Category Archives: Georgia Bulldogs

Let’s Hope It’s Not Like Georgia’s Last Liberty Bowl: A TCU Preview


At least its not Shreveport!

Georgia’s disappointing first season under Kirby Smart will end up in a disappointing location (Memphis) against a disappointing opponent (TCU) in a disappointing time slot (noon). Can the Dawgs salvage anything and get the way-too-real ‘bowl bump’ into next year’s preseason top 25?

MAYBE!

TCU was considered a darkhorse CFP contender before the season. Then, Gary Patterson’s defense straight up broke, Kenny Hill was Kenny Hill (decidedly NOT Kenny Trill), and the explosive offense of Trevone Boykin’s heyday seemed a distant memory.

In 2014, the Horned Frogs made a surprise run to CFP contention, likely missing out only because the Big XII failed to declare them or Baylor champions. Their scoring margin was a ridiculous 46.5-19.0. After slight regression in 2015, they collapsed to 31.7-27.8 this year. They had two ‘complete’ performances, both in November: a 62-22 cathartic rout at Baylor, and a Charlie Strong-killing 31-9 win at Texas. Each win was followed with a home loss in which the Horned Frogs scored exactly 6 points.

To say this team is bipolar is a stretch– they’re just not very good. They gave up 41 points to South Dakota St., lost to Texas Tech, only beat Kansas by 1, and suffered three blowout losses (WVU, Oklahoma St., Kansas St.). The losses of Boykin and Josh Dotcson slowed what was a devastating offense, and Patterson’s 3-3-5 defense finally succumbed to being a Big XII defense.

Offense

Doug Meachem and Sonny Cumbie are co-OC’s, and come from the now-cliche Baylor coaching tree. TCU likes to spread it out and create mismatches in space, pretty much the M.O. for any Baylor coaching tree Big XII offense. Their iteration relies on a dual-threat quarterback who is accurate and efficient, which Kenny Hill is not. The ex-Texas A&M Heisman candidate completed 61% of his passes–decent, not great– but threw 13 interceptions to 15 TD’s. Dominick Sanders and the secondary should be able to turn him over a couple of times.

He was better on the ground, averaging right at 5 yards per carry in tandem with Kyle Hicks, who wasn’t super-explosive compared to backs past. He also averaged 5 yards per carry, but wasn’t particularly efficient or explosive. The Frogs do have four other backs who will get touches, including freshmen Darius Anderson and Sino Oloniula, both of whom averaged at least 8 (!) yards per touch.

The receiving corps is also just a bunch of dudes, as only Hicks and leading receiver Taj Williams averaged over 3 catches per game. True to Baylor offense form, they spread the ball out a ton, just not very effectively.

The advantage here goes to Georgia, as they should be able to condense the field against a not-very-vertical passing offense with the most talented D TCU has faced this year.

Defense

Like I said, probably Patterson’s worst. There are some names that I recognize from years past still roaming the field, notably DE Josh Carraway (12 TFL, 8 sacks), LB Travin Howard (125 tackles), and DB’s Nick Orr and Denzel Johnson. Carraway is an NFL talent, Johnson is a box safety who helped TCUs run D not fall off the map– they only gave up 4.1 yards per carry.

Opponent passer rating has crept up since an anomalous 2011 season (130+). Besides that year, 2016 represents Patterson’s WORST pass defense, as they recovered from ’11 to go 115, 108, 106, 112…and up to 127 this year. If Jacob Eason can find intermediate routes early, it will open room for Chubb and the boys to do work on the ground, and Riley Ridley et al to find holes downfield. Actually, I’ll go ahead and call that the key to making this a Georgia blowout versus a close win: the intermediate passing game early.

Advantage Georgia here, again. Think a North Carolina or Missouri-level defense, with a month to prepare.

Special Teams

I’m not breaking this down. Instead, I will give you the biggest joy to watch in this matchup, college football’s sweatiest man Gary Patterson.

Recall, if you will, the magic of Gary’s immaculate sweat. In last year’s Alamo Bowl, Patterson changed shirts out of necessity (or maybe superstition, but that’s a hindsight call and thus not applicable) down 31-0 against Oregon. In what was the best comeback I’ve ever seen, TCU stormed back behind Gary’s purple shirt and beat Oregon 45-38 in OT.


So, yeah. This is a blah matchup to cap off a blah season. As long as it doesn’t resemble Georgia’s last Liberty Bowl, we’re good right?

Georgia Beat Auburn. What the Hell Happened?


That was fun.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Let’s start with that, as it is a perfect (albeit more entertaining than much of the game itself) portrayal of Saturday’s 13-7 win between the hedges. Now that you’re ready to run through a brick wall, let’s dive into it.

FRESH HELL, DEFENSE, WHAT WAS THAT?!?!

