Friday, September 16, 2011

Coastal Carolina Prediciton

No preview, just a prediction.

Georgia 48, Coastal Carolina 13

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Quick Observations from the LSU-Miss State Game

Because I have been at extended tailgates during the first two weeks of the season, I have not had a chance to sit down and watch much college football this season. But tonight I was able to sit on the couch and watch almost all of the Thursday night match up between LSU and Mississippi State. It was a throwback game to earlier days in the SEC when running the ball and defense ruled. Here are my thoughts about the game and the two teams:


- LSU's defense is ridiculous. Quick to the ball, solid tackling, and they make big plays. Mississippi State was averaging 300 yards a game rushing during the first two weeks. Tonight they barely had 200 yards of total offense.

- #17 for LSU (can't remember his name) was mentioned in the game as early target for MSU to pick on. The guy finished with two interceptions.

- LSU has enough talent on defense that they will never need to score a ton of points to win. That is good, because Jarrett Lee will not be lighting up the scoreboard. He is the very definition of a game manager.

- LSU has some good young receivers and the duo of Ware and Ford in the backfield are very solid.

Mississippi State

- All the injuries on the Mississippi State line are really killing them. They were getting little to no push against the LSU front.

- Relf makes some pretty good moves for such a big guy, but he doesn't sell play action well at all.

- Ballard is a bowling ball, you've got to keep him off his feet.

- Mississippi State's defense looked out of breath in the second half. If you can sustain long drives like LSU did tonight, you can wear them down and then begin hitting long passes.

- Overall, Mississippi State has not progressed much from last year. Don't get me wrong, they are a solid team who hung with the number 3 team in the country. But, they are still too one dimensional offense which makes them vulnerable late in the game (as evidenced by Relf being pulled in favor of Russell). The defense is solid, but they still rely so heavily on the blitz that a decent quarterback should have little trouble tearing them apart. Fortunately for them, Jarrett Lee is not that type of player. When they play Arkansas, expect big numbers from Wilson and his trio of receivers.

It was a really fun game to watch. I love seeing old school SEC games where you think the final score may be 6-3. I feel like the Dawgs will have a tough challenge when MSU comes to Athens in three weeks, but it won't be much different than waht we saw in Starkville last fall.

How the University of Georgia helped Coastal Carolina Create a Football Program

As many of you know, Coastal Carolina has only been playing football at the varsity level since 2003. In only 8 years, they have won 4 Big South Conference championships and currently have 4 former players in the NFL. But most Georgia fans may not know that Coastal Carolina may not have developed a varsity football team without the help of the University of Georgia.

In 1987, Coastal Carolina was a small school that was a member of the University of South Carolina system of school. The school colors at the time were red and black, similar to the garnet and black worn by their parent school. That fall, the school would field its first football team, all be it on a club level with Georgia native Andy Lanier as coach. With limited funding, Coach Lanier reached out to both South Carolina and Clemson about donating old equipment for the team to use that fall. Both schools were unable to help, but another school stepped into to help the new team out.

That school was The University of Georgia, who gave them used helmets and shoulder pads. And since they were wearing red black, just like UGA, there was little need to spend extra money redoing the colors on the helmets. As a thank you gesture, the club team would call themselves the Coastal Carolina Bulldogs, instead of the school's traditional mascot, the Chanticleers. The success of the club team, and some funding from alumni, helped Coastal Carolina build new facilities that would eventually allow them to create their varsity football program.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

10 Things I Want to See this Saturday

  1. A win, plain and simple. Shouldn't be that hard against a 1-AA school, but tell that to Ole Miss.
  2. 25 touches for Isaiah Crowell. He may not get them if we are playing well, but it is just fun to watch him with the ball.
  3. No interceptions from Aaron Murray. He has two in the first two games and both were costly, especially the one against South Carolina. Hopefully, we get to see Hutson Mason get some playing time as well.
  4. At least one defensive touchdown. The Dawgs have created three turnovers this year, but they have amounted to a grand total of 3 points.
  5. Brandon Boykin playing well...on defense. He did have a pick last week and we have seen him play great on offense and special teams. I would love to see our senior leader make a big hit or get another interception.
  6. Blair Walsh making all of his field goal and PAT attempts. This is a guy who was a Groza Award finalist, he can't be missing 33 yarders.
  7. Sacks from Jarvis Jones and Cornelius Washington.
  8. Ray Drew making his Georgia debut. The shoulder injury set him back, but I think we need to get him in if he is going to be a part of the defensive game plan when we play Miss State.
  9. Marlon Brown and TK making catches. I thought they would step up this year, but clearly I have been wrong. Malcolm Mitchell has passed both of them in my opinion. I also want to see our tight ends (Charles and White) making plays in the passing game after being shutout last week.
  10. Continued improvement. Last week was like watching a completely different team than the one we saw in the Dome. It will be hard to judge the progress against Coastal Carolina, but if the Dawgs eliminate the mistakes and put away a cupcake like an SEC team should, then I will feel good.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just Something You Don't See in the SEC

In looking for some information about our upcoming opponent this Saturday, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, I came across the football page on Coastal Carolina's athletics website. The website had some insightful information about their team, including the 2011 Media Guide and Coastal Football History. But at the bottom of the menu section, I saw something that just seemed out of place:


Now, I understand that Coastal Carolina is a 1-AA school and one that has only been around for about a decade. But to have a link to tryout information on the team's website just seems...odd. What I found more interesting is that their tryout date for football was listed as August 22, a little over a week before the beginning of the football season. I don't know about you, but if I was planning to walk on to a football team, I would want to do it more than a week before the season started. I mean, what do they expect you learn in a week other than how to hold a tackling dummy and get the crap knocked out of.

