Today is a holiday.

Just thought I’d mention it.

Go celebrate.

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“There are wider behinds in there [on other SEC teams] and that’s a fact.”

Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M’s strength and conditioning coaches took steps in the offseason to close the ass gap.  Science, for the win:

This season, the coaches dove further into sports science data, tracking several aspects of players’ wellbeing. There’s an entire staff dedicated to the sports science, nutrition and all aspects of player development that works separate from the strength staff. One of those members, Texas A&M assistant athletic director for sport science Howard Gray, meets with Jackson at 5 a.m. daily to give him a rundown on where the team stands, and Jackson makes adjustments to his plan from there.

The biggest change in training, Jackson says, is the amount of running. Sumlin wanted his team to retain more muscle mass and be stronger against the SEC teams it faced. Jackson adjusted because “it’s hard to make that lean [muscle] mass grow if you’re forced to run a lot more.” Jackson said he focuses in-season on strength rather than conditioning.

“The big difference is the running is backed off on because we do it in practice now,” Jackson said. “Practice tempo is up, so I don’t have to do it as much whenever we’re not practicing.”

In the SEC, you can never have enough support staff.

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Chomp.

Dan Mullen, throwing shade.

Well played, sir.

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Top to bottom

You know, you’d think if the SEC was really all that deep as a conference, there would be a little more diversity in this stat.

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How will we know if there’s progress on defense?

Assuming the defensive stats improve as the season goes along — and, damn, they’d better — will it be due to Georgia’s players getting better, or opponents getting easier to defend?

The Georgia secondary has been particularly lit up, giving up six pass plays of 30 or more yards this season after allowing only 10 total last season and eight in 2014 under coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.

“I’m not here to point fingers,” defensive tackle DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle said. “We’re all a defense, we’re all together so not the back end giving it up, the whole defense is giving it up. Maybe if the D-line got more pressure, the back end wouldn’t have to cover for so long. I put it on all of us. It’s something we all have to work on and get stronger together with.”

Georgia’s secondary hasn’t been helped by the pass rush. The Bulldogs are second to last in the SEC with four sacks.

Davis chalks up this year’s growing number of big plays allowed from a secondary perspective as a lack of “eye discipline” and breakdowns in technique and fundamentals. For one-on-one matchups, Davis said that’s “squeezing guys off, getting our head around and making a play on it.”

The good news for Georgia is it may have faced its best offenses.

Missouri and Ole Miss are ranked fourth and 17th nationally in passing yardage and North Carolina is No. 13.

Of the eight remaining games, Florida is the highest rated passing team at No. 40. The rest are 82nd and lower.

None of the teams left on Georgia’s schedule rank in the top 50 in total offense. Tennessee is 85th and the Bulldogs schedule still includes Georgia Tech (117), Vanderbilt (121) and South Carolina (124).

Maybe October and November will be more inviting than September was for Georgia.

Hopefully, the correct answer is both.

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Land of hope and dreams

Tell me something:  who’s more delusional, LSU for putting out feelers to Urban Meyer and Nick Saban regarding its open coaching job, or the Big 12 for believing until a couple of months ago that it could sweet talk Clemson and FSU into joining the conference?

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“Just go hit someone.”

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Well, you don’t see this every day.

Georgia coaches raised a few eyebrows during last week’s game against Ole Miss when nose tackle John Atkins and defensive tackle Julian Rochester each received an offensive rep for the Bulldogs on a key fourth-and-1 play.

It just wasn’t clear at the time how off the cuff the call to put them on the field was.

“It was just thrown out there,” said Atkins, who revealed the decision came directly from head coach Kirby Smart, despite the fact the Bulldog junior claimed the team never worked on the play in practice.

Atkins got to talk about the play, but it sounds like Rochester got the key block down.

Actually it was Rochester, who lined up at tight end, who executed the most important block. Lining up at tight end on the right side outside of tackle Greg Pyke, he dominated his man. Chubb cut outside around right end, then juked a closing defensive back to take the ball straight up the hash marks for the big gain.

Which is not to say Atkins wasn’t a contributor.

Atkins laughed that the call to go in came so quick, he didn’t have time to think about messing up.

“When I went out there, I just thought back to when I was in high school – just go. Just hit him,” said Atkins, who joked that he actually graded out well on the play.

“I ended up getting two points,” he said. “I think that was pretty good.”

I’d laugh, but when I reflect on what this says about what the coaches think about their existing o-line depth, it’s not so funny.

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