Saturday, November 17, 2012

Athens, GA. Gameday.

Courtesy of Sonny Kennedy, this is impressive cinema.

GSU - what to look for

Early kickoff to this one. So let's get to it and then head towards Athens!
  • Special teams. First thing we must do in special teams is protect well on each punt. One thing that could really complicate things today is giving up easy yards and/or points. Secondarily, and on a more global scale, it would be nice to continue to see progress in all areas of the kicking game. Morgan seems to have gotten a good rhythm and Barber is really getting a good foot into the ball. The only thing that didn't really take a step forward the last couple weeks is the return game. Would love to see McGowan take one to the house today.
Just don't try this eh?

  • Line of scrimmage. The offensive line should be able to get some confidence today while the defensive line will have their hands full. Keeping them in long yardage situations is key and that starts with the defensive front.
  • Rushing yardage. Can we keep up with them on the ground? I think that we can. I'm guessing the offensive game plan will be to run the ball...a lot! Keep the clock moving and pass enough to keep them honest.
Should be a beautiful day in Athens. Hope y'all have a great day!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Misery - don't get Mambo Gook'd

(BTW...Gurshall just reeled off another 12 yard gain in Jordan-Hare. Bobo yawned.)

And now back to your regularly scheduled misery....

Tortured, uneasy feeling
Still uneasy about this game. The common expression this week has been something along the lines of "I hope we can avoid injuries." Yes, definitely. But isn't that a goal every week? Instead I wonder how focused we are and how prepared we are to face a team I would classify as a trojan horse cupcake. Usually when there is an FCS team on the schedule you can prepare for just a smaller, less athletic version of yourself.

Georgia Southern is a machine. And one that works in a different manner than most all of the others. Which makes them especially dangerous. Most of their players don't have all the "stars" that guys in the mighty SEC have, but they have more than enough "want to" and "hustle". And experience. No, they're not the same team that put a shit stain in Uncle Nicky's tightey whiteys last season. But they know as well as any team in America what it takes to win football games.

Holy shit Southern! Pass the goddamn ball. At least once...
I remember when we played these guys in 2000 when they had the original Adrian Peterson. We won by what appears to be a comfortable 29-7 margin, but that kid ran for what seemed like 780 yards. And that was just the first half. And the next week Quincy smoked a bowl, jumped up and down pregame and then threw 780 interceptions against South the first quarter.

But I digress....

These Eagles will put a scare into us. Take that to the bank. I'm predicting a tense halftime that eventually brings about an arduous third quarter that somehow relents to our depth and talent. But nearly a 40 point spread? Really? No, put away the sportsbook. The points are too much if you ask me.

Gap integrity
Defensively, tomorrow is about discipline and keeping the Eagles in long yardage. I summarily reject the notion that this is a "tune-up" game for some clean old fashioned hate next week. Seven days from now we will have spent two weeks preparing for this offensive scheme - the cut blocks, the option reads and the misdirection. As it stands right now we've only spent a handful. So tomorrow will require focus.

Or, in the man's own words:
The "Mambo Gook" story goes like this: A young Georgia Tech engineering graduate had been working in the oil fields of Saudi Arabia for around six months. He was about to go stark raving mad because the only women that he had seen in Arabia were those dressed in the long gowns with the veils covering their faces. The women were not very friendly at all. As a matter of fact, he hadn't spoken to one since he had been working there.
Frying time for talking to sheiks.
He had been used to the feminine pulchritude of Peachtree Street in Atlanta and missed that scenery and his feminine companionship more than anything else. As he was sitting in the little bar at the golf course there in Saudi Arabia, he happened to be seated next to one of the local sheiks.
This particular sheik had spent some time in the United States and conversed with the young engineer as best he could with the little English he could speak. As they sipped on their drinks the young engineer expressed to the sheik that he liked everything fine, except he really missed the feminine companionship that he once enjoyed back in Atlanta. The sheik could get enough out of the conversation to understand what the young man meant. He promised the engineer that he would have, from his harem, one of his wives waiting for him when he got off from work the following afternoon.
Well, the young engineer hustled and worked through the day. He could hardly wait until quitting time. As he approached his tent, he saw this woman standing out front with her long gowns and veil. He figured that she knew why she was there and he surely knew why she was there, so he wouldn't waste any time. He picked her up right there at the tent flap, rushed her inside, threw her down on the cot and commenced to making wild, passionate love to the woman. Immediately she began to shout, "Mambo Gook," "Mambo Gook." She repeated that over and over and over again. The young engineer figured this was an Arabian expression of ecstasy.
Well, it didn't take too long for the young man to finish the first round and as soon as he relaxed his grasp, the woman still screaming, "Mambo Gook," ran through the tent flap and disappeared across the desert, continuing to scream, "Mambo Gook."
The next day the young engineer and the local sheik had made arrangements to play golf and the young engineer wanted a chance to thank the sheik for his courtesy of having the woman there. As they played the first hole, the sheik hit a magnificent shot, straight to the green, the ball hit, bounced and rolled right into the cup. It was a great golf shot and the young engineer wanted to express the greatness of that shot with something more than the usual, "Nice shot," or, "Great shot." The thought of the Arabian expression of ecstasy occurred to him, and he said, "Mambo Gook, sheik, Mambo Gook.".
The sheik turned to him, looked at him with amazement and said, "What do you mean, wrong hole?"
-  pages 50-51, from Erk: Football, Fans and Friends 
The message integrity should never be compromised: "If you think you're coming my way, that's the wrong hole brother, because you ain't gonna make nothin' here." That and the life of an engiNerd is lonely, then pathetic and then lonely again.

But the first message is what is crucial. Stand your ground Dawgs. Survive and advance, then let's ring the Chapel Bell! Once again in the words of the legend - "There ain't nothin' like being a Bulldog on Saturday night - - - after winning a football game!!"

GATA y'all!

SEC Kickoff with Vince Dooley

Coach Dooley recaps last week and prepares us this weekend's slate.

Playoff?!?! Talkin' bout playoffs?!?

Ok all you playoff geeks, Travis Haney has your crack pipe. Light er up.
(5) Georgia at (4) Alabama
Bell's line: Tide by 13
Turns out, we'd get the see the SEC title game after all -- except it would be played in Bryant-Denny instead of UGA's backyard.

Some, including ESPN colleague Christian Fauria, are calling for the Bulldogs to beat Bama in December. I just don't see it. Georgia did break through for the first top-10 win in years when it beat Florida, but another one would seem to be a stretch.
We thought Alabama was invincible about a month ago, but that was before the Tide's schedule really picked up. There are now swirling questions about T.J. Yeldon's ball security and the ability of the team's corners to cover and tackle. Generally, the shine is off the crimson helmets right now.
Still, in a big game, it's difficult to fancy Georgia as an equal. Shaking off the A&M loss, Alabama gets back to what it does: running and playing defense. It grinds out a victory.
Our pick: Alabama 24, Georgia 10

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"Gearing down" for Georgia Southern

Folks, this is a special game. To some it may not appear as such. And beginning with this post and carrying through tomorrow's Misery I will explain why. Because as it was pointed out to me by Ron and John, this is a week when the Dawgs have to get after it...hard. In short, it's a Mambo Gook kind of week:
"We had two weeks to prepare for the Yellow Britches, and we needed to prepare well...I even went back and pulled "Mambo Gook" out one more time. Usually, I just told it before the season began, but we needed something extra."
And we're going to need something extra as well. I'm going to divide this into two parts. Let's tackle the football side of things first.

  1. I don't feel good about this game. There's no doubt in my mind that it is the tougher of the two remaining regular season games. It's a jolting experience to switch to first gear when you're cruising along in fifth. And that's what this feels like. Don't get me wrong, I think we win. But it's not going to be easy. Georgia Southern is a well coached team comprised of players that aren't used to losing. Fans look at this weekend on the schedule and think cupcake. But just ask any defensive player this week if it feels like they're gearing up for a birthday party. After a week of full pads it probably feels more like gearing down for a root canal. 
  2. Then there's the Erk Russell meme. I feel as if the two fanbases are at odds over who loves the man more, when he's one of those rare personalities that can handle all of us. Georgia and Georgia Southern can't play each other without the man who brought the concept of Junkyard Dawgs to Athens and built the Eagle program from the ground up becoming central to the discussion. Hell, I look at it this way: Erk helped give us a taste of what true dominance (the play on the field and the overall mindset) could feel like, and then he went and built that very thing in Statesboro. The Eagles are to the FCS what the Dawgs want to be in the FBS...champions. Consistent champions.
There's no doubt in my mind that the grit and determination that the Georgia Southern program was built on came from the practice field at the University of Georgia. Eagle fans should be thankful for that (and they are...very much so). As for Georgia fans, we should appreciate that at a time when we turned our back on a founding father and one of our program's most beloved figures, another one saw fit to take him in.

