Category Archives: Georgia Football

“Everyone’s fighting for the Snickers…”

Okay, red zone defense may have left something to be desired, but there were bright spots on that side of the ball for Georgia during the 2016 season.

One is turnovers.

Georgia ranked 10th in the nation in turnovers gained with 27, including 15 interceptions and 12 fumbles recovered. That was the Bulldogs best national ranking in that category since 2011 and up from 43rd in 2015.

“I think our guys understand that you have to take the ball away,” defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said before a Liberty Bowl win over TCU, “so attacking the football, forcing takeaways and working to win the turnover margin is very important.”

Georgia had a plus-7 turnover margin in its eight wins and plus-one in its five losses in the first year under coach Kirby Smart.

“If you practice high-pointing the ball and ripping at the ball Monday through Friday then on Saturday it comes easy,” outside linebacker Davin Bellamy said.

Statistically speaking, there is some luck involved (primarily tied to where the ball comes loose), so we’ll have to wait and see if this was simply a random showing, or if the coaches’ emphasis on forcing takeaways is in fact paying off.

While there may be a factor with turnovers that can’t be controlled, I don’t think you can say the same thing about this area of performance.

Look who stopped the run last season.  Looks like at least one lesson from Tuscaloosa took.  And with the development of the defensive line, I only expect that to get better.

6 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Updating the Urban Dictionary

Clemsoning is dead.

Long live Georgiaing?

7 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“It’s pretty much a Dave & Buster’s on their campus.”

Damn, the JPMIPF™ hasn’t even officially opened its doors yet, and Georgia’s already behind in the facilities arms race again.  What’s a McGarity to do?  (Besides pull up the donor list again, I mean.)

31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

More anti-throwaway narrative

Over at CFN, Pete Fiutak goes all in on Georgia in his early top ten for 2017:

7. Georgia

It’s all about the offensive line. There’s no excuse whatsoever for the offense to be so mediocre with Jacob Eason with a year under his belt, and with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to hand off to. But that line – it returns just two starters, and it has to be a whole lot better. Meanwhile, the defense isn’t going to skip a beat with just about everyone back to what should be a killer. Dawgs, win the East – you’re this year’s Tennessee.

Um, how did “this year’s Tennessee” work out for last year’s Tennessee?

65 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

When alma maters collide

Man, I hate when this happens.

Although I have to admit it was the’79 meeting between the two in Athens that rekindled my love for college football after wandering in the wilderness for several years before.

31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Return of the prodigal towel boy

Guess who’s back in the SEC.

Mississippi State is hiring Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, according to a source. Grantham agreed to a multi-year deal to become the next defensive coordinator in Starkville.

Current Mississippi State defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon will not return to the Bulldogs next season, according to a source.

(Sirmon, by the way, is expected to swap jobs with Grantham at Louisville.  That’s efficient, if nothing else.)

Why is Grantham leaving?  Round up the usual suspects.

In 2016, Grantham earned $1.3 million with the Cardinals, making him the fifth-highest-paid assistant coach in the country according to USA Today‘s salary database. Suffice to say, Grantham will be looking at some kind of bump in pay for leaving for Dan Mullen‘s MSU coaching staff; how significant remains to be seen.

Kind of amazed Mullen is able to round up that kind of jack, but whatevs.

Mississippi State, you may or may not recall, comes calling to Athens in the 2017 season, which means that anyone who’s grown nostalgic for the days when his white towel roamed the sidelines in Sanford Stadium will have a new opportunity to get his or her jollies.

Should be a fun week leading up to the game.

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

UPDATE:

Hey, it’s not a lie if you believe it.

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

UPDATE #2:  I can see Greg McGarity reading this blog post about the hire and slowly shaking his head.

38 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

From Alabama 2007 to Clemson 2017

As Chip Towers argues for yet another program template for Georgia to follow…

So Clemson and Swinney have provided the formula for Georgia. And the Bulldogs’ fan base would be well-advised to take note of the timeline. The Tigers went just 19-15 those first three years. But they won 10 or more every year since, including 28-2 these last two, when the roster brimmed with upperclassmen.

I honestly don’t think it should take Georgia as long to get to a similar place, not with the way Smart is recruiting. Make what you will about recruiting rankings — the Dogs are currently No. 3 nationally — but it is a game of odds and the more highly-rated acquisitions one makes, the better the chance they’ll be able to help you.

… I can’t help but come back to something that crossed my mind as I watched the national championship game unfold, namely how the paths of Clemson and Georgia have diverged so dramatically in just two seasons after this game.

Did Clemson grow that much more talented than Georgia from 2014 to 2016?  Or was there something else that came into play?

As ever, it’s about development and chemistry, two areas on which Swinney and the Tigers get very high marks. We don’t know that yet about Smart and his staff, but we do know it’s a point of heavy emphasis. He certainly knows what great players look like and where to get them. Coaching them up is what we’ll have to wait and see on.

About that “we do know it’s a point of heavy emphasis” thing — exactly how do we know that?  I mean, yes, there are areas where we saw signs of player development, like the defensive front seven, for example.  But if you watched Georgia’s offensive line or special teams play, it’s a stretch to say that was a team-wide phenomenon.

Bottom line, player development is what’s separated Alabama from Georgia for almost a decade now and helps to explain why Clemson pulled down that national title that’s eluded Georgia for 36 years now.  Can Kirby Smart close that gap?  The jury is out.

102 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football