Saturday, September 19, 2009

Some Extra Sauce for That Sammich?

Ya feelin' it yet? This oughtta help...

I tried to find some footage of the Piglets playing an actual opponent, but evidently a directional school from Missouri is all they got...

Wow, I've had trips to the concession stand at halftime more intense than that home opener for Arkansas.

Let's do this thang! Go Dawgs!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Who's That Comin'...week three

Have I ever told you Reader just how much I love BBQ?

Trivial Update

The question: According to @bulldogsblog, how "tall" are Rennie Curran's biceps?
The answer: 6-3

If you saw a car cruising along I-85 south swerve suddenly yesterday evening, that could've been @allyugadawg trying to tweet in her answer to ThursdaysRTrivial while also avoiding a Charlotte-sized pothole. Her answer came just seconds after @ClintThomason, but he was off by 1 inch. @hamptanner was obviously "chatting" with Hale during his lunch break too.

All three will get a generous gift card to Piggly Wiggly. But it's Ally who gets the prized "I'm Big on the Pig" t-shirt. Wear it well girl!

Tailgate Predictions
  • Mallett shows up sober to his first SEC sized huddle.
  • Head Piggie calls his realtor sometime Sunday morning.
  • Miami 33 GA Tech 17 (oh...whoops. That's a final.)
  • The HillBillys beat the 'turds. KiffyBaby reacts as any seven year old would.
  • Slurban writes a book this off-season about what it was like to watch a coach who can't even color between the lines drown him in his own swamp.
  • I eat my weight in pulled pork.
  • The Beavers take down the Bearcats in college football's biggest upset since Paul Johnson dressed down that O-lineman last night.
  • Dawgs 31 lil' piggies 14

Stats That Don't Matter
  • 8 wins to 3 losses all time against this breed of livestock
  • 3 wins in 3 chances at F'ville's PigHogSooouie Stadium
  • Last meeting was in Athens in 2005, a 23-20 win for the Dawgs, even with DJs injury and McFadden's adeptness at running away from child support, and DBs
  • Last trip to the Ozarks, a 20-14 Dawgs' victory in 2004

Studio Analysis

Back on the road this week. Which is a good thing for the North Campus clean up crew after last week's tailgate. If I find out even one of my (two) readers were in on that'll be facing a suspension.

On the field, this stands to go the Dawgs way if we can do these three things, listed in order of importance:
  1. protect the ball as if it was laced with benjamins
  2. pressure the great oak planted in their backfield with our Poulans gass'd up
  3. produce a 100 yard rusher, then work on producing another
Roughly half the points scored against Georgia this season have come when the Cowboys or Gamechickens started well inside our 50. We don't win this one if we continue to cough the way we have the previous two weeks.

My research staff tells me Mallett is bigger, slower and whiter than I am. My sources tell me Justin Houston is back this week (that's right Reader, you heard it here last). On yesterday's Live! Chat w/ Hale, the rockstar reported that Houston is bigger than when we last saw him at G-Day. Smart money says that he's hungrier as well. Time to pin the ears back and turn up the pressure.

Samuel looked good in Stillwater, but he had big holes to mosey through. In Athens Saturday he ran real angry...and it made me smile. This week we have another legitimate threat to spell #22 and I truly hope he's ready to assume his throne. King won't see extensive action, but enough to provide a better counter punch to SEC defenses than Thomas can.

In short order style, Georgia has more talent than Arkansas. Joe Cox's team will help him manage the game and the clock. Hopefully the third game of the season is enough time to for that talent and leadership to gel and produce a quality road win. Something Coach Richt knows a little something about.

Now...go get your pig on Reader. Go Dawgs!


Joe's Turn, Joe's Team

The off-season preached to us...stability...leadership...focus.

For Dawg fans the past couple of weeks have been anything but stable and focused. We've gone nutty when the team plane left our starting QB in Athens on September 4th. And the message boards got down right blurry with hysteria last Thursday when it was reported that Joe had just come out of a shoulder removing surgery.

The good news has been that there is plenty of leadership. Say what you will about Cox's on field performance against the Cowboys and the Gamecocks, it is quite evident that this is HIS team. In fact I would venture to guess that this was becoming his team before the end of last season. He has command of the huddle and he has a team that won't quit on him.

Cox may not have the sexy arm that Stafford brought 'tween the hedges. But he's got moxie that oozes out his earholes. He's not as media savvy and polished (thank God). And he's only leading up to his fourth career start.

But you can already feel the JC groove, or The Ginger Assassin as Stuff of Legend refers to him. He may not be solid as a rock in the pocket, but he's always ready to roll. He's a little less manicured lawn and a little more junkyard.

As much as I appreciate Stafford's talent and all of the wins he brought us, I get the feeling Cox takes losses a little more personal. From Stafford's comments after losses last season, you really couldn't get a feel as to how it affected him truly. Cox's heart is closer to his sleeve.

But not enough to tebawl like a baby in front of rolling cameras....

If you ask me if Stafford cared deeply about winning for Georgia I would answer confidently YES. But if you were to ask me if our current starting QB is more vested in his team's success this season than our starting QB last season, I would be inclined to give you the same answer. Cox has no playing future after this season. This is the one season he's prepared for for years.

Many fans point to the guys behind #14 as being better alternatives. I love ya...but you're wrong. I too wanna see Gray contribute to this offense and I'm certain that we will. But Cox is our starter and this is his team. It was Cox who told his team to straighten up during the off-season, and guess what? They did. And it was Cox that garnered 107 votes as team captain. So he's vested in the team and they apparently are vested in him as their leader.

Of course, I've seen what you have. Cox's footwork isn't what I had hoped for thus far and his decision making at times is not as determined as I'd like. That sack + fumble he took in the SC game was on him. It wasn't a blown blocking assignment. It was a corner blitz and Cox needs to get that ball outta there. Either put it in play or live to play another down. Luckily Thomas' arms are as strong as his legs are quick.

But look at the depth chart Reader. Mett's not near ready. Putting Murray in meaningful game situations would only lead us to the Music City at best...and could stunt his growth as a potential future, he ain't where Stafford was during his freshman season.

Gray brings a look that I think will compliment this offense nicely. Saturday night on his one play from scrimmage, he was one quick decision away from a big...and I mean BIG gain. Instead of reading the rush end as a sell for Thomas and keeping the ball on the option he handed it off.

That tells me all I need to know: Gray isn't ready for the starter's job. So I trust in Coach Richt to put the right QB under center. Down ten early to the Lamecocks, no problem. While their QB was keying cars ours was listening, learning. While Ryan Mallett was sobering up in a jail cell, Joe Cox was throwing to his receivers in skeletons. Yes, Richt has the right man barking in the huddle. He has a man low on starts but who's cup runneth over in leadership.

And that man is no boy. That man is Joe Cox.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tailgatin' With Chicken

Whether you've always wanted to see Fred wear earmuffs, Tanner speak directly into a can or just need to know the best way to cook chicken...Bernie's Dawg Vlawg has ya covered. More of Nama's handiwork from the chicken tailgate. Enjoy.

And not a square foot of North Campus was harmed in this filming. Those crapweasels oughtta be ashamed..

Stay tuned for further episodes when we try to get to the bottom of other questions like why Tempe runs outta beer on gamedays, if there is a Bayou Bengal who hasn't lost his sanity and ...where the hell IS Tanner's watch?

Committee Called to Order - King's Back

Hale reported last night that Caleb King is looking probable to play Saturday in Fayetteville. I don't know about you, but I'm excited to see the 1-2 punch of Samuel & King.

"It's going to help us because he's definitely a different style of runner," Richt said. "I'm anxious to see what he can do. He's always had good vision, good balance and he's got to be pretty fresh."

Tru dat Coach. A strong running game will do us well in our first SEC road test. Help control the clock and keep Piggy Petrino's offense sid

Perhaps even better news is the likely return of Nick Williams. LB depth was more than a quart low in Athens last weekend and the Visor's TE ran amok. That can't happen Saturday in the Ozarks.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wahooo!! WTF?

You know things are bad in Charlottesville when your own mascot turns against you.

Might be time to shake things up.

Locker Notes - Arkansas

Saturday was the kind of win that brings plenty of questions even amid the answers. Do we have a great kickoff return team? YES. Is Branden Smith faster than the speed of sound? Most definitely. Is Caleb's hammy okay after dancing so much in the postgamepandemonium? Undecided...

Now we look out west for our second SEC contest. To help the team, let's post some locker notes. At the end you'll find your own stack of post-its. So feel free to add your own.

  • Boykin and Boling - congrats on the SEC honors. Hope they are the first of many this season.
  • AJ - We're running out of words to describe your play. And we really like that.
  • Battle - Damn. Just Damn.
  • Gray - When that d-end crashes, keep that ball son.
  • Fabris - so glad you read my blawg. Keep up the good work. Or just stay outta Blair's way. Kid's got a cannon. Hate for you to get hit by shrapnel.
  • Houston - we have no problem with you returning just in time to roast some pork. GATA!
  • Caleb - When the Bulldog Nation has been waiting...and waiting for you to emerge from the pulled hammy and the might be a good idea to leave the dancing shoes at home.
  • Bobo - Pssst...Charles is open. A lot.
  • Branden - Holy Crap! I've driven motorized vehicles that you could outrun.
  • Prince - Flags helped you out some Saturday. Don't count on 'em everytime.
  • Martinez - Hope we have a way to cover the TE this week.
  • Coach Richt - I like the intensity too...but some of these flags are getting costly.
  • Ochodos - Plenty of catches/yards/TDs in this piglet secondary. Go Wild!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lattimore Back in the Picture?

Scout's Chad Simmons describes Duncan, SC running back prospect Marcus Lattimore as the premier running back in the country.

That was why so many Dawg fans were upset when Lattimore dropped UGA from his list of suitors this summer. And it wasn't too long ago that Lattimore seemed set with the top five he had created. But after a visit this weekend, Simmons reports that the Dawgs could be back in the mix ($). Lattimore says the game Saturday night 'tween the hedges was crazy. But it was Coach Richt's letter that seems to have reopened the door for the Dawgs.

Right now, we are obviously young at the RB position. Washaun Ealey seems about 20-80 in favor of redshirting. That of course depends somewhat on the health of Caleb King. As MikeInValdosta points out here, Samuel can't be expected to carry the rock the entire season.

But I of right now, our only RB commit for NSD '10 is Ken Malcome of SW Dekalb. If we were able to sign bettah.

AJ the Beast

I'm sure you've noticed. AJ Green is now a Beast. As the Senator said, in a world of freaks he is of the super variety.

Green came to campus with his talent and we marveled. All season our jaws dropped his freshman season. I've said before that Calvin Johnson is probably the largest receiver with all world talent I've ever seen. Granted, when Paul Oliver was on the same field, Johnson...was just another receiver underneath a blanket.

And as much as I hate to compare our monster with a nerd, you get my drift. Just a few months ago we warned opposing DBs to beware of AJ. He was working in the weight room and on the practice field. He was adding muscle to his frame.

We saw #8 make some amazing plays Saturday night. But there was one in particular that stood out to me. We've seen Green run the crisp routes, make the acrobatic catches and make the mid-air adjustments. But this play to me shows the difference between AJ Green this season and last. It was the quick out in the 3rd quarter that AJ then took down the visitor sideline for a 34 yard gain after breaking a tackle and making a couple moves. (It's the third play highlighted in the video below) A season ago the result may have been similar, but forcing Gamecock d-back Darian Stewart to the ground was just too easy for Dawg flanker.

I looked it up and the SS Stewart is listed as 5'11", 216 lbs, fwiw. That was AJs longest reception of the young season. Yup...last season AJ was a talent. Now his groin don't ail him. Now he has another 20lbs of muscle.

Yes, now he's officially a freak.

Rec Yards YPC YPG TDs
2008 56 963 17.2 74.1 8
2009 10 138 13.8 69 1

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday's Meatloaf - Stepping off the Soapbox

Before we begin, let us give thanks to DeAngelo Tyson once more. Without his block of the PAT Saturday night...well, we might still be sitting in Sanford.

Now...if I don't climb down off the directional kicking soapbox soon, I'll be forced to rename the blawg. But before I step down, one more thought.

While the kickoffs were overall much deeper and better covered Saturday night, there's still evidence that Fabris is an ol' codger. Despite its success Saturday night, CMR seems overly cautious about the deep boom.

Perhaps, that's because it's a new shoe that needs for him to break it in.

Reminds me of a gentleman in our church who has suffered a stroke that has dramtically affected his speech...yet he stills sings every hymn, loud and proud. At first it is a little distracting, but over time his personalized melody and lyrics have become a comforting part of the service (and certainly inspirational).

So give it some time coach. It could grow on ya. From the 30 yard line, a full seven iron is always favorable to this opposed to the 60 degree lob wedge.

Grab a bowl and mix these up. Heat at 400 then dig in.
  • Samuel ran mad. Real mad.
  • Branden Smith runs fast. Real fast. I think it's fair to say the only thing we've seen so far that can slow this kid down is running it out of the endzone.
  • It's also safe to say that Rennie Curran really likes chicken.
  • While #35 was the hero, Brandon Boykin was clearly the star. About the only thing more impressive than the record setting kick return was that INT.
  • If we were to venture over to a USC (the fake one) message board right now, we would surely read about how impressive Garcia was. Lamecocks like to deny themselves the opportunity at truth. Did he complete a pass over 8 yards?
  • Along the same lines, Martinez clearly forced the game underneath and relinquished any yards that Spurrier wanted to take. I'm aware that this week Martinez is set up to be the whipping boy again. But when you look at how many more plays SC had and how much longer his defense was forced to be on the field...I find it hard point that finger...this time.
  • Oh what the hell...Bend don't will break us Willie. We have the kind of talent that shoulda slammed the door on those chickens when they got the ball back with six minutes left. Seeing Rennie's heroics is ALWAYS nice, but given the choice I prefer he 3 and out, the punt, the drained clock and the victory kneel. Easier on the heart and the voice.
  • That feels better. Now for some other perspectives... BUI grades the game out. While Exhile adds his own thoughts. And the Senator gives us the stat of the game.
  • After the victory, Rex reminisced about another era when victories followed a difficult script.
  • Before heading to Athens Saturday morning, I gladly welcomed home Coach Hodgson from a place called Mahwah.
  • And lo and behold...Battle is out for the season. In other words, rewind, press play and relive the all too familiar story.

Time to play a little game called What We Know About Logan Gray.

  1. pretty sure he wears #6
  2. he's a man
  3. he may be a myth
  4. if not, he could be a future legend
The guy went from being a possible starter to an after thought Saturday night. The one play he did get in on, I bet he wishes he had made a better read on the option and kept it in lieu of handing off to Thomas.

I'll go into some more depth about this later I think. But could Bobo be waiting for the next road test to give PWDs Grayhound more time to sync up? Along those lines, are Wooten the ball carrier and Marlon Brown still too unpolished for game action...or are they a weapon with designs on making the pigs squeal?

Doubtful, sure. But I do hope we see more (or just any) of these guys soon. At any rate, here's your napkin Reader. Now go and have a Monday.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

I See Your Point and I'll Raise You Two More

On a night where the special teams won the ball game, I thought the kickoff team was vastly improved from the episodes in Stillwater.

However, Coach offers us words of caution once again:

"Blair's got a strong leg...The one they returned the farthest, he drove it trying to drive it into the end zone the way evreybody wants, kick it as far as you can and don't worry about hangtime. He drilled it flat and they returned it to the 50. If you drill it far enough it's great, but if you come up short and they decide to return it, that's the result and we've got to understand that."

True. But consequences we may be able to live with. My two cents:
  1. The risk for the deep kick seems at worst equal than the directional least in the short term. Over time, I would imagine the chances of a bad boot on a low trajectory would be far less than a bad directional one.
  2. With a strong leg the reward for the deep kick seems to yield at a far greater clip.
Kick the ball deep and let's GATA!!