Auburn entered the Georgia game third in the nation in rushing, at 300 yards per game. Auburn finished Saturday’s game with 164 yards TOTAL. Last I checked in with y’all, I was of the mindset that Auburn would march up and down the field on Georgia’s young (but talented) front. Put it this way: Auburn ran for 543 yards against Arkansas, who allowed 12 versus Florida. While Florida ran for a pedestrian 100 against the Dawgs, pure transitive projection states that we should’ve expected the Barn to hit 4,525 yards on Saturday.

Everyone simply did their job and played perfect assignment football in this game. Trent Thompson and Jon Ledbetter got pressure up the middle, Roquan Smith, Davin Bellamy, and Reggie Carter cleaned up anything the front couldn’t handle, and Malkolm Parrish had an outstanding game making plays in space. When you can force Auburn largely out of its initial read and force Sean White to beat you with his arm, good things can happen.

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished.

If I had the technology (or the time) I’d love to go back and show y’all some GIF’s of what made this performance so great. In true 2011 Alabama fashion, Georgia was able to constrict the field with great consistency. That only happens against inept offenses or when everyone is winning their 1-on-1’s. Mad props to EVERYONE associated with the defensive gameplan.

OFFENSE: A WORK IN PROGRESS

Effeciency? Check.

Big plays? Check, with the caveat that a few were called back.

Mistakes? OH YEAH I’D SAY THERE WAS ONE, TERRY GODWIN.

Even though 6 points is nothing to be super proud of, the Georgia offense was consistent in moving the ball and allowing the defense to have the performance stated above. Besides bookend three-and-outs to end the 2nd and start the 3rd…there were no three-and-outs by the Georgia offense. That’s amazing progress. The running game was able to sustainably get forward progress and allow Jacob Eason to not throw out of 3rd-and-12, as had become the norm. And Eason played his most composed game of the season. I think we’re going to grow to enjoy his scramble drill bombs over the next two years– his deep sideline throws to Riley Ridley and Javon Wims were electrifying.

The offensive line came through with their most consistent performance, and did so against the most talented defensive line they’ll face. Props to them.

4,51 yards per play won’t win you a ton of games, but when you can do it and play keep away (can’t say I saw this offense running 76 plays against anyone) you give yourself a chance.

RODRECSPECS DA GAWD

That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

Go Dawgs.

Georgia Fans: Help Dudes Who Are Helping Dudes Help Dudes


Dude Emeritus here, back from the dead to grow some whiskers.

I can’t grow facial hair. There. I said it. But in the spirit of raising some cash for men’s health issues I’m doing the whole #Movember thing. This is all about dudes helping dudes help dudes.

The crew from my day job is doing a contest, and I really don’t want to lose to a bunch of Big 10 and Pac-12 amateurs in my office. So show me some love by donating to the cause (not to me…just to my fundraiser). In exchange, I promise daily updates on my facial hair non-progress.

 

Day 1:

day-1

 

Day 2:

day-2-blog

 

Day 3:

day-3-blog

 

And as you can tell by this video, I’ve been really working over-time on that beard.

 

Thanks for your consideration.

 

DONATE HERE.

 

And, because Chad is horrible at deadlines, we should mention he is running a similar campaign in via his real estate business.

Essentially, the idea is this: call him with a ready-to-go client referral, and he donates in your name. $100 in the Charlotte, NC area, $25 literally ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD.

No contests here, but he wants to at least beat the last two years’ combined total of just over $500.

Donate your own money here, or contact Chad at chadfloyd@kw.com to connect him with someone in need of help buying, selling, or investing in property.

His selfie game is not nearly as strong, but his beard game is electric. Watch out for this one, folks.
nsn-nov3

Georgia Football: Can November Be Salvaged?


I don’t need to break down, again, why this is a lost season.

HEY!

Our young Bulldogs are a trash football team. Andrew and I said it many times on the podcast leading into the team’s rough October, but just remember: Nick Saban’s first Alabama team went 6-6 *whispers “its the process” in a creepy voice*. Enjoy the rebuilding effort, ignore the fact that we didn’t necessarily have to rebuild, and let’s ride on.

With Georgia now sitting at 4-4, however, the question becomes “how bad can it get?” and “does Georgia miss a bowl game?”, unthinkable results even as we had all the warning signs of a lucky football team through September. Let’s take a look at the path to 6-6.

Saturday: at Kentucky

A “mea culpa” from myself and literally every other person who watches college football intently is in order here. We buried Mark Stoops after season-opening losses to Southern Miss and Florida, and they’ve been competent ever sense. They beat South Carolina (which Tennessee didn’t do). They kept the Alabama game within 30 (which Tennessee didn’t do). At 4-2, we’re talking about a Kentucky team that has an outside chance, with some help from Florida’s opponents, of winning the SEC East.*

* – BIG BOLD DISCLAIMER: THE SEC EAST IS ABSOLUTE TRASH, Y’ALL

The change for Kentucky? A more run-heavy approach. After thinking for the first month that they were back in the Hal Mumme era, Eddie Gran reset around ‘backs Ben Snell, Jr. and Boom Williams and has gotten marvelous results. The two split touches almost evenly. Williams is averaging 7.53 yards per carry and Snell is finishing drives with 8 TD’s.

UK is not too efficient in the passing game, and will not wow you on defense (though they will create some havoc plays). Georgia SHOULD be the favorite here, selling out on the run and hopefully finding some success with…anything on offense.

Odds: Georgia 55%. Pick: Georgia, 23-21

11/12: Auburn

So Auburn forgot they were supposed to get Gus Malzahn fired, and are a legitimate top-10 team right now.

Their defense is ferocious, and their offense should be able to spit out rushing yards against Georgia.

Hate it.

Odds: Georgia 7%. Pick Auburn, 44-14.

11/19 LaFayette

We learned with Nicholls not to take anything for granted. I hope. With Georgia hopefully at 5 wins, a snoozer to get to bowl eligibility would be great.

LaFayette is great against the run (just over 3 YPC against terrible competition) but can’t run the ball at all. Jacob Eason needs to be on (no guarantee) in this one, because their pass defense is a glaring weakness.

Odds: Georgia 80% (I mean, right?) Pick: Georgia, 38-13

11/26 Tech

As excited as I am about putting the final nail in Paul Johnson’s coffin, I’m thinking that won’t be the case because Paul Johnson has the best agent on the planet, and his contract is fully guaranteed.

I know nothing about Kirby Smart and Mel Tucker’s experience versus the option, and that scares me a little bit. Conversely, Georgia has seemed to have more success than anyone outside of Clemson shutting down the Bees historically, and I like that to continue.

The Tech defense is rough. They don’t get pressure (happy feet Eason may create it on his own by this point), they don’t make tackles for loss, and they don’t…do much of anything well on that side.

We know this game is always wonky, but talent and pride will hopefully prevail.

Odds: Georgia 68%. Pick: Georgia 27-21


At this point, I’m taking a 2-2 November for extra bowl prep reps and running with it. Somehow, I get the feeling that, despite my picks above, that’s the most likely scenario.

3-1 to get to 7 wins is a depressing reality in Year Zero of the Kirby era, but getting them against this group would show some progress from a team that has regressed since the beginning of the season.

Georgia/Florida: Where Predictions are Useless


Oh hey! We don’t know what happened, but for some reason the WordPress server hasn’t accepted any of our posts since October 15 or so…

Its that time of year again. The one where jean shorts, puking strangers, and creative drinking reign supreme. Where the quality of the game itself is inversely correlated its stakes. Where, for Georgia fans not born on the I-95 corridor, noses get very sensitive to storm drains, paper factories, and the nastiness of the state of Florida.

Seriously, going to The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party* is a feat in alcoholism and conditions that would make the Brazil Olympics blush. Why do it? Because you have NO idea what’s going to happen.

*- yes, it’ll always be the cocktail party.

Florida is a 7.5-point favorite in this year’s iteration, an alarmingly comforting number for the Georgia fan still reeling (as our entire website is) from the inexcusable Vandy loss. 7.5 points is two turnovers, a miracle at Mizzou, or patented Georgia/Florida weirdness away from a Georgia upset. And I’m calling for it now, because this rivalry is just stupid enough to lend itself to that result.

So how, stupid blogger-by-night sportswriter that I am, come up with such a pick?

  1. Georgia wins turnovers. Luke Del Rio is at his third university. Austin Appleby couldn’t cut it at Purdue. Georgia’s defense, meanwhile? Pretty damn good! Sell out against the run, pressure the quarterbacks, and force them to beat Georgia’s ballhawking DB’s 1-on-1. Or, any one of Lorenzo Carter/Natrez Patrick/Roquan Smith/Davin Bellamy/D’Andre Walker could go all Jarvis on it. For review:
  2. Which means, don’t turn the ball over. Florida’s defense is, outside of Ann Arbor and Tuscaloosa, probably the best in the country. Their secondary may be the best now that Eddie Jackson is out at Alabama. So, do what the Jim Chaney offense has been incredibly adept at: playing way too conservatively, running our running backs’ heads into a brick wall, and finding creative ways to get Isaiah McKenzie the ball in space. 250 yards and some well-executed punts are all we need.
  3. The special teams gods still owe us. Self-explanatory.

Convinced yet? No? Good. Neither am I. Try explaining the run massacre of 2014, the decision to start Faton Bauta last year (and run him exactly twice), or the game in 2013 becoming close.

Georgia could win this on safeties and field goals…or some karmic interference from Florida stonewalling LSU and causing 10 days of handwringing throughout the SEC.

For some reason that defies even the shaky logic presented above, I think they will.

%d bloggers like this: