The SEC announces game times for 10/2 and the Dawgs are playing at noon.
Daily Archives: September 20, 2021
Ron Courson gets over COVID and look what happens:
Vanderbilt… chicken soup for the injured Bulldog soul?
I’m not exactly sure what to take from all this.
Oklahoma passed Georgia in this week’s SP+ rankings ($$).
And ESPN’s FPI shows Georgia having a better chance (albeit by a small margin) of winning out in the regular season than Alabama or Oklahoma. Long way to go for all concerned, obviously, but it’s certainly a big change from what was expected going into the season.
This is amusing.
It’s funny, ’cause it’s true.
“It’s not that we’re taking what they give us, I just think we’re better right now with timing, throwing the ball, spacing and routes,” Smart said after Georgia’s 40-13 win over South Carolina. “I thought we actually ran the ball better. We rushed for 184 and it didn’t see like we struggled running as much as we did last week against UAB. Statistically, I was proud of our ability to run the ball. I thought our backs made some people miss, so I’m not down on the run game tonight. I thought we improved. I do think the timing and the pass pro was good, but to be an elite team, we’ve got to be good at both.”
He’s acknowledging that Georgia’s playing to its offensive strength, which lies in the passing game presently. That’s kind of remarkable, when you think about it, based on all the injuries to the receiving corps, along with Daniels missing a game. Even with that, the Dawgs averaged almost six yards per rush attempt and scored two touchdowns on the ground. If that’s a sign of improvement and the receiver group continues to get the walking wounded back, this could get pretty exciting.
Another week in the books, and Net YPP is starting to tell some interesting stories.
- Auburn: 3.61 (7.74 o; 4.03 d) [NC: -3.20]
- Arkansas 3.27 (7.24 o; 3.97 d) [NC: +1.02]
- Georgia 3.22 (6.99 o; 3.77 d) [NC: -.33]
- Kentucky 3.16 (7.24 o; 4.08 d) [NC: -1.26]
- Ole Miss 2.88 (7.69 o; 4.81 d) [NC: -.28]
- Florida 2.74 (7.54 o; 4.80 d) [NC: -.78]
- Texas A&M 2.67 (6.31 o; 3.64 d) [NC: +.73]
- Tennessee 1.59 (5.43 o; 3.84 d) [NC: +.39]
- Alabama 1.06 (6.12 o; 5.06 d) [NC: -1.09]
- LSU 1.05 (5.64 o; 4.59 d) [NC: +1.21]
- Mississippi State .74 (5.72 o; 4.98 d) [NC: +.06]
- Missouri .52 (7.13 o; 6.61 d) [NC: +.89]
- South Carolina .34 (5.37 o; 5.03 d) [NC: -1.78]
- Vanderbilt -1.89 (4.46 o; 6.35 d) [NC: -.36]
Turnover margin, after week three:
- +5: Alabama
- +4: Missouri
- +3: Arkansas, Ole Miss
- +2: LSU
- +1: Auburn, Mississippi State, South Carolina
- 0: Georgia
- -2: Florida, Tennessee
- -3: Texas A&M
- -4: Vanderbilt
- -5: Kentucky
- The biggest thing that jumps out at me is the clear line of demarcation between seven and eight — and how Alabama is below that line.
- The second biggest thing is how much Auburn’s net dropped after playing a team with a pulse. They’ve got Georgia State this week, so I would expect the bleeding to stop, but after that comes eight straight conference games.
- Sam Pittman’s Hogs are playing better than I expected and the stats certainly confirm that.
- I haven’t bought into the “Kentucky is back” narrative yet and the steady decline in net ypp, along with that turnover margin figure, should make those that have a little concerned.
I did sit down and watch the replay last night. It was certainly an entertaining game. So, I have thoughts.
- I tried to tell some of y’all who thought Florida would significantly decline this season that the Gators were going to be a decent team. Dan Mullen has his flaws, but offensive coordinator isn’t one of them. He lost a bunch of studs from his 2020 passing attack, so he’s remade his offense more in line with what he ran at Mississippi State. Like it or not, he knows what he’s doing.
- Jones is more of a Fitzpatrick than a Prescott, to continue the comparison. He threw some bad balls and Florida really doesn’t ask him to throw deep. But he can run and managed to keep UA’s defense off balance at key moments.
- I was impressed with Bryce Young’s composure. He held up well for a kid playing in his first conference road game. But it is a little weird to see how reluctant he is to run the ball when the occasion arises.
