Category Archives: Clemson: Auburn With A Lake

Stinger zinger

Not sure whom this is a bigger ouch for:

Let’s split the baby and just say the ACC.

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Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Tech Football

Damn, Dabo. I don’t think I would’ve said that.

Folks, I have been to the Great Wall of China. I have seen the Pyramids of Egypt. I’ve even witnessed a grown man satisfy a camel. But never in all my years as a blogger have I witnessed something as improbable, as impossible, as what we’ve witnessed here.

Admitting that you were outcoached by Geoff Collins is not a good look, dude.

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In defense of Brent Venables

Here’s something Smart said at yesterday’s presser:

On the performance of the offense… 
“Well, I think, you’ve got to be careful, because with the receptions, you’ve got to score touchdowns, and we didn’t.  So, we’re a very matter of fact judgement and it’s like ‘okay so we didn’t score but, why?  Why did we not?’  You go through the reasons why and you go through each play.  A lot of it was attention to detail, not converting on third down, missing a couple of explosives.  They played us very different than what you would normally say a Clemson team would play.  They prepared for speed breaks and shots and fast balls because that’s what they had given up.  They did a good job of defending that… [Emphasis added.]

I think a lot of us, after watching the way Clemson’s defense flamed out against Ohio State to the tune of 639 yards of offense, expected at least a certain degree of fireworks from JT Daniels.  That it never happened can be chalked up to some extent to the injuries to the receiving corps, but more so to the adjustments Venables made in his game plan.  What’s interesting to me about Smart’s quote is that Venables made those adjustments not because of what Georgia did well in its last four games of last season, but because of where his defense was vulnerable.

I saw comments leading up to the game that Venables is one of the best at shoring up deficiencies and I think Saturday night he showed that.  That being said, there’s only so much you can do schematically.  As Kirby went on to say, “Any time you can run the ball down someone’s throat in four minutes, it’s pretty obvious that they knew we had to run the ball there and we were still able to, so we did some really good things offensively.”  True dat.  There are few things in life more satisfying to a Georgia fan than watching an offense finish out on a game-ending drive that doesn’t even lead to a score.

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Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Strategery And Mechanics

Bill Connelly begs to differ with Dabo.

I don’t think he’s handing out a C-minus to Clemson here ($$).

Georgia has finished each of the past two seasons first in defensive SP+, so it says something that we just witnessed the best defensive performance of the Kirby Smart era in Athens.

Even when you take Clemson’s own issues into account — new starting quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei was facing an elite defense (that had eight months to prepare) for the first time, star receiver Justyn Ross was shaking off rust after missing 2020 — this was staggering. The Tigers hadn’t been held under 5.4 yards per play or 21 points in 42 games, and they managed just 3.0 and three, respectively, in Charlotte. Clemson receiver Joe Ngata caught six passes for 110 yards, but 54 other Clemson snaps gained just 70. Uiagalelei was sacked seven times. The Dawg defense even scored the game’s only touchdown, a 74-yard pick-six from Christopher Smith.

Georgia’s defense was so dominant that it’s hard to know what else to take away from the game.

Unless he’s grading on a curve, of course.

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Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Giving credit where credit is due.

It’s not easy talking out of both sides of your mouth at the same time, but Dabo gives it a shot.

Soooo… Georgia played hard.  Georgia’s a great team.  And Clemson played a C-minus game.

I think that qualifies as Georgia’s first Dawgraded game of the season, folks.

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Today, in I read it on the Internet, so it must be true

I appreciate the number of emails I received from you guys about Georgia Tech’s embarrassing loss to NIU and the reaction to that over at Stingtalk.  Rather than highlight any individual anger or wrist-slitting going on over there, I’ll just point out that things are so bad, there isn’t a single mention of UGA on the front page of the board right now.  Given the way some of them obsess over the Dawgs, good or bad, that ought to tell you how well Coach 404 is going over with the fan base today.

However, if you’re looking for some comedic relief, I can safely recommend TigerNetHere’s one brief example that had me chuckling.

