Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sakerlina fans displaying jealousy

Just some evidence for you. That chickens been hatin' y'all.

Location:Brookwood Dr,Columbia,United States

Sakerlina - what to look for

If my phone battery allows I'll try and post some pics/vids from the scene today. It is supposed to be in the upper 80s as far as temperature, so it'll feel more like a hot day on planet Earth and less like the 9th circle of Hell. But regardless, here's what I'm looking for once toe meets leather.
  • How often is Shawn Williams in the box. I expect Grantham to go man coverage on the outside and use our hard hitting safety as an extra brick in the wall against Lattimore. Their all-star running back looked good last week, but I still don't believe he's proven himself to be the same bruising difference maker after last season's injury. Stop Lattimore...more specifically, hold him closer to 100 rather than 200 yards and this one is more than winnable.
  • Clean football, or at least not filthy. I'm sure Murray will take some shots. I know Gurshall will be hit like they have yet to experience before. Taking a sack is okay. A run for no gain or even a loss is fine. We just can't shoot ourselves in the foot like last year and turn a bad situation into a nightmare. Protect the ball, live to see the next down. With our rushing attack and our down field targets, the plays we need will come if we're patient enough.
  • Position the field to our advantage. Special teams weren't a train wreck last week, but it was as close as you want to get to the sheer carnage of one. Both Gurley and Malcolm were just trying to make a play, but in this game field position is key. Historically you can't get away with miscues like that. One botched return may not seem like much. But there's a huge difference in beginning a drive from outside the 10 as opposed to inside the one.
  • Rise to the occasion. This isn't unchartered water for Coach Richt. But his task for this game is to get his team focus on what they control - the outcome. Georgia is more talented. But we've seen a team of talent lose sight of what is within their grasp when the bright lights come on.

SEC Kickoff with Coach Dooley

This week's episode is heavy on the Dawgs. It has a look back on the win over Tennessee, a focus on Todd Gurley and a preview of tonight's game in Columbia.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Rejoice like a State Trooper!!

I might have completely lost the Friday Misery I wrote last night. It's saved...but it's evidently saved in a place I cannot locate at the moment. If I get a chance to look for it later I'll post it. If not you'll just have to be miserable without my assistance.

But enough about my blogging problems. I didn't want to leave you completely empty handed, so here's one of my favorite videos of all time. I don't expect a barn burner like we had in Athens in 2009, but I sure wouldn't mind seeing Spurrier wallowing in some of his own misery as the clock winds down.

A "Vermonster" of a task

If the offensive line can keep Murray upright, they'll be rewarded as kings.
Quarterback Aaron Murray has treated his line to Sunday night ice cream the past three weeks at Ben & Jerry’s for keeping him upright.
If they can protect him against a Gamecocks front led by defensive ends Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor, that might call for a “Vermonster.”
That’s 20 scoops of ice cream, four bananas, three cookies, a brownie, whipped cream, choice of hot fudge or caramel and topped of with sprinkles, Oreos, M&Ms, walnuts or peanuts. The price tag in Athens is $48.
“With the talent that we’re going against, I’m sure Aaron wouldn’t have too big of a problem shelling out the money for a Vermonster,” said offensive guard Chris Burnette, the line spokesman this week.
It’s supposed to serve five to seven people, but this is offensive linemen we are talking about here.
When looking at the stats, something's going to have to give. Carolina is tallying over four each week, which is good for second in the nation. Meanwhile Georgia is only allowing 1.4 sacks/game. That's a fairly modest number, but considering the question mark that was surrounding the unit coming into the season, that's pretty good.
They’ve come a long from the first full pads practice this spring when coaches worried about what they had.
“To their credit they have worked their tails off,” Richt said. “The linemen knew we had some issues. All summer long they decided as a group to get up at the crack of dawn and be the first ones there in the weight room. They worked extremely hard with our strength staff. Going against the defensive front they were going against day after day after day they just had to get better or get embarrassed. They got better. I don’t know if they are the best offensive line in America or anything like that right now, but they sure have made a lot of improvement, and they are playing well.”

Countdown to Kickoff - Georgia at South Carolina

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Good analysis and perspective

I've been told by numerous of my tailgate sources that I should be listening to 960 the Ref on Friday mornings when Russ Tanner drops in for an hour of The Morning Show. I've always liked 960 the Ref. Having run out of musical radio options around Atlanta that play actual music worth listening to, I often tune into talk radio or podcasts on my commute. My only problem with 960 is geography, as their signal is outside of my radio dial.

But nowadays, through the power of modern technology and internets, you can stream online. This is what they told me, to which I replied that 8:00 on Friday mornings are pretty busy for me. Being persistent, as they are known to be, they quickly shot back that the shows are archived so that you can listen to them later.

Well, yesterday I pulled one off the 960theRef shelf and listened in. And it's pretty good stuff. Russ is a funny guy and doesn't mind sharing some stories. Like the one where after losing a game Richt had to intervene after practice one day and tell Van Gorder he had run his defense long enough.

Y'all know by now I love listening to people talk about the Dawgs as much as I love reading about them. So just wanted to pass this one along. I found it under Audio Archives/The Morning Show Audio Archives

SEC Audibles - Coach Richt

Coach Richt talks about Michael Bennett's injury and the upcoming game in Columbia SC.

SEC Audibles - Spurrier

Coach Spurrier previews the big game for this weekend, with no questions from Ron Morris.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bennett to return with his epically clutch hands in 2013

It's being described from those who witnessed it yesterday as a "horrible" knee injury. He tore his ACL and now Michael Bennett with have surgery and miss the rest of the season. Perhaps that answers my question from earlier today.

Damn. I'm a selfish Dawg fan and want someone of his caliber on the field as much as possible. But in times like this my heart first goes out to the player. He's the leading receiver and was about to go into a game that athletes like him dream about...hell, we all dream about playing in games like this. But he's someone that was days away from seeing it realized. 

But it looks like Bennett is taking it in the same graceful stride that he shows on the field.

GATA Michael!

Can Georgia go five wide on SC?

As Herbstreit points out, the big focus Saturday will be on how Georgia's offensive line handles Carolina's defensive line.

And as we've seen, Bobo has used more and more of a five wide set as the season has progressed. I think we first saw it against Missouri where it produced a touchdown. Against Tennessee, Murray estimates ($) we saw it five or six times. It again produced a touchdown.

But I'm wondering if we see it at all against South Carolina. For it to work, the decision for where the ball goes would have to be made in a fraction of the time it has taken thus far. I don't think the Gamecocks have the personnel to cover King, Bennett, Brown, Mitchell, and Wooten. Who does really? But having targets to throw to four seconds from the snap of the ball doesn't matter much if your quarterback is on the ground at three.

Mixing this new set with all the others that Bobo employs is dynamic and utilizes all of the talent for that side of the ball. But if we see it Saturday night then it will tell us just how much confidence the coaches have in this young offensive line, as well as Murray's quick decision making.

This week in the SEC

Humpday Hilarity - for you golfers

Sometimes golf is about who cheats the best. (h/t Dad)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Getting to know: Connor Shaw and Abry Jones

The SEC Digital Network features two players from the top matchup this week. Abry Jones has admitted that his ankle was bothering him Saturday against Tennessee. But I noticed last night that he wasn't listed on the injury report from Coach Richt. Hopefully he can get up close and personal with Shaw come this Saturday night.

Aaron Murray vs Williams-Brice Stadium

via Getty Images
Through five games you have to give the offensive MVP to Aaron Murray. Dude is having himself a helluva season thus far. It's terrific what the freshmen tailbacks are doing, but the huddle is one man's alone. Murray is using clear language to communicate. What's more is he is putting his money where his mouth is once the ball is snapped.

If you're like me you might have gone so far as to scoff when the talk was of 70% completion percentage this year. I didn't laugh it off as impossible, not by any means. But I was more concerned with him throwing the ball away when necessary and limiting the interceptions. And through five games he's doing just that, and doing it very well. His TD/int ratio is well ahead of last year and he's clearly as comfortable in the pocket as we've seen during his tenure. When guys miss assignments or routes he's on them. His leadership has developed an edge to it, an edge of accountability.

What's more is he's right at a 68% completion clip. And while he owns that statistic, his teammates are very much a part of it. From the guys giving him the time to check down to the guys making the catch.

Tyler Bray has the NFL arm and all the sick non-conference stats. Yet our quarterback just rated 80 points better than him Saturday night. Bray completed just over half his throws and averaged just 6.2 yards per attempt. Murray completed 76% of his passes for over 11 yards per attempt. He might have to look up to Bray in terms of height, but the Tennessee quarterback couldn't come close to rising to Murray's level Saturday night.

Yes, Murray has answered all the questions we had for him coming into the season and passed the first quiz glowingly. But the mid-term comes Saturday...winning the big game. Aside from last year's game in Atlanta with the SEC trophy on the line, this is the biggest game of Murray's career. 

Unfortunately according to history, Columbia has not been kind to Georgia quarterbacks: 

Quincy Carter
David Greene*
David Greene
Matt Stafford**
Matt Stafford
Aaron Murray

77-146 (52%)
* DJ Shockley was 0-3
** Joe Tereshinki was 2-3 for 18 yards

So in the last six visits combined, our starting quarterbacks have not passed for more than 1000 yards, have only completed 52% of their passes and have only two touchdowns compared to nine interceptions. And to be fair it's not just the passing game that has trouble getting to the endzone. Since 2000 there have only been a total of six touchdowns: three rushing, two passing and one miracle interception. Field goals have been the norm, but they rarely help in adding up to victory.

That may not sound like much room for optimism. And maybe I should've gone back further than 2000 to see if there was ever anything close to rose colored glasses to look at this, but we have gone 4-2 in Columbia during that span despite the difficulties scoring. Plus, our quarterbacks that have had the pleasure of two visits to Williams-Brice Stadium, performed better (albeit without blowing the doors off the place) the second time around. And Murray didn't do anything desperate to hurt us his freshman year against the Gamecocks.

Perhaps most importantly, Murray has a running game to complement his passing game this season. More than anything else that should help open up some passing lanes against a defense that is ranked 48th in the country against the pass., keeping in mind that the same defense is ranked 7th nationally against the run. 

So the formula for success in Columbia is likely the same as it has been for some time - don't try and win the game in one play, wait for the right play to open up, and a punt can be your friend. Aside from David Greene in 2004, Murray has more experience than all of those guys listed in the chart. My hope is that he passes this mid-term exam Saturday night. I believe there are plenty of yards in the Carolina secondary to do it. But if history has taught us anything, it is that nothing comes easily at Williams-Brice Stadium. 

[post note - stats obtained from a variety of sources including and as well as]

Bulldog Hotline Redux - Tennessee

The topic du jour last night was, of course, not being able to finish off the game at the end. And although most callers hit on it even just a touch, I think this series best explains the coaching mindset at the end of the game.
Jim in Duluth asks how close Richt thinks the offensive line is to leading us out of tough situations and finishing the game in the fourth quarter. Richt says we actually did get off the goal line, but had a turnover after we had moved out of the hole. The situations with the punt that was downed on the one and the kickoff were tough situations. But yes, we do have to be ready for those type things. At least get the space to punt the thing. Now at the end of the game, if we’re going to be dedicated to the run and not risk the pass we just have to line up and maul people. Our offense is predicated on the idea that if they load the box we throw it, if they don’t then we run it. So it is tougher to run the ball when the whole world knows it. You just have to make a decision as to whether it’s worth the risk to pass it. There are times when we have to line up and run it, gotta do a better job because it takes a lot of the drama out of it at the end if we can knock out one more first down and not have to punt and play defense.
Connor in Lexington (a young Dawg calling in!!) asks why we weren’t able to move the ball in the fourth quarter after moving the ball so well all game. Richt reiterates some of the previous answer. Earlier on in the 4th quarter we were trying to move the ball, threw a slant, picked up the blitz and if the receiver had caught it he might have scored. Or at least put us in position to keep the clock going and their offense off the field. So the next time out the coaches just made the decision to not throw the football because it was more important to take the time off the clock. And they were willing to punt again if they had to. Which we did successfully and then the defense made the plays.
During the exchange with the next caller Richt also mentions that the call is his to make as to whether to keep the playbook open or tighten things up. Sounds like after Murray spent the evening carving up the Vol secondary they were willing to keep (safely) winging it some. But got scared out of it after the dropped pass.

It's still a very conservative approach. But, we also had the lead and obviously Richt trusted the defense to rise to the occasion.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday's Meatloaf - Facts of Life

You take the good, you take the bad. You take em both and there you have the facts of life.

I've got a little rant that just won't stop eating at me until I get it out. If this offends you, good. Cuz then you are one of the dipshits I'm talking about.

Don't mind me Dawg. All I do is win.
 But first, the good. The fans the last couple games have been fantastic. Pretty much everyone is in their seat ready to go before game time. The stadium is loud and rocking. Opponents are clearly affected by the noise. The band is cranked up and the students are fully engaged and absolutely bonkers. Worse than bonkers. It's been awesome!

However, a good number of you embarrassed me the other night. With all the glory UGA athletes brought to London England this summer, some of you chose to stay seated when they were recognized on the field. Seriously? If there's anything that would justify a standing ovation I would think it would be representing your country AND your university on a world wide stage. Yet some of you can't get your fat, greedy and gluttonous faces out of your cup of Dippin' Dots long enough to get up off of your assholes and clap for Reese Hoffa. You'd rather check your phone and update your worthless BookFace status "Hey y'all I'm at Sanford Stadium and Samantha was all like let's get some Dippin' Dots and I said sure and I think DJ Shockley just ran for a touchdown thingie!!!" instead of showing Allison Schmitt some appreciation for swimming her ass off against competitors around the freakin' globe and bringing home a bronze, a silver and THREE GOLD medals.

By all means, don't let us disturb the conversation you have going about how crowded the mens bathroom was on the way in. Please, just sit there and save your precious energy for tomorrow when you have a spinning class at the gym. I mean all these kids did was to train FOR YEARS and dedicate THEIR LIVES to wear the red, white and blue proudly and with honor. If I'm clapping too loud I apologize...for caring and having a little heart.


Today's Ingredients
- And as Groo points out in his recap, Vreeland's recognition had bad timing. but still. C'mon people.
Some more thoughts on the Tennessee game over at The Grit Tree; Ed Thomas revisits his keys to the game; Tyler answers his three questions; and GenX gives some shout-outs as well.
Swann, gettin' after it!
- Fallout in Knoxville: lil Dools wants to shore up the run defense. Not facing "Gurshall" again can't hurt that effort.
- I really thought I would be okay with Malcolm Mitchell returning to defense full time. But maybe we still need him in the secondary. Travis wonders the same thing.
- Or maybe Swann should just have a more prominent role. Dude got UP!
- Looking ahead, Weiszer gets us ready for a week leading up to a huge showdown in Columbia.
- cocknfire recaps Saturday's win in Lexington for the Gamecocks.
- And in this chapter of how irrelevant my role in the kitchen is becoming, a shout-out to Mrs. Bernie for the meatloaf she made last week. Best I've had in a long, long time. Including all of my previous, seemingly miserable attempts.

Not all facts are as easy to grasp though. Such as whether the Georgia defense just isn't as good as we thought or if Tennessee's offense was much better than expected. I know that for me it was mostly the latter. I didn't expect Bray to be protected that well (although we seemed content to allow it more than expected too). But regardless, they opened up holes and kept their quarterback upright and clean for about 57 minutes.
Grown Man Football Mrs. G!

In fact, if Bray hits Justin Hunter on a couple passes that were off the mark and/or Patterson doesn't crap his pants when he was wide open, today might have even more doom to go with the gloom.

Still, I keep coming back to another fact: as late as last season, this is a game we lose. Finding a way to win ugly games and overcome your own misfortunes and mistakes is an important step between an average team and a good team. Then, between a good team and a great team. I don't know if we're a great team yet. But winning Saturday night leaves that door open as a definite possibility. Shore up the special teams' comedy of errors and get back to actually tackling ball carriers and covering receivers and we're still on a track towards Atlanta.

Three weeks ago we were touting how grown our football was. This Saturday we find out if that is a fact of life as well. Y'all have a great Monday and don't let the weather soak your second helping.


A picture's worth a buncha yards!

Lost in all of Gurshall's yards and Bennett's clutchness, was a pretty damned good performance by Georgia's tight ends. Lynch himself lead the team in receiving with 75 yards on three catches. Rome had a beautiful catch on a seam route. 

And Bobo ran what is my favorite play in his playbook. With the way we're gashing teams on the run, that play action rollout is absolute gold. There wasn't a defender within 15 yards of Lynch. He took the pass, shed a tackle and ran for a 38 yard gain well into Tennessee territory. And even if Lynch had been covered, Murray could've tucked it and run for plenty. Every single Vol player went for the fake handoff.

And who could really blame them.

via  Schmelter, R&B

Nailing the coffin shut

I wasn't [edit] willing to harp on the offense after Saturday night's fifth straight 40+ point performance, but Coach Richt found the words.
Georgia has put up 40 or more points five straight games, including 51 against Tennessee Saturday, but Richt wasn’t pleased with how Georgia couldn’t get first downs when it needed to in the fourth quarter.
“We just really haven’t done a good job of that in recent memory,” he said. “It’s not like we didn’t have a plan. We had a plan. It just wasn’t good enough. We didn’t knock out a first down when we needed it the most to try to take as much drama out of it at the very end.”
It worked out in the end. But sounds like Richt could use less drama. And I know about 92,000 fans that would agree with that.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday thoughts on Tennessee

Holy (crap)! What a game. Unfortunately I'm going to have to keep this short. Coach Richt lost control of our car battery after the game. And then he lost control of traffic on 316. In short, like Sanford's scoreboard, I'm exhausted.

  • Special teams...I wish you were a little less special.
  • So Rambo did indeed play. Like Jennifer pointed out, it was just a silly ruse that came at a time the focus should've been on the game. What's more he showed a good bit of rust. Such as misjudging a pass early and went for an interception he never had a real chance at, leaving an easy play for the Tennessee receiver. Luckily said receiver fell down after the catch instead of scoring.
  • That being said, Rambo's presence helped take away a lot of the deep options for Bray all night.
  • Ogletree on the other hand was spectacular. Made good use of all the attention Jarvis was drawing. Led the team in tackles and had a key pass break up that led to the Damian Swann interception. And nearly had another interception on the razzle dazzle play in the third quarter.
  • Speaking of Swann, he's turning into quite the difference maker at corner.
  • Malcolm Mitchell so loves the Georgia offense he doesn't mind it starting from inside the one yard line. Sounds like McGowan will be the guy going forward.
  • There are a lot of things I worry about when my head hits the pillow at night. But our offense ain't one of them. Gurshall has done a lot to help open things up. We're utilizing every playmaker and position, including our tight ends and fullbacks. It can click on all cylinders before a defense even gets set.
  • But the offensive line, especially Theus, struggled. Most notably in that series of errors in the second quarter. Special teams didn't do the offense any favors with letting the punt roll to the one and whatever the hell happened on the kickoff where Gurley misplayed it horrifically. 
  • How many times did we see a run where Gurley should've been stopped for no gain and ended up getting positive yardage in bunches?
  • The defense...continually got gashed. I wasn't expecting that. We ran a lot of nickel. And we're clearly better against the run when we can go base. But allowing that many yards rushing only helped a good passing team gain momentum.
  • And I thought Bray got better as the game went on. Made good decisions and looked very poised in the pocket. Clearly the best quarterback we'll see all season.
In the end the team can take heart in that on a night when we didn't play a clean game at all, we still came away from the win. A lot of similarities to last season against South Carolina. This time we found a way to pull it out. Offense made the plays and the defense pinned their ears back and got after it.

Coach Diaz previews the upcoming season

Georgia - Tennessee highlights