Coaching hotseat odds - UPDATED

Considering I'm someone who will be more interested in the 2013 Super Bowl prop bets than the actual game, take these for what they're worth before actually wagering. I'm no handicapper, but here's what I think happens in:
via Bassindawg
  • Auburn. Chizik hasn't coached his last game on the plains, but he's nearing the end of his final season. And given that at best the Iron Bowl will be his last game on the sideline for the Tigers, he should consider this weekend's match as his swan song. This bet would be considered "off the board". 100% guarantee. I would venture a guess as to who they get as a replacement, but let's face it...they went to Iowa and hired this guy. The sky is the limit, regardless of the amount of money they would owe the current coaches once they're canned. But just for kicks and giggles - Petrino at 5%.
  • Knoxville. Dooley will be gone. It's as good as a slam dunk. Once Vanderbilt beats the Vols we can officially rename James Franklin as the "Coach Killer", having beaten Joker Phillips, Gene Chizik and Derek Dooley on their way out the door. (Keep in mind this moniker could be given to a number of coaches to face and beat all three, but when Vandy does it that is news folks!). 99% assured...which is ninety-nine percentage points more than the chance that Gruden takes over for Dooley. And even though they're flirting with Petrino, don't bet on that either.
  • N. Avenue. They keep frying fish. PJ stays...99% sure. Which leaves a 1% chance the AJC buys out the remainder of Johnson's contract and makes him their chief spokesperson. Having an interim AD helps some, but being in the thick of the ever competitive ACC Coastal division championship also helps. If the engiNerds can get by perennial power Duke this weekend, they may just give he guy an extension. Al Groh who?
  • Lexington. As the rumors of Petrino die down, I think they pick up just as quickly the last week of November. But in the end I think they go with the Falcons OC, Dirk Koetter. Or possibly someone like Gus Malzahn. For the sake of argument let's say Koetter at 25%, while I would put Petrino at 3%. (I still think Petrino will need a solid year with no train bike wrecks while performing well as a coordinator in the NFL or the head coach at a program in a smaller conference before landing an SEC gig. Just a thought.)
  • Fayetteville. Latest news has Bo Pelini as a possibility. I'm not so sure the Arkansas job is more attractive than Nebraska (especially considering that Nebraska may end up in the BIG 12 B1G Championship in a couple weeks), but perhaps the lure of coaching in the SEC is that strong. <...cue Jim Delaney tears...> Still I like a splashy hire here. I would've put my money on Patterson, but with all the MaryJane trafficking problems in Fort Worth he's nearly as sketchy a hire as Petrino was and is.
Meanwhile Coach Richt will just sit back and smile, before deciding which recruits to allow back into his good graces.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - 

UPDATE: a local Krystal's (and given the fact that it's a Krystal's, almost assuredly is owned by a Bama fan) kicks Chizik while he's down.

via War Eagle Reader

Good weekend for shopping?

Black Friday is still more than a week away, but this Saturday might be a good time to get a head start on shopping, Christmas tree trimming, other decorating prep (careful on those ladders y'all!), and maybe even yardwork.


When the most interesting game in the SEC involves whether Vanderbilt can beat's bad. Granted, the game between Arkansas and Missy State is more interesting than fighting crowds at the mall. And watching LSU-Ole Miss in the 3:30 CBS time slot is better than stringing lights on the rooftop. But if you have to do that stuff on a Saturday, this might be a good one to do it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jarvis is grumpy

(meant to post this earlier this morning and it somehow slipped out of the queue...)

And I don't feel so good myself.


Focus...but with one eye on the scoreboard

I read the headline to this story by Paschall on the players looking at the teams ahead of them in the BCS and prepared for my blood pressure to start to rise. The last thing the Dawgs need is to get ahead of themselves in thinking about greener pastures when difficult and tenacious opponents are 'tween the hedges the next two weekends.
"We got out of the locker room after the Ole Miss game, and we were all just sitting there," linebacker Christian Robinson said Tuesday. "No one left because we were all watching Notre Dame [top Pittsburgh in triple overtime]. Everybody in the nation knows we're cheering for other teams, because at this point it's the only way we would have a chance of getting in."
They're kids/young men and are attempting to garner more of the national spotlight. That's kind of long as the focus only shifts after the game. Or like Aaron Murray says:
"I'm definitely going to be watching the Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame matchups the next three weeks to see if two of them will lose," Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray said. "It definitely excites our guys. There is nothing wrong with thinking big and dreaming big as long as we make sure we focus on the next two weeks and finish the regular season strong."
Yes, finish strong and the stakes rise significantly. Especially if that scoreboard watching provides us with a couple upsets. Then the SEC Championship game could be the play-in game that Georgia and Alabama are hoping for on December 1st.

Humpday Hilarity - the spread offense of talking

What has become one of my favorite corners of YouTube to waste time in? Why the ShutdownFullback channel of course! And in this episode Jason and Spencer recap the upset in Tuscaloosa, in a way that really only they could pull off.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Round ball update

So the Hoop Dawgs eventually pulled away in their home opener last Friday against Jacksonville, but then really under performed Monday night against Youngstown State, losing the game 68-56. Of course we're still without forward Donte Williams, who is evidently serving a suspension for running into trouble this summer.

So all in all, it's too early to speculate on what the loss means for the 2012-13 season. However we should know plenty more about this team soon enough as teams like Indiana, UCLA or Georgetown, and the annual clash with Georgia Tech loom large in the next few weeks. Is a bid in the NCAA Tournament 2013 a possibility? Definitely so. But to get there some of these questions that are buzzing around are going to have to be answered sooner rather than later.
  • Can Fox coach his way through his own schedule upgrade? 
  • The level of competition has risen, will the team's chemistry and ability rise as well?
  • Speaking of team chemistry, will the trip to Italy this summer pay dividends?
  • Specifically, when adversity hits the Dawgs square in the nose will they stay together and fight through it quickly and without dissension?
  • Can Nemi, Florveus and Williams hold their own on the boards?
  • Can newcomer Kenny Gaines help provide a consistent outside shot that we lacked down the stretch last season?

The stretch run

Was reading some sportsbook reviews at and realized we're getting down to the end of football season. That makes me a little sad. We enter into it with such haste and excitement. And then we blink and it's gone. College basketball even started Friday night in Athens. And although it's way too early to even think about the NCAA Tournament, soon that will be all we have to look forward to. We'll close the bowl season, gear up for the Super Bowl and then football will be done. Gone. Over.

So I plan to cherish every moment that I can. We often make fun of all the bowls these days, with their outlandish names and their strange locales. But for me it's the cherry on top of the season full of delicious ice cream. And if that's the case for you as well, we're down to our last couple of bites to what has been a great season thus far.

If the Dawgs can finish the month the way we have started the month, I might spend all of December dancing like the infinitely drunk Ron Swanson. These last two regular season contests and then the date with Bama (most assuredly) set the table for the month of December leading up to the bowl game, wherever that may be. Like Swanson advises when bowling - "Straight down the middle. No hook, no spin, no fuss. Anything more and this becomes figure skating."

I don't know exactly what the future holds for this team, but I do know that it's been a fun ride getting here. I'm hoping the best is yet to come.

Go Dawgs!

It takes stand nearly as tall as Herschel

I haven't grown tired of the "Gurshall" stuff. I think it's pretty cool actually. They're both very gifted players and seem to be just as great at being human beings. However, with all of our scientific advances in DNA and cloning, I'm still surprised that 30 years after the Goalline Stalker exited Sanford it still takes two to match his production, as Emerson lays out in this piece with the help of the UGA SID's office.
After 10 games, Gurley has 973 rushing yards, which already ranks third all-time for a Georgia freshman. It's actually second all time for a true freshman, as Knowshon Moreno's 1,334-yard season in 2007 came after a redshirt year. 
Walker's freshman record seems safe: Gurley would need a lot of yards to catch Walker, who had 1,616 yards as a freshman in 1980. 
But if you combine Gurley with freshman teammate Keith Marshall, then "Gurshall" have 1,598 yards, which is just 18 yards away from Herschel. The pair have already passed Herschel's touchdown total (15) from his freshman year. Gurley has 11 and Marshall has six.
Regardless, ultimately only championships matter. So in that category "Gurshall" has a ways to go...but they also have plenty of time to get there.

Read more here:

Bigger role(s) for Conley

Of course I knew his role would be expanding on the field with the injuries to Brown and Bennett. But I wasn't aware the dude was bad, and nationwide:

Conley has a larger role for the Georgia offense as the top slot receiver now that Marlon Brown and Michael Bennett are lost with torn ACLs, but the sophomore already had plenty on his plate.
Not only does he represent the Southeastern Conference on that 31-person NCAA advisory committee, but he’s the only player on the 24-person NCAA Football Issues Committee, which is designed to recommend policies and procedures in the best interest of student-athletes like the new kickoff and loss-of-helmet rules that took effect this season.
“He always has been very impressive and is someone that certainly exemplifies everything that a University of Georgia student-athlete would like to become,” said Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity, also is in his first year on the football issues committee. “By going to practice and passing these young kids in the hallway, you learn to know who they are but you learn much more about them when they are involved. …He’s very popular, he’s very involved and he really gets the big picture.”
And if you didn't catch that earlier reference, here's a bearded melody for your morning coffee.

Aaron Murray: historical icon

For you trivial buffs, comes this little nugget:
Between the years 1983 and 2010 no Georgia quarterback was able to do something Aaron Murray has done each of the past two seasons - beat Tennessee, Florida and Auburn in the same season. (h/t Dawg19

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bulldog Hotline Redux - Auburn

Not a whole lot of substance last night on an abbreviated version of the call in show. But I did catch this:
Evan from Madison Co. wants to know if he saw Auburn giving up as the game wore on. Richt says the staff just finished watching the tape and he didn’t see any sign of that. Saw them playing “hard as heck”. We just executed really well. Hopes we can continue to play this well defensively. But didn’t see any signs of Auburn players giving up.
So basically the team isn't following the fans' lead.


Who was the Jarvis Jones' scapegoat?

It was a rough week to be a grad assistant. Tommy Tuberville bitch slapped his special teams coordinator Saturday following a penalty. And then excused it away as simple sideline management. But even before that, Lane Kiffin fired the graduate asst. that maliciously deflated footballs to give his team a competitive edge against Oregon.

Which got me thinking...has KiffyBaby found a scapegoat for cutting loose the best player in America? Because these stats have to be making him sick to his stomach.

And as tbia pointed out the other day, this after missing two complete games.

(Just for kicks and giggles, remember to route all thank you cards to Kiffin through Knoxville. I hear they might be looking for a Peaches and Herb moment once Gruden turns them down.)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Thoughts - Auburn

Heading to Atlanta!

Not where we thought we'd be a few weeks ago. Which makes it even sweeter!

- Now that I've watched them for a full 60 minutes, Auburn is probably worse than I thought.
- With that said, I hope they give the guy a second term.
- Bobo had Murray carving up their secondary early and often. Haven't seen the official stats but I think he connected on his first 10 passes. And everyone got in on the action, from Conley and the wide outs to both tight ends. Great birthday performance for Murray.
- And as expected, Gurshall went off too. They easily went over 200 yards yet again. The line opened up the holes and our tailbacks took advantage.
- Speaking of which, offensive line did a great job, even without their leader Burnette. Murray got hit once and had to go out briefly, but overall great protection and superb run blocking.
- Auburn never really threatened to score after their first drive. It was a complete game by the defense. Grantham really has his unit hitting on all cylinders.
- Jarvis with his standard couple of sacks and another great game by Ogletree. He and Rambo seemed to be everywhere the ball carrier was.
- And perhaps most importantly, a great game for the special teams. Kicks and coverage were outstanding!
- All in all, it was the game we both expected and hoped for on the plains. Much more barking than towel waving. Go Dawgs!

Was hoping Bama would keep steam rolling through to Atlanta, but A&M just would not cooperate. The Tide is vulnerable to a good offense and an attacking defense. I'm eager to see how we stack up against the conference's elite team.

But first there's Southern and Tech. Neither of which should be taken lightly. Just ask Nick Saban about the former and North Carolina about the latter.

So ready yourselves Dawg fans. The stretch run is here. Let's get after it!