Category Archives: Blog
UGA heads to Knoxville this weekend, so we talked about hate, football, and ending coaches jobs. Oh, and because we’re us, there’s an extended discussion on Matt Barnes. Cause. Yanno.
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I’m a bad news first kind of guy. So let’s get this bad boy out of the way.
Bad news: I analyzed every special teams play from last week, and Georgia sucked.
|Q1 15:00||Kick Return||Touchback||C||I’m not giving points for no action, but it could have been worse.|
|Q1 13:17||Punt||49 Yard Punt, 14 Yard Return||C-||Kicking from the 34, a net punt of just 46 yards pins Bama inside 20. Instead, Bama gets out to the 31.|
|Q1 11:53||Punt||24 Yard Punt puts Bama on the 14||D||Know when the good time is for a 24-yard punt? Yeah me neither.|
|Q1 9:36||Punt Return||Muffed Punt Recovered||D||Only way this is worse is if we actually lose the fumble.|
|Q1 8:33||Punt||Touchback from the 48||D||Yet another missed opportunity to pin Bama and flip field position. Any kick for 28-47 yards would have been better.|
|Q1 4:05||Field Goal D||Bama Field Goal Good||C||A block is an A+ and Giving up a Fake for a TD is an F. This is expectedly average (which is good for Georgia’s Special Teams).|
|Q1 4:05||Kick Return||20 yard Return to the 20||D||I gave a C for a touchback, so this is worse because the return cost Georgia five yards.|
|Q2 12:23||Field Goal||Made Field Goal after TO||C-||This should have been a B (for sucessfully converting an easy FG and tying the game), but needing a TO following a 26 yard gain on 3rd and Goal from the 35 is inexcusable.|
|Q2 12:23||Kickoff||Alabama return to 24||C+||Come on, baby! Kicking off to the 4 and holding Bama to a 20-yard return. YEAH.|
|Q2 8:26||XP Defense||Alabama Kick Good||C||Nothing|
|Q2 8:26||Kick Return||20 Yard Return to the 22||C-||Same story as the previous kick return but at least this was fielded outside of the end zone.|
|Q2 7:34||Punt||32 Yard Punt||C-||But hey…no return! Bama ball at the 42.|
|Q2 6:21||Punt Return||Touchback||C||That’s a win.|
|Q2 4:48||Punt||Blocked for a TD||F||Why?|
|Q2 4:48||XP Defense||Alabama Kick Good||C||Nothing|
|Q2 4:48||Kick Return||Georgia Ball on the 9 After Penalty||F||This play gets lost in the shuffle. After Special Teams gives up a TD on a blocked punt, we turn around with a 17 yard return to the 17 (touchback gets you to the 25) and get penalized back to the 9 for holding. Here’s 16 free yards, Bama.|
|Q2 3:55||Punt||Georgia 36-yard Punt||D||Because of a stagnant offense starting inside its 10, Collin Barber was in a tight spot, but 36-yards didn’t do anyone any favors especially not when Bama still got a short return.|
|Q2 3:48||XP Defense||Alabama Kick Good||C||Nothing|
|Q2 3:48||Kick Return||Touchback||C||YAY!|
|Q2 2:23||Punt||Touchback||D||Why? Again, Mr. 24 Yard Punt picks this one to boom 51 yards? Come on.|
|Q2 0:49||Punt Return||2 yard Pickup||C+||Cleanly fielded and everything.|
|Q3 15:00||Kickoff||24 Yard Return to 24||C+||Yeahhhhh. Second Half is gonna be swell.|
|Q3 13:21||Punt Return||No Return, Downed at 31||C||Sure.|
|Q3 13:07||XP Defense||Alabama Kick Good||C||Nothing|
|Q3 13:07||Kick Return||Georgia 14-yard return to 14||D-||I. Can’t. Even.|
|Q3 11:24||Punt||Bad Punt + Bad Return + Bad Penalty||F||40 yard punt from 22 puts Bama at their own 38, nine yard return puts then at their own 47, 15 yard late hit penalty puts them at Georgia 38 for a net punt of 16 yards.|
|Q3 10:05||XP Defense||Alabama Kick Good||C||Nothing|
|Q3 10:05||Kick Return||Touchback||C||It’s so hard.|
|Q3 8:18||Punt||Net punt of 25 Yards||C-||Net 35 is good now I think.|
|Q3 7:08||Punt Return||Fair Catch at the 19||C+||Ball security.|
|Q3 0:19||Punt Return||Out of Bounds + Penalty||D||Georgia was set to have an out-of-bounds punt at the 32, but a 15-yard facemask brought the Dawgs back to their own 17.|
|Q3 0:10||XP||XP Good||C||YAY! Extra Point is Good!|
|Q3 0:10||Kickoff||Short kick returned to 29.||C-||Kick the ball deep.|
|Q4 13:23||Punt Return||Punt out of Bounds at 35||C+||Decent field position thanks to short punt and no penalty.|
|Q4 11:45||Punt||45 Yard Punt Fair Catch||B-||I feel great about that.|
|Q4 7:06||Punt||55 Yard Punt, 23 Yard Return||C-||Yeah 23 yard returns shouldn’t happen.|
That puts the Special Teams’ GPA at something arbitrarily in the 1.6 range. A little below C- average.
