Monthly Archives: November 2015
I’ve reached a point in life over the past couple of years where the drive to North Carolina for Thanksgiving has severely inhibited my ability to do the best things done in unison: drink bourbon and watch football.
Leave on Friday? Immediately tick off the family, who feels more time together is warranted. Get stuck in Black Friday chaos traffic in both Charlotte and the Commerce outlets.
Leave on Saturday? Miss out on some great football. Especially with relevant Michigan/Ohio State, scary Georgia/Tech, and a full Rivalry Week slate. Current plan is a 6:30am departure on Saturday.
Leave on Thursday? Out of the question.
Leave on Sunday? Just too damn late. Familial judgment for nonstop guttural yells at the TV for 11 hours on Saturday.
For the rest of you single people who live more than three hours away from your favorite viewing spot, how do you pull it off? Inquiring minds need to know.
The NFL Games Are Over, And Usually Boring Anyway: THURSDAY RUCKUS
Texas Tech at Texas, 7:30, FS1: It’s not Texas/A&M, but the storylines are still fun. Can Texas score enough points to keep up with Tech? Hell naw. Is Charlie Strong going to bolt for Miami? He certainly should. Is this game timed perfectly if you, like me, do the Thanksgiving late lunch? Damn straight.
Friday: Like Saturday, but with Saturday Still to Come
Send the ladies to the mall. There’s more than enough entertainment available. I have to subset a Friday now.
#16 Navy at #19 Houston, ABC: Likely determines which New Years’ Six bowl you don’t watch because of the mid-major involved. Keenan Reynolds is a wizard at the triple option (like, Tech wins 4 more games with him wizard) and Tom Herman is (insert one of 13 vacant FBS jobs here’s) next coach. In two weeks if they lose.
Miami at Pitt, ESPN2: The weirdest ‘Rivalry Week’ rivalry of them all, Pitt is pretty good. All three of their losses are to teams currently ranked in the (AP) top 11. And Miami is probably a loss to Cincinnati away from itself being ranked. GOOD, WEIRD, ACC FOOTBALL! CURING YOUR HANGOVERS SINCE…idk. Today?
Mizzou at Arkansas, CBS, 2:30: Remember last year, when we had a significant rooting interest in an emerging Arkansas team, who was coming off of consecutive shutouts of Ole Miss and LSU? I miss those days. I’d rather have Mizzou play SEC East Patsy in Atlanta than damn Florida. *sigh*
#5 Iowa at Nebraska, ABC, 3:30: Go Huskers. I may watch B1G football on purpose. Dream scenario: Nebraska wins, Iowa beats Michigan State in the B1G championship, we are spared that conference in the Playoff.
#10 Baylor at #18 TCU, ESPN, 7:30: This is just a damn treat. Both teams may be without their starting (in Baylor’s case, second string as well) QB’s, but both will still hang at least 35 points. SEC fan or not, you don’t appreciate football if you don’t watch this.
P.S.: There are other games of note, but most involve eliminated Pac-12 teams. If you stick to the above, you’ll not be cast off by your family.
Saturday, Where I May Attempt to Leave NC at 6AM
Jon Gruden has nothing on my footballgasm for this day. LEGGO
Obviously, there’s Georgia at Georgia Tech, ESPN2. I want to cut that off after Georgia goes up 35-0 on 4 Tech fumbles in the first 8 minutes of action.
#3 (YES THESE ARE LAST WEEK’S CFP RANKINGS) Ohio State at #12 Michigan (ABC): I mean…Harbaugh vs. Meyer has a TON of appeal. OSU’s offense, which should be patently unstoppable, against Michigan’s defense, which has not dominated like it did early on…this is just going to be an incredible game. Get a two TV setup like the one I plan to walk into just after noon on Saturday.
#1 Clemson at South Carolina, ESPN: Clemson’s last chance to Clemson before they Clemson against UNC.
Virginia Tech at Virginia, ESPNU: Perfect world for UNC fan: UVA wins to preserve Mike London’s job, and in so doing keeps Tech out of a bowl for the first time since like, the 80’s.
Louisville at Kentucky, SECN: Getting the ACC/SEC challenge out of the way early, huh? Kentucky can still meet my ‘they’ll make a bowl’ prediction with a win. Or Bobby Petrino is in attendance, which is fun anyway.
3:30, Also Loaded:
Iron Bowl, CBS: Go Tigers. I said it.
#17 UNC at N.C. State, ABC/ESPN2: Shit, we’re going to crap the bed. (Remembers State’s 7 wins are against the following: Troy, Eastern Kentucky, Old Dominion, South Alabama, Wake Forest, Boston College, Syracuse.) Nope, still not comfortable.
Penn State at #9 Michigan State, ESPN: I don’t know if Christian Hackenburg is good. I tried to watch some of their game against Michigan, and I saw him get sacked twice, throw 4-yard outs on 3rd and 8, and the offense punt from the Michigan 34. James Franklin brought 2015 Vanderbilt offense to 2015 Penn State, and the fact that he coaches two mediocre teams is amazing.
UCLA at #24 USC, ABC/ESPN2: Literally cannot NOT be fun. Jim Mora is going for his fourth straight different USC head coach’s scalp, which is amazing on so many levels.
The Night Slate: On One Hand, Year’s Best Combination. On The Other, Hell on Your ‘Prev CH’ Button:
The three highlights are simple: Bedlam (ABC, 8) pits #7 Oklahoma and #6 Oklahoma State. ESPN gets #14 Florida State at #8 Florida (ESPN, 7:30). Oh, and #4 Notre Dame at #11 Stanford is on FOX at 8 just to sufficiently blow our collective minds with overrated football.
But the undercard may be more intriguing.
Les Miles 200% deserves to keep his job. His record over the last five years trumps Saban’s last five at LSU. He would be a saint even in Athens. Yet, he’s coaching for his job as Texas A&M visits #15 LSU (7:30, SECN). Unreal.
Additionally, there’s the small matter of the Egg Bowl, which I’ve counted on for hilarity for my whole adult life. 7:15, ESPN2, Mississippi State at (randomly) #22 Ole Miss. Thank me later.
I hate myself for writing this.
Georgia travels to Atlanta on Saturday to play the worst Georgia Tech team in about 20 years. Given the fact that that timeframe includes the Chan Gailey/Reggie Ball era, that’s saying something. The Yellow Jackets finished 1-7 in the (hey, its really not that bad) ACC, and have just one win since the second week of September.
Having said that, this is a team that should very well give our Georgia Bulldogs a game on Saturday.
They’ve Had Nothing to Play For Since September
Yeah, intangible factors like emotion and motivation are silly in that they’re impossible to quantitatively evaluate in the game of football. But seriously, this is an above-average football team that simply fell apart once they failed to meet expectations. Given their performance against Florida State, and losses closer than one would expect from a 3-8 team, they haven’t laid down quite yet.
Quite simply, a win over Georgia makes their season. They won on dumb luck last year, and had the Dawgs on the ropes the year prior before Todd Gurley did ridiculous Todd Gurley things. One could argue that they’ve been (again intangible) ‘saving up’ for the Georgia game, and that’s a scary proposition for the Dawgs.
On That Note, Their Offense Still Scores Points
And that is something we certainly shouldn’t be taking for granted. Georgia Tech runs a
unique annoying high school triple option, despite Paul Johnson’s ridiculous claim that it’s some kind of spread attack. They’re going to go for every fourth and less than 4, and pretty much play balls to the wall on the offensive side of the ball.
Despite eight losses and said triple option attack straight from 1958, Tech has scored at least 20 in every game this season. For those keeping track, that is a number Georgia has eclipsed in regulation just once since Tennessee. Said another way, Georgia is averaging well below 20 points outside of the South Carolina and Vandy wins when there was a healthy Nick Chubb. The possibility that the Jackets control tempo while the Dawg offense flounders is a very real threat. Time of possession, ball control, and converting opportunities into points are going to be crucial.
Am I Trolling You?
A little bit. Georgia has the far superior talent and should (should) win this game handily. As with every game against Tech, two critical factors will decide this game: ball control on offense, and assignment discipline on defense. With this iteration of the Georgia offense, the latter is key.
The ‘boring’ way to beat Tech is simple: tackles handle dive, ends force the pitch, linebackers and corners win 1-on-1’s on the outside and stop the outside run.
Georgia needs to focus on winning the boring game, or we could have a little bit of a mess on our hands.
Georgia Football: When Backed Into Corner, Richt Responds with Career-Defining and Season-Saving Victory
Georgia entered Saturday’s game with more questions than answers.
Could the Bulldogs find a way to move the ball against a better-than-average Sun Belt Conference defense? Could the home team contain an explosive offense designed to mimic some of the most popular middle school schemes in the nation? Could the Dawgs seize victory from an opponent with a winning record in FBS play – something previously undone this season?
The answers to those questions were, in order: yes, hell yes and definitively yes.
