Too cute by half

Really, I just don’t get what Dan Mullen thinks he’s up to with this.

Of course, just about everything Mullen has done so far has done that organically. His penchant for trolling rivals being one of the chief things fans have loved about him. He’s got a little bit of that Steve Spurrier swagger to him, not afraid to take snipes or joke at a rival’s expense.

The most recent was an announced attendance figure of 39,476 fans at UF’s spring game. After a few days of digging, a fan on the r/FloridaGators Reddit page realized that it had been 39 years since Georgia last won a national title, with the Bulldogs playing that title game 476 games ago.

So when a fan got a chance to ask Mullen if he realized it had been that long since the Bulldogs’ last title, Mullen laughed and explained some of the back story.

“No,” he said. “I will say this, there was a press conference early in the week. And they said, ‘Have you ever done, like, spring game attendance?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, you know what, I’ve had some different numbers out there for spring games before. I was at Mississippi State and it was always like kind of picking on Ole Miss.’

“But I told (the reporters) before the game, I said, ‘Well, if we do it there might be like 41,140 people at the game. Right?’ That one would make sense, y’all could figure that out pretty quickly. (Someone’s) yelling out Florida State in the back.

“So after the game, the press conference, they’re like ‘OK, so what’s the attendance?’ I just looked with a straight face at the media, said, ‘It’s there, you’ve got to figure it out.'”

Of course, the media floated a few different ideas, but none seemed to stick. Not until the Reddit sleuths uncovered the meaning.

If it was planned, Mullen was playing coy about it Monday night when he spoke to the Polk County Gator Club. Of course, not without taking perhaps another little swipe at Georgia.

“I had no idea. I don’t even know how they came up with that number, the most random thing ever,” Mullen said. “But everybody started freaking out about it, I guess, until three days later somebody put enough math together to go figure that out.

“Maybe Georgia fans were really so uptight they haven’t won in 39 years they got all uptight and tried to figure it out. But it was pretty random actually, it was pretty funny.”

I’d have to figure out what he means first before I can get uptight about it.

That line about “He’s got a little bit of that Steve Spurrier swagger to him” cracked me up, though.  Kind of reminds me of the way they used to describe Florida football pre-Spurrier — combining the arrogance of Alabama with the history of Vanderbilt.  As a head coach, the man’s got a losing record against Georgia and his last two games against Smart saw his teams beaten by double-digit margins in each.  There’s a lot of ways I could describe that, but Spurrier-esque wouldn’t be one of them.

If Gator fans are eating this up, bless their hearts.

(h/t)

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UPDATE:  Welcome to Gatorchatter.

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57 Comments

Filed under Gators Gators, Georgia Football

More defending the RPO talk

One persistent thought I had watching Clemson’s take down of Alabama in the last national title game was that Dabo and his staff had taken a fair amount of Georgia’s game plan from the SECCG and used it more successfully.

So naturally, I’m intrigued by this Ian Boyd piece that gives credit for Clemson’s work defending Alabama’s bread and butter RPO game… to Mississippi State.

For the vast majority of their season, Alabama faced defenses that focused on trying to stop the run. That led to lots of open RPOs and play-action opportunities for their speedy WR group and consequently four of them had at least 700 receiving yards and Devonta Smith nearly made five with 693.

Mississippi State did things differently. They surmised that they couldn’t survive allowing Tagovailoa to throw open slants, screens, and downfield shots to their WR corps and instead chose to take away the easy pass options and force Alabama to beat them by running the football.

I’m not trying to be one, but that’s what Georgia did in the SECCG.  And Georgia did a better job, at least judging by Tagovailoa’s passer rating.

  • Mississippi State:  138.46
  • Georgia:  92.30
  • Clemson:  145.24

It’s all the more interesting to me, based on what Boyd had to say about the national title game Georgia lost to ‘Bama.

This “glance” pass option against man coverage outside was a game changer that presented clear problems to the Dawgs.

Georgia clearly was ready for Tua’s RPO work in the rematch, even if that meant it was more vulnerable to the Tide’s rushing attack.  Kudos to the staff, although we already had a notion that Kirby’s been focused on stopping the RPO.

Now, if only the Dawgs could learn how to handle an in-game quarterback change.

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Deandre Baker, malcontent?

This tweet made the rounds late yesterday.

Color me a little surprised.  Not by the timing — it smacks of the classic pre-draft shit talk about a kid by a team hoping he’d fall lower — but why we’re hearing about it just now.

Keep in mind, the criticism isn’t about skipping the game.  The NFL’s already proven time and time again it doesn’t care about that.  No, the whispers are about Baker setting a poor example with his behavior leading up to the game.  It’s a juicy enough take that there’s no way it could have been kept under wraps after that embarrassing bowl game loss.  Yet no teammate or coach whispered anything about Baker’s attitude then.

Maybe even more surprising is that a Georgia coach would denigrate a star player like that.  There’s no way you’d say something like that outside the program and expect it to be held in confidence.  It’s hard to imagine Smart would want something like that coming back on him in recruiting, which is exactly what you’d expect to happen now with that coming out.  Which makes me wonder about the source.  Is it fair to consider what, say, a former coordinator might mention in that regard?

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UPDATE:  Pushback from a teammate.

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UPDATE #2:  Former beat writer weighs in.

31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Tasting the bitter with the sweet

On the one hand, it’s a little sad to see Georgia only fourth on this list…

… but on the other, how ’bout them ‘Dores!

13 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

“There are a lot of waivers granted. I have not monitored the percentage.”

Greg Sankey on the transfer portal is the perfect mix of non-committal weasel…

“What I’m concerned about is that we’re, like, seeking reasons,” he said. “Whether there’s a transfer rule or not, we all should know the same information to be able to make decisions.”

Sankey said he has heard coaches wonder, “Are we doing the right thing?” but indicate they will be active participants in the system. He wants to wait to see hard data on how many players are graduating and remaining eligible before reaching his own conclusion.

… and bullshit artist.

“We assume the movement, the freedom, is healthy,” Sankey said. “I think we need to track the data to see when young people move from Campus A to Campus B for whatever reason, are we assessing the right educational outcomes?”

Yeah, sure.  Because if there’s one thing the SEC is synonymous with, it’s right educational outcomes.

8 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., SEC Football, Transfers Are For Coaches.

Hat on a hat

Here’s an intense moment from G-Day:

You do what you gotta do to impress Sam Pittman.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Cyborg

It strikes me that “robotic” might be doing a lot of work here.

It could be referring to the surgery, the new hip or the patient himself.  Then again, who’s to say it’s not all three?

14 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules, The Body Is A Temple