When you put it that way…

Matt Brown makes a compelling case as to why the expectation that Georgia should win the SEC East isn’t an unreasonable one.

Basically, Florida and Tennessee proved last weekend that both are a mess, it’s too early to rate Kentucky and Vanderbilt as divisional powers, and…

It seems clear already that Georgia is capable of fielding a dominant defense, perhaps stronger than anybody but Alabama in the SEC. Nearly everyone returned from last year, and the linebacking corps in particular — led by Roquan Smith, Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy — has been excellent. They shut down what’s otherwise been a prolific Notre Dame running game, and they’ll be one of the toughest matchups all year for Nick Fitzgerald and Mississippi State.

The bigger questions are on offense, where freshman quarterback Jake Fromm has played solid football as the replacement for sophomore Jacob Eason, who is working his way back from the sprained knee he suffered in the Week 1 win over Appalachian State. Georgia brought back a fantastic one-two punch at running back in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel — with touted freshman D’Andre Swift joining them — but the rest of the offense was filled with unknowns entering the year, and that’s been complicated by the budding quarterback debate.

Both Fromm and Eason have shown flashes of high potential, and Florida has shown each of the past two years that winning the SEC East doesn’t require All-America quarterback play if there’s a great defense to lean on. Based on what we’ve seen so far this year, competent quarterback play combined with strong running and a loaded defense could be more than enough to carry Georgia far and allow it to return to the top of a winnable division.

It’s getting harder to make excuses this season, in other words, to explain Georgia’s failure to return to the SECCG.  Hopefully Kirby’s up to the challenge.

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Filed under Georgia Football

I’m just a blogger, so if I catch something’s off, it’s got to be a problem.

I mentioned in my Observations post about the Samford game that it appeared to me Samford’s passing game targeted Tyrique McGhee.  Looks like there was a good reason for doing so.

Um, that’s not good.  That’s also probably why the coaches are doing everything they can to get Malkom Parrish game ready for Saturday night.

Head coach Kirby Smart said Tuesday night that Parrish has done about “30 to 40 percent of a normal workload.”

“We’ve got him on kind of a pitch count,” Smart said Tuesday. “He had 16 plays (Monday). He had about 30 or 40 plays (Tuesday) and we’ll try to keep increasing that.’’

Can they get 30 plays out of Parrish against MSU?  That may turn out to be a big deal.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

The world according to Booch

Profound.  When he retires from coaching, he ought to teach philosophy.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Jim Chaney’s juggling act

Far be it from me to suggest that Georgia’s offensive coordinator is having a boffo year at the box office, but I will say that I think he’s doing a better job than many of you give him credit for doing.  Mainly that’s because he’s still working his way around a couple of serious personnel shortcomings.  The offensive line is the most obvious one, but the true freshman quarterback is right behind them.

Don’t get me wrong.  Fromm’s done a great job keeping things together after being thrust prematurely into the starter’s role.  But, in the immortal words of Dirty Harry, a man’s gotta know his limitations, and it appears Chaney does.

If you’re looking for some examples of that, take a look at this Ian Boyd post.  Boyd nicely summarizes what Chaney faces in structuring a game plan with his current personnel in this paragraph:

The Georgia staff has two key areas to resolve with Fromm at the helm against better opponents. The first is easing pressure off the run game so that opponents don’t load the box and take away the Nick Chubb/Sonny Michel tandem. The other is easing the pressure off a freshman QB who’s not yet ready to carry the weight of the team.

A lot of Chaney’s difficulties stem from that, while Fromm does an excellent job with his pre-snap reads, he’s not experienced enough to deal with defensive adjustments after he makes that initial determination.  Sometimes, as we saw against Notre Dame, that leads to trouble.

As you watch that, keep an eye on the running back.  A more experienced quarterback would have gladly settled for dumping off the ball for an easy completion there.

Speaking of pre-snap reads, those are even easier for Fromm to handle when he’s making them from the shotgun or pistol rather than under center.  Given his background and experience, that’s hardly surprising.  Unfortunately, that can make for predictable playcalling.

Looking at last week’s game against Samford, Georgia broke away from at least one tendency it had the game prior against Notre Dame. Georgia increased its plays from under center with its first-team offense. In total, the Bulldogs ran 21 plays under center compared to 30 plays in the shotgun against Samford.

While Smart said switching between shotgun and from under center is “overrated” when it comes to analysis, it does play a part in what the opposition is trying to find out.

“They can look at those things, see it, try to get tendencies off it,” Smart said. “I think every coach in America is trying to break his tendencies.”

But the reason for noting the number of plays under center and out of the shotgun in the Samford game is important for one particular reason. Of the 21 plays under center, quarterback Jake Fromm threw from this spot zero times.

Fromm received only one passing call from under center against Notre Dame and he was sacked on the play.

The tendency here is that Fromm isn’t going to throw the ball when Georgia is under center.

All you can do is all you can do, obviously, and, to be fair, Georgia was going to run the ball down Samford’s throat no matter what formation in which it lined up.  Still, with an opponent like Mississippi State, which showed last week it does an excellent job with its game prep, that’s got to be a major concern.  Maybe Chaney deserves to be cut a little more slack than he gets.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Great moments in broadcast planning

Did you know that Ole Miss and Baylor are scheduled to meet in the 2020 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff?  That has all the earmarks of a real classic, assuming there are enough scholarship players left at both schools to suit up.

Speaking of which, that could lead to a scenario where the Black Bear Rebels (or is it the Rebel Black Bears?) take a serious hit in the pocketbook.  Hey, just because schools aren’t proactive doesn’t mean Mickey ain’t.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Freeze!

The 2018 SEC football schedules

Georgia’s schedule next season hasn’t exactly been greeted with much enthusiasm.  But, as Brett McMurphy points out, it’s pretty par for the course, conference-wise.

The SEC formula: Why does the SEC usually have so many bowl eligible teams? Well, besides they have a lot of quality teams, they have mastered the best scheduling model in college football. All 14 schools have seven home games and 10 of the 14 only play four true road games plus one neutral site game; compared to other Power 5 schools that play five or six true road games. In 2018, only Mississippi State, Kentucky, South Carolina and Vanderbilt do not benefit from the seven-home, four-road and one-neutral game setup…

Best non-conference road game (excluding rivalry games UF/FSU, UGA/GT, USC/Clemson, UK/UL): Well, there are only four to chose from – Vanderbilt at Notre Dame, Arkansas at Colorado State, Mississippi State at Kansas State and Missouri at Purdue. The winner? Vanderbilt at Notre Dame. It will be Vandy’s first game in South Bend since 1995. Make the trip, if you can, Commodore fans.  [Emphasis added.]

Remember, folks, you’re in SEC Land, where it just means more.

By the way, kudos to Colorado State:  “Colorado State, coached by former Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, faces Arkansas and Florida in consecutive weeks.”  That’s after facing Alabama this season.  If I didn’t know any better, it seems like Bobo’s making a real effort to polish his resume in front of a lot of SEC athletic directors.

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Filed under SEC Football

A little more spring in Nick Chubb’s step

It’s more apparent with every passing game, but this is a welcome development.

That’s actually a better pace than Chubb set his freshman season.  Imagine what he might be capable of with just a tad better blocking from the o-line.

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Filed under Georgia Football