Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chanticleer Liveblog

Last week's chicken was mucho unsavory. I'm thinking we see better results today.

Breakout season...on hold

I've been hard on Marlon Brown. Still, like many I had high hopes this season. Page gives us good reason to put those hopes on the back burner, for now.
Junior receiver Marlon Brown has yet to make the impact on offense he expected to make this season.
The lack of production – four catches and 34 yards in two games – is not due to the same things that held Brown back his first two seasons at Georgia.
His confidence is better than ever. His knowledge of the playbook is sound. It’s his ankle that’s holding him back. He sprained the ankle toward the end of fall camp, and the joint has been slow to fully recover.
“It hurts,” Brown said. “It’s very painful to run and cut. It’s painful to be a receiver pretty much. It’s just hard to be a receiver with a bad ankle.”
I don't think Brown has always had his head in the game. That was probably a little too easy to do with AJ Green on campus. But everything points to a difference in focus for him this season. Maybe the best is yet to come.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Munson in stable condition

Lot of rumors about the legendary voice of the Georgia Bulldogs today. Here's what we actually know:

SEC Today - 9/16/11

Preview of the weekend slate.

Friday Misery, chapter 2: chicken flavored cupcake

Forget the hug this week, I just need a win. And any win will do. Blowout. One-point. Overtime. The last time our beloved Dawgs outscored an opponent was the day I turned 39 (again). As nice as it was to use the engiNerds to gain bowl eligibility, I had no idea I would still be waiting on the next win nearly 10 months later.

There have been no combinations of rituals and clean pairs of underwear that have helped us out of this miserable streak. But it ends tomorrow...I think. It'll basically amount to a bloodletting.


There's nothing better than taking the family to Sanford on an almost Fall Saturday. The lone drawback is my family consists of all women...and me. Granted two of the women are elementary age, but's in their DNA to make men wait. Of course, this isn't going to be an issue with me when they start dating. I'll enjoy my time with the pimpled puberty survivor while they're upstairs changing outfits and primping. Endlessly. All while I sit there, cleaning my gun...slowly.

But on gameday Saturdays I'm ready to GET!! I'm awake by 5 or so anyway with nothing to do but ponder depth charts and last second tailgating tweaks. If it's just me and the guys I simply mosey on out the door. But tomorrow I'll force myself to lie there. Staring at the ceiling, I'll wait. Tick tock. Tick tock. Every 30 seconds or so I'll turn to the clock to see if an hour has passed yet.


The Crowd
What's worse for attendance than an 0-2 start to the season? Having a stale cupcake as the third course. Don't get me wrong, Coastal is just what the win column ordered. But there's enough tension in the Dawg Nation right now to bend a steak knife into a bowtie. Tomorrow quite simply, can't help things.

There's just no way to equal the excitement and energy of 92k fans on their feet pressing their voices against every twig in the hedges. You just can't do it with a 1:00 kick against a herd of kittens. Of course, we weren't able to equal it last week against a bitter conference, whatevs.

But I keep getting this picture in my head of me and the family getting to our seats, the stadium is not close to full, but that's okay because it's early yet. Then the minutes tick by and still only 50-60 thousand inside. My heart starts to pump harder, noticeably. My hands start to clench. Where is everyone? It's time to tee it up and I'm going to be able to hear my daughters' voices echo off the north side of the stadium. My teeth clench as I see thousands of people wandering around on the bridge.

Then I glance at the visiting section and it's full of chanticleers. They've been playing football for less than a decade and I can hear their fans over our own. Then my oldest will probably ask for the 10th time in 20 minutes if she can have cotton candy and I'll be distracted, but only momentarily.

The Anti-Kernkraft Sentiment
I don't want to hear this song ever again in Sanford. Ever. Period. Perhaps last week was simply our punishment for laughing hysterically at others who delight in the opportunity to "sing" it and jump up and down together while their team takes a breather on the sideline opposite Duke University's tackle football team. Perhaps last week was an aberration...or a prank played by some pre-nuclear physics dungeon master major at North Avenue.

Whatever it was, I hope it is just that - was, past tense. Done. Gone. We're Georgia. GEORGIA!...BULLDOGS!! We don't sing the Budweiser song and we don't act like 12 year old girls at a Justin Beaver concert during stoppages in play.

That's about all that's appropriate for me to be miserable about right now. I mean, it's the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Which is either a french man who's always in tune with his choral friends...or it's a rooster that uses a bidet. Maybe vice versa, I don't know. At least McGarity is picking up the tab. Sometimes you just gotta buy your way out of a losing streak. 

They don't always come free of charge like they did last week for the South Crackolina GameChickens. Ugh.

Interchangeable Beefcakes

Jenkins is catching up to Geathers. That's not to say Geathers is slowing down; it's just that the  big JUCO transfer has just about reached the peak of the learning curve.
They lined up side by side. Jenkins was an end, Geathers was at the nose and DeAngelo Tyson was at the other end.
That lineup came on one series in the fourth quarter inside the Georgia 5-yard line. Jenkins tackled tailback Marcus Lattimore for a one yard loss, his only tackle of the game and first as a Bulldog.
“I was fortunate to get one stop on that play and I tried to get another,” said the 6-foot-3, 342-pound Jenkins, who is backing up Geathers. “It was successful for the most part. It was an experiment.”
Jenkins was mostly pleased with his play in his first SEC game.
“Those are some big guys, but I felt like I was able to do my job,” Jenkins said. “There’s always room for improvement, but for my first SEC game I felt like I was able to do my job.”
Kwame set the bar high for Jenkins the last couple months. Now Jenkins is pushing the d-ends harder. 

Gotta love some competition for reps!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

SEC Today - 9/15/11

In-depth preview of tonight's game between LSU and MSU in Starkville.

SEC Video: Countdown to Kickoff - Coastal Carolina

More Coastal observation points

I'll have more tomorrow in my misery post about why this cupcake is so critical, every bite. But here's a couple more things (in addition to OL rotation, performance) I'll be looking for.
  • Reads to me like Williams will not only move from S to the "Mo" spot at ILB, but he'll also start alongside Gilliard. However, I'll be paying close attention to what happens in subsequent downs, especially third downs. Last week Sulek was the steady call on 3rd down plays. If Gilliard and Herrera have progressed this week it'll be good to see them factor in on 3rd and longs as well.
  • Richt is hinting that not only will Boykin get more offensive looks, but he'll get some different type looks. Pass routes, inside runs. Does Bobo call his number against Coastal Carolina? Additionally, does he use this game to test Branden Smith's foot...or save that for Oxford?
  • Many fans have been anxious to see TJ Stripling again. Stripling was injured in Boulder, a devastating knee injury that normally takes a good year to recover from and rehabilitate back to normal. Most of what I've seen has pointed to him being about 80-90% in August. If we see him Saturday it will be a good indication of how far his progress has actually come.
  • Does Boo see the field? You're probably thinking he should. But...I think we'll see a lot of Crowell. I think the coaches want to see how frequently he can tote it. Samuel has been hobbled a bit this week, but should practice today I think. Then we'll see Thomas who had a great camp according to Richt. Malcome can be a punishing change of pace back, but he consistently finds the bottom of the depth chart due to injuries and maybe other reasons.
  • Receiving drops. King had some against BSU. Shortly after his TD against SC, Wooten had a bad one as well. There shouldn't be any pressure Saturday. A good time for Murray to develop some trust with a lot of his wideouts.
  • Ray Drew...ministering to the weak.
  • Lastly, lots of TE work. If we can lose White to a knee sprain this week and hardly bat an eyelash due to the position's depth...well, we should be using them a LOT more in the offense.
The opponent should end up being just a lot of kittens this week. But a steady road test awaits before a difficult opponent when we return to Athens. Preparation is key to getting things back on track.

Dawgs' thin red line

With injuries and attrition, Georgia isn't really expected to redshirt any freshman offensive linemen. So with Coastal Carolina next, one of the interesting storylines for Saturday will be if Watts Dantzler and David Andrews get onto the field.

Actually, the question might be how much they get on the field.
Saturday isn't the most intriguing game in Bulldogs lore as Coastal Carolina makes its first visit to Sanford Stadium, but Georgia coaches have a decision regarding what to do up front. Gates should return after missing last week's 45-42 loss to South Carolina, so will the Bulldogs use just six or give others a chance?
Waiting in the wings are freshman center David Andrews, redshirt sophomore tackle Austin Long and freshman tackle Watts Dantzler, who played last year at Dalton High.
"That's something we have to talk about as a staff," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "We would like to play more guys, but you've got to have continuity. We've got six guys who we feel comfortable playing right now, and I saw those guys who played get better from week one to week two.
"Offensive line is a little bit different than backup receiver or backup running back. You might throw one in for a series, but you usually don't do a lot of subbing."
Redshirt sophomore Austin Long might also get some snaps. But given the struggles with protection so far this season it will be interesting to see how the coaches juggle continuity and game experience.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

SEC Video - CMR 9/14/11

Discusses weather, practice, injuries, Coastal Carolina and overall state of the team.

The curious case of Turmoil v Recruiting

So this Jordan Watkins kid chooses Stanford over the Dawgs yesterday. He's from the state of Georgia, smart and very talented. He happens to mention that he really likes Coach Garner and that it would be a shame if Richt were not there next season to coach in Athens. Yet Georgia was not able to garner his commitment. 

Many times the story will end there. But things haven't been so cheery on the field or in the stands recently, so the debate begins.

It's Richt's Fault - He's let the program slide and wins have been few and far between. That's gonna hurt in recruiting more than anything else. The Georgia football program has top notch facilities, a beautiful campus and excellent academics. All the tools are there for Coach Richt to do his job in bringing these kids into the program. The one thing he doesn't have lately is the record that kids and their families want to see.

It's the fans' fault - Coach Richt just brought in another top ranked class despite a losing record last year. Isaiah Crowell, Ray Drew and Jay Rome (among many others) could have gone just about anywhere. They didn't have a problem with the record or the temperature of the coach's seat. The fans get on these blogs and message boards and start spouting off behind a wall of anonymity and recruits read that and base opinions off of it. They go on visits to the stadiums and hear the boos and see them heading for exits when the team needs them most. That's a big factor for all of them.

The ruling - It's September people. Coach Richt, go do your job and prove to young Mr. Watkins et al that you can compete against an SEC slate again. Fans, increase your dosage and breathe deeply.

Mr. Watkins, in February you have a choice to stick with your commitment or choose another path. Do what you feel is best for you.

Sulek: walk on ready

Nice piece by Ching on walk on Jeremy Sulek, who has taken on an expanded role most walk-ons can only dream of. He might not have the size and speed of Gilliard and Herrera. But it wasn't just athleticism that Coach Grantham needed to replace when Tree and Crob came down with injuries.
Sulek made the team last year, appearing in six games and impressing coaches and teammates with his grasp of defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's 3-4 scheme.
"He knows the defense just as well as I do," said Robinson, who typically made the calls in the defensive huddle. "That was one thing about having him out there. Mentally there was no drop-off. We were able to communicate. We sat next to each other in the meeting room long before [Ogletree] got hurt. It's easy when you have someone out there who knows the signals, knows the calls and can spread it out to everyone else so we can play faster."
There was a time when playing in the GA Dome against a top ranked team were as far away as the opponent itself. Sulek had given up the game and Robinson had to talk him into giving it another try. He might be behind Gilliard on the depth chart for Saturday's game against Coastal Carolina, but at a very minimum he's set the bar higher for those around him. If they struggle with assignments, Coach Olivadotti knows he can go to Sulek.
While nobody will confuse Sulek with a former five-star prospect such as Ogletree, he still managed to hold his own by hustling when thrown into the spotlight against Boise State.
"He knew where to put a Georgia jersey, and he did that and he finished plays with tackles," Georgia inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti said. "If you look at that game, he had some third-down stops where Kellen Moore threw the ball three yards and they needed six and Sulek was the guy that was tackling them. It happened two or three times in the game. He made those completions, and we're off the field now because he knew where he was supposed to be and he made the tackles."
It's not easy seeing your team 0-2. And it can't be easy for coaches to see two vital components to the defense go down with injuries the first two games of the season. Sulek may not have reached the status of a Tra Battle or a Verron Haynes. But Dawg fans can be thankful he gave the game of football another shot.

"1980 is a pretty damn big year"

"A Nat'l Championship season has a life of it's own..." 

Reserved my copy last night.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tweetgate 2011 - beyond the press pass

Didn't get the win at the Dome, but I think we won the tailgate*. Here's Nama's footage of the first ever Tweetgate, seen and heard in the Yellow Lot.

h/t @Ludakrisi

Stay tuned for footage of the South Carolina tailgate, as well as later this season for trips to Oxford and...(sigh)...Jacksonville.

*no one appearing in this video can run for public office. But all qualify for an official Bernie fistbump...except the two Boise dudes from Charlotte on ToysRUs horses. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Bulldog Hotline redux

I have to say covering last night's Bulldog Hotline was a different experience than last week's. While that's probably not truly surprising, I guess since both broadcasts came after a loss I suspected a little more turmoil. Instead by the end I had given up on callers/posters offering actual questions relevant to the state of the program and was hoping Richt would let into the fans for leaving early.

But he's right, the fans for the most part did a terrific job Saturday night considering. So, here are two things from last night I think are worth exploring a little bit further.

First, one caller asks Richt about changes made in the off season. After pointing out that he thinks we're a better conditioned team, Richt also goes to great lengths to point out that we were in better shape than Carolina. Part of this I think is to highlight yet another way in which we beat them on Saturday. Another is to give a shout out to Bobo's use of the no huddle.

Stephen from Dalton: Echoes first caller’s sentiments, supportive. Hasn’t seen that much intensity from a team in a while. Last time he did we won an SEC Championship. How is the psychological conviction of the team? Are we keeping them up, to keep fighting? Also asks about off season changes. How have they helped? Richt – psychology of team is outstanding. No issues as far as unity of the team. Desire to get better is there. Positives – lot of times guys are looking to get off of special teams when they get tired, when it’s hot. Didn’t see any of that Saturday. Veterans pulling younger guys off of special teams because they knew how crucial every play was. Had guys who were banged up ready to get back out there. Also points out Michael Bennett’s catch on third down to set up the TD to Isaiah was one of the best catches he’s seen in a long time. Huge. Also mentions that the team didn’t get down with all the miscues (INT, fake punt, 28 free points) and momentum shifts. As far as the changes that were made, says the team was in very good condition. Had plenty of energy at halftime to go play in the second half. Says the no-huddle made a big difference with SC’s rush, it diminished over the course of the ball game. Helped with short, high percentage passes. Points out that on Crowell’s TD run as well as the screen pass for a TD earlier, they couldn’t even get lined up. They had trouble keeping up with our pace and the guys gained confidence in our no-huddle system. A lot of things are improving. Says “Let’s face it, we all know we could’ve won that game. If we had the Dawg Nation and the college football world would be saying the Georgia Bulldogs are the frontrunner for the SEC East. But it didn’t happen. But it doesn’t diminish the fact that we’ve got enough bullets to shoot. Just got to make sure we don’t turn the ball over like that.”
I think that's an important exchange. As a fan it should tell you that 1) the coaches have a lot of faith in what happened in the weightroom during the off season. And 2) they believe the no-huddle will pay dividends in the future. In short, younger + faster + better conditioned + faster pace = dominant late in the game. For right now I think we should reserve judgment on this development. A week ago I would've never expected to type that after seeing our no huddle...crawl........along...against Boise. But after Saturday the notion at least has merit.

Next, I was interested to hear some comments on where Richt sees Crowell's development. I mean sure, we all know now the kid is ready for big time SEC football. But in watching the replay it was obvious to me that although Crowell may be a soft spoken kid off the field, he can get pretty damn excitable on the field. After those two big runs in the first quarter he almost came unglued. So here's this:

FB question from Benjamin and Joseph: Will we see Malcome and Thomas this week? And will Crowell start against Coastal Carolina? Richt – Guys have to earn their playing time. Ken’s trying to earn it, Carlton set himself back with the suspension. He had a good camp, but when you get about 10 days out you really start practicing the guys you’re gonna play. IC is an electric player. He’s a guy we want to touch the ball more. He needs to learn to hang in there one more play, get one more rep. We want to feed Isaiah. Has a chance to be something really special. Whether or not he’ll start? Coaches haven’t even discussed starting lineups with the players. Basically doesn’t want to say anything out of turn.

Scott: Crowell had 16 carries. Do you have a number in mind or is it just the flow of the game? Richt – Had 18 total touches. Thinks 20-25 is pretty reasonable. Says once the game gets going it depends on what the team needs and how he’s feeling. He’s maturing right before our eyes. He sees how crucial it is to get in great condition.
We've known this for some time, but it's worth pointing out again and bookmarking for future discussions on Crowell's development. It's evident that the only thing that can get in the young running back's way is his own head.

Lastly, one more point. I found the broadcast last night to be pretty damn bland. When the program is 0-2 it opens up the opportunity to go so much deeper into expectations, level of competition so far, development of young players and specific challenges that lie ahead for the team. Instead most callers (at least the ones that made it on the air) wanted to reaffirm their support. It reminded me of those old Ma Bell commercials - reach out and touch someone! Meanwhile some FB and Twitter posters simply asked a question that had already been addressed, either last week or through the media.

That's all well and good I guess. (And even in broadcasting there no substitute for a well designed screen pass.) Maybe I'm in the minority, somehow. I just hope the level of satisfaction, accountability is higher going forward. Intensity and the energy to hang in there during tight games is great to see. 

But it is wins that we seek. And it's been a long, long time since they have darkened our door.

That ain't how you emerge brother

Things I learned about Dee Finley (Gators soph LB) yesterday: he didn't graduate from the Vance Cuff School of Scooter Emerging.

Officer William Sasser pulled Finley over at 1:49 p.m. after Finley drove his scooter around a barricade at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Sasser asked for his license and registration, but Finley told the officer he was late and did not want to give him the information, according to the arrest report.
When Sasser told Finley he could not leave, Finley started his scooter and tried to take off, but Sasser grabbed his left wrist. Finley then snatched his hand away and "squared" to Sasser while still straddling his scooter, according to the report.
Sasser proceeded to whip out his department-issued Taser and told Finley to put his hands behind his back. Finley obliged.

SEC Rewind, week 2

Monday, September 12, 2011

Letting go of the chicken bone

I can feel my angst rising again, so let me get a few more things off my chest before I put this loss completely in the rear view mirror.
  1. It appears to me that Bobo/Richt's solution for Crowell and Smith having the same number on their jersey is to use Boykin whenever we would've had Smith in on offense. Expect this trend to continue now that it's clear that Crowell should be getting more and more touches. After all, that's much easier than telling an 18 year old you don't give a damn what number he wants. It's better for the team if he's not #1.
  2. I mean, if Crowell would switch to say...#3, we could put #1 #2 and #3 on the field at the same time!
  3. All of those single back sets and not once did we see Orson in the flex position? Bobo, put Charles, White and Lynch on the field at the same time as Figgins. The defense won't know who's blocking and who's running routes until it's too late. Wanna see Dan Mullen's head spin? Put that set in there with Crowell taking the snap.
  4. If I were Richt I would run that onside kick EVERY SINGLE KICKOFF on Saturday. For one, that should give us plenty of practice as we should score plenty of points. And two, Walsh has proven he can get us a touchback just about any time his right foot deems it so. Give Houston Nutt and the rest of the SEC something to think about. Penn Wagers crew can't call every game.
  5. Lastly, if you left the game early, shut your trap. You have no business spouting off your righteousness for believing in the team no more than you have business calling coaches or players out for losing. In the end, you were the loser Saturday night.

SEC Today - 9/12/11

Monday's Meatloaf - classic blunders and critical errors

There are now three classic blunders I shall from this day forward try my best to avoid. The first two come from Vizzini in The Princess Bride: never get involved in a land war in Asia and never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line. Then on Friday I discovered the third: don't take your wife to a beer tasting.

The last several months on Friday afternoons my local liquor store has a free beer tasting. You get to go in and try a few brews that they have in the cooler. It's kind of the perfect start to the weekend. I get to drink some beer and Mrs. Bernie gets to start on dinner without me getting in the way.
Tannins also cure athlete's foot

However, this past Friday brought a monkey wrench and I just never saw it coming. My folks took the kids for the weekend and suddenly the wife's schedule was freed up. So...she tagged along. Seemed like a great idea. She likes beer too afterall and always seems at least mildly curious as to what these bottles are I keep in the beer fridge. So, we had some beers from Red Brick Brewery in Atlanta, then moseyed on over to the store to do some shopping. I stuck to the normal routine; grabbed some beer then perused the bourbon bottles. 

But by the time I caught back up with the lady we were the proud owners of a $90 bottle of wine. Huh...wuh? I was dumbfounded. She responded, But we're getting it for $50! It's marked down. How does this happen? I'd allowed myself to lose track of her for a few moments and she had wandered off course into the wine aisles. Stick to the script!! I pleaded. We're getting this bottle of wine <Bernie>! she insisted through clenched teeth. Then she went on about certain grapes and regions of Italy, all while the salesguy stood beside her smiling. This weekly ritual is always about beer. Suddenly I was purchasing a corked bottle of grapes that had been smushed to a pulp by some Italian man's instep.

Classic blunder.

Today's Ingredients
  • As punishment for that egregious blunder I subjected myself to a rewatch of the game. Is there a greater example of Matt Millen's disregard for facts than his suggestion that Georgia's special teams just haven't been so special since Fabris left? (h/t BulldogBry
  • What an awkward position to be in just two games into the season: on one hand we have a coach with some smoking khakis, and on the other a team with plenty left to play for.
  • Some say we're making progress towards a strong run with all of our goals in front of us. Others, like Barrett Sallee say we're on a dead end street.
  • You won't likely find a more succinct summation than Groo's. And ecdawg has the (three) million dollar question - Where's the beast? 
  • DawgStephen urges us to stay the course. That's the theme at the Blawg House as well.
  • Quinton reminds us that small mistakes make a huge difference.
  • the Senator comes to a logical conclusion regarding our best offensive weapon. But the real question might be, can Bobo start a game without a handoff to Samuel on a dive play?
  • Like Camus before him, Macondawg doesn't get too nihilistic in his analysis of the game.
  • A nice memory from the 9/11 tributes yesterday from the Dawg Nation's own Big Muddy. And Lucid Idiocy remembers a friend we all honored at halftime. Ashley Henderson-Huff and Noah Harris, Damn Good Dawgs!
  • Lastly, (and in theme with the bloopers-esqueness of this post) so nice of Serena Williams to cover up Cyndi Lauper's Star Spangled misstep with yet another bitch fit in Flushing Meadows.
Most of the time one can overcome the effects of a classic blunder. With a well-trained brain and a merely serviceable memory bank I can remember that the next time Mrs. Bernie's Friday afternoon schedule is cleared up to tell her I'm simply heading out to the dentist office...or to an emergency meeting of my local MENSA group. Actually I'll probably stick with the dentist. She knows I'm don't floss as much as I should anyway. 

1 mississippi...2 mississippi...3 mississippi...
Tragically worse than a classic blunder is a critical error. A fumble or a poorly thrown ball can be a blunder, but when the loose football is scooped and scored or the pass is picked for six, well that's going to be difficult to recover from. Hell, let a d-lineman rumble 60 yards in roughly the amount of time it takes a 5 year old to master his own shoe strings and you can forget all about bloopers and gaffes. You've crossed into territory where blunders go to die. There's no comic relief in giving up multiple touchdowns to these follies.

After re-watching the game last night it was even more obvious that we were victims of these screw-ups. For all the progress the coaching staff and players made in working through the Boise hangover, we still can't overcome our own obstacles. Perhaps AthensHomerDawg put it best, we're snakebit

To continue with the analogy, I would add that we're a nation divided and the venom is going to be plentiful going forward. There was a time when Coach Richt losing a game was viewed as a blunder (or for you wine drankers...a faux pas). There was even some in fairly recent memory that could be categorized as aberrations, absurdities. Hell, he used to be king of the road win for goodness sake. But folks, we're way past that now. Every loss is a critical error when you've won 7 of your last 17 SEC games. It might all be enough for me to chug a $50 bottle of wine. 

Critical error.

Let that simmer a bit, then spoon a little gravy over your lunch Reader. Better days are ahead...somewhere.


And then there were three

Georgia lost another MLB with Crob going down late in the 4th quarter. He'll be out "at least a couple games", hopefully returning in time to meet MSU.

In the mean time, the Dawgs will rely on Amarlo Herrera, Mike Gilliard and Jeremy Sulek. For emergency depth I'm sure many fans are going to clamor for Samuel to return to the defensive side of the ball. But that's just not going to happen. Last night in his teleconference Richt did mention freshman Ramik Wilson and Chase Vasser could provide some depth.

Hopefully all five of those get some time in Tree and Crob's shoes Saturday before the trip to Oxford.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday's Non-miserable Thoughts

I'm not so miserable today. This loss is best divided into good and bad.

The good.
  • I was tempted to punch a Tanneyhill wannabe d-bag post game. But I chose the path with fewer handcuffs.
  • We looked demonstrably better than we did in the Dome. I'd tend to think that's because of the uniforms. I hope it's because of the fire in the belly.
  • Offense was very effective in the shotgun. Although I'd still rather see us line up in the I-formation (especially with Figgins at FB), we ran the ball and passed the ball well. Not exceptionally well, but effectively well. That is to say it was good but there's room for improvement.
  • Crowell. Nice to see the coaches stick with him after that awful fumble. I thought he was heads and shoulders above Samuel. I got a little frustrated with the substituting, but eventually they went with the hot hand.
  • Coaching adjustments seemed better. Bobo responded in the second half to help match the miscues. Grantham refused to let Lattimore be a deciding factor. #21 got his yards, but it wasn't because of scheme, gameplan.
  • Rambo looks like his old self. And Williams looks like the real deal. If safety was our weakest defensive position I think we'll be ok for the rest of the schedule.
  • Perhaps Nama put it best after Bennett's TD when he wondered how Kris Durham regained some eligibility. Bennett had some clutch catches. Very reminiscent of #16.
  • Blocking was better...
The bad.
  • I know we haven't won a game since late Novemeber. But does that mean we have to play that stupid nerd jumping up and down song? Dananana...danananananahhhh. Ugh.
  • As long as we're gonna play Samuel "ahead" of Crowell, why can't we call ONE toss sweep with Figgins leading Samuel the IVth? 
  • Turnovers. Absolutely killed us. As much as the blocking was better, that "olay" BS on the last SC touchdown fumble return was absolutely a pile of crap. Cmon!
  • Special teams. We shouldn't get out played in this area. All. Frickin. Season. Outside of Drew Butler, we were. Walsh missed another makeable FG, and the Gamecocks managed to neutralize our advantage on kickoffs.
  • Plus, the fake punt was a killer. Damn.
  • I'll look at the replay later, but it seemed like we committed the TEs to protection. Good call, but as a result Charles was a non-factor. Would've liked to see him factor in late in the game.
  • Fans. Leaving all have no right to complain. Tavarres King made y'all look like d-bags.
That's what I got. What'd I miss?

SEC Video - Carolina highlights