I’ll be back with a vengeance tomorrow with a thorough recap of the game as well as a macro look at the season and where the Dawgs have been and could be headed.
But before I head off to church for what is really important I figured I’d post these thoughts as a bit of a recap of my personal thoughts and opinions.
1. The whole Shawn Williams thing worked. All week it seemed like something the media took and ran with – and I can’t say that I blame them. In a weird sick way I am the media (Football Writers Association of America, fools), and if I read those comments about another team it would have struck a chord. Ultimately, however, those comments were accurate and exactly what leaders on teams say. I played fairly competitive sports though high school and that type of commentary from a player was not uncommon. I think most who have experience on teams would agree. Bottom line: he called out the defense, and the defense responded.
2. That being said, Williams can’t take all of the credit for the defense’s performance. The defense wasn’t just intense/motivated/aggressive/engaged/whatever-you-wanna-call-it, the defense was prepared. The Bulldogs looked every bit as knowledgeable and intelligent in their spacing and points of attack as the looked capable of attacking. Hopefully you feel a little better about the Kentucky game now, as it was clear the defense was looking forward to this game, if not outright preparing for it.
3. Of course it helps the effort when you have Jarvis Jones on your team. Florida didn’t contain Jones any better than Missouri did in week two, and it’s downright terrifying that the Mizzou game was the last game he was fully healthy. When he’s healthy bad things happen for opposing offenses. Really bad things. You can’t match Jones’ stat line – 13 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries – on a video game. And for what it’s worth I sat down and watched Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o last night and I’d take Jones any day. Te’o is a tremendous player and blast to watch, but his impact on the game seemed intermittent, while Jones is an ever-present force- again, when healthy. Commentators called Te’o’s game (11 tackles, 1 sack and an INT) a potential Heisman moment. Jones may have missed to much time too enter that conversation, but a few more games like he had yesterday and he’ll be back on some lists.
4. Looking back at the game, however, several players had periods of absolute domination for the Bulldogs’ defense. Alec Ogletree dominated early and was in on every single tackle in the first quarter it seemed. Bacarri Rambo was lights out in the 2nd and 3rd quarters with the important pick to end the half and several huge hits. Damien Swann continued to impress and showed his athleticism. And, Jordan Jenkins had yet another fine game.
5. All of this was made possible by superior defensive line play. Garrison Smith, Kwame Geathers abd big John Jenkins all seemed relentless in pursuit. The most aggressive game they’ve played collectively this year.
6. Aaron Murray had a bad first half, and I’m sure I’ll spend more time on it tomorrow, but equally concerning to me this morning is that the receivers seemed to have had a second half that matched his first half. They weren’t looking for the football, they were dropping the football and on some cases were flat-out refusing to come back to the football – that’s just lazy. A slumping QB needs guys who can catch balls, even if the balls are slightly off-target. A lot of those were catchable.
7. Nonetheless, both sides of the passing game put it together when it mattered most and got things done in the fourth quarter. Aaron Murray’s statistical output won’t scream “clutch,” but the Dawgs last scoring drive saw Murray go four-for-six 80 yards. That is clutch.
8. I haven’t analyzed that charts, but I think Georgia by in large won the field position battle, something that on paper seemed to favor Florida heading into the game. Georgia’s punting game (for the most part) did what it needed to do, and Florida started a lot of possessions deep in their own territory.
9. Speaking of kickers, if Caleb Sturgis really is nicknamed “Thunderfoot,” has anybody coined the term “Leadfoot” for Jeff Driskel. I thought that guy was supposed to be mobile. What was that? He looked like he had the world’s heaviest ankle weights on.
10. Lastly, I’ll point out that over the last three of four seasons a lot of Georiga fans have been clamoring for a hot-headed, fire and brimstone style head coach to replace a placid Mark Richt. Florida got their hot-headed, fire and brimstone coach (CBS did a great job of showing us that!), and he is now 0-2 against the Bulldogs. I’m just sayin’.
As always, thanks for reading. Go Dawgs.
That’s all I got/
It’s game day and I’m not sure what else can be said that hasn’t already been said. In that spirit I figured I’d show you a few things, throw up some links and get ready for today’s live game blog.
Here is how Georgia’s offense stacks up to Florida’s Defense in a number of areas. The red bar shows Georgia’s averages against BCS opponents; the blue bar shows Florida’s averages surrendered against BCS opponents.
Here’s how things look for the Gators on offense against Grantham’s defense.
If you missed anything this week, or want to reference it when talking trash here’s an outline of this week’s Hate Week content:
- Is History on Georgia’s Side? A look at upsets in the Georgia Florida Rivalry.
- What are the numbers saying? A look at potential scores based on statistical performance this year.
- Reasons why Georgia is Better than Florida
- The Rest of the Conference During Hate Week
- Georgia / Florida Preview: From an honest-to-goodness Gator fan.
- Game Preview from DudeYouCrazy: Looking at all possible scenarios
- Live Blog During the Game: Please Join. Head to DudeYouCrazy.net before kickoff and get your mind blown.
That’s all I got/
I’m in a bit of a bind here as
millions thousands hundreds a few people stumble over to DudeYouCrazy.net looking for insight into this weekend’s Georgia/Florida game. If I lay out an argument for Georgia winning the game then I come off as a blind homer, even though I’ve bet against the Bulldogs before and I’ve typically been correct when doing so. On the other hand I really can’t build an argument for Georgia losing without stepping on everyone in the nation’s toes because frankly all of those arguments have been laid out thousands of times.
So, what’s a Dude to do? I’m going to explore the effect a loss to Florida would have on Georgia football and then I’m going to talk about how Georgia can win the game. I’ll conclude by disclosing which scenario I expect to play out. And you the reader will have to stick around to see if the title of this article was a big spoiler or a tease.
What Happens if Georgia Loses?
If Georgia loses this game the proverbial wheels come off the UGA bus that would have taken them to Atlanta in December. This will feel like an absolute nightmare scenario for Georgia fans due in no small part to these presiding factors:
- A loss to Florida always sucks.
- A loss that eliminates you from SEC East contention always sucks.
- All the bad “Losing to Good Teams” stats will still relevant and they’ll get piled onto by yet another loss.
- Georgia will have lost two games despite having a really easy layup of a schedule.
All of this will culminate with the vocal minority calling for Richt’s head (and maybe even his soul). The arguments above will all be valid, but they will not be put into any semblance of context. And, by context I mean things like the following:
- If Richt wasn’t fired after a losing season, or after following that losing season with two consecutive losses he’s not going to be fired in the middle (or after) his second consecutive 10-win season.
- Georgia will have just suffered a defeat to the team that the computers (and by then a lot of voters) believe to be the best in the nation. When you’re the best, you’re not supposed to lose.
- The over/under set be Las Vegas for Georgia was 9.5 wins. That line didn’t really move during the preseason. By winning 10 games Georgia would hit the over. The fact that the line didn’t move tells you just how hard it is to win 10 games in the SEC – even with a relatively soft schedule. Las Vegas isn’t in the business of losing money, a stable line implies equal action.
A loss will be devastating to the bigger, fancier goals of this season: division championship, run at SEC championship, BCS Bowl. And, it would certainly further cement Richt’s legacy as a coach who struggles to win the big game. But it would not ruin the program, end his career or otherwise have a prolonged negative effect – except for the ones created by fans.
I’m not making an excuse (and I think that will become abundantly clear as you keep reading), but a loss to the 2nd best team in the country isn’t anything to fire people over.
Can Georgia Win the Game?
Absolutely, unequivocally yes. To hear a large portion of the media and fans (both Florida and Georgia alike) the Gators have already won this game. The Gators’ résumé is better than Georgia’s – that much is undeniable – but from my very own biased standpoint people seem to selectively remember the great stuff Florida has done this year (and there has been a lot more than I’d like to admit) while forgetting some low points. Conversely, every negative related to the Bulldogs seems to be highlighted.
People seem to forget that this Florida team was tied with Bowling Green State University at “The Swamp” in the middle of the third quarter, opened the fourth quarter leading by only three and won by a final score of 27-14. Florida has improved and answered a lot of questions (especially on offense) since that time, but Bowling Green lost to Toledo by an almost identical score (30-15) three weeks later and followed that up with a 37 point lost to Virginia Tech.
Florida had a back-and-forth game with Tennessee (much like Georgia did) for three quarters before finally putting the Vols comfortably away. Similarly, the Gators were clinging to a 24-17 lead against Vanderbilt (you know, the team that lost to Georgia by a zillion points) with 2:30 left in the ball game. Those games are never referenced in a context outside of “those Gators sure are resilient late in games.” The story should be: how the hell was Vandy playing the Gators close…ever?
Florida certainly beat a good LSU team, but as I’ve said all year (even dating back to the preseason), I’m not sure that this is a great LSU team. The Tigers struggled to beat the worst team in the conference (Auburn) 12-10 and gave up 22 points to Towson the next week. Florida scored 14 points against LSU, a number that has been equaled or matched by North Texas, Idaho, Towson, South Carolina and Texas A&M. The Gators defense showed up in a big way by limiting LSU to 6 points, but LSU’s offense kind of sucks. In conference play Zach Mettsdkfewrberger and company are only averaging 16 points per game.
The Gators absolutely slapped the hell out of South Carolina last week, and I’m eternally grateful for that. But, if that game is played 10 more times you won’t find another score that lopsided and I think you’d find some that the Cocks won. In the same right if Georgia and South Carolina played 10 times you wouldn’t find the Cocks winning another one by 28 points. All the credit in the world goes to Florida for that win. They made huge play after huge play and finished off the Gamecocks the exact same way the Gamecocks finished off Georgia. But neither of those games is representative of who the three teams involved really are on a week-to-week basis. Florida looked much better than the norm, Georgia looked much worse, and somehow South Carolina managed to cover both ends of the spectrum.
On the Georgia side of things the Carolina loss is relied upon far too heavily as an “insight” into Georgia football. That was not Georgia football. This week the Doggy Downers are pissed about a bad showing at Kentucky, but if I was playing and I had Florida the next week you can just about guarantee you wouldn’t get my best game against Kentucky the week before. I think we should ignore that outing as well, I’m sure doing my best to!
Strengths on Strengths
Florida’s defense is undeniably stout and the strength of their football team. As I discussed earlier this week the Gators are holding opponents to a lot less than they typically average against BCS conference opposition. But, the Dawgs are also scoring a lot more than most opponents allow. This game will feature strength on strength as Aaron Murray and company go against the talented Gator defense.
Frankly, I think Florida’s defense is phenomenal, but it doesn’t necessarily scare me. I think Georgia has the weapons (even with out Michael Bennett) to move the ball against anybody in the country when in a position to play within their scheme and when they don’t shoot themselves in the foot (two conditions that weren’t met in South Carolina a few weeks ago). And if Murray can limit risky passes/bad decisions, I think the Dawgs can have some success against Florida.
Weakness on Weakness
What I like about this game is the matchup of Georgia’s defense on Florida’s offense. You’re smoking whatever the Honey Badger gave you if you think Georgia has lived up to its potential on the defensive side of the ball this season. I think you’re equally high if you don’t expect an improvement over the last stretch of the season. And maybe I’m also stoned, but I think the change could in fact (as Shawn Williams so forcefully implied) be factor of culture moreso than skill/capability. And if that is the case, the change could come quickly and it could come tomorrow.
Conversely Florida’s offense is not that impressive to me. If Mike Gillislee is so great why is he averaging a mere 4.7 yards per carry and why didn’t he receive more than 145 carries during his first three years in Gainesville? I’d welcome an answer from Gator fans.
The media is trying to make Jeff Driskel out to be a poor man’s Tim Tebow. In his defense, he hasn’t pushed that comparison and neither have Florida fans. Nonetheless, the truth of the matter is Jeff Driskel is closer to a poor man’s Connor Shaw than he is a poor man’s Tebow. He’s just not that good. Maybe he’s a dual-threat in theory, but when you’re only threatening to account for 179 yards of total offense per game, nobody is concerned with how many weapons you possess.
Florida’s offense ranks fifth…in the state of Florida. At 350.4 yards per game the Gators trail Florida International (392), South Florida (399), UCF (400), Miami (415) and Florida State (520). Their offense is the 24th worst in the nation. And as underperforming as Georgia’s defense has been, it still ranks in the top 50 in yards allowed.
Georgia Can Win
If you give Florida the edge on defense against Georgia’s offense (which I don’t know is necessarily a given) and the edge on Special Teams (which is undeniable), you’re still left with a terrible Gator offense taking on what has been an average defense and what could be an elite defense – potentially at the flip of a switch. The much-maligned Georgia defense can win this game for the Bulldogs.
Picking My Scenario
I wouldn’t be DudeYouCrazy if I didn’t do something a little bit crazy every once in a while. But, you wouldn’t keep reading if I was consistently wrong. I’m taking Georgia to win this football game (something I wouldn’t have done as recently as Tuesday) with a stellar defensive performance, and I’m hoping I’m not wrong – this week more than ever.
That’s all I got/
This Preview comes from my childhood best friend, Brett, who like me made every effort to avoid the Big Orange while growing up in East Tennessee. Unfortunately he settled for a different shade of orange and took to liking the Florida Gators. I asked him to write this piece because he is knowledgeable, a life-long Florida fan and because DudeYouCrazy is the Fox News of college football:
Conservative Fair and Balanced .
Brett’s From the Gut Prediction: Florida 19 (1 TD + 4 FGs) – Georgia 10 (However they can get it).
Cross that line. I dare you. Either of you.
Thoughts, Feelings, and Facts
World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party World’s Largest Outdoor Sobriety Gala in J-ville cannot and will not be forecasted by history, statistics, or the fact that Georgia boasts better ex-QB commercials, politicians, stadium names, or television alumni than Florida (per that DudeYouCrazy character). Therefore, I am not going to spit stats (maybe a few) about each player and previous games from this year in order to back up my subsequent beliefs. Believe it or not, the factors in determining the outcome of this college football extravaganza will be punting (which leads to field position) and kicking of the field goals. I know what you are thinking – man, that sounds super exciting! Well, I’m sorry to disintegrate (burst) your effervesce (bubble) (definitions for the GA folk), but Florida does not have the most notable offense and although Georgia can put up considerable numbers, mark my words – that will not happen Saturday in JAX.
Coming into Saturday’s earth-shattering matchup at 2nd and 1st in the nation in punting (here is one stat), Kyle Christy is averaging a colossal 47.9 yards per punt with a net of 44.42 yards (that’s 2 stats). This wouldn’t matter all too much if it weren’t for the fact that Florida punts a lot (seriously, 37 times this year, another stat) and has still managed to remain unbeaten. With an average of five or more punts per game and no doubt in my mind that it won’t be any different tomorrow, Kyle Christy will continue his hulk-like football punting and lead the Gators in triumph over the Bulldogs (<-not a typo, I went to college and refuse to spell it the Georgia way). I also lied about my spouting of stats, there’s more than a few (my apologies).
Sticking to the theme of overpowering the opponent with legs of steel, Caleb Sturgis (aka Thunderfoot) is the Gator that seems to never graduate (Dude’s Note: No Joke! Rip Van Winkle said that guy was playing before he went to sleep). Sturgis was granted a medical redshirt after missing the last nine games of the 2010 season. There’s not much else to say about Sturgis besides the fact that he is money and if this game comes down to a kicking contest between the 5th-year Thunderfoot and UGA’s frosh, I have a feeling the outcome will likely be in favor of the Gators.
Proving DudeYouCrazy Wrong While Making Him a Believer
Recently I tweeted @DudeYouCrazy, asking him what it would take to believe in this year’s Florida Gators. My tweet was as follows, “What’s it gonna take for @DudeYouCrazy to believe in the #Gators? Or at least think they’re a good team. USC who?” @DudeYouCrazy responded with, “@BG_33 I will either not believe or be terrified of them on Saturday evening. I’m hoping I still don’t believe!”
It seems that after every week of CFB, DudeYouCrazy’s recaps are filled with feelings of disgust for the Gators even though they continue to win. I’m guessing this is because of my continued attempts to turn him into a Gator fan throughout our childhood. As everyone can see, these attempts were smothered as he moved to Georgia and we became football enemies for this one-week out of the entire year. I’m thinking you’ll believe in something (whether it’s the Orange and Blue or Coach Boom) come 7:30 PM Saturday evening. In all honesty, I’m just hoping Georgia brings a little more competition than the Cocks did last week! Should be a fun little afternoon of football, natty light, and plenty of precisely cut jorts.
I’m a big fan of equilibrium. I think that things – for the most part – have a way of ultimately working themselves out and settling somewhere comfortable. I’m laissez-faire when it comes to the economy and I’m entirely too stress-free to an extent that some would say I “don’t take anything seriously” (you know who you are, jerk). I am this way because I think all things ultimately even out and what’s supposed to happen happens.
And that is exactly why Georgia will win this football game on Saturday. Georgia has an edge over Florida on so many levels that it just doesn’t make sense for Florida to continue to dominate the series. Let’s take a look.
Coaches of the Past
Florida’s two most legendary coaches are known around the nation for the following reasons:
- One is known for running his nasal, Urkel-esque mouth every chance he gets and deprecating his own team and quarterbacks to an extent that he appears to will them to lose late in the season. Yes, I’m talking about Steve Spurrier.
- The other is known for faking “sickness” to get out of a Florida job when the talent dried up and using his family as an excuse to “walk away” from the job because of “stress” only to return to a program in even more turmoil just one season later. Well done, Urban Meyer.
Georgia’s most legendary coach, Vince Dooley, is just known for being a nice guy who recruited Herschel Walker, won a lot of games, a few championships and possibly set the bar a little too high for Georgia fans. Take your pick.
Ex-QBs in Commercials
Florida Legend and the world’s most popular punt-blocker, Tim Tebow, appeared in this commercial in which he physically assaults his mother.
Former Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford appears in commercials that are actually funny – not offensive to mothers around the world.
The most famous Florida politician is best known for the phrase “Go Gatuh.” And she has also starred in videos like this one, entitled, “How Obamacare Helps All Americans.” I haven’t watched the whole thing because frankly I get bored when politicians have to read their notes word-for word. But I assume she is explaining how Obamacare helps the best football players in the nation based on the title. I will point out that she actually clarifies that “Obama” is referencing “President Barack Obama” at the 1:45 mark.
UGA was home to Zell Miller – the guy who brought the Lottery and affordable college education to the state. Go Gatuh!
Florida claims to play in the “Swamp.” That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. For all the things wrong with Boise State, at least they get it right in calling their field SmurfTurf because they are in fact playing on ground-up Smurfs that have been turned into turf. I’ve watched hundreds of games that were being played at “The Swamp,” not once has a player had to swim or trudge through even knee-deep water.
Georgia plays “Between the Hedges” because there are hedges on the sides of the field. The Bulldogs play in Sanford Stadium, because that is the name of the stadium.
Can you really trust a football program that lies about what surface they play on?
Coaches Playing History
Mark Richt played college football at Miami where he hated Florida. He then coached at Florida State where he hated Florida. Now he coaches at UGA where he hates Florida. Anybody think he likes the Gators?
Will Muschamp played for the University of Georgia. Are we sure he’s not undercover in Gainesville? He sure used to hate Florida. Poser.
Stereotypes usually exist for a reason. They may be exaggerated or otherwise embellished, but there’s usually a basis for their formation. Gator fans really do wear Jean Shorts and dress like white trash – not all of them, but most of them. I can specifically remember this exchange with a Florida fan (wearing jean shorts and a New York Giants jersey with cut-off sleeves, go figure) at the 2008 Georgia/Florida game as I wore seersucker pants (how classless of me!).
Gator: Guys, look at this Georgia fan! His pants look like Candy Canes!
Me: And you look like you’re homeless.
Me: Hey let me borrow the hammer that’s in the carpenter jeans you cut off.
Me: Did your mom get you those in middle school? It’s cool that you still wear them to honor her.
Me: Seriously, do you wear those year round or is this just to get me going?
The conversation ended – I kid you not – as he pulled out two Black & Milds and lit them simultaneously with a NASCAR Zippo lighter.
These folks bring a whole new meaning to the term “Swamp People.”
Florida is the sixth most-American college according to an expert who cross-referenced preseason football rankings and party school rankings. Georgia is America’s most American school. That has to count for something, since we’re in America and all.
Gators Are Lame
The scientific name for the American Alligator is the Alligator mississippiensis. If you can pronounce the second part of that scientific name without using the scientific name for a certain part of a male’s anatomy, then you are a better man than I.
Also, Alligators used to be endangered, which means they needed a bunch of hippy, weirdo tree-huggers to come in and say, “No, no, no! Danger! Please don’t hurt this ferocious animal with all these teeth! No! Where’s my hackysack?!?!?!?” That’s pretty tough. I wish my school had a mascot named after something hippies love. The University of Georgia Clove Cigarettes has a nice ring to hit. So does the University of Georgia Fighting Pacifists.
This is Florida dancing on CBS.
This is Georgia dancing on CBS.
Oh, and this is also Georgia dancing on CBS.
Erin Andrews, who was so good at her job at ESPN that they chose not to renew her contract, is the University of Florida’s most-famous television personality. She is famous for being the most attractive sports personality around, which when you say it, really isn’t all that impressive. Let’s put it this way: You don’t get a lot of credit for being the most athletic guy on the math team; I’m not sure you deserve much for being the best looking woman reporting on sports.
Kyle Chandler attended the University of Georgia. He went on to predict the future through a newspaper and coach the best darn high school football team the state of Texas has ever seen, and he won an Emmy for doing it. That’s talent.
With all these egregious shortcomings by the University of Florida I refuse to believe that the Gators will continue to dominate this rivalry. They’re too bad for that.
That’s all I got/