Saturday, September 18, 2010

Georgia vs. Arky...oh, the memories!

Some highlights from last year to stir into your bourbon.

Remember to turn the pig carefully for even heating. Go Dawgs!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Arkansas Preview - Piggly Wiggly

I've been sick all week, but I didn't know I was on my deathbed until the wife asked me if I'd be able to go to Athens tomorrow. Cuz my own funeral is about the only way I'd miss the game. Of course, it also helps that she was holding my newly prescribed Z-pak in her hands. My doctor evidently understands the importance of the outdoor Athens air on a fall Saturday.

Nevertheless, I'm gonna make this quick. She'll be back from Kroger any minute. And I'm supposed to be resting.

Like Exile, I tend to get more and more optimistic the closer I get to gameday. Earlier in the week we not only learned that AJ's case wouldn't be heard until today, but also that Branden Smith, Shaun Chapas and Caleb King remain doubtful. That hurts.

But I think we win this for these simple reasons:
  • Defensively I think the Hogs play right into our hands. Mallett has an arm that is scary good. But he hasn't yet proved himself on the road, in fact he's lucky that this isn't a night game. It also helps that he's anemic under pressure. And pressure is Grantham's middle name. Touch Mallett early and often and this could be a big victory.
  • Offensively we torched the swine last season, and we're actually a better offensive team right now when we're not having trouble with our own identity. And at home I think it'll be easier to establish control. I'd feel much more comfortable about this if AJ, Shaun and King were able to go. But the fact is that even without them we have the tools to dissect this defense again. Aaron Murray needs a break out game and this sets up as a likely match made 'tween the hedges.
  • The more pig we eat on the field the less fans will want from that gayturd Sonny from the concession stands.
Maybe that's just the vitamin C talking, but that's how I see it. Now go sterilize your eyes and bring your best bark tomorrow.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mallett's Mission vs Dawgs' Desire

21 completions
35 attempts
408 yards
5 touchdowns
0 INTs
184.04 passer rating

Ryan Mallett's numbers last season against Georgia. Some will look at those and say he's ready for the NFL with those type stats in the SEC. Of course, Dawg fans will look at them and say that their dear old granny could look Heisman worthy against ol' Willie's read and react. 

But the one stat that got away last September is the same one Mallett and his Hogs will be chasing this Saturday 'tween the hedges...1 win. And the talk out of Fayetteville is of focus, determination and being ready.
But Arkansas knows it must improve, so Mallett said the offense is concentrating on correcting the problems. He said Arkansas has to buckle down early to finish drives. That means eliminating careless turnovers and avoiding drive-killing penalties.
It’s all part of success on the road, which Arkansas struggled with last season. But it’s something Mallett hopes to achieve with the Razorbacks after struggling – personally – in four road losses in 2009.
Of course, those stats at the top are in the past. Mallett put the NFL on hold. Ol' Willie's gone.

49 completions
67 attempts
701 yards
6 touchdowns
2 INTs
184.6 passer rating

Those are Mallett's numbers through two games in '10, both wins against Tennessee Tech and UL-Monroe. However...
[Mallett] and the offense had problems in the first half of the 31-7 win against Louisiana-Monroe. Mallett was off target with several throws and seemed affected by the amount of pressure Louisiana-Monroe threw at him.
But he did bounce back in the second half to lead the Razorbacks to four scoring drives. He finished with 400 passing yards, which was the third-highest total in school history.
We know Coach Gratham's scheme is one of relentless pressure to the ball. And we also know that he's not the type of guy to cower in a corner when the going gets tough. So the question becomes...

Can Grantham's players make the plays to make Mallett's mission fail? 

**all stats taken from

Looking Forward

I thought Vance Leavy did a great job of putting things in perspective as we near the next gameday. We all did our ranting and raving, and we still hurt. Losing to a chicken is never easy on the stomach. Luckily we haven't had to face that digestive failure many times, but that hasn't made it any easier this week.

Still, I agree with Vance that we owe it to our team and ourselves to move forward. So I found comfort in his Editor's Note. Maybe you will too.

Another person who's digested the loss rather well (or at least completely) is PWD. He labels them Random Thoughts, but I think you will find them structurally sound and well thought out. 

And while we are getting ready for gameday, this preview of the matchup with the Hogs over at Saturday Down South about covers it.
While [Broderick] Green isn’t the talent that Lattimore is, they have very similar size and running styles.  If Green can get 20-25 carries, it will make [Arkansas'] passing game even more dangerous.  Green will also need to improve on his opportunities, while he leads the offense in rushing attempts , he is third in yards gained.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Suspensions/Dismissals Update

No, no word on AJ...yet.

But given my post yesterday on Corch Meyers and Chris "Imma Text You Up"'s only fair to update that Rainey is on some kind of indefinite suspension. The first report I read out of a Jacksonville site said dismissed, but others point to that being inaccurate. Here's Chris Low's update.

Also, it was just announced that Weslye Saunders has been dismissed from his scholly by Carolina. A month ago this would've shocked me. But a couple days ago I was reading in on some tweets between Saunders and Carolina beat guy Travis Haney. And it was apparent that the former Gamecock TE is still not on the same page with his team.

So, we'll wait along with Rainey to see when/if he gets re-instated. And as for Saunders...I guess we'll see him at the Whitney.

Locker Notes - Arkansas

Piggy Petrino returns to the state of Georgia. You know, assuming he's still the coach come Saturday.
  • Aaron Murray - Hopefully the leash is off. Have fun out there!
  • Rantavious Wooten - Please go re-introduce yourself to Coach Bobo. Tell him Bernie sent ya.
  • Brandon Boykin - I sense a pick six. Just sayin'.
  • Washaun Ealey - I liked the Hogs off balance. Let's keep them off balance.
  • Daryl Gamble - Let's see how their mallet stands up to your sledge hammer.
  • Fred Munzenmaier - Chap leaves big cleats to fill, but this running game has to work. And score a couple more TDs while you're at it.
  • Orson Charles - There's yards out there. We know you can find them.
Here's a sharpie. Finish the drill.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Amateurism: AJ vs. Kyle

While we wait on an appeal ruling...

I was talking to my dad about a week ago and AJ Green's mess came up. As we discussed the case and its low level dealings through Social Media, it dawned on me the parallels Dad and I have in our estranged college football lives. His Clemson Tigers' best player is considered a semi-pro amateur and my Dawgs' best player is as well. Yet, the NCAA gives its full blessing to Kyle Parker. AJ, not so much.

Let me quickly add, that my disappointment still runs very deep for AJ Green. He knew what he was doing was wrong and still placed himself before the team. But the irony (that's actually putting it pretty lightly) of NCAA Bylaw 12.1.3 isn't lost on me either.

Then today, I was followed on Twitter by Dorsey Hill. No, I don't think it's that Dorsey. But it is this one. I began looking over his contributions to the Twitterverse and found this gem...which led me to this piece by Scarbinsky.
What does the Georgia wide receiver have to do with the Clemson quarterback? Besides the fact that both may cost Ted Roof some sleep.
Green is serving a four-game suspension, pending an appeal, reportedly for selling his 2009 Independence Bowl jersey for $1,000 to a former North Carolina football player, an individual the NCAA deems an agent.
In short, he did what the NCAA says a college athlete can't do. He tried to make a profit from his athletic ability.
Which is, of course, exactly what Parker is doing. He's making a much greater profit from his athletic ability, but he's doing it with the blessing of the NCAA.
If the NCAA cuts Green's sentence down a game or two it will in essence be admitting that it overreacted, or misjudged the case. Dawg fans will be happy and I'll count myself among those numbers. But this summer has proven to many what most of us have known for a long time, the NCAA is an organization that needs to get out of its own way.

Reptilian Courting Rituals, by Chris Rainey

Too bad Corch Meyers already said Rainey would return to play after sustaining a concussion against South Florida Saturday. Otherwise he could use that as an excuse for sending a thoughtful and romantic "Time to die" text to his girlfriend after she shut him out last night. He was arrested and charged with aggravated stalking.

Other possible excuses:
  • Thought he was sending it to Tennessee starting CB Art Evans
  • #ThumbsFail; was supposed to read: "Time to finish studying for that Single wide trailers and their 21st century ecosystem test."
  • Childhood idol is Heisman Trophy winner OJ Simpson.
  • Was sleep texting.
  • Was simply responding to hers which read: What time will it be when the Earth breaks free from its orbit and spins uncontrollably towards a black hole?

Add your own in the comments. I'd put the over/under on his suspension time starting at one half. (For you FU Gator alums...that's 30 minutes of football. And for you FU Gator doctoral students...that's about the time it takes your Hungry Man fried chicken dinner to heat up.)

The Wreck in the Rearview Mirror

On Monday the accolades continued for Marcus Lattimore. Co-SEC offensive Player of the Week and SEC Freshman of the Week...well deserved. But for Dawg fans it was just another look at the train wreck behind us. While I sure hope the team is still giving that mirror more than a casual glance, I'd really like for fans to be able to put it behind them. But if you're like me it's hard not to keep looking. 

Lattimore is a hoss. Plain and simple. Without Bama on the schedule, I think it's fair to say he's the best back we see this season. And while I thought it would favor us seeing him sooner rather than later, if you're gonna get smacked in the mouth it may be best that it's in the first (meaningful) game. I don't know. We'll see.

If you can stomach the redux, Year2 has an analysis up of the Georgia/South Carolina game. With just one SEC game in the books, Carolina is all we have to measure ourselves up against the SEC East. And that's why I found the third question of particular interest:
It's worth noting though that South Carolina wasn't head-and-shoulders better than Georgia. The same Georgia whose offense produced five three-and-outs and a four-play drive. The same Georgia whose defense looked lost at times in its brand new scheme and couldn't tackle Lattimore. The same Georgia who started a freshman quarterback without his best receiver.
Ouch. Truth tastes like salt in the wound. Yet also begs the question, did Georgia do more to lose the game or did Carolina do more to win it? Perhaps the next point sheds the truest light.
Lattimore is the piece that puts this team over the top of previous Gamecocks teams, though the completeness of the receiving groups helps too. If your front seven can tackle him well enough that you don't have to give up something in your pass defenses, then you're well on your way to beating South Carolina. 
So as giddy as the Visor was after the game, there's quite a load riding on this freshman's shoulders. Georgia's defense certainly did plenty to help the kid along towards a valiant performance, but Lattimore's target is significantly bigger going forward. And if there's one thing we know for sure, the head cock trusts his new tailback a helluva lot more than his quarterback.

So, if we can survive this weekend's test against the league's best arm, the schedule becomes somewhat less daunting until Jacksonville. Don't misread that, after watching our running game fail us and our tackling slip into full bore Willie mode...I'm not coming anywhere close to chalking up wins against Miss State, Tennessee or Kentucky. 

But experienced college football fans all understand that teams in late October rarely equal the ones that began the season around Labor Day. And with a young QB and a new defensive scheme, the upside for these Dawgs is especially great.

Hogs' RB Johnson Out for Saturday

I've invited Ryan Mallett over Friday for shots of tequila and undercooked chicken. If things go well, I also plan to break out the Ginsu knives. So far he hasn't accepted. 

But he will at least be without one backfield weapon as junior RB Dennis Johnson is out with a bowel injury, suffered on a kickoff return. Johnson was second on the team in rushing yards after two games, but was the Hogs' leading kickoff returner the last two seasons.
Without Johnson, Arkansas will now rely on Knile Davis, Ronnie Wingo Jr., and Broderick Green to carry the rushing load in the backfield. Green led the Razorbacks with 45 yards on 12 carries against ULM. Davis leads the team in rushing after two games with 11 carries for 86 yards.
Petrino said Arkansas also will lean on former running back De’Anthony Curtis, who was moved to wide receiver, and fullback Van Stumon for help if needed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tailgate Tales: What Makes a Cajun Ragin'?

If you're unfamiliar with how this works, I tend to get icy fingers while tailgating as well as hang out with people who do. And at the right moment, Nama gets out his video equipment and let's the magic roll.

So we had some bayou people roll into town to start the season off. And while their step-brothers have a distinct corndog smell, the real question was the meaning behind these cajuns' nickname. The answers were as loquacious and insightful as usual. Here's how it played out...

So Grantham may have been the one to quell the rage, but it took a proper tailgate to get to the bottom of what exactly gets these folks to such a state of agitation. Well done everybody. And tune in next time when we give each other piggy-back rides after using bacon to stir our bloody-marys. 

Monday's Meatloaf -!...Enemies

First off, congrats to the University of South Carolina in Chickumbia...for registering their 15th win in the 63rd game of the series with Georgia.

It's a new age reader. With the details emerging on how the transaction between AJ Green and Mr. Chris Hawkins went down, it reminded me of a post I wrote when this agent stuff started back in June. And while Coach Richt is still too nice of a guy to ban his players from Facebook, or Twitter...or whatever...I'm still wishing he would.

Because the bottom line is that these players are open to be "friends" with about anybody. I happen to have a similar an exact match for a name of one particular player. I get friend requests from people nearly daily thinking I'm him. If I were someone like Chris Hawkins, I could simply use my laptop to enter into these kids' lives and wield my evil power. Just last week I was "befriended" by a top '11 recruit from the state. Given the recent AJ developments, I took the time to write him a message to not only tell him that I wasn't that guy, but that I didn't want to mislead him into thinking I was someone I wasn't.

In short, I don't have $1000 to give anyone for a jersey to hang on my wall.

Today's Ingredients

To wrap up, I'm just going to do something to make myself feel a little better. I hate urranjah, and I hate HillBillys. But at least they can find comfort in the fact that they're not the only ones...

h/t Wiz of Odds

I think the back of the t-shirt reads: But I have a full set of teeth.

Pay those dental insurance premiums Reader. The consequences are tragic. Have a great Monday, but be sure to come back later today when the first tailgate vlawg of the season is released. I don't know if we found out exactly what makes a cajun ragin'. But we had fun trying. 

Here's your napkin.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday's Thoughts From the Chicken Coop

Let's start with what was good:
  • First and foremost, Aaron Murray. First road game, played with poise and confidence. The only thing holding him back were his own coaches.
  • Pass protection was very good. Murray had time to throw and a good pocket to move around in. Carolina registered 5 sacks, but from my recollection they were due to pass coverage and Murray not quite being able to scramble away.
  • Justin Houston. Kid has a knack for turning backfields into train wrecks within a second of the ball being snapped.
Now what was painfully bad:
  • First and foremost, the coaching. Grantham's adjustments almost made my list of good, but that would do a disservice to not being prepared to stop Carolina's running attack. Bobo will look back on this game and realize he waited one game too late to trust his heralded QB. Which is a shame, cuz I thought we all saw plenty in the opener. And Richt just didn't have his team ready. When you turn over play calling duties and hire someone to run the defensive side, that's your main job. And the team played the entire game as if they were Bambi in the middle of I-285 rush hour. Take for instance...
  • Bacarri Rambo. I know I was watching on tv, but that deep ball looked as if he could have at worst separated it from Jeffery, at best intercepted it. And while I did see him make some tackles at the line of scrimmage, that one play (or lack there of) is a microcosm of his day.
  • Penalties. First one didn't come until the 3rd quarter, and we only totaled 4 for 25 yards. So they should be listed among the good. BUT, the ones we got were costly. Especially Troupe's (I think it was Troupe) down near the goalline before Ealey fumbled.
  • Run blocking. We're supposed to have the most experienced and deepest offensive lines in the country. but if you can't open up lanes and push defenders off the doesn't matter how well you pass protect. You're still going to lose the game.
  • Running the ball. Admittedly, losing King and Chapas hurt. But on the first drive Ealey was running with purpose. After that he seemed to go down at first contact.

There's more there. But that's all I can stand to type. To sum up, burning all three TOs in the 3rd quarter erased any chance of coming back. And really symbolized the whole game for me. If the coaches aren't ready, even a more talented, deeper team can lose at the gates of Hell.