That’s bad news.
The good news is that Special Teams isn’t really one-third of the game. At least, it wasn’t against Alabama. Against the Crimson Tide, only 26.4% of all plays were Special Teams. So things could have been worse.
That’s all I got/
Great week for the Dude last week. Never a doubt. Strong showing. I’m the best.
|Week 5||Game Score||Result|
|Missouri -3.5||Mizzou 24, S. Car 10||WIN|
|Alabama +2||Alabama Too Much, Georgia Too Little||WIN|
|Auburn -20||Auburn 35, SJSU 21||Loss|
|Ole Miss -7||LOLOL||Loss|
|Arkansas +6.5||Arkansas 24, Tennessee 20||WIN|
|Eastern Michigan +44.5||LSU 44, EMU 22||WIN|
|Vanderbilt +4.5||Vandy 17, MTSU 13||WIN|
|Texas A&M -7||Texas A&M 30, Miss St. 17||WIN|
Week 5: 6-2
Now let’s keep the magic magic-ing. All lines as of Thursday early morning. All lines via Caesars Palace accessed Via OddsShark.com. All games on Saturday.
New Mexico State at #14 Ole Miss, 12 p.m., SEC Network
I think New Mexico State has gotten better each game this year. I don’t know that for a fact because I haven’t seen them play a down, but I think they’re hungry. A lot hungrier, perhaps, than they were in the season-opener against Florida. Close losses to Georgia State (34-32) and UTEP (50-47) and a loss to in-state rival New Mexico (38-29) in a game that was tied in the fourth quarter has these Aggies ready to eat. And by “ready to eat” I mean “ready to lose by fewer than 43.5 points. Also on NMSU’s side: the transitive property. Florida beat NMSU by 48 points but Florida was 28 points better than Ole Miss last week, which means Ole Miss should just be 20 points better than New Mexico State.
My Pick: New Mexico State +43.5
#7 LSU at South Carolina at LSU, 3:30 p.m., ESPN
I’m too lazy to do the research on who’s actually attending this game now that it’s been moved to Baton Rouge as a result of the flooding in Columbia. But emotional implications aside, this can’t help South Carolina. And the movement on the line has been nuts. It opened at 13 and is now 18.5. I think South Carolina can cover 18.5. Thirteen was a stretch for sure. But let’s see some inspired play. Let’s hear Sandstorm at Death Valley.
My Pick: South Carolina +18.5
#19 Georgia at Tennessee, 3:30 p.m., CBS
Do some of this please.
I know players aren’t supposed to pay attention to things like gambling, but I hope Georgia players are insulted by this line. To cover a 2.5 point spread, Georgia could be trailing by 12 points late in the game. I’m struggling to see what Tennessee does better than Georgia. Say what you want about Greyson Lambert but he’s thrown for 40 more yards this season than Josh Dobbs and he’s done that with nearly 30% fewer passes. Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara form a talented backfield, but would you take those guys over Nick Chubb and Sony Michel? Georgia is 25th in the nation in passing yards allowed per game, Tennessee is 89th. Georgia’s allowing 123.6 rushing yards per contest; Tennessee’s giving up 171.6. The only way Georgia loses this game is special teams mishaps (all but guaranteed) and issues defending a mobile QB (a possibility). But I can think of 100 ways Tennessee could lose this game.
