“You really have to wonder what the hell Butch Jones was thinking.”

That’s from Brian Cook, who takes a look at what a former Michigan coach is doing as Tennessee’s offensive coordinator and isn’t impressed.

The Vols are 108th in Bill Connelly’s “explosiveness” metric. They’ve scored a total of 13 points in the second half of games against Oklahoma, Florida, and Arkansas.

The optics here are really bad. Tennessee essentially does not have a quarterbacks coach. That task has fallen to Nick Sheridan (yes, that Nick Sheridan), who is a grad assistant after a couple of years as Willie Taggart’s QB coach at WKU and then USF. No offense to Sheridan, but that’s an incredibly thin resume for the only guy a major college has with any claim to be a QB coach. Dobbs has seen his completion percentage drop six points and lost 0.6 YPA this year. You want those numbers to go the other way when your QB hits his upperclass years.

It’s one thing to get shown up by Alabama’s coaching staff.  If Pruitt’s secondary can’t defend the pass better this coming Saturday, it’s time to start screaming.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football

One less “OR” on the roster

Um… this is going to be disappointing news for some of you.

That tells me the coaches have doubled down on making sure the QB practice reps aren’t spread as much as they once were.


Filed under Georgia Football

“I know our fans are sick about it and I don’t blame them.”

Hey, give us some credit – at least this time nobody egged the starting quarterback’s house after a depressing defeat as a top 10 team!

Apathy disguised as maturity… you gotta take what you can get, folks.

By the way, anybody notice Pruitt used “Aight” in Marc’s article?  Gettin’ more ‘Bama every day.


Filed under Georgia Football

When ESPN’s problem is our problem

This is what you call a negative feedback cycle.

Here’s the irony.

The faster college football has become, the slower it gets.

Offenses are increasingly trying to quicken the pace of play, rushing to the line of scrimmage to snap the ball before defenses can adjust. The tactic has resulted in longer games because the quicker drives equate to more possessions which equate to more TV breaks.

Got that?  Pace equals more TV breaks, which means longer games, which is a problem – not for fans, as the writer suggests, as much as it is for the very broadcasters scheduling those breaks.

Which suggests a solution that as obvious as it is likely to be ignored.  Instead, we’re likely to hear this kind of stupidity:

College football needs to follow the NFL model and not stop the clock for first downs, except in the final two minutes. A shorter halftime would work as well. If a 12-minute break is good enough for professional players, no reason why it needs to be 20 minutes at the college level.

There will be resistance because many college fans like the differences between the pros and the amateurs, but as long as teams continue to quicken the pace, changes need to be made for the good of the game.

Absolutely.  Because everyone knows that being more like the NFL is good for the college football game.


Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil

Thoughts upon further review

I’ve seen and heard the argument advanced that the weather did in fact have Georgia at a disadvantage Saturday because the Dawgs are built as a speed team and the conditions affected that.

I’m not buying it.  As Seth Emerson points out, that’s not what Georgia’s offense is built on, anyway.

A big aim for Georgia is to use its run game to wear down opposing teams. But when you fall behind by three touchdowns and have to pass your way back into the game, so much for that.

The only thing that was fast on Saturday was the speed at which ‘Bama built its second quarter lead. The game got away from Georgia then.  That minimized the use of the run.  And as we all saw, Georgia’s passing game was incapable of picking up the slack.

Plus, once things started rolling the Tide’s way, Georgia’s pass defense struggled to hold the line.  There wasn’t much of a pass rush, and, as Pruitt noted yesterday, defensive backs were often out of position, leading to big plays.

Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt knew what to expect when it came to Alabama’s route concepts. Even in Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin’s second season with the program, the basics have remained the same since head coach Nick Saban took over in 2007.

But as Saturday’s 38-10 drubbing played out, in the first half especially, the Georgia defensive backs had issues matching Alabama’s receivers on the field. This led to completions of 45 and 50 yards from Jake Coker to Calvin Ridley, and a lot of free receivers throughout the first two quarters.

“One thing we’ve done since I’ve been here is we don’t let a whole lot of guys run open,” Pruitt said. “We’ve kept people covered up pretty good since I’ve been here. And they created some issues for us, you’ve got to give them credit with what they did. We got to do a better job coaching it up.”

… “It’s something they’ve been doing there for a long time,” Pruitt said. “Anybody successful running the football like them that they are, you have to find ways to push the ball down the field. They did a good job matching. You get single-high coverage, trying to stop the run. You gotta be able to match the patterns. We didn’t do a good job with it.”

Finally, the way the game unraveled has to be the most troubling aspect of the blow out for Richt.  In less than nine minutes, Georgia went from a tie to facing a three-touchdown deficit, and saw that widen by another two touchdowns in the first five minutes of the third quarter.  As Seth mentioned, that’s reminiscent of what happened last year in Jacksonville.  And it’s something the coaches clearly need to address.


Filed under Georgia Football

“I speak the truth, and the truth of the matter is we’re a good football team.”

Booch has a simple message for the troops:  ignore reality.

For the fourth time in seven football seasons, Tennessee is 2-3.

The Volunteers had the same record through five games in 2009, 2010 and last season, and while they rallied on the easier back halves of those schedules, there’s a different feeling around this one.

Letting two-score leads slip away in the losses by a combined 12 points probably has something to do with that.

Who you gonna believe, your coach or that losing record?

“I want our players to understand,” he added, “that we’re a good football team.”

Is that the case, though?

Tennessee ranks last in the SEC in total defense (414 yards per game) and 12th in the league in scoring defense (24.6 points allowed per game). Big plays are a reason why. The Vols have allowed 23 plays of 20-plus yards, the second-most in the SEC, and 14 plays of 30-plus yards and nine plays for 40-plus yards, both SEC-worst totals.

Offensively, Tennessee is one-dimensional. If opponents can slow running backs Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara and contain quarterback Josh Dobbs and force Tennessee to throw, the Vols struggle to move the ball through the air. Dobbs is 10th in the SEC in passing efficiency, and the receivers have been injured, underwhelming or both.

None of which is to say – before some of you go there – that Tennessee can’t win on Saturday.  Of course the Vols could.  But compare Jones’ smoke blowing to Richt’s acknowledgement of Georgia laying a large egg against Alabama.

It’ll be interesting to see which approach serves the respective teams better.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Running out of chances at Second Chance U

The Duke has been escorted off the Gus Bus.

Auburn has dismissed receiver Duke Williams, coach Gus Malzahn announced Monday night.

“When individuals fail to meet the expectations of our program, there has to be consequences,” Malzahn said. “I gave D’haquille the chance to prove himself. I am disappointed that it did not work out.”

Word has it that this go ’round, Williams was involved in an incident at a nightclub.  You gotta love this assessment:

The senior already was on a zero-tolerance policy with coach Gus Malzahn after drawing a suspension late last season, which kept Williams out of the Outback Bowl, and a second suspension in early August following a preseason practice session.

Zero tolerance!

That would explain Williams’ struggle to regain his starting role after his August suspen… oh, wait.

This is your classic “we can suck just as much without you” move.  It might have helped the Dukester’s survival odds if he had more to show for Malzahn’s blind eye turning than a paltry 12 catches for 146 yards.  Not too surprisingly, it turns out there isn’t much of a need on the Plains for a mediocre pain in the ass.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands