Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Day to day. Step by step.

It'll be bigger news if he's jogging on an actual sideline anytime soon, but there was Malcolm Mitchell sighting today. As well as a Justin Scott-Wesley.



Evil Richt gets Wyatt Earp-y

via BassinDawg

Your co-SEC players of the week

Very special field position

While Morgan tied a record and while the crowd eyed the return men anxiously, it was another aspect of the special teams that had an equally important impact Saturday night.
Field position was key in this game. Clemson’s average starting spot was its own 18. Georgia’s was its own 42.
Marshall Morgan had only one touchback so the coverage team certainly did its job. A pooch kickoff worked out, too, with Clemson starting from its 22. Collin Barber averaged 45.4 yards per punt, including that booming 60 yarder.
A twenty-four yard advantage in starting field position? Yes. Please. More of that!

Of course it felt as if Georgia's offense was gearing down for pretty much all of the third quarter as time after time the defense forced a punt from the shadows of Clemson's own endzone and yet Bobo's crew was not able to capitalize. However, it all paid off in spades in the fourth when the gameplan really came to fruition and the Tigers wilted. Hard.

Makes you realize that Saturday night was more than just the headlines that Gurley and the defense earned. It was a victory complete from all three phases of the game.

Kate Upton is a Gurley Girl?

After his first touchdown, Todd Gurley celebrated with a little salsa move. The pic of it escaped the internet evidently. So I chopped a video from the replay.

Impressive. Now check out the supermodel:

Nothing against the lovely and talented Ms. Upton, but I find Gurley's even more attractive.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Muschamp already lobbying

Hey, I guess when the seat is hot you have to point to any morsel of progress in the right direction. Even if the game only a few seconds longer than Urban Meyer's mystery illness.
“As everyone saw with that opening kickoff, I thought that our guys were ready and fired up to play. We appreciate the fans coming out and supporting us and sitting through several weather delays.
“It was amazing the energy and passion shown in the stands all night. The Gator Nation showed why they’re the best fans in the country, starting with one of the most enthusiastic Gator Walks that we’ve had since I’ve been here.”

Clempson post mortem ad nauseum

First, my apologies. Yesterday's post wasn't even up to the low standard I've spent the last six seasons developing. When I went back and read it yesterday afternoon it looked as if I had typed it half-drunk at one in the morning. For instance, I didn't even finish the thought about the offensive coaches using Grantham's towels. Did anyone else notice that?

Anyway, a few more points to make on a great season opener after re-watching it in all its Glory Glory.
  • Enough is being made of all the defensive stands and incredibly efficient toss sweeps on offense. So let me use the next few bullets to point out some (comparatively speaking) concerns that showed up on the replay.
  • Like the fact that the offense, looking at a three point lead and seemingly never ending gifts of great field position, just could not do anything to pull away in the third quarter.
  • There were times when the quarterback and the receivers were not on the same page and times when Mason had to rush a decision based on the pass rush. Some of that can be explained to freshman jitters, like Sony Michel not turning around to receive a swing pass. Some of it will need to be addressed in the off week.
  • The offensive line absolutely dominated....in the fourth quarter. Here's one question: Outside of Clemson being dog tired late, why was the blocking so much better for three running backs compared to one? Maybe I'm missing it, but it didn't appear to me that Keith Marshall did anything wrong. But his average per rush is vastly different than his position mates.
  • However, on Gurley's 50 yard touchdown to make it 38-21, I still don't see how he saw any daylight at the line of scrimmage. (2:05 mark)

