Daily Archives: July 16, 2021

More PFF on UGA

PFF ranks Georgia’s defense as the second best in the country, behind you-know-who.

Georgia’s defense is raw, but it has the potential to be among the best in the PFF College era.

The X-factors of the unit are the two new starting outside corners, Derion Kendrick and Kelee Ringo. Kendrick comes over from Clemson, where he notoriously locked up the average and above-average wide receivers of the world but struggled against talented route-runners in big moments.

In his three games against Ohio State and LSU, Kendrick gave up 286 yards and five touchdowns. But in his 21 other games, he allowed only 259 yards and one score, which are true shutdown numbers. He is still fresh to the position after switching from wide receiver just two years ago. Yet, he has the traits to be great.

Ringo, the fourth-ranked recruit in the 2020 class, didn’t play a down in Year 1 but also possesses incredible potential. He is the whole package from a physical tools standpoint. Now, he needs to put those traits into action.

The rest of the defense can confidently be projected to produce at a high level in 2021. The best player is slot corner Tykee Smith, who transferred this offseason from West Virginia. As an underclassman in 2019 and 2020, Smith recorded the third-best slot coverage grade in the FBS. He is physical with great eyes in coverage.

Another player to keep an eye on is edge defender Adam Anderson. The 2018 five-star recruit hasn’t started a game, but he’s racked up just shy of 200 pass-rush snaps in his college career, recording a 90.9 pass-rush grade, 24.5% win rate and 23.7% pressure rate.

Kirby Smart has groomed this group to routinely be in the conversation for the best in the country, and that’s going to be the case again this year.

None of that is particularly surprising to me (well, maybe except for anointing Ringo as a starting corner, but I digress), but their offensive call is.

5. GEORGIA BULLDOGS

Georgia starting quarterback JT Daniels is certainly not short of receiving threats despite losing top wide receiver George Pickens to a torn ACL in the spring. The Bulldogs added dynamic receiver Arik Gilbert, who looked like a baby version of Kyle Pitts in his 2020 true freshman season at LSU, and he joins a unit with sky-high potential. From tight end Darnell Washington, who is a physical freak at 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds with an 85-inch wingspan and impressive wheels, to wide receiver Dominick Blaylock, who looks to finally stay healthy, to track star and deep threat Arian Smith, the receiving unit is right behind Ohio State for the best in college football.

The only question is, can Daniels seize the opportunity? While he certainly did in his Georgia debut start that ended in a 95.0 PFF grade and 0.52 expected points added (EPA) per pass, his other three outings in 2020 left much to be desired. His passing grade came in below 70.0 outside of his debut game against Mississippi State, and his performance in the Peach Bowl against a good Cincinnati defense was reminiscent of his 2018 season at USC when he earned a 58.6 grade.

Daniels is in a fantastic situation, including a strong supporting cast. Now, he needs to prove he is more than a one-hit wonder. Georgia’s offense has such a high ceiling but also a lower floor than most teams on this list. The former is more than enough to place the Bulldogs’ offense at No. 5 entering 2021.

You may recall PFF ranked Daniels as merely the 23rd best quarterback in the preseason.  If QB is the most important position on the field, how in the world does a Daniels-directed offense rank so highly?  Evidently that “strong supporting cast” is doing a lot of heavy lifting for PFF.  Imagine where things go if it turns out that JT pulls his own weight.

34 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

We’re all sensitive people.

Jeez, Big 12, don’t you have bigger things to worry about than this?

Big 12 coordinator of officials Greg Burks said at Big 12 media days on Thursday that cracking down on taunting will be a point of emphasis for the league this year.

Midway through taking questions from reporters, Burks was asked about the “gift that keeps on giving” for Big 12 officials: the Horns Down symbol, a taunt directed at Texas that has been an on-and-off struggle as a judgment call for officials.

“Lemme put it this way,” Burks said. “If you do a Horns Down to a Texas player as an opponent, that’s probably going to be a foul.”

Burks said if a player turned to the crowd to throw the sign, it “probably” would not be a penalty.

“Please all of you note, I said ‘probably,'” Burks added. “We have to consider intent and consider the situation. We’ll leave it to officials.”

That should work out well.  I wonder if that will apply equally to Texas players who taunt opponents with the Hook ‘Em gesture.  (Tim Tebow says, “nah”.  Probably.)

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Filed under Big 12 Football

Name that caption, pork on the water edition

I can’t even begin to unpack everything going on here:

Gawd bless the man.  Have at it in the comments.

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Filed under Name That Caption

TFW you don’t want to define amateurism any more

That sound you hear is Todd Gurley shaking his damned head.

Meanwhile, guess who’s had a conversion on the way to Damascus?

Emmert did not propose a specific plan or idea of what the NCAA should look like going forward. Instead, he broadly characterized this moment of change swirling around the association as an opportunity to reposition its role over the next several decades. It arrives at a time when college athletes can now make money off their name, image and likeness, and in an environment where the NCAA could be an even bigger target of antitrust litigation following its recent unanimous Supreme Court loss in the Alston vs. NCAA case — which affirmed a lower court’s ruling that the NCAA could not restrict education-related benefits offered to athletes.

“It forces us to think more about what constraints should be put in place on college athletes, and it should be the bare minimum — those that are essential at a national level, those that are essential for the continuation of sport and making it work well,” Emmert said. “It allows a complete rethink of a whole lot of policies.”

Though Emmert acknowledged that he viewed this conversation as the start of a multi-year process, he said he believes college presidents are motivated to act with urgency because they are tired of the narrative that college athletics has become an exploitative enterprise and want to refocus on the opportunities sports provide — which now include the possibility of college athletes cashing in on their notoriety through endorsement deals.

“I think people are ready to embrace that in pretty fundamental ways and show that’s what higher education is about,” he said.

9-0 ass kickings at the Supreme Court have a way of focusing the mind and it seems it’s finally dawned on the NCAA that they’ve been throwing money down the litigation drain for years now.

Yeah, it’s almost laughable reading that until you consider how pathetic it is that Emmert refused to accept it when O’Bannon took the NCAA to court.

64 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA