Daily Archives: December 29, 2022

TFW your coach says, “damn, son, I wouldn’t have said that”

Trying to change the tune after the song was sung

During Wednesday’s media meetings, Buckeye players were asked about where they felt there were advantages for them on the football field going up against Georgia. Defensive lineman Jack Sawyer stated that he felt Ohio State has “advantages across the board.” That quote was then plastered all over social media and people took the quote verbatim.

During Thursday’s press conference, we asked Sawyer to provide some more context to his quote from Wednesday and if it is being perceived the way he intended it to be.

“I think my comments got misconstrued yesterday. By no means was I trying to say that at every position we have an advantage on both sides of the ball,” said Sawyer. “I think it’s clear that if you watch the video that’s not what I was trying to say. But what I was saying is I’ve got confidence in my guys and my teammates.” He also went on to reaffirm that he was not trying to degrade Georgia during his comment, just wanted to show the confidence he has in his team.

As the saying goes, when you’re explaining, you’re losing.  Sorry, Jack, no mulligans given for bulletin board talk.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, Georgia Football

Prime time performing

There are plenty of things I’m not sure about…

… but a stage being too big for Stetson Bennett ain’t one of ’em.

27 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Skullduggery

I am deeply amused by this.

I don’t know what I’m enjoying more, the suggestion that there’s something nefarious about contacting other coaches for their impressions of Ohio State, or laying out the conspiracy theory and then adding the “I cannot confirm” qualification.  Either way, thanks for planting the seed there, fella!

Jeff Snook is a schnook.

40 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, Georgia Football

The (further) comedic stylings of Todd Monken

This is good ($$).

“Sustained success is the greatest indicator of your confidence in any given player — just like any relationship,” he said. “My marriage has gotten better over the years with sustained — I don’t know if success is the word, but sustained her putting up with my ass, I guess.”

Brother, I know where you’re coming from there, that’s for damned sure.

This is better.

“Well, it’s interesting because when Kirby came to me, he talked about Mike Bobo joining the staff, which I knew he was going to join the staff whether I agreed to it or not,” Monken said. “It didn’t matter. So he made it seem like it was my choice, but it really wasn’t.”

There’s a blame Bobo joke lurking in there, but Monken didn’t make it.  It’s about the only riff he missed at yesterday’s presser.

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Name that caption, too much orange edition

Lost in thought…

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Filed under Name That Caption

Turning point

I said it at the time, I’ve said it since then, and I’ll keep saying it ’til I shut down the blog:  the best thing that’s happened to Georgia football since Kirby Smart took over was being embarrassed by LSU’s offense in the 2019 SECCG.  Because Smart realized he needed somebody like Todd Monken.  Fortunately, he wound up with Todd Monken.

Todd Monken jokes that when he met with Kirby Smart in the winter of 2020, he wasn’t sure whether he was getting the full picture or if the Georgia head coach was giving him a sales pitch. Jokes are often funny because they’re true.

Smart told Monken that he wanted to change the perception of Georgia’s offense. He wanted to be aggressive and explosive and he wanted it to appeal to the best pass catchers, ball carriers and quarterbacks. Smart also said that he wanted to give Monken the entire show.

We all know what happened next. Monken accepted, the Bulldogs slogged through the COVID-19 affected 2020 season, and it has been pretty incredible since. Georgia has won 27 of its 28 games over the past two seasons. It has an SEC Championship, a Heisman Trophy finalist for a quarterback, and needs two wins for a second straight National Title.

It started with Monken choosing to trust his current boss.

“The things that he said he needed and that he wanted, he’s done all of that and hopefully I’ve held up my end of the bargain,” Monken said in a 26-minute breakout session with reporters on Wednesday.

“It’s been great. It’s been everything he said it would be when he hired me. He said, ‘I’ll let you do what you want to do. Yeah, I’m the head coach and there’s certain things I believe in but I want someone who can come in and run it and I don’t have to worry about it.”

I was skeptical at the time because the Coley promotion was a clear sign of Smart’s recruiting über alles approach (along with manball, true) and I wondered if Smart really had it in him to make a break with that.  To his eternal credit, he did, and the rest is history.  Although it’s probably not fair to say recruiting wasn’t something of a factor in his thinking

“He wanted to change the perception of Georgia’s offense,” Monken said. “Now that’s easier said than done but he wanted to be aggressive in that regard to be able to get the right skill guys and quarterbacks.”

But I digress.

Anyway, here’s to you, Joe Burrow.  Dawgnation turns its lonely eyes to you, in deepest gratitude.

33 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Stick that award where the sun don’t shine.

They didn’t win the Joe Moore Award, but that doesn’t mean Georgia’s o-line hasn’t been doing some righteous work this season.

In fact, look at the list of Power 5 players who had at least 5 sacks this season but failed to get a sack on Bennett:

  • BJ Ojulari, LSU
  • Harold Perkins, LSU
  • Derick Hall, Auburn
  • Byron Young, Tennessee
  • Tyrus Wheat, MSU
  • Isaiah McGuire, Mizzou
  • DJ Coleman, Mizzou
  • Keion White, Georgia Tech
  • DJ Johnson, Oregon

I mean, Bennett hasn’t been sacked since mid-October. That’s 6 consecutive games against Power 5 competition in which UGA kept its signal-caller upright. Half of those teams earned a top-25 ranking in the final Playoff poll, too. Sure, part of that is having a quarterback in his mid-20s. But the other part of that is having a selfless, dominant group who clearly into its own.

They’re also fourth nationally in tackles for loss allowed.  Pretty effing stout, if you ask me, even if they don’t have the hardware to show for it.

11 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Chicks may dig the deep ball, but…

One of the more interesting stats Georgia’s offense has compiled this season is that it’s twelfth nationally in plays from scrimmage of 20+ yards, ahead of teams like Tennessee and Ohio State, but falls all the way to fiftieth in plays from scrimmage of 30+ yards.  (Tennessee is first and OSU is seventh in that regard.)  The Dawgs, in other words, are explosive, but not that explosive.

Not that that’s stopped them from racking up yards and points this season.  They just have a different secret sauce for doing that.

What sets Georgia apart from the other teams in the CFP field is its versatility. The Bulldogs have three running backs who have surpassed 500 yards rushing with each averaging more than 5 yards per carry and scoring at least six touchdowns. While Georgia does not have a clearly established elite perimeter threat at wide receiver like Ohio State, the Bulldogs have one the nation’s most-diverse passing attacks and arguably the best tight end in Bowers.

Bowers and fellow tight end Darnell Washington have combined for 78 receptions while lining up all over the field in offensive coordinator Todd Monken’s system. Running backs Kenny McIntosh, Daijun Edwards and Kendall Milton have totaled 51 combined receptions. Top wide receiver Ladd McConkey has 51 catches and lines up both out wide and in the slot. You never know who Bennett is going to target or where they’ll be lined up. The Bulldogs also integrate pre-snap motion into 49.3% of their plays and run 15.8% of their snaps from under center; both of those figures rank on the high end nationally.

Though you can critique Georgia for its relative lack of deep threats, this offense is incredibly diverse and difficult for opponents to prepare for because of how many different looks it can throw at you. The Bulldogs also showed comfort winning in a variety of ways. In a season-opening 49-3 beatdown of Oregon, that meant throwing 37 times and running just 25 times against the Ducks’ weak secondary. In a 16-6 win at Kentucky on Nov. 19, the Bulldogs threw the football just 19 times and ran it 46 times while letting their elite defense do the heavy lifting. If one facet of the game is not clicking for Georgia, the Bulldogs are well-rounded enough to find something that will work and execute it at an elite level.

Despite not having the elite deep threat some schools pose, Georgia has still managed to post the sixth best offensive ypp figure in the country.  Add to that the return of AD Mitchell and Todd Monken having the better part of a month to get his entire playbook up to speed, and one thing I won’t be worried about come Saturday is Georgia’s ability to put points on the board.

10 Comments

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

“… we know that this coming offseason is the time to discuss the next evolution of Bowl Season.”

Yeah, well, that discussion sounds like throwing a bowl of spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks.

Executives are expected to examine a great number of bowl-related issues, including stiffening the criteria for bowl eligibility from a 6–6 record; providing more standard name, image and likeness (NIL) payments to all players participating in a bowl; further incorporating bowls in the expanded playoff; shifting bowl games up a week in December; establishing more flexibility in conference bowl affiliations; and, finally, incorporating more television partners within Bowl Season.

Some of that sounds stupid — stiffening the criteria for bowl eligibility from a 6–6 record means fewer games.  And while that would make the Danny Kanells of the world happier, it’s a different story for a lot of folks.

In 2021, bowl games—including CFP bowls—averaged 4.7 million viewers. That number eclipsed the average viewership for a MLB playoff game that season (3.48M). This year’s Vegas Bowl pulled in 2.5 million viewers to beat several other programs airing on the same week, including WWE Smackdown on Fox (2.2M), UCLA-Kentucky basketball on CBS (2M) and a Celtics-Lakers NBA game televised on ESPN (1.7M).

Some of that is nothing more than wishful thinking.  The bowls won’t be sniffing more games in a 12-team playoff, as the sentiment strongly favors playing games on campus.  And the suggestion to incorporate more television partners will be laughed out of the room, considering how many bowl games ESPN outright owns the rights to.

On the other hand, more flexibility with bowl affiliations would be an easy move that couldn’t hurt.  As for NIL, well, there’s money out there already.  It’s a question of whether there’s a willingness to redirect it.

Several holiday college basketball tournaments have paid participating players through NIL deals. But bowl checks would be more sizable. Bowl payouts range widely, from the Bahamas Bowl’s $225,000 and the New Mexico Bowl’s $1 million, to the Quick Lane Bowl’s $2 million and the Valero Alamo Bowl’s $8.2 million.

Traditionally, payouts go directly to conferences of participating teams. Leagues then normally distribute that revenue among their members.

“The payouts from bowl games could certainly be directed entirely to the players instead of the conferences if that’s what the commissioners wanted,” Carparelli says.

That would certainly be a change from the status quo.  Color me skeptical on that progressing, though.

14 Comments

Filed under College Football

You can’t win if you don’t recruit.

Ian Boyd:

Georgia really intimidates people. It’s the simple combination of recruiting ranking combined with film which consistently shows well drilled defenders, playing in concert to restrict passing windows, stuff rushing lanes, and run to the football.

When you see a team with so much size and speed doing all the little things right, it’s alarming. Georgia regularly beats teams with a steady pounding in all three phases that gradually sees them pull away on the scoreboard.

Their offense and run game operate in a similar fashion as the defense with Stetson Bennett throwing to a pair of tight ends who regularly make plays most tight ends don’t make.

They won the title last year obviously, which adds to their mystique, and despite losing five defensive players in the first round of the NFL draft after the season and 15 players overall, they’re back at it this season.

General consensus seems to be Georgia is just operating on a different plane than anyone else and no one else has what it takes to contend with them.

Is it true?

Well, I’d say if it’s not, that’s because of one team.

Don’t let recency bias get in the way of acknowledging that Ohio State is the one team in the CFP field with the talent to match Georgia’s.  That being said, those rankings don’t account for coaching and that’s an area that favors the Dawgs.

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UPDATE:  There’s this, too. ($$)

If we compared the weekly practice schedules of Georgia, Michigan and Ohio State, two probably would look almost identical. The other would be Ohio State’s. That wouldn’t have always been the case. Georgia tailback Kenny McIntosh used a phrase Wednesday that probably sounded familiar to some of the longer-serving Ohio State beat writers. McIntosh was discussing the intensity of Georgia’s practices when he referred to “Bloody Tuesday.”

“Everybody knows on this day that we’re going to be physical and get bloody, basically,” McIntosh said. “We want it to be hard.”

19 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, Georgia Football, Recruiting