Thursday, October 2, 2014

Just another day at the office for Azubike

Stopping Todd Gurley is no different than any other SEC Saturday.
"Todd Gurley is just another running back in the SEC we're going to have to tackle," Vanderbilt linebacker Caleb Azubike said. "I feel like given the strength and given the size of our defense we are going to be able to handle that quite properly."
Maybe he can use his cool contacts to see him better.

Looking over the SEC East

Even though all six teams are four or five games in (except Florida who paid for an extra bye week....), the waters seem even muddier than they were to start the season. Remember when Sakerlina was the trendy pick and the Gators seemed so sexy to the tv suits? Now the only team without a legitimate shot is Vanderbilt.

So seems a good time to look at each team, their record, and their remaining schedule.

Missouri (1-0)
Remaining games in order - BYE, Georgia, @Florida, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, BYE, @A&M, @Tenn, Arkansas

Outlook - Control their own destiny and get a week before their two toughest tests, Georgia next week at home and in College Station on 11/15. Was the Indiana loss just a blip? Have they truly replaced the playmakers on both sides of the ball that they had in their division winning 2013 season?
via AJ Reynolds

South Carolina (2-2)
Remaining games - @Kentucky, BYE, Furman, @Auburn, Tennessee, BYE, @Florida, South Alabama, @Clemson

Outlook - Essentially have two weeks to work on that trip to Auburn, which could make or break their season. Privately, the OBC is hoping Georgia beats Missouri and then loses Todd Gurley to an alien abduction.

Georgia (1-1)
Remaining games - Vanderbilt, @Missouri, @Arkansas, BYE, Florida, @Kentucky, Auburn, Charleston Southern, Georgia Tech

Outlook - Once again control our own destiny. If Pruitt can find a way for the secondary to balance out his pass rush some, Georgia could cruise. Especially if Tennessee continues to trend upwards.

Florida (1-1)
Remaining games - @Tennessee, LSU, Missouri, BYE, Georgia, @Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, @FSU

Outlook - Only way they stay in the race is if Muschamp can convince his team to play for him not to lose his job. And also, only if Danny Wuerffel walks back through that door.

Kentucky (1-1)
Remaining games - South Carolina, Louisiana Monroe, @LSU, Miss State, @Missouri, Georgia, @Tennessee, BYE, Louisville

Outlook - Playing better under Stoops. But in October and November is when a team's quality of depth really comes into play.

Tennessee (0-1)
Remaining games - Florida, Chattanooga, @Ole Miss, Alabama, @South Carolina, BYE, Kentucky, Missouri, @Vanderbilt

Outlook - Still looking for that signature win, but it seems now a matter of when and not if. A difficult schedule and a young offensive line will make it hard to win the division this season.

Vanderbilt (0-3)
Remaining games - @Georgia, Charleston Southern, BYE, @Missouri, Old Dominion, Florida, BYE, @Miss State, Tennessee

Outlook - When does basketball season start?

"He's got more blitzes than I can count."

Nice piece by Emerson here on the marriage of Coach Pruitt's scheme and the load of talent Coach Sherrer has at outside linebacker.
Georgia has 11 sacks this year, tied for 30th nationally for sacks per game and tied for fourth in the SEC. But that’s only part of the story. The NCAA doesn’t track quarterback pressures, but Georgia credits itself with 52 this season, easily on pace to eclipse last year’s total of 109.
Jenkins (nine) and Floyd (seven) lead the way, but perhaps most tantalizing is that Carter has six in more limited playing time.
That's quite a wrecking crew, and it's no wonder Pruitt tries to get them on the field at the same time. Speed rushers with long arms and bad intentions.
Those pressures are almost as good as a sack. Jenkins opined that defenders need to be about a yard away from the quarterback to effect the throw.
“Getting him to where he’s not able to step through his throws. That’s a minimum thing we want to accomplish,” Jenkins said. “But really affecting the quarterback, we want to mess with his head, is getting him on the ground. Because if I were a quarterback, I know I’d hate getting up play after play after play.”
Against Tennessee, Jenkins was credited with six pressures but just one sack.
“I think I counted five hits on the quarterback where he threw the ball at the last second,” Jenkins said. “And really after the first time that’s when I said, ‘All right I’m gonna punish him for throwing that ball.’ ”
And they're all licking their chops thinking about getting after Vandy's young quarterback this Saturday.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Why Sony Michel will be missed

On one hand he's just a freshman at a deep position that includes a Heisman candidate.

On the other....well, Coach Ekeler sums it up.