  • Really ashamed of myself for not mentioning Taylor Maxey yesterday, even though I mentioned his great game on Twitter Saturday night. He came out of nowhere to fill in some pretty big shoes. There were times when I really thought Merritt Hall was just in a different jersy. And that's about as big of a compliment as I can give. 
    Richt giving me the thumbs up. (via)
  • One more offensive point, and we'll dive more deeply into this later, but I thought Mason did a great job of managing the game. There's an adjustment we have to make as fans to the way in which he quarterbacks y'all. Him going 18 of 26 for 131 yards without an interception was just what we needed.
  • Special teams were great. Not a lot that I caught on tape that we don't already know. Was nice to see Reggie Davis field the punts with confidence. Isaiah McKenzie may have another gear to offer though. We'll see.
  • We all kinda knew that having the defensive backs press at the line of scrimmage could go a long way towards fixing what 2013 ailed us. But my goodness was it good to see it play out on the field.
  • That's not to say there weren't issues. Like Swann getting beat off the line by Mike Williams. Now, Williams has about five inches and thirty pounds on Swann. But as we get more acclimated to Pruitt's style (read: purging ourselves of past transgressions) it will be interesting to see 1) how much we press and in what situations 2) how well our current db's progress from soft zone stances and 3) if teams like Sakerlina can exploit this as some sort of weakness.
  • Sometimes I'm accused of being overly critical of the fans. I have a separate post coming that will address the entire opening day experience. But in terms of noise level, some of you have very short memories. My feeling Saturday night from my seat was that fans got loud, really loud, but that it took 45 minutes to get there. Watching the replay confirms this.
  • Any bias aside, Sanford Stadium remains one of the most beautiful venues to watch a game. But the fans are largely disengaged in comparison to other places I've experienced.
  • However, I will say I was proud that my 92,000 friends didn't boo an opposing player during an injury timeout, much like what we saw in Death Valley a year ago. In that regard we did out perform our Clemson counterparts.
Great game. Great atmosphere. I may watch it again just because it was so splendiferous. But we always need to take a moment to temper our emotions a touch. After all, we haven't won an SEC game since Aaron Murray was carried off the field. 

Somehow, that feels like years ago.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Thoughts on Gurley and his committee

It's an embarrassment of riches in the Georgia backfield. 2009 called and said "WTF?"
Gone. (via)

  • I thought this graphic the Senator put up by Brenner of the Post and Courier told the whole story. ANd was largely the reason why I felt pretty confident going into this opener. But Clemson came to play and gave Georgia all it could handle. For about 30 minutes.
  • I was mostly disappointed in our pass rush in the first half. Stoudt (and Watson) had plenty of time even though the Tiger offensive line was beleaguered and very green.
  • But man oh man. When they clamped down on that offense in the second half and the pass rushers were able to pin their ears back....Katie bar the door.
  • Todd Gurley deserves as much positive press as he can get. And I will get to him in a moment. But I'm officially convinced that there is not a human being on God's green Earth that can block Leonard Floyd.
  • I'm proud that after all the talk this off season, this is my only bullet devoted to the defensive secondary. They appeared out of place at times and didn't turn to the ball as much as I would hope. But they only missed one tackle. And y'all...they clamped that shit down in the second half. That has to make you feel good.
  • Clemson really rushed the ball well in the first half by pounding it up the middle time and time again.
  • The other big concern I had was the offensive line. And they too were a tale of two halves in many ways. Really dominated the line of scrimmage the second half.
  • How big was that three and out on Clemson's second series?
  • There was a lot of buzz around the stadium as Gurley mostly rested during the first half. But holy shit on a shingle their defense looked incredibly tired the second half. As least compared to Gurley's fresh legs.
  • Special teams were solid. And that was very cool. The coverage teams were especially disciplined.
  • Did anyone else notice that Grantham's towels were alive and well with 
With an off week I'm looking forward to rewatching this game. It was a great day to be in Athens. Almost as good as it was to be a Georgia ball carrier.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Two keys to victory

Plain and simple:

  1. pressure their quarterback.
  2. be loud.
We do those things and Clemson will need a near perfect game to win.

New faces we'll see tonight

It's time. As I aim the truck east, let's take a moment to introduce ourselves to some of the new players we'll see tonight.
  • Lorenzo Carter. Definitely will see some snaps at OLB. Which is impressive since all we've heard are good things about Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd as well.
  • Isaiah McKenzie. Really sounds like Richt will pull the trigger on letting us see what all the return game hub-bub has been about.
  • Dominick Sanders. Look for him in nickel sets in the "star" position.
  • Nick Chubb. Can he block on passing downs? Do we have specific sets designed for his skills? Does it even matter?

  • Sony Michel. More likely to see him on kick returns, but could also see him in the backfield as well, where he's been neck and neck with fellow freshman Chubb.

  • Shattle Fenteng. A local kid returns after going away to junior college, and should play in the secondary.
  • Rico Johnson. True freshman that came to Athens via the prep school route and he has evidently been very steady for Coach Pruitt in camp.

Others to look for who might come into the game under special circumstances: Dyson Sims (77, OL) and Isaiah Wynn (55, OL) have had good camps; has Jeb Lazevich (83) impressed enough at TE, or are there enough injury concerns for Rome and Jordan Davis?; Malkom Parrish (14) is another DB we might see.

Other than those, who'd I miss that ou expect to see tonight?