Daily Archives: December 6, 2022

BREAKING: Monken blames Bobo!

But in a good way…

He didn’t win the Broyles Award, by the way.  And after this joke, he should’ve.



Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Observations from the armchair, SECCG edition

13-0, baby.  For the first time in program history.  Not even last year’s generational defense can make that claim.  And they took care of business Saturday night like they have so many other times this season — jump out to a big lead and then reduce the other side to scrambling to catch up.  The wrinkle, if you want to call it that, against LSU was, instead of sitting on the lead and letting the defense take the air out of the ball as the offense ran clock, Georgia kept scoring as the Tigers went into YOLO mode and hit a few big passes to notch some points of their own.

For those of you wringing your hands over LSU putting up more points and yards than any other team the Dawgs have faced this season, deep breaths.  While I’m not letting certain players off the hook (more on that momentarily), it was clear the defense was in prevent mode most of the second half, mainly because the offense made it clear they could have put up 70, if needed.

Besides — and here’s what the fretters are ignoring — when it mattered in the first half, when LSU momentarily knotted the score at 7-7, here’s what Georgia’s D proceeded to turn in:

  • 2 plays, -2 yards:  Interception
  • 3 plays, 8 yards:  Punt
  • 3 plays, 0 yards:  Punt
  • 3 plays, -6 yards:  Punt

By the time the dust settled after that, it was 35-7 and Brian Kelly looked like he’d just been told his dog died.

LSU, which had rushed the week before for 187 yards and had five games this season in which they had rushed for over 200 yards, managed a whopping total of 47 yards on the ground.  That also happened to be the same number of yards gained on their best rushing play of the game, so I’ll leave you to do the math on the rest of it.

Lots of empty yards and points, in other words.

That’s not to say Georgia didn’t leave Atlanta without things to fix (this is a Kirby Smart team, after all).  But it’s a team that has shown time and time again it can turn it on and dominate an opponent in different ways.  In my book, that makes for a difficult team to face.

Let’s do some bullet points, okay?  Okay.

  • You don’t score 50 points and run up over 500 yards of offense in a championship game without solid offensive line play.  Maybe a half dozen tackles for loss. Zero sacks. Only a couple of quarterback pressures I can recall.
  • Remember the grousing we did earlier in the year about rotating the o-linemen?  Sure paid off when McLendon went down and Mims stepped in seamlessly.
  • I was worried before the game about the impact Harold Perkins Jr. might have.  He did lead LSU in tackles, but it sure was a quiet effort.  (He never touched Bennett, either.)  One reason for that was a heavy dose of Willock.  Literally.  Never underestimate the ability of a Todd Monken game plan to minimize the impact of an opposing pass rusher.
  • You know what comes with an offensive line blocking its ass off?  A dominant run game, that’s what.  Georgia put up 250+ yards on the day and as Danielson said during the game, if you’d have known in advance that was coming, you’d have been certain the Dawgs would wind up on top.
  • Everybody looked good.  I saw plenty of missed tackles by LSU on the backs.  Special mention has to go to Kendal Milton, who’s clearly got his sea legs under him again.  He looks like the back everyone expected to see — tough, good balance and enough speed.  Even if you take out his 50-yard run, he still averaged seven-and-a-half yards a carry.
  • The receiving corps was its usual productive, if not necessarily explosive, self.  I think I counted ten different players, including the backs, with at least one catch, and the longest gain, 32 yards, belonged to Bowers.  They kept the chains moving and pitched in four touchdown catches in the first half.  And that was without targeting AD Mitchell much.  Downfield blocking — including Mitchell — was excellent.
  • Good to see McConkey get off the schneid.  Not so good to see the knee hurt again.
  • Okay, so who’s got better hands, Rosemy-Jacksaint or Blaylock?  (No fair saying Bowers.)
  • What about that Stetson Bennett fellow?  Well, he had a pretty good day.  In fact, from a passer rating standpoint, it was his best game of the season, and considering some of his other performances, like the ones against Oregon and South Carolina, that’s a helluva thing.  Most impressive to me was how utterly in control he looked.  I’m sure part of that came from having confidence in the o-line, but his reads all game long, both pre- and post-snap, were as good as I’ve ever seen from him.  He did get away with one throw that Blaylock grabbed, but I guess that’s how you know it’s your kind of day.  Interestingly, I don’t recall a single designed run call for Stetson, so I guess he didn’t need to get hit a time or two to get into the game.
  • Like I said to start, the defense did enough, even if things did get a little rough in the second half when LSU went into “what have we got to lose?” mode.  But if you’re gonna talk about the defense Saturday, it almost has to start and end with two names:  Jalen Carter and Christopher Smith.  Calling Carter dominant is almost a disservice to the word.  Solo tackles, tackles for loss, a sack (haven’t forgotten that one, have you?) and even a pass defended.  About the only thing he didn’t do was sell popcorn in the stands.  And that doesn’t include the relentless pressure he put on LSU’s o-line.  Can you imagine what he’ll be capable of at month’s end when he’s even healthier?
  • I know Stetson was the game’s MVP, but, damn, did Smith turn in a fine showing of his own.  Several tackles, including a spectacular one for loss on that option throw to the tight end, the initial hit that popped the ball out that led to one of the wilder interceptions you’ll ever see, an end zone interception to end a second-half drive, all topped, of course by that heads up touchdown return of a blocked field goal.  There are good players that don’t do that much in half a season, let alone a single game.
  • Elsewhere on the d-line, Tramel Walthour played his ass off.  But he had help, as that LSU rushing yardage total indicates.
  • One other big thing this game was that there was good focus on keeping Jayden Daniels contained in the pocket.  Guess who two of the major contributors for that were — Beal and Chambliss, who turned in what was without a doubt his best effort of the season.
  • The ILBs did their usual thing.  Mondon wound up on the receiving end of a tip drill that led to that crazy INT.  Marshall had a deflected pass.  JDJ also broke up a pass in coverage.
  • Speaking of which, no, it wasn’t the secondary’s best day, at least not in the second half, although I’ll be the first to concede that the defensive strategy of not pushing the pass rush as they had in the first half and calling for soft coverage didn’t help. But neither of those factors excuses some of the shoddiest tackling I’ve seen this season, or the way defenders looked lost in coverage on some plays.
  • Something’s obviously turned up on tape with regard to Ringo’s game, because that was like the fourth game in a row in which he was seriously targeted, in this case, with at least ten passes, a bunch of receptions and a bad PI penalty.  It’s a good thing there’s a month to get him straightened out, because Ohio State’s passing game is a helluva lot better than what he’s seen during this down stretch.
  • Starks had a couple of whiffs, as well, including one misjudgment on a TD throw.  Lassiter didn’t get thrown at much, so I suppose that’s another indication of where offensive coordinators see to attack Georgia’s secondary.
  • Special teams were mostly good, although not perfect. Thorson was great.  There was, as mentioned, that whole blocked field goal thing, too. The return game didn’t give up any yardage.  Podlesny doinked a field goal attempt that had some of the strangest english on a kick I’ve seen, and it couldn’t be blamed on the wind.
  • Coaching?  Well, yeah, Monken was holding back the playbook over the previous few games, but that wasn’t really much of a surprise, was it?  Saturday was another reminder of how masterful he can be calling a game.  When the Dawgs got it rolling in the first half, LSU had no answers.
  • The impressive thing I saw from Kirby Smart was motivating the troops.  Winning the SEC really meant something to this team, and not in the sense of securing the top seed in the CFP, either.  In this day and age, that’s an accomplishment.

They’ve got a month to heal and to figure out how to play Ohio State.  It won’t be easy, but with the way this season’s gone so far, there’s no reason to doubt this team will be up to the task.


Filed under Georgia Football


Auburn hired Hugh Freeze so the rest of us can be punished with pseudo-inspirational garbage like this during his tenure there?

Gag me with a spoon.

Football gods, I hope you know what to do.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Freeze!

Two paths diverged

Boy, talk about different futures from a year ago…

Hope JT finds a good landing spot.  He was nothing but class during his time in Athens.


Filed under Georgia Football, Transfers Are For Coaches.

Today, in over the top

Oh, for Christ’s sake…

Relevant obviously doesn’t mean what I think it means.


Filed under Coach Prime

Still burns

Well, it’s been a couple of days since the CFP field was selected.  Maybe I should check in on the crowd at Roll Bama Roll to see if they’ve come to grips with reality…

Despite two of the top four teams losing their conference championship games, the CFP Committee bent to the will of the Twitter rage mob. In the first seven years of the playoff, the committee would thumb their nose at the critics. Now, we have a bunch of weak-willed wimps who are more concerned about handing out participation trophies over what is supposed to be “the four best teams”.

Uh, never mind.


Filed under Alabama, The Blogosphere

The underappreciated Stacy Searles?

Matt Hinton:

Georgia’s everything-by-committee philosophy makes it notoriously difficult to single out individual stars at the skill positions, but it’s perfect for the o-line, where toiling in obscurity is almost always better than the alternative. Among the starting five — LT Broderick Jones, LG Xavier Truss, C Sedrick Van Pran, RG Tate Ratledge and RT Warren McClendon — there are at least 3 future pros and no weak links: PFF hasn’t singled out an individual o-lineman for allowing a sack all season. Stetson Bennett IV has faced pressure on just 18.1% of his dropbacks, the lowest rate in the Power 5, and hasn’t been sacked since mid-October. Combine that with a ground attack averaging an SEC-best 5.6 yards per carry, and you have a portrait of a unit imposing its will nearly every time out.

Matt could have also mentioned that Georgia is seventh nationally in tackles for loss allowed, which ain’t too shabby.

I’m not saying Searels deserved to be nominated for the Broyles Award, but those of you who were ready to run him out of town on a rail earlier this year ought to slow your roll down for a while.


UPDATE:  Guess who posted this?

Stacey Searels has created a monster factory in Central Georgia, and I am deeply jealous.

Georgia was 6th in the nation in TFL allowed, surrendering just 3.54 per game. Against Conference teams they were about 50% better in TFL allowed (4) versus Michigan’s B1G games. The Bulldogs were second in the country in sacks allowed, with a paltry 7, and only allowed 5 sacks in SEC play all year.

They keyed an offense that was 2nd in opponent-adjusted efficiency, 6th in the country in 3rd down %, 2nd in 4th down conversion %, 2nd in rushing scores, 2nd in sack-rate (and tops among all non-option teams), 7th in YPA by the backs — and they had just 28 penalties in 13 games.

It’s hard to find a better offensive line than this one. For my part, I don’t think it’s even particularly close.


Filed under Georgia Football

My Week 14 Mumme Poll ballot

Screenshot_2019-09-30 (1) Senator Blutarsky ( MummePoll) Twitter

Before I get to my ballot, here’s Bill Connelly’s last regular season Résumé SP+ rankings:

Which is why I feel pretty good about my last ballot.

  • Georgia
  • Michigan

And you?


Filed under Mumme Poll

Can’t tell the players without a scorecard.

Boy, this is gonna take a while to settle down.


Filed under SEC Football, Transfers Are For Coaches.

Always the Laner

Say what you will about Junior, but he doesn’t quit.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Football