Friday, October 2, 2015

Two keys beating Bama

I'm getting this out of the way early so I can concentrate on making sure everything is packed and ready to go for the morning trek. And also to get at least a little rest while my bones are dry.

There are so many important keys to games like these. You have two evenly matched teams that are very similar in mindset and what they want to do to win the game. You have coaches that are very familiar with each other's programs. A lot of elite talent on both sides of the ball.

And of course much has been made about the psyche of each team - Bama with their backs to the wall, and Georgia out to prove this is a new era and upswing. the end, with the game on the line, it still comes down to those big bodies in the trenches. So...
  1. Who wins the battles at the line of scrimmage? If Georgia is to exert their will running the football, the offensive line must be up to their greatest challenge yet. And Pruitt's front seven have to pin their ears back and cause chaos in Bama's running game to force Coker into attempting to win this game.
  2. Protect the football. It's gonna be a slopknocker of a game. Messy? Woo, Lords yes. The pigskin will be at a premium and the team that shows the greatest aptitude for holding onto the football will have a decided advantage. Everything from not having balls slip through receivers' hands, fielding punts cleanly, good exchanges in the backfield...(realizes he's preaching to the choir, takes a deep breath...)
To be perfectly clear, both Alabama and Georgia will need to bring their A game. But I think we'll see the Dawgs come out looser in their stance and more ready to "get a little action in" than their adversaries tomorrow afternoon. So the first five minutes of the game could be nearly as critical (maybe even more so...) as the last five.

Friday Misery - it's time to RING THE BELL AND RUN TELL DAT!

Dear Lord Jesus, please. 
Just, please.
Please join us in the Jazz Hands!

The danger of revisiting historical references is our innate ability as humans Georgia Bulldogs to repeat past failures. What I mean by that is this: the 2015 Georgia Bulldogs never were part of the 2008 Blackout. Some of them were barely in middle school at the time. And most of this year's roster weren’t in the Dome when the confetti rained crimson instead of red. (Those that were there however know that this game can be won or lost on just a handful of plays.)

Together, you and I, let’s take a step forward and turn our backs on the past. Billy Bennett was “Man Enough”, but that was over a decade ago. “One and Done” was spectacular, but now Stafford gets paid millions to make those throws. The Bicentennial Beatdown was before the forward pass was even legal.

I think.

I want to make a statement about THIS football team, not their predecessors. I know the heartbreak that can come from losing a game of this magnitude. You do too. There’s no need to remind ourselves. Let’s focus on 2015. Let’s make tomorrow special. For although we cannot control the past, we can grasp the future.

On this episode of wOrD PLaY!!...
If you rearrange the letters in “Alabama Crimson Tide Football” you get “Yes, Jonathan Taylor was once here”.

If you go to (aka Blogger’s Paradise City), and enter “Nick Saban”, the third entry down on the second column is Dwarfmongerer. So then you click on (aka “Help I don’t know WTF this means”) and enter “Dwarfmongerer” and find out it’s a noun that means a greedy, narcissistic dictator that also uses a step stool to address his minions.

Ask bonafide Crimson Tidal graduates what the word “Chubb” means and the male will look down at his private organ and chuckle, while the female one will sigh deeply. Then pick her nose.

It is untrue that Alabama ranks at the bottom of the nation in college entrance exam scores. Now that you can no longer take the SAT barefooted they’ve pulled ahead of Tennessee on the math section by exactly 10 points.

From the Alabama wikis -
Scholars believe the word comes from the Choctaw alba (meaning "plants" or "weeds") and amo (meaning "to cut", "to trim", or "to gather"). The meaning may have been "clearers of the thicket or "herb gatherers", referring to clearing land for cultivation or collecting medicinal plants.
If only it meant “clearers of the nose and back hair” instead, am I right ladies?

From the police blotter - 
Krystalling - /verb/ to rub one’s privates on any drunken, unsuspecting poor bastard.

And in the words of noted Alabammian Culturalist Antoine Dodson - “Run tell dat!

Your voice is not enough
Every ounce of energy must be left at your seat tomorrow night. If you walk out of the Sanford gates with anything in the tank you have failed the team you came to cheer for. Win or lose, it must all be spent. Do you want to wake up Sunday morning and realize you had more to give and instead of offering it to the team, the atmosphere, the cool night air that will hang over us like a gridiron shroud, you decided to hold onto it?

For what? Why hold onto something that has the sole purpose of being used in support of the Red and Black? Why keep within you what has been born with the sole purpose of coming out?

We are Georgia. We stretch the leash to the very end. We use every muscle and every ounce of intestinal fortitude to latch onto what we feel is rightfully ours, whether it’s Robert Baker’s ass or a clearer path to championship destiny. We pound the G, because to lightly tap it is to tell Billy Bennett he doesn’t have enough leg, or to tell Mikey Henderson he’s too small, or to accept UGA admin’s advice and just stay the hell home.

In the words of Mrs. Bernie, “Aw hell no!”

We POUND the G! because our heart must be in it to win it. We STAND UP because to sit is to endorse complacence. We FINISH THE DRILL because there are those that are expecting nothing less. We GET AFTER THAT ASS because, simply put, crimson and white looks better with grass stains.

We POUND the G!! because our voice is not nearly enough. We enter together and we leave together, for better or worse, with one game to lose and everything to gain.

They are alabama. They live in opulence, practice indoors, and are above any and all criticism mere mortals clumsily propel their way. They have no need to pander for they are the ones who are pandered to. They eat extra salty pork rinds drizzled in chocolate syrup, past due date cream cheese, and peanut butter covered fatback just to prove they can still shit out five stars. They twitch and ESPN squirms. They invent new historic trophies just to indulge their sense of entitlement. If/When they lose, it’s because the game balanced itself as an outlier; a whimsical happenstance for the ages rather than an honest toe to toe tussle of might and strength.

We are GEORGIA. We’ve been rained on all week. We fight for every morsel of attention cast our way and earn every ounce of respect given. We watch our weight and, regardless of false rating systems, appreciate every young man who signs on to wear the G. We reminisce without reinvention. We take what’s been earned and give back when necessary. While we admit to taking indoor plumbing for granted, we’re not one to brag about blessings. When we win, it’s because of the work, the effort, the blood, the sweat, and the tears that got us there.

Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting. SO LET'S GET THIS THING ON AND RING THE GODDAMN BELL!

"This will get your blood pumping!!"

As a matter of fact it did Coach. It absolutely did!

Thursday, October 1, 2015


DO NOT DEVIATE, regardless of what Joaquin says.

The talking is all about the weather. I saw ticket prices dropping this morning.

Are the two related? I think so.

Should they be related? I don't think so. (btw, go read this by CorbinDawg. You're welcome.)

Remember. This is important...
...and you don't want to get to January when football goes back behind the curtain and doesn't want to play with you for months on end and sure you can go to Athens and can even take bourbon with you but the atmosphere is different and the band doesn't play.


Besides, if you sell your tickets just to prove that Random Bama Fan cares more about winning than you do and then sit your made of sugar ass at home, then the sun shines on one of the greatest sporting events in Sanford Stadium's history, the only question left to answer will be..


Winning with morals. Is it getting easier?

Dan Wolken's "Georgia takes the higher road" article is making the rounds. Lengthy read that is at times uncomfortable and at others quite cozy.

Essentially I come down to this...
“Do I like losing? Hell no, I want to win every one,” said Dink NeSmith, president of Athens-based Community Newspapers, Inc., and a former Board of Regents chairman. “But I’m not willing to sell my soul to the devil just to say we won. There’s a certain pride, without being condescending, where we try to hold ourselves to a higher standard.”
 ...and this concluding thought - "Can't we have both a higher standard and all the success we desire?"

It's a question I've been asking since well before I started blogging. And now that some of the monetary handicaps from the earlier years of the Mark Richt Era are gone, I think we're much, much closer to an answer.

Bama week - a battle of the minds and the muscle

Most of the commentary I've seen and heard this week gives Georgia the edge in having multiple game changers. Personally, it's probably closer to even except for one guy - Sony Michel. I agree that the Dawgs may have better talent at receiver, but it's largely untested in the scope of a game of this magnitude.

Still, the Tide lost one of their best receivers in Robert Foster a couple weeks ago. To fill some of that void, Saban hinted that they may use Cyrus Jones in a receiving role Saturday against the Dawgs. Jones is a senior defensive back and one of Alabama's more explosive players. He's their leading punt returner and is a guy that can find space quickly.
Saban said using cornerback Cyrus Jones some at wide receiver is "something that we've discussed and certainly, probably have to consider in the future." Starting wide receiver Robert Foster suffered a season-ending injury against Ole Miss Sept. 19. Tide wide receivers had six dropped passes last week.
Still, OJ Howard remains the big target that Pruitt's defense must focus on stopping. Or at least minimizing his impact.
Howard leads the team in receiving yards despite not catching a touchdown this season. At 6-foot-6 242 pounds with wide receiver skills, the Alabama native creates matchup problems for every team The Crimson Tide faces. He’s quick and athletic enough to gain clean releases at the line of scrimmage. He’s too big and physical for defensive backs to cover him but too athletic for linebackers. It’ll take a strong game plan and proper execution to throw him off his game.
And Ty Flournoy-Smith has a couple catches on the season too. Remember him?

I said early in the week that this is one of those games that will be won in the trenches, and I still believe that. Both teams have been in games like this before, even against each other. In the fourth quarter, when the game is in the balance and there is a critical third down, someone is either going to win or lose right there at the line of scrimmage.

That being said, the offense that does the better job stretching the defense from sideline to sideline as well as down the field will have a tremendous edge in winning the line of scrimmage. Kiffin will want to get Drake, Henry, Stewart, and Ridley into space with the ball, just as Schottenheimer will try to with Chubb, Michel, Mitchell, Blazevich, and McKenzie.

I think both teams will want to do that without getting cute. Imposing one's will on the other will be the order of the day for at least the first half. Who pulls out the reverse pass or other trickerations out of the playbook first?

This game is why Richt went out in January and got Brian Schottenheimer. This game is why we got an offensive line coach with a hard edge in Rob Sale. This game is what makes Tracy Rocker so pissed off at the entire world.

In short, tighten those chin straps boys. Rammer Jammer Yeller Hammer. Hunker it down one more time!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hey Human Joystick! Welcome to Moe's!!

Much ado about nothing...

Bama week - Bama boots > Bama bangs

Let's take a break from the heavy lifting this morning, shall we?

Remember this lady from that game when Big Game Bob pulled Saban's pants down? 

Her name is Lindee Lou Sue Hickey and she's from the outskirts of Tuscaloosa where she lives with her common law husband Steve and their three parakeets - Bear, Bear 2, and Joe Willie. Her ex-husband has custody of their two girls, so she has to work part time at Dreamland.

No, not Dreamland the restaurant chain. Dreamland Boutique and Tanning Salon.

Steve loves him some Lindee Lou Sue. And Lindee Lou Sue loves her some Red Bull and Tito's. On just a regular Friday night back in Cottondale it's a match made in Heaven. But after a three day trip to New Orleans (one in which she's already spent a minute in the paddy wagon for earning some beads too enthusiastically) and a day long tailgate, even Steve will admit that it can get ugly.

Especially if her muscle memory isn't impaired enough to perform the Top Rope Flyin' Rabid Squirrel of Death Lunge.

Lindee Lou Sue's blood-alcohol level is a modest .26, but her faculties are keen to Oklahoma Mob's cultural insults. Steve remembers all the crushed cans in the parking lot outside and recognizes that gleam in her eye. It's the one she had just before she knocked her half sister's two front teeth out for suggesting Lindee Lou Sue pay her rent before going down to "Eddie's Cheep Liqur Mart [sic]".

Still, Lindee Lou Sue seems willing to go back to her seat and send Steve for another gin and tonic and soft pretzel to help her get through the rest of this menagerie's bullshit with a football game on the side. But Sooner Brat has to get in one more insult.

And Lindee Lou Sue wore her boots.

Sorry, those aren't boots. Lindee Lou Sue wore her "Shit Kickers". Talk about her family all you want. Tell her husband that she wears the pants in the relationship while giving them the double-fingered salute? Fine. You can even suggest that AJ McCarron isn't the best at his trade after that second interception.

But yell something about the size of her coach's genitalia...oh, it's on bitch boy!

Humpday Hilarity - Crimson Tide laundry day

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Richt not biting on Vegas

But I'm all in on the "no reaction" answer.

Bama week - their OL vs our front seven

Probably goes without saying that this will be the biggest line our front seven has gone up against to date. Alabama's starters average 6-5 and 312 pounds.

Still, they may not be world beaters. Against our one common opponent in ULM, the Crimson Tide offensive line lead the way towards a modest 137 yards rushing on 35 carries. By comparison, we rushed against the Warhawks 38 times for 243 yards.

I would expect our defensive front to really stretch their protection on passing downs by using our speed off the edge, bringing Ganus/Kimbrough inside, and stunting Floyd and Carter up the middle. Guys like Sterling Bailey, John Atkins, and Chris Mayes will be called upon to do what they do best - eat space - so that our linebackers can roam free and make plays.

A lot has been made over the Alabama passing game. (I personally think too much is being made of it, but what business is it of mine if Tide fans want to criticize an offense that's averaging 35 points a game.) And I do think this week we could see Saban exert more control over Kiffin's play calling, or at least his game planning. They'll want to run the ball, play field position, and chew as much clock as the score will allow.

So that is why I found this nugget from the Bama-ULM writeup interesting:
There was an overload formation on Henry's fourth-and-1 touchdown run. They moved right tackle Dominick Jackson to the left side next to left tackle Cam Robinson. Henry ran right behind them for the score.
If you want to neutralize a defense's speed you run right at it with power. Like we said yesterday, this game will be won in the trenches. So look for the coaches on both sides to try and gain an advantage there whenever they can.

Re: Coach Hocke and also some freshmen

For a couple reasons I've been hesitant to talk or type much about differences in the Georgia football program this year. The biggest reason is because we've heard things before about how this off season is different. As a blogger I've been burned before. As a fan I typically lap that stuff up heartily. You do too. Admit it.

Also, there's not much reason to discuss it until you see some of the results on the field. And so now that we're four games in as well as in the throes of the hype leading up to the season's biggest game, I think it's fair to mention a couple things. Because it's clear the program is undergoing some distinct changes in philosophy and practice. The two biggest things that come to mind are strength and conditioning and depth of talent.

Nothing can impact a program year round, from the day after one season ends through the day the next season ends, like strength and conditioning. A program's S&C coach has his hand on the pulse of the program and he's the guy we hear about during off season workouts when our ears are hungry for anything of substance. So it wasn't much of a surprise to hear about new S&C coach Mark Hocke back then. It was actually expected.

But it's fair to say this 2015 Georgia team is as fast as any in recent memory. A lot of that is pure God-given talent. But those athletic bodies are carrying more muscle than they were when they signed. If you're looking for the spot where good coaching meets the well-trained athlete, you need not look further than Leonard Floyd running step for step with a Vanderbilt running back thirty yards downfield to cover a pass.

There is a wealth of freshmen getting playing time and that signals a vast change in philosophy during Coach Richt's tenure. These youngsters are getting actual hands on experience in manageable doses. I don't recall being surprised when some of them graced the field. We knew guys like Trent Thompson were going to be needed and called upon. We figured Rico McGraw would play early and often.

But late in the game Saturday we saw a guy get on the field that I wasn't sure we would see it this season - Michael Barnett. We're pretty deep at defensive end and Barnett had shoulder surgery almost as soon as he stepped onto campus in January. History has shown us that these players tend to spend a year rehabbing, building the muscle back up, and getting used to life as a student-athlete. Some others that might have been on the border in previous seasons - D'Andre Walker, Jackson Harris, Reshad Roundtree, Deandre Baker, Chauncy Rivers, every freshman wide receiver. Yes, even Terry Godwin. (At least until he passed Coach Ball's blocking practice test.) But, all those guys are contributing in some way. Even if it's at the end of a non-conference game with an FCS opponent, that matters. Those live reps really, really matter.

It definitely will matter next season. And it could matter as soon as Saturday evening.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Gales update

You may have heard the surgery went well. At the bottom of the release is an address for well wishes. C'mon DawgNation, let's do what we can to support this young man during what has to be a difficult time. (h/t AHD)
Southern University wide receiver Devon Gales underwent a successful spinal surgery Sunday afternoon.
Gales suffered several fractures in his neck that were stabilized. He continues to have movement in his upper body and remains in good spirits and will remain at Athens Regional until he is released to return to Baton Rouge for further treatment.
The Gales family, along with Interim Athletics Director Roman Banks and the entire Southern University family, would like to thank Athens General, The University of Georgia and all of the many people who aided in his care during this unfortunate event. We are extremely thankful for all of the prayers and well wishes that Devon has received from many people nationwide.
Also, special thanks to the Georgia football program and Sports Medicine staff for all of their love and support that they have shown Devon during this difficult time.
Due to the overwhelming amount of love shown to them from everyone, the family is asking for privacy at this time. They appreciate and request your continued prayers and thoughts. 
If you would like to send cards or well wishes to Devon, please send them to: 
SU Athletics:
C/o Devon Gales
PO Box 9942
Baton Rouge, LA 70813

Bama week - the offensive line

Let's start the week's analysis where the game will be won - in the trenches. Georgia's offensive line is a large reason why the Dawgs are undefeated coming into the game Saturday night. There's little question that since halftime in Nashville Schottenheimer's offense has been clicking on all cylinders and the line has kept Lambert's jersey pretty clean. Of course, the holes for Chubb and Michel have been there too.

A big reason the offense is averaging 45 points a game is because it has stayed inside of the chains. However, I would expect the Tide to really challenge Schotty's passing attack by both daring Georgia into passing (and thus keeping the ball out of Chubb and Michel's hands) and pressing the receivers on the outside more than we've seen thus far.

Vanderbilt is probably going to end up being one of the better defenses we see this season. But even they let our receivers ease into their routes without much disturbance. Bama will press and disrupt the timing of Lambert and his receivers. They'll do this as an attempt to get Lambert to check into a run, or pat the ball too many times when he drops back.

So, the offensive line will have its hands full. Saban will want to challenge Sale's unit at the point of attack. For instance, Schottenheimer has made a living thus far by pulling guards in the running game and taking advantage of matchups in mostly short and intermediate routes in the passing game. The common denominator in both has been an offensive line that could give the running backs holes to get through and the quarterback enough time to release the ball.

What should we expect? Well, for one we haven't seen a talented front seven like this. Alabama's linebackers are going to be better prepared to keep Chubb and Michel east-west and on passing downs they'll stunt and stretch the offensive line's protection to try and bait Lambert into a bad throw.

Bama is loaded with All-SEC talent - Reggie Ragland and Reuben Foster at linebacker and DJ Pettway, Dalvin Tomlinson, A'Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed on the defensive line. But keep your eye on #93 Jonathan Allen. He's a junior from Leesburg VA that the Tide has mostly used in nickel packages on passing downs. But he bulked up this past off season with 20 pounds of muscle in hopes of earning more playing time on 1st and 2nd downs. And so far he's been a force - seven tackles, three sacks and two QB hurries.

Allen was banged up some against ULM on Saturday, but Saban said he's expected to play. And if he does he has the size and speed to be a game changer on Saturday night.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bama tickets, couple of observations

Late last week I noticed a few tickets for the Alabama game drop below $300 on the blog's broker site. Three-hundred plus has been the minimum for the last month or so at least. And while those tickets were snatched up, there are still plenty for around that price point. If the projected weather holds (right now it's supposed to be a beautiful day with a high in the mid-70s) I would expect scalpers to be anywhere between $350-400 for upper level. The sky is the limit for lower level.

Right now the cheapest are good seats. I always sit in the 300 level and in Sanford (as compared to some other stadiums I've visited) it's a great vantage point to watch the game. If I've circled this game on the calendar and have been looking for the right time to buy, I wouldn't pay $353 for 600 level. But I'd give Sec. 303 for $303/each a close look.

Perhaps most importantly, if you look at where the some of the seats are located you can find that some Crimson Tide fans are unloading theirs after the loss to Ole Miss. Not many, but if you want sit in the 100 level you have Section 137 with Dawg fans (for $367/each) and Sections 101 and 102 (for as low as $388/each) with Crimson Tide fans to choose from.

Anyway, if you're in the market for the hottest ticket of the season, keep the link below bookmarked to see where the prices go to compare with other sites and offerings. Want as many Damn Good Dawg fans there Saturday as possible!

Swamp rejects Tennessee's greatest fan

At first glance I thought this was Coach Fulmer. But it turns out this gentleman was a Knoxville teacher of the year for a local elementary school. Hope he's bonded out in time for Monday morning's Calendar Time.

Sunday's Soggy Southern Thoughts

First and most importantly, thoughts and prayers for Devon Gales. More tests being run this morning at Athens Regional. If you'd like to share some of those thoughts and prayers directly, I found their coach's contact info here:


Not a lot to say, but here's a few things to propel us into a week that is sure to be fraught with words, memes, tweets, posts, bulletin board material, and then more words.

- My initial takeaway after the first half is that Coaches Rocker and Sale are going to have a lot of asses to chew this week. I thought Southern played with a lot of intensity in the trenches and for a big span of the first thirty minutes were winning the battle at the point of attack.
- Other than that, the game went about as expected. Chubb got his yards. Michel dazzled. The reserves got plenty of time and played well. 
- Lambert picked up right where he left off against the Gamecocks. Beautiful deep pass to Mitchell that was called back.
- The kick coverage was better. I'm sure the players heard a lot about it through the week. Willie Quinn had a long of 32 yards and averaged just over 20. That shows some accountability for improving in that area after the USCe game.
- The crowd was good for a non-conference cupcake after a rainy tailgate. The Southern Band was as advertised. We had a few Jaguar fans in our section. Quiet bunch until halftime when they moved to the edge of the tunnel and recorded the show while singing and dancing.

All in all, a good warmup to a week we've been looking forward to for quite some time. Get some rest, take your vitamins. Go Dawgs!