Author Archives: tardawg1014

Georgia Football: Is Ole Miss Winnable?


My colleagues here made quite clear the same thing I saw Saturday night: this Georgia team is okay, but probably not great yet. With an amazing inability to capitalize on scoring opportunities, an anemic run game, and a pass D that got shredded for 320 yards IN THE FIRST HALF against Missouri, one can safely state that the confidence gained from the fourth quarter of the opener is more or less gone.

That being said, Georgia is 3-0, and that’s better than any other record possible given the amount of games played thus far.

If you haven’t watched any Ole Miss football this season, you’re just not a big college football fan. They’ve appeared (and lost) in the marquee matchup in two of the season’s three weeks thus far. Assuming you have…you know they can play like a t0p-5 team or a top-150 team.

First half vs. second half Chad Kelly

Chad Kelly is many things: the SEC’s best quarterback, gunslinger (both literally and figuratively), rapper, and…the streakiest damn quarterback I’ve ever seen. When he’s on (see first half vs. Florida State, first half and last 3 minutes vs. Alabama), he’s dynamic.

For a defense that just allowed Drew Lock to–again– THROW FOR 320 YARDS IN THE FIRST HALF– Kelly could pose an issue. Teams have seemed to have trouble matching up with Ole Miss’ rangy receiving corps early, and only adjusting when it becomes evident yet again that the Rebs can’t run the ball.

If Georgia can force Kelly to be efficient– score on 9-10 plays rather than 3-5– he will make mistakes. The Dawgs just have to get some pressure from someone, anyone on the front seven and avoid coverage busts that made Missouri so damn stressful.

Ole Miss D-Line: Awesome

The line you saw creating havoc against Florida State (again, in the first half) and nearly decapitating Jalen Hurts last week is very, very good. For an offensive line that has yet to find any kind of rhythm, this could be…problematic.

They’re led in the post Robert Nkemdiche era by Marquis Haynes, who schooled Cam Robinson a couple of times last week. Freshman Benito Jones has three tackles for loss early on, as well. Nobody else has registered a sack, but D.J. Jones, Isaac Gross, Breeland Speaks, and John Youngblood are by FAR the most athletic D-line Georgia has faced (and will face, until Florida at least).

For Georgia, the line has to hold up at the point of attack, and try some screens out of the backfield to Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and perhaps tunnels or quick hitches to Isaiah McKenzie and Terry Godwin to slow the pass rush.

Advantage: Georgia. Where?

The Ole Miss secondary is hobbled, young, and wasn’t all that good to begin with. The quick hitters early will be key in order to provide Jacob Eason some time to get the ball downfield, because there WILL be openings downfield. You don’t want to get into a shootout with Kelly, but picking spots (as Jim Chaney did very well against UNC, not so much since) is going to be the key to Georgia keeping the Rebs at arm’s length.

Will Georgia Win? 

Ehhhhhh.

Ole Miss’ strengths through three weeks mirror Georgia’s weaknesses. Georgia has not really established any real strengths yet, though I expect Nick Chubb to get back on track to some extent any time.

For a road game against a tough SEC West opponent, its nice to have a noon kickoff. Nicer still is the hope that Ole Miss is suffering from a bout of confidence issues after taking it on the chin in the second half of both of their notable games.

Normally, this would constitute the throwaway game on the SEC schedule– but with Tennessee set to face Alabama and a game Texas A&M, and Florida drawing LSU and Arkansas, the Dawgs have a chance to steal an extra leg up on the road to Atlanta.

HOOO BOY WEEK 3 IS LEGIT


Let’s start with this: I hope Penn State loses to Temple, thus rendering the PedoBears 3rd best in Pennsylvania. That game starts at noon, and so do the following:

#2 Florida State at #10 Louisville: Have you heard of Lamar Jackson? Lamar Jackson scored 13 touchdowns in his first 60 minutes of play this year. Lamar Jackson is a sophomore. Lamar Jackson did this:

And that’s just the Louisville side. Can’t think I remember GameDay being a nooner before, but hey. Early season scheduling, man.