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Who needs it more?

Bill Connelly ($$):

… Virtually anything I wrote this offseason included something about how fascinating Georgia’s prospects are in 2021. Bulldog fans are tired of hearing it and I’m tired of writing it. So it’s great that Georgia begins the season in one of the biggest games of the year.

While this game isn’t a must-win for the Dawgs when it comes to the national title race — a theoretical 12-1 UGA squad would still have wins over Florida and the SEC West champion (probably Alabama) on its résumé and would likely get into the College Football Playoff — it’s a chance to answer a lot of questions. Was what we saw from Daniels in a small sample late in 2020 what we’ll see over a larger sample? Does a banged-up receiving corps have the requisite firepower? Is a remodeled secondary going to be an issue?

Mind you, the stakes could be even higher for Clemson than for Kirby Smart’s Dawgs. No other opponent on the Tigers’ 2021 schedule ranks higher than 40th in SP+, and even if an opponent or two were to overachieve projections, Clemson will still end up with one of the weakest schedules of any power conference team. It needs to take advantage of this quality win opportunity more than UGA does.

What say you?

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Big on big

It was easy to see in Clemson’s spring game, but Dabo Swinney definitely favors a certain body type in his wide receivers.

Before missing last season with an injury, Clemson’s Ross combined to total 1,865 receiving yards and 17 touchdown receptions as a freshman and sophomore. Other Tiger wideouts who will likely see their share of snaps this Saturday against Georgia include juniors Frank Ladson (18 receptions for 281 yards in 2020) and Joseph Ngata (7-83) and sophomores E.J. Williams (24-306) and Brannon Spector (16-136). Of the five Clemson receivers mentioned, all but Spector stand at least 6-foot-3 in height and all but Spector and Williams weight at least 205 pounds.

That’s a lot of size, even if this group outside of Ross hasn’t proven itself to be particularly productive in receptions yet.  How does Georgia counter?

According to Georgia’s Ameer Speed, a fifth-year defensive back, the Tigers’ receiving unit is indeed big and physical. Still, the Bulldogs have a couple of larger-sized cornerbacks who will be covering the sizable wideouts.

“They have a very big set of physical wideouts, but we’re looking forward to that,” Speed said of Clemson. “We’re planning on all of us using our size and ability to match and play their receivers the best we can.”

Speed, a possible starter who only saw 39 snaps on defense last season, is Georgia’s largest cornerback at 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds. He is followed by redshirt freshman Kelee Ringo, who is 6-foot-2 and 205. Other cornerbacks Derion Kendrick, Jalen Kimber, Kamari Lassiter, and Nyland Green are all listed at 6-foot-0 or 6-foot-1.

According to Speed, the Georgia cornerbacks adjust their “approach and mindset” for each opposing receiver, whether physically big or small.

“When it comes to big receivers, you have to be more heavy, you have to be more physical,” Speed said. “[Clemson’s receivers] are big, but we’re big. So, there could be a lot of contact. Knowing the type of ball they want to throw to bigger receivers should help us and allow us to play better.”

Kirby Smart, being Kirby Smart, is particularly worried about blocking.

“The thing that concerns you is 50-50 balls and blocking on the perimeter. That’s critical to be able to block on the perimeter,” Smart said. “Getting on and off blocks, it’s critical to every football game, but it’s really critical to this game…You’ve got to be able to tackle and get off blocks. Those big [Clemson receivers] make that hard to do.”

I, being a Georgia football fan, am more concerned about what the officials allow with regard to physical coverage.  Or, to phrase it more finely, how consistent said officials are in terms of what they allow with regard to physical coverage.  I hope we’re not pulling our hair out as the evening progresses, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if we were.

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Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Wednesday morning buffet

Enjoy today’s offerings:

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Filed under Alabama, BCS/Playoffs, Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Oh, wait… he was serious about that?

I’m having a hard time swallowing this.

Against Jordan Davis?  Good luck with that, Dabo.

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Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Strategery And Mechanics