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September 15, 2014

Tennessee vs. Georgia kickoff time set for noon kickoff

To be shown on ESPN.

Full SEC schedule for September 27:
TIME (ET)EVENTNETWORK
12:00 pm ET / 11:00 am CTTennessee at GeorgiaESPN
12:00 pm ET / 11:00 am CTVanderbilt at KentuckySEC Network
3:30 pm ET / 2:30 pm CTTexas A&M vs. ArkansasCBS
4:00 pm ET / 3:00 pm CTLouisiana Tech at AuburnSEC Network
7:00 pm ET / 6:00 pm CTMissouri at South CarolinaESPN
7:30 pm ET / 6:30 pm CTNew Mexico State at LSUSEC Network
7:30 pm ET / 6:30 pm CTMemphis at Ole MissFSN

That loss to South Carolina cost us a 7:30 ESPN kickoff, IMHO.

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- Tennessee tickets available

First and goal play calling: Always give Gurley the...

I've been pretty clear on what I think about the play action call. It wasn't a wrong call, it was bad execution and a bad result. Be honest with yourself, if that play works, and I'll get to it not working in a second, would you be willing to give Bobo credit for having the guts to make a call that worked by using Gurley as a decoy?

I agree with Cory Brinson. It was a play that got blown up because South Carolina's DE did his job (and reviewing it, it is possible Theus didn't do his or Mason didn't check into a protection package to cover the DE). The outcome of the drive was as much dictated by the terrible grounding as the play call:
The OUTCOME made this a bad call. The fact that the refs blew the grounding call made this a bad call. The result put us out of position to do what we would have wanted to do the next 2 plays, which would have been ramming Gurley down their throats. But, it didn't happen.
Any question what happens on 2nd down there if we aren't on the 14?

Hey, it's cool to bash Bobo and all the cool kids are doing it, but be honest about why you are doing it. If you just like blaming Bobo for all our ills, fine. Be honest about that. But also be honest about why we lost to South Carolina.

Mike Bobo's offense didn't allow Dylan Thompson to hit 70% of his passes for 3 TDs, while consistently failing to get pressure in the middle or from the edge. And he didn't call the double wide safeties that allowed seam routes unfettered access to the end zone at times. He didn't make up a holding call on a 54 yard TD run. He didn't miss two FGs. He didn't coach the kickoff receiving team that looked like the keystone cops.

That play is an easy lighting rod for second guessing, but at best, it is an easy place for a simplistic one liner reason for the loss. One last honesty time question: If we'd have run Gurley there and they stop him four times because they had ten in the box, would you still be in blame Bobo mode for not doing something to leverage them keying on Gurley for at least one play?
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See also:
- What sucks most about Saturday night's loss (Blutarsky)
- Richt to discuss calls with SEC officials (Emerson, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer)

SEC Power Poll Ballot, Week Three

  1. Alabama: Sims is getting comfortable with handing the ball off, which means Saban will have to tackle Kiffin at some point Saturday to stop him from throwing down field on all downs.
  2. Texas A&M: Who needs defense when you can score 40 at will?
  3. Auburn: Least inspiring off week of the year, but there is still time for an arrest before a trip to Kansas State Thursday night.
  4. LSU: As long as the Tigers let Fournette grind out 5ypc they'll be fine. Can they let him?
  5. Georgia: As long as Gurley is healthy, it won't be 2013 redux despite a defense that has the potential to be either great or mediocre. Come to think of it, that is another reason it won't be 2013 redux.
  6. South Carolina: The Gamecocks feel like the 2013 Georgia Bulldogs. The key to not being 8-5 will be finding ways to outscore opponents.
  7. Ole Miss: I'm still not convinced the Rebels are the real deal. While I'd love to go to Tunica with Dr. Bo, I'd hate to have him starting at QB vs. a competent SEC defense.
  8. Missouri: Chopping wood seems to be Mizzou's game plan. That got them a division title last year.
  9. Mississippi State: Still dinging them for the UAB game might not be fair, but it is what we do in the middle.
  10. Arkansas: Hardest team of the week to place. Texas Tech hasn't looked great, but a road win against a Big 12 team is still nothing to sneeze at.
  11. Florida: Beneficiary of home cooking calls to avoid having JoJo Kemp's words be more prophetic than hubris is no way to go through life, son.
  12. Kentucky: Good job. Good effort.
  13. Tennessee: Avoided a slaughter on the road to Oklahoma might be the nicest thing you can say about the Vols so far this season.
  14. Vandy: Vandy gets their one win.

September 14, 2014

Notes on the extremely irrelevant: Polls week three

Dawgs don't drop as far as I thought. 13 in AP, 14 in USA Today.

So there is that...
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Will Friend hotseat

I have to ask, is there any serious talk about Will Friend's job? After Clemson, and taking the Gamecock's performance against A&M and East Carolina into account, did you think we'd get pushed around by their defensive front?

We are back to the inconsistent play we saw all of last season. I can only recall two plays where anyone got a strong down field block. Andrews had a gem of a block to seal the corner of the tunnel for Sony Michel on his TD. I can't recall who took out the LB (Theus, maybe) on the Gurley TD that was called back. Maybe there was some down field push on Hicks' long run, but that's it.

And if you are going to run a play action screen, someone has to slow that DE down some. Speaking of that play, if you were to put Bobo in the corner, he'd admit that play was at least partially a concession that he didn't think his offensive line could give Todd Gurley the room he needed on a first down play that everyone thought Todd Gurley would get the ball on.

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Sunday Morning Comes: South Carolina

* I get the Bobo anger about the last series, but why is everyone giving the defense a pass?
* The 'Spurrier saves his best game for Georgia' theme is alive. We didn't do much to keep them out of what they wanted to do. Especially passing the ball.
* Pruitt has some work to do in learning how to adjust this defense on the fly. The last two Gamecock TD passes were gifts thanks to matchups.
* This is the defense we thought we had.
* I'll have to rewatch the game, but I didn't think the offensive pay calling was terrible. The play action call late was not bad, if you think about it.
* Speaking of, the execution on that play was as bad as it could have been. Putting aside the penalty, the play action was so ridiculously over acted that no one bit. Then Mason panicked.
* Can't figure the next plays out, though. That's where cute Bobo showed up.
* Officiating. Just officiating.
* Anybody know where the run blocking went? Thinking about it, that might be the reason cute Bobo showed up.
* Special teams weren't great, but if we didn't think they were going to kick to Gurley, why hadn't we at least discussed how to handle kicks that didn't go to him?
* Neither of the FG misses were ugly kicks. Sometimes college kickers happen.
One last thing, this is the team we thought we had before the Clemson game. Mason was 16/22 for about 200 yards and two TDs. We ran for over 200 more. The defense looked like a young defense playing in a hostile stadium. We weren't particularly competent against the pass or run. If we had scored on that last drive to win, the issues we have in our secondary and with middle pass plays would still be there.

The upside is we have plenty of time and room to grow. Looking around the East, I still don't see a team that is better positioned to go to Atlanta than us. That becomes more so if we find a deep passing game.
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September 13, 2014

Oh God, my head

So many reasons to hate tonight. Hope no one's place gets egged. If you want to blame someone, don't forget to put Pruitt on your list.

The good news is Pruitt will likely blame himself in a heartbeat.
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Final South Carolina thoughts*

We are a team without Murray and that defense from 2012, playing a team without Shaw, Lattimore, Ace Sanders. Oh, and Clowney and all those jokers from that defense.  Other than the game being played in not Athens, is there any reason to think this game doesn't come down to South Carolina taking on and stopping Bobo's attempts to do what he does, which is figure out how to exploit your defensive weaknesses and use his newest crayon to draw plays on the fly to beat you?

All (mostly) kidding aside, I think we see a lot of what we saw in the first possession against Clemson. We'll likely tempo them early to test their ability to handle multiple sets on the fly. If Texas A&M and ECU taught us anything about South Carolina's defense, they are susceptible to offenses that don't give them time to regroup. If that is the case, even if Mason isn't dead on sharp, it provides tough decisions for South Carolina in focusing on our rushing offense.

The math there is simple: Georgia has a decent to very good rushing offense. How good remains to be seen, but if the Clemson game is a template, the we are very, very good. That being said, South Carolina either has to bring LBs up or trust their defensive line to handle what Will Friend's line throws at them, while trying to tackle some pretty good runners. To date, South Carolina hasn't been great at doing that, giving up over five yards per carry.

Then you have to factor in how to cover Rome/Hicks/Blazevich if you do bring up LBs in run support. One of those guys with a two step head of steam is a mismatch on any DB.

For my money, I don't think we'll do anything fancy, save a couple of plays that will riff of that toss sweep that Lorenzo Ward has burned into his defenses' brains by now. Honestly, why would we?

Defensively, it is hard to imagine Pruitt doesn't blitz the crap out of Thompson eventually. Yes, Mike Davis is a concern. Yes, South Carolina has the theoretical ability to sling the ball all over. Yes, we remain very young in the defensive backfield. I don't think we'll pin our ears back first out of the gate, though I'd love to see us blitz on the kickoff. I do think we'll work pressure from different areas than we saw against Clemson.

From a priority stand point, I believe we have to get Thompson out of his comfort zone. To do that, we have to make the Gamecocks put the game on his shoulders, while taking away his home run plays. That means keeping Davis in check, while bringing unexpected pressure in the backfield.

If you think about it, that is exactly how Texas A&M did them.

TD
*unless, of course, I have more thoughts

September 12, 2014

All the Awesome: Lane Kiffin edition

@FastLaneSports: It appears someone has hacked Alabama's athletics website and changed Lane Kiffin's bio. My day has been made. http://twitter.com/FastLaneSports/status/510466146861346816/photo/1 Shared via TweetCaster

Thank you Al Gore for the Internets.
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Manhood robbing drives: Texas A&M edition

I realize it was against a team that they have dominated for the whole game, but I'd forgotten about this gem from the Texas A&M vs. South Carolina game:
Texas A&M at 10:05TA&MUSC
1st and 10 at TA&M 19Brandon Williams run for 3 yds to the TexAM 225228
2nd and 7 at TA&M 22Kenny Hill pass incomplete to Malcome Kennedy
3rd and 7 at TA&M 22Kenny Hill pass complete to Edward Pope for 31 yds to the SCaro 47 for a 1ST down
1st and 10 at SC 47TEXAS A&M Penalty, Unsportsmanlike Conduct (Edward Pope) to the TexAM 38
1st and 10 at TA&M 38Kenny Hill pass complete to Boone Niederhofer for 4 yds to the TexAM 42
2nd and 6 at TA&M 42SOUTH CAROLINA Penalty, Defensive Offside (5 Yards) to the TexAM 47
2nd and 1 at TA&M 47Tra Carson run for 3 yds to the 50 yard line for a 1ST down
1st and 10 at 50Kenny Hill pass complete to Boone Niederhofer for 5 yds to the SCaro 45
2nd and 5 at SC 45Trey Williams run for 7 yds to the SCaro 38 for a 1ST down
1st and 10 at SC 38Trey Williams run for 2 yds to the SCaro 36
2nd and 8 at SC 36Kenny Hill pass complete to Boone Niederhofer for 9 yds to the SCaro 27 for a 1ST down
1st and 10 at SC 27Kenny Hill pass incomplete to LaQuvionte Gonzalez
2nd and 10 at SC 27Brandon Williams run for a loss of 1 yard to the SCaro 28
3rd and 11 at SC 28Kenny Hill pass complete to Frank Iheanacho for 10 yds to the SCaro 18
4th and 1 at SC 18Brandon Williams run for 3 yds to the SCaro 15 for a 1ST down
1st and 10 at SC 15Brandon Williams run for 3 yds to the SCaro 12
2nd and 7 at SC 12Trey Williams run for 3 yds to the SCaro 9
3rd and 4 at SC 9Trey Williams run for 3 yds to the SCaro 6
4th and 1 at SC 6Trey Williams run for 3 yds to the SCaro 3 for a 1ST down
End of 4th Quarter
TA&M DRIVE TOTALS: 17 plays, 78 yards, 10:05

A&M got the ball back from the Gamecocks on their own 19 after forcing a 4 and out. They then proceeded to kill the last 10:05 of the clock with a mixture of passes and runs, including going for it on 4th and one. That is nearly a mirror image of Georgia's game ending 8+ minute drive against South Carolina last season.

If the Dawgs can push tempo early and wear out the Gamcock defense, something like this drive sheet would be how I'd imaging the game ending tomorrow.
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See also:

Saturday Weather in Columbia

Wonder which team has the tools to handle rain? Bros, I hate that you are going to tailgate on the back lot of the studio that they shot Mad Max at while wet.

SatSep 13

T-Storms
86°
72°
T-Storms
CHANCE OF RAIN:
80%
 
WIND:
SSE at 5 mph

Friday Morning Meltdown: South Carolina

I'm ok with still doing it.
  • It's Columbia. We can't score points there.
  • Mike Davis: Heisman Contender
  • Steve Spurrier has been sand bagging the whole world to humiliate UGA. The man is the master of the long con.
  • Clemson is really not very good and we were the beneficiary. Conversely, Clemson is good, but just had a bad game.
  • Todd Gurley's ankle.
  • Georgia's offensive line isn't ready for Warddefense 2.0.
  • Hutson Mason looks like Aaron Murray did on October 6, 2012.
  • The defense regresses. A bunch.
  • Hatin' ass Spurrier press conference with a smirk.
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Gurley and the Heisman

Folks are betting up Gurley. From Bovada's Sport Book Mangager, Kevin Bradley:
"While we are more likely to move off money and adjust to betting trends with something like the Heisman because of the subjectivity of it all and how it is not as mathematical as some of the other props we offer, that said, to move a Heisman candidate this much in two days is very unusual."
 NCAA 2014-2015 Season - Odds to win the Heisman Trophy (Players in red have longer odds, players in blue have shorter odds, and players in black stayed the same)      
                                                              Odds on 9/2/14    Odds on 9/9/14    Current Odds   
Todd Gurley (RB Georgia)                     7/1                             7/1                              5/1
Marcus Mariota (QB Oregon)               11/2                           11/2                            11/2
Kenny Hill (QB Texas A&M)                16/1                           15/2                            15/2
Jameis Winston (QB Florida State)      11/2                           15/2                              8/1

No idea if this is a few big bets or many smaller bets, but for a bet that has usually has this kind of action, that is quite the move in two days.
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3 Questions: South Carolina


  1. Will Hutson Mason get back on the same page as his receivers? Mason was three throws from 21 for 26 and 200 yards. He and his receivers weren't together. I'm not sure why, but they were not on the same page. Clemson's defense is built differently than South Carolina's, but if we get forced into being one dimensional, we help them out and go away from attacking their weakest spot defensively. 
  2. How many yards will Georgia running backs not named Gurley gain? The easy money is on Gurley going ham. That is what the national media and Vegas think. Don't get me wrong, it'd be criminal if he doesn't get 20+ touches, but South Carolina is looking for that. I'd expect another RB to get some big time touches, because that is when we'll have a more advantageous rushing situations. One or more go off like Chubb did last week, I feel ok with our chances?
  3. Will our defense stand up to Spurrier's best work? We can make fun, and act like it doesn't matter to us, but this games means so much Spurrier. He's going to pull out all the stops.
I'm torn about how the game goes. I want to say we win based on positional match ups, but that hasn't mattered, especially in Columbia, in a while.
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September 11, 2014

Georgia Tech vs. Georgia Southern

Stingtalk to the rescue.


 
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