keep going.  (The aforementioned throw to Jackson came as a Mizzou defender took him down.)
  • Did the return of Jordan Davis have an impact?  Larry Rountree’s 14 carries for 16 yards says, why, yes, it did.  Missouri ran the ball 22 times and gained a total of 22 yards.  That’s how you shut down an offense in the second half.
  • There weren’t a lot of sacks (one, I think), but there were a ton of tackles for loss and a few quarterback hurries that had an effect, starting with Bazelak’s early interception.
  • It was one of those weird efforts where the defense was dominant, but there really wasn’t an individual defensive player who was.
  • That being said, the guy on defense who stood out was Brini, who took over for Smith and played his ass off getting his first extended work at safety.
  • Special teams had their first bad game of the season.  Fortunately, it only had the effect of keeping the score a little bit closer than it would have been otherwise.  Georgia simply looked flat footed on the blocked punt.  Jackson’s whiff was uncharacteristic, but it was good that White bailed him out.  All told, a forgettable day, although I expect Cochran won’t let them forget this week.
  • Good work from a coaching standpoint — Monken, as Daniels noted, did an excellent job of taking what Missouri’s defense gave him and Lanning bounced back with an effort that shut down what had been an effective Missouri offense of late.  And Smart deserves a lot of credit for having everyone ready to play in a game when a lackluster effort wouldn’t have been much of a surprise to us.

Georgia may not have much to play for, but they didn’t look like it this week.  That’s a good sign.  I’ll be curious to see what this team looks like against a Vanderbilt squad that’s in bad shape, but, to their credit, played hard against Tennessee.  There is still a lot to work on, regardless of the circumstances.

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Explosive

Seth Emerson ($$) does the math so I don’t have to.

Georgia had seven plays of at least 30 yards Saturday. That’s almost half as many as Georgia had all of last year in SEC play. The Bulldogs have 25 this year, more than each of the past two years, and approaching the 26 it had in SEC games in 2017. (If you include nonconference games in recent years, such as the guarantee games, the number goes up, though not demonstrably.)

Zamir White’s 43-yard run was the team’s 13th play of 40 yards or longer this season. That easily exceeds what Georgia had in conference games last year (6), two years ago (7) and is even more than the 2017 season (12 in 10 games against SEC teams, including the SEC championship and national championship.)

Todd Monken is just getting started.  I hope.

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Jeff Sagarin’s computer is still coked up.

Honestly, I’m amazed by this.

Screenshot_2020-12-14 College Football Ratings Page

Georgia is the only team in his top ten with a strength of schedule ranking in the single digits, which I presume is driving some of that.

For what it’s worth, ESPN’s FPI has the exact same top four.  Maybe Kirby needs to start working the selection committee.

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This Saturday in Athens…

Come for Senior Day.  Stay for anointing the Dawgs 2020 co-divisional champs.

Remember, Jerry, it’s not a lie if the SEC believes it. Sweet!

I would pay good money to hear that announced on the PA system after the clock strikes 0:00.

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UPDATE:  Damn it, Kirbs.

Smart says UGA won’t be tooting its horn for being Co-champions of the SEC East if that comes to pass. They aren’t in the SEC Championship game.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, SEC Football

SEC net ypp, Week 12

Back again!

Here’s the conference order by net yards per play, with the offensive ypp and defensive ypp, respectively, in parenthesis.

As I’ve been doing, I also show the week-to-week change in the net figure (stats via cfbstats.com.)

  1. Alabama:  3.05 (7.90; 4.85) [net change:  -.03]
  2. Florida:  1.94 (7.44; 5.50) [net change:  +.18]
  3. Georgia:  1.25 (6.12; 4.87) [net change: +.42]
  4. TAMU:  1.02 (6.39; 5.37) [net change:  DNP]
  5. Arkansas:  0.12 (5.77; 5.65) [net change:  -.31]
  6. Auburn:  -0.04 (5.62; 5.66) [net change:  +.16]
  7. Ole Miss:  -0.04 (7.02; 7.06) [net change:  DNP]
  8. Missouri:  -0.33 (5.70; 6.03) [net change: -.51]
  9. Kentucky:  -0.44 (5.10; 5.54) [net change:  DNP]
  10. Tennessee:  -0.55 (5.22; 5.77) [net change:  +.52]
  11. Mississippi State: -0.78 (4.76; 5.54) [net change:  -.08]
  12. South Carolina:  -1.21 (5.35; 6.56) [net change:  DNP]
  13. LSU:  -1.82 (5.41; 7.23) [net change:  -.22]
  14. Vanderbilt:  -2.57 (4.71; 7.28) [net change:  -.13]

Here’s the current order for turnover margin.

  • +9:  Alabama
  • +7:  Kentucky
  • +5:  Arkansas, Auburn
  • +4:  TAMU, LSU
  • -1:  Florida, Georgia
  • -2:  Ole Miss
  • -4:  Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee
  • -8:  Vanderbilt
  • -10:  Mississippi State

And, observations:

  • Alabama is now first in the conference in offensive ypp, defensive ypp and turnover margin.  Sheesh.
  • You gotta love LSU’s net ypp dropping and Florida’s rising after the Shoe Game.
  • Speaking of LSU, I would expect Ole Miss to do some more damage to that defensive ypp showing.  The Tigers still have a chance to finish last in the SEC.
  • There are now only five conference teams with net ypp in the black, including 3-6 Arkansas.

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That’s Dan’s story and he’s sticking to it.

Clear as mud.

Upon further review

“I went back to watch the play and he made the tackle and part of the football move and the kid’s shoe is in his hand and he kind of threw it and jumped and celebrated with his teammates,” Mullen said. “So it’s pretty unfortunate. In that situation, I don’t think there was any intent to taunt. It wasn’t like he was throwing it at their sidelines or doing any of that. It was a huge play. He thought possibly a game-winning play and he kind of threw the shoe and went to celebrate with his teammates, and it unfortunately was a penalty.”

He’d best polish up his act, ’cause the booster questions this offseason are gonna be brutal.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant

SEC Power Poll, Week 12

secpowerpoll2008_medium-1-1-1

Saturday saved its best for last, that’s for sure.

  1. Alabama.  Now we know why Saban is in favor of conference schedule expansion.
  2. Texas A&M.  Best bye week bounce of the season.
  3. Florida.  If the shoe fits, throw it.
  4. Georgia.  Kirby Smart is now third in seniority among all SEC coaches at their current schools.
  5. Auburn.  When one door closes, Jimmy Sexton opens another one.
  6. LSU.  At least Bo Pelini’s never had a player throw a shoe at an inopportune moment.
  7. Ole Miss.  Guess who gets to play LSU this week?
  8. Missouri.  Shorthanded and under-talented is no way to go through an SEC schedule, son.
  9. Kentucky.  The Wildcats are already into their fire coaches mode.
  10. Arkansas.  The wheels finally came off the wagon for the Hogs.
  11. Tennessee.  Pruitt dodges a bullet… probably.
  12. Mississippi State.  Pretty much nowhere to go but up for the Bulldogs.
  13. South Carolina.  An underwhelming program makes an underwhelming hire for its next head coach.  Sounds about right.
  14. Vanderbilt.  Honestly, I was impressed with the fight they showed against the Vols.

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Fabris Pool results, Week 15

Dayum — even the tiebreaker had a tie this week.

Screenshot_2020-12-14 Fun Office Pools

Congrats to you both in what I think was the biggest tie in Fabris history.

Meanwhile, with one week to go, the seasonal race is tight.

Screenshot_2020-12-14 Fun Office Pools(1)

There are another five within two points of the leader.

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