Saturday, November 10, 2012

136 bones...with room for more

A picture is sometimes worth more than a thousand words. But we'll start with just four letters - GATA!

Auburn's dumpster fire - what to look for

The key question for Auburn today is this: do the players truly believe in their coaches? Chizik (and staff) has been a dead man walking for about a month. Unless I'm mistaken though, it wasn't until this week that "real" rumors started to circulate about an actual search to replace him. (And kudos btw to the Auburn brass for not conducting said search in the dark of night on a Louisville tarmac.)

Nick Fairley2.jpg
- So, do the Auburn players actually try and win the game? They're completely out-matched. Seriously, it's amazing how far they've fallen talent-wise in just two years. The only way they win this game is if they are completely invested in it. Which is a tall task for a 2-7 (0-6) SEC team.
- Actually, the only way Auburn wins this game is if we let them win it. Georgia's biggest key is to come out quick and take the crowd out of it. Once the Auburn fans are sitting on their hands, their team will follow suit.
- Auburn's run defense is terrible. Can Gurley get the 143 yards he needs to eclipse 1000 yards for the season? And I'd really like to see Keith Marshall get back into September form with a couple big runs. Tonight he should be able to get to that second level that he's missed the last few games. Once he gets into that amount of space, he's almost as good as gone.
- Get well on special teams. We've made some baby steps in PATs, kickoff coverage, punt coverage as well as our return game. But it's still an uneasy feeling whenever we prepare for any kind of kick. Time to nail these down before the stretch run towards the finish line.
- Protect the football. Again...protect the football.

Other than that, I'll be looking for expressions of sheer agony on the faces of Chizik and Trooper. It's the kind of thing that should stir quite well into my glass of bourbon.

Go Dawgs!

SEC Kickoff with Coach Dooley

Coach Dooley wraps up last week's games and previews this weekend's action.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Tennessee flirting with Petrino

Or maybe it's the opposite of actual flirting. Regardless, they really want a new coach. So much so that they're making some real concessions.

Friday Misery - bed checks...ALL IN!!

Wave your Chiz Rags barners! Trooper'll show you how after he's done slamming a case of Monster energy drinks and trimming Pat Dye's toenails. Rally around Jonna and create a "very powerful all-in movement" help load the moving trucks.

It's a family tradition
This is one of college football's richest historical series. Georgia and Auburn have shared alumni/players/coaches over the decades and the overall series is as tight as a virgin butthole during a routine prostate exam. Many feel that this game has long been a friendly rivalry. Some would even suggest to you that it is similar to a couple brothers playing a casual game of two-hand touch in a freshly mown backyard.


I reject the notion that this series was or ever will be "friendly". Wholeheartedly reject it. Anyone who suggests otherwise has bounced too many times on Uncle Verne's knee. That or they really enjoy rooting for other SEC teams while singing Kum-Ba-Ya in their bath robe on a bed of daisies. "Go War Eagles!! Beat the Ducks! Oh yeh, SEC baby!"
Tra ain't got no broken wing!

Friggin' hippies...with your ridiculous harmonious solidarity. While y'all were eating mushrooms and blasting Mr. Mister out of Russell Hall's windows THEY WERE TURNING WATER HOSES ON US GODDAMMIT!! Years later they tried to kill Reggie Brown. Laid him out on the turf and then danced around his inanimate body like rejects from MC Hammer's "posse". Get your shit together dude. This isn't just a $cam and Fairley 2010 thing hombre. It cuts deeper. The lineage is twisted and gnarled. They're a schizophrenic step cousin-in-law at best. The kid your parents force you to play with at family reunions, but instead you leave them in the backyard after telling them to count to threes. "Voodoo magic..pppffpt!"

If you're STILL not convinced, ask yourself this: Was Tra battle just wanting bragging rights over little brother Brandon Cox in 2006? Was Michael Johnson just adding to the familial atmosphere when he WENT OFF on the barners in 2002? AND AGAIN in 2003!

Do me a favor and don't cheapen the storied series with your hand holding and your self-serving soliloquy about how nice they are. Don't say stupid shit like Nick Fairley is a hard nosed player and you love Trooper's energy level. They're Auburn...basically a bunch of cow herders with "diplomas".

Barn door semantics
We ARE Planesmen. We ARE Abuurn!
Many people were understandably taken in with Abuurn's new motto "All in!" a couple years ago. They were on the verge of a historic run towards an undefeated season. It had a sense of family and togetherness. Chizik seemed brilliant.

But now the truth comes to light. These people no more know what their actual mascot is than they know where their players are at 11:00pm on a Tuesday night. To borrow from Mr. Foxworthy, If you have to perform bed checks on a school might be Coach Chizik! And if you have to hire a "security firm" to perform said bed might be Jonna Chizik's wife.

To best understand the meaning behind the phrase, picture a paranoid schizo that's been stuffing lithium tablets down his sock. So when they say "all in"...they mean every one of their mascots personalities: the tigers, the Troopers, the eagles, Aubie, the Eric Ramsey tape recorders, lil Terry Butterbean, the bagmen, the new church steeple, and plain assed men dressed accordingly.

In summary, these are the people that stole our Battle Hymn and bastardized it with their own lyrics. These are the people that cheer for a team that has spent more time under the clouds of NCAA scrutiny than Terry Bowden has spent eating fried pies and small children. They would love nothing more than to spoil our re-energized season.

That is if they can somehow hire an agency equipped to help them tie their cleats. All in! for second grade motor skills y'all! War Damn Tiglesmen!

Are we overconfident heading to Opelika?

I don't think so. At least I hope not. They aren't just a broken team, they are a broken program with a lame duck coach on his way out. It's a complete mess down there. And I haven't seen or read anything to tell me that we might be overlooking them. Because sometimes broken teams are very dangerous, especially at home...and at night.

Again, I sincerely hope we're not entering this game too casually. Because that's definitely how Auburn approached the 2006 game.

Countdown to Kickoff - Auburn

Cecelia Cuaresma preview the next installment of the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Swann song: opening chorus

In my opinion, Damian Swann has been just as instrumental in the defense's turnaround as Shawn Williams' words. Well, maybe almost as much.

But my point is that before he really burst on the scene our secondary seemed disinterested in engaging ball carriers and inept at covering would be receivers. We were lucky we didn't play more teams with a quarterback that could take full advantage of the gaping holes back there. Then Swann started making plays and seeing more snaps. Now everyone is rising to the level of the competition back there.

With that said, nice piece here on the sophomore cornerback and his nose for the football.
"Once I got here, I figured out the guys who would be in front of me and what role might open up this year," Swann said. "That's when I decided to get behind Boykin and learn as much as I could, because he had to leave and that job was going to be open. Boykin was the guy I studied a lot and learned almost everything from outside of what I was getting from the coaches."
Swann has done a little bit of everything this season, compiling 39 tackles, four pass deflections, 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. In the past two weeks alone, he has amassed two sacks, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and an interception.
"I've always thought Damian was a pretty good player and that it was just a matter of getting him some experience," defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. "He plays a little bit where the action is, but he's got good awareness and good instincts, and he has a knack for understanding where the ball is going to go. I think he's done a really good job of coming in and filling in for Boykin after he left, and he's only going to get better."

War Damn Curfew

Personally, I think Coach Chizik lost control of his team back in August when he allowed them to look like this...

h/t Andrew they prepared for their 2012 season. But they've clearly reached a new level of fail focus for this week's rivalry game with Georgia now that the head guy has instituted curfew checks during the week. He's so serious about it they've hired a security firm to handle the door knob twisting.
Stanley Dallas, the Auburn Regional Manager of the Event Operations Group, confirmed members of his staff are working in conjunction with members of Auburn’s football player development department to “enforce” player curfews throughout the week.
The Event Operations Group, Inc. is a “national full service event management, staffing, and security provider,” according to its website. The firm is used by facilities across the country, including at Auburn and other SEC schools such as Ole Miss and Mississippi State, to staff on-campus events in a variety of capacities including security, parking attendants and stadium ushers.... 
How many members of the EOG are used in the operation, their works hours, compensation and level of training is unclear. When called by the Advertiser for additional information, Dallas said he would have to check with his corporate office to see what he could disclose. 
It's clear they're saving money now that they aren't paying players. At least I hope they're not paying players with a 2-7 record. But since Trooper Taylor and Curtis Luper (supposedly) aren't on the road anymore, don't they have time for the bed checks? You know, save a little cash for whatever sperm $cam left on the plains.

Flashback - "Look at the Sugar falling out of the sky!"

Too often it seems, if we are going to achieve any type of SEC honor, it must be earned on the plains against Auburn. That will be the case on Saturday, just as it was in 1982 as top ranked Georgia and Herschel Walker squared off against Auburn and Bo Jackson.

Remembered for Munson's call, but also in that it propelled our star tailback to the front of the Heisman voting line as well as Georgia into the Sugar Bowl. To honor the coach, the team carried Dooley off the field. Meanwhile Munson got a faceful of bourbon. And yet he seemed honored by the sentiment.

Glory Glory!

h/t Dawg19

Jeff Sanchez's celebration after breaking up the Campbell pass in the endzone is classic. That is what it must feel like to have sugar rain down on you in Opelika. Hopefully our guys can achieve a similar result Saturday night. Go Dawgs!

Also, if you'd like to see the complete game replay Dawg19 has that uploaded as well.

Coach Chizik teleconference

Coach Richt teleconference

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Richt's goal, but on Richt's terms

We've discussed before the fact that Mark Richt is as polarizing a figure as there has ever been in University of Georgia athletics. So you're either going to read this as him lagging behind his contemporaries, or you're going to read it as another great article on a great man.
Everything with Richt runs through his faith. And through his faith comes perspective and patience.
"Do I want to win a national championship?" Richt said. "Sure I do. I want to win. Everybody who has ever won a national championship wanted to win the national championship. Everybody wants to win it.
"But it is about a process. Doing things right, fundamentally, schematically and football-wise. But hopefully [it's also about doing it] morally, within the rules of the game, educating young men, educating them academically, educating them about life, helping them understand right and wrong, how to be a good husband, how to be a good father, how to function in this society properly.
"I'm in the business of doing that. And you do that well for long enough maybe you have a chance to win a national championship.
"I want to win," he reiterated, "but it's all important to me."
I get all that. It makes me proud of our coach and proud of my alma mater. And yet I still see other programs running by. I'm as patient as they come and I believe in staying the course more than gut reactions. But the fact remains that we're still waiting...

I also realize it's not all about the head coach. There are plenty of other reasons programs in close proximity have earned their crystal ball ahead of the Georgia Bulldogs. So in that sense, Wetzel's article only scratches the surface.

But it all still begs the question: Will Georgia's nice guy ever finish first?

Humpday Hilarity - a Barner's ball of energy

You causes player....execution errors.

Jarvis' electoral college

Got to imagine this at least came close to coloring Alaska a red state.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bulldog Hotline Redux - Ole Miss

I submit this without comment, except that I was wondering the same thing as I sat in my seat Saturday.
Christian Price wonders why Aaron Murray immediately takes a knee when a defense goes offsides and if that is a free play being wasted. Richt says under center sometimes we won’t even have a play called yet. If they jump we might react and try to get some free yards. If they don’t jump but start to show their intentions you can see some things that you can react to.  In shotgun this year we started to react with receivers running routes on the snap. And we launch it to them. Could we possibly throw a ball while we’re under center? Quite possibly in the future.

Flashback: the 1996 miracle marathon

Nama and I were reminiscing on this one just this weekend. It's one of those games in Georgia history that you'll always remember. Just a classic contest that's broken into three parts: the first half that sucked, the second half comeback and a historical and extremely tense overtime. If only Uga V had gotten a hold of Robert Baker's balls athletic cup it would've been even more picture perfect.

This video includes Munson's call and his comments. Classic game in a classic rivalry.

h/t Dawg19

There's a new kid in town

Or at least in the loveliest of villages. Jonathan Wallace is rising from the ashes of Chizik's dumpster fire. Granted this is based on snaps that mostly came against New Mexico State.
Wallace threw deep several times, and though he didn't connect on most of those attempts, he stretched the field to help tailbacks Tre Mason and Onterio McCalebb combine on 30 carries for 265 yards.
"It was a lot of fun," Wallace said after the game. "We had a rough start, but we put things together. I thought I did some good things and some bad things, but we've got a big game this week."
A three-star signee out of Phenix City, Ala., the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder is Auburn's third starting quarterback this season. Wallace made his debut in the fourth game against LSU in the Wildcat formation, and he remained in that role until playing the second half of the 63-21 debacle against Texas A&M on Oct. 27.
Wallace has completed 16 of 26 passes this season for 297 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. His touchdown tally equals the combined count of former starters Kiehl Frazier and Clint Moseley, who combined on 11 interceptions.
Wow. Yes, it's that bad. And working in the Dawgs' favor is that Wallace is similar to several of the quarterbacks they've faced this season in that he's a dual threat that should be contained while also being pressured. The Phenix City star averaged over five yards a carry against Texas A&M, but mostly helped opened things up for his running backs this past Saturday. Something his predecessors could not do.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Rewinding Ole Miss

It's getting kind of exciting. Coming off a win against Florida always elevates the heartrate, and now that we've handled Ole Miss the goals get just a little bit closer and within our reach. I eagerly cued up the DVR yesterday to check out the televised version of the game. Here's some additional observations.
  • Special teams have taken a step forward: touchbacks and kickoff coverage are both good and getting better; punt return decisions are more sound; punting game was solid as Barber and Erickson averaged over 47 yards, including an absolute bomb by Barber that spanned 60 yards and the 49 yarder downed at the two that lead to the safety; extra points aren't tragically tense of late.
  • Marshall Morgan had a very bad hook. I heard Kevin Butler post game talk about it some. His assessment was that he's too far over the ball. That says to me the kid needs two things: confidence and time. Would love for him to get a clutch kick here down the stretch. But file this one away for the off season, hope he gets some help that he's clearly not getting in Athens (I mean, just look at what Blair Walsh is doing since he changed zip codes).
  • Despite the early protection issues that lead to drive killing sacks, I like the confidence Bobo showed in the passing game. The protection improved greatly after the first couple of drives and after the defense stopped the Rebels on their 4th down attempt Bobo took charge. Eventually the offense followed suit.
  • Still, it was a curious touchdown drive there before halftime. The crowd was clearly unnerved with all the seconds dripping off the clock just to finally call a play and then lose more yards to a sack.
  • Even still, it all worked out. Thanks to one of Murray's best throws of his career. I rewound that one and watched it several times. We all went from complete distress to complete elation in a matter of seconds. College football at its finest.
  • I love passes to the tight end. Four receptions for 58 yards between them. Excellent. Jay Rome is slowly emerging as dependable target and Lynch is the dangerous weapon we figured he could be - blocks, blocks, blocks...then leaks out for a big gainer.
  • I was wrong yesterday on my Alec Ogletree assessment. His play wasn't simply amazing, it was also spectacular. I know we frowned on all the talk about "rust", but he played Saturday as if the switch had finally been flipped.
  • Also, Brother Zander proved that Jacksonville wasn't a fluke. Bobo clearly trusts him to do some things that we haven't asked Hall to do to date.
  • Also notably improved, Branden Smith. Had a helluva game, coverage was spot on and continues to be one of our best tacklers.
  • Overall, Ole Miss was who we expected: a fiesty young team that would make us earn our keep. They made things interesting early and we did our share to help them along. But the halftime adjustments coupled with our depth and talent eventually forced them to submit. Long was contained to 21 yards rushing, Moncrief didn't have a single catch.
It all sets up an even bigger weekend coming up. Beat Auburn, just like everyone else.

Brown ends career on a high note

On what may have been his best game, and undoubtedly during what was his best season while in Athens, Marlon Brown was lost for the year against Ole Miss.
“His career at Georgia is over,” Richt said. “We’re expecting a full recovery. That’s just an injury that people recover from well. We know he’ll continue on with his pro career. I think he was well on his way for having that happen for him.”
via Dawgbone
Brown, a 6-foot-5, 222-pound Memphis native, will undergo surgery.
“We’re very sad and sorry that it happened for Marlon and for Georgia,” Richt said. “He’ll recover. He’ll do fine. It’s just a hard thing to swallow right now.”
Brown set career highs this season with 27 catches for 469 yards and four touchdowns. He had three catches for 113 yards in the 37-10 win against Ole Miss, including a 66-yard touchdown from Aaron Murray.
There has been a lot of discussion as to how exactly the knee was injured and whether an Ole Miss defender twisted it maliciously after the tackle. I haven't seen anything definitive. I will say that on the play the tackle didn't seem to jar his knee in a way which one would expect to lead to this type of injury. As he walked off I initially thought it would be a deep thigh bruise or something relatively innocuous.

Regardless, Marlon's career at Georgia ends on a three catch, 113 yard performance during a season where he was finally standing out as the difference maker we had come to expect. Damn good Dawg! Wish him the best in his recovery and hopefully a pro career that picks up where this season left off.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Georgia-Ole Miss highlights

Sunday thoughts on coming home

Great day to hang in Athens. Great weather, great friends, great game. Let's talk about it.
  • How cool was it to see Prez Adams LAST homecoming game? I nearly cried some happy tears!!
  • Amazing game for Aaron Murray. Granted, a slow start. But really stood in there and delivered the ball even after getting treated like a crash test dummy for a while. That pass to T King at the end of the 1st half was a rope, perfectly delivered. Great field vision. Impressive night.
  • While I'm handing out kudos, Tree deserves a couple. I called him out this week and he responded with an amazing game. That safety was a thing of beauty. #9 just exploded on the ball carrier. Finished with 11 tackles, two for loss, an INT and a sack. 
  • Hope Marlon Brown is okay.
  • The biggest stat/point of the day: 11 possessions and 76 yards. That's what Ole Miss got after they went up 10-0. The defense really throttled down and smothered them. Made the Ole Miss offense one dimensional and added pressure and intensity to the game.
  • The pistol was back, but was only half cocked.
Ok, I was wrong on my Florida predicted loss. But it'll just make next week that much sweeter.