Anyway, this is not meant to be harsh (as I know I will get the inevitable comment about not being mean to a 1-AA school) it just seems very out of place. This definitely something that you would not see in the SEC...even at Vanderbilt.

#1 On the Field and in the Depth Chart

Coach Richt has announced that Isaiah Crowell will be the #1 tailback against Coastal Carolina. Why he wasn't first string already is beyond me, but hopefully this means more carries in the coming weeks. Actually, I hope it means less carries this week since the Dawgs should be able to beat Coastal Carolina with a backfield consisting of only guys shorter than 5'8'' (Thomas and Harton).

The reason for the change was on field performance in addition to some injuries for Samuel. And supposedly Carlton Thomas will move to #2 if Samuel can't go. My question is, what the hell happened to Boo Malcome? Wasn't so impressive in practice last season that the coaches considered burning his red shirt when Ealey and King struggled. Now, he can't even take over the third string spot for little Carlton Thomas. Something just doesn't seem right.

Hopefully this is a permanent change. Getting 25 touches for Crowell a game could spell huge dividends for a Georgia team that appears to pass the ball much better out of play action than out of the shotgun.

Go Greek at Alabama...or not.

White girls trying to rap. Horrible. This is easily worse than "Party in the UGA".

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Effort Was There, Now We Need Results

What a tough game for a Georgia fan to watch. Saturday's 45-42 defeat at the hands of the South Carolina Gamecocks may be one of the most gut wrenching games I have seen at Georgia. There have been bad losses and close losses, but this is one game where I felt the team played pretty well, yet still ended up on the losing side. There are not many times can you say that 3 plays in a game make the difference between a loss and a blowout victory. The effort put forth by the team on Saturday was such a seismic difference from week 1 that I felt Georgia just deserved to win. But that didn't happen.

So let's start with what went wrong:
  • Three turnovers lead to three touchdowns (including 2 defensive scores). Couple this with the fake punt and that is how the Dawgs lost the game. We can't lose the turnover battle. This felt a lot like a game from the 2009 season, in that respect.
  • The passing game was almost non-existent in the first half. Murray was constantly on the run and receivers were not getting open. As a matter of fact, I think there were only two completions to receivers the entire first half. The interception was horrible, with Murray throwing it directly into a blanketed man. Murray's numbers look pretty good this year, but he has not been up to par with last season.
  • The offensive line is still not providing proper protection. I know the play that ended with Clowney causing the Murray fumble was a screen, but you at least need to try and block a little bit. Justin Anderson still looks lost on pass coverage.
  • The running game may have had a nice day, but why are we running out of the shotgun on 3rd and 1?!?
  • Jordon Love's pass interference may be the play that cost the Dawgs the game. We got good pressure and it was a bad pass from Garcia. There was no need to hop on the guy's back. It gave Carolina new life and Lattimore scored just a few plays later.
  • What is up with Walsh? The chip shot field goal he missed ended up being the difference in the final score!
  • No receptions for Orson Charles. REALLY?!?
On the flip side, this game was filled with a ton of positives:
  • Brandon Boykin is the best player we have right now. Solid on defense, makes things happen on offense, and is just amazing on kick offs.
  • Rambo and Cummings had great games. It made me feel that we really missed Rambo against Boise. Garcia was basically a non-factor with the exception of the touchdown to Jeffrey.
  • The receivers showed up in the second half and looked like they may be a good bunch. I said it last week and I'll say it again, Malcolm Mitchell should be starting.
  • The defense overall played a hell of a game. Lattimore racked a ton of yards on a few carries in the 4th, but other than that the Dawgs did a much better job tackling him than they did last year. Garcia was held in check and we even got some sacks. It is a shame when a defensive effort like that was wasted with turnovers. If you take out the fake punt, the defense allowed 335 yards. Pretty damn good against a team with a senior quarterback and All-Americans at receiver and running back.
  • The coaching was better. Definitely not perfect. Allowing the fake punt was all on the coaches. I mean, it was Spurrier after all.
  • Michael Bennett has good hands. He may be the slot guy we are looking for.
  • Marlon Brown and TK have talent, we just need to get them the ball.
  • Isaiah Crowell showed on Saturday why he was the #1 running back recruit in the country. 158 total yards on just 18 touches and two scores. We have to get him the ball 25 times a game. His running on Saturday reminded me a lot of Knowshon Moreno. A number of times he got hit right at the line of scrimmage, but somehow ended up with a 3 yard gain. And if you watch the game, look for a play in the first half when a SC defender blows him up about 10 yards into a carry, he shrugs it off and picks up another 15 or so. The kid is that good, we just need to use him. (added video)

At the end of the day, this game should have been a victory. The team I saw on Saturday looked nothing like the one we saw in the Dome last week. If they cut just a few of the mistakes, they could begin to play great football. We should get an easy win on Saturday against Coastal Carolina and it would not surprise me to see us follow that with four more wins. The talent is there.