My Pick: Georgia -2.5
Troy at Mississippi State, 4 p.m., SEC Network
My Pick: Troy +30.5
Arkansas at #8 Alabama, 7 p.m., ESPN
Arkansas is gonna keep this thing tight yall. I’m telling you. That’s all I’m saying because I don’t know if I really believe that. But let’s do this. Road underdogs gonna cover.
My Pick: Arkansas +17.5
#11 Florida at Missouri
Man. This is just what Missouri does. Florida’s cruising along, biggest win in the SEC East (and one of the biggest in the nation, period) so far this year: check. Undefeated record: check. Red-faced prick as a coach: check. Then BOOM. Enter mediocre Missouri to make things interesting. I think Florida’s safe. And I want the Gators safe so as to make the impending Bulldog victory in Jacksonville as meaningful as possible and so as to all but remove the Tigers from contention. But this could be scary.
My Pick: Florida -3.5
That’s all I got/
Are we really going to try to talk ourselves into this again? Yep.
Pragmatically, if you’re going to lay an egg, it is likely best to do so in a game you never really had a shot of winning, anyway. And that’s not to say that Georgia couldn’t have beaten Alabama on Saturday. The offense and special teams put the defense in compromising positions throughout the first half. The only template that beats Alabama is isolating their young corners 1-on-1 with receivers, preferably with a mobile quarterback, not getting into a rockfight with their superior trench play.
As Jason Kirk of SBNation said, the problem for Georgia is that they’re built, in the Alabama template, to beat a lot of teams. Alabama, with a similar template and better athletes, just isn’t one of those teams.
With Florida’s emergence, Georgia’s margin for error is zero. Where have we seen this before?
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012 Georgia Bulldogs. With an earlier start to the season, Georgia went into October sporting a 5-0 record. The big game circled on the schedule throughout a pedestrian September slate? Jadeveon Clowney and the 6th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks. I don’t need to remind anyone how that turned out, but the ‘just get us the hell out of here’ second half gameplan after a first half boatracing was eerily similar. How similar, you ask?
- Georgia QB Aaron Murray, at SC: 11/31, 109 yards, 0 TD, 1 int
- Georgia QBs, Alabama: 11/31, 106 yards, 0 TD, 3 int
Astonishingly, Georgia was more ‘in the game’ against Alabama than they ever were against South Carolina that night. But given the strength of the SEC East that year (South Carolina improved to 4-0 in SEC play, with the tiebreaker with the win), Georgia is in better position today than we were at this moment three years ago.
Obviously, this post assumes Georgia wins out, or gets help in dethroning Florida (who still has to travel to LSU out of the West). But the game in Jacksonville is an ABSOLUTE must-win. Outside of that, here are what I see as the keys to Georgia getting back to Atlanta with a legit shot at the playoffs:
- Win out. This goes without saying, but a climb from #19 in the polls to playoff contention hinges squarely on the Dawgs repeating 2012 and taking care of business.
- Recalling the lethargic effort at Kentucky in the aftermath of the South Carolina game in 2012, Georgia has to come out guns blazing at Tennessee on Saturday. The Vols need this win even worse than the Dawgs do, and the mindset has to be one of desperation.
- Hinging from #2, this is where I lose faith a little bit: Brian Schottenheimer has to put more faith in the passing game. I am this website’s foremost Greyson Lambert critic, and frankly lack faith that Georgia survives the next seven games unscathed on the backs of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel alone. The Dawgs are more talented than any team they face from here on out (with the possible exception of Florida) and need to allow the defense to play without one hand tied behind its back, as was the case on Saturday.
- The Dawgs are going to face some very talented defensive lines for the next three ballgames (at Tennessee, Missouri, Florida). This offense simply CAN NOT afford to be one-dimensional any longer.
- No more ‘Georgia-ing’. Formerly known as Clemsoning, this is a Georgia problem now. Special teams needs to be flawless. Ill-advised shots into traffic need to be limited. The offensive line has to do a better job of giving Lambert time. And Georgia can’t afford to win the next three then sleepwalk against game Kentucky, Georgia Southern, and Georgia Tech teams.
The template was laid out in 2012 on the back of a strong defense (check for 2015), a strong dimension of the offense (three years ago today, it was the pass. Today, it’s the run), and the emergence of some playmakers on the other side (2012 Gurshall, 2015… Lambert? Reggie Davis? Isaiah McKenzie?)
Win out, and all is well. Drop one, and we are doomed for another season in the long, tired, annals of, ‘what if’?