Monday, December 26, 2011

Caleb King to play for Vikings

Yes, it's official - Caleb King is better than a one-legged Adrian Peterson. Peterson tore both his ACL and MCL this week, and former Dawg Caleb King has been signed to take his roster spot.

Good luck, Caleb.

Go Dawgs.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas, Dawgfans!

Sending a hearty Merry Christmas out there to all of the readers who stop by the page. Thank you so much for giving me a forum in which to express my thoughts, and for being responsive to them as well. I feel blessed to be a contributor, and honored that you continue to be entertained and informed by what I do.

Merry Christmas, and may the Dawg New Year be a very very happy one!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

For Mr Sanchez, who doesn't believe I am Me...

Mr. Sanchez has now suggested that I am an internet fraud, that I am holding myself out to be "Ben Dukes" while in fact, not being who I say I am.

Now, while it's true that I could grab photos of "Ben Dukes" from the web, from "his" facebook (, from "his" website (, from "his" youtube (; and while I could do research on "him", and maybe get a few facts wrong and thus do a poor job of pretending to be "Ben Dukes" while not being "Ben Dukes",

I doubt I could find this picture posted anywhere unless I made it myself:

oops. Guess that's me.

Go Dawgs.

A note on blog censorship...

A couple of days ago, my lil blog was visited by good ol "Mr Sanchez" of Sports and Grits infamy. Now, he apparently took some offense to my mention of their blog in a recent post, when I "implied" that perhaps their blog sometimes utilizes catchy headlines and then fails to deliver with a quality post, or indeed one which even has any real bearing on the title.

I didn't mean to imply this...I meant to say it outright. There's no secret that the S&G boys and I don't see quite eye to eye on many things. Mainly we don't see eye to eye on their apparent thought that it is best to be incendiary as opposed to sensible. Then again, I've been waging the war against idiocy in sports-fandom for some time now, and am fully aware that it is a war that can not be won.

Anyway, I have received a few emails and texts about the back-and-forth between myself and Mr Sanchez, mostly because a few of his posts are missing, having been deleted by the author (Mr Sanchez himself). Now, I was unaware these posts had been deleted, as I am informed via email when posts are made, but not when they are removed. So, I was a bit shocked to learn that he removed them. I don't like censorship - even self-inflicted. So, for those who is the back-and-forth, in its entirety (posted as Comments to my blog, "All 21 of Georgia's Missed Opportunities":

So many clicks. I guess your headline writing still needs work Fat Rudy.
Posted by Mr. Sanchez to This Dawg's View at December 12, 2011 9:38 AM

[Ah, the term "Fat Rudy" - I'm 6'3, 230 lbs...and have less that 12% bodyfat...not sure where the Fat term comes in...but the Rudy part I take as a compliment. Though, it is a bit inaccurate. Rudy didn't dress for a game until the last game of his senior year. I dressed and played in games my first season with the program, and lettered as a Senior while winning team awards as a Junior and a Senior.]
Mr Sanchez - professionalizing irrelevance since 2010!
Posted by Ben Dukes to This Dawg's View at December 12, 2011 9:47 AM

To be irrelevant, we wouldn't matter enough for you to take cheap shots. But then, that's something people learned at UGA when they didn't have the benefit of athletic tutors and ideal scheduling.
Posted by Mr. Sanchez to This Dawg's View at December 12, 2011 5:07 PM
[Deleted, and replaced by]
Maybe that bevy of tutors and easy schedules you get as an athlete made the difference man, but "professionalizing irrelevance"? For a college graduate, you seem woefully ignorant of the meaning of both words in that phrase.
Posted by Mr. Sanchez to This Dawg's View at December 12, 2011 5:09 PM

Took two tries for that one, huh? Nice. A couple of quick things for ya, genius...

1) I know well when I am inventing terms...the usage of that one was quite intentional.
2) Never needed a tutor. AD honor roll, Dean's List every quarter, Academic All-SEC as a senior, and an Honors Program graduate of the Terry College, with a degree in Management Information Systems. So yeah, the brain works just fine thanks.
3) Easy schedules? Sure. If, by that you mean up at 4am for training, in class by 845, early lunch around 1130, then class, then meetings at 2pm, then practice til 6, and then labs, additional class, or campus activities (such as Professional Fraternity, honors society, etc) in the evening. Yeah, thank God I coasted by on that one.
4) You're right - your blog is completely relevant. The complete lack of competent writing is right up the alley of the ignorant masses who would follow you.

Not so long ago, your blog was trumpeting the cause of hiring the likes of Gary Patterson and Dan Mullen. Now, you back Coach Richt and hope readers will forget. You are as fickle as the fanbase and thus will receive no respect.
Posted by Ben Dukes to This Dawg's View at December 12, 2011 6:10 PM

Or the first one went a bit farther than I wanted. Unlike you, we're a little more respectful than you've ever shown to be.

1) Maybe you need to learn what the word "inventing" means too. Since you didn't "invent" anything, those words already existed. With meaning that is almost at complete opposite from how you attempted to use them.
2) Clearly, from the words you use here. So smart you can't even spell the name of your own teammate in the post before this. Academic All-SEC just the once? And playing offensive line, right?
3) I'm sure you did that year round too. With no help, no tutors, nothing, you super Rudy you. Did you have to walk up Baxter hill, both ways, too?
4) For lacking relevance, we sure get plenty of attention from know-it-all sunshine pumpers like yourself.
Your intelligence shows in that ignorant final paragraph too, that completely abandons reality of what we say or how we say it.

Don't get your respect? I'm devastated, however will we proceed.
Posted by Mr. Sanchez to This Dawg's View at December 12, 2011 6:32 PM

I think my favorite part about this last one is #4. I mean, he is absolutely correct with #2 - I did misspell Jon Stinchcomb's name by adding an "h" to his first name. Damnit if I don't screw that one up all the time. And I'm not sure what he's saying about "year round" in he suggesting that the schedules in the off-season are drastically different? I don't know...from what I recall we had offseason training, followed by spring practices, followed by voluntary workouts after spring practice concluded. I guess in the summertime it wasn't quite as strenuous. Of course, there's the obvious inaccuracy with me playing "offensive line." Then again, I believe this was probably just him being ironic. That, or moronic, but whichever. No, it's #4 that sticks out to me the most...simply because he's either A) Denying that his blog was all for Gary Patterson coming to Athens and delivering his hard-nosed take-no-shit brand of football or that his blog called out Dan Mullen as a quality offensive hire; or B) implying that they were saying all of that tongue-in-cheek as a way of supporting the present regime in Athens. Well, to that I say: Horseshit. The first option is an outright fallacy, and the second would be backpedaling at its best.

On my blog I have theorized and postulated many things over there years. At times, I have been incorrect. In those instances, I have owned up to being wrong. This is called being a "man"...not a "cold-blooded sausage-maker" (whatever that means). Do I expect the "cold-blooded ones" to do that? Nope. I don't. I don't expect them to come out and say, "Hey, maybe we were wrong about Coach Richt." They call me a "sunshine blower", but the fact remains that I take an objective look at the way our team plays football, and the way the program is run. Coach Richt runs a damn good program, and our boys played some damn good football this season. That, my friends, is the uncensored truth.

GO Dawgs.

Friday, December 9, 2011

All 21 of Georgia's Missed Opportunities

Oh man, did that title get you to click? Oh, how tricky of me! I should start writing for Bleacher Report or Sports and Grits! I don't have the missed opportunities you're out of luck. HA!

Seriously, though...I was inspired by a video that is spreading quickly throughout the Dawg Blawgs. The video shows each of Aaron Murray's 33 touchdown throws. I can only imagine the one we'll see in 2014, after his final bowl game (and yes, I mean 2014...because that follows the 2013 season), depicting all 120+ touchdowns from his career. That video will probably sell for 29.95 on EBay. Yay, fans!

But, the video got me to close were we? I mean, perhaps it's a video compilation that would have served us better in 2010, when the fanbase en masse was angry with a team it believed to be horribly mediocre, and showing no signs of hope for the future (fanbase was wrong). Still, I'd like to see video clips of every single dropped touchdown, missed field-goal, dropped interception, fumble, interception, etc. I'd like to see someone put together THAT video.


Because we'd see where we missed. We'd see that if this moment or that moment went the other way, things could be different. This is how teams learn, and it should be how fans do as well. When we were entering the 2nd half of the SEC Title game, my friends were excited about the prospect of possibly shutting the LSU offense down for another half. But, as I've said many times before, the hardest thing for a dominant defense to do is come out and keep that dominance in the second half. The reason for that is the offense is going to make adjustments. As a defense who has held their opponent without a first down, it's going to be very difficult to make adjustments. When nothing goes wrong, what do you change? The question always becomes whether or not you can make your adjustments quickly enough to prevent damage.

In that game, our defense had only 25 yards in which to make adjustments because we fumbled the ball to LSU on the opening possession of the third quarter. That's asking alot. Then, we forced the Defense to attempt to hold ANOTHER short field after a 3-and-out and a huge punt return. We asked too much.

As fans who love our team, it's easy to get very frustrated...but when you go back and look at that game, we didn't lose it in the second half. We lost it on two dropped touchdowns, and at least one dropped interception, all in the first half. But, we forget that. We think only about the way the game was blown apart in the second half....not how we blew it in the first.

So, who's the amazing youtube guru out there with every single game stored on his hard drive? Who wants to compile this very helpful video for us? Anyone? Anyone?

Go Dawgs.

Oh, and if you missed it, I made this post late last night, but it didn't seem to hit all the sites that aggregate Dawg Blawgs. Give it a read.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Crowell and Marshall: Shoulder To Shoulder

In my years on the UGA football team, I met a lot of young men. When there's over 120 players on your team, and there's turnover every season, you're greeted by new faces in the locker room every few months. Some appear in the fall, some appear in the winter...some show up for the first time during the summer. It's not an every-year seems to be an every-season thing. I met guys my first spring at UGA who were gone before school let out. Some went to greener pastures in places like Oklahoma. Some went to smaller schools to begin working towards a coaching career. Some just gave the sport up altogether. I made some friends in those days, a few that I keep up with. We talk on facebook, we chatter on twitter...and on the rare occasion that I return to Athens, I am always sure to bump into someone at a bar, or at the stadium. I've even run into one or two in Los Angeles from time to time.

We aren't the best of friends. A few of these guys, in fact, may have absolutely hated me. But, when we see each other, we do have the common bond of Bulldog Blood that will always run through our veins. It's more than attending the University, though I don't want to discount the love that so many of the fans hold as a result of that. It's more than simply playing the sport, though playing it at any level definitely gives you perspective on what goes on. No, there is something special about the sweat that drips from you in Butts Mehre. There's something remarkable about the blood you shed on the Woodruff fields. There's something forever changing about your whole self the first time you run from that tunnel in Sanford Stadium and are hit by a wall of sound from over 90,000 screaming fans.

These are the things that MAKE a Georgia Bulldog. You put your heart, your soul, your body on the line - and the guy next to you does the same. John Stinchcomb had a nickname for me - he called me "Duke Nukem"... it was because I was the annoying walk-on who tried to blow him up on every snap in practice - whether we were "full contact" or 3/4 speed. It didn't matter. The way I saw it, I had to go all-out: I was a 230 lb DE. He and some of the other linemen surely tired of it...but I kept pushing. I felt like they hated me.

But, when I trotted onto the field against Ole Miss my senior year, to play some mop-up fourth quarter downs, John yelled at me, "Hey Dukes....Nuke 'em." Funny how that's something that sticks with you. Even those who appear to be your adversaries can be your greatest supporters.

Now, I am not writing this entry to tell you about me. Honestly, my experiences at UGA probably did very little to progress our program. But, I am writing this so that those out there who have already written off Isaiah Crowell and are looking to Keith Marshall as the only possible future for our TB position will take heed. Marshall is going to enroll in January. He and Crowell will go through their first off-season workouts together. Sure, Samuel and Harton and Thomas will have been through it, and will offer their leadership...but I think the relationship between Crowell and Marshall will be the most compelling story of the winter. These guys, who will be in competition for not only a job, but also the admiration of a fickle fanbase, will be shoulder-to-shoulder in drills. They will have to run together. They will have to lift together. They may have to monkey-roll together, I don't really know. What I do know - is they will have plenty of time around one another. This time will be valuable. They will come to learn that when the chips are down, they can count on one another. At some point during the 2012 season, it's going to come down to a moment when one of these guys has to look the other in the eye and say, "Hey - this is why we went through all that pain in January and February. This is why we got up at 4am. This is why we took pictures of all our meals. This is why we worked ourselves to exhaustion - to be right here, right now, with this opportunity. Now, YOU get out there and finish this thing off. I'll get the next one."

The fanbase is creating a competition in its collective mindset, and it is already beginning to suggest that Crowell will crumble under the pressure and leave town. I don't see that happening. I see Crowell fighting to keep his job. I see him working hard in the weight room and on the practice fields. I see him working to become the back he believes he can be...because what he believes he can be is an NFL back, and there's not a better place to be if you want to prove that. Even our third-stringers end up with Super Bowl rings (no, seriously...look it up you'll be impressed). I also see Marshall coming in with the mindset that he can play right away. He wants to split carries, and he wants to be in an offense where he can use his skillset to its greatest potential. He has this at UGA. The fanbase wants to set these guys up as adversaries. In reality, they're teammates - shoulder to shoulder.

Adversaries? They'll face 14 of them - and I'm willing to bet they'll Nuke 'em.

Go Dawgs.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

We Won't Be Any Better Next Year

I have been reading a few comment threads and message board posts around the interwebs, and what I'm seeing is that the rabid anti-richt crowd from pre-season is still very much in existence. Yes, they are licking their wounds after a ten-game win streak...but the 2nd half humiliation against LSU gave them just the ammunition they need to feel relevant here at Season's End. The primary Meme they chirp today is, "10 wins against nobodies, 2 losses to good teams, and one loss to SOUTH CAROLINA. Richt Has To Go."

1st off.... idiots.

They believe the 2011 Georgia Bulldogs were not a better football team than the 2010 Georgia Bulldogs. Now, these are the same people who amid a 6-7 season claimed that the ONLY WAY to determine a team's worth is in WINS AND LOSSES.

So, by their own definition, the 2011 team is better. The 2011 team is 4 full games better, with a bowl game to go.


Now, let's look at it all a little deeper. Let's look at the common teams we faced in 2010 and 2011.

South Carolina - 2010: L 17-6 , 2011: L 45-42
Mississippi State - 2010: L 24-12 2011: W 24-10
Tennessee - 2010: W 41-14 2011: W 20-12
Vanderbilt - 2010: W 43-0 2011: W 33-28
Florida - 2010: L 34-31 2011: W 24-20
Kentucky - 2010: W 44-21 2011: W 19-10
Auburn - 2010: L 49-31 2011: W 45-7
Georgia Tech - 2010: W 42-34 2011: W 31-17

With the exception of South Carolina, every single common opponent we faced in 2010 and 2011 scored fewer points against Georgia than they did the year before. With South Carolina, you take off a punt return for a touchdown, an interception for a touchdown, and a fumble return for a touchdown, and you find that their offense scored 24 points...only one touchdown more than in 2010 (and that touchdown was on a 9-yard drive after another fumble return).

Now, here's another angle - our offense also scored fewer points in all but three of the contests - the loss at South Carolina, the Win at Mississippi State, and the Win at Auburn.

Some would say this was a result of scheming - the "Let the defense hold the line" ideal where we play ultra-conservative to maintain a lead and not give the game away (probably made all the more necessary after the South Carolina Debacle). Others would say it's a performance issue due to lack of real game-breakers with experience, and some erratic play by others. Still others would find fault in the offensive line, saying that if they could block, we would score at least two more touchdowns in every game.

But here, my friends, is what I find so interesting:

A team that lost its most potent playmaker and its most solid go-to 2nd man, a team that had to rely on a group of untested and shaky runningbacks, a team that had to use no less than 8 offensive line combinations - this team finished the season at 10-3, with an SEC East OUTRIGHT Title. This team had to break in young linebackers in a hurry as the corps was quickly depleted by injury. Still, they played on. This team had to use a former walk-on runningback as its primary ball carrier for a stretch due to injuries and suspensions. This team had to do all this while being constantly told they were playing for a lame-duck coach who was past his prime and could not bring them to the Dome again.

But he did. They played on. They fought. They won - in bunches.

To say that you think next year's team will be no better than this year's team is to echo the refrain we heard at the end of that dismal 2010 season. You were wrong before, and if you continue to sing it, you will be wrong again. Do you know why this year's defense was so much better? Because it was full of guys who were veterans of their 3-4 scheme. They weren't confused. They were flying around, making plays. For the first time in 9 years, an SEC offense was held WITHOUT A FIRST DOWN for the first 30 minutes of play. Yes, it fell apart after that...but you can't look at that and not be impressed. You can't say these guys aren't solid players. They need more behind them...and they will be there. Grantham and Co. have developed a lot of young talent this year, and that will pay dividends next fall. I point that out, because a good number of the playmakers in the offensive side of the ball were pretty new to the game this year as well. Malcolm Mitchell, Isaiah Crowell, Michael Bennett - these are guys who hadn't been on the field in 2010. Dallas Lee was very good on the offensive line, and he hadn't had a snap in 2 years (get better, son!) Chris Burnette and Kenarious Gates are also young (not Freshman, but young). Another year with Will Friend will do all of these Dawgs good.

And then there's Aaron Murray. He's been sacked more this year, he's thrown more interceptions, and has a lower yardage total than last season. However, he has thrown the most touchdowns in the SEC and sits just below 60% completion. Outside of the stats, you can tell Murray had a better grasp of the game in his second season. He did cost us possessions and points at times by trying to make plays when he could have been safer. He did take sacks when he should have thrown the ball away. But he also gave his team someone to rally around - someone to have faith in. The third year in an offensive system is often when the light comes on for a quarterback. The first season is often a "trial by fire"- you have to get used to the speed of the game, and just remembering the plays can be a struggle. In the second season, you know more about diagnosing defensive calls, and where your options are going to be. In the third season, you really get a sense of knowing what the defense is doing before the ball is even snapped. In fact, you often have a good idea before you break the huddle, because you've seen every situation hundreds of times (except for maybe 3rd and 57...that doesn't happen too often). Good quarterbacks will take a big step forward in year three.

I haven't even mentioned the possibility of impact players joining the roster and coming off redshirts next season. And there are people who thing UGA won't be better next year?


GO Dawgs.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Another #1 Tailback

So, Keith Marshall just Verbally Committed to UGA. Always nice to have a good new RB coming in, especially to a team that proved it can win games without a strong running attack. Of course, we can't win the "big ones" without a strong running attack (See: Boise State, SECCG). I'm excited that UGA brings in another top-rated RB recruit with Marshall, but I'm also hesitant, as I always am, to annoint him until he's played a few games. For now, bask in the glow of a big recruiting win, Dawg Fans....and just hope we can hold him for the next two months.

Go Dawgs.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

"Big Game" Aaron Murray

You can attempt to blame this game on Mike Bobo if you wish, but here's the cold, hard fact - when we absolutely could not afford a mistake, Aaron Murray fumbled the ball. In junk time, when we needed one yard for a first down, Aaron Murray threw a pick-six. All day long, Aaron Murray threw very bad deep balls. On a first quarter drive, Aaron Murray thew behind Malcolm Mitchell, and then threw high to Tavarres King, and we ended up with a field goal.

I'm not an advocate of sitting Aaron Murray, but I have been cautious about anointing him as an excellent quarterback. He is certainly good...but he has absolutely not proven that he is a go-to guy in Big Games.

Let's be real - Georgia, for all our excitement over the now-over 10-game win streak, has not faced any Big Games since the South Carolina matchup, until today. Sure, you can count the game against Kentucky, when we had to win to take the East - and Murray played poorly that day as well.

We had drops today, Mitchell should have scored a touchdown in the first.

We had bad luck (2-missed blocks in the back and a kid tossing the ball out of the endzone on the same punt return), the fumble, etc.

But, THE player who had to play absolutely lights-out today, absolutely did not.

He improved between his Freshman and Sophomore years, and hopefully will again. Still, the question remains...when it all comes down to the wire in a big game, will we be able to trust Aaron Murray? Will he become a "Big Game" Quarterback? I guess only time will tell. For now, he's a guy who won 10 games in a season, took an East title, and threw his way into the Record Books.

Is that enough?

Go Dawgs.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How Georgia Absolutely Can Beat LSU.

All we gotta do, is score one more point than they do.

Right, Ben Jones?

Go Dawgs!

But What if Georgia BEATS LSU?

Everyone keeps talking about LSU and Alabama. They're obviously the two best teams, no one's touched LSU, and the only team that Bama lost to IS LSU. So many people believe LSU and AL should be national title game, whether or not LSU is able to win the SEC Title Game on Saturday.

But allow me to interject this...

What if, just WHAT IF...UGA BEATS LSU? I don't mean "what if" Georgia wins the game...I mean "what if" Georgia puts up 35 points, and LSU puts up 14? What happens if Georgia forces three turnovers, jumps out to a big lead, and holds on the whole way? What if Georgia is the team that the locker room believes it is, and they stomp LSU?

Then what happens?

Well, I think there are a number of possibilities. First off, I think that the College Football World will implode. Shortly after that, the AJC writers will begin to claim that Mark Richt has the team on the Steroid Bus and that is the only reason for the turnaround because, you know, the guy can't coach.

After all of THAT is over, the pollsters just might be tempted to admit that Georgia is certainly the best 2-loss team in the nation. As we discussed yesterday, the issue with Georgia is that we don't have a "quality" win on our schedule, margins of victory be damned. A win Saturday, however, would change that in a hot second. Georgia, by virtue of its own win alone, would leap to no worse than #8 in the country. Then, however, we have to really start to look at those one-loss teams. Personally, I couldn't rank a team who didn't win its conference higher than the team who won that conference, provided the Champion had proven itself to be a quality team. Case in point...even if UCLA wins the Pac-12 somehow, there is no way I could rank them higher than Stanford or Oregon. On the other hand, Georgia was slow to start, but with a win over LSU, will have won 11 games in a row - capped off with a victory over the team everyone has agreed is the hands-down best team in the country. That's quality.

If Georgia beats LSU, I have to rank LSU behind the Dawgs. So, that puts Georgia at no worse than 7th, with the Tigers being 8th (I don't see how the pollsters allow their Annointed to fall that that could be good for us). Then, you look at Alabama. They've been pretty impressive, too - but their one loss was in an all-evens OT battle to LSU. Again, in our fantasy here, Georgia has just dominated LSU. As a result, Bama would have to be ranked below Georgia. That pushes Georgia to no worse than sixth (and there's just no way the pollsters can drop AL AND LSU that far can they?).

Stanford, I believe, would get leaped by any conference champions at the end of the season due to their lack of a title, and lack of quality wins (UGA moves to 5th). So now, you have Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Boise State and Houston.

If OSU and VaTech win their conferences, and UGA has stomped LSU, I wouldn't be shocked to see OSU and VT in the National Title game. However, should one of those teams lose, that team would end up BEHIND Georgia as UGA is definitely the best 2-loss team in the country as evidenced by the win over LSU. So, Georgia is no worse than fourth. Should BOTH OSU and VT lose (a very strong possibility), Georgia should sit at no worse than 3rd.

So, then you have to ask yourself - are the pollsters going to put Houston and Boise into the National Title game....or would they even be able to, based on the computers? I do not know what all the numbers are, nor how they will be impacted by a Georgia Whipping of LSU. Many people would say, "we can't rank Georgia over Boise when Boise beat Georgia" - but the season that Georgia has had FOLLOWING that loss is much stronger than what Boise has done since that game - especially when you add beating LSU to the list of accomplishments. Boise's final automatic-win game this weekend won't do much to pad the resume' either.

So, I could see how a combination of the pollsters and the computer rankings could slide UGA into the #2 spot for a shot at the title.

Yes, I know this is all ridiculous.

But, if this weekend is one of the craziest in College Football history; if Georgia dominates LSU; if the one-loss "would be" champs lose their final games; if the pollsters finally get over the fact that UGA dropped 2 games at the beginning of the season (don't they always say - if you're gonna lose, you gotta lose early?) - then you could quite possibly maybe see the 11-2 Georgia Bulldogs playing in the BCS Title Game.

I really need to stop getting drunk on Tuesday Morning.

Go Dawgs!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Non-Believers are Justified

I've been reading over some of the other blogs out there, and the guys are doing good work trying to disprove the meme that Georgia hasn't beaten anyone of significance. They're working feverishly to show that our schedule isn't that dissimilar from those of Alabama and LSU. The Dawg Bloggers are pushing the concept that UGA is an elite team and can compete with elite teams.

The problem is, the world ain't havin' none of that.

I've watched Georgia's ranking stay very stagnant over the recent weeks, and even I have to admit I'm a bit surprised at the national media's reluctance to move us up. They say that in the college football world today, you have to lose early. Well, Georgia did that. Georgia lost both of its games at the onset of the season, and hasn't been too well-challenged since. The two "top" teams (AU, GT) we've played since starting 0-2 were both full-bore blowouts. Still, because we lost to Boise, no one wants to give this Georgia team any credit.

And that's fine.

Look at yourself honestly and ask if Georgia DESERVES credit right now. We don't REALLY deserve more than we're getting, based on our record and opponents.

Being a two-loss team, the highest we could possibly be ranked this week would be #8, behind all the undefeated and 1-loss squads. This means we would have to be ranked above 2-loss Arkansas, Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas State, South Carolina and Michigan State (And if you're a fan of the AP poll, USC). Now, I know that most Georgia fans out there believe that we're the best 2-loss team in the nation. And well, conventional wisdom would state that we lost our two games early and have only progressed, while many of the other 2-loss teams have had their troubles very recently and deserve to fall behind us.

However, when you start to break things down and compare, you find this:

Arkansas is 10-2, with losses only to the #1 and #2 teams. Both losses were absolute blowouts, but in Voters' minds, that doesn't matter. They beat 5 teams that we beat, and one that we didn't...and the box scores on those games look better than our box scores. So, they'll still be ahead of us.

Oregon is 10-2, with losses to the #1 team, and perennial media golden-shower recipient USC. They have also completely dominated the other 10 teams they've faced, including number 4, Stanford.

Oklahoma is 9-2 with a game to play and a "quality' win over 2-loss KSU. They also hold wins over Texas and FSU, who were preseason top-15 teams, but now have 8-4 records. I still don't understand the hype machine still pushing Oklahoma, especially after the first-ever loss to Baylor. Wow. That's like Tennessee losing to Kentucky (oops).

Kansas State is 9-2 with a game to play and holds losses to both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State (top 10 schools). Still, it took 4 OT periods to dispatch a 6-6 Texas A&M squad. This is another head-scratcher. They're getting love for love's sake.

South Carolina is 10-2 with losses to Ark and Auburn, but they hold a victory over we really can't be THAT upset about them being ahead of us in the polls. Remember, most voters don't watch football games.

Michigan State is 10-2 with a loss to ND and a blowout loss to Nebraska. Sparty also holds victories over two top-16 programs in Wisconsin and Michigan. So, they get the edge over us.

To be real, you could make the argument that Oklahoma and Kansas State should be ranked behind Georgia and Michigan State, but that really only moves the Dawgs up two spots. All we've done since the third game of the season kicked off is win, that's true. But we don't have a single top-25 quality win to show for it. As a result, the voters aren't moving us anywhere. In their minds, we simply aren't the best 2-loss team in the country.

Unless, of course, we do what #2, #8, and #9 have failed to do - Beat LSU...

Go Dawgs.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's there to be afraid of?

Today, I visited the Grit Tree to learn about Corbindawgs "biggest fear" coming into this last stretch of season. What I read did not sit well with me, so I posted a comment stating as much. Some came to his defense, and Corbin himself asked me to expand on what I did not like. My response became a bit of a diatribe, so I decided to not only leave it on his board, but to repost it here. Basically, it touches on something that many of my readers know is a peeve of mine, and that is the Georgia Fanbase's steadfast desire to be cynical and negative. Below is the answer I left Corbindawg (with an edit-added question to kick it off)

[Whatever happened to fans believing their team would always win in the end?]

"I want to believe, but I've been let down in the don't let me get let down again."

I don't get that. I don't understand your own line, "Being a Georgia fan has made me somewhat jaded?" For what purpose? The team is there to entertain you, and bring home wins. For the VAST MAJORITY of its existence, the University of Georgia football team has done just that. Do they win 'em all? No, they don't. But, for the past decade and a half, UGA has fielded good, competitive teams.

AND YES - I'M INCLUDING 2009 and 2010 in that.

Those were ugly seasons. But the teams involved were pretty good teams. Georgia made too many mistakes from which it couldn't recover last season, and the defense was one in transition. The mistakes became coaching points and the defense has solidified. This is what has resulted in higher wins this season.

Either way, what bothers me about this post, and about Georgia fans in general, is the overwhelming NEED to be negative so that you don't get your hopes up. It's like the entire mass of you was brainwashed by Vince Dooley and Larry Munson, and you can't enjoy success when you have it. Even in 2005, the most common thread I heard in talking to UGA fans was that it was a "good" year, but not a "great" one because we lost to Florida and missed out on a National Championship berth.

I'm glad I didn't grow up a Georgia Fan, because I'd have to wallow in that same mysery, apparently. No, I became a Georgia fan the first time I stepped on campus as a student, and I've never looked back. In that time, I've seen us go bowling every single year. I was a part of some great games, including a win over tennessee that ended an 8-year drought against the Vols, I've seen my own friends hoist SEC Championship trophies, I've seen the team climb to the peaks, suffer through the valleys, and now begin a climb again.

Is that anything to be scared of? Hell no. It's something to look forward to.

Go Dawgs.

You're NOT the reason the Dawgs turned it around.

I received an email last night from a friend who is not "sold" on Mark Richt as our coach. Mind you, this friend is not someone who jumped on the Georgia bandwagon in '05 or '07. He's not even a fan who's been around just since my time donning the red and black and has thus seen a quick rise and fall in a coach. This is a man who attended college with Vince Dooley. He's seen ups, and downs. He's seen a coach who struggled and then found prominence. He's seen that at least twice, in fact. In his email, my friend stated proudly that he is not a passenger on the Mark Richt bandwagon which is "straining with the weight of fans jumping aboard." To quote:

"...when it comes to a Mark Richt coached team, I make haste slowly to climb aboard as I have not seen consistency yet. And once burned, twice shy."


Over 100 victories in 11 seasons, and there's no consistency. At the cusp of UGA's 4th SEC East title in 10 years, and no consistency. Series dominance over every rival outside of Florida, and there's no consistency. And this man calls ME delusional. (It's funny that "delusional" is nearly always used in conjunction with optimism, while the term for unbridled pessimism is "realistic")

He goes on to say,

"...keep in mind that people like me caused the famous "hot seat." And the hot seat caused Richt to get off his butt and coach after a semi-furlough of six years. For without me and my brethren, Richt would have stayed fast asleep and the downward tumble would have continued."
Now THERE is someone desperately clinging to a need for importance. What's frightening about this point of view is that it is a shared one. There has been plenty of Anti-Richt sentiment over the past few years, and now that the team is good again, there is similarly a good deal of chest-thumping by those who "made obvious the fact that changes were necessary." Still, even the guys over at Sports And Grits don't go so far as to say the steaming piles of excrement spewed forth on their pages were the de facto cause of Richt righting his ship.

Of particular annoyance in all of this is the concept that Richt had no idea his teams were faring poorly. In calling Richt "asleep at the wheel", as my friend has done numerous times, he implies that Richt has been perfectly happy keeping things at a status quo, making no changes, making no moves, just praying for the best, and being ok with the worst.

What Mark Richt has he been watching?!?

All along, Richt has acknowledged the team's failures, and has maintained his position that the coaches, as a staff, were working to correct the problems. Some of those problems lay in the talent department - both in coaches and in players. In the past two years, there has been a very high amount of turnover in both areas. It appears that turnover has been for the best. I've been through the entire "Why Martinez lasted as long as he did" debate, so if you're hoping to make a point that Richt waited too long on that one, go elsewhere.

By suggesting that the "fan uproar" over the results in the past two years is what caused Richt to fire coaches, to release players, and to take a different outlook on how he prepares his team for games is a disservice to the man. In fact, it's blatantly disrespectful. Mark Richt knows how to win ballgames. Does our fanbase actually believe that in the face of NOT winning ballgames that he wouldn't sit down and diagnose what's going wrong? Do the other bloggers out there actually think that he scours the inter-webs hoping to find some kind of football rosetta stone that will explain these newfangled x's and o's that have so obviously passed him by? I for one loved it when Richt told that fan "I know what the Hell I'm doing." I can only imagine the frustration he must feel, when he's working hard to fix a problem, and still getting stuck in some areas, and then some Jack-Hole Know-It-All fan gets in his face with his opinion of the job Richt is doing.

When we were in the throws of loserdom, I told people to be cautious about abandoning Richt...if for no other reason than to save themselves the feelings of foolishness when they returned to his coattails. When you've seen as much football as I have, when you've been (oh crap, he's gonna say it) "In The Arena", you start to understand that the Ws and the Ls do not tell the whole story. Over a career, there will be many of both. You don't play football in a vacuum, and just as you change what you're doing, your opponents are going to be changing what THEY are doing as well. Your team may be great, and still lose four games due to bad bounces. Your team and coaching may be horrible, but get lucky enough through good bounces, or limited stellar personnel that you end up hoisting a crystal trophy. Over the long-run, though, you're gonna be what you're gonna be. With Richt leading the way, the Dawgs are going to be a solid program.

As it stands today, the Dawgs are poised for an SEC Title-game berth. They're ready to go 10/11 against GT. They're ready to fight for a BCS bowl. And no pessimist, no blogger, no "hotseat hothead" had one damn thing to do with it.

GO Dawgs!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

So if we make it to Atlanta...

A win Saturday gives UGA the outright Eastern Division title. That'll send us to Atlanta. It'll also be the fourth time in the past ten years (2002-2011) that Mark Richt has taken the Dawgs to the title game. Know what other coach has taken one team to the title game that many times in the past ten years?

If your answer is NOBODY, then you are correct!

Should LSU make the title game, it will be the Tigers' fourth appearance in the past decade. But, the first of those appearances was under Nick Saban.

Should Alabama make the title game, it will be Saban's fourth go....but only his third with Alabama.

Should Arkansas make the title game...well, there will likely be looting in Fayetteville.

Urban Meyer, Mark Richt and Nick Saban have all made the game three times, and won twice. Still, many consider Meyer and Saban to be far and away better coaches than Mark Richt, because they have also claimed BCS titles to go along with the SEC titles. Splitting hairs, I believe.

I'm still in awe that there were those who wanted him fired (and some who still do). Damn glad to have Coach Mark Richt guiding this program. Glad he took out the trash in the offseason. Glad he made the hires he needed to make. Glad he stopped taking guff from pundits who accused him of not knowing how to coach a game that had "passed him by."

Damn Good Dawg, that MR.

GO Dawgs!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Continuing the Bobo Insanity

Though our team continues to win, and we continue to put up points, there are still many detractors out there who want to point at Mike Bobo as an inefficient playcaller. They do not believe he has what it takes to be an offensive coordinator at the level that UGA needs him to be. They believe his offense is too predictable, too easy to scheme against.

