Daily Archives: September 19, 2022

The praise, she gushes

Over the top, or nah?

“I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say it’s the greatest collection of talent that’s ever been assembled on a football team because of the work coach (Kirby) Smart and his staff and the tireless, relentless effort they put into building the program to an elite, elite level, right?” [Kent State coach Sean] Lewis said.

Makes you wonder what kind of long snappah they have.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Workin’ on our night moves

Georgia’s first game under the lights this season comes against Mizzou.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“For personal reasons”

A couple of quick roster notes:

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

UPDATE:

Best of luck to you.  I’ll always remember you for ballin’ out in the national championship game.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Observations from the armchair, fried chicken edition

What’s blowing my mind a little — and I know it’s early — is how easy they’re making it look.  As of this morning, they’ve outscored their first three opponents by an aggregate 130-10 and I’m not sure even that manages a complete impression of how dominant they’ve been.  You really have to see it to believe it.

And if you think I’m being overly exuberant and exaggerate, consider this:  Oregon, a team these Dawgs waxed in the season opener, just beat the number 12 team in the country by three touchdowns.  (As my tweet indicated, this game felt like a rerun of the opener.)  It’s crazy.

Yes, this team is supremely talented and well coached.  But, even more than that, it’s unselfish.  The best example of that comes play after play on offense, when you watch how well they block downfield.  There don’t appear to be any prima donnas out there (although you couldn’t blame Bowers if he wanted to behave like one).

Let’s have some bullet points, shall we?

  • They put on a clinic on how to shut down a raucous road crowd, that’s for sure.  The last peep we heard out of ‘Cock fans came after the fake punt and nice run by Lloyd.  Four plays later, SC turned the ball over on downs and the Dawgs turned around and scored their third straight touchdown of the game.
  • The o-line rebounded nicely after their sluggish performance against Samford.  Pass protection was excellent for the most part and I can only recall them giving up one tackle for loss.  They also blocked well in short yardage when it was needed.  Ratledge looked far better, in particular, which I hope means he’s really starting to recover physically.  Truss looked better, too.  As for Van Pran and the tackles, well, they never slowed down in the first place.
  • One of the luxuries of blowing teams out is that the backup offensive linemen are getting plenty of work, something I heard Blackledge mention.  And not just in the sense that they’re getting more reps so they can step in if something happens on the first string line, but also in terms of meshing well with each other.  Beck got plenty of time to throw the ball without pressure, too.
  • If there’s anything I’m troubled about on offense, it’s how tentative Milton looked running the ball.  He’s a masher, but yesterday he was trying to trick defenders instead of bulling his way through them.  And it wasn’t just on running plays, either.  He caught a pass on the wheel route wide open and got up a head of steam, with only one defender to beat… and couldn’t.  I hope it’s something a little coaching can fix.
  • It seems like every week, Daijun Edwards makes a case for getting the ball in his hands more.
  • Maybe it’s just me, but Branson Robinson looked a little quicker than he appeared previously.
  • Bowers is Bowers.  Washington is Washington.  And now Delp showed up.  My 13 personnel wishes can still be fulfilled!
  • The offense continues to spread the ball around to the receivers and it’s a beautiful thing to watch.  And they’re still not throwing it deep much.  I can only think of a couple of deep balls on the day, neither of which were completed.  Then again, does it matter much?
  • They hardly missed AD Mitchell.  Man.
  • I loved the completion to Blaylock, who ran a great route, looked smooth catching the ball in stride and managed a 20-yard gain like it was old hat.
  • McConkey just keeps doing McConkey things, week after week.  He’s the third leading receiver on the team.  His play to salvage what could have been a disaster when a punt hit a Georgia blocker was heady.
  • Stetson keeps avoiding the stupid plays that bogged his game down in previous seasons.  Sure, it helps that he hasn’t been in pressure situations much, if at all.  Still, they hit on five of nine third down conversions.  He’s also been very good at not forcing himself to run.  But what’s most striking is how much his field awareness has improved, right from the snap.  The most absurd example of that was the play when he held the fake so long that when he finally turned, he had a rusher in his face, but still managed to get off a throw to Bowers (and what a catch that was!) that turned into a first down completion.  He’s playing like a confident quarterback who knows he’s got an offensive coordinator who excels at play design.
  • I’ll say this again as a long suffering Georgia fan who thought one of Richt’s game management flaws was not giving backups meaningful snaps in blowouts:  I’m thrilled to see Monken and Smart continue to keep the playbook open when Carson Beck comes in.  And it’s paying off, too.  Beck looked really good running the offense.  The TD throw to Delp was a beauty.  He showed some wheels on that RPO run (and knocked the defender back on the first hit).  If Stetson had to leave a game, I wouldn’t fret… well, much, anyway.
  • Damn, no sacks from the defense and it didn’t matter.  I’m beginning to think they’re overrated.  Sacks, not the defense. 😉 They harassed Rattler all game long and took him out of his comfort zone.  (It’s no surprise that his one big completion on the day came on a beautiful deep ball when he had plenty of time to set and throw.)  And that came despite a hobbled Jalen Carter.  (By the way, nice job keeping that quiet, Kirbs.)
  • Add in a half a dozen or so tackles for loss and that’s how you restrict an offense that actually gained a little yardage into not scoring until the end of the game.
  • Hey, who was that guy who said he was worried about the safety position in the preseason?  Starks continues to wow me with his field awareness.  Sure, his interception came on a ball that went straight to him, but his coverage was perfect and he put himself in position to make the play.  Jackson looked good getting the first interception of his career.  And it dawns on me that I never seem to have anything to say about Smith, but that’s because nobody tests him in pass coverage.  He did have a tackle for loss, if I recall correctly.
  • Outside of that one big completion, the corners acquitted themselves reasonably well.  Perhaps the biggest thing to note is that SC’s leading receiver was shut down on the day.
  • It’s hard to believe how much improvement we’ve seen from the inside linebackers since the start of the season, especially Mondon.  The coaches were confident enough in him, Dumas-Johnson and Marshall to blitz the crap out of South Carolina right up the middle.  Dumas-Johnson looks so comfortable out there directing defensive traffic.  And that interception by Marshall was as an athletic a play as you’ll see out of a ‘backer in pass coverage.
  • Man, it’s a pleasure watching Nolan Smith play the way he does.  He’s an anchor, who chipped in with a tackle for loss and a pass defended.
  • The defensive line play has also continued to improve, led by Mykel Williams, who’s really coming on.  As good as he was pressuring the quarterback, what I really liked was that he’s been much, much better with containment.
  • Special teams weren’t much of a factor, although I’ve already mentioned the McConkey play that avoided disaster.  They did allow a fake punt to succeed, although I’ve got to say the Carolina punter looking the coverage away before making the throw was damned impressive.  (And I loved the way he tried to convince his coaches to let him run another play.)
  • When you are fifty-three seconds away from back-to-back shutouts, it’s clear that your defensive coaches nailed the game plan.  Georgia is yielding less than 3.5 points per game.  What more really needs to be said about the job Boom and Schumann are doing?
  • I could say the same thing about Monken, in spades.  I loved hearing McDonough tout him as the leading candidate for the Broyles Award during the broadcast.  The scary thing is, it doesn’t seem like he’s really had to dig very deep into the playbook so far.
  • After last season, it’s hard to say that Smart’s doing a better coaching job this season, so I won’t.  But I will say it’s extremely impressive how he’s managed to keep this team focused on the business at hand.

It’s funny to think that with Kent State next on the table, I’m expecting something of a let down.  The Flashes have gotten whipped by the two P5 teams they’ve faced and it’s a stretch to see them as much of a threat.  But, as we saw against Samford, let downs are relative.

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Filed under Georgia Football

SEC Power Poll, Week 3

It’s not hard for me to say which team is the conference’s best right now, but the conference’s worst might be a matter up for discussion.

  1. Georgia.  Bill Connelly“They’ve played a top-30 schedule and treated it like a bottom-30 schedule.”
  2. Alabama.  Jermaine Burton is averaging 7.63 yards per catch.  On Georgia, that would rank *** checks notes *** fifteenth.
  3. Ole Miss.  Wait a minute — the Laner’s got a defense?
  4. Kentucky.  Shut out a cupcake.
  5. Tennessee.  Welcome to the meteor game.
  6. Arkansas.  If, like me, you wondered how the Hogs would do in a game when their turnover luck abandoned them, well… it’s a good thing it happened against a FCS team.
  7. Texas A&M.  Got dominated statistically on offense, yet still beat Miami.  This team is a mystery.
  8. LSU.  The Tigers are starting to get their legs under them, particularly on defense.  Jayden Daniels is a roller coaster ride, though.
  9. Mississippi State.  There’s that “Leach’s teams always lose one game they should win” game.  The question remains what team they’re gonna upset.
  10. Florida.  Boy, was that Utah game a mirage.  Gator Nation is going to lose it if UF goes down in Knoxville this Saturday.
  11. Auburn.  Maybe the worst sin of all is how boring this team is.
  12. Missouri.  I wish Luther Burden had chosen Georgia.
  13. Vanderbilt.  They’re 3-1 and they’re middle of the conference pack in net YPP.  I’ve gotta give the ‘Dores a little love for that.  (Besides, it’ll be short-lived, considering this week’s game.)
  14. South Carolina.  Before you “yes, but” me here, ask yourself if the team that finished the Georgia game with five defensive starters and some of their backups out would beat Vandy.  I’d say it’s a close call.

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Filed under SEC Football

Bartender, I’ll take a rat poison on the rocks. Make it a double.

Marc Weiszer ($$) wants to know if this Georgia football team is better than last season’s national champion team.

David Ubben ($$) asks if Georgia has replaced Alabama as college football’s best program.

As a fan, it’s fun to hear those questions asked without a hint of mockery.  I doubt Kirby Smart shares my sense of enjoyment, though.  Fortunately, it sounds like his players continue to buy into his approach.

So is this team better than the national championship team?

“I don’t really think it matters,” center Sedrick Van-Pran Granger said. “I think the biggest thing is making sure that we go ahead and execute and focus on the little things that we’re messing up so we can focus on getting better week to week.”

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Filed under Georgia Football

“The real issue is … the changing of nonconference games.”

Greg Sankey ain’t doing pods, y’all. ($$)

League members went into deep discussions of a pod model, but Sankey said “pods really doesn’t work,” noting that they could create a similar issue that the league is currently dealing with where members don’t play each other home and away frequently.

But we’re not out of the scheduling woods yet.  Because they’re still debating you know what.

“The focus in football is on a single division right now,” Sankey said. “The real debate is eight or nine (conference) games. That doesn’t mean divisions are completely erased from our consideration but they’re not at the forefront of our thinking.”

Sankey also added that going from eight SEC games to nine “is not certain by any stretch of the imagination.”

I don’t think it takes any imagination at all.  That this is still up in the air tells me that Mickey isn’t interested in ponying up for more conference games and the pro-eight game format folks aren’t backing down.

In other words, say goodbye to a few more annual rivalry games.  Because making sure mediocre programs are bowl eligible is the essence of “it just means more”.

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Filed under SEC Football

“… but it is football and I got to get better.”

Damn, Anthony, talk about grasping at straws.

… The misfires aside, Richardson couldn’t help but feel as if he’d displayed improvement in the third home start of his collegiate career, particularly when it came to his ability to read the defense’s pre-snap alignment.

“I feel like I’m growing. Honestly, it’s just knowing even what to do and knowing what we want to do,” Richardson said. “Just being able to learn the offense a little bit and just recognize the coverage a little bit, it helps when you’re trying to make plays.”

After acknowledging his confidence had taken a hit in the loss to the Wildcats, Richardson didn’t look nearly as sullen as he’d appeared a week prior as he stood at the lectern.

Whether it was due to the positive result for the program, Richardson’s improved reading of the defense or his perspective, Florida’s starting quarterback departed Ben Hill Griffin Stadium with greater optimism than he had seven days earlier.

He finished the USF game with a passer rating of 85.60. Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

Speaking of not nearly as sullen, Florida fans, enjoy the rest of your season.

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Filed under Gators, Gators...

SEC Net YPP, Week Three

Half the teams in the SEC have yet to play a conference game, so you could say the net figures are still a little inflated overall.  But you can still see something of a hierarchy emerging.  (All stats via cfbstats.com.)

  1. Alabama 3.91 (7.47 o; 3.56 d) [NC:  +1.02]
  2. Georgia 3.64 (7.91 o; 4.27 d)  [NC:  -.05]
  3. Ole Miss 3.04 (6.68 o; 3.64 d)  [NC:  +.21]
  4. Tennessee 2.51 (7.13 o; 4.62 d)  [NC:  +1.42]
  5. Texas A&M  1.80 (6.03 o; 4.23 d)  [NC:  -.96]
  6. Kentucky 1.44 (5.79 o; 4.35 d)  [NC:  +.58]
  7. LSU 1.40 (6.26 o; 4.86 d)  [NC:  -.17]
  8. Auburn 1.11 (6.55 o; 5.44 d)  [NC:  -1.60]
  9. Arkansas .88 (6.70 o; 5.82 d)  [NC:  +1.17]
  10. Vanderbilt .79 (6.69 o; 5.90 d)  [NC:  -.19]
  11. Mississippi State .63 (5.71 o; 5.08 d)  [NC:  -.77]
  12. Florida .61 (6.02 o; 5.41 d)  [NC:  -.37]
  13. Missouri .58 (5.81 o; 5.23 d)  [NC:  +.43]
  14. South Carolina -.87 (5.11 o; 5.98 d)  [NC:  -1.19]

Turnover margin:

  • +6:  Georgia
  • +3:  LSU
  • +2:  Tennessee
  • +1:  Arkansas, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt
  •   0:  Florida
  • -1:  Kentucky, Missouri, Texas A&M
  • -2:  Alabama, Mississippi State
  • -7:  South Carolina
  • -8:  Auburn

Observations:

  • There’s a new king on the net YPP mountain.  There’s also a reason Georgia is still perceived as the better team at this time:  turnover margin.
  • There are four teams over the +2 threshold.  Three of them have yet to play a conference game, though.
  • It’s pretty easy to tell from the net change figures which teams played cupcakes and which teams faced real challenges.

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Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Cutting edge hire

Tell me you don’t understand how to hire a college football coach without saying you don’t understand how to hire a college football coach.

Always be ‘crootin’, fool.

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Filed under Pac-12 Football