Saturday, November 23, 2013

Gameday Kentucky

It's bad when you get taunted by your youngest for not giving enough attention to Kentucky, or as she says...KenSucky.

So anyway, here goes.

The first thing we have to do is stay aggressive on defense. Empirical evidence suggests this young defense plays better loose. Let em run. Take the leash off. The wildcats are not expecting it, so who knows. Shaq may house another pick.

Give Gurley the ball and then watch Murray pull Stoops pants down. Over and over and over and over again.

Snap. Set. Kick. Easy peasy.

Lastly, kick the ball as deep as Morganly possible on kickoffs.

That is all there is. Just remember, be in your seat by 6:30 at the latest or everything that preceded this sentence is for naught.

Go Dawgs! #KenSucky

Friday, November 22, 2013

Our Leaders

Friday Misery - Gratitude Glorified by the young and old

I truly don't know what to type. The word "thanks" isn't close to intense or deep enough to express our gratitude. The following words are yet another failed attempt to bridge that gap. 

Teaching our kids about the history and traditions in and around the University of Georgia is one of our heaviest and most enjoyable burdens as parents. Certainly not one Mrs. Bernie nor I take lightly. And it occurred to me sometime last week just how much this senior class has helped us during our daughters' formative years. When Murray and Smith and Lynch and Burnette first took the field, our girls knew that to know a gator was to hate a gator. But in these last few years they've also discovered the feeling we get when we actually beat the gators.

For that alone, my wife and I will be eternally grateful to guys like Stripling and Gates and Vasser and McGowan. For that alone is an accomplishment so many who've graced the field before them have not experienced. My kids, as well as many of yours too, now know what it means to win against our fiercest competitor. So many of the current students matriculating in Athens didn't get that opportunity when they were my kids' age. They only knew loss and desperation when it came to the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. So I say thanks Lee and Sailors and Norman and Wooten. For they not only helped to turn the tide of the St. James, they also showed our kids domination over the Yellow Jackets like few others have achieved. The stood up to Fairley, Trooper and Cam's band of thugs. They took us to Atlanta twice. Week in and week out they left everything on the field.

Damn Good Dawgs. All of em!

Yes, during this era things have not always gone according to plan. We've come up short in big moments and experienced painful losses that took us to depths previously unknown. But through it all, this class of seniors represented the G with passion and a relentless pursuit of putting the Dawgs on Top. My kids have seen Sanford Stadium at its loudest and raised their hand over the Dawg Walk railing just for a chance at a fist. They've seen this class' full effort, their tears, their heartache, their four fingers stretched towards the sky and their winning attitude. Once a Dawg, always a Dawg. How sweet it is!

As parents, as fans, as alumni across the state, nation and world who have Committed to the G...we say thanks..."I'm never washing this hand again Mom. Garrison Smith gave me a high five!"..even though thanks is no where near enough.

- - - - - - - - - -

Addendum - This week has seen much of the attention go towards Aaron Murray, and with good reason. I feel like devoting the entire month of December to just how much he's meant on and off the field to this program. And for what that's worth, I don't think you can do better than Corbindawg's post about #11. I agree with it word for word, Murray's the best quarterback to put on the red and black. Perhaps I type that with too much emotion in my heart as we get ready to welcome him to his last home game. But I fully expect to feel the same way a year, ten and even 12 years from now, until my youngest daughter finishes her career at Georgia. :)

But there's so much more to this class than their quarterback. There's even so much more than the names I managed to fit in up there. There's a large number of walk-ons we'll welcome tomorrow that have gone way beyond what many would sacrifice just for a chance to help this team get better each and every practice, each and every week, each and every season. And that's what makes tomorrow night so important. And is why I'll enlist my favorite Dawgs, the one I married and the ones that call me Daddy, to help me honor these guys next week.

The Grantham lobby, everywhere but on the field

As they head into the SEC finale, a good overview of the defense here by Weiszer. Players defending their coach, stats compared with history, quotes from just before Coach Willie got the ax...

And while Richt doesn't want to get crazy with statistics, I just look at one chart.

via cfbstats
Strange 6-4 season when you've beaten the teams at 2, 3 and 4. With a game left against Kentucky and Mizzou having to play Johnny Football's Aggies, there's a decent chance of Georgia finishing top eight. But that would take a better than good effort against Tech in the season finale, a team known to get their yards in mass chunks.

Regardless, there's soon to be some serious evaluation going on in Butts-Mehre. It was easy to blame inexperience early in the season. But 10 games against the 2013 schedule no longer a freshman makes. So can the walk match the talk this weekend and next?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

His final "Wicked Saturday" almost came much too soon

I was following the twitter conversation last night between Seth Emerson and Artie Lynch. So I knew this piece that they had worked on was going to be special.

It doesn't disappoint. Good read.
Someday, if Arthur Lynch ends up the honorable Sen. Arthur Lynch, the start of his political career can be traced to the moment he figured out what Mike Bobo was saying.
And someday, if Lynch ends up in the NFL, the turning point of his football career can be traced to the night he and Mark Richt took a ride to Dairy Queen.

