Daily Archives: September 12, 2022

The excuse that will live forever

Never quit, Tide fans.

It’s especially rich, of course, in the wake of the Ewers injury last Saturday.  But ‘Bama fans have never been known for their self-reflection.

85 Comments

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

Comedy is hard.

Not so funny now…

35 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, SEC Football

First ‘Cocky thoughts of the week

Speaking of improved defensive pressure, check this out:

Yikes, indeed.  I’m expecting some feasting this week, Dawgs.

31 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Stats Geek!

Observations from the 35, Samford edition

It’s good to know that, at least when it comes to Georgia football, you can go home again.  There’s something about pulling into Athens city limits for the first time in a given season that makes my soul relax.

And the weather didn’t suck!  The rain stayed away and we were rewarded with an overcast day and temperatures in the 70s.  Let me tell you, for early September, that was a real blessing.

Was the game itself something of a letdown after the near perfection we witnessed in the opener?  Sure, but that was an impossibly high standard from which it wasn’t reasonable to expect a repeat.  Even with that in mind, let’s not forget that the Dawgs pitched a shutout and were on pace after the first half to cover that ginormous spread.

Unfortunately, that second half left something to be desired.  If I counted correctly, Georgia had five possessions and never crossed the goal line.  A made field goal, a missed field goal and three punts ain’t exactly elite offense.

And with that, here are your bullet points.

  • Two weeks into the season, and I’m a little surprised to discover that my biggest concern is the offensive line, specifically the guard play.  It’s been maddeningly inconsistent, as opposed to consistently awful, but it’s definitely an issue, particularly in the run game, where there seems to be little push up the middle.  (One reason McIntosh is getting all those receiving opportunities is because he’s not getting much space to run in.)
  • I don’t know if it’s because of injury recovery in Ratledge’s case, but he hasn’t been nearly as good as I was expecting.  I don’t know if it’s because they’re rotating players as much as they’ve been — I did see a couple of situations where the right guard picked up the wrong man in pass pro.  But it’s a weakness.  Fortunately, between the tackle play (they’ve been consistent and good, as has Van Pran been), the blocking from Bowers and Washington (the latter has been a monster in that regard), Bennett’s mobility and Monken’s ability to scheme outside, it hasn’t been too much of an issue.  But the red zone issues I saw Saturday are troubling and the clearest indication that improvement is needed.
  • It was the second straight week that Georgia threw the ball a lot more than it ran it.  Some of that is confidence in Bennett; some of that is lack of confidence in the run blocking.
  • Given all that, it is to Milton’s credit that he had an excellent game running the ball.  He looks a little bit stronger and a little bit faster every week.  I continue to love how hard Edwards runs the ball every time he touches it, but he didn’t get a lot of blocking help.  Neither did McIntosh, as I mentioned, but he was against the leading receiver on the day and continues to do his fair share of damage in that regard.
  • When you throw the ball around as much as they did Saturday, there are going to be plenty of receiving opportunities to go around, and Bennett continues to excel spreading those out.  Georgia may not have a superstar wideout — especially when Mitchell goes out on the first play of the game — but they’ve got plenty of worthy targets.
  • Dominick Blaylock had his first catch of the season.  Hope there are plenty more where that came from.
  • I’ve already mentioned the tight ends’ good work in the blocking game, but they made their share of receiving contributions, as well.  Given Bennett’s inconsistencies throwing the ball downfield, they bailed him out on a couple of catches (and came close to pulling in a couple of errant end zone throws that would have changed the scoring significantly).
  • Stetson certainly didn’t have a bad game.  He completed 70% of his throws.  He had another 300-yard passing game.  He threw for a touchdown, ran for another and didn’t throw an interception.  I also don’t remember a single throw downfield that made me wince from a bad decision.  He continues to do a good job with his reads and progressions.  But he left some points off the board with some errant throws.  As I mentioned yesterday, something just seemed a little off with his mechanics, causing several of his passes where he put some effort into throwing to go high.  He took a sack that was his first boneheaded decision of the season.  All in all, definite room for improvement.
  • Beck was okay, but not as good as he looked against Oregon.  I am glad to see the coaches are still letting him run most of the playbook, though.
  • The defense is starting to freak me out in a good way.  There was noticeable improvement in pressuring the quarterback, and before you dismiss that as a by-product of the level of the opposition, Samford ran a lot of quick plays, just like Oregon did in the opener.  The defense also did a better job with contain, after letting Nix get outside the pocket more than they should have.  I expected things to get better, but I’m not sure I expected it so quickly.
  • Jalen Carter’s work is a given, but it was also nice to see Stackhouse bring pressure.
  • Perhaps the biggest improvement week over week I saw came from Mondon, who has taken to being coached up.  With his athleticism, he’s only going to get better.  Mykel Williams was someone else who caught my eye.  He dropped back into coverage at least one time I noticed, which should tell you how much confidence the coaches have in his abilities.
  • Smith and Beal are rocks out there.
  • If my biggest concern is now the offensive guard play, one reason for that is how far the secondary has come in such a short time.  Sure, we all know there’s plenty of talent back there, but the lack of experience was going to be an offsetting factor.  Turns out, not so much.  Starks is starting now and looks like he was born to it.  Bullard flashed at Star and almost turned in what would have been an athletic pick six.  Lassiter had a solid day across from Ringo (who, now that I think about it, may not have been tested all game).
  • Tykee Smith played a bunch, which is a very good sign.  If he’s rounding into full shape, geez, that secondary depth is getting close to ridiculous.
  • Overall, the defense looked like it was playing a little faster than it had against Oregon — not a sign that more speed was inserted into the lineup, but that the players are getting more familiar with their roles in the scheme.
  • It was amazing to look up at the end of the game to see how many true freshmen were playing on defense at the same time.  I lost count at eight, but I think there were more.  This defense is loaded.
  • Obviously, you pitch a shutout, your defensive coordinators are doing work.  But it’s the overall impression of week over week improvement that impressed me the most.
  • As far as Monken goes, he did a good job of managing his offensive strengths and weaknesses.  I imagine he’ll have the troops working hard this week in practice on the latter.
  • Smart wasn’t happy.  That was most apparent in how he kept the first team offense in the game well into the second half, when the game was no longer in doubt.  I found his tactics at the end of the first half interesting, setting up a shot at a scoring drive with less than a minute on the clock.  If Bennett hadn’t bobbled the snap on the first play, which threw off the timing of both the play and the drive, it might have paid off, too.