#25 Miami at App State: This….is a game that is happening. No words, man.

There’s other football on at noon, but that pair (plus Penn State losing to Temple) should be the CRUNKEST noon slate ever.

#1 Alabama  at #19 Ole Miss: The best of the mid-afternoon bunch, but…

#22 Oregon at Nebraska: The classic “Oregon is garbage against the run, and Nebraska can’t run the ball”; and

Colorado at #6 Michigan: Jim Harbaugh, certified obnoxious sociopath, refuses to publish weekly depth charts. Then he got pissed about Colorado’s for this week:

And hey, if you can get it, Syracuse at South Florida and Pitt at Oklahoma State both stand to be really fun.

The evening features two games between SEC West coaches that need wins to stay off the hotseat, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you don’t have Xfinity’s 8-channel “previous” option, you need to establish a favorites list.

The aforementioned SEC West Anxiety Bowls: Mississippi State at #20 LSU (MSU’s Dan Mullen is the safest of these four coaches but wants out of Starkville) and Texas A&M at Auburn.

Buuuuutttttt….you’re an SEC homer if you jump on those.

(Georgia plays at Mizzou on SEC Network, they start at 7:30)

#3 Ohio State at #14 Oklahoma: I think Ohio State has 13-0 laid out for them if they win at OU. Even if not, they are in good position to win the B1G because the B1G is awful. The Big XII is also awful, and Oklahoma could lose this and become the first two-loss playoff team.

#12 Michigan State at #18 Notre Dame: I guess its interesting.

USC at #7 Stanford: Watch USC win this game just to troll us all.


Do your chores, skip GameDay, and saddle up. Don’t start drinking til around 5 if you want to make it through the marquees and the Dawgs.

Here’s What Mattered in Week 2


Yes, I know this is like five days late. 

As the urgent post stated last night, we had to get the bad taste of the Nicholls embarrassment out of our collective mouths. Let’s talk about it and move on.

What Happened with Georgia

Beat Nicholls 26-24, and it was precisely that ugly. Who said Mark Richt was gone?

Okay, done.

What Happened with the SEC

  • 30 for 30: the Florida/Kentucky rivalry. This is a game played by unpaid 18-22 year-olds and an oblong football. 30 straight wins at ANYTHING is amazing.
    • Sidebar: Kentucky is a straight trash fire.
  • South Carolina’s SEC East lead was short-lived, huh? Mississippi State takes a commanding lead in the SEC West with a 27-14 win over the Cocks.
  • Tennessee beat Va Tech 45-24, but were they any good? Josh Dobbs threw for 91, Kamara and Hurd rushed for a combined 108…Tennessee has recovered 10 of 12 total fumbles in their two games this year. I bet that luck will even out.
  • LSU changed quarterbacks, Nick Saban was mad at a 28-point win over the defending CUSA champ, Ole Miss, A&M, Auburn, Vandy, and Mizzou beat hapless opponents.
  • Arkansas won a wild one against TCU, and it was the best game of the week. When you have a 6’10 O-lineman forcing overtime with a blocked kick, you get giffed.

What Else Was Fun

Got to start with the snark alert: Penn State lost a game to Pitt, who should not be their rival. Setting up the game this coming week in which they…honor Joe Paterno.

Get out of your asses and a little less tonedeaf, Penn State.

Beyond that…gotta be real with y’all. Did not get to watch much non-SEC/UNC football. Oklahoma State got hosed, weird things happened after midnight.

Back in an hour with some analysis on a much more fun week 3.

The Teams that Matter, Ranked

  1. Alabama…go Rebs.
  2. Florida State?? This ish could change by 2:30pm tomorrow.
  3. Ohio State.
  4. Houston. I’m watching them make me regret that pick right now.
  5. Michi…gahhhheffit. I used to like Michigan before Jim Harbaugh got there.
  6. Clemson, with some downward momentum. Like, a lot.
  7. Ole Miss…go Rebs.
  8. Stanford, who could lose 3 games in the next month.

I don’t think Tennessee, Michigan State, Texas, Louisville, Notre Dame, or Georgia merit mention here.

 

 

IMPORTANT SITE NOTE


Hold on a second. 

Life comes at you fast sometimes. The Georgia rush defense takes advantage of pathetic ‘box reads’ (giggity) by UNC’s QB, and thus doesn’t have to defend the run…then they have to play Nicholls.

We all needed to take a breath.

No worries, I promise content tomorrow.

I mean…when things are gross, there’s only one thing to do:

Georgia Football: What To Watch For vs. Nicholls State


With a solid week 1 win in hand, Georgia’s schedule sets up really nicely for the next two weeks.

The game against North Carolina, win or lose, ultimately meant nothing in Georgia reaching reasonable goals for the 2016 season, but a few things were established:

  • Nick Chubb is 100% and will be the workhorse going forward, all while Sony Michel got an extra week to rest;
  • The quarterback position may still be in a state of flux, but neither guy went out and LOST the job;
  • The defense is still a work in progress– the front seven was decent, but not great on Saturday. The secondary, however, proved it is closer to its 2015 performance vs. the numbers, not the competition it faced. That’s a great sign.

As such, the game against Nicholls State (and to a lesser extent, Mizzou, who probably couldn’t hang 20 on Buford High School right now) provide great opportunities for Georgia to establish some semblance of consistency going into the meat of the schedule.

Here’s what I want to see on Saturday against an overmatched opponent:

An Alabama-style beatdown

Here we go comparing the program to Alabama again. My apologies. The 52-20 wins over Buffalo, 45-21 over North Texas…they need to become a thing of the past. Under a new regime, I want to see every player who can reasonably call himself part of the future of Kirby Smart’s program face live bullets. I want to see Jacob Eason get enough snaps to where there’s comfort unleashing him into hostile environments, and allowing him to go out and win games if need be.

I want to see a defense get three-and-outs, swarm to the ball, and destroy an opponent’s will to live.

Yep, back to Eason

Andrew and I discussed it on the Week 1 pod, but Georgia’s ceiling can only be met if Jacob Eason steps forward as QB1. I was shocked to see Greyson Lambert go back in for victory formation on Saturday, but perhaps that was a wink and a nod to him for being good enough to win.

Now its time to bury him.

Take some deep shots early against Nicholls. Based on the results against Carolina, Eason is already the upside call (10.9 YPA to Lambert’s 6.8, three touchdown drives versus one) and Georgia needs to take the early ‘bye’ week to show the nation that he can compete on this level.

If nothing else, it gives defenses pause about loading up the box to try (and fail) to stop Nick Chubb.

Work the injured guys and young two-deep in a rhythm

Rico McGraw may have gotten Wally Pipped by Malcolm Smith on Saturday, but that’s fine. He’s a sophomore and needs reps. Sony Michel’s presence in the running game would be nice to give Chubb a breather, even with Brian Herrien looking damn good on Saturday.

On the defensive side, I liked what I saw from Roquan Smith and Natrez Patrick in their first extended LB duty. D’Andre Walker and David Marshall acquitted themselves well, too. Trent Thompson and Julian Rochester both played plenty of meaningful snaps on the DL.

Whereas this still serves as a honeymoon year for smart, getting the young guys meaningful reps and separating the future from the future transfers will allow Georgia to establish a baseline of excellence for legitimate title shots in 2017 and beyond.


After week 1, the Bulldogs are playing the next two games with house money. Time to double down and establish a core that will exceed expectations in 2016, and exceed the Richt standard beyond.

In that regard, yes, the Nicholls State game is very meaningful to the future of Georgia football.

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