Category Archives: Georgia Football

Go deep

This is a strange criticism.

Smart was then asked why the secondary’s play has frustrated him through the preseason.

Smart had a simple response to the question.

“Well, it’s when the other team throws the ball real far down the field and then the other team catches it, and we don’t make the play,” Smart said. “It concerns me. That’s it. I wouldn’t say it’s often. But if it happens once I don’t like it. Right? You don’t like big plays. It’s good for the offense to make some of those…”

The reason I find it strange was because preventing the big pass play was one of Georgia’s strengths last season.  The Dawgs were second in the conference in opponents’ pass plays of more than 20 yards and third in more than 30 yards.  There’s only one defensive back from last season who’s gone, Maurice Smith, and while he had a great 2016 season, it’s hard to think he was the sole reason for success.  (Besides, it’s reasonable to think the front seven, with another year under their belts, are likely to be even better contributors this season.)

So, are we supposed to accept this as a sign that the receiving corps is a greater threat this year?  Is this Smart’s way of motivating his returning defensive backs?  Or is somebody just grumpy on general principle?

Then again, maybe they’ve done such a good job of fixing the red zone problems that Kirby’s moved on.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“They got one shot. It’s all they got.”

Ken Blankenship, you’ve been warned.

Heading into Saturdays’ first preseason scrimmage, Georgia football coach Kirby Smart may not know just yet who his punter or kicker will be this season…

Smart called the competition between Rodrigo Blankenship and Wofford graduate transfer David Marvin “really tight” at both field goals and kickoffs.

“Those two guys are neck and neck, competing with each other,” Smart said. “But it’s still early.”

Sure hope Rodrigo can keep his dad in check.  Probably not as much as Rodrigo does, though.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Nick Chubb, not too shabby

Pro Football Focus takes a look at Nick Chubb’s 2016 season and discovers it wasn’t that bad.

  • After having his 2015 season end prematurely due to three torn ligaments in his left knee, Chubb returned to play 433 snaps in 2016 and recorded an overall grade of 81.8, which is No. 5 among returning SEC running backs. Chubb’s average of 3.6 yards after contact per rushing attempt was also tops among all SEC backs with 200 plus carries.
  • One thing that Chubb has been able to do throughout his collegiate career is make defenders miss. As a true freshman, Chubb had an elusive rating of 108.5 after forcing 69 missed tackles on 237 touches. Even this past year after returning from his knee surgery, Chubb forced 40 missed tackles but didn’t force them as efficiently as he’d done prior to the injury.  [Emphasis added.]

Jeez.  Just imagine what a fully healthy Chubb might be capable of this season.  Then imagine it with a competent offensive line.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Never tweak a tweaker.

Bill Connelly spills the beans in this week’s edition of Podcast Ain’t Played Nobody:  he occasionally checks the comments section here to see what kind of reaction he’s gotten to something he’s posted, and he’s amused by some of your takes on his Georgia preview.  Dial it up to the 27:20 mark and listen to the next four or so minutes of discussion.  (I can’t argue with what they have to say about the hiring process, either.)

You are somebody, guys.  Wear it and be proud.

68 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Blogosphere

Give ’em something to think about.

Now you’re just messing with us, Kirby.

With five talented running backs and a former high school quarterback-turned-receiver at its disposal, Georgia spent some time during Wednesday’s practice working on plays out of the Wildcat formation.

Sophomore Mecole Hardman, a high school quarterback at Elberton who is now a receiver, was with the group taking direct snaps and practicing reads with Georgia running backs.

Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my chin.  Ah, that’s better.

Seriously, this has the potential to be an excellent idea.  Hardman didn’t throw the ball a lot in high school, but he did throw it to the tune of 17.7 yards per catch over his three years.  If his ability to throw a pass for a decent gain is perceived as a legitimate threat, that should open up the run options out of the Wildcat dramatically.

Obviously, with Chubb, Michel and Eason, the Wildcat isn’t going to be anything more than a change of pace for Georgia’s offense, but, damn, if the possibilities aren’t delicious to consider.  And I’d say, given that the coaches let the media see it in practice, they want their opponents to spend preparation time doing just that.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Cool and hot takes

There appears to be a lot of consensus among the pundit class about Georgia’s place in the preseason universe.

Sports Illustrated’s right there, with the Dawgs at number 16 in its preseason projections.  But not for the reason you might expect.

Georgia needs playmakers on the perimeter, and 5’ 11″, 185-pound junior receiver Terry Godwin can help. He ranked second on the Bulldogs with 397 receiving yards in 2016, but he could turn into sophomore quarterback Jacob Eason’s go-to target this season. Godwin looked good in spring practice and hauled in five passes for a team-high 130 yards in Georgia’s spring game in April. His ability to scamper for big gains after catching short and intermediate passes will strain defenses already worried about how to stop senior running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. That’s why the Bulldogs will likely go as far as Godwin—and its other wide receivers—can carry them.  [Emphasis added.]

The wide receivers?  Really?  I think I’ll stick with the conventional wisdom and wait to see how the offensive line comes together, SI.

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Party hearty

Kirby Smart is tired of all the mean girls shit being thrown Jacob Eason’s way.

Asked whether Eason was more interested in having fun than grinding through his playbook was fact or fiction, Smart bristled and offered a staunch defense of the sophomore quarterback: “I think Jacob is a great quarterback. I think he’s somebody who understands our system. He works really hard. Jacob comes in and meets extra every chance he gets. A lot of the things you have heard about Jacob may not be true. I don’t know who your sources are; you haven’t told me your sources…”

In other words, as we like to say in the biz, pictures or it didn’t happen.

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Filed under Georgia Football