So, is Gurley an option at QB?

Either the star tailback's reputation is growing beyond actual statistics, or Pinkel is giving Bobo a suggestion.

Hey, Missouri is another team getting an extra week to prepare for Georgia. I say let them spend as much energy on Gurley under center as possible.

About Vandy's Darrius Sims

He doesn't play offense. But he's led the Commodores in scoring for two consecutive games. He's largely the reason Spurrier famously took over special teams duties in Columbia after Sims ran two kick returns back against the Gamecocks. And last Saturday, in the form of an interception return, he accounted for Vanderbilt's only touchdown.

With the Commodores desperate for yards and scoring, Coach Mason's turning to rarely if ever used weapons to touch the ball on offense.
He gone.
"Believe me, and I said it (Monday) night on the radio show, and I'm saying to the TV: Just so you understand, Darrius Sims and Trent Sherfield will get the ball," Mason said. "They are going to touch the ball. I don't know how many times, but they are going to get the ball in their hands. One thing I know about those guys is that they're dynamic."
Sims was a three-star athlete out of Memphis. He's small, but obviously very quick. Although he had no significant stats against us last season as a freshman, he's certainly on the Georgia coaches' radar this week. Especially since the Dawgs gave up over 25 yards per return against Tennessee, and allowed 28 per return against South Carolina.

Now they'll also have to keep a lookout for Sims on offense, as well as freshman wide receiver/speedster Trent Sherfield. Pruitt's front likes to play aggressively and quickly to the ball. So look for Vanderbilt to attack that with end-arounds, mis-direction and draw plays. The latter was especially effective for Tennessee this past Saturday.

If Vandy can take away Georgia's aggressiveness up front, it will allow their very young quarterback a little more time to work their passing game. Coach Mason knows who his playmakers are. Georgia would do themselves some good if they got to know Sims, on a very personal basis, too.

Now, why didn't we think of that?

Not that Prez Adams was ever involved in something as malicious and litigious as player safety like Michigan's administration, but a rally would've been a good opportunity to tailgate at the feet of UGA's greatest dictator.
Students and fans flooded the front lawn of University of Michigan president Mark Schlissel's on-campus house Tuesday night, demanding the school get rid of athletic director Dave Brandon.
A few hundred protesters gathered at the school's nearby Diag -- a popular outdoor meeting place on campus -- at 6 p.m. and marched the short distance to the president's house a half-hour later. Craig Kaplan, an undergraduate senior, stood on the home's front steps and led chants with a bullhorn as the rally wound down shortly before 7 p.m.
Come to think of it, seems like there was a time when Adam's home was marched upon. Though I can't remember the reason...?? (The specific reason that is. I can think of plenty.)

"Schlissel's house is that way!"

"We're going to have to pass the ball."

And you've been worried about Georgia's passing game. Be glad you ain't a 'Dore.
Vanderbilt has been devoid of perimeter pizazz this season to help the quarterback situation, with junior tight end Steven Scheu serving as his team's leading receiver with 13 catches for 188 yards. The Commodores rank 108th nationally in rushing offense with 107.2 yards a game and 115th in passing with 148.4 per contest.
The most consistent offensive weapon has been redshirt freshman tailback Ralph Webb, who has 90 carries for 427 yards (4.7 per carry).
"We've just got to execute the passing game," a frustrated Webb said after the loss in Lexington. "Defenders take notice and start loading the box with eight or nine guys, so it's going to be hard to run the ball against anybody. We've got to spread the ball out and execute the passing game better.
"Georgia is going to load the box and make us pass the ball. We're going to have to pass the ball."
Saturday the 'Dores will go with Freebeck, the true freshman who has tried to hold things together while Patton Robinette has been out due to injury. You can see it's been a kind of trial by fire for the kid:

So this could be the kind of game where Pruitt's secondary can gain some confidence before setting off on the road.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"I'm just going to let it rip."

As a dude who's been forced to watch Frozen more than a few times, I admit I thought "rip" was going to read "go".

Either way, just show me Hutson. GATA!

The SEC's top recruiters, and moms, and wives, and...

I don't get to watch Gameday much, and when I do I usually wish I wouldn't've. But this was a nice little feature from Saturday's telecast in case you missed it.

My three takeaways: 1) [insert joke about hogs and how much lipstick Bielema's wife uses], 2) Kathryn Richt comes across as the most down to Earth, doesn't she?, and 3) I'd lock Kristi Malzahn in a room with security too if I were Auburn. That lady is nuts.