All in all, there was certainly more good than bad.  If we’re a little disappointed, it’s because we’ve come to expect so much from this team.  I will say that I find myself a little excited at the improvement I saw from the defense.  We’ll learn a lot more about that this week in Columbia.

35 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

This week, in SP+

It’s taken the Dawgs only two weeks to ascend to the top of Bill Connelly’s SP+ mountain, but it’s his notes about the rest of the SEC East that makes me pause for thought.

The SEC East had itself a pretty bad week. Georgia handled Samford with appropriate ease, and Kentucky outlasted division mate Florida, but Missouri got drubbed by Kansas State, Vanderbilt gave away some of its early-season ratings gains with a 20-point loss to Wake Forest, South Carolina’s rating fell more than Arkansas’ rose with its interdivision loss, and while Tennessee beat Pitt, the Vols’ rating sank slightly after struggling more than expected.

That’s not how the general chatter is going this week, at least with regard to Kentucky and Tennessee, but note that net YPP isn’t that taken with either program right now, as well.

By the way, Bill’s got Georgia first in defensive SP+ and third in offensive SP+.  You can win a lot of games doing that.

7 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Pressure packed

Holy Mother of Crap, this is sensational.

Stetson certainly deserves some credit for that, but for the umpteenth time I must insist that Todd Monken is a wizard.

13 Comments

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

Groundhog Day, in orange and blue

Shot.

Chaser.

The most stunning thing about his performance…

… was that he seemed so calm, so cool, so collected in the opener. Maybe that was because he had a whole offseason to prepare for Utah and only a week to prepare for a better defense.

The interception for a score that ended up being the difference in the game was a total miscommunication that took a lot out of the crowd.

“The second one is flashbacks of the Georgia game,” Richardson said. “Same thing, I just threw it right to the dude.”

Practice makes perfect.

28 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

Adventures in passing

You might have thought Anthony Richardson had the SEC’s worst passing game Saturday, but check out the day Missouri’s Jack Abraham turned in in relief of starter Brady Cook in their disastrous loss to Kansas State.

I had no idea a passer rating of minus-133.33 was even possible.  Jack, you’ve got nowhere to go but up, my man.

4 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

SEC Net YPP, Week Two

Let the sorting out begin.

  1. Georgia 3.69 (7.66 o; 3.97 d) [NC:  -.92]
  2. Alabama 2.89 (6.91 o; 4.02 d) [NC:  -2.65]
  3. Ole Miss 2.83 (6.64 o; 3.81 d) [NC:  +1.17]
  4. Texas A&M 2.76 (6.50 o; 3.74 d) [NC:  -1.06]
  5. Auburn 2.71 (7.12 o; 4.41 d) [NC:  -1.27]
  6. LSU 1.57 (6.60 o; 5.03 d) [NC:  +1.82]
  7. Mississippi State 1.40 (6.20 o; 4.80 d) [NC:  +1.57]
  8. Tennessee 1.09 (6.04 o; 4.95 d) [NC:  -.63]
  9. Vanderbilt .98 (6.80 o; 5.82 d) [NC:  -1.24]
  10. Kentucky .86 (5.21 o; 4.35 d) [NC:  -.70]
  11. South Carolina .32 (5.27 o; 4.95 d) [NC:  +.40]
  12. Florida .24 (5.64 o; 5.40 d) [NC:  -.64]
  13. Missouri .15 (5.34 o; 5.19 d) [NC:  -1.77]
  14. Arkansas -.29 (5.72 o; 6.01 d) [NC: -.58]

Turnover margin:

  • +4:  Arkansas
  • +3:  Georgia
  • +2:  LSU
  • +1:  Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
  • -1:  Alabama, Florida, Mississippi State
  • -2:  Missouri, Texas A&M
  • -4:  Auburn, South Carolina

Observations:

  • Arkansas is last in net YPP, but first in turnover margin.  How long is that going to last?
  • On the flip side, Auburn’s managed to survive a minus-four in turnover margin with a good net YPP… against cupcakes.  How long is that going to last?
  • It’s kind of amazing that TAMU can be third in the conference in net YPP after that embarrassing loss.
  • Quite the net change for Alabama this week.
  • Georgia, first in net YPP, second in turnover margin.  You can go a long way on that.
  • Check out Ole Miss.  Holy crap.  (Yes, I know they haven’t played anybody, but still…)

12 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Monday ticket exchange

First conference game of the season.

First road game of the season.

First trip to the surface of the Sun this season.  (Although rumor has it the weather might be relatively mild Saturday, which would be a major upset in and of itself.)

Anyway, it’s South Carolina.  Looking to buy or sell?  Have at it in the comments and, as always, please be specific.

7 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff