December 1, 2014

Some Thoughts on Saturday and the Regular Season

Well, damn. My initial reaction was to remember my Grizzard - "frankly, I don't want to talk about it." And honestly, I don't. But...what the hell. Actually, I had promised myself midway through the third quarter when I was positive that we were gonna lose - because dive play, and inability to stop it - that I would give myself at least a 24 hour break from the internet, and specifically Facebook, because copious amounts of bourbon and extreme emotions and all that. Having let things stew in the mental back-burners for about 48 hours, I really don't have much to offer, but here it goes:

I'd like to say that I totally can't believe we lost that game, but I can believe we lost it. For starters, we did lose it. So there's that. But like I mentioned, things weren't looking good in the 2nd half. Hell, things weren't looking good already. Two fumbles within the Golden Tornado five yard line. Just Damn! And there was something else. You could tell them techies wanted it. Wanted it real bad. They were hungry for it. And they got it. You can't win them all against that crowd, unfortunately, and they will win from time to time and this definitely seemed like their year. Squib kick? Already been covered. A lot. Whatever. It happened, and that Tech kicker made a clutch kick. Mason made a mistake in OT. And that was that.

Major portions of the Bulldog Nation have been in full-on meltdown mode, and I can kind of get that. Because as I've said on this blog on more than one occasion, the Flagboy team is our biggest rival. Never. Forget. That. As Saban once said - you've got to hate losing more than you enjoy winning. And as I've said many times - your biggest rival is based on who you hate losing to the most. After five in a row, 12 of 13, 18 out of 22, and 22 out of 28, it's easy to forget that. So in the grand scheme of things, this is, unfortunately, a needed thing from time to time.

As for the 2014 campaign (regular season, at least), it was, in some ways, reminiscent of last year in that unexpected things occurred and things happened. I think a big thing to remember is this: in August, most folks were expecting 10-2 as best-case scenario with a repeat of 8-4 as very plausible. In that respect, we split the difference to finish with a solid 9-3 campaign. Of course, that was before we knew Chubb was going to be the second coming of Todd Gurley, but...we all know what happened with that. Really, I think 9 wins is about right for this team. I'll remember it as a Damn Good group of Dawgs. Tough guys, who were proud to put on that oval G, who always fought hard and always Got After Their Asses! Seniors like Mason, Conley, Bennett, Andrews, Moore, Swann, Wilson, and the rest of 'em: very proud of y'all for leading this team this year. You did great!

To me, there's a lot to play for with our bowl game. 10 wins would be nice, and it's always nice to get the extra practices. Unless somehow we get paired with Nebraska again, and then I'd just say F*ck It! We'll skip it (Three in a row? Surely not...right?). 

As is the case every night, it's a damn fine night to be a Georgia Bulldog!

November 16, 2014

UGA vs. Auburn: The Sunday Treatment and a Trip Around the Dawgosphere

(#15) UGA 34 - (#9) Auburn 7

Box Score

I still say Tech is UGA's biggest rival. Even though it hasn't been much a rivalry lately, I believe that because I feel that Tech is the team I hate to lose to the most, and I think that is the ultimate deciding factor. But, as I discussed yesterday with my buddy that went with me to the game who believes Auburn is our biggest rival, I could probably honestly say that I enjoy defeating Auburn the most. So...perhaps they are our biggest rival. Really, who cares...

I just know that I love beating that crowd. Especially big. It never gets old. The 2011 and 2012 beat-downs helped make up for the 2010 game and I think last night went a long way towards getting the bad taste of last year's game out of my mouth. And since the 2005 heart breaker that was also a late night game in Sanford Stadium against the wareagletigerplainsmen, we are 7-2 in this series. That's pretty great.

Where to start? Man...just such a great team performance. Chubb and Gurley. The special teams. Man - the defense! Pruitt is obviously a great DC and he obviously has a knack for stopping the Gus Bus. To me, that's as good a defensive performance we've seen from the Silver Britches in the last decade. And let's not forget about the crowd. Several players and coaches made a point to thank the crowd. I've been going to UGA games over 30 years and I can honestly say that was as good and fired up a crowd as I've ever seen. I think it was even louder and more intense than last year's games vs. SCAR and LSU.

Not all is good, however, as #3 Toddy Gurley suffered a knee injury towards the end of the night. No official word as of yet, but I don't think it looks good. Seems like he might have some ligament damage. If that's the case, I sure do hate it. Doesn't seem right. But, if that is the case, I think Gurley is the type of guy that can come back better and stronger than ever and will have the opportunity to achieve everything he deserves at the next level. Regardless, he will always be considered one of the greatest of Damn Good Dogs and will always hold a status as one of the greatest to ever put on the Silver Britches.

Anything to complain about? The officiating, for sure. Calling back that beautiful fake punt was as bad a call as we've seen all year. We still seem to have some issues with punting the ball, but all in all did okay in that respect. Our kickoff coverage was excellent although I'm still not sure why we're not putting it in the end zone every time.

Truly a great game for our Dawgs. What a night!

Let's get the pulse of the Dawg Nation and take...

A Trip Around the Dawgosphere:


As I type this, it seems as if reports are surfacing that Gurley's knee injury is a season-ending one. That's terrible. I hate to hear that so damn much. Man...Also, it is now official that Muschamp will be stepping down from Florida after this season. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted although not so much for this year's edition of the WLOCP. I'll be curious to see who UF goes after. Mullen? Possibly Stoops from Kentucky? An NFL guy? We'll see...

GO DAWGS!


November 3, 2014

Run Left, Pull the Right Guard: Lather, Rinse, and Repeat

Even though I think both Verne and Gary are about damn senile and the time has come to take 'em to the back forty and put 'em out of their misery like a lame old horse, they Gary will throw out some nuggets from time to time. Early in the 4th quarter, after Florida did what I titled this post for about the hundredth twentieth time, Gary mentioned it. And he was right on.

Our front 7 is pretty darn good vs. a spread offense or a regular pro-set, but if you put them up against a big, strong, and effective O-line with some good running backs, and we don't really match up good. Could you imagine what LSU or 'Bama could do to us at this point. It would be ugly. I don't know if I necessarily want MIZZOU to lose again. And I'm sorry, I know that Leonard Floyd is an excellent pass rusher, but he looked like a schoolyard chump yesterday. They were picking on him. Very sad...

I think Pruitt got outmatched on Saturday. Never really did any run blitzes; never seemed to adjust. That's bothersome.

It's a Catch 22. If you have the big D-line guys we used to have, then you probably do better in a game like this, but then you have trouble against spread or finesse teams. When you're smaller and lighter, specially on the ends, 418 yards against Florida happens.

I'm not smart enough and don't understand the game enough, especially defensively, to know what the answer is. Thoughts?

November 2, 2014

Fear & Loathing: UF edition; A Trip Around the Dawgosphere

I think folks were getting tired of talking to me the past week. I'd have folks come by the store wanting to talk UGA football and make predictions of how big we'd win, but then I'd mess it up by being in full-on Munson mode - they've got one of the best defenses in America, despite what we've done the last two games without Gurley our offense had major question marks, Hutson Mason, etc...

Also, somewhere in the back of my mind, and like a lot of other folks too, I'm sure, that nagging thought that UGA was due for their crap game. Florida was like a wild beast backed into a corner. Sure, some had theorized that the team had probably already quit on Muschamp, but I read a few articles during the week from people in the know saying that had not happened. This was their last stand. They wanted to win it for their coach and themselves.

And you've got to tip your hat to the dreaded Gators. I hate Florida. They just flat-out whipped us. In all three phases. Florida sux. Controlled both lines of scrimmage. Looked to be the better coached and prepared team. Did I mention my hatred for Florida. They kicked our asses...

I'll never forget my first trip to Jacksonville. 1985. UF had just been ranked #1 for the first time in their history and Kerwin Bell and Co. were just gonna beat the tar out of us. We won. 24-3. That's Georgia/Florida. Throw the records out. Every time. 2002. Who should have won that game? And who didn't? UGA. Ditto for 2005. Who should have won that 2012 game? Florida should have, but they didn't. That's Jax, baby.

This game was tough. Just damn terrible...

Jacksonville makes Jack a dull boy

And now! To get a pulse of the Dawg Nation...

LET'S TAKE A TRIP AROUND THE DAWGOSPHERE! YAY!!!!!1!!!1

  • Damn, Bill Shanks, tell us how you really feel. *Warning: this might be too much for some of you*
  • DawgSports' 15 Thoughts. Always right on the money. Today is no exception. Very important point - we can't let Florida beat us two weeks in a row. We've got to rally and get ready for a very solid UK team.
  • Tyler's Sunday Morning Comes over at Georgia Sports Blog. He raises a very good point: "Is it back to the drawing board for Pruitt?" We get the secondary worked out but is our D-line able to handle a strong O-line and a couple of good TBs. Based on yesterday's performance. I'd say not... 
  • The Grit Tree discusses "Jacksonvilling."
  • Would love to hear the Senator's thoughts but I figure he's on the road. I'll update once he does. 

Dammit!!!

Well...we can't feel sorry for ourselves too long. We got UK in six days. In Lexington. That crowd always brings it. Still a lot to play for. It's always a great day to be a Dawg!





October 19, 2014

The Sunday Treatment: Arkansas Edition

Yesterday, I posted the following:

These are the keys to the game as I see it:


  • Win the turnover battle. 
  • Control both lines of scrimmage. 
  • Rush for over 200 yards
  • Throw for over 150 yards
  • Control the Hogs' ground game
And by the way, one of my nicknames happens to be Captain Obvious.

Last week, against Mizzou, we did all five of those things. Usually against a solid SEC opponent, that isn't going to happen. But, if we can do 4 of those things, then I think we win this game maybe by as much as 10-14 points.

Good ole Captain Obvious! Well, I said if we did four of those things, we'd win by 10-14 points. We won by 13. We hit 200 yards on the ground, Mason finished with 179 yards in the air, we definitely won the turnover battle, and we controlled the Hogs' ground game as they finished with just 126 yards on the ground. Controlling both lines of scrimmage? For a time, yes, but that kind of became a push in the 2nd half.

In the first half, we did all five of those things and we saw the Dawgs up 38-6 at the break. Obviously, we got more conservative in the 2nd half with our play calling and, honestly, I think we let off the gas a bit. The big difference for Arkansas was that they got that passing game cranked up (and again, I think we got more conservative on the defensive side of the ball as well), but it just seemed like we had total control of this game for the entire duration.



If someone were to just glance at the stats with out knowing the final outcome, they would probably figure that Arkansas won - they out-gained us, had 11 more first downs, and enjoyed a 10 minute advantage in T.O.P. over us - but if they looked at the all-too-important turnover line in that stat comparison, they would know how that score happened. 21 points off of those turnovers including a defensive score. Obviously, that was the ball game.

So many positives in this game:


  • Nick Chubb, man! Good Gosh Almighty! 30 carries, 202 yards. Became the first UGA freshman TB to hit 200 since Rodney Hampton in 1987.
  • Hutson Mason. Another very solid and efficient performance from the 5th year senior. And that boy can throw downfield! Two TDs in the air and he got another one on the ground. This guy is gutsy and he's tough. Can't say enough good things about his performance. 
  • Chris Conley. What a game for one of the best DGDs out there! 5 catches for 128 yards and a TD. And it's no secret that he is Mason's go-to-guy. 
  • The entire Defense and DC Jeremy Pruitt. Big kudos to Leonard Floyd and Damiann Swann, specifically. And of course Dominick Sanders for that 54 yard scoop and score. The first half - GATA all the way! A very good performance that would have looked better if we hadn't let up in the 2nd.
Pretty much all of the pundits and talking heads once again didn't give the Dawgs a chance, and once again, we made them all look foolish. This is a very good football team right now. The way the defense has solidified along with our record-breaking offense and very solid special teams, I think UGA is a very, very hard team to beat right now. And what if we get Gurley back? Man...it's exciting times.

It's a great day to be a Dawg! GATA! GO DAWGS!!!


October 18, 2014

UGA vs. ARKY: Some Pregame Thoughts

Honestly, I'm a little tired of all the naysayers. If we had barely scraped by or lost last week, I could kind of get it, but to me, this just reeks of disrespect. Maybe some of these folks know something we don't, but I doubt it.

So now we get Arkansas. I watched a good bit of their game Saturday, and I pretty much watched all of the 2nd half. They're a good team. Lots of talent. Lots of big offensive lineman. Some very strong running backs and a very capable QB. You got to respect their D pretty good, too. Some very good players and they seem to be coaching 'em up really good out there.

But in terms of what we do well, I think we match up pretty good.

These are the keys to the game as I see it:

  • Win the turnover battle. 
  • Control both lines of scrimmage. 
  • Rush for over 200 yards
  • Throw for over 150 yards
  • Control the Hogs' ground game
And by the way, one of my nicknames happens to be Captain Obvious.

Last week, against Mizzou, we did all five of those things. Usually against a solid SEC opponent, that isn't going to happen. But, if we can do 4 of those things, then I think we win this game maybe by as much as 10-14 points. Chances are, we do three of the aforementioned things, and we'd look at hopefully winning a close game. If I could pick three, I'd choose: rushing the ball for over 200 yards, winning the turnover battle, and controlling the Hogs' ground game.

A couple of things make nervous:

  1. The ability for ARKY to put up huge numbers in the air
  2. Their impressive O-line 

Random SEC thoughts: I have a feeling 'Bama is about to take out some frustrations today...I think Florida beats MIZZOU today and sets up Jacksonville as the battle for the East...Call me crazy but I think UT is gonna play Ole Miss pretty close.

GO DAWGS!!!

October 14, 2014

Week 7 Mumme Poll: Results and my Ballot

It's that time of year again. The greatest and most democratic of college football polls is out - The Mumme Poll! Sponsored by The Senator and the guy that does Third Saturday of Blogtober and The Helmet Project, you can learn more about this very cool poll here.

I believe this is my 4th or 5th year participating, and I always really enjoy it. There were a few tweaks this year to reflect the changed college landscape as it relates to the 4-team playoff we now have. Now, pollsters just pick their top 8 teams, no # 1,
and whoever gets the most votes is tops.

The Week 7 Mumme Poll results:
Rank Team Votes
1 Mississippi 81
1 Mississippi State 81
2 Florida State 79
3 Baylor 77
4 Auburn 67
5 Oregon 52
6 Georgia 48
7 Notre Dame 45
8 Alabama 34
9 Michigan State 30
10 Oklahoma 29
11 TCU 26
12 Oklahoma State 2
13 Kentucky 1
13 Missouri 1
13 ECU 1
13 Clemson 1
13 Marshall 1


And my ballot for this week:

Miss. State
Ole Miss
FSU
Auburn
Baylor
Alabama
Georgia
Oklahoma

*Ballot explanation: it's hard for me to give much respect to the Pac-12, B1G, or Notre Dame right now. Sorry. I really didn't want to put in a team that gave up 58 points (Baylor) but couldn't pull the trigger on anyone else so they stay by default. Was really toying with the idea of putting Marshall in there, but being one of the few undefeated teams left in FBS does not automatically qualify as being a top-8 team.