Read more here:

One last chance for that SEC shine

In August there was hope. Those feelings faded away by the time we hit the Mizzou/Vandy skid. But Kentucky presents one last chance for this defense to put in a full four quarters against an SEC opponent.
"I think that's a little bit of a reflection of how these guys continue to grind and work," Grantham said. "The inconsistency is obviously something we've got to work on, but I saw a lot of passion out of the guys this past Saturday, and I saw guys taking it to another level with their passion for what they were doing and what our offense was doing and what our special teams were doing.
"I thought it was a step, because we made a lot of good things happen in the fourth quarter. We've just got to build on it."
By now everyone is hoping Saturday night is more of a look towards the future rather than a reflection of the past.

The Inaccurate Deflection

To give credit where it's due, sent from an Auburn alum. One with a realistic perspective of their final offensive play last weekend. And I thought it wrapped things up nicely.

Look y'all. Tyler's right. So is Blutarsky. It was a fluke, miraculous, horrendously lucky play. They got an incredible gift. We got shafted. Steer away from the blame game that society says is the way to go these days.


In a land where bUTch is building a tackle football program brick by brick, Mike...down at Mike's a few bricks short of a load. But kudos to the younger niece or nephew that gave Mike a flip camera for his birthday. He's put it to good use down at Mike's Golf...Shop.

h/t Brad

In this one Mike welcomes Barack Obama to Chattanooga and offers to sell him some left handed clubs...after an uncomfortably long and maybe accidental zoom in of his own t-shirt.

Ok, that's the last one I'm posting despite how mesmerizingly awesome these are. If you want to see more of Mike's work down at Mike's Golf Shop where he buys golf clubs, you can find his channel here. Hurry over, he uploaded one yesterday where it's really just him bobbing his head to ZZ Top's "I'm Bad, I'm Nationawide".

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Coach Richt would like us to know more about Jalen Whitlow

So here he is.
Although the average yards per rush and yards per pass attempt isn't on par with Nick Marshall, the attempts per game in both categories is almost equal to the Auburn playmaker we just went up against. So Richt is right to worry about another dual threat quarterback.

The difference is the playmakers around Whitlow as compared to Marshall. The Kentucky quarterback is the Wildcats' leading rusher. So they don't have a Tre Mason. And they definitely don't have a Sammie Coates who is averaging over 22 yards a reception on the Plains. Kentucky's Javess Blue (number 8 in your program) is their leading receiver - 35 for 451 yards.

So Whitlow poses a threat with his arm and his feet, but the surrounding cast around Whitlow alone should make things easier for the defense this week as compared to last.

*Kentucky has also used Maxwell Smith a lot at quarterback this season. But he hasn't played the last two games.

DOUBLE dose of special!!

Humpday Hilarity - Books on Vine


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Supporting Aaron Murray

I know everyone is super focused on black jerseys and such. But there is a way to truly support Aaron Murray prior to Saturday's senior finale. Fan voting for the Davey O'Brien Award ends this Friday. Murray is one of 16 finalists for the award that fans can vote for and somehow he trails Connor Shaw and a guy named Bryce Petty. A quick Google search tells me that while Mr. Petty was playing the likes of Wofford and Buffalo, our quarterback was leading the Dawgs against Clemson and South Carolina.

C'mon people. Support the guy that took it on the chin for his team to get us in the endzone Saturday night. Go HERE and VOTE NOW!! Then GO BACK every day this week and VOTE AGAIN!! It took me 30 seconds.

Matthews gets support from Deion

Pretty cool.

Swann: "I think the play that was called was a great one"

Swann talks about sideline instructions during the timeout before The Marshall Heave.
“I can’t say guys didn’t know,” Swann said. “I don’t know if it was said in the huddle. I didn’t hear it, but I think on this level of football that’s something that should be known.”
So what was said on the sidelines?
“It was more of, ‘Exactly what defense did we want to play?’” he said. “It was, ‘Did we want to go after him on (fourth)-and-18 and leave a lot of guys one-on-one or did we want to play what we played and take away all the deep threats?’ I think the play that was called was a great one.”

Early look at Kentucky

This post won't be as much about the Wildcats. I'll look more closely at them later. But there are a few things I'm curious about in the days leading up to the last home game of the season.

First, and this should be fairly simple, is how the coaches shift gears after that emotional loss on the plains. It certainly helps that this is Senior Day and Aaron Murray's last game 'tween the hedges to boot. Those two things are enough to get everybody on the same page quickly. It should also help that the game is at night, so despite the lackluster opponent and the current record, the place should be rocking. But there could certainly be lingering effects from Auburn's dramatic win. The coaches should have a close eye on that for sure.

Next, how aggressive does Grantham get with the gameplan? This defense is struggling. But there's a lot of talent and they've shown themselves to be a different beast when the pressure is applied. Does he trust his guys enough to unleash them on Kentucky and try to impose our will early rather than later?

Also, kickoffs. We had zero touchbacks against Auburn. Pretty sure that was by design as I don't think we targeted the endzone on a single kickoff. But, Auburn's starting field position on kickoffs was their own 27. That number is mainly due to a fourth quarter where the kick coverage team was on a tear, forcing the Tigers to start their drives from the 11, 19 and 22.

Still, as much as I enjoyed watching Blake Sailors and Connor Norman make those plays on the returns, I'd jump for joy if we would just let Morgan kick the cover off the thing.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Final thoughts on Auburn. Well, probably.

Completed my civic duty yesterday. Rewatched the game in its entirety. Please, hold your applause til the end. Because I have two goals today: one is to give you this post as my conclusion to the nightmare that was Saturday night, and the other is to speak directly with Director of SEC incompetence Steve Shaw. If the latter happens, I'll come back and give you an update. For now, on with the former.

Walking away from Jordan-Hare we gave mention that this game (specifically the ending), is a microcosm of this season. We just can't put a full 60 minutes together and Lady Luck will have nothing at all to do with us. That final Auburn pass play was quite the motherload of salt for that festering wound.

But Tyler took it one step further in his "Grief Bacon" post yesterday morning when he said, "Doesn't that one play pretty perfectly sum up the whole season for both Georgia and Auburn?" Well yes. It does doesn't it. I would probably be laughing about just how deep the depths of our bad luck goes were it not for the faces of our players as they streamed off the field. People keep telling me that game was a "heartbreaker". No, it's heart wrenching. And then Penn Wagers through that sucker in the dirt and Ol' Lady Luck stomp her flat! 

It's as intense a muddle of emotions as I've ever felt - despair, grief, anger, frustration, hatred, pity, anger.

My frustration with the officiating boils down to this - it's not unreasonable to expect a game to be called evenly, fairly. That should be inherent within the context of every sporting event. And yet, the SEC fails miserably. And believe me, the last thing I want to be is the guy that blames officiating for affecting outcomes. Whether our rush defense or the officiating had more of an impact in the result is debatable. But it shouldn't be. Not at all.

So when we got to this point in the rewatch yesterday and my wife turns to me and says, "Wasn't that targeting? Right there?!?", well...I just have no answers. And it pisses me off that it's even a question. But what can we expect when Steve Shaw, much like his predecessor Rogers Redding, continues to put a butthurt midget that is harboring a 40+ year grudge at not being recruited for anything other than a mascot onto a field with a flag and a whistle?

As for the game, I'm bewildered at how easily Auburn rushed the football. Grantham's defense did not match their speed and intensity until the fourth quarter really. And I'm almost as bewildered that the offense struggled to move the ball. Some of that was play calling. Some of it is still having younger receivers stepping into big time roles and not running clean routes. A lot of it is the inconsistency in the offensive line. And the rest of the inefficiency early on is being laid at the feet of Bobo's feet with play calling. I can agree with that mostly.

But it's not just the plays being run. On a larger scale we're just not making adjustments when they're needed. Nothing pointed to that more Saturday night than the fact that at one point Auburn had four guys with more yards than the Todd Gurley, arguably the nation's best running back.

As for the last play, I have to disagree with Richt on just rushing three guys. Sure, we pressured Marshall into moving up in the pocket. I just can't help but think having one more rusher would've helped make the play for us before they made it for them. 

And in the end, that was a bigger mistake than anything Tray Matthews and Josh Harvey-Clemons did or didn't do.

Does Wagers' wife know he's screwing us?

$%#!! the pleasantries!
“I guess I wasn’t pleasant enough in my disagreement with what happened,” Richt said. “I didn’t do a good job.”
The penalty was an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Georgia bench.
“I don’t know if I’ll get in trouble for this or not, but what I saw was the ball underneath. I saw a set of legs, an Auburn player, his knees were bent kind of on the ball. His hand was free and he was trying to get his other hand in there. I saw Josh Harvey-Clemons wrapped up around the legs and the ball and everything else. I’m thinking surely he’s got possession of the ball, but the refs didn’t see it that way.”
If you want to torment yourself more, Tyler has the definitive picture.

And having watched the replay, it looked to me as if Wagers walked up and saw the same thing then patted the Auburn player's shoulder signaling their possession.

Actually, calling it "ineptitude" is giving Penn Wagers too much credit. It's flat out prejudice.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday's thought on Aaron Murray being so damn clutch.

I know we're all hurting. No one more than this guy, literally as well as figuratively.

I really can't give you more than that right now. This isn't the kind of game I can process in the drive home. At least not completely. But I will say that I'm very glad that so many Auburn fans found their way back into the stadium after exercising a spontaneous fire drill when Murray found the endzone there. You can shout about how you "want Bama" now. But for a few minutes there some of you didn't even want to see your own team through to the end.

Also, much like that gut-wrenching loss in the Georgia Dome last December, very proud our guys fought so hard to climb back into it. Unlike the referees, they handled themselves with class and composure.