I think they should talk to Ted Roof about that. He said that they prepared all week against what we came out and did - they simply could not stop us. THAT, my friends, is what you want in an offensive football team. There is nothing more demoralizing to a defense than seeing exactly what you prepared all week to stop.....and having no ability to stop it. Now, to be fair, I've said all season that Auburn is pure garbage. In fact, I had an open facebook argument with a former High School teammate who played at Auburn while I was playing at UGA about that very fact. After their whooping at the hands of LSU, he told me that they aren't a bad team, but rather that LSU will make many teams LOOK bad this year. It was nice on Saturday to send him a message telling him not to worry, and that UGA is simply going to make a lot of teams LOOK bad this year.

Anyway, I've taken fire as of late for supporting Mike Bobo. I've been told we're only succeeding because of our schedule...that he wouldn't look good if we weren't playing crap teams. Sure, you can say can also look at the combined W-L totals of AL and LSU's opponents, and say the same thing. So, I decided to do another quick look at the stats for this season. I looked at 9 of our games, excluding Coastal Carolina because they're not D-I. I used ONLY the offensive stats from those games, and compared them to each opponent's adjusted season average. When I say adjusted, I mean that I removed the effects of the UGA games on those averages so that I could get a good picture of what our opponents' defenses have given up against EVERYONE ELSE. Below is a table of my findings.

As you can see, Bobo's offense has been outperforming the average offense against our opponents in the vast majority of instances. Only twice have we failed to score as many points as the opponent surrenders on average - and those were both wins. Of particular note is the success our offense had against the defenses in the first two games. Yes, those were both losses. However, our offense scored 25 more points against South Carolina than they surrender on average. We were only a field-goal better than average against Boise, but better all the same.

Against the 9 opponents we've faced, our offense averages 70 more ypg and 9 more ppg than the defenses we face surrender. Exactly how is that bad?

Go Dawgs

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Genius of Gus Malzahn

Yeah, I'll take Bobo's 38 points over Gus's 7. Nice trick plays, though. Cute.

Go Dawgs!!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Big Game Bobo"

A challenge was placed in front of me by someone who calls me a homer, insisting that I simply have a case of "Former Coach Love" for Mike Bobo. I guess I should first say that yeah, Mike was a grad assist while I was a player at UGA...but I don't know how that would create "Former Coach Love" from me. If anything, I should be dedicating this blog to Rodney Garner (my coach) and talking about what a wonderful job he's done putting guys into the NFL over the past decade.

Nah, I just look at the games.

Anyway, he challenged me to look at what Bobo's offenses have done in "Big Games"


UGA v VT, Bowl game...VT's Scoring defense ranked 1st in the nation. We scored 31 points...nearly 3 full touchdowns more than their average of 11.

Hard to really pick the "big games" in this one...I mean, we opened with OKSt, and put 35 on them...beat AL in overtime with 26 points, smacked AU to the tune of 45 (I think only 31 were by the offense) I'd say the Sugar Bowl was kind of a big game. 34 points in that one. (Admittedly, Hawaii wasn't a great defense). In hindsight, most people would call South Carolina and Tennessee the "biggest" games on the schedule, primarily because winning either of those games would have put us in the SEC title game. We did not perform well in either game.

Alabama was a pretty big game. We didn't win. We did score nearly 10 points more than the average surrendered by their defense. TN had a top-10 defense in 2008...and we bested their average surrendered by nearly 10 as well. We fell short in the FL game...and despite hanging 42 points on Georgia Tech, we lost that "big game" due to the inability of our defense to stop the option (or the inability of Reshad Jones to knock someone out of bounds - take your pick).

The 2009 offense could be called the "Awfulfense". Honestly, it was garbage. It is worth noting that we faced only one top-10 defense (FL), and we bettered their average points surrendered by 4.5 points. However, we also failed to do that four times (OSU-L, ASU-W, LSU-L, TN-L). I think many would agree, on the other hand, that when your Quarterback consistently makes bad decisions (as evidenced by 17 interceptions), it is tough for any system to be effective.

I do not have the data on all the defenses as I write this post, but I'll take a quick look at the games...We were definitely dogged out against South Carolina. Against Arkansas, we scored 24 and lost. Against Colorado, we scored 27 and lost. Against Florida, we scored 31 and lost. Against Auburn, we scored 31 and lost. Against Georgia Tech, a game we HAD to win in order to reach a bowl game, we scored 42 points.

Ok...which ones are we calling the "big" games this year? Surely Boise is a big game. We only scored 21. Their opponents are averaging 16.8. Exactly one opponent has scored more than us against them. South Carolina is a big game. We scored 42 points and lost because our players made too many mistakes. Want to hang that one on Bobo? I'd say the Florida game was a big one. We scored 24. They average giving up around 19.

So, I'd say that in retrospect, Bobo's offenses really haven't done that poorly in the big games.

But what do I know? I'm just a homer, with a bunch of data to support what I say.

Go Dawgs.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

i Blame Bobo

We shoulda scored 100.


Go Dawgs!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Things Bad Teams Don't Do

1) Come back from down 17-3 in a stadium where they've won three out of the last 19 games.

2) Score touchdowns on 4th and long - twice - to climb back into the game

3) Hold Florida to 32 yards of offense in a half of play.

4) Ice the game with a run up the gut on 4th and 4

5) Have a top 10 defense

Look, this Florida team isn't the best we've faced in recent years...but once again, I think it's worth noting that our Georgia team was down by two scores and came back to WIN. We didn't come back to make it close...we came back and WON THE GAME. Richt showed some serious balls on fourth-down calls - two for touchdowns, and one for a game-icing run down to the one.

Last year's team would not have done this.

2009's team would not have done this.

I dare say 2008's team would not have done this.

Others can harp on Bobo all they want...but his scheme was sound in this game. The play of the quarterback was not. I said it numerous times (much to Gary Danielson's dismay, I'm sure) - Aaron Murray is the best in the nation at missing wide open receivers. The playcall of a play-action reverse fake to Orson Charles was a thing of beauty - the execution was excrement. Calling routes into the endzone instead of to the first down marker (or a yard or two short of it) on fourth was inspired. People who don't get that, don't get football.

So many people were calling for Richt's head early this we're 6-2 and tied for the East lead. We'll be 7-2 when we face an Auburn team which isn't as good as the team we should have beat in 2010 - when we weren't as good. 10-2 is a very real possibility.

Oh, and 10-2? That's another thing bad teams don't do.

Go Dawgs.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Challenge: Beat Bobo

To all of those who hate Mike Bobo and his "oh, so predictable" playcalling, I issue this challenge:

1) Study football.
2) Study film.
3) Start a blog.
4) During the UGA-FL game, update your blog prior to EVERY SINGLE UGA OFFENSIVE PLAY

What I want to see is this: I want you to call formations and plays before we run each offensive play. I'd like to see what all the armchair geniuses can come up with. Oh, and don't try to explain every single detail of how you THINK the play will progress, because you don't have time for that. I want to see this:

1st and 10: Shotgun sweep to Crowell. (POST) then, watch the play Bobo calls. As soon as you see the next down and distance, make your next post.
2nd and 2: I-Form Play Action deep. (POST) then, watch the play Bobo calls. As soon as you see the next down and distance, make your next post.

Remember, we sometimes go no-huddle, so you're going to need to be quick.

Now, you can try to either guess what Bobo will call next, or you can call the game you'd like to see called. Any takers?

Go Dawgs

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A note on "conservative" playcalling.

I did not get to see the UGA-Vandy game, and from what I hear, I don't want to watch it on the replay. Luckily, my time is so preciously short this week, I don't believe I'll really have to make the decision on whether or not to suffer through. Still, I understand that we got the ball on an interception with a little over a minute to play, and couldn't grind the clock out.

This is where all the "conservative playcalling" from those big wins should come in.

I know people want to see Georgia hang 50 points on our opponents when we have the chance. I know Georgia fans are envious of Alabama and LSU and want to see our offense keep clicking against weak opponents in the fourth quarter. But, there is something more important in those possessions, and last night we found out that there is still work to do.

In the fourth quarter of a game dominated by Georgia, the opposing team knows what we're going to do - we're going to run it. We're likely going to run it between the tackles. The same can be said for the end of a close game led by Georgia. We're going to run it, and we're likely going to run it between the tackles. which point is it more important to have success? The answer: The close game. But, you know when you're going to get that kind of game-speed practice? In the blowouts. If the fourth quarters of blowouts consists mainly of air-mailing touchdowns against weak secondaries, and then bringing the 3rd and 4th stringers in to run-run-run-punt, your first teamers aren't getting the reps they will need in the close ones.

Don't get me wrong - Vandy shouldn't have been a close one. We had breakdowns in many more areas than simply our final drive offense. Six field-goal attempts against Vandy just shouldn't happen. We have to be good enough to finish drives against Vanderbilt. I know the 36,000 fans in attendance were screaming so loud that a baby could barely sleep, but still - we have to be able to concentrate better. I went back to check on our 3rd and short successes, imagining that with so many field goal attempts, we must have been failing on short third down attempts a lot - but we didn't. We converted all but one. Perhaps some of that "conservative play calling" was paying off in those situations. It's hard to say.

On thing can be said, though: even in a win as ugly as this, we can say this - we won a close one. When was the last time that happened? September 26, 2009. That's right - Joe Cox led the last close-game victory for UGA. Have the Dawgs turned a corner? Quite possibly. We won ugly yesterday, and sometimes, that's just what you have to do.

Go Dawgs.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hey, 60-year-olds...shut up about what a 20 year old says.

I'm getting increasingly tired of people talking bad about Hutson Mason because he expressed frustration in an interview. The kid has a fighting spirit, and some pretty good talent. He's sitting the bench. That's a tough row to hoe - ask Tom Brady. Now, that's a glaring comparison for a kid who hasn't had meaningful snaps...but you really do never know what you've got til you see it on the field. Any young man who believes he can play is going to be frustrated when not even given the chance. ESPECIALLY when the coaches are giving so much lip service to him.

When I was at Georgia, it drove me absolutely mad that I was never sent in to attempt a punt block. There wasn't a single practice in which we had a Punt Period where I didn't block a punt. There were few things I did better than most of the guys on that team, but I could flat-out block a punt. Still, the only time I ever came close to getting the chance was when I was called to the coach's side during the 2000 UGA-UT tilt (who remembers that one?? AW YEAH!) and was then told I could take my helmet off because the coach had decided to go for a return instead of a block.

But I didn't have the talent Hutson Mason does. I didn't throw for thousands of yards and buckets of touchdowns in high school. I didn't get a late scholarship offer when the Quarterback situation suddenly thinned out. I didn't throw a touchdown on my first play at UGA (If I recall correctly, I was stoned away on an inside twist during a pass rush against Kentucky).

So yea, I understand his frustration. I'm tired of people saying "He's not a team kid" or "His attitude hurts the team." You know who was a Team Kid? Joe Cox. You know who was a Gamer and just wanted to play? Matt Stafford. Which one is fishing this weekend and which one is leading an undefeated team in the NFL?

Don't get me wrong - nothing in this blog has anything to do with Aaron Murray. For me, the jury is still out on Murray. But, I know this - if the coaches are all saying Mason deserves playing time, then damnit, he should be getting playing time. Competition at every position - isn't that what we said we wanted? Isn't that what we said Championship Teams have? Don't you think our LBs are better because they have to fight every week to keep a job? Wouldn't you say our NTs have been good because they push each other?

I'm not saying I want to make Murray look over his shoulder and be worried about losing his job - but the biggest question mark for Murray in my mind is his response to pressure. Both on a play-by-play basis, and in a "big game" sense, he doesn't seem to consistently respond well to pressure. Maybe if he had a bit more pressure to keep his job, he could develop a bit more ice water in those veins.

Either way, quit over-analyzing the statements of a kid who just wants to play football.

Go Dawgs.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Don't be confused - I'm not giving up the blog!

I think some have misunderstood my previous blog. I am not going to quit blogging - I simply won't have the ability to do my film study series. Do not fret. The Voice of Reason will continue to scream at the top of its cyber-lungs!

UGA Film Studies: End of a Blog Series

Hey folks;

Some of you may have noticed I didn't break down the fourth quarter as I had planned. Sorry about that. I've been busy this week, and couldn't put the extra hours into that last night. What I have to say today is a bit sadder still. I will not be doing film study breakdowns for the remainder of the season. I am going through some transitions right now, and will not have access to my beloved Dish network for quite a while. As such, I won't have the games on DVR to breakdown.

I know there are many of you who have enjoyed reading the details included, and I hope to be back next season doing the same kind of writing. However, for the time being it appears I will have to return to simply raising my highly opinionated voice on the goings on in UGA football, and avoid the in-depth analysis.

Go Dawgs.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why are my blogs not showing up on the dawgbone??

I'm just saying, seems like my posts aren't all showing up anymore. Here's the link to the Third Quarter Breakdown.

I posted that one this morning instead of late last night...Don't know why its not showing. But hey, read it. It's great.

Go Dawgs.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

UGA - UT Film Study: Quarter Three

Starting the second half at a 6-6 tie is a far cry from what's been going on for the past few weeks...but I was actually glad for the first half struggles. I had said in the past two victories that it's difficult to make adjustments when everything's been working so well in the first half. Well, in this case, everything didn't go nearly as smoothly as we'd like in the first half. So, it was a good bet that we'd come out with some adjustments...and I think y'all remember how it went down.

UGA 6 - UT 6 Kickoff. Touchback.

1st and 10 Tennessee at UT 20. 3-4. They try a quick pitch-out to the left, we snuff it out. Loss of two. 2nd and 12. 3-3-5. We send 4, they go max protect (7 blockers) Bray completes an out route for 4 yards. 3rd and 8. 3-3-5. Snap goes over Bray's head, he falls on it at the 7. 4th and 23. Punt. Smith falls as he looks to catch the punt, it bounces and is downed inside the TN 40.

UGA 6 - UT 6.

1st and 10 UGA at TN 38. I-Formation Twins Left, TE right. Crowell in backfield. King comes in motion, ends up as Wing Left. We run what looks to be a Lead Cutback play to the week side. This is similar to a Counter, but there is no one pulling. Basically, the FB and HB take steps to the right, and then bend it back. Cordy Glenn seals off the LBs who first read the run to the right, then get out of position to defend the cutback. Crowell gets about 12.

1st and 10 UGA at TN 26. I-Formation Normal. TE Right. Lead Play to the weak side. We get decent movement on the line, but no gaping hole. Crowell gets 3. 2nd and 7. I-Form Normal, TE Right. They have 8 in the box. We go play-action, they rush 6 and our pocket holds. Murray hits Charles on a drag for a gain of 10.

1st and 10 UGA at TN 13. I-Formation Normal. TE Right. HB toss left. Good blocking, but we only get 3. We ran this one to the short side of the field, and Crowell ran out of space. 2nd and 7. Shotgun Twins Right, TE left. Crowell set to the right. We run the same sweep as in the first half. Lee and Jones make good blocks, but they don't knock the guys to the ground this time. They get bunched up, and Crowell only gets a yard or so. 3rd and 6. Shotgun Twins Right, TE left, Crowell left. Mitchell, on the left, comes in motion, so now we're in Trips Right. When he does, the Corner comes with him, showing Man-Man coverage. This dictates Murray's throw, as Charles runs a corner route into the endzone. Because the Corner is gone, Murray knows he has him 1-1 and can throw the ball to the boundry side of him without too much danger. The pass is incomplete, but the LB interferes with Charles, and we get the flag. Watching this back, the pass scares me. If the LB were a little more aware, that ball might have been picked. I know it would have if it were me playing NCAA12 on PS3. Still, it wasn't.

1st and Goal UGA at TN 2. Ace Formation - Twins Right, TE Right. Crowell gets the handoff on what looks like a Power 0 to the right. There's a big pileup, and he only gets a yard. 2nd and Goal. Power-I Tight Right (TE on each side, 2nd fullback set right) We run the toss left, and the hole is there. It looks like Figgins just doesn't get there fast enough to put a block on #40, who stuffs Crowell in the hole. No Gain. 3rd and Goal. The commentator called for the PA on 2nd and didn't get it. Now he's adamant about it. He says the crowd has the defense to "geeked up" to run against them. (foreshadowing - we're gonna run it). I Formation Tight - FB Wing Left. FB comes in motion, now we're in a Power-I Tight Right. We run a great Lead play up the middle for a TD. I love the blocking on this play! Jones and Burnette block down to the backside. Figgins picks up the man coming off the end. Dallas Lee pulls around into the hole, and Zander leads Crowell as well. It's just a beautifully blocked play. Crowell cuts right behind Dallas Lee's block into the endzone. Damn that was pretty. TOUCHDOWN GEORGIA!

UGA 13 - TN 6. Kickoff. They take it at the 5, get it out to the 27.

1st and 10 Tennessee at TN 27. 3-4. They go Shotgun Empty. We rush 4. Tyson makes a good move, but it takes him too long to get there. Bray misfires out of bounds. 2nd and 10. 3-4. They go shotgun empty. We rush 5 and they do a good job blocking us. Bray hits Da'Rick on a drag, Herrera in coverage - just a bad matchup for us. Boykin and Sean Williams in on the tackle after a gain of 13.

1st and 10 TN at TN 40. 3-4. Everyone reads their run out of the I immediately. We could have been in trouble, as Tyson rushed hard inside, but Rambo came down quickly, turned the runner inside, and Vasser cleaned it up for a loss of 1. We're really fast on defense. 2nd and 11. 3-3-5. They try to fake a quick screen and run a draw. Nobody bites. Jones whips the TE and makes the stop for a loss of 5. 3rd and 16. 3-3-5. We send four, and no one gets home. Bray completes it to the HB on a drag route, and he's tackled after a gain of 7 by Gilliard. The HB rolls over Gilliard and keeps running all the way to the endzone, but replay shows his knee clearly was down. 4th and 3. Punt. We're in a punt-safe alignment. (Yay - no sneaking a fake on us!) Boykin takes the fair catch at the 7.

UGA 13 - TN 6.

1st and 10 UGA at UGA 7. I Formation Normal, TE Right. Play-Action deep to Mitchell, caught at the 50...he tries to kick it into 5th Gear, and comes up lame. He's tackled near the 20. First and Bomb...I know how y'all hate that. Me too. Gains of 63 yards - just awful. (That's sarcasm, kids).

1st and 10 UGA at TN 22. I Formation Normal, TE Left. Play Action, Murray feels pressure at the top of his drop, and takes off. He gets 5 before running out of bounds. 2nd and 5. I Formation Normal TE Left. I think this is a Zone-Read play to Crowell. I say this because the line doesn't fire off, but instead stands up, and blocks whoever comes. Crowell then reads the hole between RG and RT, and blasts through it. He takes it 17 yards for the score!! TOUCHDOWN GEORGIA!!!!

UGA 20 - UT 6. Kickoff. They take it a yard deep, and return it to the 50. Special Teams still not quite there - also...Walsh appears to be a little shallow on his kicks tonight. I wonder if that's by design, or if he's just off.

1st and 10 TN at Midfield. 3-4. They go Play-Action and we get no pass rush. Jarvis Jones chicken-fights with a blocker for a moment...he may have had a man-man assignment, and didn't want the guy to release. I'm not sure. He doesn't generally do that, so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. 2nd and 10. 3-3-5. Jones steps offside. We knock Bray's pass down, so he doesn't get anything cheap. 2nd and 5. 3-3-5. Lane takes it up the middle for about 4. 3rd and 1. 3-4. They try that same quick-pitch, and the refs whistle it dead. Woulda been really bad news for TN if they hadn't, as Jarvis had whipped their TE's block again. False Start TN. 3rd and 6. 3-3-5. Jones makes a great inside rush move on their Tackle, but that allows Bray to escape the pocket to the right and extend the play. He fires downfield to the TE who can't make the catch as Boykin dives in to slap it away. 4th and 6. Punt. We go punt-safe again. They down it on the 3.

UGA 20 - TN 6.

1st and 10 at UGA 3. Shotgun Twins Left, TE Right, Thomas Left. We run a little Gut play to the right. It looks to me that this one gets stuffed when the LB stones Aron White at the line. If Aron gets any movement, then Burnette (coming on the pull) will have a better shot at his man, and Thomas will be able to follow him to the second level. Instead, the hole gets jammed up. Many Fans say "Why are we running a draw on 1st and 10?" We aren't. It's not a draw. 2nd and 8. Shotgun Twins Left, TE Right, Thomas Left. We run a play-action of the Sweep that we had so much success with earlier. That action pulls the Linebackers. Murray throws the bubble screen out to Bennet, who gets about 6 on a whirling leap. 3rd and 2. Shotgun Twins Right, TE Left, Thomas Right. We run a quick curl to Marlon Brown for a gain of 7. YAY!

1st and 10 UGA at UGA 18. Shotgun Twins Right, TE left, Thomas Right. Murray throws deep to King, but overthrows him by only about one yard this time. (Even the commentator mentions that the deep ball has been open all night.) 2nd and 10. Shotgun Twins Right, TE left, Thomas Right. Murray hits Chris Conley on a deep slant for a gain of 17.

1st and 10 UGA at UGA 35. Shotgun Twins Right, TE left, Thomas Right. We run a counter. Glenn pulls to lead block, but it looks like he gets lost. Thomas runs right by him, through the hole, and down field for a gain of 21.

1st and 10 UGA at TN 44. We're happy just to let the quarter run out on that one.

So, we had the ball twice in the third quarter, and scored TDs on both. Can't hate that. We came out of the locker room with a solid game plan and flat out got it done. TN gained a net 7 yards in the third quarter.

You got that? They got 7 yards, we got 14 points. I'll take it.

Hey...I know you know about the amazing 3rd and 57 coming up in the 4th Quarter, so come on back and read about it!

Go Dawgs!

About that Taunting Rule

Just a little self-back-patting here.

April, 2010 - The new taunting rule for 2011 is announced. Subsequently, I wrote a blog telling everyone how bad of a rule it is, and how it can change the outcome of games. If you weren't reading me back then, click on that link and give it a read. I just re-read it again and there's something that really stuck out to me:

Dave Parry, the NCAA's national coordinator of college football officiating (Or, NCCFO as he's probably never called), had this to say about the rule:

"If it's close to diving into the end zone, most likely it would be ruled that the act ended while in the end zone. We'll be lenient. It's really if it's really bad, for example, if a guy flips the bird at the 10 or high-steps backwards into the end zone or starts a forward roll at the 3-yard line."

I wonder if the good folks at Louisiana State University believe the ref was being lenient when he flagged a PUNTER for spreading his arms at the 9 during a 60+ yard run for a touchdown.

Once again, NCAA - You Suck.

Go Dawgs.

Explaining Some Football Formations...

Hey Dawgfans;

It occurred to me last night as I was breaking down the 2nd quarter of the UGA win over UT that when I give my formation and defensive alignment descriptions, some people may not know what in the hell I'm talking about. Now, I don't know the UGA playbook. I don't know what Richt and Bobo name their formations, and I don't know that I'm naming them properly. There is very likely a different name for every RECEIVER alignment out of a specific formation. For instance, in a Twins formation with two receivers set wide to the left, the formation is likely called one thing if the outside receiver is on the line of scrimmage, and another if the inside receiver is on the line of scrimmage. However, I do not know UGA's terminology for it - and I really don't understand how it's going to help anyone out there get a better understanding for me to describe the formations in that degree of minutiae. So, I'm going to keep it simple. Very simply, this is how I will describe formations from here on out (I am abandoning calling every shotgun-single-back formation "Shotgun Ace"):

An ACE formation is one where the QB is under Center, with the HB behind him.

An I-Formation is one where the QB is under Center, with the FB and HB behind him.

A Power-I Formation is an I-Formation with an additional FB in the backfield.

A Split Formation is one where the QB is under Center, with two backs split to either side of him, and generally set 5 yards off the ball.

A Shotgun formation is one where the QB is in the shotgun, with one back set to one side.

A Shotgun Split Formation is one where the QB is in shotgun, with two backs - one on either side of him.

A Shotgun Empty Formation is one where the QB is in shotgun, and alone in the backfield.

These will be the basic Formations you will see from me.

I will give further information regarding the receivers.

Normal - This means there is one receiver set to each side of the ball.

Twins - This means there are two receivers set to one side of the ball.

Trips - This means there are three receivers set to one side of the ball.

Quads - This means there are four receivers set to one side of the ball.

Doubles - This means there are two receivers set to each side of the ball.

Then, I may also give more specific information like:

Offset I - This means the fullback is not directly behind the QB, but instead is lined up to either the weak or strong-side.

Tackle-Over - This means we have one guard and two tackles on one side of the ball, and a guard and tight-end to the other.

Wing - This means a player is lined up at the outside of the formation, but in the backfield, with his hand on the ground. This is generally a fullback or additional tight-end in our offense, but it may also be a speed player used for a sweep.

When it comes to defenses, I'm not getting incredibly specific, partially because the angle of the camera makes it hard for me to tell exactly what the alignments are. I can tell in general if a player is covering the guard or the tackle, but whether he's playing a 3,4 or 5 technique is a bit more difficult. So, I'm going to base my calls purely on personnel and positioning.

3-4 - We have three down linemen and Four standing linebackers. In this, we will have 4 DBs.

4-2-5 - We have four down linemen and two standing linebackers. I don't care if Ray Drew or Cornelius Washington or whoever is actually a linebacker, and we're therefore "technically' in a 3-3-5. If he has his hand in the dirt, the guy is a down-lineman for the sake of this blog.

3-3-5. We have three down linemen and three standing linebackers.

2-4-5. We have two down linemen and four standing linebackers.

These are the basic formations I've seen us in. It's hard for me to know just how well we're doing on each defensive play since I don't know the calls or the responsibilities, but I will do my best to offer explanations of why things work/don't work when I can.

Hope this helps y'all understand what I write a bit better.

Go Dawgs.

UGA - UT Film Study: Quarter Two Re-post

For some reason, the second quarter breakdown didn't seem to post to the other blogsites around the I'm reposting it now.


So, here we are...starting out the second quarter with a 3-0 lead, and facing a 3rd and 7. Tennessee has been able to lsow us down, but never really stop us as we are on our second possession of the night. Can't believe the whole first quarter was swallowed by one possession on each side of the ball. That's terrible. So much for the no-huddle allowing us to get so many more plays in.

But I digress.

UGA 3 - TN 0

3rd and 7 Georgia at the UGA 48. Shotgun Twins Right. Carlton Thomas at HB, Murray motions him to the right. Designed QB draw. Motioning Thomas out to the right opened the lane as TN was in man coverage, and the LB followed Thomas outside. It looks like this was a Draw-option-to-throw - Thomas and Charles both appeared to run routes while the wideouts went straight for blocks. That's an interesting play design if that is in fact what it was. Gain of 8. First Down Georgia!

1st and 10 at UT 45. Shotgun twins right. Thomas at HB. We slide protection to the right, rollout right pass to Tavarres King on a short out. The pass is incomplete, ruled that King's foot is out of bounds. He was dragging his back foot, but I guess his front foot came down out of bounds before he had the ball. 2nd and 10. Shotgun Twins Right. Play-Action deep for King, overthrown by 4 yards - again definitely open. 3rd and 10. Shotgun Twins Right. Pass over the middle to Marlon Brown, Brown didn't haul it in. 4th and 10. Punt team comes on. Fair Catch at the 10.

UGA 3 - UT 0.

1st and 10 Tennessee at TN 10. 3-4 alignment. We rush four, but the pocket holds pretty well. Bray completes a pass for 15 yards.

1st and 10 at TN 25. 3-4 alignment. They try to run an I-form Power 0 to the right, but we clog it. Gain of 1. 2nd and 9. 3-4. They run a guy in motion, then swing it out to him. Branden Smith fights off a block and gets enough of him to trip him for a 9 yard gain. But, there's a flag on the play - offsides on Georgia. 2nd and 4. 3-4. We rush 4 and blitz Herrera from the Right side of the defense. Gilliard and Jones both read no receivers in the middle, and turn to the outside. The TE, who had faked a block releases into the empty zone and snags the pass from Bray. He gains about 16. This will be a coaching point - be sure to make a solid read on that tight-end before turning your back to the middle of the field. More reps will make this less of an issue.

1st and 10 at TN 48. They're playing Rocky Top again. ugh. 3-4. They try to run the power again, and again we stuff it. 3-4. We run a twist with Jones, who doesn't come close, and Bray hits the TE wide open on the drag. I'm not certain of our coverage. It looks like Robinson got confused on his assignment and was covering the back coming out of the backfield instead of the tight-end. Gain of 15.

1st and 10 at UGA 37. 3-4. They run a toss-right with pulling linemen. Herrera knifes through and gets a shot on the ballcarrier. Gain of 6. 2nd and 4. 3-4. They try a toss left, but Jarvis Jones fights through his block and stops the runner in the backfield. loss of 3. 3rd and 8. 3-4. Timeout Georgia. Looks like Jones and Robinson may have been confused on their coverage responsibilities, but that's pure conjecture on my part. 3rd and 8. 3-4. We rush 4, again running the twist with Jones without success...Robinson hangs in the middle. I can't tell if he's spying the QB or the tight-end, but my guess is Tight End because I doubt we expect Bray to be running for it. If he was spying the tight-end, then good on Grantham for fixing that issue quickly. Bray can't find a man and throws incomplete out of bounds. 4th and 8. They decide to go for it. 3-3-5. We rush 5 and they go max-protect, so we don't have a shot at getting in there. Bray hits Da'Rick Rodgers for about 11 yards and he gets STUCK by Branden Smith. First Down TN - but I'm so glad to see Smith - our "Small" corner - make a hit like that.

1st and 10 at UGA 23. 3-4. We rush 5 on their playaction. Lane releases late, and no one picks him up. Bray hits him and he gains all the way to the UGA 7.

1st and Goal at UGA 7. 3-4. They try to toss it wide, but Williams and Vasser cut it off. Lane attempts to cut it back, but there's a host of Dawgs there. Loss of 4. 2nd and goal. 3-3-5. We run the twist with Jones and Tyson, and Tyson comes very close...even gets a piece of Bray after he lets it go. The pressure forces an overthrow out of bounds. 3rd and Goal. 3-4. We rush 5, Bray lobs one into the endzone, but his TE falls down. The officials try to say it's a missed PI. Oh well. 4th and Goal - fieldgoal unit comes out and knocks it in.

UGA 3 - UT 3.

Kickoff. Boykin takes the ball a yard deep and runs it out to the 17 where he's taken down by the head. Refs miss an obvious facemask.

1st and 10 UGA at UGA 17. I-Form Normal TE right. Crowell back in. We run what looks like an ISO or Stretch Lead to the weakside, but Isaiah hesitates just a bit too long in making his cut. He gets only 1. 2nd and 9. Ace Formation, Twins Right with TE and Wing to the left. Playaction bootleg left, Murray hits a wide open Malcom Mitchel for 12 yards.

1st and 10 UGA at UGA 30. I Form Normal, TE left. Lead to the right. Terrible blocking on this play. I can't decide if they blitzed the corner, or if our Wideout just didn't block him, but he went straight at Crowell. Bean whiffed on the DE, then Zander whiffed on both that same DE and a LB. All three of these defenders were in on the tackle. A bunch of minus in blocking. 2nd and 10. Shotgun Twins Left TE right,Thomas set to the left. We run a sweep right with Jones and Burnette pulling. Both guys make great blocks, pancaking the defense. Thomas cuts it up and picks up 5. 3rd and 5. Shotgun doubles. Thomas set right. Murray tries to hit Marlon Brown on a slant, but the TN linebacker hits him early. Pass Interference.

1st and 10 at UGA 38. Shotgun Twins left, TE right, Thomas Left. We run the same sweep as before, Burnette and Jones both nail their blocks again, and Thomas gains 7. 2nd and 3. I Form with Aron White at Wing to the left, Samuel at HB. Murray sells the fake toss to the left so hard, that all three linebackers take a full step in that direction. Aron White slips out to the right and Murray hits him for a gain of 4.

1st and 10 at UGA 49. I Form Normal. Play-Action deep strike to Malcolm Mitchell. 43 yard gain to the 5. But, Mitchell has to slow down for the ball. This is a touchdown if Murray hits it right. But, he had overthrown King twice, and took some off this throw. Reps. Reps. Reps. The guy HAS to learn the speed of his receivers if he wants to break games open.

1st and Goal at TN 7. ESPN misses the play. Samuel carried for about 2. That's all I know. 2nd and Goal. I Form Twins Left. Play-Action, they rush 5 but the pocket holds. Murray wings one up for Bennett (double covered) but it's out of his reach. Murray put the ball where he had to in order to give only Bennett a shot at it. It looks like Bennett was the second read, and he went there after noticing King was in too much traffic. 3rd and goal. Shotgun twins left, TE right, Samuel left. Timeout Georgia. 3rd and goal. Shotgun Doubles, Samuel left. Murray sends Samuel in motion to make it an empty set. Murray hits King in the hands over the middle - but he drops it. Don't know that it would have been a touchdown. It looked like King's route was much more like a drag than a slant - and had he caught the ball, he would have been at the 4 - with three TN guys nearby. I have to think that route was supposed to take King into the endzone for the least I hope so. 4th and Goal. Field Goal. Good.

UGA 6 - UT 3. Kickoff. taken at the 5, upended at the 27.

1st and 10 UT at the UT 27. 3-3-5. We rush 4, looks like the same twist with Tyson and Jones again. Bray throws long out of bounds. 2nd and 10. 3-3-5. Draw play. For once, we DON'T run the twist with Jones...and it hurts. Just bad luck on that one. Lane weaves for 8 yards. 3rd and 2. 3-3-5. They go max protect - 7 guys to block our 5. Bray tosses one up to a leaping receiver who catches the ball in open space at our 47 and is immediately planted by Rambo. I'm confused about the coverage on this one. Smith, Boykin, and Rambo have two receivers to cover. Smith starts dropping with the receiver who ultimately makes the catch, but he leaves him to cover the flats. Boykin never gets much depth, and Rambo comes over the top but can't get there in time to break up the play. Must have been a zone - but I don't understand the specifics of it.

1st and 10 UT at UGA 46. 3-3-5 alighment again. Drew and Jones make good upfield rushes, but can't get there. Still, Bray wings it out of bounds. 2nd and 10. 3-3-5. Bray completes a pass to Lane underneath, but Ray Drew is choke-slammed and the refs throw the flag. Personal Foul for hands-to-the-face. 1st and 25. 3-3-5. They run a screen and it sets up very well for them. Lane stiff-arms Rambo after gaining 15, and gets 12 more.

1st and 10 UT at UGA 34. 3-3-5. We rush 4 but get nowhere. They throw to Lane out of the backield for a gain of 8, but there's a flag. Illegal Formation on TN. 1st and 15. 3-3-5. Clock play. 2nd and 15. We blitz both Boykin and Rambo. Bray gets the throw off and hits Da'Rick Rogers at the 27. 3rd and 2. Field Goal unit is on and the kick is good as time expires.

UGA 6 - UT 6.

So, that's the half. Neither team did anything great, and neither did anything disastrous to itself either. A couple of things I noticed -

Tennessee loves shifts and motions. I haven't noticed that any of it has given them any kind of competitive advantage. We haven't been fooled by it, that's for sure.

Also, it looks to me that when our DBs blitz, they're not coming off the edge at full speed, and we're not getting great pressure. We get some pressure, make Bray a little uncomfortable, but we're really not killing them up front. Our blitz packages don't seem to confuse them very much. We haven't had a guy run free yet. That'd be nice to see in the second half.

Our Run D is still just crushing it.

We all know the second half is much more impressive on offense, so come on back to read about the breakdown of the third and fourth quarters tomorrow!

Go Dawgs!