But Georgia did more than answer questions in Saturday’s overtime victory over Georgia Southern. The Bulldogs and head coach Mark Richt made a statement. And in the process, Richt picked up a career defining victory and saved Georgia’s dream season and hopes for a state championship.
In fairness to the highly-touted Eagles from Statesboro, things weren’t always easy for Georgia on senior night.
Cool scene. Entire UGA student section using flashlight app up on phones. Cool display of unity. Thousands of kids searching for an offense.
— Andrew Hall (@DudeYouCrazy) November 22, 2015
The victory required a masterful performance from Greyson Lambert, who inches closer and closer to securing the quarterback job every week. Lambert needed just 25 pass attempts to rack up nearly 185 passing yards, and his two carries for a loss of twenty yards were notably better than losing more than 20 yards on the ground.
Isaiah McKenzie, Mr. Do-Everything, was masterful once again, accounting for 37 all-purpose yards on six touches while fumbling for a TD return only once.
Even the offensive line was selective in its timing allowing running back Sony Michel to save his energy with only three runs in excess of six yards. Michel finished the game with 132 yards on 25 carries. He racked up 68 on those three potent touches.
Defensively, Georgia was decisively dominant against the option attack of Georgia Southern. Only three Eagles finished the game with more than five yards rushing per attempt and only four pick up runs in excess of 10 yards. When all was said and done, the Junkyard Dawgs held Southern to just 233 rushing yards and only a five-minute advantage in time of possession.
And as coaches across the country (most notable Ohio State’s Urban Meyer) collapsed in the palms of rivals, Richt rose to the occasion.
— Andrew Hall (@DudeYouCrazy) November 22, 2015
Rather than force the issue of a 7-7 ball game late in the first half, Richt held onto his timeouts and let Georgia Southern flounder about for nearly two minutes while going absolutely nowhere. Not wanting to appear desperate late in the game, he again refused to use timeouts during a Georgia Southern possession and opted to play it cool with short passes on offense.
Georgia now owns a victory over a bitter in-state rival. Georgia now owns a victory (and just one this season) over an opponent with a winning record in FBS play. Georgia now owns a legitimate shot at an elusive State Championship.
That’s all I got/
Justin Scott-Wesley. I’m sick of how this guy’s been characterized this week. Nobody’s saying anything intentionally negative about the former Bulldog wide receiver whose career was cut far too short by injury. But the “he could have been great if he hadn’t gotten hurt” narrative sells him short. Justin Scott-Wesley was great. There’s no debate.
The sum of his whole may leave much to be desired. But that tends to happen when you only log 25 catches in an injury-shortened career. But Scott-Wesley was just a notch shy of averaging 20 yards per catch. That’s crazy. And he turned in four TD catches on 25 receptions.
And in 2013, he proved his greatness. In the first four games of the season – before his career was derailed by Tennessee’s turf – he accounted for 289 receiving yards and two touchdowns on just 14 catches. He was the most explosive receiver on the team. And including a 67-yard performance in the 2012 Capital One Bowl, he racked up five consecutive games with at least 55 yards receiving.
How impressive is that five-game streak? Malcolm Mitchell’s never done it. Michael Bennett never did that. Chris Conley, now a Kansas City Chief, never did that. Artie Lynch, currently on the Broncos’ practice squad, never did it as a tight end. Tavarres King, who caught a few passes for the Bucs last year and is now on the Giants’ practice squad, never logged five-straight games with 55+ receiving yards. Marlon Brown, who’s in his third season with the Ravens, never had such a streak. Orson Charles, an NFL journeyman, never did it.
The last player to do it at Georgia? A.J. Green.
So don’t tell me that Justin Scott-Wesley could have been great. Justin Scott-Wesley was great. And that makes the injuries all the more unfortunate. Injuries didn’t merely prevent Scott-Wesley from reaching his potential, though that was part of it. Injuries derailed a glorious 2013 campaign and bright future.
Justin Scott-Wesley isn’t forgotten today. But make sure you’re remembering him for what he was. He was great. Period.
That’s all I got/
See more Justin Scott-Wesley in the UGA Vault. Free on iOS and Android HERE.
No Georgia Southern preview this week as the DYC crew is working hard and on the road. But, I DID get to talk to Dirty South Soccer’s own Sam Franco, and we got to talk rasslin.
Listen streaming on Spreaker.
Listen on iTunes.
Subscribe for free, and leave a 5-star review to hear your words on the air.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love this? Hate it? Think I’m an idiot? Don’t just curse at me under your breath, head to the Dude You Podcast iTunes page, and leave a 5-star review to make sure I know it, and have your voice heard on the air. Follow me at @dpalm66.