Category Archives: SEC Football

Lighter and longer: fighting the HUNH

If you don’t think dealing with the HUNH attack isn’t the biggest thing on the minds of SEC defensive coordinators, think again.

At Georgia, Jeremy Pruitt and Tracy Rocker are concerned about their big men being able to stay on the field and contribute in the face of more pace.

Rocker didn’t call out any single player, but he just emphasized that everybody has to trim down.

“That’s going to happen. I mean, that’s going to be the No. 1 thing, is we’re gonna have to trim them all down and get them under weight,” Rocker said. “Because this league, it’s a lot of no-huddle, and we can’t be 330 pounds out there. We’ll get that done. But it’ll be up to them to do it, too. We’ve got time. But it’s going fast.”

“The way these offenses go now, and they go so fast, you don’t get to sub a lot,” Pruitt said. “If a guy is stuck in there, he’s gotta be able to play. To me, if you’re in shape, then you don’t make mental errors, because fatigue makes a coward out of everybody. So we need to get in shape as a football team. We’re nowhere where we need to be.”

And Ellis Johnson is a man in search of a different body type.

In the SEC, Auburn faces a mix of power teams, spread teams and everything in between. Defensive coaches need versatile players, especially in Auburn’s defense, which can wait to make a call until seeing the offensive formation.

“The game has become more spread out on all levels,” Johnson said. “Quarterbacks throw the ball better than they used to because they’re learning how to throw it at a younger age. High schools are teaching complicated and well-polished passing games and kids are coming to college —receivers and quarterbacks and pass protection — a lot better than they were 15-25 years ago. It’s a different style of football with most teams.

On the other hand, if you’re going to win a championship at Auburn, you’re probably going to have to go through Georgia, LSU and Alabama. They’re all power football teams. It’s difficult, game to game, it changes quite a bit. But even those teams can spread the field. They all throw the ball extremely well and they have great receivers.

“It’s hard to play with the old prototype linebacker that could stop the run and was a liability in coverage. They’ve got to be able to run, these days. We put a huge premium in trying to recruit length. Not just height, but armspan and those type of things, because so much is done in pass coverage and blitzing where arm length and overall length is such a big factor.”

Johnson mentions a concern I’ve discussed before – the risk that a DC goes so far in structuring a defense to stop the spread that he leaves himself vulnerable to offenses that deploy power attacks.  It’s a tough call.  Even in the SEC, there are only so many physical defensive freaks you can find who can play against all kinds of offenses.  What’s interesting to me is that Georgia seems to believe slimming down on the defensive line will payoff even against the power offenses.

… Tracy Rocker, the team’s new defensive line coach, studied tape of that second championship game, the loss to Alabama, and saw a problem.

“They go to the championship, and you turn on that tape, and the first thing everybody saw (was), they couldn’t get off the blocks,” Rocker said. “That answers a lot of questions.”

And that’s why the days of big nose tackles are gone at Georgia, at least as long as Rocker and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt are around.

In order to adapt to a game that has become more up-tempo, the Bulldogs are emphasizing getting lighter at all defensive positions. Pruitt thinks his defense as a whole is “too big” and needs to cut down.

It sure is going to be fun watching the chess matches this season, isn’t it?

16 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Tuesday morning buffet

Go get a plate and dig in.

  • Keith Marshall makes a funny about Bubba Watson.
  • It’s springtime, and you know what that means:  this year, the Florida offense is going to be good.
  • The SEC’s appeal of the NCAA’s interpretation of the rule permitting recruits to sign early multiple financial aid offers is being heard today.
  • A student task force at the University of Michigan found that Brady Hoke likely lied about a player who was alleged to have been involved in a sexual assault?  Whoa.  We’ll see if the rule about the coverup being a bigger problem than the original incident plays out in Ann Arbor.
  • Brice Ramsey, on his G-Day performance:  “I was picking up blitzes, making the right reads. I just need to put the ball on. I had a bad day throwing.”
  • ”In theory, it could give the private universities a recruiting advantage.”
  • John Pennington argues for a rule that would prevent SEC teams from signing kids who had been kicked out of other SEC programs for violations.  One rationale for that: “The fact that a booted player could come back to haunt a coach down the road might lead some to hang onto players a bit longer even if they’ve proven to be bad news.”  That’s never been a concern at Georgia, obviously.
  • And Seth Emerson says the NCAA can’t find a middle ground.  Wouldn’t it have to be looking for one first?

22 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Look For The Union Label, Political Wankery, Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA

“… as much as football evolves, we need to go outside the box with our thinking.”

Of the many things over the past few seasons that I’ve been impressed with by Stanford football, perhaps the number one item is how well it’s defended Oregon’s fast paced offense.  That’s probably why I’m so taken with this piece on how Derek Mason plans to transfer what worked for him as Stanford’s defensive coordinator to Vanderbilt to deal with the rise of the HUNH in the SEC.

There are so many aspects to the program he’s altering that it’s going to be a fascinating learning experience to see how Vandy’s defense evolves over the coming years.  And if he’s successful, you can damned well be sure there will be other SEC defenses adopting what works.

Definitely worth a read.

9 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

$37,910,104.00

I’m sure Johnny Football had absolutely nothing to do with the astounding profit Texas A&M turned in 2012.  (To put that number in perspective, it’s over half of what the rest of the conference put together made.)