- The Gators had a lot of help from a raucous crowd in the Swamp, which clearly impacted Alabama’s offense. (By the way, the next time somebody insists the Cocktail Party is a home game for UF, ask them to compare the crowd noise in Jacksonville with the crowd noise in Gainesville.)
- The biggest personnel changes UF made dipping into the transfer portal came on both lines, which are significantly beefier than they were last season. As a result, they are running the ball much better than they have in a while — currently, the Gators are first in the conference in rushing — and last night showed their defensive line held up much better against the run than it did last year.
- Yes, Alabama’s personnel losses from last season’s offense were significant. How could they not be? But for my money, the place where it showed the most wasn’t at the skill positions, but on the offensive line.
- I also had the sense that O’Brien didn’t put as much of an emphasis on running the ball in the first half as Sarkisian would have. By the time he started paying attention to that, his offensive line seemed a little tired.
- I was a little surprised at the sloppiness from both teams. Three situations with too many men on the field?
- For all the three-and-outs that Florida’s defense created, I noticed that Alabama was still 7-13 on third down conversions. Third-and-Grantham is still alive and well.
- When’s the last time Alabama allowed an opponent to run a 99-yard scoring drive?
- That Alabama defense isn’t as dominant as all the pundits assured us it was. Aside from Will Anderson, of course, who is just ridiculous.
- The Alabama version of Henry To’o To’o looks awfully like the Tennessee version. That’s not a compliment, by the way.
- ‘Bama only averaged 5.23 yards per play on offense. That’s their lowest figure since mid-2018. By comparison, Florida averaged 6.27 ypp.
- On top of that, the Tide only ran 62 plays, compared to Florida’s 70, which is how the Gators wound up generating better than 120 yards more on the day.
- So, given all that, how did Florida come up on the short end of the stick? Turnovers (Alabama is top five nationally in turnover margin) and special teams play. Also, having to play chase almost the entire game isn’t really the best course for a team built on the running game, rather than an explosive passing attack.
To sum it up, Alabama has indeed come back to earth a bit. Saban loves games when the team wins comfortably, but not flawlessly. This wasn’t that kind of game. He has to be legitimately concerned about how his team didn’t win in the trenches. That being said, coming back to earth doesn’t mean the dynasty is dead yet.
As for Florida, I wouldn’t say they’re better than they were last year. Instead, they have improved defensively and they have a clear identity on offense. It will be very interesting to see if they can run the ball on Georgia. It will also be interesting to find out if Anthony Richardson is more Prescott than Fitzgerald.
Welp, that was an interesting weekend.
- Alabama. Winning your first conference game of the season on the road in the Swamp ain’t nothing, but I have to admit this is the first time in a while that the phrase “benefit of the doubt” in the context of Alabama’s standing in the Power Poll crossed my mind.
- Georgia. Bringing your B-/C+ game to your conference season opener and still winning by almost four touchdowns is nothing to sneer at.
- Texas A&M. Won a never-in-doubter against New Mexico, but I still think the Aggies’ QB situation looks shaky. That’s not the case with their defense or their running backs, fortunately for them.
- Florida. Lost in all the hoopla and excitement from the greatest loss in program history is the fact that the Gators took a conference loss, which means their margin of error to win the division is gone.
- Ole Miss. Did a better job taking care of Tulane than Oklahoma did, for what that’s worth. Corral is having a great year so far.
- Auburn. Yeah, that’s what I thought — alright, but no juggernaut. Nix has been coached up, but he’s got a ceiling that Bobo isn’t going to break through.
- Arkansas. The Hogs did what a decent team is supposed to do against Georgia Southern.
- LSU. They didn’t totally suck against Central Michigan, which I guess amounts to some sort of progress. UCLA losing to Fresno State didn’t help their cause, though.
- Kentucky. Did just enough to win against *** checks notes *** Chattanooga. Yikes.
- Mississippi State. Got hosed by SEC refs against Memphis on a play that cost them a touchdown and managed to lose a game in which they outgained the Tigers by more than 220 yards. Solid work, fellas.
- Missouri. Jumped out to a huge lead against a directional cupcake and then lollygagged their way through the fourth quarter. They aren’t playing good defense.
- Tennessee. Hey, Vols, you beat Tennessee Tech 56-0! What are you going to do next?
- South Carolina. Showed they’re exactly who we thought they were. Which is to say, not good.
- Vanderbilt. At least for a while, the ‘Dores put up a better fight against Stanford than Southern Cal did.