Daily Archives: December 28, 2021

Getting mighty crowded

Georgia’s quarterback room, that is, according to Chip Towers:

Regardless of what happens the remainder of this season, next year’s quarterback competition promises to an exciting one.

Signs point toward redshirt senior Stetson Bennett returning for a sixth season of eligibility, and there’s a good chance junior JT Daniels could decide to return as well. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have continued to recruit quarterbacks at a high level. Freshman Brock Vandagriff, a 5-star recruit when he signed last year, was redshirted this season but has continued to generate buzz in practices, especially in this month’s bowl preparations.

“I continue to hear that Vandagriff is really taking steps forward,” said 247Sports recruiting analyst Rusty Mansell. “He has the best arm in that room. The ball comes out of Brock Vandagriff’s hand different than everyone in that room. JT Daniels, none of them, have the arm that Vandagriff has. You have to be able to process, accuracy, all of those things, and that has taken a little bit of time with him.

Plus Beck and Stockton?  I can’t see them all sticking around.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Name that caption, retina burn edition

Dabo looks like he’s getting ready to go out and pick up garbage on the side of the highway, doesn’t he?

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Filed under Name That Caption

So there you have it.

Shot.

Chaser.

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

UPDATE:  Oh, and in case you were wondering…

I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“But you can’t dwell on the past. Nothing you can do about it.”

Per that PFF piece I just linked, the public — okay, the betting public — seems to think that Alabama exposed Georgia in the SECCG.

Georgia is favored by 7.5 points in this semifinal showdown, although the public is heavy on Michigan — 89% of the cash is on the Wolverines to cover the number, and 83% of the cash is on them to win outright.

That, of course, isn’t nearly as important as what these Dawgs think of themselves after a very disappointing loss.  As David Hale puts it, “Can Georgia really erase the lingering effects of such a demoralizing performance so quickly?”  Human beings are complicated things, so who knows, but at least the players and coaches are saying the right things.

“We’re not going to be the same team from last game to this game with Michigan,” Davis said. “We just have to keep moving forward and worry about ourselves.”

The truth might be that Georgia will face all three opponents in the Orange Bowl. Shaking off the lingering nightmare that was the SEC championship game is easier said than done, but a strong start against Michigan would certainly help. The Wolverines present a far different challenge than Alabama, too, and in many ways, their power ground game is a better matchup for the Bulldogs’ defense. There will be no rat poison this time around, either. Georgia has spent the better part of the past month talking about its failures, not its success. That might be a blessing.

“It definitely didn’t put doubt in my mind about our defense,” defensive back Chris Smith said. “Obviously things didn’t go how we wanted them to go that day, but we’re focused on a new opponent. We’re focused on Michigan, and we’re focused on being able to get a win so we can move on to the next level of our season.”

I think Hale is right about one big thing.  The Dawgs need to get off to a strong start Saturday night, because right now, based on what happened in the SECCG, it feels like Michigan comes in as the more confident bunch.

“I don’t think you can call it a blueprint when its only happened once,” Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis said of the Alabama loss. “Georgia is a really good defense but it does give us a little bit of confidence.”

Added Michigan WR Mike Sainristil: “Looking at the film [of the Alabama game], we understand where they can be attacked and we just want to keep attacking those spots.”

Getting his team mentally prepared for this game is Kirby Smart’s biggest coaching challenge of the season.  Agree or disagree?

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Is nothing sacred?

You’ve probably heard that several Ohio State players have opted out of the Rose Bowl in order to begin preparing for the NFL Draft, which really boils down to avoiding a potential serious injury situation that might affect their draft status.

There have been two general reactions to the news, both predictable.  First, there’s the camp that’s offended these players would dare skip something as meaningful as a Rose Bowl game.  Second, there’s the hammer meet nail playoff expansion gang that insists all this would be fixed with a 12- or 16-team playoff field.

I got news for both of them.  David Hale is correct about the future.

Like it or not, the days of expecting the top level of college football players to bleed and break for no compensation are gone.  There’s too much money in the game and in a world where head coaches are jumping their teams before the postseason, it’s silly to expect the players to answer to a higher calling.

Is there a happy medium where it becomes easier to coax a player into staying for a postseason college game?  Sure, depending on circumstances.  Can the bowls and playoff afford to hit that particular mark?  C’mon, dog.  If ESPN becomes convinced the talent drain is costing them viewership, it’s an easy investment.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness

“What No. 2 Michigan needs to do to beat No. 3 Georgia”

Lots of good tidbits from this PFF piece

Here are the five things highlighted:

  • Watch for heavy-personnel play action on early downs

  • Get to the money down, rattle QB Stetson Bennett with MUG looks and bring pressure

  • Don’t expect to run the ball down Georgia’s throat

  • Attack the slot

  • Michigan needs to get tricky

Bullet points two and four strike me as the areas of greatest vulnerability for Georgia.  I’m sure you’ve seen the stats comparing Bennett’s passer rating overall with his passer rating under pressure.  Nothing has changed in that regard:  Todd Monken’s Job One is keeping the offense out of obvious passing situations on third down.  And as for the latter point, if you watched the SECCG, you don’t need to see this stat:

… Georgia’s defenders covering the slot allowed a season-high 168 yards across 10 catches, one of which was a score. The group combined for a 43.1 slot coverage grade, their lowest mark of the season by 16 grading points.

Ugly.  And now you’ve met Dan Lanning’s Job One.

I say that, rather than stop the run, because, like PFF, I think Georgia’s defense will handle that challenge.  It’s not like it’s anything new, after all.

Here’s PFF’s conclusion.

Michigan needs to stay disciplined on defense and be ready to handle ample early-down play action. Get Georgia to a long money down and put pressure on Stetson Bennett with blitzes and simulated pressure. That’s when the quarterback mistakes will occur and when the Wolverines’ strong defensive front, featuring players Hutchinson and David Ojabo, will shine. On offense, they can’t expect to run the ball with ease. They should put pressure on the slot and hope some luck goes their way with trick plays, just as it has all year long.

That’s a lot of things that need to click.  How are you feeling about that?

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

Fergit, hayul.

Mike Leach, with a classic “other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” quote about his ongoing legal dispute with Texas Tech:

“In Lubbock, there were four bad apples that were determined to cheat me out of my salary,” Leach said Monday. “We know about that. And the other four years on my contract. And then continued to hide the documents illegally. But short of that, I thought everyone was great.”

Yar!

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Filed under Mike Leach. Yar!

Strength in numbers

This comes as something of a relief.

I have my doubts JT will play (I don’t have those about George), but in any event, his presence means the coaches don’t have to restrict Stetson’s run threat.

Also, on a related note:

After the Centers for Disease Control announced updated guidelines for quarantine and isolation recommendations for those who test positive for COVID-19, the SEC is expected to follow a similar path for its virus protocols, sources tell Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde.

The CDC’s updated guidelines recommend a shortened isolation period from 10 days to five for those who test positive and are asymptomatic, followed by five days of wearing a mask around others.

“The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after,” the CDC update reads. “Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for five days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for five days to minimize the risk of infecting others.”

We’re probably too close to game time for this change to have much impact for the semis, but it could be a bigger deal down the road for the national championship game.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, The Body Is A Temple

Tuesday ticket exchange

Okay, Friday is the day — the CFP semifinals.  Georgia.  Michigan.  Miami.

Got tickets to move?  Need tickets to go?  Head to the comments section and make your needs known.  As always, please be specific.

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The opposite of rat poison

Yes, just when college football needs a heartwarming story, Alabama, with the sport’s most talented roster, the Heisman Trophy winner and the greatest college football coach in the game, steps up to fill the role of the plucky underdog.  We’re saved!

Whoever thought ‘Bama would need fake juice to get through a postseason?

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Filed under Alabama, Blowing Smoke