32 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Friday morning buffet

Plenty to sample…

  • Here’s a shocker“But as the College Football Playoff’s selection committee wrapped up two days of meetings at the Gaylord Texan on Thursday, it’s clear that objectivity is a sticking point as the college football season draws closer.”
  • Patrick Garbin tells us that over the last two decades, experience has nothing to do with the performance of Georgia’s offensive lines.  I think that’s supposed to relieve us.
  • For some reason, Vanderbilt has decided to move its home game against Ole Miss to the Titans’ stadium, which seats 68,798.  That seems like an invitation for OM fans to come fill the place up.
  • This doesn’t sound good:  “The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has opened an investigation of Florida State University into whether its handling of the Jameis Winston rape allegations violated Title IX laws…”
  • How would you like it if Finebaum hosted a live show from Sanford Stadium?
  • Texas paid $266,990 to a search firm to help find Charlie Strong.  I bet most of us would have offered to do the job for a tenth of that.
  • Here’s a look at how much of a role conversion rates and big play potential on both offense and defense as well as field position played in determining the last ten BCS champs.
  • Marc Weiszer takes stock of how Georgia’s new focus on special teams is going.
  • Tramel Terry, on life as a new defensive back:  “Each day it’s getting better and better. I’m just trying to get all the little terms and get them out on the field instead of thinking so much. Other than that I’m fine. I’ve just got to work hard in the summer time and get my feet right. I feel like I’ll be fine and be ready to play this year.”

8 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, PAWWWLLL!!!, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Much ado about nothing

Once again, here’s a post that shows, contrary to the insistence of many who love to believe otherwise, that penalties committed have little to do with a team’s wins and losses.

34 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Mark Richt has lost control over random ESPN lists.

You gotta love it – here’s a list of the fourteen SEC programs, ranked in order of having “the most to accomplish this spring”.  Georgia’s smack dab in the middle, with this description:

Georgia: Jeremy Pruitt should breathe some new life into a struggling Georgia defense. Having Hutson Mason to replace Aaron Murray helps as well. But off-the-field problems continue to plague Mark Richt’s program. With stars such as Todd Gurley, the players are there. The pieces just need to come together. [Emphasis added.]

Guess how many other programs he cites as having off-the-field problems.  You don’t really need to guess, do you?

25 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, SEC Football

Wednesday morning buffet

Grab a plate.

  • Tracy Rocker sounds pretty no-nonsense about his charges:  “You produce, you stay,” Rocker said. “You don’t produce, next. It’s all about playing with the right combination and to get guys to produce with full-speed effort. That’s the most important thing. That’s what I’m working on up front is effort. Try to eliminate the MA’s (missed assignments) and go forward.”
  • Bill Connelly looks at how the 2013 FBS teams ranked in order of their per-game difference between projection and reality as to offensive and defensive scoring efficiency.  Georgia ranks 116th.  He didn’t speculate how much of that to chalk up to luck, randomness or something else, but perhaps I need to dust off the ol’ “regression to the mean, bitchez!” meme.
  • Another day in paradise on Finebaum.  (Do any of his listeners actually care about basketball?)
  • Athlon ranks the SEC head coaches.  I don’t get how you can put Malzahn ahead of Miles, but that’s just me, I guess.
  • Kirby Smart is coaching defensive backs again, drawing upon his experience at Georgia“He just coaches us at a different level, trying to get us to understand it from his point of view because he played the position and he knows what’s going on…”  They should be awesome in run support this year, if that’s the case.
  • Today, Quayvon Hicks is Georgia’s only healthy scholarship tight end.
  • One reason CAPA is going to Washington “One obstacle in securing some of the protections we want is the NCAA is colluding and excluding opportunities for trust funds. To solidify an antitrust exemption would be to the detriment of player protections.”
  • Malik McDowell has outlasted his momma.
  • I missed this when it came out, but Pete Fiutak’s April Fools’ story about Herschel finding a loophole in the NCAA eligibility rules and announcing a return to Georgia is a fun read.  Richt then joked, “If you can find an extra year of eligibility for Champ Bailey and Richard Seymour, we’d find a spot for them, too. ”

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Look For The Union Label, Media Punditry/Foibles, PAWWWLLL!!!, Political Wankery, Recruiting, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Mark Richt has lost control over drankin’.

Let’s face it, the SEC is getting wasted country.  Everybody’s doing it.

(Texas A&M quarterback Kenny) Hill, who will be a sophomore this season and is competing for the starting quarterback job, was arrested just before 3 a.m. on a public intoxication charge, according to the Bryan-College Station Eagle.

Texas A&M athletic department spokesman Alan Cannon confirmed that Hill is “suspended indefinitely from all athletic activities per athletics department policy.”

According to the Eagle, which obtained the police reports, Hill was arrested at Chimy’s, a College Station restaurant and bar, after being found passed out in front of the establishment. He later posted bail and was released.

His fate is yet to be determined.

Whether or not Hill will be suspended for any playing time in the fall remains to be seen. For now, Hill will be kept out of all athletic activities according to Texas A&M policy…

So, he’ll miss a little spring ball, but his role in the fall will be determined by how much his coach needs him on the field, as opposed to some sort of Michael Adams’ mandate.  Level playing field?  We don’t need no stinkin’ level playing field.

I doubt we’ll ever see his like at Auburn, in other words.

12 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, SEC Football

How good is Georgia’s linebacking corps?

Let’s put it this way… I bet this is a question none of you have asked yourselves yet:  What linebacker units might rival Georgia’s as the best in the SEC this season?

The thing is, he doesn’t make a half-bad case for it.

20 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football